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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Lincoln School aka Bruce School prior to 1910Lincoln School
(Argentine Area)

At your left is the "Lincoln School".  In the lower, left-hand background is a portion of the Kansas City Structural Steel.  This school and the children attending it saw the beginnings of two major industries in the Argentine area:  the smelter plant and the Kansas City Structural Steel plant.

Location:  4th (24th) and Ruby, then s.w. corner of 24th and Strong (Argentine)

Building Closed: 1965

Building Razed: 1969

1912 City Directory:  Strong Ave and 24th

Other Names: Bruce (Argentine)

Architectural Blue Prints and/or Plot Plan of School Building

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“Centennial History of Argentine”, Kansas City, Kansas 1880-1980
Simmons Funeral Home, Inc.

"An early school in the Argentine community was the Bruce Grade School located in the old Mulvane Addition at what is now 24th and Strong. Constructed in 1888, it was later renamed the Lincoln Grade School. As was the practice throughout the Nation, the Argentine School District was segregated until about the mid 1950's. After its completion, Black youths of high school age attended Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. For almost 80 years those of elementary age in Argentine attended Lincoln Grade School.

The original building consisted of four rooms and eight grades. John Smith was the first principal. Other early principals were F W Bufkins, Tom Collins, P K Brown, L U Grant, Woodie Jacobs, Rhoda Johns, and Dale Bougess The members of the first faculty were Lena Brown, Ethel Stafford and W D Holmes. The first PTA was organized in 1916 with Mrs. Martha McReynolds as President. In 1965, the school was retired from active service. At the same time, it was the oldest building in the Kansas City, Kansas School System. The building was razed in 1969. Submitted by Edwin D. Shutt II"

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History of the Schools:  Part X-Clara Barton, John Fiske, Junction Elementary, J.J. Lewis, Thomas Edison and Carlisle Schools
Silver City Record, Kansas City, KS, 1977

The Lincoln Elementary School formally at 24th and Strong Avenue was the Black School of Argentine for many years.  There was however, also the J. J. Lewis Elementary School for the Blacks.

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Prior to 1910 - See Bruce School

1910 - Became part of Kansas City school system. Name changed to Lincoln because another school in system had name of Bruce.

1942 - City Planning Commission reported site too small. Close to railroad yards and industrial development.

1951 - July 13. Damaged by flood.

1951 - Overall history on this school's involvement with the 1951 flood.

1952 - November 10. Dedication of rehabilitated building. Joseph W. Radotinsky, architect.

1961 - Oldest building in school system. To be abandoned. 110 children to Stanley, Emerson and Franklin.  Frame building leased by Mrs. Hazel Edwards, Wyandotte Private School for Retarded Children for special education classes.  The BOE later assumed responsibility for special education classes, and the building was closed in 1974 with the establishment of Wyandotte Comprehensive Special Education Cooperative.  Schools in KCKs in Years of Change 1962-1986, Dr. Oren L. Plucker, 1986

1975 - October 7: "That the board of education accept the bid of the Salvation Army in the amount of $16,000 for the purchase of the Lincoln School property at 24th and Strong, legally described as Lots 1 through 10. Mulvane's Addition, Kansas City, Kansas, and further, that the President and Clerk be authorized to prepare and execute the necessary contract for purchase and deed of conveyance of said property to the Salvation Army."

Sold to Kansas City Structural Steel. In the picture of the school above, you can see a portion of the KC Structural Steel plant in the lower left background.


1888-96 - John R Smith / 1896-02 - W F Bufkin / 1902-04 - Thomas N H Collins / 1904-05 - Etolia Bufkin - Phillip K Brown / 1905-12 - Philip Brown / 1912-14 - Frances B Grant / 1914-18 - Woody E Jacobs / 1918-23 - Rhoda Johnson / 1923-24 - Dale Bouggess / 1924-25 - Dale Bouggess - Lewis B Spears / 1925-29 - Daniel W Lewis / 1929-30 - Adeline B Jordan / 1930-32 - Lulu M Haygood / 1933-45 - Virginia Elliott / 1945-47 - Sirpora Miller / 1947-48 - Dorothy Kerford / 1948-51 - Evalina Fletcher / 1951-52 - Parizada Jones (acting) / 1952-56 - Rosie Lee Gamble / 1956-57 - Rosemary Hunter, head teacher / 1957-59 - Edna Mae Cates, head teacher / 1959-60 - Lenis Boswell, head teacher / 1960-61 - Nolen Porchia

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"The new Lincoln Elementary School, located on the southwest corner of 24th and Strong Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas, was considered a landmark in the Argentine district.  This school served the community for a total of 78 years.  The school, Lincoln Elementary, received its name when Argentine was annexed to Kansas City, Kansas in 1910.  The school was named in honor of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.  However, before 1910, Lincoln Elementary School was called the old Bruce School.  The first principal was Mr. John Smith.  The first faculty, only three in number, included Lena Brown, Ethel Stafford and W. D. Holmes.

The PTA of Lincoln Elementary School was organized in 1916.  Records indicate there were only two charter members at that time, Mrs. Martha McReynold, president, and Mrs. Carrie Strickland.  It was not known if Mrs. Strickland held an office in the Lincoln PTA.  Lincoln Elementary was the oldest school building in the Kansas City, Kansas school system from the point of service when it was closed by the Board of Education in June, 1961.  The Black students who were in attendance at Lincoln Elementary School were transferred to the new Emerson School and to Stanley School.  However, the transfer to Stanley School did not occur until the additional class rooms that were under construction at Stanley were completed.  Finally, the Lincoln Elementary School building was razed in October, 1966.

The majority of schools where Black students attended were located North of Central Avenue.  Unfortunately, there is little or no history recorded of the schools that were located South of Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.  Approximately 30% of the schools for Black students were located in this area, South of Central Avenue.  Therefore, the schools North of Central Avenue, totaling to approximately 70% of the schools for Blacks, will have their histories related in greater details.  Excellent records were maintained for Douglass, Grant, Stowe, Kealing, Dunbar North and Dunbar South Elementary Schools, Northeast Junior High School and Sumner High School.  Black students attended the Vernon School in the Quindaro section of Kansas City, Kansas and they also attended the Western University.  History of these two schools is enough for one to get a picture of the relationship of these two schools to the Kansas City, Kansas system.

There were Black families who lived in Shawnee Mission, Kansas who children attended the Kansas City, Kansas Schools, also, there were Black families living in the White Church area (western section of KCKs) who also had to attend schools in Kansas City, Kansas.  Transporting these students was accomplished by bussing them from Mission, Kansas and from White Church.  Bussing of Black students has occurred in Kansas City, Kansas for more than fifty years."

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 a 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.

Copyright Notice: In keeping with the policy of providing free information on the Internet, this data may be used by non-commercial entities for research/information. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other gain. Printing for personal research use is encouraged, as long as this "copyright notice" is kept with the copy. Other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires the written approval of the author(s) of this works.

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

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