Schools and Churches worked hand-in-hand in the earlier days, church was often held in what was the school building. For all the school districts in Ellis County, the Superintendents until 1966, were Rev. R.M. Fish (1867), O.S. Warren (1868-71), John Gones (1872), John G Tracey (1873), DeWitt C. Smith (1874-75), W.D. Lane (1875), John H Edwards (1876), Rufus B Spitler (1877-79), Rev. David Gochenauer (1879-80), W.L. Fuller (1881-84), L.H. Boyd (1885-90), H.W. Grass (1891-92), Rev. Allen L. King (1893-94), H.W. Grass (1895-96), L.D. Kirkman (1897-98), Alex Meier (1899-1904), William Grabbe (1905-09), Anthony Kuhn (1909-13), Martin A Basgall (1913-1915), Louis Christiansen (1916-32), Joseph T. Pfeifer (1933-42), Anthony J Roth (1943-58) and Dominic J. Brungardt (1958-1966). According to the Ellis County Register of Deeds office, this particular position was eliminated in 1969.

District # 3 - Cedarvale 1877 (Vine) (SE SE SE/4 11-11-19) (corner of Saline River Rd & Hyacinth Ave Junction)


Cedarvale (Vine) School 1905

The Plainville Times, Thursday, July 19, 1888 News Item- A part of the old school districts No. 97 in Rooks County and No. 3 in Ellis County have been organized into one district now known as Joint District No. 3. A meeting of the residents of the new district will be held next Friday at the school house in the old district of Ellis County for the purpose of voting a school tax and consider the project of building a new school house. The new organization will give the children of the new district much better school facilities.

1905 Map Township 11s Range 19w Ellis County, KS

showing the Vine School located on I.A. Smythe land (14-11-19)

near intersection of Saline River Rd & Hyacinth Ave today



District # 9 - (Liberty Log) Upper Turkville

The first school was known as Liberty Log, (before school districts were assigned a number) which was a log school house, located about ¼ mile south along the east side of the Saline River from what is now known as the Saline River Road & the Hadley Range Ave. (W/2 NW/4 17-11-17) in Ellis County, KS along the Saline River. This log schoolhouse was used 1874 to 1875 school year. In 1876 the log school building was moved to the Meier homestead (located E/2 NW/4 17-11-17) to be used as their home. A lime stone rock schoolhouse was built at the location on the very corner of SW SW NW/4 of Section 8 Township 11s Range 17w in Ellis County, KS along the Saline River. in 1876-1877, from the same rock that was used to build Meier’s Mill. All the rock was obtained from the rock location located about 1 mile north of the mill site. In 1926 a new red brick building was built located at the SE/4 of 7-11-17, then in the mid 1940’s a new red and buff colored brick school building was built to replace the red brick school house. This red/buff brick building still stands today, 2005.



Log Cabin – Liberty Log School

Picture from Bill Bollig





This photo of ECHSA was labeled “First School house in Ellis County”

Showing the date 1877. It is not known who gave it, nor did they write anything other than the above on it. I believe that it came either from the Mock family or possibly from their cousin Pearl Cress.

Portion pertaining to Liberty Log/Turkville School from:

My Mother’s Memories, written by Flora Melvina (Mock) Mock about 1940-1945 To Pearl Cress from your cousin Vina Mock with love,

The first school Mother (Ladora Kate King Mock) attended in Kansas was in a little cabin built of cottonwood logs. In the early days cottonwood trees had been plentiful on the bluffs along the Saline River. This was no doubt the first country schoolhouse in Ellis County and it is still standing within a mile of its original location, being about 75 years old. This cabin was situated about 2 ½ miles southwest of their home near quite rough, hilly country and was said to have once been the headquarters of a gang of horse thieves whose leader was named Jack Johnson. Mother’s first teacher’s name was Miss Florence Shores. She only remembers attending one term in this house, later attending school in a new stone school house about 2 ½ miles northwest from their home. One of her teachers was Harry Grass who was later County Superintendent of Public Instruction of Ellis County and I can remember when, in this capacity, he visited our school when I was going to school in this same schoolhouse.

