“Schoolmaster Stratton” and his scholars

Jacob Stratton

Jacob Stratton

Although he masqueraded as “Schoolmaster Stratton,” an early 20th Century one-room school teacher in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, Jacob Stratton was volunteering his talents as an elementary education major to rural Kansas students. 

As part of a celebration of the Flint Hills for Kansas Day 2017, Jacob taught a spelling lesson using nothing but a wooden pointer and large animal cards.  Each grade stood to recite, as they would have done 100 years ago. His students represented Kindergarten through 4th graders of Maple Hill Elementary as well as Alma Elementary School.

Jacob was happy to share his knowledge of rural Kansas and represent the Chapman Center for Rural Studies. He was a student in Dr. Morgan’s Fall 2016 Lost Kansas Communities class.

“It was exciting to have an opportunity to use what I learned in my Chapman course. And it was great to work with children on Kansas Day, especially with the focus on the Flint Hills.”

Some of the materials Jacob used were part of the “Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills” exhibit recently concluded at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. One-room schools of Wabaunsee County were represented in a detailed poster. Chalk Schoolhouse contributed mid-twentieth century activities and toys such as Jacob’s squirrel card.

“The squirrel was a hard one to spell,” he said, “but everyone did great with the bee!”