Some of the schools in Lyon County, Kansas
From: History of Emporia and Lyon County Kansas
By: Laura M. French
Emporia Gazette Print
Emporia, Kansas 1929



The name of the Kansas State Normal School was changed to Teachers College February 20, 1923, for the reason that the name normal school designates an institution which gives a two year course, whereas the school at Emporia long had maintained a four year course. In other words, it was a college. There are two hundred state teacher training institutions in the United States. More than one hundred of these give a four year course of training and are called teachers colleges. The two year schools remaining still are called normal schools, or junior teachers colleges.

The Kansas State Normal School was opened February 15, 1865, in the Old Stone Schoolhouse, located on the northeast corner of the Senior High School grounds. The Normal occupied the second floor of this building, the quarters being lent by Lyon County School District No. 1 until a state building could be provided.

The first building on the present campus was erected on the site of the present flagpole, in 1867, at a cost of $10,000.00. It was 40x60 feet in size, two stories, basement and cupola, and the assembly room on the second floor would seat 120 persons. This building, of stone, afterward was used for a time as the president's residence.

The second building was on the site of the present sunken garden. It was built in 1873, and was burned in 1878. The City of Emporia had borne one sixth of the cost of this building, which was $50,000.00. It was rebuilt after the fire at a cost of $25,000.00, and returned to service in 1880. In 1888 a $25,000.00 addition to this building was erected on the west. In 1895 this structure was still further enlarged by the addition of Albert Taylor Hall on the east end of the building, and the final addition came in 1902, when a gymnasium was annexed to the north side.

Kellogg Library was built in 1892; the Training School, now being converted into a junior-senior high school, 1905. The old power house, formerly located at the southwest corner of Plumb Hall, was erected in 1905.

The building now used as a hospital and a building which had been used as the residence of the superintendent of buildings and grounds were purchased in 1905 when the site for Norton Science Hall was bought. These buildings were moved about three hundred feet north of their original locations, and remained at a place immediately south of the old power house until 1917, when they were moved to their present location.

Norton Science Hall was erected in 1907, and the Physical Training Building in 1910. The old Eskridge residence, a brick building used until recently as a music hall, was purchased in 1910, and razed in 1929.

Plumb Hall, the administration building, was erected in 1917, the cafeteria in 1919. Morse Hall, a dormitory for women, was built in 1924, and the steel and concrete stand on the west side of Stadium Field, in 1925.

The site for the present Music Hall was purchased in 1927 - formerly the Richard Thomas residence. This building now is located north of the power house, and serves as an annex to the women's dormitory. Music Hall was erected in 1928.

The addition, or recreation hall of the Student Union building was erected in 1929, and the Training School also was built in 1929.

The campus has been increased from its original twenty acre tract to forty acres.

"We are proud of the many new buildings and other important improvements which have been made on the campus of the State Teachers College within the past few years," says President Thomas W. Butcher, "but the biggest thing is the recognition, by standardizing agencies, of our higher standards of scholarship. In 1928 we were admitted to the college and university list of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Of about two hundred schools, Emporia is one of twelve in the first list."

The Peabody Journal of Education, Nashville, Tennessee, published in 1928 under "Outstanding State Teachers Colleges," a list checked by men high in educational work, from institutions of learning in all sections of this country, who gave twelve schools three hundred fifteen votes out of six hundred forty, the list including seventy seven schools. Emporia came second in this list of twelve.
Presidents of the Normal School:
Lyman B. Kellogg, 1865-1871.
George W. Hoses, 1871-1874.
C. R. Pomeroy, 1874-1879.
Rudolph B. Welch, 1879-1882.
Albert R. Taylor, 1882-1901.
Jasper N. Wilkinson, 1901-1906.
Joseph H. Hill, 1906-1913.
Thomas W. Butcher, 1913-


The Emporia Business College was established in 1880 or 1881, by O. W. Miller, who was its proprietor until 1895 or 1896. C. E. D. Parker in 1896 acquired Mr. Miller's interests, and with him for a time was associated a Mr. Gould.

