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Student Handbook

Silent Joe


The bell tower adjacent to the football stadium is known as “Silent Joe.” The bell, which weighs approximately 1,400 pounds, was cast in 1855 and hung in the KSN administration building from 1880 until Plumb Hall replaced that building in 1917.

When the former administration building was razed, the bell was kept in storage until the present bell tower was completed in August 1939.

Plans were made for the bell to be rung only after a school victory. The 1939 Hornet football squad was expected to be a “superteam.” Some optimists speculated the bell would be worn out halfway through the season, according to the 1940 Sunflower.

After the first two games that season, the contrary became apparent; thereafter, the bell was known as “Silent Joe.” The name “Joe” was chosen because it was a common label for male students then.