by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
For over one hundred years subscription schools existed in and around Grain Valley. In 1949, Jackson County’s schools were organized into 7 districts and all of the remaining rural schools were closed. Reorganization set boundaries and more often than not all of the rural school students did not end up in the same district.
That was certainly true for Grain Valley. Stony Point, Pink Hill, Oak Hill, Round Grove and Capelle had all been closed for more than a decade, however, rural students were still attending elementary classes at Oakland, Murphy, Pueblo, Tarsney, Elm Grove, and Williams School.
Due to boundary lines, Oakland School, located at the corner of Truman and Cartmill Roads and Murphy School on Murphy School Road became part of the Fort Osage R-1 District. Pueblo School on Corn Road near Colburn and Tarsney School on Buckner Tarsney Road just south of Colburn became part of the Lee’s Summit R-7 District.
Elm Grove School on Stillhouse Road near old 40 Highway and Round Prairie in southeast Sni-a-Bar Township went to the Oak Grove R-6 District. Williams School west of Grain Valley became part of the Blue Springs R-4 District. However, many of the students attending these school actually lived within the boundaries of the Grain Valley R-5 District.
In 1991, the Fort Osage Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution compiled a book with the history of rural school which became part of the Fort Osage R-1 School District. For the book, they interviewed Mrs. Claude Dyer (Lorean) who started school at Oakland in 1899. The school was a frame building on a high point overlooking the Little Blue Creek, close to the Oakland Church.
In the 1920’s the school building was purchased and moved to the intersection of Truman and Buckner Tarsney Roads and made into a store. A new brick school was built, which served until the end of the school term in 1949. The brick school was eventually torn down when Truman Road was re-routed in 1965.
Pueblo School originally bore the name Webb, because a Mr. Webb lived in the house nearest the school. In the late 1880s when it was proposed that the school have a new name, Mr. Cannon the teacher, suggested Pueblo for Pueblo, Colorado, because he liked the name. Members of a debating society of the school discussed the name, and proposed it be accepted when they were told the name meant meeting place, for the school was a meeting place for their society, as well as, the meeting place for the community of farm families in the area.
Next Week: Grain Valley’s first public school on Capelle Street.
The Grain Valley Historical Society Museum is located at 510 Main Street.
Visit the Historical Society’s website, www.grainvalleyhistory.com, and follow
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Top photo: A Certificate of Approval as a Second Class School for the Pueblo School, dated April 1924. Ethel Johnson is listed as the teacher of the school.
Bottom photo: Oakland Brick school, circa 1920.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society