Since 1970, Lecompton has been merged with the town of Perry just to the north, on the other side of the Kansas River. It’s a great school district with lots of great students and teachers! Before the merger, Lecompton had its own rich history of schools–especially the High School!
Lecompton was fortunate to have Lane University in town right after the Civil War. Not only did the University have a six-year, four-year, and two-year degree program, but it also offered a general preparatory department. This preparatory program was an advanced high school to prepare teens to enter college. From 1865-1902, many local students in Lecompton took advantage of this program.
When Lane University left town, the building was then used as a high school.
Starting in 1902, a three-year high school course was offered in the Lane University building. Two years later, a regular four year course was offered. Lecompton High School continued in the building until 1927 when classes were moved to the new school just south of Lane University.
Lane University and the Lecompton High School were built on part of the original thirteen acres set aside by the United States Government for the capitol building. When Kansas was a territory— before it became a state in the Union— Lecompton was the capital. The erection of a beautiful capitol building was started but not finished. Later, in 1882, Lane University was built on part of the original capitol building foundation. The brick 1927 Lecompton High School building is also built on the original thirteen acres.
The Lecompton Rural High School cost approximately $65,000, including furniture when it was built in 1927. Members of the Board of Education when the building was under construction were: J. M. Taylor, director; F.H. Nace, treasurer; and F.H. Moore, Clerk. H.A. Grabendike was the builder. Architects were furnished by the Thomas W. Williamson and Company, of Topeka, Kansas.
A tennis court was a little north and west of the building. A football field was directly north, behind the Lane University building. The Lecompton Rural High School building contained seven class rooms, in addition to a state-of-the-art theatre and auditorium. In the 1950’s, the school built a larger gymnasium onto Lecompton High School, connected just north of the school.
Owls were the school mascot; black and gold the school colors. A total of 793 students graduated from the Lecompton High School. The students of the class of 1970 were the last to graduate. The following year, the Lecompton High School merged with Perry High School creating Perry-Lecompton High School. Lecompton is in Douglas County, south of the Kansas River. The town of Perry is on the other side of the Kansas River in Jefferson County. Perry-Lecompton High School is located in Perry, KS.Come to the Territorial Capital Museum (in the Lane University building) to see the School Memories hallway. Photographs, trophies, yearbooks, letter jackets, and class portraits describe the Lecompton High School experience.
Today, the old Lecompton High School building serves as the Lecompton Community Pride building. Theatrical programs, dance classes, bingo, rummage sales, and the community library now occupy this active building.