Thursday, December 17, 2015

Early Kansas Schools

An early sod school house
In 1914 the textbook titled A History of Kansas was first published.  Written by Anna E. Arnold and revised and republished in 1919 and 1931, it was used to teach Kansas school children the history of their state.  The book began with these words:  No state has a history better calculated to inspire patriotism in its people than has Kansas.  In this fact lies the greatest reason for teaching Kansas History in the schools.  A knowledge of the difficulties that have been met and conquered in building the State will create in the minds of the boys and girls a greater respect for the sturdy qualities of the pioneers; it will give them a wholesome sense of the great cost at which the ease and comfort of to-day have been purchased; it will stimulate in them a desire to live up to the past.  Obviously I agree with that author and attempt to share the the importance of the role Kansas has played in the past through this blog.  (See "I Love History," 1/3/2012 in the Blog Archives.) 

The Emerson School Isaac helped build
As I have previously shared, the first school house in Isaac B. Werner's community was built of sod.  It was replaced by a wooden structure, with David Carnahan hired as the contractor, assisted by Isaac and William Goodwin in building that school.  (See other blogs in the archives about early schools:  "Isaac Builds a School House," 10/11/2012; "One Room Schoolhouse Surprise," 7/12/2012; "Once There was a Community," 3/5/2015; and "Back to School," 9/24/2015.)  While I have no image of the sod school in Isaac's community, it may have resembled the image above taken from A History of Kansas.  The wooden building shown at left in this blog is the structure Isaac helped build, taken several years after its original construction.

If you think school children in your own families might enjoy seeing pictures of the type of schools their ancestors attended, you could consider sharing this blog with them.  During spare moments of the holiday school vacation, perhaps you could scroll through the blog archives to explore other history they might enjoy.  Anna E. Arnold intended with her history book " show forth what manner of men and women were the builders of our State, what motives actuated them, what conditions surrounded them, how they lived, and what they accomplished."  I hope with my blog to do the same.    

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