I love this school house. We pass it on US 50 every time we go to the farm to see Gigi. This time Mr. Miller and I actually stopped to get a picture.
It just intrigues me, I can almost feel the history flowing from this building. The stories and faces of all those children that attended school in that building. I have a question for my Kansas readers, this is on US 50 just past the Morning Star Ranch, does anyone know any history about this school house? I would love to find out more information.
I love buildings from our past. I think of what life on the prairie must have been like. Walking for miles just to get to school. The weather they endured. Our children don’t have it so rough.
As we drove past down the road I noticed for the first time there were 2 outhouses behind the school. I joked with Mr. Miller that they even had his and her “Eleanor's”. You ask why I refer to it as an “Eleanor”, well the story goes that Eleanor was the nickname of the basic sanitation that began in the early to mid-1930s. When the nation was deep into the Great Depression many work projects were organized to help the unemployed also referred to as the WPS.
The people were scared of a Typhoid Fever epidemic so Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to improve the sanitation of the farmers and rural communities. These outhouses still bear her name. We actually have and Eleanor on the farm in Newton. I used to teased Mr. Miller that I have never seen a cement outhouse and Gigi informed me that it was not just an outhouse but an “Eleanor”.
These “Eleanor's” were constructed with a 4-foot-square cement slab and a metal roof with walls made from any kind of lumber they could find or re use. (Wow, think about it they recycled then too, Cameron likes that part of the story). They rose to 7 feet in the front, with a 1-foot slant downward toward the back. They made sure they were well ventilated with a total of four vents. Two under the roof could be closed and the other two were just 3 feet from the floor, one in the front and one in the back. They all had metal screens.
Our “Eleanor” is still standing and it adds a great bit of history to the farm.