Price-Harris Communications Magnet is a tale of two schools and the two men that they are named after. Let’s start with Price Elementary School.
Will G. Price Elementary School
Price Elementary School opened in 1957. The building had 14 classrooms, a library, and a multi-purpose room between the two wings of classrooms.
The school was named in honor of Will G. Price.
Price came to Wichita in 1879 with his parents. He went to Kellogg School and graduated from Wichita High School in 1896. He studied at the County Normal School to get his teacher certification.
Over the next 20 years he taught school including a stint at Wellington High School.
During that time, he founded the Wichita Business College where he served as a teacher and as president of the college.
On November 9, 1910, he married Eva. The marriage brought two sons into the world.
In 1916, Price left the Wichita Business College to found Price Auto Service which was located at 301 S. Topeka.
Price also helped found the Wichita Boy Scouts and assisted in the creation of the Wichita Planning Commission. He served on the board of education, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, and he was also a 33rd degree Mason and served as the deputy of the Valley of Wichita.
Mr. Price died while dining downtown on February 25, 1952, at the age of 73. He is interred at Highland Cemetery.
In 1969, the Price school library was enlarged allowing for the expansion of audiovisual activities.
Kos Harris Elementary School
Harris Elementary School opened its doors in 1956.
The Wichita Eagle noted that the school’s cost, “was about $9.85 a square foot, one of the lowest figures of any school building in the state.”
The school was named after Mr. Kos Harris, one of Wichita’s earliest citizens and one of the city’s first lawyers.
Kossuth “Kos” Harris was born on December 3, 1851, in Centerville, Iowa.
His father was a judge and set up a law practice in Wichita in 1874. When his father passed away, Kos practiced law with his son, Vermillion. They had the law firm Harris, Harris and Vermilion. In 1886, Mr. Harris built a three-story office building at 109 S. South Main Street.
Harris retired in 1924. According to one of his obituaries in the Wichita Eagle,” Rev. George E. Newell, “Found him a man holding the highest respect to be found in his profession. He was faithful, honest, a man of high fidelity and of honor… For fifty years he followed his profession and then having given his best, closed his desk and never went near his office again. He had given 50 years of service.”
Mr. Harris was a member of the Board of Trade and the Board of Education, the Pioneer Society of Sedgwick County, and the Kansas Historical Society.
The history buff was married twice.
He married Trissa Merritt Harris on September 1, 1872. They did not have any kids. The exact date of her death is unknown, but we know she died before December 1876.
Kos married Ida E. Udell Harris on December 20, 1876, in Centerville, Iowa. The marriage created two daughters and a son. Ida passed away in November of 1921.
The Harris Home at 803 North Emporia was designed and built in 1887 by William Henry Sternberg. The home was torn down.
At the time of his death, on October 10, 1931 the Wichita bar wrote: “He was more than a lawyer; he was a friend, a philosopher, a scholar, a pioneer, and historian of the community in which he lived his life. To preserve that part in accurate detail, he devoted his time and his talent to a greater degree than any other citizen in Wichita.”
Price and Harris were merged in 1989 creating a single school with two campuses. The Price building housed kindergarten through second grade while the Harris facility housed third through the fifth grade.
Price-Harris was turned into a communications magnet school during the 1996-1997 school year.
The original Price school closed in 2004 and the students were moved to the Harris Campus. The name was changed to Price-Harris Communications Magnet.
The Price building reopened in 2006, accepting the students from Alcott Academy Middle School. On June 26, 2006, the school was renamed Blackbear Bosin Academy after a unanimous vote by the committee to pick a name.
Bosin Academy was closed in 2012. Students in the program were moved to Jardine.
This was one of my favorite schools to visit. I loved all the artworks scattered around the building.
Check out Wichita’s other public schools: Be True To Your School