William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 25] [part 23] [Cutler's History]


A teachers' association was formed at Leavenworth March 14, 1863. The State Teachers' Association was organized at Leavenworth September 29, 1863.

The Kansas Educational Journal commenced its publication January, 1864, H. D. McCarty, editor. Its corps of associate editors were B. L. Baldridge and D. P. Mitchell, of Leavenworth; Richard Cordlay and Miss Lois Reynolds, of Lawrence; Peter McVicar and Mrs. E. H. Mabie, of Topeka; R. K. McCartney, of Valley Falls; Miss H. A. Earhart, of Emporia; Isaac T. Goodnow, of Manhattan; James Rogers, of Burlingame; Miss Mary J. Watson, of Emporia; Miss A. J. Ellinwood, of Chicago, Ill.

The second annual meeting of the association was held at Atchison, July 26, 1865. The association meeting for 1866 was held at Lawrence July 3. Its officers were as follows: President, Peter McVicar; Recording Secretary, L. B. Kellogg; Corresponding Secretary, John S. Brown; Treasurer, Miss Carrie Collins.

July 4, 1867, the association met at Topeka. Its President was B. F. Mudge; Recording Secretary, Miss M. J. Watson; Corresponding Secretary, D. T. Bradford; Treasurer, H. D. McCarty. July 2, 1868, the association meeting was held at Emporia. Its officers were: President, David J. Brewer; Recording Secretary, Mrs. J. H. Gorham; Corresponding Secretary, Joseph Denison; Treasurer, Miss E. D. Copley.

Peter McVicar succeeded Prof. McCarty as editor of the journal; L. B. Kellogg and H. B. Norton succeeded Superintendent McVicar.

June 29, 1869, the association met at Manhattan. Its officers were: I. J. Bannister, President; Miss Alice L. Norton, Recording Secretary; Thomas C. Dick, Corresponding Secretary; Miss Lizzie Ela, Treasurer.

Peter McVicar was President; Elbridge Gale, Secretary of an association of County and City School Superintendents.

June 28, 1870, the association held their meeting at Wyandotte. Its President was Jeremiah Evarts Platt; Recording Secretary, Miss E. M. Dickinson; Corresponding Secretary, D. J. Evans; Treasurer, Miss Matilda J. Upton.

In August, 1871, the Educational Journal was removed from Emporia to Topeka, and the teachers' association met there December 29, 1871. Its President was John Fraser; Recording Secretary, C. B. Isham; Corresponding Secretary, Joseph Denison.

December 25, 1872, the association met at Humboldt. Its officers were as follows: President, John W. Horner; Recording Secretary, A. B. Lemmon; Corresponding Secretary, S. M. Gaston; Treasurer, Mrs. H. A. Monroe.

State Superintendent McCarty, in his annual report of 1873, submits the second annual report signed by Eben Blackly, President of the Board of Directors of the Quindaro State Normal School. This is a colored institution, and in the report is found the following:

The antecedents of the colored population preclude the idea of an advanced standard of admission at present, but we are gradually raising it; and yet, by the way, we may remark that two of our scholars have received certificates from the County Superintendent, and are engaged in teaching.

Spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic (mental and practical), geography, history, grammar and algebra, are the branches as yet taught.

The number of pupils enrolled during the year is eighty-two, most of them residing within three miles of the school, one from the Indian Territory and two from Missouri.

The regularity of attendance is far from what is desirable, but unavoidable from the limited means of parents. The average daily attendance for the year may be stated as thirty-three. The deportment and progress of the scholars, for the most part, is praiseworthy.

To a limited extent employment was given last summer to two of the advanced scholars, enabling them in part to sustain themselves with very satisfactory results. The mode adopted was to pay them ten cents per hour out of school hours, and the average earnings were to each $3 a week, without seriously impeding their studies.

The University owns eighty acres of land within five miles of Kansas City, adapted to the cultivation of small fruits, and the University Board intend to make a strenuous effort to give employment to a considerable number of students the coming season. Under existing circumstances this seems to be almost a sine qua non of success.

The Legislature of 1873 made an appropriation for this institution of $1,100.

In his report of 1874, Superintendent McCarty speaks of the great educational progress during twelve years, the comparisons being as follows:

YEAR.                              1862         1874

Children of School Age.....      13,976      191,010

District School Taxes...... $191,010.00   895,095.85

Value of School Buildings.  $ 10,423.50 3,989.085.67

In 1875, Judicial District Institutes were held in the fifteen districts, and the thirteenth annual meeting of the teachers was held at Topeka, on the 24th, 25th and 26th of August. Superintendent Fraser says of it:

The ability and earnestness with which important practical questions relating to the improvement of our common school system were discussed at the meeting, do credit to the association and to the State.

The association held its fourteenth annual meeting at Valley Falls June 20-22, 1876, and an adjourned meeting was held at Topeka December 26-28, 1876.

