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WWI Plague at Garfield

Garfield Elementary School was erected in 1884 on 421 Wabash St. The building was large with a looming, tall, bell tower overlooking the corner of Prospect Boulevard and Amie Court. In 1909, the school underwent an extensive remodeling. The bell tower was removed and a lunchroom was added to the building’s basement. This basement housed the first students in Kansas City to eat in a designated cafeteria. Garfield saw many great principals, including Charles Thompson and M. J. Patterson. A number of notable Kansas Citians attended Garfield, including baseball great Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel, David Beals Jr., George Conover (Conover Steel) and Frank Hicks, Knuckleheads Saloon (FOG Cycles) owner. Although a beautiful brick building, the building was torn down and destroyed in 1961, but not before a large group of 400 devoted Garfield alumni gathered to wish the old classrooms goodbye. In it’s place, a new, more modern school building was constructed in 1962 to house the students of the area. A bronze relief dedicated to Garfield’s WWI veterans was salvaged from the old building and now graces the west hallway at the neighborhood school. The plaque, erected to honor “Our World War Heroes,” was built into the old school after WWI and pays homage to the 213 Garfield School alumni who died during the war. Six names are highlighted above the 207 others for receiving special commendations from the army. Those names are Murray Davis, James J. Swafford, Robert McClellande Simpson, Amos Johnson, Harry Felton and Stanley Wood. Now, with almost 600 children filling the Garfield hallways, faculty serve a very diverse community of young learners.

WWI Plaque with Students
Students of Garfield National Honor Society