Florence Wilson

Florence Wilson

Florence Evelyn Wadsack was born October 8, 1920, at the family homestead twenty-nine miles northeast of Garden City. Florence attended Solid Rock rural School in eastern Finney County for grades first through seventh. In 1933, she enrolled at Andrew Sabine Junior High School in Garden City and lived with her grandparents until she graduated from high school in 1938. After high school, she attended the Garden City Junior College where she received a sixty-hour teaching certificate in 1940. Florence taught school for one year and then married Wallace Wilson on May 4, 1941. The couple were married in Garden City, they were blessed with three sons, Calvin, Marvin, and Tom. Mr. Wilson passed away in 2002. There was a memorial set up in his honor and Mrs. Wilson donated many, many books to our library in his honor.

Mrs. Wilson began teaching in Garden City in 1940. She taught at several of the elementary schools over the years. In 1964, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Emporia State University. She retired from teaching in 1979. Florence always used a very positive approach with children.

Mrs. Wilson stated that a rocking chair was an essential part of her first grade classroom, because she felt that children needed a personal touch and a loving arm around them. In the reading pit at Florence Wilson Elementary School, there is a rocking chair which Mrs. Wilson sits in and reads to students on Fridays.

Mrs. Wilson received many honors in recognition of her commitment to education. She was named Outstanding Teacher of Garden City in 1978. She was runner-up for Kansas Teacher of the Year in 1979. In 1985, she was inducted into the Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame in Dodge City. She was presented a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1988 from Emporia State University. In 1993, the Mayor of Garden City proclaimed May 21 as Florence Wilson Day.