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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Eugene Field School

Location:

Eugene Field aka Kealing SchoolOther Names: Renamed "Kealing" in 1926

Building Closed: 1926 as Eugene Field. Renamed Kealing.

Architectural Analysis - Public School Buildings (New/Additions) by Rose and Peterson - 1890-1927

Architectural Blue Prints and/or Plot Plan of School Building

SUMMARY

1900 - The old Fowler property (350 Troup) had been offered as a site for a school in the Second Ward. The board, however, chose a location on the northwest corner of Fourth and Parallel for a two-story four-room brick building.

April 24: Board of Education purchased 65 feet, Lots 11 and 12, Block 2, Fowler Park and Lots 13-17, 130 feet, Block 2, Fowler Park, from D. J. Holland and E. M. Eaton. Contract let to F. A. Thompson for four-room brick on northwest corner of 4th & Parallel. Architect was W. W. Rose and address listed as 2026 N. 4th Street. (Rose and Peterson Architects, 1994)

1895-1909 - W. W. Rose, Architect - The remaining schools designed by Rose alone are, for the most part, unrestrained interpretations of Classical styles. This group of structures includes Lowell Elementary (1897-98) and Irving Elementary (1900), two schools of comparable design which incorporate towers into the overall theme; Eugene Field (1900), similar to Lowell and Irving but with minimum articulation; Whittier Elementary (1908), Dunbar Elementary (1908), Hawthorne Elementary (1908-09), and Horace Mann Elementary (1909) which employ Classical detailing to otherwise moderately articulated facades; and Cooper Elementary (1904), which remains the most modest design from this period of Rose's Career.

May 6: To be named Eugene Field in honor of poet.

Eugene Field was an unusual poet. He was one of the few poets who wrote only children's poetry. That is how he got his nickname, The Children's Poet. It all started September 2, 1850, at 634 South Broadway in Saint Louis. That's where and when Eugene Field was born. He had one brother named Roswell, who was one year younger than he, and a sister who died soon after her birth. He and his brother were very close, but very different. Eugene took after their mother, Francis, while Roswell took after their father. Eugene was afraid of the dark while his brother wasn't afraid of anything. Eugene hated studying while Roswell loved it. When the boys were six and five, their mother died. Mr. Field sent them to live with their cousin, Mary French, in Massachusetts until he could take care of them. While living on their cousin's farm, Eugene wrote his first poem. He was nine then, and the poem was about their cousin's dog, Fido. At the age of fifteen, Eugene was shipped off to a small private school in Massachusetts. There were only five boys in the school, and Eugene loved leading the boys in tricks against the master of the school.

Eugene went on to William's College in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, his father died when he was nineteen and he dropped out after eight months. Next he went to Knox College but dropped out of college after a year. Then he went to the University of Missouri, where his brother was also attending. While there, he met Julia Comstock, who was fourteen. When Julia turned sixteen, she and Eugene married. They had eight children. Two died as babies, another died as a little boy. The remaining five grew up and had long lives.

While married, Eugene had many jobs. He worked for many newspapers until the Chicago Daily News offered him a job. He wrote a humorous column called "Sharps and Flats". In 1895, Eugene Field died. He had written many poems, and had accomplished everything he had wished to accomplish. Eugene Field will be remembered mostly for being a children's poet. Some of his most famous poems are "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"; "The Duel"; and "Little Boy Blue".

September 30: School occupied. Claude Case, Principal. Teachers were Edna McCamish, Lou Heisler and Anna McDougall.

1907 - Four-room addition planned and built.

1913 - March: Patrons assured by Board of Education that school not to be given to African American. Plans for six-room addition being made.

1920 - Early in the 1920's a shift of population in the northeast area caused this school to be changed from white to black.  Dr. Sherman Scruggs suggested the name "Kealing" for Dr. H. T. Kealing, former president of Western University and a leading citizen both locally and nationally.  This name was accepted by the Board of Education and the black citizens of the city.

1926 - September: School to be used as a segregated school by African American students. Name changed to Kealing.

This school was located in a historic area - near the old Northeast Junior High School - Wyandot Indians, Matthew Walker Home, George Fowler Home, Central Baptist Seminary, and Northeast Junior High School.

PRINCIPALS

1901-03 - Dr. Claude Case / 1903-04 - H. J. Emerson / 1904-07 - Lucy McCoy / 1907-25 - Carrie Drisko / 1925-26 - Elnora K. Pearson / 1926 - Closed as Eugene Field. Renamed "Kealing"

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15th Annual Report of the Board of Education of the City of Kansas City, Kansas for the year Ending June 30, 1901:  p. 79, First three grades and 4 B, four room brick, corner of Parallel Avenue and Fourth Street.  Boundary - Beginning at the junction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and Garfield Avenue, thence West to Walnut Street, thence south to Virginia Avenue, thence west to Fifth Street, thence north to LaFayette Avenue, thence east to Walnut Street, thence north to Waverly Avenue, thence east to Missouri Pacific Railroad, thence south along the Railroad to the point of beginning.  C. H. Case, Principal

Ward Boundaries

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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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