Submitted by Anne Roberts
(Thank you for the great information)!
Source: New Lexington (OHIO) Democratic Herald Dec 2, 1875, page 3:
THE NEW LEXINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS The Past and the Present --- The Old and the New
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE TEACHERS, SCHOOL BUILDINGS, SCHOOL GROUNDS, SURROUNDINGS &C.---A PEN PORTRAIT OF THE SCHOOLS OF TO-DAY.-----
We cannot at present write definitely of the first school taught in New Lexington, or of the teacher; but, according to our best information, when the town of New Lexington was laid out, the lot on Jackson street, directly back of the present Neal House, was donated for school purposes, by the proprietors of the town. This was then considered the roughest lot in town, but it contained a spring of never-failing water, which was long known as the school house spring.
On this lot, about the year 1818, was erected a log school house,--which, however, was used but a few years, when it was torn down, and a frame building erected in the same place. This edifice stood on the east corner of the lot, fronting on Jackson street. This building was well lighted, though the windows were not large; and, after a time, the house was well furnished, for that day.
Of most of the early teachers, we have no definite account. One of the earliest teachers, in the new building, was a lame man, by the name of Ketcham, father of Hiram Ketcham, of Monroe township.--- He was celebrated in penmanship, and used to draw, as presents for his pupils, what were then considered marvelous pictures.
Soon after Ketcham came Robert Stewart, a most thorough scholar and disciplinarian, who, with the exception of a few brief intervals, was the teacher for over twenty years, and, until his death, which occurred in 1844. During Stewart’s time, and when he did not teach at New Lexington, his place was supplied by his daughter, Mary Stewart, John Rodman, Isaac Thorn, and perhaps others. After the death of Stewart Dr. James Smith was the teacher for about three years. After Smith came Peter Whipps, Osborn Brown, and E. S. Colborn, who taught the last school, in the old frame school building, in 1850.
Among the pupils in the last school, in the old building, we remember Marcellus Manly, Principal of the Gallion schools; Dr. J.R. Flowers, of Columbus; Dr. Wm. McMahon, of Northern Ohio; Dr. Jerome Oatley, of Circleville, O; J.R. Meloy, junior proprietor of the New Lexington Herald; Wm T. (Cump) Meloy, and many others that we could name. At the same time this school was taught in the old building , by E. S.C., Fanny Dawson, of Putnam, was teaching a school in the 2d Baptist Church.
After the old frame building was abandoned, for school purposes, schools were taught in the 2d Baptist Church, in the old Presbyterian Church, and elsewhere about town, as rooms could be procured.
Then came, as teachers, George Higgins, John H. Kelly, L.F. Muzzy, Robert Small, William Huston, Rev. Ferguson, Mrs. Ferguson, Julia Poundstone, Fanny Dawson,---- Cherry, A. M. Poundstone, and perhaps a few others, who fill up the time between the abandonment of the old frame building and the erection of the present brick edifice, now occupied by the schools.
The house now in use was erected in 1858, and first occupied by schools in 1858 ’59. Only four rooms were at first occupied, and of course, four schools taught in the building. A. M. Poundstone was Superintendent and teacher of high school; J. C. Ricketts teacher of Grammar school; and Mary Fealty, and Mary Huston, or Julia Poundstone teacher of the other schools. A. M. Poundstone continued Superintendent until the fall of 1861, when he resigned to take the position of Captain in the 62nd O.V.I. He was succeeded by Mr. Wiles, of Putnam, who held the position only a few weeks.---Some difficulty arising as to discipline, he resigned his position. Mr. Wiles has, for many years, been Superintendent of the Zanesville schools, and commands a very high salary. Mr. Wiles was succeeded, as Superintendent, by Charles Nourse, who held the position until 1866, when some difficulty arising as to discipline, he also resigned. Mr. Nourse was succeeded by Wm. A. Brown, who filled the position until his death, in November 1873. E. S. Colborn succeeded Mr. Brown as Superintendent for the remainder of the school year, which closed May 23rd, 1874. A. F. Stinchcomb succeded Mr. C., and filled the position for the term of one school year. H. F. Acker, the present Superintendent, is Mr. Stinchcomb’s successor.
Of the teachers of the grammar school, we remember, J. C. Ricketts, James M. Skinner, Henry Sheeran, Joseph Thompson, H. Craddock, W. T. Meloy, Wm. A. Brown, Orlando Marsh, E. T. Rissler, L.M. Alderman, J.F. Kelly, E. S. Colborn.
