Eaton School 1896
|Nov. 9 1905 L. A. Dungey Teacher|
|Back Row: Mary Quier, Roy Quier, Blaine Skinner, Clarence Vaughn, Charles Havens Lena Hanna,|
|Mary Cranston, Effie Foudray, Josie Shorter, Della Love|
|Middle Row: Ruth Spitzer, Fannie Cochran, Julie Knox Ella Cranston, Maysie Williams,|
|Frank Cranston, Emonett Evans, Tom Knox, Frank Snow|
|Seated: Irena Evans, Vesta Vaughn, Ruth Spitzer Margaret Cockran, Dewitt Kiphart,|
|Eaton School 1906-07 L. A. Dungly Teacher|
|BackRow: Maysie Williams, Lena Hanna, Josie Shorter, Mary Cranston, Joe Hanna,|
|Blaine Skinner, Charlie Havens Frank Cranston|
|Front Row: Georgia Spitzer, Fannie Cochran, Alice Sandborn Ruth Spitzer, Ella Cranston,|
|Julia Mae knox, Neal Dulaney Kirk Dulaney, Tom Knox|
|Jan 5 1909 Emma Randall Teacher|
|Back Row Ella Cranston, Neal dulaney, Kirk Dulaney, Lena Hanna Maysie Williams, Charles Havens,|
|Julia Knox, Emonett Evans, Tom Knox|
|Front Row Ruth Spitzer, Ruby Dulaney, Grace Spitzer, Irene Evens Harleigh Knox, Gerogia Spitzer,|
|Lois Stewart, Clarence Higginbottom, Ed Shorter|
|Eaton School Hathaway Teacher|
|March 24 1914, Teacher Miss May Cairns|
|1922 Julia Gray, Teacher, $100.00 per Month|
March 1984 tornado wrecks last Eaton landmark
By Nita Wilson (1984)
For 95 years the Eaton schoolhouse served alternately as a school, church, community hall, and until 1984, the Sheridan Township voting precinct. The I02 year-old building located three-fourths of a mile south of U.S. 160, 12 miles east of Winfield, was the last nonresidential building in Eaton. It was the last remaining landmark, visible from the highway, of the thriving community that Eaton was 60 or 70 years ago.
Now, four walls and a portion of the upper floor and ceiling are all that remain of the native stone schoolhouse.
On March 26 a tornado ripped the roof off the building, and Carroll Sandborn, who now owns the schoolhouse, said he may demolish it rather than rebuild.
If the school is dismantled, two dwellings and a vacant house, which was a boarding house, are all that will be left in the immediate town area.
It would be difficult to estimate the number of students who attended the eight grade school until its closing in 1958. Former Students or family members have occasionally stopped if they were in the area just to see the school and reminisce about bygone days.
Many of the people who went to school there during the earlier part of the century have died, but others still here were sad to hear of the recent storm damage. lrena (Evans) Griffith, 93, a former Eaton resident now living in Winfield, has fond memories of her school years.
"I sure hated to hear the building is gone (ruined). I went to school when it had two rooms and two teachers," she recalled.
The school had two rooms from 1889 to 1907. The upper grades were taught upstairs by a male teacher, and a female teacher taught the lower grades downstairs, Griffith said.
"There were a lot of kids in the community then because more families lived on farms," she explained.
Early residents have said attendance in the two-room school was from 50 to 60 students; others say 30 to 40.
Because of needed repairs from wind damage, the top story was lowered in 1909 to make it a one room school.
Mildred Westbrook, a retired elementary teacher living in Winfield, attended the school as a child, and taught there in 1946. Her salary was $150 a month.
"Why does nature have to do such a thing?" Westbrook asked, in reference to the recent damage.
According to courthouse records, the school was built two years after the plot of Eatonville was recorded May 3, 1887. Thirteen years later the town was platted in lots, blocks and streets. The name Eatonville was eventually shortened to Eaton. At one time there was a general, store with a post office. a blacksmith shop, a creamery, two churches, a parsonage, a boarding house, a depot, a stockyard and the native stone schoolhouse.
The railroad contributed to the survival of the community during the early days, The Denver, Memphis and Atlantic Railroad Co, purchased the right of way in 1887, then sold it in 1910 to the Missouri Pacific. The railroad has since been discontinued.
The businesses have been gone for years, and modem education forced the school to close in 1958. District 47, the Eaton school district. consolidated with C-3 School, now known as Country View School, and later with USD 465.
Sheridan Township took over responsibility for the building after the school closed. It was used for board meetings and served as the township's voting precinct. Because of upkeep expense, the submersible pump and bathroom facilities were sold and utilities discontinued.
After several years, the roof needed shingling and township board members said they didn't think they could afford to repair it. So they sold the building to Sandborn, who lives nearby, for $1.00.
Sandborn then paid more than $I,200 to have a new roof put on. During the early years, Sandborn's mother boarded several of the teachers. Although Sandborn said he has sentimental memories, he is considering removing the rest of the structure for safety reasons.
Living near a school can have its rewards as well as its heartaches. This was brought out in a recent interview with Mrs. Josie Sandborn, who boarded several teachers of the Eaton School over a period of 19 years, and also let school children keep their horses in her barn during the day. She watched many children come and go during the years that the Eaton School was active. It is located 12 miles east and three-quarters of a mile south of Winfield.
Josie was born March 26, 1891, south of Burden to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Shorter. She had five brothers and one sister. Mr. and Mrs. Shorter moved to Eaton when Josie was six years old. She attended eight years school at Eaton.
She later met Harold Sandborn of Scandia, who visited his brother, Rob, here at times, and they were married in 1912 in the house where she now lives, but at that time was the United Brethren parsonage. They lived in Arkansas City for a few years, where he worked as a railroad agent. They later moved to Turon, then to Lamed to make their home.
The sandborns had three children; Carroll, Kathryn and Kenneth. Their father was actively involved in baseball, and while the children were very young, he received fatal Injuries in a baseball accident. Josie spent the winter In, Scandia with Harold's parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. V. Sandborn, later moving to Eaton to make her home.
Raising three small children alone had its problems, and boarding school teachers was one way to. alleviate some of the financial difficulties as well as to accommodate the teachers . Nell Cullumber of Winfield was one of the teachers who stayed with Josie for four school years. She did not take a sack lunch or go home for her noon meal, and she can remember when Josie would quietly leave a tray with a hot lunch for her in the outside hall at school just before noon each day.
At recess time, when the weather permitted ball playing outside, one might have found Josie observing the activities, as she was also a baseball fan.
Miss Cullumber said that once during a bi-monthly exam day, she found two of her pupils were absent without good reason. She had Josie come over to keep things under control for an hour while she went to get the two children who were trying to skip school. To many of the children Jose was a second mother, providing needle, thread or whatever was needed in emergencies. She assisted the youngsters many times in getting their horses ready for the trip home after school. Some horses were so anxious to get home that she worried about the youngsters safety.
Her family consists of Carroll at home Mrs. Kathryn Miller of Winfield; Kenneth of Highland, Ind.; ten grandchildren; and several great grandchildren. Josie observed her 84th birthday recently. Her interest in her family, her friends and neighbors has always been her main concern and has helped keep her young in heart and mind.
By MRS. PERCY WILSON
TEACHERS OF THE EATON SCHOOL
Eaton School Reunions
.................. ...................... ....................... ........................ ..................... ............... ...... ................... ...................
P. S. A little 1882 Kansas School news from "The Oskaloosa Independent".