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Full text of "The One-room school: Lycoming County's legacy"

P 372.9 ONE JVBB 

Junror League of Williamsport 
Jhe One-room school. Lycoming 
680192000201691 




Reference Department 



This material 
does not 
circulate 



RURAL SCHOOLS^ 




LYCOMING COUNTY 



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12] MILES 

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THE JUNIOR LEAGUE 

OF WILLIAMSPORT , INC., 

WILLIAMSPORT , PA. 



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Note: In our study of original manuscripts, some 100 years old or more, it was in- 
teresting to note unusual spellings and distinctive grammatical constructions. 
Reproduction is as true to the original form as possible. 

The photographs in this book have been reproduced from various sources, many 
of which are old and consquently of poor quality. 

Many of the designs seen throughout the book are facsimiles of the souvenir 
booklets that were given to the students at the end of each year by their teachers. 

Cover drawing and designs by Marilyn Seeling. 

Title page by Grace D. Caldwell in the style taught by Professor C.C. Hart in the 
county schools during the first quarter of this century. 



The Junior League of Williamsport, Inc. i?'1980 
Williamsport, PA 

Library of Congress Catalogue Mumber 80-85237 

First Edition Limited to LOOO Copies of which this is Number O/ 

lAWiF*? V BROWN LIBRAirK 

JAmco y.f'^'^ Printed by Paulhamus Litho. Montoursville. PA 

WILLIAMSPORT. PENNA. 



DEDICATION 

We dedicate this book to all students and 
teachers who fondly remember their experi- 
ences in a one- room schoolhouse — and es- 
pecially to Clarence McConnel whose love for 
these schools inspired the writing of this book. 



a5G55S 



Words of Thanks 



This book would not have been possible without the help of many people in various ways. We 
would like to thank all of them. 

Jean T. Heller edited and proofread the copy. George C. Deffenbaugh researched and wrote two 
townships, photographed a number of schools, and marked the map on the end papers. 

Andrew Grugan, Lycoming County Historical Museum Director, read the copy for historical ac- 
curacy, and the museum staff assisted in procuring information and pictures. 

Barbara Cioffi and Karl Klotz proofread, edited, and typed parts of copy. Marguerite Bierman 
and Charles Dittmar did photographic work. Legal assistance was contributed by David R. Bahl. 
Mrs. Virdie S. Houser researched and wrote several sections of this book, and Alicia Barnard 
worked many hours with layout and typing. 

Jack Wolfe of the Jersey Shore Area School District, Albert McCoy of the Montoursville Area 
School District, William Collins of the Williamsport Area School District, and Robert Mitstifer of 
BLAST made old minute books and other sources available for our research. 

The J. V. Brown Library helped in locating information and provided a photograph of the Mo- 
squito Valley School. The Konkle Library in Montoursville, the Muncy Public Library, and the 
Muncy Historical Society contributed sources of information. 

Publicity was provided at various stages of our two year project by the Williamsport Sun- 
Gazette, Grit, the Citizen Press, The Muncy Lun^inary, WILQ, WRAK, WWPA, and KAR Television 
Productions. 



We thank the following for 
formation and anecdotes. 

Ruth E. Bardo 

Mrs. Earl Berger 

Mrs. Gertrude B. Bitner 

Mrs. Martha Boatman 

Mrs. Edith Boston 

Mrs. Rebecca S. Braunbeck 

Mrs. Helen Brion 

Mrs. Martha Hughes Cable 

Mrs. Stanton Camp 

Martha Carpenter 

Marian Case 

Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Case 

Mrs. Martha J. Cheatle 

Mrs. Inez L. Clark 

Marion G. Clark 

Lula M. Cohick 

Mrs. Althea Cable Cooper 

Mrs. Eleanor R. Corson 

James B. Crandall 

Mrs. Marie M. Crossley 

Mrs. Isabelle DeLallo 

Helen Doan 

Mrs. Anne K. Eck 

Elizabeth H. Ely 

Mrs. Ruth Ely 

Minnie English 

Ruth A. Feerrar 

Barbara A. and 

Walter E. Fullmer III 



the use of their photographs. Many also contributed valuable In- 



Mrs. Dora Gamble 

Arlene B. Hafer 

Elizabeth Hagenbuch 

Mrs. Lewis Hall 

Milton Harlan 

Harer Photo 

Mrs. Harriet Heyd 

Ira P Heyd 

Margaret C. Horn 

Mrs. Ethel Hornberger 

Lu Lu Johnson 

Perry M. Johnston 

Alden E. Kehler 

Lucille P Kehler 

Nancy L. Kellenstine 

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Kelley 

Miss June V. Klees 

Mrs. Grace Kohler 

Milton W. Landis 

Mabel Lear 

Mary Lewis 

Peggy Lheureux 

Mrs. Dale Lunger 

Dempster McCracken 

Marie McHenry 

Louise and Morris Meyer 

Vivien W. Miller 

Virginia E. and Belmont L. Miller 

Lorraine Monks 



Mildred Campbell Moore 

Mrs. Hazel D. Mutchler 

Frieda Young Null 

Mildred A. Park 

Ruth F. Pepperman 

Roy C. Peterman 

Dorothy Plank 

Mabel Plotts 

Rebecca Richards 

Mrs. Harriet E. Ridge 

Calvin Ringler 

Mrs. Ellen Schneider 

Frank Sawyer 

Herbert E. Seltzer, Jr. 

Mrs. Charles Sheets 

Mrs. Geraldine S. Shipman 

Mr. Clair E. Shope 

Esther M. Shuman 

Galan Smith 

Mrs. Alice Stradley 

Mrs. Earle Stroble 

Olive H. Strouble 

Mrs. LeRoy B. Stull 

Fred and Collins Swarthout 

Vannucci Foto Services 

Mrs. Bernadine Holt Wacker 

Mrs. Raymond Wagner 

Ethel C. Watts 

Marvin H. Willets 



We thank the following for 

Thelma Adam 

Mr. and Mrs. Belmont 

Mr. Eugene P. Berlin 

Mrs. Mary S. Braucht 

Harold Brooks 

CleoBull 

Grace D. Caldwell 

Mrs. Bruce Campbell 

Martha Carstetter 

Mr. J. Bruce Casner 

Mr. and Mrs. John Clendenin 

Betty Confer 

Mrs. Grace Confer 

Mrs. Dorothy Corson 

Earl Dame 

Mrs. Mellie Davis Dillman 

Mrs. Esther Dittmar 

Miss Ruby Eckert 

Ted Edkin 



their valuable information and 

Hazel Entz 

Mr. Ralph Foresman 

Donna Genther 

Mr. and Mrs. G. Fred Hampe 

Mr. Roy Harvey 

LeRoy A. Heivly 

Bertha Hoffman 

Mrs. Eva Kaufman 

Mrs. Fred Kissell 

Budd Leavy 

Francis H. Maneval 

Marian McCormick 

Robert L. Miller 

Betty Meff 

Paul I. Overdorf 

Leslie N. Painton 

Genevieve Patterson 

Mrs. Charlotte Y. Pauling 



anecdotes: 

Mr Alfred Phleger 

Ralph Price 

Carol Pryor 

Darius Shollenberger 

Ralph C. Smith 

Mrs. Sue Suehr 

Arthur Cllmer 

Claire (JImer 

Mrs. Kathryn S. Waltman 

Mr and Mrs. Charles D. Waltz 

Martha Waltz 

Mrs. Martha Casner Waltz 

George B. Will 

Miss Harriette Williams 

Mrs. Katherine Winner 

William F Wolfe 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank K. Wright 

Mrs. Florence Yaw 



Also thanks to the following: 



Lynn Bailey 

Mrs. Bruce Bartly 

Mrs. Lester Barton 

Genevieve Brian 

Ruth Brucklacher 

Mrs. Walter Calvert. Sr 

Carrie Carl 

Janice Cohen 

J. J. Cohick 

Lucille Cohick 

Francis Cooley 

Mrs. Violet Costello 

Margaret E. Covert 

Maomi Day 

Florence Denniston 

Mary Knight Desau 

Joan Evans 

Jan Fisher 

Fanny Gilbert 

Nancy Gilbert 

Mrs. Francis E. Guinter 

Miss Miriam Harer 

Vera Harris 

Mrs. Ruth Blair Henry 

Florence Hostrander 

Florence Sunderland Irion 



Mrs. Francis M. Isbell 

Pat Kahle 

Mrs. LeRoy Keller 

Mildred Kelley 

Mary E. Covert Kerstetter 

Matthew Kissell 

Jeannette Lasansky 

Mary Leonard 

Mrs. Helen Lewis 

Leona Lowe 

Margaret Lundy 

Mrs. Julia Tubman McNett 

Leona Mansuy 

Janie Matter 

Mrs. Lucille Meisel 

Robert L. Miller 

Mrs. Sarah Mix 

Ethel L. Mosteller 

Muncy Normal School Reunion Com. 

Mrs. Evelyn Mutchler 

Ted Neese 

Joseph Newman 

Connie Packer 

Mrs. Carlton Peeling 

Elizabeth Confer Phillips 

Connie Plankenhorn 



Robert Pryor 

John Raymond 

Nancy Reeder 

Robert Robbins 

Mrs. Viva Santchi 

Emily Scaife 

Kathleen Scheesley 

Mary Smith 

Mrs. Paul Smith 

Sarah Snyder 

Jane Spangler 

Mrs. Mildred Solley 

Jane Stiber 

Mrs. Dorothy Stine 

Thomas Taber 

Ethel Tallman 

Mary Louise Taylor 

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Temple 

Guy Temple 

Pam Tomkins 

Doris Trimble 

Delvan Weaver 

Gladys Widemire 

Edna Wilkinson 

Harriet Williams 

John Yoder 



To all others who helped and supported us throughout this project, we express our gratitude. 



PREFACE 

Among the evidences of a bygone era are the one-room schoolhouses. 
Lycoming County, in particular, has a long history of these educational land- 
marks stretching back to 1796 and extending to 1967. There were over 200 of 
these schools in operation in the county during this time. Some have been re- 
stored, some have been converted for other uses, and some have fallen to ruin. 

The Junior League of Williamsport, Inc. became interested in this project 
while compiling an oral history from older county residents. In the course of 
the interviews, the late Clarence McConnel emerged as an exceptionally rich 
source of information. For many years, he had been working on a scrapbook of 
one-room schools in all of Lycoming County. Mr. McConnel's material has 
served as the incentive for the League's undertaking this project. 

From many former one-room schoolhouse teachers and students, we have 
been fortunate to obtain for preservation a wealth of information, personal 
stories, photographs, original documents and memorabilia. This material has 
enabled us to capture the realities of the school days which have been immor- 
talized by such songs as The Little Red Schoolhouse and School Days, by short 
stories such as Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow and its itinerant 
teacher Ichabod Crane, and by books and television programs such as Little 
House on the Prairie. 

The purposes of this book are to preserve the history of a significant era of 
our county — the buildings, the people, and their joys and problems — and to 
pay tribute to the early educators whose dedication to learning contributed im- 
measurably to enrich the county and its people. 

We do not claim that this book is a complete, precise historical record. Our 
research revealed many discrepancies in dates, names and other associated in- 
formation which we have attempted to assemble as logically as possible to 
capture the tenor of the Little Red Schoolhouse times. Material which could not 
be directly included in this book is preserved at the Lycoming County Historical 
Society Museum for future use and research. Any readers who have additional 
information are invited to contribute it to the Museum's collection. 

The Editors - 
Sandra Klotz 
Ruth Croyle 
Connie Snyder 
Marilyn Seeling 
Linda Alberts 
Cherie Hodrick 
Elizabeth Lyon 
Lorrie Sherbine 



Table of Contents 

Early History 9 

The Public Schools Begin 15 

Architecture 22 

The Outhouse 26 

The Stove 27 

The School Bell 29 

School Days 

Teacher Recollections 31 

Student Recollections 37 

The Townships 42 

Anthony 43 

Armstrong 44 

Bastress 45 

Brady 46 

Brown 47 

Cascade 49 

Clinton 50 

Cogan House 52 

Cummings 54 

Eldred 56 

Fairfield 57 

Franklin 58 

Gamble 60 

Hepburn 62 

Jackson 65 

Jordan 67 

Lewis 68 

Limestone 70 

Loyalsock 73 

Lycoming 75 

McHenry 76 

Mclntyre 78 

McNett 79 

Mifflin 80 

Mill Creek 82 

Mooreland 83 

Muncy 83 

Muncy Creek 85 

Mippenose 86 

Old Lycoming 88 

Penn 89 

Piatt 91 

Pine 92 

Plunketts Creek 93 

Porter 95 

Shrewsbury 98 

Susquehanna 100 

Upper Fairfield 100 

Washington 102 

Watson 103 

Wolf 104 

Woodward 106 




EARLY HISTORY 



Settlers of Lycoming County were occupied during the first half of the eighteenth century with 
the basic homesteading tasks of clearing land, wresting territory from the Indians, and setting up 
the rudiments of agriculture and home industry. This rugged country that provided a home for 
the early pioneers grew steadily with each new influx of immigrants and soon became a melting 
pot of different nationalities. Each faction brought its own dreams, motives, and acquired 
knowledge fashioned after a native land. 

This knowledge was passed from one generation to another and reflected the parents' own bias 
or creed. Basic survival, however, outweighed adherence to tradition, and young men were pro- 
vided the only training deemed necessary — meeting the demands of the wilderness. Learning 
the fundamentals of handling a gun proficiently, making accurate strokes with an axe and impro- 
vising tools and equipment where there were none were the primary skills of instruction. A young 
woman's basic education involved cooking, cleaning, making clothes, and swinging a cradle with 
dexterity and ease. For a long time, the skills required to cope with pioneer life had first priority, 
but as the settlers' need for protection diminished and homesteading tasks became easier, a 
gradual change occurred in educational priorities. 

