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About this Exploration:
The two story limestone building that is used as the St. Francis Parish Hall served as the Munjor School for many years. In the fall of 1877, a wood frame structure was built to serve as the church. In 1890, when a new church was built (the current St. Francis Church) the wood frame building was left standing and served as the first parish school. The Sisters of Saint Agnes arrived in Munjor in the fall of 1885 to teach and provide religious education for the children.
Soon the wood frame school building became overcrowded and with an untiring effort from the nuns and their successful educational programs, the parishioners were convinced to build a new schoolhouse.
Justus Bissing from Hays, who was one of the original founders of the town of Catharine, Kansas, designed the school. Construction began in the fall of 1891 and the building was completed on September 28, 1893. Parishioners donated most of the labor and by April 3, 1894, it was ready for the dedication ceremony that took place with Bishop John J. Hennessy. When you walk around the outside of the school building, you will notice it is made of the same native limestone that the church is made from and that was quarried from a site southeast of Munjor.
The school operated as a parochial school until 1948 when the financial burden of supporting the school became too much for the parishioners and it was combined with the Hays school district. The sisters continued to teach the eight elementary grades with the school district providing the salaries for the nuns. This arrangement continued until May 1967, when the district decided to staff and operate the school as one of the USD 489 elementary schools.
In the early 1960s, the school district decided to build a new elementary school. They first had a new gymnasium and cafeteria built and they were completed in 1968 north of the old schoolhouse. In 1974 the classroom sections of the building were added to complete the new Munjor Elementary School.
The St. Francis Parish Hall is used for parish functions, religious education classes, church meetings and community activities.
Munjor, KS 67601
Munjor Improvement District
P.O. Box 98 - 893 Main
Munjor, KS 67601