C. D. Long taught classes in the Business College for Mr. Parker the winter of 1905, and took over the school in February, 1906. It was located at that time in the third story of the old Peters hardware store, Fifth and Commercial, and was moved to the second story of the Watson-Ballweg Lumber Company's building, Sixth and Mechanic, September, 1906.

Mr. Miller opened the school in the second story of the building now occupied by the Hughes-Todd Jewelry Company, formerly the D. D. Williams jewelry store. This building had been occupied previously by classes from the Emporia City Schools. The Business College was moved next to the second story of the Racket store, 615-617 Commercial, and later was established in the second story of the present Roberts-Blue funeral home, on Merchant Street, and again in the second story of the Palace Clothing Company's store. It was moved from this location by C. E. D. Parker to the Peters building. O. M. Wilhite says he attended the Emporia Business College in 1880 or 1881, Mason McCarty was a student in 1885 or 1886, and Bert Johnson attended it in 1894.

C. D. Long was head of the Emporia Business College from 1906 until 1923, and built up a strong and growing institution. Its graduates are well equipped for business life, and have no difficulty in securing jobs. The school is a distinct asset to the town and community. J. E. Hawkins, a former mayor of Emporia, has been its president since 1923, and C. C. Hawkins is business manager. Its location at 724 1/2 Commercial, the second floor of the Burnap Brothers' plumbing establishment, into which it moved in 1928, is roomy, convenient and well equipped.

A Mrs. Geer taught a night school on the south side of Sixth Avenue, east of Commercial Street, for two three month terms in the eighties. This school was in no way connected with the Emporia Business College.


(1) Lyon County has 116 school districts in which 243 teachers are employed. The enrollment is 3,430, of which 1,994 are in the 102 one room schools of Lyon County. Six of the schools have Superior Classification with the State, and nineteen are Standard.

A new classification has been evolved by the State Board of Education this year - that of Accepted Schools. Accepted Schools meet every requirement of Standard Schools except that they have crossed light instead of unilateral lighting.

Lyon County has a valuation of $68,435,190.00, with the estimated value of school property at $1,649,200.00.

The average salary of men teachers in the county (one room schools) is $87.50, and of women, $96.00 per month. Salaries of men teachers in grade schools average $125.00 per month, and of women, $111.44. High school teachers' salaries average, for men $183.05, and for women, $156.53. The cost of tuition, based on enrollment, is: One room schools, $7.75; two or more rooms, $21.06; and high schools, $29.71. The cost of tuition based on average daily attendance is: One room schools, $10.16; two or more rooms, $24.76; and high school, $33.40.

Eighty three boys and eighty nine girls were graduated from the rural eighth grade, and thirty six boys and forty three girls were graduated from the eighth grade in the grade schools in the spring of 1929. Twenty rural and one grade teacher are teaching for the first time this year.

There are 9,828 volumes in the libraries of the elementary grades in the county, 800 of which were added this year. The State library law, which requires every district in the State to purchase annually at least $5.00 worth of approved books per teacher per school, was complied with by all but eight schools of the county in 1929.

All teachers outside of Emporia, including those in the seven rural high schools, the one consolidated high school and the one parochial high school, are under the supervision of the county superintendent's office.

The high schools are visited also, biennially, by the State high school supervisor. The Standard and Superior Schools are visited annually by the State rural school supervisor. The law requires that the county superintendent visit each teacher outside the first and second class cities at least one hour each term.

Twenty three rural schools have music supervision from one to four times per month. The school board members of the county organized the Lyon County School Board Association in September, 1927, and five semi annual meetings have been held since that time. Three hundred forty eight board members govern the 116 schools of the county.

The Lyon County Teachers' Association was organized in 1922 and meets the last Saturday in each month during the school year.

High School superintendents, exclusive of Emporia, are:
Hartford, D. E. Flower.
Neosho Rapids, Lawrence Gardner.
Reading, J. H. Richard.
Miller, Paul B. Cooper.
Bushong, J. K. Moore.
Americus, E. R. Sheldon.
Admire, H. C. Bryan.
Allen, H. C. Jent.
Olpe, Sister Clementia.

(1) Exclusive of Emporia.

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