While at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Oskaloosa, Kansas I found several years of the School Children’s census. I have found school census enumerations before in other places, but those have always just included numbers. These notebooks were a great find because they include the names of the children enrolled in school.
Obviously my ancestors did not attend the modern school in the photo above. I do wonder if the school was located in the same place in Valley Falls in the 1880s. By comparing an 1899 map of the area to Google maps today, I can tell that my ancestors lived just outside of the town limits on the land. Did the kids walk into town each day?
Note the bricks in the road in the photo.. A lot of the small towns I have visited in Kansas still have brick roads. My mom tells me that every town had brick streets as she grew up in Kansas.
I found my relatives in several years of the Jefferson County School Census. I have pulled their information from the list. There are other Mitchells listed in the same school but I have not done any research yet to confirm if these are cousins.
I find it fascinating that my ancestors attended school through their teen years. It must have been a struggle to have their children in school and not farming their land. I know the family was slowly having a more difficult time with farming and finances. Moses and Mary Mitchell would sell their land in April 1889 and move to the Arkansas City area. Education must have been a priority in the family.
The notebooks I found were titled:
Jefferson County Kansas School Children’s Census
Extracted from original records at Register of Deeds Office and typed by Joy (Ward) Hill, alphabetically sorted and printed by Richard Wellman.
1883 Valley Falls School, District 016
*I am not sure why Henry Mitchell is not listed. He was 4 years older than the twins and three years younger than Laura.
1884 Valley Falls School, District 16
1886 Valley Falls School, District 16
1887 Valley Falls School, District 16
1888 Valley Falls School, District 16
*Henry finally appears.
1889 Valley Falls School, District 16