Douglas County KS Schools

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Douglas County KS School information provided by Raymond Stone 

Deer Creek School District No. 48
Deer Creek School sat on one and one quarter acres deeded by Lucinda and E.S. Lane on August 1, 1879. It was located on the south side of the road about a mile west of Stull, on Dg. Co. Rt. 1023. It was understood that when the property was no longer used as a school, it would be returned to the owner.
Deer Creek was not the first school near the Stull community. There were two earlier schools. One was established about 1860, located on the August Kampschroeder farm about 2 ½ miles south of Stull. The other was located about 1 ½ miles northwest of Stull. It was built by Peter Eberhart Sr., for his own children. He even hired and paid the teacher himself. It wasn’t long, before other parents wanted to send their kids to this school. Then the expenses were shared among those families.
District No. 48 purchased the Eberhart school and moved it to the new location west of Stull. This project required about two weeks to accomplish, using the horse drawn equipment of the day. The building faced east and was painted brown. The first name of the school at this location was “Brown Jug” due to its brown color. Many thought this name as being inappropriate, so the school was painted white and named for the small nearby creek, named “Deer Creek.”
The building was extended in 1895 to make the overall measurements about 20’x40’. At this time about fifty students were enrolled. These early students di d not sit at desks, but on primitive hand split walnut benches. In these early years the building also served as a meeting place for the Luther and congregation on Sunday mornings, and the United Bretheren in the afternoons.
In 1895, A.J. Osborn, W.O. Slusser and D.W. Dews, the existing school board members decided to hire the school’s first experienced teacher. The first well was dug for the school as well. Previous to having their own well, older boys would carry water I from a neighbor’s well in wooden buckets. It required a couple of attempts to find the right location of the well due to the close proximity of Deer Creek. The first location of the well was too close to the creek and the water would be muddied over after heavy rains, making the water unsuitable for drinking. The final location, a little farther from the creek solved the problem. The well drilling was done by C.L. Cantrell.
The teacher for the 1897-98 term was Eva Bates. The two recorded board members were A.E. Wilson and Sylvester Stull. Ms Bates taught eight grades with 53 enrolled.
The next teachers were: Minnie Chapman, O.A. Baylesss, A.J. Parnell, Mattie Caldwell, and D.F. Smith. Tragedy struck in the spring of 1904 when the school was burned. A new building was constructed and on October 10 school had resumed, with Hattie Flory teaching, followed by E.G. Smith and Bertha Ellsworth completing the term of 1910. George Hildenbrand, Charles Eberhart and Charles Nichols served on the school board. Thirty-eight students were enrolled.
The next decade was taught by: Lena Brecheisen, Norah Geelan, Sophia Moss, Grace Stephenson and Susie Bever for the term ending in 1920. Thirty-four students were enrolled. Ray Baldwin, L.E. Wilson and W.F. Wulfhuhle served on the school board. Extra expenses for this decade were the installation of a south door and porch and the construction of a cistern.
Teaching the decade of the 1920’s were: Susie Beyer, Ruth Anthony, Bertha Barnette, Sarah Smith Raymond Hoffsommer, Mildred Wilson, Jessie Glenn and Elnora Huss. Fred Wulfkuhle, W.P.Henry and August Kampschroeder served on the board. A basement and a coal burning furnace were installed in 1929.
The 1930’s were taught by: Jessie Glenn, Stella Brazil, Carrie Hanna for five terms, and Edith Ludlam, teaching only 14 students for the 1940 term. Those serving on the school board were Albert Hildenbrand, O.R. Platz and Frank Selch.
Teaching the 1940’s were: Edith Ludlam, Rosemary Scheier, Mrs. L.H. Young, Rosemary Ssherer again, Edna Solomon, Anna Hurd, Nadine Trowbridge and Josephine Drake teaching six terms. The school board members were Russel Spencer, Arthur Wulfkuhle and Edwin Hildenbrand.
Josephine Drake taught the first five years, followed by Edna Hayes/Steele, and Florence Demeritt teaching three terms. Serving on the school board were Wiilliam Henry Jr., Roland Kraft and Glen O’Conner. The wood furnace was converted to a gas furnace in 1953.
The last term of school to be taught at Deer Creek was that of 1961, taught by Florence Demeritt. A basket dinner and reunion was held on that last day of school. One Hundred eighty attended that special event commemorating many years, and many memories of Deer Creek School No. 48.
Both photos courtesy of the Wakarusa Valley Heritage Museum.

Deer Creek School

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