Historical Details

New Niobrara Schools Dedicated on May 20

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/27/1954

Miss Edna B. Stolt, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, paid high tribute to Niobrara County and its schools at the dedication of the new buildings Thursday afternoon.

The ceremonies were held at the new Niobrara County High School and Miss Stilt was the principal speaker. It is estimated that over 1220 people attended.

"Niobrara County is Wyoming's pioneer in reorganization. You have, and are proving that intelligent redistricting is a fundamental factor in improving schools. Basically school district reorganization means unification of effort. Contrary to some erroneous ideas about it, it does not lessen patron's rights, but it does lessen limitations and create opportunities for better school facilities such as you people are experiencing right now.

"You have helped others to see that reorganization means working together instead of separately, and your example has paved the way for other counties to follow in this forward direction. Niobrara County has indeed won the grateful praise of the rest of the state for its pioneering steps.

"Today is an important milestone for you. This achievement represents the aspirations you have for your children, and will serve as a waymark for your children's children. "

Miss Stolt said that the dedication meant that the citizens of Niobrara County were expressing the "very heart and soul of American Idealism." The establishing of free institution is not just a high-sounding phrase; it is the vital core of all our moral, religious and ethical principles, and we cannot afford to ever underestimate or forget its profound significance."

The ceremonies were conducted from a stage erected at the front of the building with the handsome tile murals, designed by Elsie Christian as a background. It was explained that the center mural had been assembled wrong and was to be changed.

The raising of the American and Wyoming State flag by the American Legion and the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the combined Lusk and Manville bands was a thrilling opening for the occasion. Invocation was given by a  Lance Creek teacher, the Rev. LeRoy Train. Gordon Kaan, president of the Board of Trustees, introduced other members and L.E. Johnsonbaugh, director of education, introduce such special guests as Ray Robertson, commissioner of education; Miss Dorris Sanders, director of elementary education; and Roy Chamberlain,member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming.

Mrs. Grace Kuns, County Superintendent, reminisced of the great progress made in Niobrara County education since she and her husband, the late Ford Kuns, came here. Then only the red brick school on the hill served Lusk. Burton Hall of Casper and president of the Board when the building program was initiated , spoke briefly as did the architect, Eugene Sternberg of Denver.

Symbolic of the student bodies of Manville and Lusk that will make up the larger portion of the new County High School membership, the combined bands and choruses of those schools presented several numbers under the successive direction of Rex Yocum, Walter Elkin, and David Schauffler. Rev. Jacob Nein, Lusk Congregational pastor, gave the benediction.


The new high school lunch room was the most popular place, as the students, especially, made a dash for ice cream, cookies, and punch. Coffee was less popular because of the warm day, but patrons did get to see what value an adequate lunch room would be. Facilities for such had never before been available here.

Several Lusk businesses made the lunch possible. Kilmer Creamery donated the ice cream. McKnight Bakery the the cookies, Safeway Store and Budget Food Mart the coffee, cream, sugar, napkins, etc. Serving was in charge of Mrs. Robert Bramlet and her home economics department.

Under the direction of the Board of Trustee members, teachers and students of both Manville and Lusk the large crowds were shown through both the high school and grade school addition to the present high school. 

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