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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Lincoln-1901Lincoln School
(6th & Kansas - Wyandotte City; later 6th & State in KCKs)

Location:  6th and State

Hoyles 1892 City Directory:  (colored) 6th se corner State Ave.

Other Names:  Sixth Street School

Picture at left of school building between 1881 and 1905.




Lincoln School became the YWCA in 1905


Lincoln School was purchased by the WYCA in 1905.





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1856 - Old frame building on s.e. corner of 6th and Kansas Avenue (later called State Avenue) was used as school.  We assume this building was what has been referred in different records as a "Cincinnati Frame."  (Boats from Cincinnati or St. Louis, in the late fifties, brought new town houses ready to set up, forerunners of today's "pre-fabs".)  A group of parents bought one such "Cincinnati house" by subscription and located it at Sixth and State. The parents engaged a teacher and operated the school until 1867.

"School meeting District No. 1. - At a meeting of the citizens of school district No. 1 in Wyandotte County Kansas, held in pursuance of a call made by the County Superintendent of Public instruction at the Court House, the following persons were duly elected for the ensuing year to wit:  Byron Judd, Treasurer; Fred Speck, Director; Chas. S. Glick, Clerk.  Said meeting adjourned to meet at the Post Office, Wyandotte, on Wednesday evening Dec. 30, 1861, then and there to consider the propriety of levying a special school tax of 21.2 mills on the dollar, for the purpose of defraying the expense of a public school in said district during the present winter.   Byron Judd, Chairman; Chas. S. Glick, Secretary."  Commercial Gazette, 28 December 1861. 

There is an article in the Commercial Gazette on 4 January 1962, pg. 2, related to the mill levy.  But it was again postponed and no other article was found in relation to it at a later date.

Just prior to 1867, the frame building had grown to a school of several rooms. A meeting was held in the "Cincinnati" frame (organized by Mrs. Porter Sherman) where $12,000 in bonds was voted for a new schoolhouse.  The parents found later that the meeting was illegal but didn't care. Public education was getting a start. 

Wyandott became a city of the second class on Feb 23, 1867 and the property for the school consisted of Lots 25-27, block 115, deeded to Board of Education by John McAlpine, trustee of the Wyandott City Town Company on March 25, 1867.  When Central School in Huron Place was built and occupied (1867-1868), school on Sixth Street was turned over to African Americans.  (With inflation, $12,000 in 1867 would be $ 143,951.51 in 2003.)

(Officers, Wyandott Gazette, 17 July 1873 - Ralph Van Brunt, President; John D. Cruise Treasurer; Wm. Albright, Clerk; Joseph Speck, E. Moyel, W. B. Garlick, G. W. Bishop, C. Hoppen and V. J. Lane, members of the Board.)

1878 - "During the Underground Railroad and Civil War days, colored people had escaped to Kansas from the slave state of Missouri. The four-room school on Sixth and Kansas (State Avenue) had housed the children of these people up to about 1878, the year of the Exodus. Thousands of Negroes, owing to a combination of events, left their homes in the South. They loaded their scant household belongings and livestock on to the numerous barges going up and down the Mississippi and set out to seek new homes in the North. From 1878 to 1881, at least 20,000 of these emigrants landed on the levee at Wyandot. Many of them remained, building shelters along the river bank or erecting homes in Quindaro and the northeast section of Wyandot. Before long they were asking for school privileges for their children.  By 1880, one thousand of the 2627 school-age children colored and white, were attending the two schools, and costing the 6500 people of Wyandot about $7000 a year."  The Kansas City, Kansas Public School System by Nellie McGuinn, KCKs educator, 1966.

1881 - Money out of the $15,000 appropriation was used for the new building. The old building (the "Cincinnati " frame) had been moved to the northwest corner. The BOE purchased Lot 25, Block 115, from John D. Funk on June 27.  Building started, delayed by shortage of funds.

1882 - Additional money found to complete the building: two-story, eight-room brick - steam heat. J Meyer, contractor. Named Lincoln. Assume named for President Abraham Lincoln.

1889 - Building unfit. Superintendent recommended abandoning it.

1900 - October 1: Enrollment down. Boundary change needed.

1901 - When the Leavenworth Electric Railway petitioned to build a street car line in front of Lincoln School on State Avenue, the board signed in favor of it. 

1903 - January 26: Judge Fuller addressed board concerning sale of building.

February 24: Mercantile Club reported building unfit in condition and location for further use. (Similar report by Mercantile Club for Armourdale School.)

1905 - "As Lincoln School was to be abandoned, a committee from the YWCA discussed with the board the idea of buying it. The organization wanted a home of its own and offered to buy Lincoln at Sixth and State for $5000 cash. Warned the critics, "The location is undesirable. The association will make a mistake if it buys it."

As the YWCA in 1905 was only two years old and living in rented quarters at $45 a month, it had little money.  With 500 members it soon would be self-supporting. To buy the school building, offered at a bargain price, at least $7000 would be needed to cover all expenses. The women appealed to the businesses of the city.

Mr. Brokaw of the Commercial National Bank asked the board on June 5 if it would accept $5000; $500 payable at once, the balance in thirty days. Provided no better offer was made, the board agreed, then reconsidered the offer on June 8.  On June 9, 1905, however, the YWCA became the owner of old Lincoln School on an historic site of the city. 

When on September 5, Mr. Brokaw offered $5 to pay for the Lincoln School insurance policy, the board donated it to the organization." The Kansas City, Kansas Public School System by Nellie McGuinn, KCKs educator, 1966

[Annotation: The YWCA still stands on this site, serving Kansas City, Kansas in January of 2004.] 


1867-? - Miss Molly Cowan, later Mrs. John Van Fossen / 1880 - Professor Bowser / 1881 - Mr. Anderson and Mr. Jackson / 1884 - J J Lewis, teacher / 1885 - E. F. Heisler / 1886 - A J Neely / 1888-94 - G L Harrison / 1894-1904 - A J Neely / 1905 - School closed

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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. 82, Eight grades, eight room brick, corner Sixth Street and State Avenue.  Boundary - From corner of Ohio Avenue and Eighth Street east and north to Freeman Avenue.  A. J. Neely, Principal

Ward Boundarie

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

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