Douglas County KS Schools

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Douglas County KS School information provided by Raymond Stone 

Independence School

Independence School District No. 76

This small one room wooden frame school building sat empty, neglected, and lonely on the prairies of southern Douglas County, near the southeast corner of the interchange of highways 59 and 56 for nearly fifty years after it had once served District No. 76 as a place of learning for the children of the area. Hay bales filled the room where the students sat, cattle roamed the school yard where the children had played. This building had outlived its usefulness and stood the perils of time, as a forgotten reminder of times gone by.

This one acre piece of land had been donated to the school district on September 23, 1869 by Amanda and William Reeder, to the school board members Mathew Gale, L.F. Carver and Allen Pierce.

From the 1897-98 records there were 31 students enrolled in the tiny school, and M.A. Skinner was the teacher. The school board members for that year were Mathew Gale, A.W. Jardon and L.C. Baker.

Teaching the next year was Mabel Reynolds, followed by Dora Reynolds, Mary Dixon, Mamie Spitzer, Leota Scott, Margaret Reynolds, Elsie Winkleman, Minnie Wise, Nellie Morgan and Earl Powell teaching three terms that ended in 1910. For the term ending in 1910 John Lederer, L.C. Baker and M.J. Jardon were serving on the school board. Earl Powell’s fourth term started the next decade, with Ida Steele, Iva Vaughn, Gertrude Black, Cora Hatter, Howard Deay, Agnes Shapland and Donald Kirby following. Charles Stevenin, D.C. Sutton and James Gale were serving on the board for her period ending in 1920.

The 1920’s were taught by: Gladys Waterson, John Walter, Lillian Stover, Ida Steele, Helen Talley, Rea Clark, Florence Smith, Maurice Cook and Leone Campbell. E.N. Lederer, Ray Price and H.R. Husted served on the board. The enrollment had declined to 17 students.

Leone Campbell was the first teacher of the decade of the ‘30’s, teaching two terms, followed by Mildred Black, Everett Figgs, Marie Doherty teaching four terms, and Faye Hagerman Deay teaching two terms ending in 1940. The District School Board members were B.L. Taul, Charles Gale and H.G. Steele.

Margaret Baker and Mildred Ross were the only two teachers required for the 1940’s. The term of 1943-44, proved to be the last term of school taught in Independence School No. 76. District No. 76 disorganized on May 15, 1950 and with Spring Creek No. 2, Hopewell No. 7 and Clearfield No. 58 to form Baldwin District No. 92.

Artist's rendering by Goldie Piper Daniels.

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