Norman School: A proud testament to Historic Preservation

Norman School in the 3500 block of Jefferson was built in 1898 by John Perry, Principal of the Keith & Perry Coal Company. Architect for the project was Charles A. Smith who lived at 810 Benton Boulevard and designed a number of schools and prominent buildings in the Midwest including Northeast High School, Paseo High School and the Firestone building in the Crossroads District.

Joseph L. Norman was born in Jefferson County, Illinois on October 21st, 1841. He came to West Port, then on the outskirts of Kansas City in 1859 and owned a farm near what is present day 40th street and State Line Road. Norman was a prominent Union man who came from a military family, having relatives that served in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the Civil War Norman enlisted in the Twelfth Kansas Infantry in Wyandotte County in August of 1862 and was involved in the Price and Shelby raids and fought in the Battle of the Little Blue, the Battle of Westport among other border skirmishes.

His business career as a prominent Abstract Attorney partnered him with Lafayette Traber in the firm of Traber & Norman, Traber then living at 1731 Pendleton Avenue in the prominent new subdivision of Pendleton Heights. Norman served on the Kansas City School Board, according to his obituary, for a total of twenty-one years from 1887-1908, passing away on September 28th, 1909 after a ten-week bout with what was described as heart disease. Just prior to his death he had planned to retire to his new home on the southwest corner of 35th & Jefferson, immediately across the street from the school that bore his name.

In 2005 Norman School was shuttered by the Kansas City School District and the building became a target for vandals and vagrants who often started fires in the structure to stay warm. In 2009 the building was purchased by developer Del Hedgepath and slated for renovation and restoration as loft apartments. Since then the project, Norman School Lofts has garnered a number of Historic Preservations awards and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

This Acmegraph Company published postcard was mailed to Ms. P. F. Rutherford of Wyanet, Illinois on December 29th, 1913. The message reads: “Dear friend, Many thanks for the pretty card of the 18th. I sent you seven letters to mail for me yesterday and hope you received and have mailed some by this time. Thanking you for your troubles, I remain yours. Sincerely Milton Camps, Box 359, Kansas City, MO.”
Joseph Lafayette Norman’s obituary from September 29th, 1909 has been included with our online version of this postcard for any readers who are interested in learning more about him.

Comments are closed.

  • Mt. Washington still a peaceful respite

    November 14th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This postcard published by the Webb-Freyschlag Mercantile Company shows a peaceful view of The Rest in […]


    Flood waters inundate city in 1951

    November 7th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Making the floods of 1903 and 1908 seem insignificant in comparison is the flood of 1951, […]


    Kansas City elections a century ago

    October 31st, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Election season is in full swing and right along with that we’ve got two vintage political […]


    Sears played a role in the residential development of Northeast Kansas City

    October 24th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News On the heels of the Sears bankruptcy filing last week, we bring you this postcard of […]


    Fairmount Park: Arthur Stillwell’s vision

    October 17th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This week’s postcard gives us a look at Fairmount Park from Independence Avenue. This view would […]


  • After Hannibal bridge, Kansas City would boom

    October 10th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Construction of the Hannibal Bridge almost didn’t happen in Kansas City in 1867. Leavenworth, Kan., and […]


    The Northeast’s “Tiffany Castle”

    October 3rd, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Flavel B. Tiffany was born in New York in 1846 and migrated to Kansas City in […]


    October is American Royal time

    September 26th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This photo-chrome postcard showing two scenes from the American Royal Parade was mailed on October of […]


    Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 19th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent […]


    Cascio’s Corner

    September 12th, 2018
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This week, in conjunction with our National Cheeseburger Day promotion, we feature an iconic Historic Northeast location […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    BUZZ EXTRA: Editorial Assistant Johanna Pounds shares her thoughts on the 2018 Midterm elections

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News Although I try to come off as non-partisan as possible when reporting, in my […]

    Northeast News welcomes new Managing Editor, Elizabeth Orosco

    Northeast News This week, the Northeast News welcomes a new Managing Editor, Elizabeth Orosco, who is taking over for Interim […]

    Independence Avenue is one of the deadliest streets for drivers, study says

    Abby Cambiano Northeast News Independence Avenue is the 31st most deadly street for car crashes and fatalities in Kansas and […]