Truesdell Junior High opened on September 7, 1956.
The school was named after B.W. Truesdell. Benjamin William Truesdell was born on January 26, 1877 in Sterling, Kansas.
In the early 1900’s Truesdell was a Professor of Education at Friends University.
Truesdell was also an administrator at Wichita High School (East) and he served as superintendent of schools for Sedgwick County. While at East High he was affectionately referred to as “Uncle Benny.”
During that time he met and fell in love with one of the teachers and in 1948 he married Alice Riner Davis. They were married for two years until December 24, 1950, when B.W. died at the age of 73.
One of my favorite things about Truesdell is the abstract sculpture out front. It was created by James Croak in 1976. It was part of a residence at Wichita Public Schools paid for by the National Endowment for the arts. He also created sculptures for Mead Middle School and Wichita Southeast. Check out To your art’s content for more on Croak and his artwork in Wichita.
In 1960, Rea Woodman Elementary was merged with Truesdell. A new Rea Woodman was constructed across the street.
Alice died in 1965 while on vacation. She is interred with her husband at Wichita Park Cemetery.
Truesdell school has seen many other changes to the physical building including an extensive remodel in 1991. Truesdell was home to the physically handicapped program and all the facilities had to be in compliance.
Check out Wichita’s other schools.