District No.11-West Sunny Slope

By Victoria Basham


West Sunny Slope, located 9 miles straight south of Grinnell, was founded in 1886 when Gove County was organized.  (http://skyways.lib.ks.us/counties/GO/).  It was a small building that no longer stands there (Robert Waldman as told in interview).  There were two school buildings in District 11 at the beginning. These schools were West Sunny Slope and East Sunny Slope (History and Heritage of Gove County).  Later the East Sunny Slope building closed, and the students attended West Sunny Slope building for several years.  In 1939, East Sunny Slope was reorganized into District # 62 and that district was not in USD 291 although some students attended school in Grinnell after it closed (History and Heritage of Gove County). 

The first school year at West Sunny Slope was in session on September 2, 1886.  The school board at the time included Dir.-T. B. Spellman, Clerk-C. E. Clutter, Treasurer-Joseph Layman.  An early teacher was Margery Guest who taught the terms of 1900 – 01 and 1901 – 02.  (Warrior Yearbook, 1980)

Another teacher was Mrs. Matilda Sites.  (Read more about her adventures in a blizzard on the main page link.)  She was told of carrying drinking water to school in a three gallon cream can.  She taught the students things such as Penmanship, Arithmetic, Spelling, Community Civics, Health, and English.  They would also read books during a Reading class.  She was a teacher until the school was disorganized on March 1, 1947 (History and Heritage of Gove County).  

Some students that attended West Sunny Slope were Lowell Scheikofsky, Robert Waldman, Norman Hannaford, Donald Sites, Elberta Knudsen, Fern ?, Calvin Hannaford, and Pauline Waldman(Warrior-1980). The ages of the students ranged from 7 to 21.  However, they did not attend school every day for things such as illness, appointments, and working on the farm (Gove County Register of Deeds). 

West Sunny Slope students started their day at nine o’clock and ended at four o’clock.  West Sunny Slope had recess from in the morning from 10:30-10:45 and in the afternoon 2:30-2:45.  During recess, in the winter, the students played games in the classroom such as thimble, thimble, who has the thimble, and I spy.  During the warm recess days the students played outside games such as ante over, softball, and beckon (Warriors Yearbook: 1980 files).

Most of the Friday afternoons after the last recess was spent doing artwork or having ciphering, spelling or geography matches. They played these games to have fun and be educational.

After West Sunny Slope was disorganized in 1947, most of the students that attended were then sent to District 3- Grinnell.    Back to Home