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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Central School

Central School - 7th & Ann AvenueLocation:  Southwest corner of 7th St. and Ann Ave

Other Names: Palmer Academy, Wyandotte Academy

The school at your left was originally built (circa 1878) as Palmer Academy, later to be called Palmer's " Wyandotte Academy." In 1902, the Central Public School in Huron Square was demolished to make room for the Andrew Carnegie Library ( 625 Minnesota Avenue ) and the name "Central" was transferred to the building at 7 th and Ann, until 1923. There are numerous buildings in KCKs that were called "Central". After 1923, the name was transferred to our present Central Elementary School , located at 813 Barnett. Due to the transfer of names, Central Elementary proudly claims descent from the Central Public School , built in 1868.

At times, when someone wrote history on the schools they simply referred to one of the centrally located schools as "Central," which makes researching history on the school difficult. In order to decipher which one you are researching, it is important to read information on them all. Since 1923, this site has been the location of the Wyandotte County Courthouse, which still stands in 2005.

Old Central Public School (originally built in 1868)

Central School (current page)

Central Elementary School

Central Middle School

1882 Students - Wyandotte Academy (Palmer Academy)

Architectural Blue Prints and/or Plot Plan of School Building

SUMMARY

1883-1885:  Wyandott City moved its limits west from Seventh to Ninth Street. 

1888: December 3 - C. H. Carpenter, trustee representing the Masonic Lodge, notified the board that Palmer's " Wyandotte Academy " (founded September, 1878 at 7 th and Ann Avenue ) was for sale for $12,000. The lodge would accept the amount in warrants. Warrants were issued on December 10, 1888 and the school came into possession of the board. Trustee C. H. Carpenter, J. M. Holloway, and S. S. Sharpe represented Wyandotte Lodge Number 3, A. F. and A. M. of Kansas City, Kansas .

Dr. George M. Gray and his wife deeded to the Board of Education on December 3, Lot 3, plus the south 41 feet of Lot 6 of Block 150, old Wyandott City.  The property lay to the south of the high school at Seventh and Ann and had on it a four-room house.  This would serve as an office building for the board.

Marjorie Sallee in her "History of Wyandotte High School" tells us that "at times only 50% of the school-age children enrolled in the schools.  The Board of Education, in an attempt to attract and retain students, offered to provide books for poverty-stricken students so that they could receive an education. Grade school children attended in this Central School as well as high school students."

1892:  Cypress Yards colored people near the Missouri Pacific tracks east of Riverview School requested a school. District Number 9 (Armstrong District before 1886) had operated a school previously for them, but now the Kansas City BOE was in charge. The board refused to continue the school. Worried colored citizens from Cypress Yards appeared again and again to plead for a school, for half days even, and the board had to refuse. Colored people from Cypress Yards and the Third and Fourth Wards pleaded for facilities.

1902: Builders were to deliver to the Board of Education offices at the high school building their offers for the building which was Central Public School in Huron Place. Thirty days would be allowed after school closed to remove everything. The name Central was transferred to the Seventh and Ann building (formerly the Palmer Academy ).

"Seventeenth Annual Report of the Board of Education", for the year 1902 and 1903, pg. 82-83, Report of Superintendent (M E Pearson)... A few facts in the school's history will suffice to show its rapid growth.  The high school was organized in 1886 in Riverview school building, where it remained two years removing to Seventh and Ann, where it occupied the building formerly known as Palmer's Academy aka Wyandotte Academy.  Here the high school remained for eleven years.  Because of a tremendous growth which made it necessary to use all the adjacent store buildings for recitation purposes, a building solely for high school purposes was erected at Ninth and Minnesota, and the high school removed to its new home in 1899.  The building the school now occupies is the best for its purpose in the state, but it will soon be too small to accommodate the rapidly increasing attendance.  An addition, in the course of the next two years, seems to be imperative.  From an enrollment of 30 during the first year of its history, the high school has made rapid growth, reaching a total of 754 at the close of the school year ending 1903.  In the meantime, the faculty has increased from two to twenty-two.  There have been graduated in seventeen years an even five hundred students."

Rules and Regulations, Bd of Educ, KCKs, 30 June 1905 - Eight grades, nine-room brick, corner 7th St and Ann Ave.  Boundary - beginning at the Missouri Pacific tracks and Minnesota Ave, west to 6th St, north to Nebraska Ave, west to 9th St, south to Tauromee Avenue, east to 8th St, south to alley one-half block of Ohio, east on said alley to first alley west of 7th St, south to Ohio Ave, east to 7th St, north to Orville Ave, east to 6th St, north to Sandusky Ave, east to 5th St, north to Barnett Ave, east to Missouri Pacific tracks, northeast to point of beginning.  A. Anderson, Janitor, 1128 Sandusky Ave.

1907:  New steam plant, sanitary facilities, drinking fountains, retaining walls, improvement on grounds at 7th and Ann building, now the only Central School. 

1907: November:  A porch with a gabled roof planned.

1910: March: Reverend Wolf and Dr. Hughes, Masonic Lodge Number 3, A. F. & A. M. and Central patrons asked for playground for school on Masonic property at 7th and Barnett. Board assented, provided written permission given by lodge.

1911:  May: Board decided not to sell Central School for YMCA site. Bid of $25 for old building on grounds refused. Decided to raze.

1912:  September: PTA founded. Mrs. S. H. Reynolds, first president. 

The Board voted not to sell the Central site (7th and Ann) for a YMCA building.  Kansas City, Kansas Public School History, Nellie McGuinn, 1961

1913:  March: Death of Miss Elizabeth Collins, long-time teacher. Eulogized by the Board. School closed March 5 for funeral.

1914:  January: Vacant room used by dentists for free school dental clinic.

1919:  The Dental Clinic at Central School wanted to expand its work.  "Better the teeth, better the pupil," was the slogan.  While in some places no provision was made for the care of children's teeth, in this city each child's teeth were checked, and free correction given if the parent was unable to pay. 

1923:  Board bought four houses at 8th and Barnett from Mrs. Addie Smith, Mrs. Smaill and Mr. and Mrs. Myer. (Central Elementary will be built on this site.)

June: To sell Central Schoolhouse site to County Commissioner for new courthouse, $85,000 (courthouse and county jail annex occupy this city block in 2002-03). Board to keep school for twelve months after payment.

Central School Site Price Set at $85,000
(Kansan article)

PRINCIPALS

1903-05 - C. W. Porter, U. A. Screechfield / 1905 - U. A. Screechfield, J. L. Howard / 1906 - W. J. Piatt, Joseph Piatt / 1907-14 - Lucy McCoy / 1914-18 - Janette McKeller / 1918-23 - Amanda Weber

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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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