The earliest endeavors at public education were rather haphazard, community efforts. People 
would band together and hire the best educated of their neighbors. There was no system, no 
order, and no governing body. Most of these schools were known as subscription schools. This 
meant that the parents paid a tuition that could be collected in various ways. Money was not 
readily accessible, so bushels of grain, stacks of firewood, and other commodities were common 
types of payment. In some cases, the teacher was provided with room and board for a designated 
time as compensation for instruction. 

School buildings were nonexistent, and instruction was dispensed in whatever rooms or struc- 
tures were available. In most cases these structures were privately owned and were often nick- 
named "kitchen" or "family" schools. Many were in operation long after the first formal schools 
were erected and provided instruction in religion and academics for adults as well as children. 

Most of the schools adhered strictly to the traditions of the nationality that was dominant in 
that area. The Dutch, German, and Scotch-Irish immigrants, common ethnic clusters, taught 
their children exclusively in the mother tongue to preserve the heritage of their ancestors. In 
mixed communities much bitterness arose in selecting a teacher. At one time a riot was immi- 
nent at Jaysburg, located in a section of today's Newberry, between the Dutch and the Scotch- 
Irish. The conflict was settled by the decision to erect separate schools for the accommodation of 
pupils in each language. 

Religious background also figured prominently in determining the need for a school. From 
earliest accounts, Quakers were known to have a great interest in educating the members of their 
sect, and many held "kitchen" schools to advance their education. Father Kitley, an elderly 
Quaker, conducted a school as early as 1790 in a log house on his farm between Pennsdale and 
Hughesville. In 1793, some Quakers conducted an evening school in their meeting house, and 
the early 1800's saw the Muncy area blossom with private schools begun by people who offered 
everything from theorem painting to classical music. Presbyterians, Catholics, and Methodists 
followed suit, offering other aesthetic courses of study. 

As the population grew, crude log buildings were erected as schools. Their location was deter- 
mined by the largest clusters of people and by the land donated for the building. Usually the land 
designated for schools was considered unfit for other purposes, and, unfortunately, little con- 
sideration was given to its suitability for a school. Often it lacked adequate play yard or was sub- 
ject to flooding, high winds, fog, and drifting snow. In sparsely settled areas children were re- 
quired to walk five miles to school, often suffering hardships during the cold, winter months. 

As technology progressed, more and more rural areas developed into industrial settlements. 
Woolen mills, saw mills, iron furnaces, and mines were established throughout the county, and 
the need for educating the workers' children became apparent. Schools were begun in these 
localities and labeled "factory schools" because their main patrons were from factory workers' 
families. In many cases when the means for making a living was terminated, so was the need for a 




Red Burn School — Mclntyre Township. Early 1900's. The school is located in the top-center of this picture of 
the now non-existent coal-mining town of Red Burn near Ralston. 

school. Such was the case in Plunketts Creek Township where a woolen factory burned in 1891, 
and the school was closed several years later. 

It seems that when the size of the population warranted a need for structured education, there 
arose the need for a building to be erected solely for that purpose. The kitchen schools were no 
longer adequate substitutes for an actual building in which to serve a large number of students. 
Buildings needed to be constructed not only in industrial settlements but in the rural areas as well. 
The first school building in the county was built in 1796 in a rough and undeveloped wilderness 
known as Moreland Township, Architecturally crude, it was built of round, hewn logs and roofed 
with clapboard with two windows made of greased paper, A pine board supported by pins along 
two sides of the room furnished the writing desk; long, pine slabs on four good substantial pegs 
made the seats; and an open fireplace furnished both heat and light, Barnard Barkelow was the 
first teacher of record. Prior to the first log building, vacated shops, rooms, and buildings served 
as the educational structures throughout the county. 

About 1795, the same year that Michael Ross was laying out the town of Williamsport on land 
that he owned, it is worthy to note that he set aside a square plot of ground for a schoolhouse at 
the northeast corner of the square presently occupied by the county Court House. A log school 
was constructed on this plot soon afterwards, as were two built in Jaysburg to accommodate the 
Dutch and Scotch-Irish nationalities. A flurry of school construction is recorded in the county in 
the late 1700's and early 1800's as the one room log school became the symbol of a progressing 
educational system. 

Although building schools was a step forward in the educational process, many difficulties re- 
mained. The teachers continued to be poorly trained and ill-qualified, for many knew nothing 
about grammar or geography and were acquainted with no more arithmetic than long division. 

Often intinerant teachers were hired, and few re- 
mained more than months, although some settled in 
the area and became prominent local citizens. One 
of these early itinerants was Caleb Bailey, who ap- 
peared in 1796 and is believed to have taught in the 
first log school erected within the city of Williams- 
port. Many of these schoolmasters were of Irish or 
Scotch-Irish descent, noted for their scholarly at- 
tainments and unique personalities. They were often 
paid quarterly and in the case of itinerant George 
Patton, a reasonable proportion of firewood was 
added to his monetary fee. 



Steuben School — Cogan House Township. 1846-1894. In 1894 a 
new school was built, and the old log school was covered with 
weatherboards and used as a blacksmith's shop. 

10 





Larryuille School — Piatt Township. This school was destroyed by the 1889 flood. 



One of the means of engaging these schoolmasters was 
through advertising, and in 1808, the advertisement at right 
appeared in the Lycoming Gazette. 

in addition to the problems of finding adequate teachers 
was the task of finding suitable materials from which to 
teach. Textbooks were virtually nonexistent in the early 
days, and teachers often would use a piece of keel or char- 
coal to print letters on the wall or in front of their desks from 
which the little ones learned their ABC's. 

As the years passed, pupils eventually studied from a 
spelling book and read from the Bible, prayer book or news- 
paper. The art of writing was also a difficult achievement, 
and a teacher often was kept busy at recess repairing quill 
pens. No classes were established and no system observed. 
Each pupil progressed in proportion to his ability or to the 
amount of time he applied himself to his studies. As un- 
structured as this education was, the schools began to flour- 
ish, and gradually grew in popularity. Their patrons still 
were largely from the working class and agrarian section of 
society, and it was some time before the schools could com- 
pete with the private schools attended by the very rich. 

Academies for boys and schools for young ladies became 
popular among the elite and offered a viable alternative to 
the one room, non-graded log school. One of the first private 
schools that was established in the valley was an institution 



A 

SCHOOL- 
MASTER 
WANTED 

One who is capable 
of teaching 

reading, writing, 
arithmetic, etc. Will 

meet with good 
encouragement by 

applying to the 
trustees in the Boro 

of Williamsport. 




11 



One trying day in the teaching career 
of Mrs. Grace Kohler occurred when the 
Superintendent decided to uisit the school 
to observe her. Normally this would nol 
have been a note- worthy event. On this par- 
ticular day, however, each student's desk 
was brightened by the presence of a very 
unusual object. Rather than having the nor- 
mal quill, each student had a colorful 
pheasant feather for his quill. Mrs. Kohler ^~ 
recalls spending the day wondering how taM0 
the Superintendent would react to her rather unor- 
thodox classroom environment! 



of higher learning founded on Little Pine Creek 
in 1806 by Quaker John Morris and his wife. 
Called the Seminary in the Wilderness, it was 
reached by Williamson Road. This road had 
been opened a few years earlier from Loyal- 
sock (now Montoursville) to Painted Post, New 
York. Established solely for the purpose of edu- 
cating young women, the seminary was a bold 
venture for the times and proved very success- 
ful. Many daughters of early pioneers attended 
the seminary, most notably, Elizabeth Ross, 
daughter of Michael Ross. Her books have been 
preserved at the Lycoming County Historical 
Museum. 

About 1814, another academy was erected on Third and West streets. Octagonal in shape, it 
was often called the Octagonal School rather than by its formal name — The Williamsport Acade- 
my for the Education of Youth in the English and Other Languages in the Useful Arts, Science, 
and Literature. Subscriptions from local citizens and a $2000 grant, obtained from the state on 
condition that no more than five poor children be taught without charge, made possible the erec- 
tion of this substantial brick building that was a landmark for many years. This same academy 
became Dickinson Seminary in later years and was the lineal ancestor of Lycoming College. 

The academy was served by a line of Scotch-Irish masters until 1835. After that time. Miss M. 
A. Heilman and Miss P. Hall conducted a young ladies' seminary in the old building for a number 
of years. The site of the academy was moved to the present location of Lycoming College in 1838 
for the following reason: 

Whereas the said situation is no longer deemed a proper situation for an academy by 
reason of the termination of the Williamsport and Elmira Railroad at or near the house at- 
tracting the attention of the scholars and endangering their personal safety. 

From the time the first log school was erected in 1796 until the 1830's, education in Lycoming 
County consisted of township schools, supported by tuition paid by the parents, and private 
schools or academies designed to provide more advanced learning and generally limited to the 
well-to-do. In both cases, structured learning was an option available only to a small segment of 
the population. Children of poorer families often were eliminated by the expense of subscription, 
children in remote areas had no schools available, and in many minds education was still con- 
sidered a luxury rather than a necessity. 

Then, in 1834, the Free School Act was signed into law by Governor George Wolf. The result of 
many years of effort by three Pennsylvania governors — John Andrew Schuize, George Wolf, and 
Joseph Ritner — the act gave each child in the state a chance for education at public expense. It 
stated that schools were to be financed by local taxation supplemented by appropriations from 
state funds. Local school directors were to be elected to administer the schools, which were to be 
open to all who applied for admission. This act marked the beginning of public education in the 



state. 

Thought to be a breakthrough 
in education, the Free School Act 
still faced strong opposition. 
Some of the opposition came 
from parents who had been pay- 
ing tuition fees all along to send 
their children to school and re- 
sented a law that now made it pos- 
sible for the very poor to come to 
school at the taxpayers' expense. 
A citizen of Piatt Township who 
was opposed to the equality of ed- 
ucation thought a blue patch 
should be sewn on the pants of 
poor children in order to mark the 
distinction. 



w 



A.1 




The Octagonal School 



The Williamsport Academy 



12 



\ 






I^Tsr* 




-V- 



Independent School — Hepburn Township 



Another strong faction of opposition came from the settlers of German descent. Commonly 
called Dunkards, these people believed their own system of church schools conducted in the 
German language would better serve the needs of their children. They feared English schools 
would confuse their children, who spoke German at home. They decided if they could not have 
their own language and their own school, they would not have any at all. As a result, independent 
school districts were formed where the German language was maintained. Hepburn Township 
had an independent district as did Old Lycoming and Watson townships. 

An article entitled Education in the Nineteenth Century written by John A. Eckert offers a 
passage that deals with the early schooling of Eckert's father in a German School in Mifflin 
Township in the 1830's. The writer then compares his own education received a generation later 
with that of his father's, giving the reader an idea of how the system progressed after the Free 
School Act of 1834. 

The school my father attended was in the teacher's home, a log house one and one half 
miles north east of Salladasburg. All teaching was in the German language, benches placed 
.„_^ around the room served as desks, or seats for the pupils. Very stormy 
'-■^ weather resulted In some pupils who came quite a distance staying 
overnight with the teacher. School tax was an unknown quantity as 
there were no schoolhouses, but parents of pupils frequently gave the 
teacher a bag of corn, a sack of flour, or a load of wood, in payment of 
the teacher services. 

Subjects taught at that time were reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

,The reader was the Old and New Testament. I am advised that ten 

years later the books were printed with two columns, one in German 

language and the other column was in the English language. The arithmetic was a ready 

reckoner with problems worked as proof of their correctness. 




13 



A generation later found the writer of this sketch a pupil in the common schools. I re- 
member the school term was five months long and parents purchased the text books for 
their children. One of the great events looked forward to by teachers and pupils was the 
district institute held in some central section and embraced several townships. I remember 
one held in Salladasburg for the districts of Mifflin, Anthony, Piatt, and the boro of Salla- 
dasburg. These institutes were generally held on a Saturday. At that time Mifflin had seven 
schools, Anthony had five and Piatt had five and Salladasburg two. All schools participated 
in the contests which included Reading, Spelling, Rapid addition, and general information. 
Rivalry was keen among the pupils for leadership. These contests with the discussions of 
questions relating to school, completed the day's program. Large bobsleds sometimes 
drawn by four horses generally hauled the entire school. Enrollments were sometimes for- 
ty. The merry sound of the sleigh-bells, the singing of the school songs of that day by the 
scholars as they were homeward bound was the end of a perfect day. 

From this account one can readily see that change did occur in the educational structure, but 
progress was slow and opposition and distrust of new ideas were formidable barriers to be over- 
come. In fact, there was so much dissent at the passage of the Free School Act that in 1835 there 
was even an instance when it came precariously close to being repealed. The Free School Act did 
not force local communities to establish public schools; it merely provided funds for those dis- 
tricts which accepted the law's provisions. Approximately one half of the state's school districts 
accepted the appropriations as soon as they were available, but it was not until 1868 that all of 
the one thousand districts in the state had established public schools. 

This law drastically changed the attitude toward education in many communities. Although 
schools sprang up in greater numbers providing the opportunity for education to many more 
children, compulsory attendance was not introduced until 1895. The establishment of more 
schools also produced a demand for more teachers. These schools drew their teachers from the 
best of the eighth grade students in the existing schools. These persons had to undergo an an- 
nual examination by the school directors to receive proper certification to teach the various 
grade subjects. 

Until the Free School Act and for almost twenty years thereafter, each school operated inde- 
pendently of each other The school calendar was determined by the local school directors. It was 
influenced greatly by peak activity times in agriculture and industry when most of the children 
were needed at home. In 1854, the average length of a school term was four months. 

