Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who was Maude Keirns?

June 28, 2007

A grade-school picture that was recently in the Lansing This Week newspaper was a first-and second-grade class and the teacher was Maude Keirns. The year probably would be 1929 or 1930.

This got me to remembering that Miss Keirns taught in the southeast corner of the building, which is now Zinser Apartments on the corner of Main Street and Kansas Avenue. The picture is taken at the front door looking west, and at the entryway there were several steps up to the main level.

Miss Keirns was my first- and second-grade teacher in 1934 and 1935. I remember a lot about her being a good teacher.

There was a big sand box in the back of the room that we could play in during recesses on bad days. We had a toy band with sticks, metal triangles, whistles and other noisemakers that we played while marching around the room with the music of the wind-up Victrola.

During roll call, Miss Keirns would sing our names, and we would respond with "I'm here" also in the same tune. We had to have our hands on the desk, and our fingernails and hands were inspected for cleanliness. We would be graded on our report cards under the title of Health Habits.

Miss Keirns also played the piano for nearly all school functions. The piano was on the gym floor in front of the stage.

During the summer months, I remember Miss Keirns working the switchboard at the local telephone office, which was above Campbell's Store.

At that time, most grade school teachers were not married. Miss Keirns broke the tradition by eloping with Mr. Christian in 1944 or 1945, and this caused quite a stir with all her students.

She continued teaching for a number of years. Mr. Christian worked at the Kansas State Prison, and they lived in the house that is now 117 W. Kay St.

There are still a few of her students left in town who have fond memories of Maude Keirns Christian.

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