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KGI Online Library

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

Apr 20

Closing Kansas Rural Schools in the 1940s

Posted on April 20, 2017 at 4:04 PM by Bill Sowers

In the early 1900s the rural population of Kansas began to decrease. With this loss of population came the  dissolution and consolidation of rural institutions.  One of the most important rural institutions was the rural school, popularly known as the "one-room schoolhouse."  As these schools, scattered all over the Kansas landscape, closed one by one, remaining students had to attend schools covering a greater geographic area.

The closure of rural schools in Kansas brought about dramatic changes in the school districts map of the state.  A legislative research report was ordered and published in 1942 which included statistics on school district closings, reasons for closings, the development of "school centers," changes in the school district taxing system, transportation costs in larger rural districts and state aid to education in Kansas.

The document, "Closed Schools in Kansas" (1942. Kansas Legislative Council Research Department), included a large map of the state indicating types of schools, school boundaries, schools closed or consolidated, and districts where students from closed schools were sent.  This map is an amazing look at loss of population in rural areas by looking at the closure of rural school districts.

We have this publication online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library, along with the large statewide map.  The map is located at the end of the online document.  It appears in eight separate sections which you can magnify to get a closer look at the districts and movement of students within the state. To zoom into a map just click on the "Download" tab on the top right of the page, click on "open" and then increase the percentage view of the pages.

(1942. Kansas Legislative Council. Research Department)

(Special thanks for making the map viewable goes to Trista Philippi)

Apr 19

Kansas Motor Vehicle Law Making in the 1930s

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 4:38 PM by Tim Volpert

The mass production of automobiles at the turn of the last century changed life in the United States drastically. There was a sudden need for gas stations, better roads, motels, and of course... laws regulating traffic, driver education/safety and the construction of the automobile itself.

We recently added a report to the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library prepared by the Kansas Legislative Council's Research Department in 1936, "Safety Regulation for Motor Vehicles." It was one of two major reports issued by the Legislative Research Department to assist members of the Kansas State Legislature in writing good laws regulating motor vehicle use in the state. The report touches on traffic signals/signs, drivers' licenses, brakes, headlights, speed limits, etc etc etc. The need for improving Kansas vehicle related laws and regulations was definitely pressing.

You can view this publication here:

Tag(s): home news

Apr 19

A History of the Tax System in Kansas, 1861-1937

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 4:34 PM by Tim Volpert

Just in time for tax season!

We've just added a very cool publication to the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library. Published in 1937, the title is: "Summary history of Kansas finance : development of the tax system, with synopsis of receipts, expenditures, and indebtedness, for the state and local governments : research report."

The report was issued by the Kansas Legislative Council's Research Department, and in the foreword the authors state, "Attempt is made herein to cover certain essentials of Kansas financial history from statehood (1861) through the fiscal year 1937."

The book covers such topics as: Territorial finances -- II. Development of the Kansas tax system -- III. Assessed valuation and state tax levies -- IV. Taxes levied on general property -- V. Receipts to state government -- VI. Expenditures of state government, 1900-1936 -- VII. State indebtedness -- VIII. Local receipts, expenditures and indebtedness.

It sounds a bit dry, but this is a history of our state's tax structure, 1861-1937 and where the money went. Nothing dry about that!

Tag(s): news