Douglas County KS Schools

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Douglas County KS School information provided by Raymond Stone 

Oak Ridge School District No. 63
The founding of this district runs deep into the history of Lawrence and Kansas. The persons responsible for organizing the district were J.F. Morgan and Governor Charles Robinson.
The Morgans were early settlers of Kansas, moving into the Kansas Territory in 1854, living near Mount Oread. After Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, in the year of 1863, they moved from the Oread area to northeast of Lawrence, to the site where Oak Ridge School was later built.
Charles Robinson’s history is very well documented and known by most everyone. He and his family moved to the land across from the Morgan’s, where he eventually built a stately mansion. Governor Robinson led a very interesting life which included politics, gold mining and much more!
Shortly after J.F. Morgan moved to this area he established a school, by which the families paid $8.00 per student to attend. This was in the winter of 1866. Enrollment for this term was twelve and taught by Augusta Hunt.
This school was only a temporary solution to establishing an official district in the county. District No. 63 was officially organized in April of 1867, with J.F. Morgan director, E.W. Morgan, clerk and Dr. Charles Robinson, treasurer.
The district’s first building was leased from Charles Robinson, which was on his property. His niece, Emily Robinson was the teacher.
A native stone structure built in the fall of 1870, on the Morgan property. Teachers were Cynthia Smith and Jennie Bassett.
In May of 1871 a deed was drawn by J.F. Morgan and his wife for an acre of land about one and one-half miles north of highway 24-40 on E. 1600 Rd. in Grant Township to the district.
The school board of 1879 saw William Gilmore, director, J.F. Morgan, clerk and Charles Robinson, treasurer.
In these days the school was known as “Robinson School.” Mrs. Robinson later began calling it “Oak Ridge.” This became the official school name. ( Governor Robinson's estate was known as Oak Ridge.)
Early years of the district had enrollments of 50-60 students. This native stone building served the district for forty-six years. It was replaced in 1917 by a wood frame structure. From 1870-1878, church services and Sunday School were also held here.
The first grange of the township was established here in 1871, as well as the vigilante committee, which later became the Central Protective Agency (C.P.A.) The first C.P.A. officers were Joe Blakley, president, G.H. Morgan secretary and Charles Robinson, treasurer.
At the close of the century, the board was composed of J.L. Gilmore, C. A. Wise and E. Wise. Teaching twenty-seven students was Winnie Reno.
Teachers of the first decade of 1900: Eva Bates, Many Benson, Maud Glass, Gertie Bamford, Katherine Leonard, Ethel Kaler, Deliah Pringle, Mayme Dauberman and Mabel Redmond.
Teachers of the teens: Bernice Eastman, Mabel Richardson, Helen LaRue, Alta Scoggin and Emma Hartley. Twenty-six students were enrolled in 1920.
A second native stone structure was built in 1917 with Emma Hartley as the first teacher.
Teachers of the 1920’s: Lillian Stover, Menel Dresser, Mary Nottingham, Mae Edwards, Agnes Laptad and Thelma Malone. Enrollment at the decade’s end was seventeen.
This structure was burned in January of 1933. School was held in the Robinson home (the Leonhard family now residing) until a new building was constructed. The next building was constructed of brick and still stands. This building was dedicated August 20, 1933.
Teachers of the 1930’s: Gretchen Gabriel, Jennie Sowash, Many Fredrick and Fay Brown, with a decade ending enrollment of sixteen.
The next decade had three teachers: Katherine Brass, Myrtle Wigglesworth and Merle Holladay. The last years of the school were taught by June Smith. The four eighth graduates for the term of 1959-60 were Gerald Dwyer, Andrea Garrett, Gerald Grammer and Peggy Wise.
February of 1961 saw the school consolidate with White Dist. No. 61, Bismarck Dist No. 79 and Burnette Dist. No. 62 to form Grant District No. 100.
Oak Ridge No. 63 was sold at auction on July 7, 1962 and is now a private residence.

1956 - 1957 Oak Ridge Students

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