At one time or another he taught at several Gove County country schools including North Hackberry, Orion, and West Big Creek.At the latter school, he was the last teacher before the school closed about 1943.Bob Waldman told us when he visited that when he came to Grinnell Grade School as a 6th grader in the mid-1940ís, Mr. Bacon was the principal.He remembered that Mr. Bacon was a large man with huge biceps.Bob said that Mr. Bacon was a blacksmith when he wasnít teaching so he was a really strong man.The students never caused him any trouble after they watched Mr. Bacon spank one of the big 8th grade boys.(Spanking or corporal punishment was a frequent practice back then for disciplining students.)Even after all these years, Bob is still impressed.

In the records at the Gove County Register of Deedís office, the files in the Record of Graduates of Common Schools of Gove County, Kansas, Book A, page 6, of the County Superintendent show that Benjamin B. Bacon was the first person to take the County Test on March 20 and April 3 of 1897 at District 8 in Gove.He sat for the test in the following areas:Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English Grammar, Geography, U.S. History, Physiology, and Constitution.His scores for each test are listed and so is the important fact, he passed with an average standing of 88 1/9.He received his diploma on June 5, 1897.

In the book The Heritage and History of Gove County there is a listing of early Gove County School Superintendents.It lists B. B. Bacon as the County Superintendent of Schools, a Republican, from the years 1916 to 1920.The list begins in 1886 Ė 1888 with G. G. Lemher, a Republican, and ends on July 1, 1969 with Fred Crippen, also a Republican.In 1969 the office of County Superintendent was discontinued and each Unified District, ours is USD 291, hired its own Superintendent of Schools who was then directed to report of the Kansas State Board of Education in Topeka.In all, Gove County elected 19 County Superintendents of Schools, and only two were Democrats, Stella Mather and Chas. D. Wilson.

Mr. Bacon came out of retirement to teach one term at the Harmony School in Sheridan County during the school year 1950 Ė 51.Harmony School was located approximately 7 miles northeast of Grinnell.Judy Hart was a 1st grader that year.She remembers that one afternoon while Mr. Bacon was taking his daily nap after lunch the big kids took the little kids on a field trip without Mr. Baconís knowledge.They went south about a mile and crossed the Saline River which at that time was very deep in places and ran quickly during the spring.The students were on the bluff south of the river when they say Mr. Bacon driving his old Model T car looking for them.Needless to say, that night the big kids were in trouble with their parents big time, and the little kids were too for scaring Mr. Bacon.Years later she attended his funeral in 1958 at the Methodist Church in Grainfield, Kansas, the only young person there.Most of his former students were adults, parents and grandparents, by that time.Mr. B.B. Bacon is buried in the Grainfield Cemetery.To find his grave site, click on the Virtual Tour of the Gove County Cemeteries link for the Grainfield Cemetery or the Gove County Genealogical site for cemeteries, both listed on the main page.†† Back to Home

 

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