"During the years 1865-68 the country around Rossville was not very thickly populated. There not being enough to make a new district school successful, a number of the citizens of Rossville formed a little association and built a small one story frame building on the corner of North Main and Marion streets. A teacher was hired, and most of the children in town attended that private school."
"By the year 1870 the country was in a very prosperous state and was much more thickly settled than it had been four or five years previous. So it was at this time that District 34 was formed and a two room frame building was built on the corner of Navarre and Marion streets. This was the first public school that was ever known in Rossville. As the school attendance was steadily increasing, a few years later, a large two story frame building, now known as the Rossville Hotel, was built on the same location as this former school had stood. Mr. Higginbotham bought the old building, moved it away and used it as part of his house."
"School in this new building was a perfect success and prospered wonderfully. In the year 1884, it was decided that a new and better school house should be built. So in the fall of 1885, a new two story building of red brick, which is still standing and is being used at the present time for the Grade School, was ready for use. It was greatly appreciated by all those who had a part in it. The building has undergone many changes and improvements and today it is a place dear to many people because it is there they received all the education they have. There being two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs, four teachers have always been employed."
"In about the year 1910 it was voted by the citizens of Rossville to build a High School building in this community under the Barnes law. Until the High School was completed the High School students were instructed in the fourth room and library of the grade school building. In order to do this, the first room children were moved down into the old Baptist church. The two upper rooms were then moved: the fourth room pupils occupying the third room and the third room pupils occupying the second room and so on down."
"The site for the new building was thought to be the best just east of the grade school building, so work was started immediately. The building is a beautiful structure made of buff colored brick, the lower part of the building being pebble dashed. It is heated by oil, lighted with electricity, has a fine ventilating system, domestic science and manual training rooms, a large auditorium, and four recitation rooms. It was thought the building would be ready for use by the fall of 1912, but every one especially the students who were ready to enter High School was sadly disappointed. On account of the weather and other hindrances, the contractors had not completed the work. High school was held in the Fritz Opera House for the first part of the year, but at the beginning of the second semester the students entered the new building. Four teachers were employed up until the years 1915-16 when, in order to lessen expenses, and there not being a very large enrollment, three teachers were hired. This year 1916-17 also there are only three teachers employed in the High School."
The average enrollment of the High school is about forty-five. The first class to graduate from Rossville high school was composed of one member but the following year and each succeeding year, there has been on an average, a class of about twelve or fourteen. this High school is on the accredited list of High schools and a diploma will admit you to any higher institution.
In athletics, the school has always taken a prominent part. They have taken all the honors and prizes at the County Track Meet every year they have entered, excepting the first year when they were not so experienced as now. So we should all extend our heartiest wishes for the success of Rossville High school and hope that nothing will impede her progress.
~Irene Howard Flanagan - Class of 1917~
In the bond election held on Saturday, July 11, 1936 Rossville High School patrons authorized the issuance of their share of the cost of a new high school. The government grant amounted to $38,000 and the amount to be authorized in the July 11 election is $40,480 to be paid in 20 years, bearing not over 3 percent interest. It is estimated that less than an average of 1 mill will raise enough during that period to retire the principal and interest.
The proposed building includes an auditorium to seat comfortably 750 people. The gymnasium space is large enough for a regulation basketball court, has lockers in separate sections for boys and girls and the rest rooms and showers for boys and girls are also segregated.
Besides the classrooms, of sufficient size to anticipate growth in attendance for many years, there is a study hall, library, large departments for Home Economics and Manual Training, two of the most popular and practical courses offered in high school. Every foot of floor space is usefully utilized. The rooms are airy, well lighted, and the entire structure is as fireproof as modern architecture can devise.
Petitions bearing the names of six out of nearly eight qualified electors in the high school district were presented to the Board and they thereupon officially set the date for the election on July 11th.
The preliminary plans have been accepted and approved by the PWA officials at Washington, and the Kansas PWA officials have asked that Rossville district be prepared for immediate start on the project when the now allocations are made.