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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Naming of Schools

The Board of Education has used various methods and procedures in naming schools over the years.  Generally, when a school was renamed, it was at a specific time of change for the school, i.e., new building, change of use, etc.

In "recent" years (the 1970 bond issue), a number of new schools were built (not replacements of current schools).  Those new schools included J C Harmon, J L Schlagle, Eisenhower, Banneker, M E Pearson, Silver City.  The Board announced a "school naming procedure" whereby students and community could suggest names for the schools, with the Board making the final selections.  The names chosen above were from the student and community suggestions.

1886 - Nine original schools at Consolidation
1910 - Argentine annexed
1922 - Rosedale annexed
1967 - Washington district annexed

Name of School
Year Named
Comment on Name
High Schools
(formerly called Senior High Schools)
J C Harmon
1973
Named after J C Harmon, former principal of Argentine Jr-Sr High School
F L Schlagle
1973
Named after F L Schlagle, former Superintendent of Schools
Sumner
1905
Named after Charles Sumner, lawyer and anti-slavery leader
Washington
1931
First known as Rural High School District #2.  Served as high school for Wyandotte County outside of KCKs city limits west to Piper school district limits.  Washington Rural High school name as adopted in fall of 1931.  Cornerstone of building was laid with trowel used by George Washington in laying corner stone of the National Capitol in Washington, DC in 1793.
Wyandotte
1928
Known as Kansas City High School until annexation of Argentine and Rosedale districts.  No longer only KCK high schools.  Consideration given to Central" but discarded.  Name changed to Wyandotte on January 3, 1928.  School burnt in 1934 and was replaced by Wyandotte High School building at 25th & Minnesota Avenue.
Louisa M. Alcott High School
1922
Before KCK consolidation, known as Oakland.  Named because of large oak trees in area.  Replaced building in 1922 and named Louisa M. Alcott for popular children's author.  Closed as elementary school in 1971.  Used as an alternative high school beginning in 1986.  Closed and sold 2000.
Middle Schools
(formerly called Junior High Schools)
Argentine
1908
Named for location in city
Arrowhead
1961
Name chosen while part of Washington USD
Central
1915
Named for its central location in the city
Coronado
1961
Name chosen while part of Washington USD
Eisenhower
1973
Named for Dwight D. Eisenhower
Northeast
1923
Discontinued - named for location in city
Northwest
1923
Named for location in city
Rosedale
1906
Named for location in city.  In early days of the area's history, Rosedale was named due to the fact that the hills were covered with wild roses.
West
1956
Named for location in city
Elementary Schools
Abbott
1904
Named for Reverend Lyman Abbott, author, editor and clergyman.  Formerly called London Heights school.  London Heights Home and Improvement Company apparently was a land development company in the early years of the city.  Closed in May 1972.
Armstrong
1873
School for City of Armstrong (in Armourdale district).  Transferred to Wyandotte City in 1880.  Became part of KCKs with consolidation of cities of Armstrong, Wyandotte, Armourdale and Old Kansas City in 1886.  Name changed in 1927 to Garrison when African American students began use of building.  Building closed in 1943.
Attucks
1903
School serving African American students in Rosedale.  Became part of KCKs in 1922 when Rosedale was annexed by city.  Closed in 1972.  Named for Crispus Attucks.
Bancroft
1902
Named for historian, George Bancroft.  Closed in 1947.
Banneker
1972
Constructed to replace Stowe, Kealing (primary school K-2) and part of Dunbar.  Constructed on old Kealing sit, but with additional land purchased.  Students wrote letters as part of school naming project for several schools being built.  Named for Benjamin Banneker who was a city-planner who laid out city of Washington, DC.
Barnett
1886
Named for location on Barnett Avenue.  Barnett Avenue was named for an early Wyandot (Indian) family.  One of the nine original schools.  Site moved to 10th and Orville.  New school built and name changed to Lowell for James Russell Lowell, poet.
Bethel
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.
Booker T Washington
1926
Formerly Greystone Heights school (white).  Named Booker T. Washington in honor of African American educator.  Closed in 1961.
Bruce (Argentine)
1891
