The Old Basketball Gym – Walton, Kansas

Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

With fall sports winding down, it is time to thing about basketball!

Burrton High School Gym, 2017.

Today, most of the gyms student athletes play in are spacious with plenty of room for spectators, but this has not always been the case. Brian Stucky in his book Hallowed Hardwood: Vintage Basketball Gyms of Kansas described gyms built before the 1950s as  “old crackerbox basketball gyms . . .  with tiny courts, balconies, the wall for out-of-bounds.” 

Walton High School was one “crackerbox“gym and a recent donation of photos gives a glimpse into a time gone.

Walton High School after the gym and community building (white structure) was added on, ca. 1925.


Tip Off!

Walton Gym, ca 1945. Walton v. Sedgwick. #11 is Ozzie Schmidt.


Walton Basketball Team, ca. 1947. (lt-rt) Arnold Buhler, Ozzie Schmidt, Art Morris, Vernon Yoder, Marion Esau, Clinton Fisher, Laren Woelk, Jack Brubaker, Mr. Nosen.

1948 Team

Walton High Basketball team, 1948. Coach Arnold Buhler and Mr. Nosen


The Coach

Arnold Buhler

Arnold Buhler graduated from Bethel College and then enlisted in the army during WW2. When he returned home, he worked as superintendent for the Walton school system.  He was also the boys basketball coach.

Walton High, Nov. 1964, the edge of the community building and gym is visible on the left.


‘Dearest Jimmy:’ DeLaine Davis’ Memory Book

by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator

Looking through memory or scrapbooks is a fun way to to explore history.  At HCHM we have several memory books that were created by young ladies to remember their high school years. Pages from DeLaine Davis Ferguson’s book are shared below.

DeLaine Davis was born October 30, 1911 in Walton, Ks.  Her parents were Charles and Lillian Davis, she was the youngest of 5 children.

DeLaine Davis’ High School Scrapbook, 1929-1930. HCHM 2005.25.1

She attended Walton High School from 1928 to 1930.

Walton High School, 1930. Davis’ Scrapbook.


Nadine Hicks was a close friend.

DeLaine Davis (lt) and Nadine Hicks (rt)


She was on the WHS Women’s Basketball  Team all three years.

Sports page.

Coach Dunham led the team in 1928.

Coach Dunham, 1928.

Helen ‘Okie’ Okerberg was the coach in 1929. In both photos she is wearing a sweater with the”S.”

WHS Women’s Basketball Team, 1929.

James Nicholson was the coach for the 1930 season.

DeLaine lettered in basketball all 3 years, and she was the team captain for 2 years.

Athletic Letter Basketball

Music and Academics

She also lettered in academics and music.

Music & Academics

Activities and Fun

“Dearest Jimmy”

Pages with notes from friends.  Her nickname was “Jimmy.”

Nadine’s page.


DeLaine graduated from Walton High in 1930.


DeLaine married Bennett W. Ferguson.  Her obituary states that she was a retired restaurant owner. She died in Wichita on September 3, 1991.


  • The Girl Graduate’s Journal” DeLainie Davis Ferguson, 1928-1931, HCHM 2005.25.
  • Newton Kansan 5 September 1991.