Skip To Main Content

School History

Rosedale 1885-1973 Graduates Listings prepared by Lawrence R. Rollins (Feb, 2002) from the old school library index card files and from class yearbooks.  Our sincere gratitude for this contribution.

William G. Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas, 1883

The Junior High Schools of Kansas City, Kansas 
by R. L. Lyman, University of Chicago

The History of the Music Program in the Public Schools of the Rosedale District of Kansas City, Kansas, 1872-1973 
by Suzanne H. Elliott (includes history of Rosedale area)

The Winding Valley and The Craggy Hillside
A History of the City of Rosedale, Kansas by Margaret Landis.
Copyright 1976. Reproduced on the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library
web site with permission from Ms. Landis.

Architectural Analysis – Public School Buildings (New/Additions) by David B. Peterson – 1925-1937

The name “Rosedale” evolved as the area was hills and dales covered with wild roses.

Part of history taken from pages 29-36 of “The Winding Valley and The Craggy Hillside”, A History of the City of Rosedale, Kansas by Margaret Landis, Kansas City, Kansas, 1976

The High School Department was organized in 1884 under Professor George E. Rose, Superintendent of the Rosedale, Kansas Schools.

The High School Classes were held in a couple of rooms in the “Public School” (Whitmore) located at Kansas City Avenue and Florence Avenue with a few students.

In 1886, the first class of seven pupils graduated. These graduates were qualified to enter any state school without having to take an examination. The graduating classes were not large nor was there a graduating class each year prior to 1905. The Commencement Exercises were held at McGeorge’s Hall and the Henning Avenue Methodist Church.

The high school had only a three-year course until the year 1903, when the course was changed and the school was made a qualified High School. The course of study was composed of history, language, mathematics, English, and one or two of the sciences. The faculty was composed of 3 teachers.

Albert Marty gave the City of Rosedale the high school site on Hill and Bluff Streets, east of Southwest Boulevard. The high school was built in 1906 at a cost of $25,000 on one of the loftiest hills in Rosedale. (Note: See the picture at the left of the steps that led up the bluff to Rosedale High School – Mount Marty.)

In 1913 Rosedale voted School Bonds in the amount of $28,000 for an East wing to the High School building to serve as a Gymnasium and for other Departments. At this time there were 59 girls and 56 boys enrolled.

Athletics and gymnasium work at Rosedale High received their impetus when the Gymnasium or Annex was built in the summer of 1913.

Before the Gym was built, basketball practice and games were played at the old Henning Avenue Methodist Church building (1909), Bell’s Hall (1911), and Hocker Grove Skating Rink (4-mile trip on the interurban street car). In 1912 there were two boys basketball teams. Girls basketball first started in 1912 with two girls teams.

Track played an important role in athletics at Rosedale High. The first Indoor Inter-Class Track Meet was held in 1914. In 1916, tennis was another popular sport at R.H.S.

Football games were played at the Rosedale Ball Park (South Rosedale Ave and St. Charles Street) before the Athletic Field was completed in 1921-22. Football teams were organized from “absolutely new material” after an absence of four years. (World War I period)

World War I: The High School Service Flag had 65 stars representing not only for teachers or graduates of Rosedale High School but for some who were attending school. It hung in the Assembly Hall.

There were 61 Blue starts – 2 Gold Stars for Arthur Davis and Lee Magee – 2 Silver Starts for Leslie Hagamann and Fred Phillips.

George E. Rose (1855-1938)

Mr. Rose served several different terms as Superintendent of the Schools of Rosedale, Kansas. The High School Department was organized under Prof. Rose in 1884.

“In 1886, the citizens of Rosedale presented Mr. Rose with a Life Membership in the National Education Association. The presentation was made at the graduation of the first senior class from the Rosedale High School.”

Mr. Rose served the school of Wyandotte County, Kansas for thirty-three years as a teacher, principal, or superintendent. His booklets and verses were widely adapted to school courses.

Armon P. Vaughn (1855-1935)

Mr. Vaughn came to Rosedale in 1907. He served as principal at the Columbian School for one year and two years at the High School. He served as Superintendent of the Rosedale Schools until Rosedale became a part of Kansas City, Kansas. In 1922, he became Supervisor of the schools in the Rosedale District.

Mr. Vaughn later returned to the High School as a mathematics teacher until his retirement. He was an Educator for fifty-three years.

1922 – Land was purchased for the site of the Rosedale Memorial Arch and Athletic Field on Mount Marty.

1925 – The sport of golf was started at Rosedale.