Annexed with Argentine area and name changed to Lincoln in 1910.  KCKs already had a Bruce School.  Closed in 1961.
Bruce (KCKs)
1888
Closed in 1929.
Bryant
1904
Named for William Cullen Bryant, writer.  Closed in 1984.
Carlisle
1926
Located on Carlisle Road.  Closed in 1930 and students sent to Stanley.
Clara Barton
1932
Named for founder of American Red Cross.  Closed after 1950.  Destroyed by 1951 flood.
Caruthers
2000
Formerly Hawthorne elementary.  Renamed for KCK educator, Bertram Caruthers.
Central Public School
1868
Probably named for central location in city.  One bldg in Huron Place. 
Chelsea
1887
Park in area was named Chelsea Park.  Named for area or location. Chelsea Park had a zoological gardens and on opening day (July 4, 1887) it as estimated that 20,000 visited.
Clara Barton
1923
Named after Clara Barton, 1881 founder of the American Red Cross.
Claude Huyck
bef 1967
Named for Claude Huyck, former principal of Washington High School.
Columbian
1885
In 1892 students voted on names of schools in Rosedale.  Was called Brick School (only brick school in city of Rosedale) until this time.  Students chose "Columbian" because of the Columbian Exposition to be held in Chicago in 1893.  School closed in 1966.
Cooper/Wood
1871
Was first named Wood because it was located on Wood Street (in the bottoms - the packing industry area).  Name changed in 1903 to Cooper in honor of James Fenimore Cooper, novelist.  School discontinued in 1939.
Douglass
1890
Named for Frederick Douglas - slave, editor, and abolitionist.  School previously known as Third Ward School.
Dunbar
1904
Named in honor of Paul Lawrence Dunbar.  Located at 6th and Rowland.  In 1954, the old Longfellow School, located at 6th and Waverly (previously closed) was renovated and reopened as an annex for Dunbar and called Dunbar South.  The school at 6th and Rowland became Dunbar North.  Closed in 1972.
Emerson
1890
Named for Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eugene Field
1901
Named in honor of Eugene Field, poet.  Closed as Eugene Field in 1926.  Name changed to Kealing.  Used by African American students.
Eugene Ware (old)
1867
Known as Stewart School, Waterworks and Eugene Ware.  Closed in 1917.
Eugene Ware
1911
Previously part of Kerr district.  In 1925, was named for Eugene Ware, Kansas poet.
Everett
1881
One of the first schools.  Located on Everett Street.  Also known as the "downtown school."   Closed as Everett in 1923.  Reopened for Black students and named changed to Grant in honor of Bishop Abram Grant.
Fairfax
1929
Named for location of district
Frances Willard
1911
Named after Frances Willard, President of Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Frank Rushton
1958
Formerly known as Snow School.  Maccochaque (Mack-A-Jack) School closed in 1958 and district combined with Snow.  School renamed Frank Rushton after prominent Rosedale man who had served on the Board of Education for 27 years.  Mr. Rushton died in 1957.
Franklin
1898
Argentine district.  Four names for school were suggested:  Greeley, Franklin, Irving and Whittier.  People paid 5 cents to vote with money used to buy first flag.  Franklin was the name chosen.  School closed in 1973.
Gibbs
1889
"The Stanley Grade School was built in 1889 on land purchased from the legal guardian of George Washington. Washington was the son of a Shawnee Indian named Whitefeather. The original school was called the Gibbs and Payne School and consisted of four rooms. Gibbs and Payne were land developers and prominent early citizens of Argentine and the school was located in the old Gibbs and Payne Addition of Argentine. This structure burned on September 5, 1912. Two portable buildings were temporarily used as was a small one room building at 37th and Powell. In addition, some students were transferred to Franklin and Emerson.
A new Stanley Grade School building was completed in 1915 at a cost of $40,000. Located at 36th and Metropolitan, an addition was added in 1923. " Named for Sir Henry Norton Stanley, Anglo-American explorer.
Grant
1923
Formerly the Everett School.  Named Grant in honor of Bishop Abraham Grant.
Garrison (Armstrong)
1907
Named for William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist.  Closed in 1943.
Greystone 1890 Named for Greystone Heights area of city.
Hawthorne
1898
Named for Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Renamed in 2000 - see Caruthers.
Hazel Grove
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.
Horace Mann
1909
Named for Horace Mann, noted educator.  Closed as elementary school in 1939.  Became KCKs Junior College facility.

