Monday, April 4, 2016

Clay Center, District no. 41

A return visit to Clay Center school after an earlier one, December 2012.

Clay Center, one room school, Dist. no. 41

Clay Center in Butler County, Kansas is not much more than a place name. Its location is 210th street southeast and southeast Cole Creek road. 

You get there if you are heading east from Douglass towards Latham (10 miles), or if you are going south from Leon to Atlanta (9 miles). An old automotive building at the intersection proudly proclaims the name Clay Center. A house stands on the northwest corner and a one room schoolhouse, District No. 43, is on the southwest lot. The north branch of Rock Creek flows by wrapping around the schoolhouse and proceeding in a southwesterly direction. 

C. M. Price pre-empted the land at Clay Center after it was opened up to settlement in 1870, paying $1.25 an acre. The Kansas State Board of Agriculture Biennial Report of 1878, notes that school district no. 41 was established as early as 1874.  

Early settlers planted corn and other crops, in addition, raised cattle, horses, and mules for market. The township was organized in 1879 and a one room school was built soon after. The population of the township in 1880 was 410. 

south view

view from the west

Clay Center

1905 atlas showing Clay Township, Butler County

close up

The school is well-maintained.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Enterprise School, Hickory Township, Butler County 1893-84

Who knows why this one room school was called "Enterprise"?

My guess follows the sentiments of Vol. P. Mooney, who wrote an early history of Butler County.The settlers who came in their Prairie Schooners, had little money to their name and much hope. They were enterprising. They had to be for they had to outwit the weather, the prairie fires, and the grasshoppers. Settling the land was not an easy thing and after the crops were planted one of the first things settlers did was to build a one room school and educate their children, hoping for a better tomorrow.
Enterprise school, Hickory Twp, Butler Co., Ks.

The school was built in 1883 and here we have the winter class of 1893-94 taught by F. M. Leatherman. I feel a little sorry for Walter Seymor, the boy who is standing off to the right side of the class picture.

The earliest settlers on these Osage Trust Lands arrived in 1868 and took up claims on Hickory Creek. Hickory Township was organized in 1875. W. S. and C. W. Buskirk, acted as county surveyors. They had several children in the 1893-94 class.

District school no. 143 was located on the Dennis homestead adjacent to the Southerland property in the southeast corner of Hickory Township. Hickory Township itself is in the southeastern part of Butler County, south of Beaumont.

southeast Butler County, Kansas 1885

Mooney's History of Butler County, Kansas

Enterprise school, no. 143, Butler County, Kansas