Bichet School District 34, Florence, KS

There was a time in Kansas history, when a one room school house was built in almost every township, approximately 3 miles apart.  They stood on an acre of ground donated by a farmer and built with public funds.  Low enrollment and consolidation forced the closing of Kansas’ one room school houses in the 1950’s and 60’s.

The Bichet School District 34 was built in 1896.  Along with the one room school house, are two outhouses and a stone cave, all constructed of native limestone.  Two students were attending the Bichet School when it closed in 1946.  The school served the French settlement 4 miles east of Florence, KS.  The Bichet School District 34 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.DSC01930DSC01933DSC02217DSC02212DSC01937DSC01929


5 thoughts on “Bichet School District 34, Florence, KS

  1. rogerringer

    One correction. The school grounds were not donated by local farmers. In every township there was a section called the “School Section”. It was where the school houses were originally to be located. The income off of the schools were to be for the support of the schools. When the ground was sold the income was supposed to go to the school district. There were a lot of things that changed but many of the sections has a small stone marker somewhere that names the school section. In Morton Township in Sedgwick County one of the schools were stolen by the school board and moved at night to a location that the majority of the school board thought was better situated. There was apparently some opposition to the move. We used to live catwompus from the Grand River Township school section. On it was where the old Lutheran Church, School, Cemetery, and Rectory were located. The stone was on the corner last I remember. But we have been gone 10 years from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra Farmer Post author

      Thanks for all the information!! I do so admire you and the wealth of knowledge you have on Kansas history. I’d much rather just take the photos. I bet you were a wonderful student, I was the one sitting there daydreaming. I like the time better when each township had their own school. It’s nice to see that so many counties are marking where each school use to stand. The school my mother attended Victory, was also one that was moved as some thought it would be better at their desired location. It’s still standing!!
      Give my best to your family. I always pray for y’all when there are fires in your area. Thankful for the moisture we’ve been receiving!


      1. rogerringer

        Looking at the tests that was required of 8th graders from those days there are few seniors that could pass them today. It has always been recognized that small class size and personal attention has better results. Yet everything is get bigger and more massive and more expensive. Is it any wonder that the top 15 percentile of students tested in Kansas each year are home schooled. I was fortunate to have 2 teachers that fired my interest in history that lasts to this day. There are so many history teachers I meet that are uninspiring and only looking for the test results and not real learning or teaching the true story but the sanctioned versions of history that throw good kids way off track.


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