Hornif

early 1900s
 
Irving/McAlpine
1886
Called McAlpine because of location in McAlpine's addition (city of Wyandotte).   Closed in 1900 and torn down.  New building (1900) named Irving in honor of Washington Irving.  Closed in 1939.
John F Kennedy
1965
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Assumed named for President John F Kennedy.
John Fiske
1904
Named for historian, John Fiske
John J. Ingalls
1873
Known as District #9 School, a part of city of Armstrong.  Became part of KCKs in 1886.  1890 school called Armourdale School.  1911 name changed to John J. Ingalls (Kansas politician) at patrons request.  Closed in 1973.
Kansas City High School
1886
Named for city.
Kealing
1926
Formerly known as Eugene Field.  School closed in 1972.  Named for Dr. H. T. Kealing, Superintendent of Western University (nationally known African-American university in Quindaro area of Kansas City).
Kerr
1868
County school (36th and State).  Named for Hanford Newell Kerr who gave land for school.  School closed in 1923.  Moved to new building at 36th and Washington.  New school named Roosevelt.
Lewis
1911
School in Argentine.  Named for J. J. Lewis, older African American teacher in point of service.  Closed in 1927 and combined with Lincoln.
Lincoln
1867
Known as "Cincinnati" frame school.  When Central School in Huron Place was built and occupied in 1867-68, this school was turned over to African American students.  Known until 1881 as the "Colored School" or Sixth Street School.  In 1882, it was named Lincoln.  Closed in 1905.  YWCA purchased site.  Named after President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln (Argentine)
1891
Known as Bruce School until Argentine was annexed to Kansas City, Kansas.  Named changed to Lincoln because another school in KCKs was already named Bruce.  School closed in 1961.
Lindbergh
1918
Formerly District 43.  Named for Charles Lindbergh.   The first school to bear the name "Muncie" was located at 61st and Riverview. This was District #5. In the year 1898, a second Muncie was built at the present site, 65th and Riverview. This was District #43. The two schools were about a mile apart known ad Old and New Muncie Schools.
London Heights
1889
See "Abbott".  Named for area (London Heights edition) of city.
Long
1888
See "Longfellow".  Probably named for Long Brothers or Mr. Long (wholesale grocer) who was activite in securing the site.
Longfellow
1903
Land deeded by John Long to Board of Education, location in Long's Addition.  Probably named for Long Brothers or Mr. Long (wholesale grocer) who was active in securing the site.  In 1903, name changed to Longfellow in honor or poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Lowell (Argentine)
1891
Came in KCKs with annexation of Argentine into KCKs in 1910.  Closed after annexation.
Lowell
1898
Replaced Barnett School (1886).  Barnett Avenue was named for an early Wyandot (Native American) family.  One of the nine original schools.  Site moved to 10th and Orville.  New school built and name changed to Lowell for James Russell Lowell.  School Closed.  District storage building in 2003.
Maccochaque
1876
Pronounced "Mack-a-jack".  In city of Rosedale.  First called Malvern Hill School.  Then named Maccochaque, a Shawnee word, possibly named for tribe within the Shawnee Nation. See Snow and Frank Rushton.
Major Hudson
Named for Major J  K Hudson who led a petition for a road to replace the trail leading through hills from the Kansas River to Southwest Boulevard.  School closed in 1983 and "condominium of private residencies" in 2003.
Mark Twain
1923
Named for author, Mark Twain
McKinley
1916
Formerly known as Lowell Annex and administered by the principal of Lowell.  In 1922, named McKinley in honor of President William McKinley.  School closed in 1992 and building used for staff development (McKinley Professional Development Center).  Being considered for reopening in 2003 due to overcrowding and possible restructuring of individual school boundary lines.
M E Pearson
1977
Named for former Superintendent of Schools, M E Pearson
Morse
1888
Named for Colonel Morse, prominent Armourdale man.  Building closed as elementary school.  Morse Early Childhood Development in 2003.
New Stanley
1923
"The Stanley Grade School was built in 1889 on land purchased from the legal guardian of George Washington. Washington was the son of a Shawnee Indian named Whitefeather. The original school was called the Gibbs and Payne School and consisted of four rooms. Gibbs and Payne were land developers and prominent early citizens of Argentine and the school was located in the old Gibbs and Payne Addition of Argentine. This structure burned on September 5, 1912. Two portable buildings were temporarily used as was a small one room building at 37th and Powell. In addition, some students were transferred to Franklin and Emerson.
A new Stanley Grade School building was completed in 1915 at a cost of $40,000. Located at 36th and Metropolitan, an addition was added in 1923. " Named for Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Anglo-American explorer.
Noble Prentis
1907
The name Noble Prentis was chosen in honor of a noted Kansan, editor, writer and historian.
Oakland
1886
See "Louisa Mae Alcott".  Named for the large number of oak trees in the area.
Park
1904
No record relative to name.  School located in vicinity of City Park.  Possibly named for location.  Closed in 1973.
Parker
1911
Named for Colonel Parker, nationally known educator.  Building closed as elementary school.  Parker Early Childhood Development in 2003.
Payne
1889
