Thacher Elementary now rubble & memories

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News


Luin Kennedy Thacher was born in Hornellsville, New York, and immigrated to the Kansas City area in the mid 1850s to take advantage of the huge land boom. 

The outbreak of the Civil War, however, delayed his plans and Thacher enlisted in the Kansas Militia as an officer for the Union Army. 

After the war, he practiced law for a brief time, but was forced to give it up due to battle injuries to his eyes. 

Not to be deterred, Thacher pursued careers in banking and real estate and was active in a variety of civic affairs. 

In the 1890s, Thacher served on the Board of Education for the burgeoning Kansas City School District where he oversaw the building of the new Central High School at 11th Street and Locust as well as the new Public Library at 9th Street and Locust. 

In 1900, an elementary school was erected at 5008 Independence Avenue, in the heart of the quickly-developing Northeast area of Kansas City. 

After a vote by the Board, it was decided the name for the school would bear the name Thacher Elementary School in honor of Thacher and his deep commitment to area schools and community. 

The school served the district well until 1994, when an agenda-driven school board threatened to raze the school for an enlarged athletic field for nearby Northeast High School. 

Community leaders rallied, however, and saved the school. 

Sadly, early in 2015 the school District’s re-purposing committee set its sights again on Thacher. 

After a strong grass roots effort to save the school failed, the site is now a new athletic field that serves Northeast Middle School. 

This Real Photo card was published by the North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Missouri.

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