As was previously mentioned, there was no standardization of materials even within one 
school or township, so the standards of qualification in one area had no relationship to the stand- 
ards in another area. Each teacher worked in isolation of others. In some schools there were no 
grade divisions — each student recited independently. During these twenty years the educational 
system grew immensely, but its growth was seen in numbers rather than in organization. It was a 
system based upon the will and whims of clusters of people, scattered throughout the county, 
each possessing different backgrounds and professing different ideas about education. There 
arose the need, therefore, for standardization and organization, and in 1854 another act was 
passed that had a significant impact on the progress of public education. Labeled the Act of 
1854, it created the Office of the County Superintendent and sought to give some direction to the 
educational system. 



14 




THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BEGIN 



The Pennsylvania Act of 1854 had a favorable effect upon the quality of education in these 
early schools. This act introduced new features: 

1. School districts became corporate bodies to borrow money, buy and sell property, sue, etc. 

2. Separate sub-districts were abolished. 

3. The minimum school term was established at four months. 

4. School directors were required to establish separate schools for Negro or mulatto children 
whenever schools could be so located as to accommodate twenty or more people. 

5. School architecture was emphasized and a study of same was authorized. 

6. A course of study was delineated: Orthography, Reading, Writing, Grammar, Geography, 
and Arithmetic. 

7. Public funds for private and endowed schools were repealed. 

8. School directors were to select texts used in the schbols with the advice of teachers. 

9. The Office of County Superintendent of Schools was created. 




Lycoming County Superintendents 



15 



This last provision in particular aroused a great deal of opposition. Those who had opposed the 
1834 Free School Act directed their strength against the new office. They especially opposed the 
teacher examinations, and there was much faultfinding with county superintendents by dissatis- 
fied schoolmasters. Many school directors looked upon this as an attempt to limit their preroga- 
tives and their power. Citizens complained that the money paid for superintendents' salaries was 
wasted. 

During this period, the chief school officials worked in an unfavorable atmosphere. According 
to Wickershan's History of Education in Pennsyluania: 

Their examinations were often unjustly criticized, their visitations were unwelcome, 
their advice was unheeded, and even their presence was considered an offense. Cinder 
these circumstances, the weak did nothing, the timid shrunk from the conflict, and none 
but the strong and brave could make a fight with any hope of winning it. 

The first county superintendent in Lycoming County was J. W. Barrett. He was elected in 1854 
and set to work immediately to bring some order to the haphazard system of schools then in 
operation. Mr. Barrett found buildings to be cold and uncomfortable, few had maps or 
blackboards, and some had no toilet facilities. The following passage typifies the condition of 
many of the schoolhouses in existence during Mr. Barrett's superintendency. The description was 
written by Wesley Miles about the state of Williamsport's schools and schoolhouses in 1853. 
There were but two buildings — one a one-story brick, of two rooms, located on an alley, 
east of Hall's foundry. The fences, on three sides, left a space of a few feet for play grounds, 
with an alley in front, almost impassable from the depth of mud and water, with no walk to 
it from Third Street. This place was situated in the lowest, filthiest, and unhealthiest part of 
the town. The interior decorations, furniture, and the general condition of the house', may 
be briefly summed up. Much of the window glass was broken, the wash-boards parted 
some inches from the wall. A huge semi-circular platform was spiked down close to the 
back door, on which stood an unsightly, unpainted, dilapidated, rough desk. The writer, 
uncomfortably seated so near the door, on account of the cold, raised the spiked-down 
platform to remove it to another part of the room. On removing it, I found it hollow under- 
neath, to save the expense of a few feet of lumber. The old-fashioned long desks were 
carved and soiled with ink; the benches out of repair, low and unsteady. The stove was of 
the salamander kind, small and broken; ceilings low; walls cracked, and dark as prison 
quarters. Mo recitation seats, because no space for any. Two long desks enclosed the stove, 
and a gauntlet had to be walked to get to it. Besides, the foundation of the building was 
broken out, it was said, by the boys, in pursuit of rabbits. The front door was at an opposite 
corner from the back door. Mo blackboards, no maps, no furniture, save the benches, 
desks, and the little stove suited to heat a room ten by twelve. Adjoining, was a room simi- 
lar to the one above described. The penuriousness of the board, would not permit a school 
to be taught in it, rather pile in some ninety into mine, if for no other reason, to keep each 
other warm, as the following will show: 

The winter of 1854 was intensely cold. The schoolhouse. as above described, was 
not prepared for opening school in September. The cold entered everywhere, the fire 
would not burn, for the stove was worthless. The thermometer was below zero. My 
pupils wept bitterly on account of the cold. They clustered around the "salamander", 
and forced each other aside. I walked the floor benumbed. The school board had 
long before been petitioned to make the necessary repairs, but refused. Thus situat- 
ed, we resolved to remove into a vacant school-room on Church Street. Fixed in our 
somewhat more comfortable quarters, I addressed the president of the board thus: 
"The Jacobin motto was: Necessity knows no law; necessity demanded our remov- 
al from the house we this morning vacated, to prevenfus from freezing. Whenever 
you put it in a comfortable condition we will return; otherwise not. " Speedily such re- 
pairs were made, as the season permitted, and one week afterward, we returned. The 
only plea put in by the board, in refusing to repair the building, was: "No use in fixing 
up the old schoolhouse, for we are going to build another." 
The second schoolhouse, which we removed, as above stated, was a one-story brick, 
containing one room, equally unsightly as the other, but not so dilapidated and airy. The 
third house was a rented one on Pine Street, the property of Mrs. Ann Heilman. This was 
the only school-building of any attractions in the borough. In the above buildings, without 
grounds, five teachers taught each a session of six months; salaries, thirty-five dollars per 
month; No. 1 grade, boys, (my enormous wages.) first grade female, thirty dollars; others, 
twenty-five dollars. 

The above is, no doubt, a fair representation of the schools, and schoolhouses in the 1850's, 
and yet when the described house was built in 1839, the town had less than a thousand inhabi- 
tants, no railroad, no pavements anywhere, and the common school system was not fully under- 
stood, even by its founders. 

Due to the poor condition of the schoolhouses and the common practice of overcrowding, 
epidemics were frequent throughout the county, and school attendance was very irregular. 

16 



Through tact, patience, and understanding of school problems, Mr. Barrett laid the foundation 
for the work of those who were to follow. He made an effort to visit every community in the coun- 
ty and to enlist the aid of the school directors in improving the conditions of the schools. This 
was not an easy task, for many of these directors were still distrustful of the new office and posed 
formidable opposition for the first superintendent. Although many of the improvements he had 
strived to accomplish were not realized under his administration, he served to rescue the system 
from destruction and make it possible for his successors to continue in an office that was 
strengthened by his efforts. After two years he resigned, due largely to financial reasons because 
most of his meager salary went toward travel expenses. 

In 1856, Elisha Parker was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Mr. Barrett resigned. He was 
known to be a faithful and efficient officer and was very popular with the teachers throughout the 
county. Because he was unfamiliar with county roads, he had difficulty with visitations, often ar- 
riving at schools to find them no longer in session. He was disillusioned with parents who sent 
very young children to school to be rid of them and with wealthy settlers who opposed school 
taxes and free public schools. His tenure in office lasted only a year at which time Hugh Castles 
was elected to the position. 

During Mr. Castles' term (1857-1863) the superintendent's salary was reduced from $500 to 
$300 per year. He worked diligently, however, toward laws that would increase state aid and bring 
about a longer school term. He often demonstrated correct methods of teaching when visiting 
rural schools. His report of the county superintendency for the year ending June 3, 1861, 
evaluates the condition of the schools and classrooms, the materials used, and the quality of the 
teachers and teaching observed. A perspective on the state of education at the time can be 
gained from this quote: 

In some of the finest farming districts 1 found the poorest schoolhouses in the county, 
and the schools taught in these were of the same grade. In some localities I found elegant 
dwelling houses, sheds, corn houses, fine barns, good carriage houses, and even pig styes 
neatly finished and painted: and the children of the owners at school in poor schoolhouses 
not at all adapted to the comforts of children, or fit places for the training of immortal 
minds. 

He was equally dissatisfied with the quality of teaching and the lack of communication between 
teachers of different areas. 

In Meginness' History of Lycoming County we find a description of just this type of situation 
among the teachers employed during Mr. Castles' term. It reads: 

The teachers in the field were poorly qualified, and very imperfectly acquainted with the 
principles of teaching. There was no consultation nor intercommunication of ideas be- 



Troul Run Dec. 7lh 1878 . . . a citizen of Lewis Township has 
made a demand . . . for the School Board to visit Corter School & see 
the actions of the teacher of said school who he says can not read in the 
Third Reader 

It was decided by the Board to visit the said school on 
Friday Dec. ]3th . . . December 13th 1878 ... A Special 
meeting of the School Board convened at Corter School 
. . . for the purpose of witnessing the manner of teaching 
that school . . . After noticing the conduct of the teacher in 
managing the school & hearing the classes recite & having 
him read to the school from a newspaper the directors 
formed the unanimous opinion that he was doing good 
work & was not only fullg capable but was using his best 
endeavors to advance the scholars . . . 



Excerpt from the Lewis Townstiip Sctiool Board Minutes 



17 



tween the different teachers of the county. rHo questions of general school interest were 
agitated, and no new plans and methods suggested and attempted; but each teacher was a 
solitary worker in the great field of popular education. The officials, observing this great 
defect in the system, and seeing no better way to remedy it, influenced the State Govern- 
ment to pass a law providing for the meeting of teachers in each district every two weeks 
for the purpose of suggesting and investigating new methods and theories in general 
school work. The two days attended at the District Institute were counted in the number of 
days taught. For many reasons this law was found to be impracticable, and after a short- 
lived duration it was finally repealed during the Legislative session of 1862. 

In addition to trying to innprove school buildings and methods of teaching, Mr. Castles did much 
to establish regular school hours. He wanted his teachers to have the school rooms ready on time 
and begin the school day at the proper hour. After a six-year term as superintendent, Mr. Castles 
abdicated his office in favor of a popular and progressive man named John Thomas Reed who 
was elected to the superintendency in 1863. 

Also aware of the need to bring standardization and organization in teaching methods, Mr. 
Reed was successful in initiating the first county institute in Muncy in 1863 with twenty teachers 
attending. These institutes later became important workshops for teachers' training. Teachers 
were given instruction in available methods of teaching, school work was exhibited, and teachers 
could converse with their peers and share ideas. Much of Mr. Reed's time also was spent in travel- 
ing from school to school to give help to teachers on the job. He succeeded in introducing into 
the school curriculum the important subjects of grammar, geography, mental arithmetic, and 
United States history. After retiring in 1872, Mr. Reed served as principal of Montgomery schools 
and the Lycoming County Normal School. 

Recognizing the importance of a county institute to instruct teachers was a man named T. F. 
Gahan who served as county superintendent from 1872-1881. He did a great deal to promote this 
concept, bringing interesting speakers to the institutes along with student competition and 
displays that sparked the interest of the local citizenry. Until this time many parents knew noth- 
ing about the order, progress, or management of the schools which they were supporting. The 
sums of money given for school purposes were done so under protest, the new school books their 
children needed were thought to be useless and unnecessary, and the school furniture deemed a 
luxury. The county institutes thus served to educate the people on the internal workings of the 
school system and to establish a rapport with parents who had maintained an unhealthy attitude 
toward education. By conducting class drills, discussing questions of general school interest, 
and establishing the need for using charts, maps, and other academic tools, the institute helped 
initiate a greater interest in learning throughout the community. 

Mr. Gahan was so concerned that teachers receive the best possible training to help them per- 
form their jobs, that he enlisted the aid of the Rev. Thomas A. Griffith to help him organize the 
Lycoming County Normal School at Montoursville in the 
spring of 1870. In 1875 it was moved to Muncy where it 
grew into a fine teacher training institution. The Normal 
School especially helped rural teachers to improve their 
general education and teaching methods. In addition to 
establishing local institutes to benefit the teachers, this 
superintendent was the first man to call a convention of 
school directors together. The first convention was held in 
Montoursville, and subsequent meetings allowed directors 
to exchange ideas about education and to develop general 
policies. These conventions marked the beginning of effi- 
cient school organization at the local level. 

During the term of Charles S. Riddell (1881-1885) nearly 
all school buildings declared unfit for use were replaced by 
new buildings. Practically all school districts had discon- 
tinued summer term and a single, longer winter term was 
established. Mr. Riddell died in office at the age of 35. 

Charles Lose served the remainder of Mr. Riddell's term 
and was reelected at the next election. His administration 
was marked with great success, mainly in the direction of 
organizing the county schools. Much of the work that was 
scattered, disorganized, and isolated up to this time was 




Trout Run Dec. 5th 1863 . . . The ob- 
ject of the meeting being to Establish a 
District Institute there being but one 
Teacher present the Institute could not 
be established. 

The following resolution was adopted 
Resolved that we recommend to the 
Teachers of this district to procure some 
good work on teaching and devote 
every other Saturday to the reading of 
such works on teaching. 

Excerpt from Lewis Township Minutes 



18 




Muncy ISormal — Educational Hall 



brought into harmony with the county system. He initiated a 
plan of district supervision that divided the county into in- 
stitute sections and a competent teacher in each section was 
appointed to take charge of the educational meetings there 
and to give monthly reports to the Teachers' Exchange. He 
also raised the standards for teacher training, requiring 
teachers to satisfy his standards before they were given certi- 
ficates to teach. An important step toward more efficient in- 
struction came when free text books were furnished to stu- 
dents by the districts enabling all members of each class to 
have the same books. 

As a public speaker Charles Lose was without equal; the 
stories he told of his experiences in visiting the rural schools 
in the county have become classics in the local history of the 
area. An example of his proficiency in recounting these 
travels can be noted in the following excerpt taken from an 
article written by Mr. Lose entitled "A County Superintendent Fifty Years Ago." 

