LeRoy is situated on the north side of the Neosho river, and is about ten miles south-east of Burlington, the county seat of Coffey County; and about seventy miles south-west of Lawrence. It contains a large number of stores, both dry goods and grocery, two or three drug stores, harness shops, boot and shoe shops, blacksmith shops, feed and livery stable, two hotels, one printing office, two Churches, one steam saw mill, one saloon, and one small shabby, dirty, uncomfortable, school house. I visited the school and found a large number of scholars, croweded into one room not any too large for thirty pupils, and there are seventy-five to one hundred crowded in it. There were two teachers employed – one teacher stood in one corner of the room and the other the other. From what I saw I think the teachers did the best they knew how, but their efforts are all in vain! It is so much money wasted! The children are very irregular in their attendance. Whose fault is it? Why, it is their parents! In fact I do not blame the children for not wanting to attend more regularly to school, when the school house is so unattractive – or rather repulsive. It is dirty, cold, uncomfortable, stained with tobacco – no blackboards except a small plank or two nailed up I believe on a post. I pity the good citizens of Leroy who are fully aware of the miserable conditions they themselves and their children have to contend with. There are good citizens at Leroy but they are powerless to act. I understood while there that the question of having a better school house had been brought before the people again and again and have been defeated. Citizens of Leroy, if you wish to encourage immigration – if you wish to obtain wealth, if you wish to be intelligent – if you wish to educate your children – you must arouse from your slumbers – go to work and build yourselves a good building suitable for a school house, and sell that old shabby, uncomfortable, out house for a barn or a corn crib. It is a burning shame to the place to keep such a house for such a purpose.
Leroy is quite a respectable looking town and if they had a good school house in the place, it would look much better, and many would stop among them, but as it is they pass on to some other locality where they have good schools. I learned from some of the citizens of that place that they are very fond of dancing and so on. If you would quit this wicked practice it would be some inducement for good Christian people to come and settle among you, but as long as you go on in your old way, you can never prosper. Better is he who shuns the place, Where dancers love to meet. Who dreads to meet their wicked face, And hates the dancers feet. – W.P.A. Traveller. The Allen County Courant, Iola, Kansas. Saturday, January 18, 1868. Page 2. (c) Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.