Douglas County KS Schools

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Douglas County KS School information provided by Raymond Stone 

Prairie City School District NO. 87
Territorial Governor Samuel Medary appointed H.J. Caniff the first Douglas County Superintendent of Schools in 1858. Caniff only served in this capacity for one year, but established five school districts in the county. Prairie City was the first established in the county by Superintendent Caniff. The original school district number one was designated to Prairie City in 1858.
The number one designation was granted in the early years of existence, as the deed awarded to the district in 1871 used the number “78.” This deed from John Dunn, Charles and Reynolds, on behalf of the Protestant Episcopal Church presented two lots in Prairie City to be used for the purpose of building a school. The size of the school property doubled in 1891 when two more lots were added.
For several years classes were held in a stone building which had previously been used by the Heber Institute.
Douglas County census records and school district records indicate Cena Marvel taught the term of 1897-98, with 62 students attending school. H.E. Davidson and Mrs. E.F. Holliday were the two school board members of record.
The enrollment for the next term had risen to 75 students, and was taught by Julia Mills; however the 1899-1900 term enrollment had fallen to 46, taught by J.W. Phelps.
Teachers for the first decade of the 1900’s were: J.W. Phelps, Laura Elwell, Nannie Fisher, Leota Scott, Fee Evans, Arthur Kalb, Nannie Fisher again, Myrtle Stevenson and Anna Hyland. George Sammer, C.B. Merry and T.W. Barkley served on the school board.
Due to declining enrollment at Peach Grove about one-half mile southwest of Prairie City, the two districts agreed to consolidate in 1903.
It was agreed upon by the New Prairie School District No. 87 to build a new building and a new location in 1903. Robert Miller sold one acre of land on the southeast corner of E. 1550 Rd. and N. 150 Rd. for the purpose of the construction of a new school building.
The first teacher of the next decade was Anna Hyland, with Rosa Butler, Mamie Allis, Hallie Morgan, Lynda Davis, Edna Fleshman, Marguerite Kendall and Hazel Hamilton following. W.H. Wilber, T.W. Barkley and A.D. Butler served on the school board.
This second official building to serve as a school for the district was destroyed by fire on February 7, 1919. Classes were held in a rented house until a new building was constructed.
Hazel Hamilton was the first teacher of the 1920’s with H.A. Volyer, Blanche Skinner, Mattie Cook, Willard Binns, Arlie Swender, Lucille Craig and Maurice Cook following. Enrollment was now 27 students. Those serving on the board were I.N. Rutherford, R.H. Twichell and B.M. Davison.
The 1930’s started off with Gertie Deay teaching the first term followed by Mildred Martin, Gertie Deay teaching four more terms, Francis Bailey and Margueritte Reed teaching three terms ending in 1940. George Butell, Ernst Butell and Frank Lobingier were the school board members.
Marian Madl was the first teacher of the 1940’s, followed by Marcella Jardon, Marian Madl again teaching four terms, Jessie Vitt and Olive Randell teaching the last term of the decade. Serving on the school board for District No. 87 were Earl Leder, George Butell and W.N. Allison.
Olive Randell was the first teacher of the 1950’s, teaching five non-consecutive terms. Charlene Surrat was the next teacher followed by Ann Longstreth, V.J. Cramer and Bertha Hornbuckle finishing the last term of the decade and the last term in the history of Prairie City School District No. 87.
Prairie City No. 87 the first rural school district in Douglas County consolidated with Baldwin City District no. 92.
All of the properties of Peach Grove No. 45 and Prairie City No. 87 were sold at auction for a total of $311.55.

1952 - 1953  Prairie City School Students

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