Transportation for the Superintendent in his work among the schools was limited largely 
to a horse and buggy in Spring, Summer, and Fall and to a horse and sleigh in Winter. 
When the road was extremely dangerous he occasionally traveled afoot. All of the roads 
were dirt roads, axle-deep in mud in the Spring when the frost was going out of the ground 
and blocked with snow drifts in the Winter time in the hill country. The Superintendent and 
his horse had many a stirring adventure in a bottomless mud hole or in a five-foot snow 
drift. In the mountains the roads were always rough and narrow. To meet a team loaded 
wide with bark or lumber and coming at a break neck speed down one of the narrow moun- 
tain roads compelled the Superintendent to think quickly and act smartly to avert disaster. 
The great June flood of 1889 obliterated for long stretches many mountain roads that ran 
close to the streams and carried away scores of bridges. In his work that Summer the Su- 
perintendent often wished that he might exchange his buggy for a boat. But these lonely 
hill and mountain roads often led through pleasant places where the Superintendent might 
see a ruffed grouse dusting itself, or a gray squirrel leaping from branch to branch, or a red 
fox cross the road in front of him. Once he was thrilled by the sight of a bear husking corn 
in a little cornfield perched on the side of the mountain. In the Spring while his horse was 
shedding his coat the Superintendent always rode with hair in his mouth, in Summer the 
dust of the road covered him, in the Fall rain wet him to the skin, and in the Winter frost 
nipped his fingers and ears. But these were small ills and there was much to compensate in 
the wild life he saw and heard in every mile of hill or mountain road. 

The Superintendent's trips to the distant parts of the county were often a week in length 
and at such times, like the soldier, he lived off the country through which he traveled. His 
horse was always sent at noon to the nearest barn for a full feed, but the Superintendent 
was himself often compelled to ask the teacher to share his lunch 
with the visitor. On one such occasion the teacher disclosed with 
some embarrassment that his dinner bucket held only a piece of 
apple pie and a chunk of raw cabbage. The Superintendent was dis- 
posed to eat the pie and leave the cabbage for the teacher, but the 
pupils, seeing the predicament that their teacher was in, hastened 
to make such ample donations from their own buckets and baskets 
that the lunch grew into bountiful proportions. How many midday 
meals the Superintendent ate by the school stove while he and the 
'teacher discussed the affairs of the school and the neighborhood he could not calculate. 
He remembers that none lacked food and good cheer. 

It was this charm and wit that prompted Eugene P. Bertin to reveal the regard in which Mr. Lose 
was held in a statement he made in the October, 1940 issue of the Now and Then. 

Here was a man of perfect balance, whose interest and experiences embraced all man- 
kind and the whole Kingdom of God. He lived the wholesome philosophy he preached. His 
wisdom attracted school men from the humblest to the highest who wore a beaten path to 
his door to seek his counsel . . . 

An able administrator, an excellent scholar, and a friend to many teachers throughout the county, 
Mr. Lose was a strong factor in guiding the progress of the county's educational system. 

Dr. J. George Becht served as county superintendent from 1893-1902. He prepared and put into 
effect a course of study for the ungraded schools of the county and introduced the school register 
so that accurate and important information concerning the students and their progress could be 
kept on file. He urged directors and teachers to take pride in their schools. Ten obsolete buildings 
were replaced, school grounds were beautified, classrooms were made attractive, and communi- 




19 



ties competed with one another in maintaining the finest schools. He also pioneered the develop- 
ment of the library for the rural schools, and in 1897 one-room schools had made a total purchase 
of 785 library books. 

During the twenty years that G. Bruce Milnor served, standards for teacher certification were 
raised, and in 1910 the new state course of study was introduced in the county schools. Textbooks 
on agriculture were introduced in the elementary schools, and more than half the districts had 
regular classes in that subject. Professor C. C. Hart was employed by many of the districts to 
teach the muscular system of writing as interest in penmanship was increasing. Debating leagues 
were organized and a county contest in spelling created a great deal of competition among the 
schools. During Dr. Milnor's term, E. Lloyd Rogers took office as the first assistant county super- 
intendent in 1915. 

Sylvester B. Dunlap's term (1922-1936) marks the beginning of the consolidation of school dis- 
tricts: Muncy and Muncy Creek townships consolidated as did Montgomery Borough and Clinton 
Township. Most of the secondary school buildings throughout the county were built during the 
first part of Dunlap's administration because of the increasing demand for a high school education. 
Frank H. Painter was the assistant superintendent under Mr. Dunlap and assumed the duties of 
the superintendency following Mr. Dunlap's death. Mr. Painter is primarily recognized for his em- 
phasis on improved reading instruction through the use of institutes and workshops. He also 
worked for equalization of education for rural children. 

Clarence H. McConnel served as assistant superintendent under Mr. Painter and became 
known throughout the county as a teacher's friend. As county superintendent (1947-1967) he con- 
tinued to spend much of his time visiting schools to help teachers and students, alike. He formu- 
lated in 1947, the first county plan for the ultimate reorganization of school districts. This joining 
of districts within the county, ranging from three to fifteen in number, into a single administrative 
unit was a tremendous task which demanded extensive construction to house the increased en- 
rollment. In 1952, Ralph C. Smith was appointed to replace Lawrence McKnight who had re- 
signed as McConnel's assistant. His major responsibility was to assist in solving the problems of 
school district consolidation, which led to the closing of all one-room schools. 

Since the inception of the act that established the office of the county superintendent in 1854, 
years of hard labor and diligence by successive superintendents had given direction and stabili- 
zation to the county's one-room school system. Once asked to improve the quality of teacher 
training, standardize materials throughout the county, institute reforms in teacher certification, 
and upgrade the general physical condition of the one-room schoolhouses, superintendents were 
now faced with the task of consolidating school districts and closing the many one-room build- 
ings that they had visited and had administered during their terms in office. As always, prejudice 
and distrust for new reforms made the job a difficult one, and many night meet- 
ings held in planning for school buildings and consolidation were often long 
and bitter struggles. 

There was a great reluctance among directors to give up the one-room 

schools even though many of the buildings were dilapidated. A neat, attractive 

building and grounds had become a rarity, and the good teachers who had once 

performed a multitude of tasks during the school day were no longer available. 

Emergency-certified teachers filled the vacancies, and books and supplies were 

not being provided. Many of the following 

factors contributed to the loss of good 

teachers in the rural one-room schools; 1) 




On one occasion when Superintendent 
Dunlap came to observe Gertrude Bitner at 
Ferguson School in Porter Township, the 
children were at work cleaning the school- 
house. When he had completed his observa- 
tion and was ready to leave, he looked high - 
and low but was unable to find his overshoes 
which he had left at the door One of the 
overly zealous cleaners confessed to hav- 
ing thrown them into the trash which was _^ 
burned. 




Mew graduates from the training centers 
were no longer trained to conduct this 
type of school and refused to accept posi- 
tions in them. 2) Janitorial duties would 
no longer be assumed by teachers. 3) The 
cost, hazards in travel, and time consumed 
in getting to and from the school became a 
major factor. 4) The shortage of teachers con- 
stantly drained the rural schools of 
teachers. 5) The unwillingness of 
— ) rural boards to match urban salaries 
automatically removed the best teach- 




20 




ers from these schools unless, by for- 
tunate circumstances, the teacher 
lived in the immediate community. 6) 
Many times the lack of teaching ma- 
terials and supplementary texts be- 
came an issue. In the several instan- 
ces where only emergency-certified 
teachers could be obtained, their in- 
adequacy became apparent through a 
testing program. The loss of popula- 
tion in many districts after the timber 
and coal were exhausted had resulted 
in the need for consolidation and the 
closing of many of the one-room 
schools even before the turn of the 
century. 

Through an exhaustive system of 
school visitation, teacher rating, and 
aptitude exams, Ralph Smith found 
that the quality of education that rural 
children were receiving was grossly 
inadequate. Pressure from parents, 
teachers, and community leaders 
compelled action. The legislature 
took corrective measures to alleviate the situation by forcing consolidation and imposing finan- 
cial penalties for emergency-certified teachers. This reorganization of the school system was 
completed with the closing of the last two remaining one-room schools in Lycoming County in 
1967. Shutting the doors on the Rose Valley and Beech Valley schools spelled progress in an 
educational sense, but to the devotees of the one-room schoolhouse it meant closing the doors 
on a part of the American heritage that could never be recaptured. 



June 25th 1853 . . . Resolved that each Sub Dist— 
boards it teacher amongst the schollars and that the 
people sending to school furnish the fuel in order to 
stretch the funds as far as possible. 

Trout Run September 1st 1877 . . . A motion was 
made for each director having a school house in charge 
should attend to the needed repairs and have them done 
in due time as cheaply as possible. Carried unanimously. 

Trout Run June 3rd 1878 . . . Resolved to hire good 
competent teachers as cheap as possible. The amount 
per month not to exceed thirty dollars ($30) in any case 



Excerpts from the Lewis Township School Board minutes 




J 





Beech Valley School — Gamble Township 



Rose Valley School — Gamble Township 



21 





'\\i7?? 



ARCHITECTURE 

Early schools were simple structures fashioned after the pioneers' own log homes. 
They were plain rectangular buildings. Their sides were round, hewn logs notched at 
the ends with the joints chinked and daubed. 

The inside of the building was often as primitive as the outside. The floors were 
puncheon, which meant that they were made of split logs that were placed with the 
flat side facing upward. The children were protected from the elements by a clap- 
board roof that was held down with long poles. A chimney that was built of stone when available, 
protruded from the roof, but more frequently it was constructed of a mixture of sticks and mud. 
This compound often produced an inefficient method of eliminating smoke that arose from the 
large, open fireplace situated at one end of the building. This 
fireplace was not only the sole source of heat, but it also pro- 
vided the children with an alternate source of light. The only 
other source of light came from one opening cut in the side of 
the building that served as a window. Due to the scarcity and 
expense of real glass, this opening was usually covered with 
wax or greased paper. 

Projecting from three of the walls were large planks of vary- 
ing heights that served as desks. Some schools had boxlike 
desks with benches for the older students, while the little 
children were made to sit for long periods of time on a long 
slab of wood turned flat side up. The ends of this wood were drilled with an auger and stakes were 
driven into the holes to serve as legs. This type of bench construction left no back support for the 
smaller children, and they suffered numbness in their legs and feet from trying to sit erect all day. 
Most of these primitive buildings fell to decay and the early 1800's saw the beginning of more 
sophisticated school construction. 

One popular design that surfaced during this period was the octagonal building generally 
known as the eight square. These eight-sided structures were built of sawed lumber with a shaved 
roof surmounted by a cupola. The numerous windows were covered with 8 by 10 inch bull's eye 
glass, and the pupils' benches were arranged inside in a circular manner facing these roughly 
covered openings. A popular myth had been circulated to explain the unique construction of 
these buildings. Apparently some early pioneers felt an eight-sided building would enable 
teachers and students to see hostile Indians coming from any direction much more easily. In 
reality, the structures were patterned after similar buildings seen in Scotland to utilize maximum 
natural lighting. Nine such schoolhouses could be found in Lycoming County, two of which were 
located in Montoursville. One, built of Shickellimy monument stone, was situated in the center 
of town, while the other was erected on Loyalsock Avenue. 

The passage of the Free School Act in 1834 not only prompted a change in educational proce- 
dures but also prompted a more progressive attitude toward school architecture. As early as 
1855, a man named Thomas H. Burrows published a book on Pennsylvania school architecture 
which outlined guidelines for the proper location and construction of common school houses. 
For the first time, people were beginning to realize the importance of building a school in a 
proper location, one that was centralized and easily accessible to the students. Mr. Burrows felt 
that the lot on which a school was constructed should be nothing less than an acre and located 
away from marshy, damp areas where the children's health might be endangered. Locating a 
school near a tavern, store porch, or a bridge end where rough language might be overheard was 
considered a threat to the children's moral health, and these were strongly discouraged from 
being possible sites for schools. 

In addition to the many restrictions on proper location 
sites, there were stiff specifications for construction. These 
prerequisites ranged from suitable ceiling height, which 
would allow the best ventilation, to the proper placement 
and size of the teacher's desk. It was thought each school 
should be constructed with a cellar because it rendered the 
floor drier and created a good place for storing wood for the 
stove. The requirements even included the direction that 
the students should face for adequate lighting and suggest- 
d that the front doors should be made extra wide for easy 
access in case of an emergency. 

22 




Although these guidelines were excellent in their depth of consideration for the students' well- 
being, they were merely suggestions and not mandatory requirements. Many townships, in order 
to cut costs, continued to erect schools in poor locations and with the cheapest materials. Some 
communities, however, derived great pleasure from presenting their children with a comfortable 
and pleasant-looking school building. Such was the case in Beech Grove when the school board 
directors voted to build a one-room school in 1876. Anthony Baumgartner, one of the school 
directors, offered an acre of his farm land for the school site. 

In the spring of that year the work was initiated. A dense growth of beech and maple trees cov- 
ered the land so that the area settlers formed a logging bee and the clearing began. After many 
hours of heavy work, the area was cleared and was made suitable for a school yard. A stone ma- 
son with the help of volunteers laid the foundation. Money was scarce and taxes had to be kept to 
a minimum, which meant most of the work had to be done by the settlers. The tasks were divid- 
ed; those men with oxen and horses hauled stone while others went to the sawmill for lumber. 

The wood was cut at a local sawmill along Larry's Creek that was run by a water wheel with the 
use of a flutter wheel. The school building was of plank construction with the walls double 
planked. The planks and timbers were made of hemlock, while the floor was tongue and groove 
hardwood. The weather-boarded sides were painted red, and the front and only door was adorned 
with a porch preceded by two stone steps. 

Three windows on each side provided adequate light, and the whole structure was topped with 
a wooden, shingled roof. Inside the front door, a large and spacious hall was illuminated by two 
windows. About head level, around the walls of this hall, were narrow boards with metal hooks to 
hang coats and hats. At the end of the hall were shelves for the dinner pails. A bench in front of a 
window supported the water pail, tin dipper, and basin. Two doors at the end of the hall gave en- 
trance to the school room. The walls around the room were wainscoated from the floor to the bot- 
tom of the windows. At the front of the room, smooth, pine boards were painted black and fast- 
ened to the wall to serve as a blackboard. All the other walls were coated with hair plaster — 
plaster to which hair was added to give additional strength. 

