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Central High School
Central High School
TitleCentral High School
DescriptionPostcard of Central High School
Historical ArticleOne of Kansas City's oldest school properties, New Central High at the southeast corner of 11th and Locust streets is pictured on a postcard, mailed in 1909 to Miss Gladys Brown, Atchison, Kan.

The Board of Education first opened Central High School in rented property, Sept. 17, 1867, on the first floor of the small Starke building, at the same location. Kansas City owned no public school buildings at the time and had no money to erect them. Classes were held in old deserted buildings, unoccupied store rooms and damp gloomy basements, notes Carrie Whitney's History of Kansas City.

In 1868 the school board bought the Starke building and in 1883 a new school building was erected, the first section of Central High, as shown on the right side of the picture. (My mother, Kate Fisher, later a school teacher in Rosedale, Kan., graduated here in the late '80s.)

In 1882 the Starke building was torn down and the four-story red brick structure with the tower, as shown, was built.

The school boasted many nationally known figures as graduates: Gladys Swarthout, lyric soprano; William Powell, movie star, and baseball's Casey Stengel among them. Well remembered are the good basketball teams of both boys and girls.

When Central High moved south in 1915 to its present location at Linwood and Indiana, the old 11th street facility became the home of the Polytechnic Institute and Junior College.

It was later razed and used as a parking lot. Today the historic site of this early public high school is occupied by the Municipal Courts building.

The postcard was published in color by the Elite Postcard Co., of Kansas City.

Kansas City Times
February 27, 1987

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