The one-room school was built in 1877 east of Delia in rural Jackson County to educate the children of Czech immigrants who had settled there in the 1870s from the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. The school was named for John Stach, a Moravian who donated an acre of land for the site.
About 1915 the belfry, porch and cloak room were added to the school. Over the years enrollment gradually dwindled and classes eventually ended in April 1956. The building continued to serve residents as a meeting place, and in 1966 a group known as the Stach Community Center acquired title from the school district. In the 78 years the school was open, 560 to 650 students attended Stach School District #59.
In 1983 the Stach School was purchased at auction and donated to the Historical Society by Bernice Stach Douglas and family. The building was moved to the museum grounds in October 1984. In 1986 the Woman's Kansas Day Club provided supplemental funds to restore the building. The interior and exterior of the building have since been faithfully restored to its 1910-1920 appearance.
The purpose of the Stach School as a museum facility is to allow the public to experience an environment similar to that in which many Kansans, from the last half of the 19th century into the early 20th century, received their basic education. Although each of the thousands of one-room schools was in some aspect unique, most, including the Stach School, were very similar in architecture, governance, and curriculum. Teachers, pupils, and rural communities, while not by any means interchangeable, shared a common set of assumptions about education and methods of operations during the years of country school attendance. The interpretation at the Stach School focuses on the decade 1910-1920, which was a time before consolidation began to significantly influence the network of small, independent school districts.
The Rural School Days living history program is available to school groups year round. The four-hour program, geared towards fourth and fifth grades, provides students with an opportunity to experience attending a rural school in 1920. A one-hour program for students is also available.
Entry: Stach School
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: April 2010
Date Modified: April 2013
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.