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Building closed: 1947
Bancroft School at Sixth and Splitlog was named, as was the custom in the years around the turn of the century, for a well-known writer and diplomat, George Bancroft, who is remembered chiefly for his History of the United States. In a letter to Miss Mary Nelson before the school was closed, Mr. Albert Evans, one of the first Principals, described the elaborate programs that were given by the whole school at graduation time. From the proceeds of the entertainment, which was presented in a hall hired for the occasion, the school bought balls, pictures and other needed articles. Mr. Evans recalled how the whole school marched up to 7th Street to see Theodore Roosevelt, who was visiting here.
History information received from former principal, Albert Evans, dated May 7, 1940
The First Faculty, as near as I can remember was Albert Evans, Beulah Boling, Margaret Small, Daisy Quinley, Elsie Hurley.
When we came to have our first 8th grade commencement, I asked Supt. Pearson how to proceed so as to not depart from the usual order. He said if I wanted to please the most of our patrons we should be sure to have all the pupils in the lower grades in some number on the program, and that the parents and all the relatives would rather see the little people perform than to listen to the best the high grades might give us. That seemed reasonable, so one room had a chorus and another a drill, and so on. The older grades gave a short play or two; we had dialogues and recitations. It brought together a happy appreciative crowd; it proved an inspiration, for pupils looked forward for years to the time when it would be their turn to have arrived at the first milestone in their education, and the parents were just as interested. A certain person said to me once, I received a diploma from high school, another from college, and another from the university; but I have never received another that gave me the thrill that the one did that I received when I received my eighth grade diploma.
We had our program at a hall on Minnesota Avenue, and had about 700 present; the businessmen put advertisements on the printed programs. Altogether, we took in a nice little sum which we spent for pictures for each room, needed books, and one thing for the playground, an ample supply of turning poles (they were of gas pipe and were set in cement; they were from low to high to accommodate the different sizes of pupils). The PTA raised money in various ways to help. At that time the schools were not even provided with maps; we could sometimes get a railroad map. Another thing we bought was a supply of handballs, also indoor baseballs; then we secured balls and bats for baseball. Sometimes a pupil could not buy his books and we would buy and lend them to him for the term.
Teddy Roosevelt was President and toured the country. When he arrived in our town, Bancroft students stood at attention on 7th Street, near Central School, and helped the crowd cheer as the popular President passed by. He stood in the carriage as it passed by and lifted his tall hat, bowing first to those on one side of the street and then to those on the other side. It was a gala day and I believe that we and our chief executive mutually enjoyed the event. Every pupil had a small edition of "old glory", which they waved patriotically.
We had a remarkable policeman that lived across the street from Bancroft. He must have been seven feet in height; the chief of police told him to keep an eye out for any hoodlum around our school. He crossed our yard on his way in our neighborhood and made friends; he soon knew our pupils by sight.
1887 - A room for colored in the old Second Ward (south of Nebraska and east of Fifth) was needed. The board instructed a committee to lease land for the building of a schoolhouse, 16x24 feet, in Splitlog Bottoms. As a suitable location was hard to find, Dr. Brown offered to procure a colored church for $8 a month, the board to repair and take the money out of the rent. It is not clear from the records if Splitlog Bottoms was in the Second Ward; but judging from the name, it probably was.
1902 - A. F. Ritz, agent for E. F. Jones, on February 3, 1902, sold 200 feet on the north side of Splitlog between Fifth and Sixth Streets to the Board of Education. The ground was 160-85/100 feet deep.
S. J. Davidson was awarded the contract for the four-room brick building. Splitlog was not open between Fifth and Sixth, and the Board had to petition to have the city open it. Architect was W. W. Rose and address listed as 516 Splitlog Ave. (Rose and Peterson Architects, 1994) Named on March 10 for distinguished historian, George Bancroft.
1904 - Four-room addition built. Architect was W. W. Rose. (Rose and Peterson Architects, 1994)
1895-1909 - W. W. Rose, Architect - There are three schools from this period of Rose's career that display elements of the Second Renaissance Revival: Kansas City, Kansas High School (1897-99 et seq.), Bancroft Elementary School (1900), and Quindaro Elementary School (1906). Bryant Elementary School, designed by Rose in 1904, features an Italian Renaissance Revival vocabulary, while John Fiske Elementary (1907/07) and Sumner High School (1905-06/1809-09) exhibit Jacobethan elements in their primary and secondary elevations.
1907 - Split opened to full width. Took some ground from Bancroft site.
1908 - Enrollment getting smaller. Many Croatian children attending parochial school.
1947 - August 25: Letter from Mr. F. L. Schlagle to parents relative to being unable to maintain the school due to low enrollment (pdf). Pupils designated to go to Riverview School or Central School. The grounds would be used by the Building and Grounds Department.
Southwest Freight Lines are using the playground west of Bancroft School for parking empty trailers.
1960 - Board advertised for bids on school. Used as storage place for old furniture.
2004 - The date of the sale of this building and grounds is not known. In 2004, the area is an apartment complex and parking lot.
1883 - Miss Deal (only name given) / 1885 - W. H. Rooney / 1890 - Bridgie Cushing / 1892 - Mrs. Ida Reese / 1893 - Katie O'Brien / 1894 - Frank Colvin / 1895 - C. W. Porter, W. J. Logan / 1896-97 - W. J. Logan / 1898 - A. J. Farley / 1900 - Frank Colvin / 1901 - Albert Evans / 1903-04 - George W. McCamish / 1905 - Evelyn Martin / 1912 - C W Meyers / 1925 - Ethel Herron
17th Annual Report of the Board of Education of the City of Kansas City, Kansas for the Year 1902 and 1903: p. 98 - First five grades, rive-room brick, Splitlog Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. Boundary - Beginning at the Missouri River, west on Barnett Avenue to Fifth Street, south on Fifth Street to Sandusky Avenue, west on Sandusky Avenue to Sixth Street, south on Sixth Street to Orville Avenue, west on Orville Avenue to Seventh STreet, south on Seventh Street to Tenney Avenue, east on Tenney Avenue to "L" Road, on "L" Road to Reynolds Avenue, east on Reynolds Avenue to Missouri Pacific tracks, along the Missouri Pacific Tracks to the point of beginning. Albert Evans, Principal
History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012