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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Malvern Hill School

One-room schoolhouse

From the Kansas City, Kansas Planning Commission web site . . .

"In the l887 G. M. Hopkins Kansas City, Kansas atlas, the south and west roads were still the only ones in the Hanover Heights area. West 43rd Avenue was labeled as Shawnee Boulevard, while the north-south road was Hudson Avenue. The property was now broken into seven ownerships, four of them apparently the heirs of R. Fitzpatrick. A portion of the frontage along Hudson was platted as Miami Place, and a school was already in place at the northwest corner of the property, but the interurban line had not yet been built on what is now Olathe Boulevard. At this point the area was still outside the city limits of Rosedale. The school in question was the Malvern Hill School, District 39, a one-room, frame country school built in l876. Other than this, the area was still largely undeveloped."

"On April 8, l9ll, the Robbins Addition was platted by C. W. Robbins, completing most of the platting within the area. In that same year, the Hanover Heights neighborhood was finally annexed into the city of Rosedale, and the Malvern Hill School was replaced by Maccochaque School, a 2-1/2 story, eight-room building of brick completed in l9l2."

KC Planning & Zoning - Hanover Heights Historic District
(background information of the area of Malvern Hill and Maccochaque schools)

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1876 - A one-room frame school house was built on the East side of Hudson near 42nd Street. A country school known as "District 39" and "Malvern Hill."   (Note:  Hudson, along specific areas, was later renamed Rainbow.)

James E. Fisher, John W. Green and Solomon Hogue were friends and leaders in this country community. Each had children of school age and each wanted a school nearer home.

The Fisher farm at 43rd and Lloyd streets consisted of 54 acres, part of it purchased from Indians. The 2-story, brick farmhouse, built in 1872, still stood in 1957 and was occupied. Kate and Jessie Fisher were of school age and there were other younger children.

Fisher had brought his family from old Quality Hill in Kansas City, Missouri, far into the country to retire. He had owned a sawmill on the Missouri river and figured the cost of rough lumber as plans were made for a 1-room school. He eventually became the first director of the Maccochaque school.

J. W. Green was a good carpenter. His two daughters, Margaret and Sarah, were ready for school. Mrs. Green was dead. A lovable man to all who remember him, Mr. Green lived to be a hundred years old, spending the remainder of his life in his home at 3801 Rainbow Boulevard.

Solomon Hogue lived in a pioneer log house which was still standing in 1957 on the original site of 4010 Rainbow Boulevard. The house was covered with yellow asphalt siding; the only logs still exposed were the big walnut beams in the cellar. His children, Lida and John, were also motherless. A deeply religious man, thrifty and careful, he became the first treasurer of the Maccochaque school district.

Evenings, especially Fridays, the three men met at one of the homes to play cribbage. Usually the little girls accompanied their fathers and spent the evening popping corn, cracking nuts and making a short knitted wool cord for mats. As the men played their game, they discussed a new school.

In 1876, the one-room school was built, at a location now known as 41st and Rainbow, the site of the Maccochaque School. Its site was part of a land grant from the Shawnee Indians to the state of Kansas, and it was given an Indian name, Maccochaque (pronounced Mack-A-Jack). 

The three men built the modest frame structure with their own hands and served as the first School Board. Miss May Beasley, the first teacher, received $25 a month. She taught reading, writing and arithmetic six hours a day to nine grades.

The one large school room had two long rows of soft pine benches, unvarnished, excellent for carving initials and designs. The 20 pupils included boys and girls of all ages. Some were half-blood Indians. There was no high school; the ninth grade was spent reviewing the previous eighth.

The girls wore their long hair combed straight back and held in place by a firm round comb. Blue calico at 5¢ a yard made girls' dresses and boys' shifts. High-buttoned shoes, copper-toed took the punishment of rough roads and school grounds.

A pot-bellied stove was fed by the older boys of the school who carried wood from a huge pile outside the single door. There was no water at the school, but the Hogue farm home, a block distant, boasted a fine spring. Two of the big boys would fill the cedar bucket with clear, cold water and carried it to the school. Monitors passed the bucket to each child, who helped himself, using the common dipper. In times of drought, the entire neighborhood used this spring, hauling water by barrel for family and livestock.

Games there are still remembered by Jessie Fisher, now Mrs. Irvin Longaker of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and Lida Hogue, now living in Colorado Springs. Best of all they remember ante over played with a ball thrown over the school house. Coasting in the winter on the hill north of the school was wonderful sport and much more fun than the drop-the-handkerchief game of the girls. At certain times of the year, the boys hunted and shot quail and rabbit on the 2-acre school grounds.

Huge droves of long horned cattle bound for the Kansas City market completely filled the road as they pushed past the schoolhouse. Maccochaque school children walking home from school were warned by great clouds of dust and the loud cries of the drovers, long before the cattle were in sight. The children would race to fences bordering the road and climb over to safety, waiting until the herd passed.

Map of W 42nd Ave At Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, KS 66103

1903 - (Oct. 18) - The Malvern Hill L.D.S. Church, Hudson near 42nd Street was organized at the Malvern Hill School House.

1911 - Maccochaque School, up to now a country school, known as "District 39" and also "Malvern Hill" became a part of Rosedale by extending the City Limits. A eight-room brick replaced the old Malvern Hill School.

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Note:  It is possible that the Malvern Hill area was named after the Battle of Malvern Hill in the Civil War.

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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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