The new Rosedale High School, dedicated March 18, 1927, was erected at a cost of $160,000. The dedication address was given by Dr. E. H. Lindley, Chancellor of the University of Kansas.  One of the finest high schools in the state of Kansas, the new building is just across from the old building. The basement, three floors and the gymnasium bleachers show five floors. The original school building built in 1906 was razed in 1927.

1927 – This was the first year that 7th grade pupils from Whitmore, Columbian, Maccochaque, Snow and Noble Prentis attended school on Mount Marty . This was the starting of the Rosedale Junior-Senior High School .

The Kansas City, Kansas Public Library, Rosedale Branch was opened in the new Rosedale High School building at 36th and Springfield on March 15, 1927. It served the Senior and Junior High School and also the public in the Rosedale District. Miss Evelyn Stanton was the librarian in charge.

In Retrospect, various new departments and subjects were added:

1908 – Art Department established.

1909 – Rosedale Society of Debate was founded as a Boys Debating Organization. Later the Beta Beta Literary Society, a girls organization, was formed for Debate and Parliamentary Law.

1911 – Manual Training was started.

1913 – Science Department: Agriculture, Domestic Science, and Physics. Art Department: Domestic and Mechanical Art as well as Fine Music.

1922 – Rosedale High School Parent-Teachers Association was organized. In the Fall, “The Rosedalian”, the school paper, was founded.

1923 – The Chemistry Department was added. A full line of equipment was purchased.

1925 – The school had the honor of having a chapter of the National Honor Society.

1929 – In the spring of 1929, the football field was sodded. The Stadium was built at a cost of approximately $10,000. Section B and the cinder track was finished.

1937 – Rosedale’s stadium was enlarged in 1937 with WPA aid.

1951 Flood – At 3:30 a.m., Sunday, July 15, extreme fire hazards in the Southwest Blvd area required new evacuation of residents and the Major Hudson School was opened.  At 4:10 a.m. the Rosedale High School was opened to accommodate those on the south side of the area.  Rosedale High School was closed after about two days of operation.  No feeding was done in the school and the cafeteria was not opened.  Major Hudson later dropped to a census of twenty-two and these people were moved to Prescott and Douglass.

December 1955 – Construction of a new addition to the School Building – A second story addition that included 8 classrooms.

1956:  The oldest of the buildings was razed to make room for music, journalism, mechanical arts, and drawing rooms.  A double gym would serve two classes at one time.  The old building was built extensively remodeled.  A one-story building of two classrooms would connect the two buildings.  Bennett Construction Company planned to have the school ready by November, 1956.

A physics room and a biology room were added in 1959. The additions were at the West side of the High School Building that was built in 1927. The buildings were joined at the West Entrance.

The Gymnasium was located on the land where the original high school was built in 1906 and the Annex in 1913. The first section of the Stadium was built in 1929.

With the 1973-74 school term, the school facilities at Rosedale became the Rosedale Junior-Senior High School instead of Rosedale High School.

Rosedale High School Graduates

School Bldg Years Graduates
Whitmore (Public) School 1884-1906 57
High School 1907-26 458
New Building 1927-54 2165
Addition (West) 1955-72 2136

As Rosedale, Kansas (1884-1922), Rosedale High School had 350 graduates.

Fall – 1977: In early 1977, the district received a decision from the United States District Court which did not require major and mandatory relocation of students, but did require the desegregation of Northeast Junior and Sumner High Schools.  That decision had been appealed to the Tenth Circuit of the Federal Courts by the Department of Justice in the hope of securing a ruling to require a “racial balance” in all schools.  Such a decision would have required the mandatory relocation of thousands of students by a system of cross-districting busing.  At this point, only voluntary racial balance transfers were required at the elementary school level.  Northeast Junior High was to be closed and its students and teachers reassigned to other schools.  Sumner was to be converted to an academic magnet school in 1978.  A committee of parents had spent the previous four months working through meetings to assure the smooth integration of pupils from Northeast Junior into Central, Rosedale, Argentine, Arrowhead and Eisenhower.  Sumner Academy of Arts and Science was scheduled to open in September, 1978, as part of the desegregation plan.  “Schools in KCKs in Years of Change, 1964-86,” by O. L. Plucker, Superintendent Emeritus, June, 1987 (pg. 50-52)

2002:  Voters approved a proposed $120 million bond issue at the Municipal Election Tuesday (April 3, 2001) to air-condition schools, improve technology, and make other upgrades to schools and public libraries. Rosedale was part of Phase II, which was completed in the summer of 2002.

1884 – 1927: Rosedale High School
1927 – 1973 – Rosedale Jr-Sr High School
1972 – Present – Rosedale Middle School