Historical Details

Kirtley School to Close for Good May 26--No More Pupils

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/18/1961

When school closes at the Kirtley schools May 26 it won't be just for the summer--but forever. the reason is simple--lack of pupils.

During the past year, Mrs. Wanda Rutten has taught two pupils, Norma Hammond and Marsha Sides. When those two pupils receive their eighth grade diplomas there no longer will be any pupils to teach at Kirtley so the Niobrara County School Board will have no alternative but to close the school.

The building was built in the summer of 1987 by Bert Hamlin for $300. Dora Christian was the first teacher when the school opened in November 1897. Her salary was $35 per month. School at Kirtley consisted of two sessions--a five month winter session and a two month summer session. The school building had something of roving nature. From its original location in the southwest section of 14-33-61 it was moved 3 1/2 miles southwest of its present location in 1915. In 1921 it was moved about two miles southeast of its present location and a addition was build onto the 20 by 24 foot building. In 1945 it was moved to its present location near the Roy ZumBrunnen ranch home.


The school has had 26 teachers in its 64 year history, they are:

Mrs. Ray Christian, Enid Lund Freeman, Iris Lohr Erlewine, Marguerite Germann Fietz, Edna DeCastro, Elsie Smith Christian, Forence Hanson Heckert, Clara Rice Fullerton, Leslie ZumBrunnen, Bessie Lumsden, Nellie Bannon, Winifred Criss Crinklaw, Emma Sturman, Grace Boatright, Eleanor Thompson Witzenburger, Joy Scace Shade, Viola Fancher, Catherine Brunkhorst Wilson, Mary Alice Brunkhorst Sides, Marian Thompson Browder, Mary Ann Lohr Porter, Ila Hathaway Stutesman, Loretta Schipporeit, Jesse June Humphrey, Bama ZumBrunnen, Mr. and Mrs. Harlan Lohr, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Sides, and Grace E Kuns, Niobrara Superintendent of Schools.

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