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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Booker T. Washington School

History of Garrison, Greystone and Booker T. Washington Schools

Garrison School in Greystone Heights areaLocation: Corner of Hudson and Abbey

Other Names:  Garrison and Greystone

Building Closed: 1938

1st at left is Garrison School
2nd at left is Greystone / Booker T. Washington


Greystone SchoolThe Booker T. Washington Era Online

Profiles of African American Personalities in Wyandotte County, Kansas

Atlas - Toad-a-loup(e) and Greystone Heights

Locations: Garrison - Hudson and Abbey / Greystone/Booker T. Washington - s.w. corner of Abbey and Hudson, 1140 Hudson

The histories of Garrison School (African American), Greystone School (White) and Booker T. Washington School (African American) in the Greystone Heights area of KCKs can become confusing. If you are going to speak of one school, you must include all three in chronological order. Also included in this mix of schools is a Garrison School in the Armstrong area of the city, and an Armstrong School, the repetition of the name Garrison for two schools making the history confusing at times. In 1888, Greystone Heights and the Toad-a-Loup area were part of Kansas City, Kansas (See Kansas City Gazette article, April 12, 1888).

1887 - G. M. Hopkins Surveys & Plats Map of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas:  Greystone School - s.w. corner of Hudson and Abbie.

1888: Greystone School: Lots 7-12, Block 4, Greystone Heights Addition were deeded to the Board of Education. Located at Hudson and Abbey, southwest corner. The BOE decided to rent a building for $15 per month instead of building.

1889:  Greystone School: Listed as a Kansas City, Kansas school with M. A. Moriston, principal; Ada Hollingsworth.  Wyandotte County and Kansas City Kansas.  Historical and Biographical, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1890, p. 320

1899: Greystone School: June 24, the BOE received plans for Greystone School from Architect Colb for a four-room building. They also investigated buying lots next to Greystone. The district was the area south of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad land to city limits, from State Line west to Kansas River.

1890: Greystone School: August 18 - Contract for two-room let to John Buckley.

1890: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): Twenty-five children (African American) lived near Greystone (white) school building. The African American children had been attending Kansas City, Missouri schools, but were now excluded.

1891: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): A school for the African American children was to be built and would be called Garrison for William Lloyd Garrison, noted abolitionist.

1892: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): In February, a one-room, frame building was rented in Greystone Heights.

1892: Greystone Heights: February - A fence was built between Garrison (colored school) and Greystone (white school). September- Attorney investigated the sale of Greystone property for taxes.

1894: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): In April, the school was discontinued.

1895: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): By Sept, the school had still not reopened. After Garrison had closed, the African American children had no school. In September, the board decided to send seven Garrison pupils to Kansas City, Missouri, but that city would not take them. The board sent the children to Rosedale.

1898: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): In Sept of 1898, there was a plea by the Greystone area African American people to re-establish the school. They were told to present a petition with name, age, and residence of children. On Sept 19, the children were sent to Kansas City, Missouri at $12 a year tuition.

1899: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): In Sept, the African American people again appealed for a school.

1899: Greystone School: June 5 - Contract for two-room addition awarded to J. W. Ferguson. December - Addition in need of repairs.

1907: Garrison School (Armstrong area): August 13 - KCKs Board of Education leased brick building on Colorado Avenue from Flanagan for African American children. Named for William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist. (346 S. 8 th Street)

1910: Garrison School (Armstrong area): July 19 - African American from Fifth Ward asked the KCKs Board of Education for additional facilities. A promise was given to secure lease on a site and prepare plans for a two-room school.  M. E. Pearson and A. J. Neely were appointed to investigate. The board promised to secure a lease on a site for a two-room school. The KC Breweries were notified that their building housing Garrison school would be vacated in September, 1910.

1910: Garrison School (Armstrong area): When ground at Mill and Gilmore was considered, white residents protested. A three-member board committee and a group of the objectors met on September 20 to discuss the matter. In November, a building was rented for Garrison and property at 348 South Eighth purchased for a site, near Cornell, two-room portable on Lots 11-13, Block 4, Armstrong. Also listed between Euclid and Cornell.

1913: Garrison School (Greystone Heights): A school for Greystone African American children was erected at Clinton, Greystone, and State Line.  At some point, the name was changed to Booker T. Washington School.

"The actual dates of construction and occupancy of the Booker T. Washington Elementary School were not available.  It was known, however, that this school was at one time located at the corner of Greystone and Cambridge Avenues in the southern part of old Wyandot, Kansas.  It was a room frame structure with a large, pot-bellied stove which was anchored to the wooden floor, dead center of the room.  There was no plumbing or electricity in the building, therefore, the children had to use two "outhouses" when the rest room was needed.  Of course, one outhouse was for girls and one was for boys.  The location of these small buildings was about thirty feet behind the main building and they sat about fifteen feet apart.  Sitting on a wooden stool in the corner and in front of the class was a water bucket filled with spring water for drinking purposes.  Hanging on the side of the water bucket was a large rusty dipper.  Every one drank from this dipper including the teacher.  There were no library books for the children nor was there a blackboard for the children to do board work.  Each child had his or her individual slate for that purpose."  (A History of Black Education in Kansas City, Kansas, Readin', 'Riting, 'Rithmetic by William W. Boone, March 1986 (Copy located in the KCKs Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave, KCKs, 913-551-3280).  The school district is sincerely grateful to Mr. William W. Boone, Ms. Josephine C. Vandiver, and Mr. Jackson C. Van Trece for their research and preparation of this material.)

