Burlingame Historical Preservation Society, Inc. 

 

 Burlingame Schuyler Museum

    117 S. Dacotah  --  P. O. Box 74

    Burlingame, KS  66413     785-654-3170

                                                         Email: museum@burlingamemuseum.org

                                                                                                                             

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District # 2  -- Superior School

Two miles south of Burlingame on U.S. Highway 56, at the northwest corner of the intersection with 189th Street resides the Superior school house. While this was not the first or only school to serve the community of Superior, it was the last. It’s been her home for the last 119 years. It was in spring of 1950, 64 years ago, the last students left the building.

The school site was deeded to School District No. 2 on August 1, 1868, from D.B. Burdick, first sheriff of Osage County. By August of 1894 the school at that location needed many repairs and some thought was in an unsafe condition. A bond election was held and it was decided to build a new school. Work commenced and the second week of December that year the new building greeted it first students.

Superior was the first town and the county seat in what was then Weller County.

J. M. Winchell, for one, helped establish Superior, which included 640 acres for its plat. Before Osage County was organized Winchell succeeded in introducing it as a strong candidate for capital of Kansas, only being two votes behind Topeka.

Weller County was renamed Osage County March 11, 1859. It was also 1859 when a tornado left but little more than a name to Superior, which was virtually the end of its existence. Postal records indicate a post office was established March 4, 1859, and was discontinued Sept. 9, 1862. Superior was significant in our history, though it was short-lived.

If walls could talk, what stories would they tell?

Surely they would reveal the names of all the many children who attended the school, including children from generations of the Buek, Markley, Croucher, Mings, Mitchell, Mills and Wight families. There would be stories of the political meetings, Sunday school classes, temperance rallies, neighborhood gatherings and school fund raisers that also occurred there. We’d hear of the challenges of the teachers to teach the children of various age levels and the varied other tasks the teacher was responsible to do. We would learn their names, if they were local or if they were from another place and stayed with a family within the district during the school session. How long was each session of school held? What were the songs the children sang and what games did they play? So many stories …

Today Superior School is all that remains as evidence of the location of the town of Superior. In keeping with Burlingame Historical Preservation Society’s mission, plans are underway to save the school.

The building is in better condition than most of the few other remaining country schools in the county. Still, having only minimal maintenance since the school closed, much deterioration has occurred and considerable repairs are necessary. The project will consist of replacing all of the windows, repainting the outside of the building and metal roof, repairing the porch foundation, floor, support posts, and shingling the porch and belfry. The projected cost is estimated at $15,000.

It is BHPS’s hope the community and county as a whole will rally behind this project. Donations are needed and will be acknowledged with the donor’s name on a plaque to be permanently displayed at the school.

Donations may be sent to BHPS, P. O. Box 74, Burlingame, KS 66413. Cash donations are imperative, but donations of materials, supplies and equipment are also needed.

Volunteers are also needed to help complete the necessary work, which includes the prep work and painting, porch work and shingling. Anyone wishing to volunteer is asked to call 785-654-3561 to find out how they can help.

 

 

  

   

Last updated:  August 9, 2014
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