History of

New Franklin Schools

The first school to be established in Howard County occurred in 1819, two years before the start of the Santa Fe trail.

In Franklin, Howard County, a number of educational institutions were opened at an early day. Grey Bynum, a South Carolinian by birth, who came to the Boonslick country with the first settlers was the first school teacher in that then remote land, and taught forty-three children residing in the settlement within a radius of five miles from the school. Among his pupils were Polly Smith, Matthew Kinkead, Dorcas Kinkead, the Alcorn children, the Hubbards and others. The school books used were the "Kentucky Preceptor" and "Lessons in Elocution," all published in about 1800. The school house was a cabin which stood about a mile from the Hickman graveyard, not far from the present town of Franklin. Thus early the foundations of an educational system were laid in that part of Missouri. A few years afterward James Daly advised the public, in the "Intelligencer" that he was able to instruct sixty or seventy students by having his son assist him "in the capacity of usher." J.B.C. Washington opened a select school in Franklin in about 1820 to instruct young ladies and gentlemen "in most of the solid and ornamental branches of a polite English education," and Mr. Fisher advertises that he teaches the classics, and that he "will take under his immediate superintendence a limited number of young men."

Taken from History of Missouri-From the Earliest Explorations and Settlements Until the Admission of the State Into the Union by Louis Houck Volume III Copyright 1908

The New Franklin R-1 School District covers over 100 square miles in southern Howard and northwestern Boone counties. The New Franklin area is rich in cultural history and is known as the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail. The original school, pictured here, was constructed of native gray limestone and built by the citizens of New Franklin as a WPA project in the 1930's. An elementary school was added in the 1960's and a middle school addition in the 1990's. All three schools are connected in a single campus.