To Meade County

Fairview School

Odee Township, District 20


      Fairview School was organized and the first sod school house was built there by pioneers of Irish Flats, located about 20 miles south and a short distance west of Meade. The next house was a frame building not very large but it was the heart of the community for school and community gatherings. One incident to be recalled by some was a school Christmas program. Miss Eva Davidson was the nicely dressed Santa whose clothing became ignited from candles on the Christmas tree. A man in the crowd threw his coat around her and the fire was soon extinguished.
 
      Lively literary programs were attended by everyone near and far and there were dialogues, speeches and musical numbers.
 
      Once the teacher, Mrs. McCrellis, planned a Thanksgiving program and dinner. The women of the district gave the house a thorough cleaning. White tablecloths gleamed and tables were resplendent with large yellow paper mums made by the teacher and older girls.
 
      It was voted to move the school house about a mile south to become more centrally located for the convenience of all.
 
      Sometime around 1911 a Sunday school was organized at the school house. A lady minister, Rev. Mendenhall, had charge. She moved away but later came and conducted funeral services for Miss Elsie Gamble, a former Fairview pupil for whom Elsie Chapel Church was to be named.
 
      Last and large Fairview was built in the early '30s. It was combined with District 53 (Pleasant Valley) to the east and then Fairview building was sold. The Pleasant Valley school building now stands 15 miles south and about one-half mile west of Meade and it too is closed. Pupils come to Meade by bus. Some family names here mentioned were Fairview pupils: Busing, Barragree, Buck, Baker, Carrell, Cordes, Chapin, Cochran, Davidson, Easton, Ford, Gamble, Kimber, Keltener, Senger, Rube, Hess, Mathews, Mendenhall, Meierdierks, Hollingsworth, Sterling, Martin and Murphy.
 
      Lizzie Truhart was a teacher in the old sod building. Maggie Kolb was believed to be the first teacher in the frame building, probably in 1889. Other names as collected (not complete) are: Maggie Martin, Mrs. Abbie Bodle, Eva Walter, Emily Painter Pinnick, Foy Danks, Mrs. Lucretia Bodle McCrellis, Ola Granger, Florence Sculley, Flo Watt, Clara Carrell, Clara Bromwell, Elsie Cope, Mrs. Harold Armstrong, Mrs. Louise Hallock, Gladys Moler, Adeline Boiler Gladys Stewart, Bessie Noble, Marion Overton Paden Velman Gamble, Basil McBee, Jessie Davidson and Christina Cordes.
By Mrs. Ora E. Davidson 
 
From
Pioneer Stories of Meade County
1985
Republished with the permission and cooperation of
The Meade County Historical Society
 
Meade County small diamond Kansas History

December 15, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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