Western University.This institution, also known as Stanley Industrial Hall, is located at Ouindaro, Wyandotte county. Just before the emancipation proclamation, Sept. 22, 1862, Rev. Edwin Blatchley, a Presbyterian minister, founded a school for colored children called Freeman University, on the present site of Western University. It was maintained for some years with great effort and the dying request of its founders was that the grounds be made the seat of a school for the education of children of African descent. After Mr. Blatchley's death the colored men of Quindaro organized and appointed a board of trustees, to which the property was transferred, and the school remained under their management for some years. In 1880 T. W. Henderson, presiding elder, and Rev. B. F. Bates, the pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal church of Quindaro, had a committee of three, consisting of Revs. B. F. Watson, J. C. Embry and John Turner, appointed to confer with the trustees of the school, with a view to having the prop-[sic] turned over to the church conference. Little progress was made in the work for some years, during which time efforts were made to secure an appropriation from the state, but nothing was accomplished until the school was brought to the attention of the people by Gov. Stanley in his message to the legislature of 1899. He said: "One of the most recent movements in the state is the attempt to establish industrial schools at Quindaro for the negro. The one great need of the negro today is progress and development in the things fostered and encouraged by industrial education."
He recommended aid for the institution, which resulted in the introduction of the Bailey bill. By the provisions of this bill the 15 acres of land at Quindaro were deeded to the state, to be under the control of a board to be known as the board of seven trustees of the industrial department of Western University." Four trustees were appointed by the governor, two were elected by the board itself, and the president of the university was to be an ex-officio member. This board of trustees was to determine the branches of industry, purchase the necessary appliances, select a superintendent and prescribe his duties and authority. Section 11 of the act provided that "For the purpose of erecting a suitable building upon said land for said industrial school, there is hereby appropriated the sum of $5,000; and for the purpose of paying the running expenses of said department for the ensuing two years there is hereby appropriated an additional sum of $5,000."
The principal buildings are Stanley and Trades' halls and a main building which was completed for the school year beginning in Sept., 1901. During Gov. Bailey's administration $22,250 was appropriated by the legislature and an agricultural department was added. In 1905 an appropriation of $35,000 was made, and two years later $55,850 was appropriated for a boys' trades hall, central heating and electric lighting plant. The session of 1909 appropriated $67,000, of which $25,000 was for a girls' dormitory.
The curriculum includes a college preparatory course, a regular college course and a normal training department, while the Shaffer theological seminary is open to students preparing for the ministry. All students must be at least fourteen years of age for admission. In the industrial department courses in carpentry, architecture and mechanical drawing, printing, tailoring, wheelwright work, blacksmithing, agriculture and commercial branches usually taught in a business college are provided for the boys, while the girls may take sewing, milinery, cooking and domestic science, laundry work and music.Pages 900-902 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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