Built in 1900 for the community of Clearfield, KS, this historic school building is now on the National Register of Historic Places.


Hours

Due to restoration of the building, the Clearfield School is currently not open for public viewing.

Email: wrightlr@embarqmail.com
Office phone: 785-883-4178
Mobile #1: 785-760-2269
Mobile #2: 785-766-0494

Contact Information

2162 N 600 Road
Baldwin City, KS 66006
Phone: 785-883-4178

Location Type

National Register of Historic Places

Site Info

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1853 The Clearfield area, South of Eudora, KS and not far from the banks of Captain’s Creek, began to take shape as German settlers came to the area which had been inhabited by the Shawnee Indian nation. This was a predominantly German-speaking community. Many of the settlers raised sheep at that time.

1854 Kansas becomes a territory.

1856 The Battle of Black Jack, a few miles South and West of Clearfield occurred.

1858 Clearfield Church began as a class established by circuit rider, Rev. Fleisher, and they met in member’s homes.

1860’s Clearfield School (then called Union School) began in a log cabin about a mile east of the current location. Later, possibly 1890, weather-boarding was nailed over the logs, making the structure more weather-tight. The building was said to be used for all community functions.

1861 Kansas becomes a state.

1861-1865 American Civil War

1863 Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence

1871 The Clearfield Cemetery is established.

1880 The current Clearfield Church was built. It began as an Evangelical Church. The early building is the sanctuary portion of the current church building, located at 597 E. 2200 Rd., Eudora, KS.

1885 Clearfield, Kansas, now a large community with a post office, store, blacksmith shop and many other businesses, was officially organized and named after Clearfield, Pennsylvania. The town was at the current location of County Road 1061 and North 600 Road, in Palmyra Township.

1903 The current school building replaced the log structure and remained a half mile east of the Clearfield Church. At some point, the number of students was said to be in the area of 100.

1907 The school was moved a mile west, to its current location, a half mile W. of Clearfield Church. Rollers and steam tractors were used to move it.
As Clearfield School was moved West a mile, another school, Pleasant Oak, was built about a mile to the East and therefore, the large school population was divided up.

1907 The Clearfield Grange #1451 was established and they met at the school. At one time at least, membership reached 160. Records are stored at Clearfield School.

1914 World War 1 began in Europe.

1917 A balcony and bell tower were added to the church as attendance grew.

1918 The Clearfield area began to switch from German to English.

1939 – 1945 World War II was a turning point for this community as, by then, the use of the German language had pretty much disappeared in the area.

1946 The last class was held at Clearfield School due to consolidation. The students were sent to school in Baldwin City.

1951 The Clearfield Grange took ownership of the building which had been unused as a school for 5 years or so and continued to meet there.

1991 The Clearfield Community Historical Society was formed and the few remaining Grange members voted to pass the ownership to them as their common goal was to save the beautiful, well-built, building.

2013 The Clearfield School was placed on the State and National Registries of Historic Places.

2014 A major interior and exterior renovation was completed. In the future, the major goal is to replace the now missing bell and bell tower as shown in early photographs.

It was nominated for the national register as part of the Historic Public Schools of Kansas multiple property nomination for its significance in the areas of education and architecture, described as Queen Anne and Stick style with ornamental windows and fishscale siding. The Historical Society has seen to it that much of the restoration work to bring it back to its original splendor has been done.

Documents

National Register of Historic Places - Download (9 KB)

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