Looking Back: the First Brick School
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In 1906 Grain Valley established Consolidated District #3 centered around the first public school on Capelle Street in 1887. They had added a two-year high school. The little town, now 28-years old, was growing.
William Rockhill Nelson, editor and publisher of the Kansas City Star, was buying up land to begin his beef-cattle experiment. The town had three churches, two hotels, the Royal Playhouse, and several businesses. It was time to build a bigger school.
The second site for the Grain Valley School was at the north end of Main Street. On June 19, 1907, where 1 ½ acres were purchased from James and Nettie Hall for $300. Construction began in 1908 on an eight room, two story brick building.
The high school enrollment increased to 15 students, and in 1909 four students became the first graduates from the two-year program at Grain Valley High School. In 1919 Grain Valley became a four-year high school.
On November 7, 1925, the building was totally destroyed by fire. Classes were held in the three churches in town and the 1925-26 basketball team played their games at The Royal Playhouse.
Next Week: Learn about the two-story brick building that served the school district for 78 years.
The Grain Valley Historical Society Museum is located at 510 Main Street.
Visit the Historical Society’s website, www.grainvalleyhistory.com, and follow the Society on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@grainvalleyhistory).
The Grain Valley Consolidated District #3’s second school was built in 1908 at the north end of Main Street.
Students photographed outside the first brick building.
The newspaper picture of the fire was in a scrap book given to the Historical Society by Patricia Davis Parr, a 1944 graduate of Grain Valley High School.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society
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