Beech Groue School - Cogan House Township 




9^ffL -.^Ltrt .JBMkiy^ 



.'^ii\^*^-^^\ '-i^- <'^^- 





Blackboard 



The water crock pictured above was ty- 
pical of those used to replace the tradi- 
tional pail and dipper that were labeled 
unsanitary by the Board of Health. 



A platform extended the length of the blackboard and anoth- 
er short platform that adjoined it was the teacher's desk. A 
large box stove stood at the center of the room with the stovepipe extending from it to a chimney. 
This chimney was housed in a narrow and stoutly built cupboard within the partition which separ- 
ated the school room from the hall. Cupboards held ink bottles and other objects used during the 
course of the day. 

The school, built from the hard labor of the patrons it served, was a proud reminder of what 
those early settlers could accomplish with determination and a minimum of funds. Many of these 
people were still living in log homes, and this modern building was a source of pride for years. 

Like Beech Grove, most of the schools constructed during this time were made of wood. Wood 
was the most available commodity and because of its availability was also the cheapest. Many of 
the schools were painted red or white, but some were left unpainted to be exposed to the graying 
effects of the weather. 

Stone was a more durable material to use than wood but was not nearly as attainable. Where 
quarries and natural stone formations were prevalent in a township, stone was utilized because it 
could withstand more punishment from the elements. 

Salladasburg School - Mifflin Township 






f 




Laurel Ridge School - Washington Township. 1907 



Mosquito Valley School - Armstrong Township 



Perhaps the most suitable material was brick because it was very durable, neat, and dry. As 
communities and settlements became more prosperous, there was more desire to build an at- 
tractive and lasting school. The Mosquito Valley School in Armstrong Township was a good ex- 
ample of brick construction. Nestled among rows of maple trees, it was located three miles 
upstream from the mouth of Mosquito Creek. This school was a one-story structure 27 feet by 30 
feet in size. Rows of windows lined two sides of the building. A cupola with bell adorned the top 
of the school. Two stone steps led up to the front door. Inside was a vestibule with cloak rooms on 
either side — boys' on the right and girls' on the left. Rows of seats were bolted to the floor on 
either side of a center aisle. In the front of the room were two recitation benches and a teacher's 
desk on a platform. A blackboard took up the entire wall behind the teacher's desk, and a pot- 
bellied stove in the center of the room furnished the heat. The cloak rooms were well-equipped 
with hooks for the children's coats and hats, shelves for lunch boxes, and benches to sit on. 
Sometimes this area was used as a spot to rest and at other times it was employed as a means of 
discipline by segregation. There was also the traditional water pail and dipper for a refreshing 
break from the studies. This school remained in good repair until 1925 when it was forced to 
close due to lack of adequate population. 

Because they were constructed with the best of materials and remained functional, many of 
the brick schools were purchased by individuals and converted into homes, shops, and even 
restaurants. Even some of the frame schools, through the efforts of responsible townships, have 
been kept in good repair, and now serve to improve a child's character through social activities 
like scouting, rather than the basics of the three R's. Though these one-room structures seem 
primitive in an architectural sense, lacking all the conveniences that we have come to expect to- 
day, they gave thousands of children who passed through their doors a most important legacy — 
a good, substantial education. 




At the Parson's Hill School in McNeil Township a 
young scholar followed the tradition of "boys will be 
boys." He captured a frog one spring day and after due 
deliberation as to what to do with his victim placed it into 
the drinking-water bucket. He then innocently stepped 
back to observe the reactions of the first thirsty classmate 
to come along. 



25 





Steam Mitt School — Anthony Township, 19481949 — Mrs. Martha Boatman, teacher — Mote the recitation bench 

THE OUTHOUSE 

One important fact cannot be overlooked: the lavatory facilities 
were outhouses. Mary Braucht recalls that at a Nippenose Town- 
ship School, pages from Sears & Roebuck catalogues were used 
for tissue paper. Sometimes a child spent more than the allotted 
time to tend to nature's urges as the catalog material proved very 
interesting reading. 

Grace Delker Caldwell recalls a situation with her class when she 
taught in the Lower Pine Run School, Woodward Township, about 1926. She found the boys in her 
school were peeking through the slats of the girls' outhouse. Her solution: she divided the 
playground in two with a fence made of binder twine, keeping the boys on one side and the girls 
on the other. 

At the Heilman School, the girls' outhouse was a farther distance than the boys'. During the 
snowy wintery months, 
many a girl would wait un- 
til the noon break when 
the teacher would be free 
to accompany her as she 
would make her way to 
the girls' room. Other- 
wise, she risked being 
bombarded by snowballs 
thrown by the boys who 
hid behind the enclosure 
of the boys' room. 

Saturday Evening Sept 18th 1869 

"H. H. Martin naoved that a Com. be appointed to build tujo (2) frame Necessarys, 6x10 feet, for the accoma- 
dation of our Schools. Shingle Roofs, Roughf boards and striped. Good tight floors, with holes on the side and 
across the end next to partition — the Houses being double, for a Girls & a Boys Apartment. The holes in ground 
to be full size of houses; and (8) Eight feet deep, walled with stone, one foot thick. The doors to be plained, and 
have locks and Key. and a Blind on Each apartment. The above specification was adopted . . . Committee to get 

said Houses built, with the least delay practable . . .". Excerpt from the Porter Township School Board Minutes 




26 



THE STOVE 

During the crisp, winter months of the school year, today's student is kept warm 
by a heating system so advanced that merely adjusting a dial can maintain a com- 
fortable environment for learning. Such was not the case in the one-room school- 
house, where the manner of warmth was determined by the teacher's diligence in 
fueling the fire and the efficrency of the heating unit of the era — the pot-bellied 
stove. 

The pot-belly baseburner, invented in the 1830's, would have seemed a luxury to 
the early settlers. The log dwellings that served their educational needs depended 
on a heating method much less refined. An open fireplace, usually located at one 
end of the building, provided these pioneer children with their sole source of heat 
and light. Daily, loads of logs were dragged by horseback to the back of the struc- 
ture, and the teacher was required to feed the logs constantly to the fire. Gradually, 
these fireplaces were replaced by the ten-plate stove invented by Benjamin Frank- 
lin. It was a cast-iron enclosure that fitted into a fireplace, and the three sides that 
extended into the room gave off heat. Although this method was an improvement 
over the open fireplace, it still was an inefficient means of maintaining any degree 
of warmth throughout the room. 

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the pot-belly baseburner or stove was in- 
troduced as the newest heating method. In most one-room schools it was placed in the middle of 
the room to afford as many students as possible the benefits of its heat. The teacher was ex- 
pected to start the fire each morning and maintain it during the day. In most cases the stove was 
fueled by coal which had to be carried in from outside or hauled up from the basement below. It 
was difficult work and certainly an unpleasant aspect of those early teaching careers. 

Although the pot-bellied stove had its drawbacks as a heating method, it often created an at- 
mosphere and provided experiences for those early students and teachers that could never have 
occurred with a more advanced system. Who could forget the pungent odor of woolen socks and 





Marion Clark, teacher — Mifflin Township 



27 



mittens caked with snow from the long walk to school and hung near the stove to dry? Or the 
pleasant aroma of chestnuts being toasted as a special snack on a brisk winter day? In at least 
one instance an innovative teacher used the stove to prepare hot lunches for her class of twenty, 
and in some cases it was the children's first introduction to macaroni and cheese. Some students 
fondly recalled bringing sugar to school and stirring up a concoction over the stove that was 
soon to become pink fudge, a delicacy enjoyed by pupils and teacher alike. 

As money became more easily accessible and a greater number of two-room structures were 
erected, there developed a need for a better heating system. The hot air furnace was utilized as 
an alternative and gradually began to replace the pot-bellied stove. The new method proved to be 
a better source of heat and required much less maintenance, but its installation did more than 
replace an outdated heating unit. It destroyed an atmosphere of warmth, unity, sharing, and 
learning that could only have been achieved around the old pot-bellied stove. 




Rose Valley School — Gamble Township — The mittens drying on a floor register instead of a pot- belly stone subtly announce 
the intrusion of "progress" into the simplistic life style of the one-room school. 




Visualize the Loiver Pine Run School in Woodward Toivnship in the early 1900's 
LUilh a coal-fired, pol-bellied sloue. Grace Delker Caldtvell had never before seen 
such a sloue. Consequently, ivhen she built her first fire she never thought to open 
the vents to release the exhaust gases. Just imagine the shock of the tvhole class 
ivhen the accumulated coal gas exploded sending the stove lid flying. 



28 




THE SCHOOL BELL 

Upon the first attempts at formalized education, tine school bell be- 
came an integral part of the pupils' lives. Its resounding ring welcomed 
them to the beginning of a new day, and its familiar clang summoned 
them back to class from a relaxing lunch or a vigorous session of play. 
Once inside, the tapping of a small bell was used to signal the end of 
one class and the beginning of another. 

The size and quality of these bells were largely determined by their 
function and affordability. The least expensive was the small hand bell 
on the teachers desk. A book of specifications published for Penn- 
sylvania school directors recommended that every teacher have a 
hand bell at his disposal and that 25 cents would be sufficient to cover 
its cost. 

Most teachers used this type of bell to distinguish one class session 
from another, but one teacher employed it more frequently as a meth- 
od of issuing commands. This teacher would ring the bell and point to a letter on the blackboard, 
which symbolized three different directions — rise, march, and be seated. The bell was used in 
this manner throughout the day, adding a touch of precision to the task of summoning children 
to the recitation bench. 

As well as ushering classes back and forth to the front of the room, the hand bell's ring served 
to interrupt the talkative and bring the daydreamer back to his studies. It was the teacher's ally in 
maintaining classroom control and gaining attention without the use of a raised voice. 

A larger and heavier hand bell, fashioned after its 25 cent prototype, was used to call children 
in from outside. This bell was more expensive than the smaller model, but the bigger size rang 
louder, making it more audible to those children who had strayed any distance from the school- 
house. Though a serviceable tool for outside use, the large hand bell had its limitations. Any stu- 
dent traveling to school or playing at the far corners of the school's boundaries had difficulty 
hearing the bell's peal, thus increasing his chance of tardiness. 

It was necessary, therefore, to institute a more efficient method of calling class back into ses- 
sion — one that required such a large bell that it would be impossible to hold or to carry. These 
large bells necessitated the use of belfries that were then erected on the schools' rooftops. In 
some cases prudent school directors had the bells and belfries installed while the buildings were 
being constructed, but not all townships could afford more than the bare essentials, and the bell 
was seen as supplemental equipment that could be acquired later. 

Those schools that did not have the advantage of the built-in bell system had to rely on ingen- 
ious methods for raising the necessary funds to buy one. One of the most popular ways of raising 
money was the box social, a type of auction sale. Students and participants prepared lunches and 
wrapped them in decorative boxes. Each box was auctioned off to the highest bidder, who sat 
down to enjoy its contents with the person who had prepared it. It was an effective and popular 
way of making money and a good way of getting people acquainted. 

It was just such an event that enabled Mrs. Grace Confer and her students to purchase a bell for 
their schoolhouse in Wolf Township. About 1904, Mrs. Confer, who was Grace Eves at the time, 
was teaching at the Villa Grove School. She and her students decided that their 
school needed an outside bell so they arranged several box socials. 

After raising the fifty dollars necessary to purchase the bell, they selected and 
promptly ordered one from the Sears and Roebuck Company in Philadelphia. Anx- 
iously, Mrs. Confer awaited the arrival of the treasured purchase at the train station, 
only to be told by the train master that anything purchased from Sears and Roebuck 
wouldn't last long. His warning was unheeded and proved to be incorrect. 

Once the bell was installed by the students and parents, it proudly hung from the 
school's belfry for nearly sixty years. Despite the ravages of time and constant 
use, it performed its daily duty well and was worth the initial investment. It could 
have hung another sixty years had it not met a fate common to many school 
bells throughout the county — it was stolen. Outliving their usefulness as ring- 
ing reminders that classes would soon begin, many bells have been stripped 
unceremoniously from their resting places above the schools and have be- 
come sought-after antiques. "*^ 




29 




■^ V * ■ T ■ W ' 



5f«== 



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1 . Derr School - Penn Township 

2. Trout Run Ho. 2 - Lewis Township 

3. Steam Mill School - Anthony 
Township 

4. Bodines School - Lewis Township 

5. Centennial School - Jackson 
Township 



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Once a school had purchased a bell, ringing the instrument became a privilege sought by 
many pupils. After the bell had been installed at Villa Grove, Mrs. Confer initiated it by pulling its 
rope several times. Most of her students were amused at her red face, for the harder she pulled 
the redder she became. For that reason the responsibility for pulling the bell's rope was usually 
delegated to some of the stronger boys. 

Mr. Arthur CJImer from the State Road School recalls one such student who loved to ring the 
bell with such intensity that it would make a complete revolution. On one occasion this game of 
strength nearly proved fatal, for the boy tugged the rope so hard that the bell came loose, crash- 
ing to the trap door below. Luckily, the bell's clapper was the only part that could fit through the 
opening in the trap door, leaving the remaining bell wedged precariously above. 

Most teachers, extremely conscious of the exactness of time, had the bells rung daily at the 
same hours. The early morning bell warned the children that school was about to start, the mid- 
morning and mid-afternoon ringing beckoned them back to class from play, and the noon bell 
signaled an end to the hour recess for lunch. On one occasion, however, Mr. John Clendenin, a 
former teacher at the Chestnut Grove School in Gamble Township, did not stick to his appointed 
schedule. In winter the children and he enjoyed skiing in the snow during lunch hour. One partic- 
ular day they were enjoying themselves so much that they decided not to ring the bell that day 
for fear the neighbors would realize that he did not have the students back to school on time. 

