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Miss Barstow's School
Miss Barstow's School
TitleMiss Barstow's School
DescriptionPostcard of Miss Barstow's School
Historical ArticleMiss Barstow's School, No.15 Westport Avenue, located in the orchard of Kearney Heights (opposite the Baltimore Avenue intersection) is pictured on a postcard of about 1910. It occupied a 350-foot frontage on what is today Westport Road and 235 feet on 40th Street.

The colonial structure designed by Adriance Van Brunt and painted yellow, trimmed in white, was the school's third location and its first real home. It was occupied by the school from 1898 until 1924.

This oldest private school for girls in Kansas City came into being in 1884 when a group of civic leaders who realized the need for such a school induced two young graduates of Wellesley College to come out and grow up with the West, Miss Ada Brann and Miss Mary L.C. Barstow. They founded the school in one room of a Quality Hill residence at 12th and Broadway. It was first known as Miss Brann's School.

The civic leaders, who served on the school's board of directors, were Dr. Henry Hopkins, A.R. Meyer, Gardiner Lathrop, Charles F. Morse and William R. Nelson.

The initial enrollment was five pupils. Miss Barstow taught Latin and geometry and Miss Brann geography and English. Later the school moved to quarters at 13th and Washington Streets.

About the time the school moved to the Westport building (pictured) Miss Brann resigned and returned to Massachusetts to be married. Miss Barstow carried on as headmistress and issued a new catalogue titled Day & Home School, No. 15 Westport Avenue. The catalogue told parents that the school building was heated throughout with steam and has approved systems of sanitation and ventilation. The assembly and classrooms are large and have sunny exposures.

In a few years the institution had earned a high place among preparatory schools of the country. Pupils were admitted on certificate from Barstow to Smith, Vassar, Radcliffe and Wellesley.

Another move was made in 1924 to a large new residence of English design in the Rockhill District at 50th and Cherry. There the school remained until 1961. Today the school is in its fifth location, at 11511 State Line. Michael Churchman is headmaster and Nancy Thiessen admissions and information director. The school will hold its centennial celebration party May 19. Anne Sutton Canfield, Barstow '63, supplied the card.

Kansas City Times
May 11, 1984


Correction: Because of a writer's error, it was incorrectly stated in the Postcard from Old Kansas City text in The Times Friday that the Barstow School is the oldest private school for girls in Kansas City. St. Teresa Academy was established at 11th and Washington by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet in 1866. Barstow was opened in 1884.

Kansas City Times
May 17, 1984

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
LocationSC58
Local SubjectSchools
Barstow School
Digital FormatJPEG
Barcode20000606
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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