School closed in '65, but Burns grads still meet
At least 50 Burns High School graduates gathered Sunday at the community center in Burns for a school reunion. Arletta’s Catering of Burns served the noon meal.
Marie Ehmke Clark, 98, received a wrist corsage for being the oldest alumna present. She graduated in 1941 and still lives in rural Burns.
Tom Grimwood, president of Burns Alumni Association, presented a $300 check to Peabody-Burns graduate Ben David. Hana Cool, Taylor Manns, and Gage Patty also received scholarships.
The town of Burns is on the very southern edge of Marion County. A group of Catholics came to the area in 1879 and platted a town they named St. Francis. Several months later, they were forced to change the name because Kansas already had a St. Francis. So they named it Burns, after an official of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.
The town was prosperous for a while, and its economy surged in 1919 when oil was discovered two miles west. A new high school was built in 1921.
The town had a population of 400 at its peak. It registered 234 people in the 2020 census.
Burns High School students became part of the Peabody-Burns Unified School District in the fall of 1965, and students were bused to Peabody. The elementary school remained in Burns for a time.
Although the high school building has since been torn down, those who attended will always remember it.
Last modified June 2, 2022