Except for the bells that have been taken for their antique value, some can be seen within their 
original cupolas atop the remaining schools in the county. Like the many styles of architecture 
seen in the school buildings themselves, the bells and belfries were just as varied and unique. 
They were not only functional but ornamental as well. 

In at least one case, there is a school bell that is not just a sedentary decoration but it continues 
to ring — this time in another country and in another capacity. The bell of Parson's Hill School in 
McMett Township was put to use high atop a mission along the Amazon River. A former student 
of the school had requested that it be transferred to his mission. It now occupies a celebrated 
place among new people and in a new environment. This sentimentality signifies a closeness that 
many people who taught or attended a one-room school felt toward the school bell. 



30 



SCHOOL DAYS - TEACHER RECOLLECTIONS 




mjf. 



Souvcnir^s^of our School 



Itl fid dp Afr nnl. Vnn in ninolt ol lit, 
fiiiiht tfrti^t If Itl put, •«!:» iM uiiiot Miller' 
*^i;1 «ir.( 15 IM I'iM lime tl Mfrw »d cm, 
k>J KiC M;t nil rtilnti lAjl ji) Hid 10 Kill 



Compliments of •■* ^* 

V* .< Your T^^cher. 



A.M. Weaver, teacher — Hepbumuille School — Hep- 
burn Township. 1896-1897. Mr Weaver later became 
principal of Williamsport High School and still later, 
superintendent of the Williamsport schools. 



Since there were few requirements for becoming 
a teacher, many early mentors (with some notable 
exceptions) were people who knew the basics of 
reading, writing, and arithmetic. In the early 1800's 
teaching was made more difficult by the fact that 
each student had to furnish his own books and al- 
most every pupil had a different book. 

In the early nineteenth century, teaching was con- 
sidered to be only a man's job. A primary reason for 
this was that discipline was to be maintained only 
by the rod, and strength was needed to handle the 
older boys. Often a teacher was judged mainly by 
his ability to maintain discipline; as women came 
into the field, this was a very important attribute 
since some of the male students were not only big- 
ger but also older than the female teachers. A testing ground for a new teacher was Buckhorn 
School in Cogan House Township. It had an enrollment of ninety students; if a teacher could han- 
dle this situation, other less crowded one-room schools would be no problem. Again, with 
discipline being of primary importance, the male candidate usually won the job over the female. 
It was not until World War I that female teachers really had a chance. For example, Dora 
Gamble, a high school graduate, took the test given to graduates of the Normal School, the 
teachers' training school. She passed the test and was hired to teach at Eck School in Limestone 
Township. Then men returned from the war, and once again it became difficult for a woman to 
find a job teaching. A woman who married promptly lost her position, and married women were 
not even considered. 

This attitude regarding the hiring of women teachers lasted until the outbreak of World War II 
when women again were needed to take the places of men. During the 1930's, however, there 
were more teachers than teaching positions. Competition for jobs was fierce with a man often 
given preference over a woman because he was the head of the household even though the 
female candidate may have been the breadwinner for elderly parents. The Tenure Act of 1937 
helped to end such discrimination. 

As the years passed, more and more educational requirements were demanded of teachers, 
both male and female. Those who had filled in on an emergency basis during the war years of 
1916-1918 found that in order to retain or to attain teaching jobs attendance at formal teaching 
schools was necessary. 

Muncy Normal School trained many for teaching from 1877 to 1927. Training sessions lasted 
for twelve weeks. This made it possible for a high school graduate to attend the summer session 
at Muncy Normal School and be qualified to teach in the fall at the age of eighteen and some- 
times even seventeen. Other schools also held training sessions throughout the year so that 
teachers could acquire the necessary credits. Mansfield, Lock Haven, and Bloomsburg Normal 
Schools (later to be known as state teachers schools and today as state colleges) and Bucknell 
and The Pennsylvania State universities all held extension courses. 

The first certification was provisional, and additional formal training and experience were 
necessary to acquire permanent certification. Requirements for certification continued to grow 
through the years. Even with proper certification teaching jobs were difficult to acquire, and it 
was not uncommon for a teacher to have to return a percentage of his salary to the directors in 
order to secure a position. 

Ruby Eckert recalls having to visit each school director of the township where she was apply- 
ing for a position. If a specific director was not seen, he might feel neglected and that might 
reduce the chances for the job. A director might quiz a prospective teacher. For example he 
might ask what states surround the state of Arizona. 

The ability to do mental arithmetic often was a prerequisite. One schoolboard tested a teacher's 
math ability by posing certain problems. Often a director offered his own perplexing problem. 



Saturday Euening, Sep. 25th, 1869 . . . On Motion ofC.H. Nollie seed. t>y !^r. Ferguson the Secty ivas instruct- 
ed to advertise in our two papers three (3) limes for a teacher for School /Vo. /. Ma/es hauing the prefferance. 

Excerpt from the Porter Township School Board Minutes 



31 





1^!& 



((^ ^r^ iTLsHEJilEBrCEininEDTHAT -^ ^'/fi] 

rt person ofptv^ rnum/ liinnieler. anti tins pnsxrd nn Ktinnim 
. l/irffr/f//!/. 



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Is n person ofppt^ moral Hutmeltr. ami has pasrd nn Knimtnalwa in Ihf JetUiB'Utg Hriinrhei irilh ilir imnr.ifd miiitt - 



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t:\n.A.\Ynii.\ n..i si«iiir..sVonu«Hi.-(<M.ci,:i.MTiWiin« ■•(sS?. 

msmmmmmmmmmsemsssmmmiaasammmmi i mi n^, Ma0W^ 



^^>» Qjgft g»^ Vfe » -^'^ -» ^» *t i > ft^Hn 



Gertrude Bilner had 
wanted to teach at a 
school in Nippenose 
Township. Because she 
was afraid to go to the 
school board director's 
house, her mother went 
with her. It was Saturday 
night, and they heard 
uoices as they knocked 
on the director's door /Vo 
one answered. Her 
mother shoved her in 
through the door She 
landed in the kitchen 
where the director was 
taking a bath while his 
children were next in line 
for a bath. Screaming 
because of Gertrude's 
surprise entrance, the 
wife poured hot water 
down the director's back. 
Gertrude backed out 
only to be shoved in 
again by her mother 
When she backed out 
the second time, she 
stepped aside so her 
mother could see. That 
was not to be the year 
that Gertrude Bitner 
would teach in Nippe- 
nose Township. 



ir*ffe* W! f >y a yij^jO ^•\s> \ d ' <a 



Top: Muncy Normal School class of 1889. Above: W. W. Champion later became a 
Monloursuille lawyer. 

Those who had endured the interview previously would tip off the new teacher to the problem 
and its answer. Given dimensions, teachers were asked the following typical questions: How 
many perch to build a wall? How much wallpaper is needed for a room? How many shingles 
would one need to roof a house? and How many gallons would a water tank hold? 

The ability to discipline was just as important as knowledge. According to Mrs. Hazel Entz, 
who began her teaching experiences in 1925 at Center School in Muncy Township, "It definitely 
was a teacher's business to keep a good school discipline-wise; if you didn't, you couldn't get the 
job." 

In 1926, Mrs. Entz was hired to teach at the Farragut School in Upper Fairfield Township. This 
school had not had a teacher who could keep discipline for quite some time. She recalled her ex- 
perience: "1 was told I'd have to take care of it right away — at the beginning. I had two boys the 
second day of school that I had to paddle, so that sort of straightened things out for a spell." 

She continued saying, "If children got into trouble, parents didn't take their part. It was never 
the teacher's fault." 

Getting the job and keeping discipline were not the only problems of teaching. Few one-room 
schools had wells or pumps so water was usually carried by pails to the school from a nearby 
stream or neighboring farm. According to Mrs. Grace Kohler, who began her teaching career at 
the Fairview School, Franklin Township, in 1918, lack of water presented difficulties. "In the fall 
and spring, when the children got thirsty, it was a major problem. Even washing hands was 
almost out of the question." 



32 



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75 



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/fLO^.^A^^a^i^ (J^e^l..eJi£^-ri^tiLa^l^. yi^^,^.tt/i^^.'^^^ ' 



\ 

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33 



Often a teacher, in addition to many other roles, had to serve as school nurse and dietician. 
Mrs. Gertrude Bitner, teacher at Ferguson School in Porter Township, had one family of children 
who became nauseous after every lunch. An investigation showed that the children carried lard 
sandwiches for their daily lunch. Mrs. Bitner solved the problem by cooking a kettle of stew on 
the schoolhouse stove each morning to supply the children with a warm noontime meal. 

Getting to school was no easy matter either. J.N. Reynolds, a teacher at Okome School in 
McHenry Township in 1923 to 1928, rode a horse or a bike to school and slept at the school on an 
army cot during the week. Dora Gamble recalls riding the milk truck to school in the morning 
and walking home every day, a distance of four miles. Often on the way home the older boys 
would tell of wild cats in the vicinity in an attempt to frighten her. 

Many teachers would board for the week at a home near the school. In succeeding years, many 
tried to get jobs closer to their homes by frequently changing from one school to a closer one. 
Mrs. Entz recalls moving from the Center School in Muncy Township (1925-26), to the Farragut 
School in Upper Fairfield Township (1926-27), and then to Halls Station (1927-28) in an effort to 
be closer to Montoursviile and for easier transportation. When she taught at Center School, she'd 
ride the milk train to Pennsdale and would board at a nearby home. 

Mrs. Entz remembers that: 

In the winter time you just didn't go all the way home — you stayed there. I had so far to 
walk, a big horse would have to break trail. 1 shoveled my way into the school and if it 
snowed all day, I had to shovel my way out. 
Mrs. Earl Stroble, a student of Elsie Snyder Chapman at Heilman School, recalls being marooned 
by a March blizzard when both students and teacher stayed overnight at two adjacent farmhouses. 

If getting to and from school was sometimes difficult, so was the school day itself. Before the 
school bell rang to begin the day, the teacher had many duties to perform. A fire had to be made 
and the room had to be dusted and swept. In the cold of winter, it was often necessary to start the 
fire Sunday night in preparation for Monday morning. Teachers were expected to do all the 
janitorial duties which included keeping the building and the outside toilets clean. If the teacher 
was well-liked, these tasks were performed by the pupils. Some teachers hired students to start 
the fire. 

The chores, of course, were only a part of the job; the classroom experience itself presented a 
great challenge since the students were of different ages and abilities. Teachers had to help tardy 
pupils catch up, for it was not uncommon for them to miss the beginning of class because of the 
distances and terrain pupils had to travel to reach the school. 

The youngest children were the first to receive the teacher's attention. In chart class they prac- 
ticed making letters from soft leather stencils. The day was divided into fifteen to twenty minute 
instruction periods, and the students were divided according to reading ability for instruction at 
the recitation bench. Those students not involved in recitation worked on their other assignments. 

A common practice was for fifth grade subjects to be taught one calendar year and sixth grade 
subjects the following year. For example, geography of the United States was a fifth grade sub- 
ject. It was not uncommon for a student to go from fourth to sixth grade, skipping fifth. These 
students would listen to the recitation of the fifth grade students and accumulate sufficient 
knowledge to master the subjects being taught. 

Another practice was to combine fifth and sixth grades and seventh and eighth grades. 
Teachers usually concentrated on the youngest students and on the eighth grade pupils who were 
about to take the Common School Diploma Examination. This test was prepared by the County 
Superintendent's Office and was given by a teacher from another school. This was to prevent the 
home teachers from offering help. 

Studies included geography, grammar and writing, physiology (health — once a week), mathe- 
matics, reading, art and music. The spelling bee, popular with students, was a frequent occur- 
ence. Writing or penmanship, instructed from the third to the eighth grades, was taught to all 
pupils at the same time. Learning and memorizing poetry, as well as other important writings, 
was emphasized, and the student was made to recite to the entire school the passages that he had 
memorized. 

Report cards were issued monthly with grades being given in percentages. At the close of the 
year there were pass/fail grades. It was the custom for a souvenir or reward of merit card to be 
presented to each student. This decorative card was inscribed with the name of the school, a list 
of scholars, members of the school board, and the teacher's name. Quotations, poems, and art- 
work framed these momentos. 

34 




Most of the teachers gave generously of their 
time and money. One teacher, Mrs. Grace Kohler, 
relates that during the course of her career she 
purchased three organs to aid her in teaching 
music. 

I liked music and so I bought three organs. 
Probably didn't pay more than two or three 
dollars for the first two, but later on I paid 
between ten and fifteen dollars for the third. 

These figures may seem to represent quite a 
bargain, but they must be put into the context of 
her salary, which, at the beginning of her teaching 
life, was forty-five dollars per month. 

In fact, after Mrs. Kohler had taught at Fairview 
School, Franklin Township from 1918 to 1919, she 
then worked at Lycoming Motors in Williamsport 
in order to earn more money (seventy-five dollars 
per month). She returned to teaching in 1922 in 
Penn Township and then in 1923 at Steck School in Wolf Township. She stayed in Wolf Township 
for eight years until losing her job to a man. Mrs. Kohler returned to teaching in 1941 at Newman 

School. 

The monetary compensation these teachers 
received was in no way a reflection of the great 
services they performed. At the turn of the cen- 
tury in Plunketts Creek Township, male teachers 
received thirty-five dollars per month and female 
teachers were paid twenty-four dollars and sixty- 
six cents. The following are approximate salaries 
paid in Lycoming County per month: 

$86 

$140 

$235-250 



Mrs. Esther Grimes works with her pupils at the recitation 
bench in the Rose Valley School, Gamble Township. 



1932 

1946-47 

1950-51 




Yorktown School 
teacher- 1910. 



