EDWARD J. DUMOND. The record of Garden City as a modern school center might be mainly told in connection with the name of Edward J. Dumond, superintendent of the city schools and also in charge of the county high school. His direction of the local educational establishment has occupied the past five years, and in 1907 he first became connected with the city schools.
Mr. Dumond was born in Woodson County, Kansas, near the Village of Rose, on October 10, 1869. He belongs to a pioneer family in Western Kansas, and his own memory serves him to recall most of the trials and hardships connected with the development of this section of the state. Aside from a common school training he acquired his higher education chiefly in the Kansas State Normal, where he finished his course in 1897. He took both high school and college work there, and also his training for teaching. He became a teacher in the country schools of Woodson County and first did grade school work at Neosho Falls for one year. The next year he was principal of schools at Toronto, and from there came to the western end of the state. Several years Mr. Dumond was principal of the Spearville schools, and while there worked as an instructor in teachers' institutes. Then coming to Garden City he was made principal of the ward school and the next year was promoted to principal of high school, a position he held for five years. In 1913 his work as a school man and administrator was recognized by the board of education when he was appointed superintendent of city schools.
About the time he became principal of the local high school the county high school under the Barnes Law was established, and he was given the additional responsibility of directing the work of that school. He served both principalships until his election as city superintendent. When Mr. Dumond came to Garden City the school facilities comprised a couple of buildings, the Garfield School and the South Side building. The force of teachers was sixteen in number, and they looked after not only the grades but also the high school branches. The first new school building, the present high school, had just been completed when Mr. Dumond became superintendent. A feature of the work of this building was domestic science and the manual training department, under special teachers. In 1912 the junior high school was established and about this time a semi-department of high school work was begun under special teachers. The Garden City School playgrounds are under the direction of special playground supervisors. The rest or recess periods are distributed throughout the day, so that only a part of the pupils are in the open at one time. This change has proven very beneficial, since it removes a cause for friction among pupils and also lightens the responsibilities of teachers.
At the present time the teaching force of the Garden City schools comprises a staff of thirty-five, while the graduating classes runs between thirty and forty annually. Under the State Normal Training Law the graduates of that department are clothed with a normal certificate, a two year renewable certificate, entitling the holder to teach without further examination except the final one. One distinction won by this school in the matter of normal training is that during eight years of its work only one pupil failed to pass a successful examination. The schools furnish about ten rural teachers every year, but all graduates of the normal department do some teaching while under training.
In 1917 the growth and needs of the city schools brought about a bond issue for three new buildings, to provide two ward schools and the building for the junior high school. The bond issue is for $60,000. Including the cost of the new buildings now under construction the value of school property at Garden City is $150,000.
Since his graduation from the State Normal School Mr. Dumond has put in every summer in institute work somewhere in Kansas. For ten years he has been a member of the County Examining Board of Finney County, and has been especially active in the work of the Southwestern Teachers Association, of which at different times he has served as president. He is also a member of the State Teachers Association. Mr. Dumond is looked upon as a fixture in the affairs of Garden City, and is a director of the People's State Bank and a director of the Garden City Building and Loan Association. He is also one of the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
His parents, John W. and Addie (Darst) Dumond, were both born in Ohio, near the City of Cincinnati. They became acquainted in Lake County, Indiana, and were married there in 1866, soon afterward making the trip to Kansas in a covered wagon. They took up a claim in Woodson County, and went through all the hardships incident to pioneer times. One time John W. Dumond left his claim and went to Lawrence, Kansas, to find work on the railroad during the construction of a portion of the Santa Fe. With his wages he bought flour and other food commodities necessary to support the family. Drought periods then affected Eastern Kansas almost as they have Western Kansas since then, and forty or fifty years ago it was very difficult for a poor man to make a living anywhere in this state. John W. Dumond died in 1872, when about thirty-one years of age. He was a soldier, having enlisted in the Ninety-ninth Indiana Regiment of Infantry. He was with Sherman's army on its brilliant march to the sea, and at the close of the war took part in the Grand Review at Washington. At his death he left three sons, and all of them continued in Woodson County and worked with the mother on the home farm until they were grown and educated. Professor Dumond thus acquired a practical knowledge of agriculture and in some respects he feels that he is as much of a farmer as he is an educator. His older brother, Frank J., is a merchant at Yates Center, Kansas, while the younger brother, Fred A., is a wholesale hay dealer at Rose, Kansas. The mother of these sons married for her second husband D. V. Dow, and has two daughters: Mrs. Susie Ruehlen, now deceased, and Mrs. Estella Barber, of Ford County, Kansas. Professor Dumond's mother died at Spearville, Kansas, in 1916, at the age of sixty-nine.
Mr. E. J. Dumond married at Spearville, Kansas, March 4, 1902, Miss Katherine Shelly. Mrs. Dumond was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but was reared in Western Kansas, graduating from the Spearville School and was a teacher before her marriage. Her father, Urias L. Shelly, is a Pennsylvanian German and was for many years a farmer in Ford County, Kansas. Mrs. Dumond was one of eight children. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Dumond are Lester A., Vernon L., Edward Ivan, Elmer Fauntleroy and Harold Shelly. Lester A. has the distinction of being perhaps the youngest accredited high school graduate in Kansas, having finished his course in the Garden City High School in May after his fourteenth birthday the preceding December. He was employed by the Garden City Sugar & Land Company for one year since graduation and is now in the State Agricultural College at Manhattan.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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