Elm Grove School
Elm Grove School, so named because it was located in a grove of elm trees on the south side of the river, had a 16-week spring term for several years from about 1883. August 21, 1885, at the first meeting of School District No. 15, board members were John S. Knowles, director; J.M. Sears, clerk; and R.A. Gross, Treasurer.
Around 1900 a second Elm Grove School, sometimes referred to as Red Rock School, was built north of the river, closer to the quarry settlement. The five older Knowles children crossed an eight inch plank footbridge over Medicine River and walked two miles to this school until a new one was built farther west at Kling in 1909. Because some of the boys attending school were in their late teens, it took stout-hearted teachers with stout hickory rods to maintain discipline.
Some teachers whose names come to mind were: J.E. (Ed) Thomas, Will Jarvis, and Miss Abbie Lockwood.
The one-room building was heated by a wood stove in the center of the room and had rows of double-desks down either side.
Trapping was a common pursuit during the winter months, and some older boys ran traplines along the river, which they checked on their way to school. Their success was usually well advertised when they got to school by the animal odors emanating from their clothing in the stuffy classroom.
-- From Chosen Land: Barber County, Kansas.
Comment by Jeanne Freeman re: students at the school: "Robert and Ruth Fulton were twins. Edith Fulton was their older sister. They were the children of Eliza Adams Fulton and Walter E. Fulton."
Comment by Nate Massey, 6 Sept 2005: "Dad (Ralph Massey) went to this school , the teacher stayed with Grandad and Grandma Massey and rode a horse the mile or so the school, dad started to school there when he was 5 years old and rode behind the teacher on the horse furnished by Grandad Massey. Don't know if the other kids went there or not. I went to the rubble remains last year and collected some rocks, red sandstone, it is on the old Kennedy place about a quarter of a mile west of the old Kennedy house."
Comment by Kim Fowles: "This is not the same school as the Rock Schoolhouse. It's close by, though just up a different road. This school house was in the Kling area between Belvidere and Sun City. A Gyp Mill was located near the school".
"The Walkers early became involved in community affairs. Charley was the first elected sheriff of Barber County, and later Henry served as County Commissioner. They supported the early schools and on one occasion drove a wagon to Hutchinson (it was the end of the rail line) to bring back a load of lumber for the Elm Grove School. Through the years three generations of Walker children attended District No. 15 schools." -- George Ralph Walker, Sr., The Chosen Land: Barber County, Kansas, page 469. (excerpt)
This RootsWeb website is being created by Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book. This page was created 15 September 2005 and last updated 9 March 2007.