"The Stanley Grade School was built in 1889 on land purchased from the legal guardian of George Washington. Washington was the son of a Shawnee Indian named Whitefeather. The original school was called the Gibbs and Payne School and consisted of four rooms. Gibbs and Payne were land developers and prominent early citizens of Argentine and the school was located in the old Gibbs and Payne Addition of Argentine. This structure burned on September 5, 1912. Two portable buildings were temporarily used as was a small one room building at 37th and Powell. In addition, some students were transferred to Franklin and Emerson.
A new Stanley Grade School building was completed in 1915 at a cost of $40,000. Located at 36th and Metropolitan, an addition was added in 1923. " Named for Sir Henry Norton Stanley, Anglo-American explorer.
Phillips
1881
Named for Wendell Phillips, abolitionist and writer.  Closed in 1931.
Pomeroy
bet 1871-1883
Named for the hamlet of Pomeroy.  Many rural schools were named for the area they were in.
Prescott
1888
Formerly Reynolds, named in honor of J I Reynolds (land developer).  1904 - addition to building and named Prescott in honor of William H Prescott, American historian.  Closed in 1977.
Quindaro
1856
Townsite of Quindaro purchased through negotiations of Quindaro Brown Gutherie.  Quindaro means "bundle of sticks" and was named for her.  Current building on site of original school.
Reynolds 1897 Named after eastern land developer, J. I. Reynolds.
Riverview
1882
Became part of school system with city consolidation in 1886.  Building located on hill at 7th and Pacific, overlooking Kansas River.  Closed in 1977.  Area in 2003 is Alta Vista homes development.  Original retaining wall remains.
Roosevelt
1922
Formerly Kerr.  Kerr closed as a school site and new building named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Rosedale
1906
Named for City of Rosedale, annexed to KCKs in 1922.
Schlagle
1973
Named for Frank L. Schlagle, former KCKs Superintendent of Schools
Silver City
1971
City of Argentine operated a silver smelting plant at beginning of 20th century.  Named in honor of that early operation.
Snow
1910
See Frank Rushton and Maccochaque.  Snow School was named after Francis Huntington Snow, chancellor of the University of Kansas.  He supposedly attended school in Rosedale.  New building at a new location in 1955.  Attendance area merged with Maccochaque and new school renamed Frank Rushton after former Board President.
Stanley
1833
In Argentine.  Called Gibbs and Payne School early because of location.  Building burned in 1912.  New building built in 1915.  Named for Sir Henry Norton Stanley, Anglo-American explorer.
Stewart
1867
See "old Eugene Ware".  Located on Cobb farm across from Stewart Place.  Closed in 1917.  Merged with Bryant.
Stony Point NO
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Stony Point was a community in that area; thus Stony Point North and Stony Point South.
Stony Point SO
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Stony Point was a community in that area; thus Stony Point North and Stony Point South.
Stowe
1894
Formerly Walker school - located on Walker Street.  In 1899 new building called Stowe in honor of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
Sumner
1905
In June, 1905, while the new high school, called into being by the enactment of House Bill No. 890, was in process of construction at Ninth Street and Washington Boulevard, four men, Superintendent M.E. Pearson, Mr. J.E. Patterson, principal-elect of the new school, Mr. G.F. Porter, and Mr. G.W. Buster, two of its first teachers, sat around a table in the Board of Education rooms in the Library Building, pondering over a name for the new high school.  The name ‘Sumner” was finally chosen as being the most appropriate for the three significant reasons (1) Charles Sumner was a scholar of the highest rank; (2) he was broadminded; (3) he was courageous. Unless the majority of men who have come to the front in America life, Sumner came of honored and cultures ancestors. His parents belonged to that class of people known as the “New England aristocracy.” Charles Sumner’s father was himself a graduate of Harvard and a prominent and able lawyer. The Sumner family was noted for the high moral and intellectual plane on which it existed. Charles inherited all these principles, and they became almost a part of his being.
T A Edison
1955
Named in honor of inventor, Thomas A Edison
Vance
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Land tract originally awarded to Zane family of Wyandot Indians.
Walker    
Washington
1930
Named for US President George Washington.
Welborn
bef 1967
The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Named after J. B. Welborn, first County Superintendent of Schools, elected in 1859.
West
1956
Named for its location in school district.
White Church
bef 1967
Some type of school present since 1836.  The Washington district was attached to Kansas City, KS in 1967.  Most of the elementary schools of that district were named for communities.  Each of them had at one time been a separate school district.  Delaware Indian land - Indian church was called the "White Church"; thus the name for the school and area.
Whitmore
1872
In city of Rosedale.  First called Rosedale School.  In 1892 was named Whitmore after Professor Whitmore, a teacher in the school.  Closed in 1973.  In 2003, it is Whitmore Playground - with original retaining wall remaining.
Whittier
1907
Named for poet, John Greenleaf Whittier
William Allen White
1953
Named after William Allen White, Kansas newspaper editor
Wyandotte
1934
Named after county.

