Bissell Buzz 2015/09

August 8, 2015

What an eventful week this is!!  Our new walkway was completed on Friday thanks to Mike Erhart and his team, who all braved the heat and at times the rain too to get the job done.  We are now boasting a wonderful sturdy, wide walkway making more buildings wheelchair accessible.  Once again a big thank you to the Rotary Club of Phillipsburg for their kind sponsorship.  We as well as our visitors will appreciate this on a daily basis for years to come.

Our new walkway donated and built by the Phillipsburg Rotary Club

Our new walkway donated and built by the Phillipsburg Rotary Club

With Fort Bissell having won the number one position of the Top 3 Wonders of Midwest Kansas, hosted by Kansas Praise Radio, they are coming to do a live broadcast of the morning show at the Fort, this coming Thursday August 13th.  This will be from 6am to 9am, but the team will still be around till about 10am if anyone would like to come and meet them.  We trust the publicity that goes with this award, will bring more visitors to enjoy what the Fort has to offer.

How quickly the time flies! It feels like yesterday when we opened the Fort for the summer season and we now have less than a month left before we close it again.  However before we do close, we will be honoring our fourth recipient of our Wall of Fame award.  This will be published in the following edition of the Bissell Buzz and the ceremony is scheduled to take place on August 20th.

With our scholars returning back to school, it seems apt to write something about schools in the early days.  Some of the rules for teachers from 1872 were:

  1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys;
  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session;
  3. Make your pens carefully.  You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils;
  4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly;
  5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books;
  6. Woman teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed;
  7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden to society;
  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop, will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty;
  9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
Inside our one-room schoolhouse

Inside our one-room schoolhouse

How things have changed!  This gives us a better appreciation of the effort they had to put in to teach the children.  To see more and get an even better insight of a one-roomed schoolhouse, please feel free to visit us and see first hand.

Did you know that we also have an impressive pencil and pen collection?  This was donated to Fort Bissell in October 2001 by Mrs. Erna Dusin.  There are a total of 1986 items from all over the world, which she started collecting in the early 1930’s when she worked at the A.S.C.S. office.

Our hours are Tuesday to Friday 9am – 4pm and Saturday 9am – 2pm.  Closed Sundays, Mondays.  Regular updates and photos are posted on our Facebook page.

We can be contacted on (785) 543-6212 or by email at

Remember entrance is FREE. See ya at the Fort!!

Ruby Wiehman – Curator