Kansas Day began just a few miles from here in Paola, Miami County, Kansas, according to a 1932 edition of the KC Star, as quoted on the Kansas Historical Society’s website.
In 1877 Kansas youth who were studying United States history in Alexander LeGrande Copley’s classroom set aside Jan. 29, 1877 to celebrate Kansas’ pride and history. For two weeks, students researched and gathered all available information on Kansas, and amid hand drawn charts, informative pieces and drawings of the Kansas state seal, a presentation was provided to a standing room only crowd.
Speeches were given and The Kansas Emigrant song was sung. Written by J.G. Whittier about 1854, lyrics are sung to the tune of auld lang syne and include:

We cross the prairie as of old,
The pilgrims crossed the sea,
To make the West, as they the East,
The homestead of the free!
The homestead of the free, my boys,
The homestead of the free,
To make the West, as they the East,
The homestead of the free.
We go to rear a wall of men
On Freedom’s Southern line,
And plant beside the cotton-tree,
The rugged Northern pine!
We’re flowing from our native hills
As our free rivers flow;
The blessing of our motherland
Is on us as we go.
We go to plant her common schools
On distant prairie swells,
And give the Sabbaths of the wild
The music of her bells.
Upbearing, like the Ark of old,
The Bible in our van,
We go to test the truth of God
Against the fraud of man.
No pause, nor rest, save where the streams
That feed the Kansas run,
Save where our Pilgrim gonfalon
Shall flout the setting sun!
We’ll sweep the prairie as of old
Our fathers swept the sea,
And make the West, as they the East
The homestead of the free!

In 1879 Copley became superintendent of the schools in Wichita, and, of course, the day was appropriately observed there, and he encouraged everyone to remember Kansas Day.
Paola’s chamber of commerce is again marking Kansas Day on Jan. 26 at Paola High School with a business expo at the Paola High School.