Rural Schools

Re-enactment at Game Fork School, Waterville

The county once had over 100 rural schools. Eventually better transportation made school consolidation possible. The last rural school closed in 1969. Today only a few schoolhouses are still standing at their original locations. Some schools changed their name over the years.

Barrett was the county’s first school district, organized in 1858. The limestone building (1870, south wing 1896) is on the National Register of Historic Places. Private property. Contact: William Jones, 785-292-4539. On 19th Terrace between Wildcat and Yonder Roads, southwest of Frankfort. View Map

Seventy-Five. The people in District 75 simply called their school by its number. It held its last classes in 1951. At 29th Terrace (K-88) and Valley Road, south of Vermillion. View Map

Life. Named for a family in the area, the school building was the scene of the 1891 school board election where a dispute led to the Goldsberry-Bender murder. Now a private home. On Limestone Road east of 19th Road. View Map

Redtop/Scully. This building was used from 1898 until 1953. It was named for the Scully family, wealthy landholders from Ireland, who once owned and rented out thousands of acres in Kansas and other midwestern states. At 14th and Cherokee Roads, east of Oketo. View Map

Keefover/Mt. Pleasant. In 1893 a woman who had died after the birth of her eighth child was buried here where her older children attended school. The grave, marked by rocks, is in the northwest part of the schoolyard. Private property. On Sunflower Road 1/2 mile west of 2nd Road, near western county border. View Map

Excelsior/Harbaugh (1879). Former students meet here every fall for a reunion. Just north is the Harbaugh-Greenwood Cemetery. At Zenith and 3rd Roads, 1 mile west of Highway 77, south of Waterville. View Map

Schoolhouses Moved to Town Parks

The first school building in Frankfort, used from 1870 until 1880. Moved to the city park in recent years and now houses a small museum. Open on request. Call 785-292-4336. 2nd and Oak Streets, Frankfort.

Game Fork. A rural school, closed in 1952 and later moved to Nebraska and Elm streets in the Waterville City Park. Now a designated Scouthouse headquarters. In recent years as part of a spring celebration local schoolchildren have re-created activities of a one-room school here.

Bommer. Moved to Marysville from a rural site. When in use it was always painted white. Open all summer. Marysville City Park, S. 10th Street.

School Marker

Immanuel Lutheran School marker. Located in the part of the county known as “Little Germany,” this marker commemorates a parochial school where some teaching was in German as late as the 1940s. The “South School” here as well as a “North School” near the church were established in 1888. On Harvest Road 1/2 mi east of 2nd Road, south of Bremen. View Map