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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Whitmore School

One-room schoolhouse

Whitmore School - 1949

At left: Whitmore School in 1949. Photo found on wall at Dagwood's Restaurant on Southeast Blvd. by Roxy Malone of USD 500.

Built: circa 1885

Building Location: Kansas City Avenue and Florence Avenue, 1412 Southwest Blvd (South West Blvd. bet. Holmes & Florence, Lots 10 to 15, Blk 3, City of Rosedale)

Other Names:   School District No. 15, Public School, White School, Rosedale Schoo;

First high school in rosedale - had grades 1-12 in 1885. Called Rosedale School, later Whitmore.

1887 - G. M. Hopkins Surveys & Plats Map of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas: School shows on the n.e. corner of Florence Ave and Kansas City Ave.

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The Winding Valley and The Craggy Hillside
A History of the City of Rosedale, Kansas by Margaret Landis. Copyright 1976.
Reproduced on the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library web site with permission from Ms. Landis.

Rosedale "public school", forerunner of Whitmore School"The first school in Rosedale was conducted in a part of Cook's Hall, 100 North Rosedale Avenue (North Rosedale Ave. and Walnut Street). In the day of the Rolling Mill, Mr. L CTrickey and his wife, Mrs. Minnie (Young) Trickey taught in the 1-room school.  (A little one-room school, later to be known as Whitmore, was built at what is now 37th Avenue and Early, or Mill.  This was District 15, named in 1858 by Wyandotte County.)

The first school building in Rosedale was "The Public School" - also known as the "White School." A frame building located on Kansas City Avenue at Florence Avenue. The number of scholars in average attendance was 250.

Whitmore SchoolThe school was named WHITMORE after one of the first teachers, Professor Whitmore. The entrywas submitted by Helen Espenlaub in the contest to name the school.

August, 1898, bids were received for a new WhitmoreSchool building to have 8-rooms and 4-room addition.

The school, built 1899, located at 1412 Southwest Blvd., was one of the oldest school buildings in Kansas City, Kansas when it was razed in December 1973."
"The Winding Valley and The Craggy Hillside", A History of the City of Rosedale, Kansas by Margaret Landis, Kansas City, Kansas, 1976

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2002 - Whitmore Playground

The picture at the left is the playground that is on the groups of the old Whitmore School.  The school was razed in 1973.




Whitmore School Steps & Retaining Wall

Front view of the playground, fall/winter, 2002.

The following was written by Ethel Sunter in 1940 . . . .

"This district was taken into KCKs in 1922 at the same time the whole city of Rosedale was united with Kansas City.

The present building of Whitmore is brick.  It replaced a wooden building on this same site which was built in 1881.  The wooden building had four rooms and was heated by iron stoves.  Grade work and some high school subjects were taught.  Mr. George Rose was principal in 1884-86.  In 1892 the school was named "Whitmore" after Professor Whitmore, a teacher in the school.  He was about 65 years old, wore a snow white bear, and had Friday afternoon programs.

Between thirty and forty years ago, the area in front of the school was bare, unbroken land, known as "The Common".  The boys of the school played on this spot.  Horse cars would ply back and forth on the street in front of the school.

About seventy years ago, a one-room school was built at 37th Avenue and Mill Street.  Mr. G. F. Espenlaub was the first board member.  A Mr. Claypool was the first teacher and Mr. L. C. Tricky the second.  Mrs. Molly Helmreich and Mr. Albert and Dora Espenlaub attended this school.  A second room was added about seven years later and the building was used for church and Sunday school.  This two-room building was used until the frame building preceding the present brick one was built.

Early settlers say that before 1870 a few people gathered in what is now Rosedale.  The village was named Rosedale because of many wild roses and trees growing here.  The early settlers were of Welsh descent, sturdy, musical and industrious.  Even before 1870, the rolling mills were established and Rosedale grew rapidly from then on.  The township in which Rosedale is located was laid out as early as 1858."


1872 - School District No. 15. First housed in one-room frame at what is now 37th Avenue and Early (or Mill). G. F. Espenlaub, first board member.  Mr. Claypool, first teacher.

(Officers, Wyandott Gazette, 17 July 1873 - W. H. H. Trickey, G. F. Espenlaub and Andrew Proebstell)  

1878 - A room was added and the building was used as a church and Sunday school.

1881 - A new four-room building was erected; two rooms upstairs, two down, with stove heat. (Referred to as the "Public School" or the " White School .") Building used also as church and Sunday school.

1883 - The school was described by William Cutler (History of Kansas), " Rosedale has elegant school building, conveniently located on Kansas City avenue . Four teachers in white school, one in colored department. 300 children. Colored has 50."

1885 - Another account concerning Rosedale High School says an eight-room building erected. First called Rosedale School , later Whitmore after Professor Whitmore, a teacher in the school.

1898 - Architect L. G. Middaugh planned a new building.  December - Old Whitmore building sold and to be moved in 30 days by G. C. Whitman.

1899 - The new eight-room, brick building was erected and opened in January 1890.

1904 - One room used for high school.

1922 - Rosedale annexed to city of KCKs.  Schools now a part of USD 500.

1973 - School closed and building razed.  Pupils reassigned to Noble Prentis and Major Hudson.  Schools in KCKs in Years of Change 1962-1986, Dr. Oren L. Plucker, 1986

1974 - June 28. Accepted was a bid from the joint board of trustees of the Rosedale United Methodist Church and Rainbow Blvd Mennonite Church to purchase the site of the former Whitmore Elementary School for the sum of $12,500. The bid was accepted with the stipulation that a reversionary clause be contained in the deed with first option to USD 500 to repurchase at the selling price of $12,500 if at any time in the future the two churches decide to stop using this property for educational or recreational purposes.

Land transferred to city for neighborhood park. Pupils sent to Noble Prentis and Major Hudson.


1872 - Mr. Claypool / 1873-84 - Not indicated / 1884-87 - George Rose / 1887-1902 - Not indicated / 1902-04 - Anna Ewart / 1904 - Lillian Borth / 1905-13 - Nona Wolfe / 1914-15 - Bernice Fulton / 1915 - Jerome McIntosh / 1916 - Ralph Porter / 1917 - G B Owens / 1918-19 - Edna Kiesel / 1919-21 - Ethel Graham / 1920-25 - Ruth Porter / 1925-30 - Flora Eichenberger / 1930-43 - Ethel Sunter (Satterfield) / 1943-68 - Marie Brotherson / 1968-72 - Loren Pendergraft / 1972-73 - Charles Ireland

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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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