In the early nineties Grandfather was elected County superintendent of Public Instruction and the family, which at that time consisted of himself (Allen Lewis King), grandmother (Lydia) and the five youngest daughters, moved to Hays, the county seat of Ellis County to live. I think he was a very good county superintendent, but as he was nearly 70 years old at that time he only served one term of two years after which he moved back to his farm on the Saline River. Five of his daughters and one stepson became schoolteachers.

As I remember my Grandfather King, he seemed to be a very serious-minded man and although he was never unkind to us children, I think we rather stood in awe of him, though we all loved him dearly. I can never remember when he didn’t seem like an old man for he was always bald and had a heavy white beard.


1905 Map Township 11s Range 17w Ellis County, KS

Showing the location of the school located on Henry J Hoff land,

Today located ½ mile north of the intersection of Saline River Rd & Toulon Ave

(known as Kaba Canyon Road by locals)




Red brick building built in 1926.






Front Row (L-R) Eddie Bollig, Elmo Carmichael, Naomi Hoff, Ralph Bemis, Jr, Norman Mock, Cora Frazier, Charlene Mock, Guy Bemis, Bernice Mock, Vera Bollig,

Middle Row (L-R) Virtus Higgins, Fidelis (Sonny) Bollig, Virgil Higgins, Charles McGuire, Donald McKenzie, Julia Simpson, Catherine Hoff, Violet Higgins,

Back Row (L-R) ??, ??, ??, Gladys, ??, Henry Bollig, Anna Hoff, Josephine Bollig, Reva Lovin

Not pictured – Teacher, Stella Carmichael McConchie
Upper Turkville – Late 1920’s





2 Wooden buildings used at Upper Turkville

The one in the front was used as the Kindergarten building in 1958-59 school year; by then the back one had been removed. The playground was to the north/backside of the wooden building, the red/buff brick building was located to the east (this side of the wooden building) which the grades 1 through 8 used.



This was the 1958-59 Upper Turkville Kindergarten Class going on their first train ride on May 25, 1959 in Ellis County, KS.

L-R: Kenny Benedict, Philip Craig, Janice Schmidt, Judy Arnold, Susan MacDonald,

Kathy Slimmer (not part of class), Jackie Slimmer


Red/Buff Brick Turkville School built 1940’s(still standing 2004)

It was used as the Turkville Bar for a few years and then sold and is now a home -2009



This was provided by James Rasmussen-related to the Rasmussen’s, Finch’s and Schechter’s listed on the card



District # 17 – Sleepy Hollow (SE SE SE/4 29-11-20) (Now known as the junction corner of Sleepy Hollow Road & Ellis Ave)


1905 Map of Township 11s Range 20w Ellis County, KS

Showing location of school on M. Goodscneck land, (29-11-20)

Corner intersection of Sleepy Hollow Rd & Ellis Ave today.


District # 20 – (Lower Turkville) Saline Valley (S/2 11-11-17)

The school closed forever at the end of the 1961-62 school year.

(Gary & Barbara Anderson Home on Saline River Rd)

The first school building was located on the very west end of what was the school yard. The next building was located just to the east of that (west of the Anderson home now). This wooden building was moved to the NR Slimmer farm to be used as a garage on their farm, when the red brick building was built. A blackboard that hangs in the Slimmer home now, was part of the slate blackboard out of the school building. Built approx. 1928-1935 time frame by Oliver Slimmer (he brought his youngest son with him, Donald Keith Slimmer). This was a red brick building, which is still standing today. It is the west part of the Anderson home, which they use for storage; Barb Anderson painted each brick a tan/buff color after 1989. In the 1940’s a wooden building was added to the east of this brick building, the upper grades used the brick and the lower grades used the wooden structure, which also had the stage area. A hallway which included the bathrooms and furnace room connected the two buildings. The basement located under the brick side was used as the lunch room. The school was renamed from Lower Turkville to Saline Valley in 1948-49 by vote.