Among the resolutions adopted were the following:

For the future welfare of the children, the State should adopt a uniform system of normal instruction, and should make provision for the ultimate establishment of several free normal schools.

That we recommend the adoption of a uniform system of normal institutes, to be conducted by practical educators, and to continue in session not less than two weeks each year. To defray the expenses of such institutes we recommend that each candidate for a teacher's certificate, and each member of the institute pay a fee of $1, and that the board of County Commissioners in every county be required to appropriate a sum equal to that secured from the two other sources.

The annual meeting for 1877 was held at Emporia June 26-28, 1877. Its officers for 1876, 1877 and 1878 were as follows: 1876 and 1877, L. B. Kellogg, Emporia, President; Mary A. Higbey, Oswego, Recording Secretary; H. C. Speer, Junction City, Corresponding Secretary; Peter McVicar, Topeka, Treasurer. 1877 and 1878, Allen B. Lemmon, Winfield, President; William Wheeler, Ottawa, Secretary; Peter McVicar, Topeka, Treasurer. There were ninety educators in attendance.

The meeting for 1878 was held at Atchison June 24-26. There were about 150 persons in attendance.

Death of Ex-Superintendent Fraser. - The following resolutions were adopted relating to the deceased:

WHEREAS, The members of this association have learned with great sorrow of the recent death of Gen. John Fraser, LL. D., formerly Chancellor of the University of Kansas, and subsequently State Superintendent of Public Instruction, therefore be it

Resolved, that from his first introduction to the teachers of this State, Gen. Fraser showed himself a most ardent and efficient co-worker in popular education.

Resolved, That Gen. Fraser has left, both in the University of Kansas, over which he so faithfully presided for six years, and in the Superintendency of Public Instruction so efficiently administered during his term of office, lasting monuments of his official integrity and ability.

Resolved, That Gen. Fraser, as a public officer, a worthy citizen and a true patriot, merits the profound respect due the memory of the world's benefactors.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to his wife as an expression of our sympathy with her in this the hour of bereavement and sorrow.

The meeting for 1879, was held at Lawrence, in the State University Building, June 16-19, 1879.

Gen. John Eaton, United States Commissioner of Education, was in attendance, and favored the association with valuable addresses. Among the resolutians (sic) adopted were the following:

That this association desires to call special attention to the work of Hon. John Eaton, United States Commissioner of Education, and to express its appreciation of the results of the labors of the department under his control.

That the Executive Committee be instructed to take such preliminary steps as will lead to the accommodation of an educational museum in the new capitol building at Topeka, in a similar manner to that given to the collections of the State Agricultural and State Historical Societies.

The association meeting for 1880 was held at Topeka June 22-24. The Legislature was by resolution to make provision for a thorough geological survey of the State. The meetings for 1881 were held at Manhattan June 21-23, and at Topeka December 27-29. Its officers were: William Wheeler, President; John McDonald, Vice President; F. W. Parsons Secretary; Miss Sarah A. Brown, Treasurer.

State Superintendent Speer in his biennial report, referring to it, says:

Its membership is made up of representative teachers of Kansas, and its exercises are largely concerned with questions of public education. Through its instrumentality much has been done toward unifying and systematizing the work of graded schools, rural schools and county supervision.

The Educationist. - This monthly journal, whose publication commenced January, 1879, is the organ of the Department of Public Instruction and of the State Teachers' Association. Its editor and publisher is George W. Hoss, Topeka, a former President of the State Normal School.

Associate Editors. - At the twenty-third session of the State Teachers' Association, held at Topeka December 26-28, 1882, the following-named persons were elected associate editors: Teachers, H. D. McCarty, Highland; J. H. Canfield, Lawrence; Ida A. Ahlborn, Atchison. Superintendents, William Bishop, Salina; J. H. Lee, Manhattan; Lizzie J. Stephenson, Yates Center.

At the County Superintendents' Convention the following resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, the Educationist is the organ of the Department of Public Instruction and of the State Teachers' Association, and

WHEREAS, We believe the reading of this journal would aid Trustees in their official duty, therefore,

Resolved, That we recommend the Legislature to provide that, so long as this journal remains the organ of the Superintendents of Public Instruction, and of the State Teachers' Association, each school board may take one copy for use of the office, and pay for the same out of the incidental fund.

Officers for 1883. - President, F. A. Fitzpatrick, Superintendent Leavenworth Schools; Vice President, John Wherrell, Principal of Paola Normal School; Recording Secretary, D. E. Lantz, Superintendent Manhattan Schools; Corresponding Secretary, L. Lightfoot, Principal of Mulvane Schools; Treasurer, H. F. Ellis, Superintendent of Franklin County; Executive Committee, H. C. Speer, State Superintendent Public Instruction; Bion S. Hutchins, Principal of Beloit Schools; A. V. Jewett, Superintendent of Abilene Schools.

