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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Arvonia School

Picture of property 0000 S. 9th St.
Lebo (Osage County)
Listed in National Register Jul 3, 2012

Architect: Haskell, John
Category: school
Thematic Nomination: Historic Public Schools of Kansas

The Arvonia School served as the only school for the Welsh community of Arvonia from the time of its construction in 1872 until the school closed due to consolidation in 1949. Arvonia was platted in the late 1860s on land purchased for speculation by John Mather Jones, owner of a Welsh-language newspaper in Utica, New York and his associate James A. Whitaker of Chicago. To entice Welsh colonists to buy land in Kansas, Jones published a pamphlet entitled "Arvonia: That Is, The Welsh Settlement in Osage County." Although the town did not meet the expectations of early spectators, many Welsh families remained for generations. The school was designed by pioneer Kansas architect John G. Haskell, and is one of the earliest-known architect-designed schools in Kansas. However, because the stone building was heavily modified in about 1900 with the removal of the second story, it is not being nominated for its architecture but rather for its local significance in the areas of education and Welsh ethnic heritage.

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