McMett Township - Mary Lamonte, 



1898 $40-50 

1918-19 $45 

1923-25 $55-75 

1926 $100 

Teachers required a wide range of skills. At 
times these early educators were even asked to 
utilize secretarial training in completing ques- 
tionnaires. Gsed in Armstrong Township from 1888 to 1896, the following questionnaire had to 
be filled in by the teacher at the close of the term and returned to the District Superintendent: 

Number of visits by Directors? 

Number of visits by Patrons? 

What special exercises did you have? 

Did you teach diacritical marks? 

Drawing? 

Singing? 

Number of cases of corporal punishment? 

Number of pupils physically able, not taking up all branches? 

State any difficult cases of government that came up. 

State any hindrance to the progress of the school. 

Ask any questions about methods or management that you wish to have answered. 

Number of classes on your daily program? 

Did you have any pupils that ought not to have been in school? 

State condition of the schoolhouse and the grounds. 

Indeed, the teacher in the one-room school held a position of honor 

and respect as well as one of varied and heavy responsibilities. 

Mrs. Martha Boatman recalls one of the "dangers" of teaching in the crudely 
built one-room school. As she ivas diligently playing the piano for her class one 
day, laughter and shrieks suddenly filled the room. Looking around for the pro- 
blem, she satv the intruder: a mouse had come out from the inside of the piano. 




35 




The first teachers' association was 
started by the teachers in Muncy 
Borough and Muncy Creek Town- 
ship on Nov. 11, 1862. 



P.T.A. Jersey Mills — 1919 



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'%. /.. ^f/jA^jf >sM/rr/jjj^ 



~:) 



This receipt is part of the monthly report submitted by a teacher from the Bobst l^ountain School to the Lewis Township 
School Board. 








'/( " 



J/< Ay 



/i' ).//>. ?7a -/^c AJ //ti 



C y^-^^^ ^-^-^ ^-/■^■" //'-f f'u ^r^^^y o >!/:/ 



yJy 



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J fj v./ i*/.y?7/J i^'j ,/c.^y.( 






Klump School teachers — Hepburn Township 



// :>■>{/ >^ Aj- ^/j /^ > //ui /-^ /^ /J 

A note to a teacher — c. 1862 



36 




SCHOOL DAYS 
STUDENT RECOLLECTIONS 

Just as the physical environment of the one-room schools was a 
stark contrast to the physically complex schools of today, so also 
did the school life of the student of the past differ from that of the 
student of today. The writings of Virdie S. Houser from which the 
following description was obtained, poignantly illustrate the real- 
ities of school life in the good old days. 

Each school was attended by pupils ranging in ages from six to 

sixteen. Every morning our teacher led us in devotions. (Special 

editions of Bibles were published for teachers.) This consisted of 

scripture reading, the Lord's Prayer, and the singing of three songs. A 

few teachers also led calisthenics. 

One teacher was in charge of the entire school and taught all grades. 
The grading was not done numerically but in the following manner: 

Chart Class equivalent to 1st grade Fourth Reader Class . equivalent to 5th grade 

First Reader Class . . . equivalent to 2nd grade C. Class equivalent to 6th grade 

Second Reader Class, equivalent to 3rd grade B. Class equivalent to 7th grade 

Third Reader Class. . . equivalent to 4th grade A. Class equivalent to 8th grade 

After completing the requirements of the "A. Class," a student did not automatically receive 
a diploma. The passing of a comprehensive examination was required for a Common School 
Diploma. 

Each class session was fifteen minutes in length and took place in the presence of all the 
pupils. If we were so inclined, we were privileged to learn far in advance of our status. 

Visiting school was a common practice or pastime. 1 noted from one report book dated 1891 
that as many as twenty visitors were listed some months. I also observed that a single male 
teacher received the most female visitors, and the single female teacher attracted the most 
male visitors. 

During my years spent in the one-room school, I remember Friday was the most popular day 
for school visiting. We usually deviated from our routine after the afternoon recess on the last 
day of the school week and were allowed to have a Spelling Bee or Question Box. The latter was 
my favorite. Each student was allowed to write a question on a slip of paper, designate the 
pupil to whom the question was directed, then place the paper in a box. The teacher then drew 
the papers from the box and read the question to the person whose name appeared on it. 
Sometimes questions were directed to the visitors. One's popularity or standing in the school 
was ascertained by the number of questions asked of him or her. 

Nearly every pupil carried his 
lunch in a tin pail (usually the type 
that had originally contained Blue 
Penn or Fleishman's chewing tobac- 
co). The more affluent pupils car- 
ried a second smaller bucket con- 
taining cocoa. This was placed on 
top of the box stove and heated to 
supply a warm drink at noon. 
Sometimes the bread and jelly 
sandwiches were partially frozen 
from having been carried two or 
more miles in below zero weather 
and then from sitting on a bench in 
the rear of the building where the 
temperature seldom registered 
above 40°. 

The memories of lunch time on 
a winter day in a one-room school 
bring me mixed emotions. We were 



Common School Diploma 

iHiiii tffrWira Hint 

Course of Study in the Common Branches 



Fimuc sent! 



• 



37 



COMMON SCHOOL TEST— 1917 



FORENOON WORK 



AFTERNOON WORK 



ARITHMETIC 

1. How many 'A pound boxes can be filled from a 25 
pound box of candy after 31 one-half pound boxes have 
been filled from the same box? 

2. Find the cost of digging a cellar 38 ft. long, 30 ft. wide 
and 7V2 ft. deep at 45C a cubic yard. 

3. What will be cost of lining the sides and bottom of a 
tank 8 ft., 8 inches long, 4 ft. wide and 5 ft, deep, with zinc 
weighing V2 pound to the sq. ft., at 12C a pound? 

4. Find the bank discount and the proceeds of 93 day 
note for $125, the interest rate being 6%. 

5. A certain firm has 'A its capital invested in goods, % 
of the remainder in land and the remainder, $1,224, in 
cash. What is the capital of the firm. 

6. If I give a note for $450, April 20, 1921 and pay it off 
Nov. 8, of the same year, how much do I pay in settlement 
if the rate of interest is 5%? 

7. What is the distance between the opposite corners of 
a rectangular field 400 rods long and 'A as wide? 

8. Mr. B. has $3600 in a bank, drawing interest at 37o. If 
he withdraws this money from the bank and invests it in G. 
S. bonds at 120, paying 3V2% will he gain or lose and how 
much on the annual income? 

9. Find the selling price of goods listed at $750 with dis- 
counts of 33'/37o and 107<,, sold at a profit of 207o. 

10. A commission merchant disposed of 1,600 pounds of 
live chickens at 28C a pound and received $17.92 for his 
commission. Find the rate of commission. 

PHYSIOLOGY 

1. Name four important organs of digestion. 

2. What are some common causes of colds? What are 
some preventive measures? 

3. Define the following terms: Larnyx, Retina, Cataract, 
Adenoids, Bacteria. 

4. Briefly describe the structure of the eye. Give sugges- 
tions concerning the proper care of the eyes. 

5. Of what use are the following organs: Heart? Liver? 
Kidneys? Spinal Cord? Lymphatic Glands? 

6. Name three contagious diseases common among 
school pupils. How may their spread be prevented? 

7. What change takes place in the blood during its pas- 
sage through the lungs? Will the quality of air breathed ef- 
fect the purity of the blood? Explain your answer. 

8. Tell of the beneficial results of regular, systematic ex- 
ercise on the muscles, lungs, circulation. 

READING 

Use selections suitable for an advanced reading class. 
Question as to meaning of words, diacritical marks and 
central thought. Test pupils on the following memory se- 
lections: Gettysburg Speech, Breathes there a Man, Little 
by Little, Nobility, Plant a Tree, The Builders, Salute to the 
Trees. 

WRITING 

Pupils should write the large and small letters and the 
following stanza, to be placed on the board: 
Thanks, thanks to thee my worthy friend 

For the lesson thou hast taught! 
Thus at the flaming forge of life 
Our fortunes must be wrought: 
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped 
Each burning deed and thought! 



GRAMMAR 
Use letters in answers as indicated 

1. They conquer who believe they can. 

2. He is not worthy of the honey comb who shuns the 
hive because the bees have stings. 

3. Slow are the steps of freedom but her feet turn never 
backward. 

4. With every puff of the wind the fire leaped upward 
from the hearth, laughing and rejoicing at the shrieks of 
the wintry storm. 

1. Diagram the selections. 

2. Classify each of the above selections as simple, com- 
plex or compound. 

3. Select two subordinate clauses and state whether 
they are adjective or adverbial. 

4. Give the part of speech of the words in heavy type, 
also the case and reason for the case. 

5. Give the number, mode and tense of: a — conquer, 
b — shuns, c — turn, d — leaped. 

6. Write the possessive forms of: a — lady, b — ladies, 
c — son-in-law. d — child, e — children. 

7. Select the correct word in the following: 
1 — He had gone, went home. 

2 — Each day bring, brings its work. 

3 — Every one of you have, has the same answer. 

4 — The number of pupils absent were, was very small. 

5 — Neither of the letters was, were received. 

8. Write a letter of application for a position. 

GEOGRAPHY— (Use letters as indicated.) 

1 . Make a drawing that shows the names and location of 
the five zones together with the four circles that divide 
them. 

2. Define: a — rotation., b — longitude, c — equator. 
d — divide, e — pampas. 

3. Name seven important industries in the United 
States. Name a state where each of the following is pro- 
duced: a — cotton, c — corn, c — wheat, d — tobacco, 
e — oranges. 

4. a — name three leading countries of South America, 
b — three chief rivers. 

5. Name five European countries engaged in war with 
the capital of each. 

6. To what countries do the following belong: a — Cana- 
da, b — Hawaiian Islands, c — Philippine Islands, d — Alaska. 

7. What are the following and where located: a — Rhine 
b — Liverpool, c — Madagascar, d — Melbourne. 

8. Name an important occupation of: a — India, b — Aus- 
tralia, c — Norway, d — Italy, e — china. 

HISTORY— (Use letters as indicated.) 

1 . Name the important event connected with each of the 
following men: a — Columbus, b — Magellan, c — DeSoto. 
d — Champlain. e — Balboa, f — Henry Hundson. g — Ponce 
de Leon. 

2. When and where was each of the following colonies 
settled: a — Virginia, b — Massachussetts. c — Pennsylvania, 
d — Georgia. 

3. a — what was the cause of the French and Indian War? 
• Name a battle fought in Pennsylvania in this war. 

4. a — give two causes of the Revolutionary War. b — two 
important battles, c — two important generals. 

5. Name the important event connected with each of the 
following dates: a— 1620. b— 1776. c— 1787 d— 1803 
e— 1812. 

6. Why is each of the following mentioned in American 
history; a — Robt. E. Lee. b — Benjamin Franklin, b — John 
Paul Jones, c — Samuel F. B. Morse, d — Mrs. Harriet Bee- 
ber Stowe. 

7. Give two causes of the Civil War. Name a decisive bat- 
tle of this war together with the Union general in com- 
mand. 

8. Name two important acquisitions of territory to the 
United States and state how acquired. 



38 




hoxxTi to djJZJZAJ. fuzmnli. (o 

This is a sample from Edward Hornberger's 1898 copybook. The first line illustrates Barnes's National Vertical 
Penmanship. Below this sample line the student practiced his handwriting. 

seated around the red-hot box stove, heat emanating like an inferno, our faces red from the heat, 
but chills running up and down our spines. We all sported wet feet and legs from having waded 
through snow. Opening the lunch brought pleasant aromas, but this was obliterated by the 
stench of unchanged hose and long underwear. Daily bathing and changing clothes were not 
practiced sixty years ago — not even by the most fastidious. The proximity of the pupils seated 
on the bench didn't enhance conditions. 

During the winter months, the roads were not plowed as they are today. Each family broke its 
own road or path through the snow. The school teacher was no exception. After wading thigh- 
deep in the snow to the building, he/she had to start the fire, shovel the paths, and fill the drink- 
ing water jug from a nearby spring. It was not uncommon for the teachers to walk a mile or two to 
their school. On extremely cold, windy days, the pupils were allowed to sit near the box stove to 
keep warm. This arrangement was achieved by using benches or by placing two blocks of wood 
on end and then placing a plank on them. Safety laws were unheard of; liability suits were not in 
existence — the only worry was to keep warm. 

Minor jobs such as replacing broken window panes, cleaning the stove pipe, or repairing books 
were all considered duties of the school teacher. A supply of window panes was kept in a cabinet 
in the back of the schoolroom. Whenever a glass was broken, the person who broke it was asked 
to pay twelve cents to cover the purchase price of the pane, and the teacher or older pupils were 
in charge of replacing it. Often such tasks were relegated to the most diligent pupils who were 
allowed to do the work during school hours. 

I vividly recall a schoolmate and I being so favored. Our teacher assigned or rather a//ou;ed (it 
was indeed a unique experience) my friend and I to replace the panes in a sash on the south side 
of the building. These panes had been broken by several boys who were playing ball. We were 
equipped with shoe brads and some putty and soon had the job done. Using kerosene to remove 
the putty from our hands gave us an idea: If we smeared the window panes, the teacher would 
allow us to wash the complete window and we would be able to spend more time outside the 
schoolroom. 

We smeared the panes with our 
messy hands, went to Loyalsock 
Creek where we used kerosene 
and soap to clean our hands, and 
then replaced the window sash in 
the window. The sun was shining 
brightly through the window and 
what a horrid mess it produced. 
Every smudge, fingermark and 
streak were in evidence. Were it to 
have happened today, it might 
have been classified as an ab- 
stract painting. 

We nonchalantly took our plac- 
es in class. A knock was heard at 
Pleasant Green School — Washington Township, c.1916 the door and upon opening it, OUr 




39 




This information is from a schoolhouse clock which, purchased in 
1905. hung in the Klump School until about 1932. Attached to the 
back of this Waterbury clock is a list of names and their contributions 
toward the purchase of the clock. 