1905 Map Township 11s Range 17w Ellis County, KS

Showing the school located on E.E. Wasson land (11-11-17), today located ½ mile

East from the intersection of Saline River Rd & Codell Ave.


Lower Turkville (Saline Valley) 1930-31 School

(still trying to identify the students) the student 2nd from the right on the front row is Myrl Slimmer



Saline Valley School 1960-61

Back L-R:Mrs. Christine Hayes, Daryl Black, Dean Stein, Monte Cross, Toni Wood, Linda Arnold, Mardi Wood, Mrs. Carol Heinzes

Middle L-R: Frankie Olds, Donna Hall, Scotty Stein, Carla Cheney, Vicki Benedict

Front L-R: Karen Axelson, Jackie Slimmer, Gary Hall, Judy Arnold, Kenny Benedict




1894 Lower Turkville School Card (a.k.a.-Saline Valley School)

(Provided by James Rasmussen, related to the Gumble’s, Wasson’s, Finch’s, Russell’s listed on the card)

1896-1897 Lower Turkville School Card (a.k.a.-Saline Valley School)- This card was Viola Gumble’s

(Provided by James Rasmussen, who was related to the Gumble’s, Finch’s, Wasson’s that are listed on the card)


District # 21 – (Union Valley) Dean School ½ mile south from the intersection of Saline River Road & 250th Ave/Dean Hill Ave. or 1 mile west of Hwy 183, then ½ mile south on Dean Hill Ave./250th Ave in 15-11-18


1905 Map of Township 11 s Range 18w in Ellis County, Kansas

Showing location of the School on P.J. Deane land, the road to the

West or your left use to be Hwy 183 between Plainville & Hays



District # 31 – Cottonwood Grove ½ mile south from the intersection of Saline River Rd & 130th Ave. 16-11-20


1905 Map of Township 11s Range 20w Ellis County, KS showing

the location of the school on Hannah Lynd land, located ½ mile south

of intersection Saline River Rd & 130th Ave today.


District # 38 - Mt. Hope (Bowlby) (moved west, to intersection of Riverview Rd & 370th Ave –became Craig School, union school # 5

District # 39 – Albrecht (moved east to intersection of Riverview Rd & 370th Ave) –became Craig School, union school # 5

Craig Schoolhouse Foundation of Craig 2003

Three schools in the northeast Ellis County eventually became part of the Natoma school system (Osborne County), those being Dist. #35 Blue Hill, Dist. 38 Mt Hope (Bowlby) and Dist. 39 Craig (Albrecht). Even though the Blue Hill School (location today is the intersection of 330th Ave & Severin Rd) was not actually located in the Saline River Valley, I felt that it did need to be mentioned here. Originally Dist 35 covered the north ½ of Township 12 Range 16, which would have included those children/families living in that part of the Saline River Valley. Dist 38 covered the East ½ of Township 11 Range 16 and Dist 39 covered the West ½ of Township 11 Range 16.

These schools were a little confusing; In going through the 1905 maps below is what I found:

Located Section 26 Township 11s Range 16w –today 1 mile south of intersection 390th Ave & Wiles Rd and then ½ mile west from the end of 390th Ave.


Located Section 21 Township 11s Range 16w – today located on the south side of the curve

Of the corner of 360th Ave & Riverview Rd.


These two schools above combined and became Union # 5 Craig School, which when it closed the doors the schoolhouse was located at the intersection of

Riverview Rd & 370th Ave. in the corner of SE/4 21-11-16.


District # 52 – Riverview – was located on a bluff overlooking the Saline River & the valley it ran in (SE/4 17-11-19)






1905 Map Township 11s Range 19w Ellis County, KS

located on August Giinther land (17-11-19) across the road from Wiles Post Office

today it would be the intersection of 180th Ave & Riverview


School Location Maps




Page created by Jackie Slimmer Langholz

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