Charter. - The charter of the association read as follows:

For the purpose of elevating the profession of teaching and promoting the interest of schools in Kansas, we, whose names are affixed, associate ourselves together under the following constitution:

ARTICLE I. This association shall be styled the Kansas State Teachers' Association.

ART. II. The supreme power under this constitution shall be vested in a "Board of five Directors," whose duty it shall be to elect, annually, a President; one Vice President from each organized county in the State; a Recording Secretary; a Corresponding Secretary; a treasurer, and an Executive Committee consisting of three persons, and to select the time and the place of annual meeting.

ART. III. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the association. In case of vacancy or his absence, it shall be the duty of any one of the Vice Presidents to perform the same duty.

ART. IV. It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to perform the duties usually devolving upon that officer.

ART. V. It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to correspond with associations of a similar character, and to correspond with individuals under the direction of the Executive Committee. He shall further keep a fully copy of all communications from and to him in a book provided for that purpose; keep such correspondence in full and report the same whenever called upon to do so at any regular meeting of the association.

ART. VI. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and keep all funds belonging to the association, and pay out the same only on the orders of the Chairman of the Executive Committee. He shall keep a faithful account of all moneys received and expended and report the condition of the finances when called upon to do so at any regular meeting of the association. He shall deposit all balances, after the liabilities of the association have been met, in some good bank within the borders of Kansas.

ART. VII. The Executive Committee shall carry into effect all orders and resolutions of the association, and shall devise and put into operation such other measures not inconsistent with the object of this association, as it shall deem best. It shall secure speakers, and arrange business to come before the association. It shall keep a full record of its proceedings and present an annual report of the same to the association.

ART. VIII. The Executive Committee shall hold its first meeting as soon after election as practicable. Two members of said committee shall constitute a quorum for business, and afterward may meet upon its own adjournment or appointment.

ART. IX. The funds of this association shall consist of fees for membership; annual dues for contributions, and shall be expended under the direction of the Executive Committee, through its Chairman.

ART. X. Any teacher or active friend of education may become a member of this association by subscribing to this constitution, and paying the Treasurer the sum of one dollar.

ART. XI. The annual dues for this association shall be fifty cents for each member.

ART. XII. The "Board of Directors" of this association shall be chosen by ballot at the annual meeting of this association, and shall hold their office for one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.

ART. XIII. This constitution may be altered or amended by a majority of the members present at any regular meeting of this association.


As is known to the reader, the State School Fund has been derived principally from the proceeds of the school sections, two in each township, set apart for school purposes in the act admitting Kansas as a State. The present fund has been accumulated from the sale of school lands, and the prospective increase of the fund is based on the value of school lands yet unsold, amounting to nearly 2,000,000 acres. The permanent fund is loaned to school districts for the construction of schoolhouses and other strictly educational purposes. The balance not thus used is invested in approved securities, and the income apportioned to the several counties of the State for current school expenses, constituting a part of the annual source of income for educational purposes. The present condition and prospective value of the school fund of Kansas are shown in the following extracts from the report of the State School Fund Commissioners for the two years ending June 30, 1882, with comments by State Superintendent Speer:

The amounts of the securities held by the State Treasurer at this date, credited to these funds, are as follows:

In State permanent school fund.. $2,508,644.23
In University permanent fund....     35,755.00
In Normal School permanent fund.     50,600.77

Of the amount credited to the permanent school fund, $250,000 is in United States bonds bearing three and a half per cent interest. These bonds have been called, and will be paid before the first of February. The Commissioners instruct me to urge upon your attention the importance of providing further means of investment for these funds. Table IV, Abstract II, shows an uninvested balance in permanent school fund, as follows:

December 1, 1882, balance....... $ 84,860.12
   To this add-
Called bonds, soon to be paid off 250,000.00
School district bonds,
due January 1, 1883, about......   45,000.00
Payment on school-land sales,
January 1, 1883, about...         100,000.00
Total fund uninvested,
January 1, 1883, about..........$ 479,860.12

The Commissioners have been diligent in keeping the funds under their care invested as closely as possible in safe securities. School district bonds make up the large body of the total investment of $2,500,000, very few of these running longer than fifteen years from date of issue. It is noticeable also that most of those now offered for sale by districts are for less than ten years. Large sums will be paid off next year, and the payment will grow each year thereafter; so that, without making account of the addition to the fund made semi-annually from the sales of school lands, it cannot be kept invested in school bonds. The total bonded debt on school districts in Kansas is not over $2,000,000. I do not believe it will ever reach $3,000,000 at one time. The permanent fund in securities and cash is now about $3,000,000, and rapidly increasing from school-land sales. It is probable that when fully available, the sum will reach $15,000,000. If the lands now unsold should be placed in the market through a State Land Commissioner, to be sold for their full value, it is believed that the total sum would be nearer, $20,000,000.

[TOC] [part 25] [part 23] [Cutler's History]