Corbin School - Erected 1909

Corbin was home to LaRue and me for our grade school and high school years. Except for a year in North Dakota for LaRue, we both took all 8 grades in Corbin. LaRue recently reminded me that during his year of absence I wrote letters describing what had happened in the movie serials that we both had begun watching at the Ritz Theater in Caldwell. For grades 2 thru 4 our teacher was Ruby K. Martin. She was tough, but we learned a lot. Gwen [Williams] Rice was my 1st grade teacher.

Dr. John Miles offers the following: "I came across your web page on Corbin Kansas. I thought you’d like this excerpt about Corbin, from something my great-aunt wrote for a celebration in Wellington on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1984. She is telling a story about my grandmother, Odie Wimer McKnight, who was born in 1877. The school must have been a predecessor to the one you mention. My great aunt Lena (the author) lived to be 107, and her sister Odie (my grandmother and the teacher in the story) lived to be 104." The letter referenced follows:

School History
Compiled by Amy Lungren Shofner

The history of schooling in the area goes back to 1878. Schools in the township were Spring Creek, District #36 (section 15); Stony Point, District 50, (Section 25); Franklin, District 132 (section 11); Falls Center District 70 (Section 33); Pleasant Prairie, District 116 (Section20); and Corbin District 170 (Section 6) which was first recorded in 1885 and District 114 (Section 4, town of Corbin) with first records beginning in 1901. Lone Star, north of Corbin was District 164 and located on Section 26 and Antioch, District152 was located on Section 26. In 1885, the first record for Corbin District 170 listed 52 students under the age of 16. This school was one mile south and one mile west of Corbin.

In 1909, a strong red brick structure was built in Corbin, which housed grades 1-10. Hazel Madison Staley started in 1909 or 1910. Her class was referred to as the “Primer Class” which was pre-1st grade. Many of the outlying rural schools had consolidated to the Corbin School by the mid-thirties. The high school classes were held upstairs in two classrooms—some Corbin High School graduates were: Hazel Madison, Woodrow Lile, Lester Watts, Theo Smith, Leo Cox . The last year for high school in Corbin was 1928.The school was supervised by the County School Superintendent who came from Wellington on regular visits. The students going to further high school attended grades 11-12 at Caldwell High School.

Caldwell Messenger Flashback: January 29, 1936.
The Corbin schoolhouse caught fire at 2:35 p.m. today, but through the valiant efforts of a bucket brigade, the flames were extinguished without irreparable loss to the red brick building. Smoke handicapped the fire fighters. All of the pupils were marched to safety a moment after the stove upstairs exploded about 2:35 p.m. The stove was heavily stoked with coal, preparing to heat a room for an entertainment tonight.

During the 1930’s a school bus took the students to school in Caldwell. Ollie Stonehocker was the driver of the school bus. It was a truck chasis/cab with the addition of an enclosed bed with seats. Entry was in the rear. There was no heat in the bus.

A hot lunch room was created in the south room on the upper floor prior to the 1948-49 school year. Lunches were $.25. This school was the only rural school in a large area that had a hot lunch program. Louise Hess was the cook the entire time the school served hot lunches and the custodian for many years was A.O.Lile. In the last several years, teachers came and went but these two employees continued with the school. Corbin school was closed in the mid 60’s when the state unification went into effect.


Click on a photo to enlarge it.

Corbin School - 1912
Corbin School Bus - 1933
Corbin School - ca 1930
Corbin School - 1937 Gr. 1-4
Corbin School - 1938 Gr. 1-4
Corbin School - 1938 Gr. 5-8
Grade 8 1939-40
Corbin School Kids ca 1940
Corbin Play - 1937
Corbin School 1948-49
Grades 1-4 1948-49 Ruby K. Martin
Grades 5-8 1948-49 Irene Lawrence
            End of School photos
Corbin School 1930 Ina Rymph
Bresser School - early 1900's

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