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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Carnival Park

Carnival Park - circa 1907From:  "Carnival Park - Circa 1907", Kansas City's White City, publication coordinated by J. Paul Jewell, 1986 (Copy located at KCKs Public Library - Kansas Room - 625 Minnesota Avenue)

"In the fall of 1906, the Carnival Park Amusement Association, composed of local businessmen, sent representatives to other cities to see their parks.  Planners of the park announced it would be equal in area to the White City in Chicago, and that it would be larger than any amusement park in St. Louis, Indianapolis, or any other large city west of New York.  All the attractions found in Luna Park, Coney Island, and White City would be featured here.  The park was bound by 14th Street, 16th Street, Armstrong, and Barnett - consisting of nine acres in that part of Kansas City, Kansas called the West Side.  (Ward High School athletic field sits on this property in the year 2003 and has since 1928.)

Carnival Park - circa 1907Elizabeth T. Lysaught owned the property until the Kansas City, KS Board of Education had the property appraised and then purchased it for school use 27 Oct 1915.  (Book 513-213) (Appraisers 161634)

According to the Kansas City High School yearbook, football came back in 1916 to stay.  Games were played at Heathwood Park at 10th and Parallel until 1922 when the Carnival Park property became an athletic field for the school.

In 1916, there was a one-room portable at 14th and Armstrong that was officially known as Lowell Annex, although it was eight blocks from the larger school.  Mrs. Stella Goodwin, teacher of the first grade there, referred to the small building as "James Whitcomb Riley School" and hoped that it would be named for the children's poet.  In 1917 another portable was added.  Miss Esther taught the second grade there until a new school was built in the district.  The portables later were used for lockers at the athletic field on the old Carnival Park grounds at 14th and Armstrong.

In July of 1927, the KCKs BOE had an option with J. A. Hoel for the exchange of property near 22nd and Washington Boulevard.  The sale and exchange of property was completed 16 February 1928.  (Book 773-94)

The descent of the Carnival Park property through the Hoel and Fife families passed by Quit Claim Deed to Francis Jhannes, Bishop, Catholic Diocese, Leavenworth, Kansas 27 June 1932.  (Book 845-227) (319593)

The Rt. Rev. Francis Jhannes dedicated the property as the Ward High School Athletic grounds on 31 July 1932.  It is now known as Bishop Ward's Tom Dorney Field."

[Annotation:  George Widder, who lived at 808 N. Washington Blvd and across the street from the present-day Wyandotte High School, was Secretary of the Board of Education and may have been instrumental in the trade of property for the building of Wyandotte.]

Parks and Recreation Areas - old Kansas City

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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