Clifford Nowlin: My First Ninety Years

Mr. Clifford Nowlin, a pillar of education in Kansas City, was born on December 7, 1863, in Pulaski, Michigan. At around 1881, his father bought the 173 acre Hopewell Farm in Kansas, and Mr. Nowlin would eventually attend the University of Kansas in 1882. In 1884, he taught school at the Hopewell Schoolhouse (of Douglas and Johnson County) at a salary of $37.50 per month. Eventually, he would go on to teach around fourteen thousand children of the Kansas City area. Some of these would become future leaders, like General Taylor – who stated in 1955: “I wouldn’t be standing here as Chief of Staff today if I hadn’t had their guidance in the public schools of Kansas City.” Mr. Nowlin passed away at 98 years of age in Sept. 18, 1962.

His book, which is now somewhat difficult to find, reveals much about our history in the Kansas City area, as well as the attitudes and social “norms” of years past. While the Kansas city school district flounders with crime and providing a meaningful education to their students, learn some of Mr. Nowlin’s thoughts about a time when the foundational truths of education were clearly defined, and conveyed in the classroom. To learn more about Clifford Nowlin, and his valuable insights into Kansas City education, please see the resource downloads tab, or click the following link: Clifford Nowlin: My First Ninety Years.

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2 Responses to Clifford Nowlin: My First Ninety Years

  1. Cynthia says:

    I have just discover this book in a box that belonged to my Grandmother. Apparently, Clifford Nowlin is my great, great, great Uncle. His Sister Ida, was my Grandmother’s grandmother. I will be visiting Kansas City in June, and would love to meet some of his relatives as I might be related to them. What a wonderful discovery this is.

    • carknow32 says:

      Thanks for sharing that! I was excited to find his book, and learn about his family, and I’m not even related to him :). His story is very inspiring, and a great read. I do believe there might be some family in the area, though I’m not for sure. When I was doing a small bit of research on him, I found a few sites where it appears that family have shared photos (there’s one at, and also photos of him and his wife at Also, I gave my brother his book for his birthday, as my brother is a school teacher too. The book is signed by Mr. Nowlin, so let me know if you’d like me to send a scan of his signature for you.

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