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1916 - One-room frame portable built on corner of 14th and Armstrong, an old athletic field. It contained the first grade taught by Mrs. Stella Goodwin.  This was sometimes referred to as the "No Name" School.

1917 - Second portable added. Second grade taught by Miss Esther Erickson under administration of Miss Margaret Small, principal of Lowell.

1921 - Lowell Annex detached from Lowell. To 14th and Tauromee as school in its' own right (McKinley).

Ground purchased on northeast corner of 14th and Tauromee (Grandview Blvd). Two portables built.

1922 - August:  New building erected and named McKinley in honor of President William McKinley. One-story, red brick.

1909-1925 - Rose/Peterson, Architects - Much sparer in overall design are ten primary and secondary school constructed to meet the demands of a growing population. The use of materials (brick and terra-cotta), frequent application of Classical detailing, and overall plan (which features a two-story rectangular block, three bays wide), are treated similarly in all of these schools. Differing from late nineteenth and early twentieth century design, these schools were planned to provide more light and circulation for the students and staff: Stanley (1913), Whittier II (1919-20), Chelsea II (1921-23), Roosevelt (1922), McKinley, Louisa M. Alcott, and Mark Twain (1922-1924), Major Hudson (1923-24), and Central III (1924) elementary schools and Turner High School, built in 1916-17. The elementary schools were also designed in such a way that they could, if need be, be built in stages, responding to population increases within their service areas.

1923 - School occupied. Four rooms with five grades and four teachers. First principal, Leona Sheppard. Teachers were Merle Dixon, Esther Erickson and Mary Powell.
October 2. PTA organized with Mrs. John Murray as President.
Beautification of grounds begun by Leona Sheppard. Donations of plants and shrubs by patrons. Originated idea of Memory Garden. Planted tree for each pupil or teacher who died.

1927-28 - Four rooms of top floor added.

1930 - Kindergarten established.

1932 - Two pin oaks planted on west grounds. North one dedicated to M E Pearson, retired 1932. One on south for Miss Hazel McCallum, principal, 1930-32, who died.

1939 - Leona Sheppard died. Supervisor of intermediate grades for ten years. Large spruce tree planted in Memory Garden.

1977-78 - PTA won trophy for total enrollment.

1980 - Girls basketball team won trophy.

1991 - School closed as attendance center in May, 1991. Students assigned to M E Pearson (boundary change).
Building used as Staff Development Center; computer center, science.

2004 - Due to overcrowding at M E Pearson and Whittier Elementary Schools, boundary lines are being changed and (depending upon the home address), specific students will attend Central, Grant or McKinley Elementary Schools in the fall.  Buildings at Central Elementary and McKinley Elementary are being upgraded and perimeter fences are being replaced.  This is part of Phase IV of the 2001 KCKs Public Schools $120 million bond issue.

June 2 - Kansas City Star:  The district has been losing students, but spokesman Carroll Macke said that an influx of students in the central city forced the district to re-open Central Elementary at 8th St and Barnett Ave and McKinley Elementary at 611 N. 14 St. to reduce overcrowding at other elementary schools in the area.  Other schools such as Lindbergh on North 57th St. and Frances Willard at 34th and Orville Ave, have added modular classrooms to accommodate students.


1922-24 - Esther Erickson / 1924-29 - Leona Sheppard / 1929-30 - Nelle James / 1930-32 - Hazel McCallum / 1932-37 - Pearl Rice / 1937-40 - Hazel Kier / 1940-63 - Esther Erickson / 1963-64 - James Hammer / 1964-67 - Ruby Crary (deceased Aug, 1967) / 1967-73 - Lillie May Budimlija / 1973-81 - Katherine Selma / 1981-84 - Wayne Winkler / 1984-88 - Mary Moore / 1988-90 - Michael Moore / 1990-91 - Brenda Boyd / 1991-2004 - Building not open as a school / 2004-2006 - Leala Taylor / 2006 - Cynthia Cop

611 North 14th Street:  Rose and Peterson, architects.  Replacing a temporary school structure, McKinley Elementary School was designed in 1923, with an addition designed by Rose and Ridgway added in 1927.  Kansas City, Kansas Certified Local Government Program, Historical and Architectural Survery, Kerr's Park, Arickaree, and Westheight Manor No. 5, 1990, pg. 55

For a detailed history of McKinley Elementary Please visit:

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