Of the lady teachers, we remember, Mary Huston, Julia Poundstone, Mary Fealty, Cora Harris, Mary Newell, Laura M. Sands, Helen Colborn, Lou Ferguson, Talma Comly, Annie Sutphen, Vic. Granger, Minerva Montgomery, Annie Skinner, Ella Poundstone, Mary Sanders, Frank Skinner, Mary Eckenrode, Callie Meloy, Mary Meloy, Susie Norris, Emma Brush, Roso Piper, Ella Wilson.
The old school house lot was too rough for a playground; but the pupils had the privilege of all the south end of Jackson street, as far as Vanwey’s corner; and the pupils of the olden time, as a general thing, did play, rain or shine, hot or cold. Oftentimes, for a good game of town ball, with no fences near, the boys would ascend the hill to a point about mid-way between where the 2d Baptist Church and present school house now stand, knocking the balls in the direction of Comley’s mill dam, and once in a good while, a lucky hit would send the ball away over and down the hill to the water’s edge. But there was one thing the boys had to keep a lookout for; the hoisting of Robert Stewart’s large, old style pocket handkerchief, near the school house door. Had the signal for books been a modern gong, or an emphatic clap of thunder, instead of a mute, spotted piece of silk, it could not have been more effective in starting the pupils for the school house, on the doublequick.
Let us turn from the past and take a glance at the schools of the present. At half past eight A.M. the school bell rings out, loud and clear, and soon we may see boys and girls, of all ages, from six to twenty-one, hurrying in the direction of school. At fifteen minutes of nine rings the second bell, and now we may see other boys and girls, at a yet more rapid pace going in the same direction. At nine o’clock the last bell rings, and if any pupils have been detained, we may seen them move along the streets, some walking swiftly, others at a slower pace, but all with a sort of uneasy, dissatisfied air, knowing that a tardy mark is sure to follow.
Let us now go and visit the schools. As we enter the grounds, with the exception of a few tardy ones, we find that the pupils are all in their rooms, the teachers are at their posts, and the schools are in order. We will first visit the
Taught by H. F. Acker, the Superintendent. This room has lately been furnished with new seats and desks of the most appproved make and finish, including a teacher’s desk. Mr. Acker is a native of Clayton township, Perry county; attended the district school, and afterwards attended a course and graduated, about a year since, at Athens University. The daily programme in this room is as follows: First Grammar class, 2d Grammar class, Latin class. Recess. Algebra, Geography, Orthography.—Noon. Analysis, Higher Arithmetic, Third Part Arithmetic, Recess. Physical Geography, Rhetoric, Reading. The reading exercise conclues at 4:15, and this closes the exercises for the day. On the day of our visit to the High School, the following pupils were in their seats:
Girls -- Lizzie Meloy, Sallie Arnold, Lizzie Taggart, Alice McClellan, Minnie Overmyer, Mame McMahon, Clara Morehead, Mary Duffy, Imie Colborn, Lizzie Black, Lou Free, Rhoda Eagle, Mary Carroll, Mary Calhoun, Emma Bastian, Eva Bailey, Kate Addison, Annie Meenan, Hannah Grimes, Annie Hamilton, Martha Horahan.
Boys -- Burt Huston, George Kelly, James Nease, Jos. Dusenberry, Oliver Granger, Charles McLaughlin, Alvah Moore, Ell Whipps, Ed Braddock, Robert Kelly, Charles Tracy.
The High school room will seat about fifty, and the seats will probably be nearly all occupied, within the next week or two. The members of this school, as a general thing, appeared to be attentive, with the exception of two or three boys, who seemed disposed to be talkative and disorderly, and one or two girls sligntly so. The pupils in this room are all old enough to understand what is due to themselves, and their teacher, and, as a general rule, they act on this principle, and give their instructor no trouble.
This room is under the charge of J.F. Kelly, who received his education in the New Lexington Public Schools, and, for the last six or eight years, has been teaching in New Lexington and vicinity. The order of exercises in this room is as follows: Reading, 1st class, 2d class; Primary Grammar, Recess. Arithmetic, 1st class, 2d class, 3d class. Noon. Geography, 1st class, 2d class. Recess. Grammar, 1st class, 2d class, Orthography.
The pupils whose names follow were in their seats:
Girls -- Frank Brush, Hattie Holmes, Laura McMahon, Alice Overmyer, Flora White, Annie Mackin, Maggie Nease, May Koons, Jane Dupler, Callie Grimes, Mary Brown, Annie Avery, Tillie Colborn, Lillie Marsh, Sallie Davis, Mary Desmon, Lucy Vickroy.
Boys – Burrell Whipps, Will Miner, James Henessy, John Horahan, Will Matthews, Elmer Nease, Samuel Chappelear, Charley Arnold, Will Braddock, Charles Goodin, Ross Wright, Frank Flowers, George Meloy, Sarsfield Taggart.
