Hobart Schools, District 1

The first school in Hobart was a private school started in 1901 by Mrs. Alie B. Foster. She had 12 students and classes were held in a tent. It was financed by tuition.

At the beginning of the 1901-1902 term, there was no school room, school furniture, nor money to finance education. There were 50 students of school age at that time. The money was finally obtained with the help of a loan from Hobart National Bank, which enabled the town to build 2 school buildings at a cost of $2,500.00. The first superintendent was N. V. Smith and the first high school principal was Miss Retta Peet. In all their were 8 teachers.

An interesting fact about the first school in Hobart was there were 19 states and territories represented. The students came from Oklahoma Territory, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, California, Ohio, Nebraska, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, and Iowa, the largest group from Kansas and Texas.

In 1905 2 brick buildings as well as 2 frame buildings were in use with the enrollment of 875 students. They offered 8 grades and 4 years of high schools with separate departments of music and elocution. THe first 8th grade graduation was held june 5, 1903, with 3 graduates. The first high school class graduated in 1905, with 8 graduates, Leta Davidson, Walter Goodhue, James A. Hogan, J. B. Ritter, Clyde Keyes, Maggie Slaughter, Hazel Thayer, and James Willingham.

In 1906 the frame building was replaced by brick and later became Eugene Field. Frances Willard was built in the northwest part of town and later a high school was built, then a Junior High. The Emerson school building was built by the government using money obtained during the auction of town lots. The top 4 upper rooms were for the high school, and the lower rooms for the grades. At that time there were 100 high school students and 4 instructors.

In 1907, a junior college was established. It was first known as Hobart Junior College, then Kiowa County Junior College. There was a 2 year teacher training course, as well as 1 year courses in Agriculture, manual training, home making, pedagogy, psychology, as well as courses in grammer, spelling, reading, arithmatic, geography, psysiology, sanitation and United States History. This college ended in 1925. In 1933, there was a 2 year degree course offered and a degree of associate in arts.

By 1910 the high was moved to the new Frances Willard until the permanent high school was completed. THe new high school was first occupied in 1923. The new building was used for grades 10-12 and the Junior college. Grades 8-9 were at Eugene Field and grades 1-7 were at Frances Willard.

For many years, the Hobart District employed only one Black teacher and had an unsatisfactory building. Few puplis finished the 8th gradeand none had high school opportunity in Hobart. In the late "Twenties" the county authorities, under whom was the fiscal responsibility for all separate schools, secured a good tract of land in a much more desirable location and erected a one room building. Two more teachers were employed which afforded more advanced work to more children.

Roosevelt and Snyder transported to Hobart their high school students above the 9th grade; pupils came from both east and west of Hobart, joining residents of the district in making a high school of attractive size. In 1950 the faculty was increased, adding a teacher to the 5 employed previously. The 7 teachers in 1951-52 were increased to 8. The school year 1954-55 was the last year of Dunbar in segregated rograms. That year the state accredidation for 18 units, including 2 of homemaking, 1 of industrial arts and 2 of music. Barrack type buildings from the military bases supplemented the rooms during these years of larger program and enrollment

Copyright, 1998-2003
Return To Early Schools
Updated October 25, 2003
Background Courtesy Pat Calton

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