1920: Greystone School: Board of Education planned to combine Greystone and Melville districts to erect eight-room building.

1921: Greystone School: Greystone patrons accused the board in March, of lack of consideration for their interests, when old Greystone was condemned and a new site chosen for Melville and Greystone. Children would have to walk over two miles to a new school. The City Planning Commission and board members had promised to meet with the parents, but failed to appear. Both Greystone and Melville wanted the school. The latter was chosen because it seemed close to the center of the school population. County Superintendent Charles E. Thompson in November got out an injunction on behalf of Melville patrons against a school on Turkey Creek. The site "was better for mountain goats than for children," it was asserted. In October the Melville site was listed as the 1000 block of the Industrial Addition, Lots 8-20, and the west half of 21. The colored school was at 22nd and Douglass.

1922: Greystone/Melville Schools: Land was purchased west of Melville. Part of old J. K. Hudson farm. September - Name changed to Major Hudson. New brick building erected for white children in 1923-24.  Major Hudson School was dedicated on May 14, 1924. It had seven classrooms, auditorium and manual training room. Four teachers taught eight grades. Mrs. Margaret Jones, was the first principal. Old Melville was used as school for Mexicans. Greystone white students attended at Major Hudson.

1926: Garrison School (Greystone Heights)/ Greystone School: African American children were moved from Garrison to the formerly "white" Greystone and the school was renamed Booker T. Washington in honor of the African American educator. The Booker T. Washington School closed in 1938. Current records do not tell us which schools these students were assigned to after 1938.

1926: Garrison School (Armstrong area): Students reassigned to Armstrong School at Colorado Avenue and South 8th Street (facing Colorado - bounded on the west by 8th Street and on the north by Cornell). Occupied three rooms. Armstrong School renamed Garrison, and also accepted transfer of students from Phillips School in 1931 (colored school in Armstrong)

1966:  The Greystone Heights portion of the Columbian zone, a severely depressed housing area, was attached to the Major Hudson attendance zone and a four-room addition to that building was completed in 1966. Schools in KCKs in Years of Change 1962-1986, Dr. Oren L. Plucker, 1987

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"There was only one teacher for all six grades in the school.  When students completed the sixth grade, they were sent to the upper grades (7th and 9th grade) of Attucks.  This transfer of students continued until the Northeast Junior High School was constructed in the northeast part of the city.  To prevent over-crowding, the building was enlarged and at that time the two outhouses were removed, the pot-bellied stove lost its glamour to a fancier stove, water and electric lights were included in the remodeling of the old building.

There was another elementary school located in this same area known as the J. J. Lewis School (named to honor the first principal of Douglass Grade School).  This school was located at Highland and Dudley Streets near the Argentine District.  Like its neighboring school, Washington Elementary School, very little was found concerning the history of the J. J. Lewis Elementary School.  It was known that in 1926, Amanda Gillespie was the first principal of the Lewis School.  Later information revealed that Virginia Elliott also was a principal.  It was in the mid 1920's the J. J. Lewis School was closed and the building was razed soon after that period.

Since the elementary schools for Black children were scattered throughout the Kansas City, Kansas school district, the Board of Education was faced with the problem of getting those children who had completed the upper elementary grades, to the only junior high for Black children.  This junior high school was located in the extreme northeast part of the city.  A contract was awarded to a Black business man, Mr. W. R. McCallop, to transport children by bus to the Northeast Junior High School.  Mr. McCallop had a fleet of small yellow buses that transported Black children from all parts of the city.  This fleet of school buses could be seen as far south as Shawnee Mission, Kansas.  Mr. McCallop was one of the few Black persons who lived in the Shawnee Mission district.  His children had to attend Northeast Junior High School, since Shawnee Mission made no effort to educate Black children in the 1920's and 1930's.  The McCallop buses could be seen in the west bottoms of Kansas City, Missouri, the east bottoms of Kansas City, Kansas and they traveled as far west as Edwardsville, Kansas.  As mentioned previously, busing is nothing new to the Kansas City, Kansas school system."

A History of Black Education in Kansas City, Kansas, Readin', 'Riting, 'Rithmetic by William W. Boone, March 1986 (Copy located in the KCKs Public Library, 625 Minnesota Ave, KCKs, 913-551-3280).  The school district is sincerely grateful to Mr. William W. Boone, Ms. Josephine C. Vandiver, and Mr. Jackson C. Van Trece for their research and preparation of this material.   (Check the Biographies Index on the site map to view bios on these three people.)

This represents an excerpt from the manuscript/book as it was presented, including terminology used at the time of the writing.  All attempts have been made to reproduce the spelling, capitalization and layout of the original manuscript/book as much as possible.

Disclaimer:  The written historical perspectives online at this web site, and web sites to which links are provided, reflect the view of the author(s)/(creator(s) which are protected under the rights of free speech; and do "not" necessarily reflect the views of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education.

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

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