Miss Alpha Arnold, the teacher of this department, is a New Lexington girl, and received her education in the New Lexington public schools. She is a good scholar, has a high grade certificate, and is now teaching her first school.
The exercies in this room are as follows: Reading, Grammar, Prmary Geography. Recess. Intermediate Geography, Oral Spelling, Writing. Noon. Reading, 2d class, Arithmetic, 1st class, 2d class. Recess. Written Spelling, Oral Exercises.
Miss Lou Moore is the teacher of this department. She also taught the same school last year. She resides in Clayton township, Perry county, and is considered a successful teacher. Orthography, Reading, Writing, Geography and Arithmetic are taught in this room.—Forty pupils are present to-day.
Miss Kate Meenan, who has charge of this department, is a New Lexington girl, and received her education in the New Lexington public schools. She is now teaching her third year, in the same room, which would indicate that she is a satisfactory and successful teacher. She has about fifty pupils in daily attendance.
Miss Lizzie Calhoun has charge of this department. This is her second year in the same room, and she appears to be giving very general satisfaction, as a teacher. She is a daughter of Matthew Calhoun, of Zanesville, and niece of our fellow citizen Andrew Calhoun. She received her education in the Zanesville public schools. About fifty pipils are in daily attendance in this room.
The school rooms are all neatly papered and white washed, well lighted and heated, and proper appliances for ventilation, a thing that ought to be considered essential to a school room. Every teacher should be a good judge of what the temperature in the room out to be, and give the subject careful attention. In all cases, the comfort and advancement of pupils depend , in a great measure, upon proper ventilation: and in many cases, the health, and even the lives of the pupils, are endangered by neglect of this important subject.
THE SCHOOL GROUNDS
The present school grounds are among the nicest in this section of Ohio – perhaps excelled by none.—It contain about three acres and much of it has been planted in trees and evergreens. The school-house is situated on the highest point, and overlooks much of the surrounding county. To the north and west the landscape is beautiful. When the fields and forests are green, in Summer; or, later in the year, tinted by Autumn; or, when the rolling wave-like hills, are covered with snow; the extensive view, from the school house hill, to one who loves to look upon nature, in her changeful moods, is grand, and soul inspiring. Children naturally have an eye for this beauty, and many of them, day after day, and week after week, feast their eyes upon it with ever renewing delight.—Oh! Children of to-day! Look upon, admire, and study this beautiful landscape! It may not appear to be so much now; but in other days, in later years, it will remain a bright picture in memory, that gold cannot buy, or moth or rust corrupt.
Who can cast the horoscope of the future? No one. In 1844, when the school-boys played townball on this hill, there was no 2d Baptist Church, no brick schoolhouse, no town in the valley, no “Limerick,” no C. & M.V.R.R. no A. & L.E.R.R.: no court house, no Church bell, no organ, no piiano, no daily mail, and the old faithful mail mail-carrier, William Chenoweth, once a week, every Thursday, brought from Uniontown, on the turnpike, the letters and papers for the good people of New Lexington and vicinity.
It is reasonably certain that another wing will be built to the school building in 1876, and new schools organized, for the next school year. The New Lexington schools have had a good reputation in the past, and the motto for the future should be “onward and upward.”
P.S. -- Since the foregoing was in type, we have information that the first school in New Lexington was taught in an old log building now situated near where Andrew Stocklein now lives, on Brown street.—This was about the year 1818. Of course, there was no street, and no road there at that time. The house was not built for a school, and probably hadd been used for a dwelling.
About a year after this, a log school house was erected near where Frederick Whitmer now lives and school was held there for a year or two. Jesse Skinner, Henry Skinner, William Davis, Thomas McClellan, Robert McClellan, and most of the older chldren of the early settlers, attended school at these primitive buildings.
About the year 1820, the old log building, referred to the in the future part of this article was erected on Jackson street, back of where the Neal House now stands. We are informed by one who atended the schools that David Martin was the first teacher in the building.—He was a son-in-law of of Jacob Bugh, who lived one mile south-east of New Lexington. The name of the next teacher is forgotten; but the next was a Mr. King, a man with but one leg. The next was Josiah Morrow, who taught a number of years, and then came Ketcham and Stewart, as before narrated.
The old school building near Andrew Stocklein’s, and the one near Frederick Whitmers, contained no glass, but the window lights were made of greased paper. The third house, on the old school lot, for the first few years, also had the same kind of primitive windows.
We also omitted to state, in the proper place, that Rev. L.F. Drake was, for a year or two, Superintendent, while A. M. Poundstone was Principal of the High School. The names of a Mr. Beard, Mrs. Cherry, Helen McMahon, and Ann Kelly may also be added to the list of teachers.