Naming/Renaming District Facilities

The district does not have a "policy," but the Board has named stadiums in the past.

On 10 June 2003, the Board of Education of Kansas City, Kansas voted to change the name of the auditorium at Argentine Middle School to the Saturnino Alvarado Auditorium in honor of Saturnino Alvarado, who worked for the educational welfare of the Mexican and Mexican-American children in the Argentine Community. With a case brought before the Kansas Attorney General, Mr. Alvarado helped changed the future of those children and their descendants forever.

Harmon's stadium is called the "Art Lawrence Stadium" in honor of a former coach from Rosedale High School.  J. C. Harmon High School, serving the combined student bodies of Argentine and Rosedale High Schools, was named after a former Argentine principal.  Both of these gentlemen were held in high esteem in their respective communities and naming the facilities in their honor served as a unifying instrument for the new school.

Wyandotte renamed its stadium the "Roy Edwards" stadium honoring a Board president who had been a loyal supporter of athletics at Wyandotte (he lived across the street from the school).  The renaming of the stadium was initiated by Wyandotte during its centennial celebration.  The stadium at one time served as a district stadium for both Wyandotte and Sumner Academy.

The Washington stadium was named the "H D Neill Stadium" and dedication ceremonies were held during the Washington Track Relays in April, 1994.  Hobert D. Neill was principal at Washington High School when the district was attached to KCKs in 1967.  Later during the desegregation order, he was the first principal of Sumner Academy.

In the 1970 bond issue, F L Schlagle High School was named after a former superintendent; M E Pearson after a former superintendent; and Banneker after the architect, city planner of Washington , D.C.

The Board involved students and community in a request for suggestions for the school buildings.  

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

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