Nathan Waltz 25< 

Abe Bidelspacher 25< 

Dauid C. Ulmer 25C 

Sarah Burr. . . .-. 25C 

Edward Kiess 25C 



W. J. Entz 25C 

C. C. Heim 25C 

Mrs. Rosannah Heim 35 C 

John E Shafer 25< 

W. E Shafer 25C 



Hiram Heim 15C J. B. Shafer 25<: 

Gottlieb Heim 50C C. C. Bidelspacher 25C 

Jacob Heim 25C P. W. Marshall 25<: 

Ered Klumpp 25 C Martin Price 25C 

Levi Ulmer 10< 

teacher came face to face witfi the County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. George B. Ferrell. It 
was customary for him to make unannounced visits periodically to observe practices in the 
schoolroom. As soon as he arrived, his eyes fell upon that window through which the sun never 
shone brighter. The poor teacher was deeply humiliated. Her face turned scarlet as did the faces 
of two of her students. Meedless to say, she had two most contrite pupils for several weeks follow- 
ing the incident. Yes, we earned the opportunity to wash the window, but it was done after school 
hours under her supervision, on our own time. 

Little more than the cost of books, fuel, maintenance and teachers' salaries was supplied by 
the Board of Education. Toilet tissue was furnished by pupils bringing in their outdated mail 
order catalogs. The pencil sharpener, dictionary, American flag, atlas, song books, wall clock, 
water jug, and the teachers swivel chair were purchased with money raised by the teacher, 
parents, and students. 

The most popular method of raising funds was by holding a Box Social or an Ice Cream and 
Cake Social. The people of the community were solicited for cakes and the ingredients for mak- 
ing homemade ice cream. The donations were then collected, and ice cream was made on the 
school property. All eligible females were asked to bring a box of candy, a box lunch or a home- 
made pie to which their name was obscurely attached. These were auctioned, and the young men 
bid on the items knowing that the highest bidder would have the privilege of eating the contents 
with the young lady whose name was attached. Many a lasting romance had its blossoming at the 
Box Socials. 

Indeed, school was not all work and no play. All one-room school students had the opportunity to 
play outdoors during lunchtime and recess, weather permitting. Lycoming County students devised 
many ways to amuse themselves. Ball games were very popular. Often the ball was homemade, 
such as those constructed from old 
socks tightly rolled together. Other 
games played during mild weather were 
sully-go bump, round town, deer and 
hunters, bully in the ring, tag, jump 
rope, hide and seek, and kite flying. 

In the snowy, winter months sled rid- 
ing was the number one sport. The stu- 
dents also enjoyed snowball battles, 
building snow forts and making tun- 
nels in snow drifts. One student at Bot- 
tle Run School filled burlap bags with 
straw — making a unique sled. Pupils 
at Oak Grove School built a run for 
sleds by pouring water over the snow 




II '-^ 



Ferguson School — Porter ToLunship — 1930's 



40 




Mo, the boy in the back row is not wearing a dunce's cap, but clowning [or this photograph in 1909 at the Linden School in 
Woodward Township. 

and then cutting grooves. This run led from the school grounds to Daughterty's Run. Of course, 
there were many sledding accidents, some even involving the teacher. 

Some of the students' extra-curricular activities can not be termed games but rather mischief. 
There were those who liked to play tricks on the teacher such as hanging the bell upside down or 
plugging the chimney. Sometimes this mischief was directed at fellow students. Such pranks 
were not too different from those practiced now: shooting paper wads, exploding pop guns, 
squirting water pistols, and putting pins or tacks on the seats. 

When caught, the culprit was dealt whatever discipline the teacher chose. Forms of punish- 
ments included having the pupil remain inside during recess, having him stand in a corner or 
upon the teacher's platform for a long but specified time, having him write a word or phrase five 
hundred times, having him stand on a stool with a dunce cap upon the head, or the worst, giving 
him a paddling. Girls, as well as boys, were punished. In one school, the girls were seated on one 
side and the boys on the other. If a student were naughty, he or she had to sit on the tvrong side. 

To those who have attended modern schools, the student's life in the one-room school may, in- 
deed, sound very severe. All of the students and teachers that have been interviewed, however, 
agree that the quality of education and life in the good old golden rule days was, indeed, golden. 



Bobst 

Mountain 

School 

Lewis 
Township 




41 



^-\. 




THE TOWNSHIPS 



Lycoming County 



In the following sections on the townships of the 
county, the reader will be aware that there is great di- 
versity in both the quality and the quantity of the 
material. The committee has tried to present an ac- 
curate, thumb-nail sketch of each school about which 
any information could be obtained. For some schools 
committee members were very fortunate in finding 
accurate information in history books or in the pre- 
served school board minutes of some townships. Much of the material, however, had to be sifted 
from hours of personal interviews with people who knew about one-room schools; consequently, 
there are sometimes conflicting statements. 

The committee is especially indebted to those who graciously contributed pictures and per- 
sonal anecdotes. Their material has been invaluable in adding veracity and continuity to the 
history of the one-room schools of Lycoming County. 

Originally the Long Reach School was a log stnicture built on the Updegraff farm, presently the Reach Road area, probably 
around 1800. Destroyed by fire in 1861 it wets rebuilt the same year and at one time was considered a Williamsport school. 
The site on which the school stood is said to have been a private burial ground because human remains and many brass but- 
tons were dug up when the school was built. Sometime in the 1950's or 1960's the land was sold and the school was disman- 
tled for its boards. 



ir^,^ 



J '*• 



■-^k 






V -• Sjr»:'i5 




ANTHONY TOWNSHIP 



On September 7, 1844, a part of Lycoming Township became An- 
thony Township, named for the then president judge of the district, 
Joseph B. Anthony. Most of the inhabitants farmed for a living. 

Stewart's History of Lycoming County (1876) states, "The first 
schoolhouse was built near Robinson's place, many years ago, long 
before the christening of the township, and while Anthony was a part 
of Lycoming. This old house served to shelter the youth for many 
years, while pursuing the rugged road of learning. There are now six 
schoolhouses in the township, all well patronized by the rising gener- 
ation." The Lycoming County's superintendent's report of 1861 notes 
four schools in existence in the township, and in 1892 Meginness' His- 
tory of Lycoming County enumerates five schools open. 

A school, referred to as the Conn School® because of its site be- 
ing on the land of the Conn family, existed in 1873 according to Pom- 
eroy's Atlas of Lycoming County Pennsyluania. A local legend is that 
the building burned the night before the school year was to have begun. 

Part of the Greenwood School's® history is that a box social was held to supply the money to 
buy the cupola and the bell for the school. The school was closed in 1928 and is presently used as 
a chicken coop on the Robert (JImer farm. The Kiess SchooKj) closed in 1937. Stony Gap 
School(4) closed in 1952. On September 11, 1973, a fire destroyed this abandoned building when 
sparks from a nearby fire landed on the wooden-shingled roof. 






Steam Mill School Upper Pine Run School — 19271928 

The last schools to close in the township were Steam Mill(5) and Pine Run®. The latter was 
often referred to as the Upper Pine Run School to differentiate it from the Pine Run School in 
nearby Woodward Township, which for the same rationale was referred to as the Lower Pine Run 
School. Before their closing in 1959, the two schools operated as a unit to educate the children 



f 



f 


f 


rr. 


-,?*• 


.^ 


1 

f 

m- 


k 


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r 

,* ■ — I — :- 




Greenwood School 



The Kiess School — 19251926 



43 



with grades one to four taught at Steam Mill and grades five through eight instructed at Pine Run. 
Steam Mill School, named for a nearby mill which had a steam engine used to power the log- 
cutting saws, is now a township building and is also used by the 4-H in the summer. The last 
teacher at the school was Mrs. Martha Boatman. She recalls that her class size was usually thirty- 
five, but one year she had forty-five pupils. Sometimes, however, during her thirteen-year tenure 
there, she had only one student per grade. She remembers the PTA being very active and helping 
by purchasing a swing set and by paying a portion of a music teacher's salary. Among the pro- 
jects Mrs. Boatman initiated was one in which Christmas cards were sold in order to raise money 
to buy drapes for the school. Water for the school was carried from the next-door farm until the 
school's last year when a well was dug. From 1947 to 1959, pupils were transported by car, 
sometimes having to wait until 5:00 p.m. until the last bus arrived to carry them home. 







Steam MiU School — 1929 



Stony Gap School — 1910 




ARMSTRONG 
TOWNSHIP 



In 1842 enough territory was taken from Clinton 
Township to form a new township named Arm- 
, strong. A hilly and mountainous area, it was long 
noted for its choice pine timber, and lumbering was 
at one time the flourishing occupation. The only 
tillable land was a narrow strip of soil southwest of 
DuBoistown known as Mosquito Valley. This valley 
was noted for its good production of grass and fine 
orchards, and it soon became thickly populated. 
While this section of the township was developing 
agriculturally, the opposite end was beginning a different type of growth — an educational one, 
commencing with the construction of the first school about 1873. 

Built on a property once called The Old People's Home, this first school was of simple log con- 
struction. It stood without a formal name, but often was referred to as the Widow Slear School(l) 
because the land surrounding it belonged to Widow Slear This log structure housed classes for 
about seven years before it was succeeded by the Gibson Schools- 
Located beyond the Widow Slear School and below Williamsport, the Gibson School was 
situated along the Susquehanna River at the northeastern part of the township. Built of brick, it 
serviced this sparsely settled area until its closing in 1931. 

At the other more densely populated section of Armstrong Township stood two more schools. 
Jack's Hollow SchooKj) was a small frame building that held class until the lack of adequate at- 
tendance forced its closing in 1921. The Mosquito Valley School@ (pictured on page 25) was 
named after the valley in which it was located. Located three miles upstream from the mouth of 
Mosquito Creek, it was built of brick in 1872. Surrounded by a solid row of maple trees, it was a 



44 



picturesque center of learning, complete with an outside pump and toilet facilities on opposite 
ends of the rear lot. 

The teachers who conducted classes at the Mosquito Valley School were mainly products of 
the Muncy Mormal School and boarded with different families in the Valley. One of the best- 
known and best-loved was a woman named Etta Hartranft. Another fondly-remembered instruc- 
tor was Raymond High. He often engaged in a good game of baseball with his pupils during their 
free time. On one occasion his batting skills paid off. Spying a rabbit crossing the school yard, 
Mr. High promptly batted it down and took it home for supper that evening. 

Although the school at Mosquito Valley remained in good repair because of its solid brick con- 
struction, it was eventually forced to close in 1925 due to dwindling enrollments. This lack of stu- 
dent population was the result of an exodus from the Valley by the farming families when the 
Williamsport Water Company acquired much of the surrounding land for a water shed in 1905. By 
1931 all the one-room schools in Armstrong Township had suffered similar decreases in attend- 
ance, and in that year the last school ceased to function as a site of learning. 




Old DuBoistown Sctioolhouse — /( was in operation during the last half of the nineteenth century. 



BASTRESS TOWNSHIP 

Bastress, one of the smallest townships in the county, was formed 
from a division of Susquehanna Township in 1854. It had no industry 
other than some fair agricultural land which was made productive 
by its first settlers, the hardy German Catholics. Although small in 
area, it had two schools. One was conducted under the common 
school system and supported by public school funds, while the oth- 
er was under the auspices and patronage of the Catholic Church. 
The parochial school was located next to the church and taught by the Catholic sisters. At one 
time it held classes for as many as eighty pupils and required three teachers for instruction. 

The public school was a frame building situated just off Route 654 where the Bastress Post Of- 
fice was located. Its pupils were drawn from the farms along the area, and it was in operation until 
1930. According to the Bastress Township School Directors' Record Book, a new schoolhouse 
was erected in the township to replace the old building. Built in 1899 by Adam Eck, the new 
school's cost totaled $529.75. Although the building no longer functions as a school, it continues 
to stand. 




45 




BRADY TOWNSHIP 

One of the smallest townships, Brady is located in the southern 
part of the county. Triangular in shape, it was formed from Wash- 
ington Township and named after the distinguished Brady fami- 
ly who lived within its boundaries. First settled by Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterians, its soil was moderately productive, but great care 
and attention had to be given it to yield a successful crop. Lime- 
stone was also quarried here and burned for lime, and it was be- 
lieved early Indian tribes possessed a knowledge of extracting 
copper from the land. There were few industries, but the area soon became rather thickly popu- 
lated, and its inhabitants set about the task of educating their children. 

Records show that three years after the first school house in the county was erected, Brady 
built its first one-room school. In 1799, a building of round logs and oiled paper windows was 
constructed within the boundaries of the township. It was built by free labor, and a tuition of $1.50 
for a three months' term was the only requirement for attendance. The curriculum was based on 
just three texts — Gest's Arithmetic, Webster's Speller, and the New Testament. Because the 
building was patterned after other early log schools, it was heated by an open fireplace that stood 
at the end of the room. The dense clouds of smoke that filtered in from its old chimney interfered 
so much with the children's studies that in 1806 the fireplace was replaced with a stove. Lessons 
continued to be taught in this building until the first of three public schools in the township was 
constructed. 

Brady Township's three schools were each of different construction. Stone School was near 
the Stone Church which is now part of the Allenwood Penitentiary. Somerset School(2) is of brick 
construction and is presently a place of business, and the Oak Grove School® is now the Brady 
Township building near the Maple Hill village and was the last to close in 1958. The Stone and 
Somerset schools both closed in 1942 probably as a result of World War 11 and the Ordnance in 
the White Deer Valley. 

Esther Dittmar, who attended Somerset School and retired in 1980 after a career in public 
school education, points out: 

Today we think of Open Education as a modern phenomenon. Nonsense! Any of us who 
attended a one-room school knows that way back there, our teachers were experts at deal- 
ing with individualized instruction at all levels. A big difference, however, was that they 
taught in a well-structured, disciplined environment. 

Hot lunches — a recent innovation? Of course not. I remember one teacher who made 
hot cocoa for us, and encouraged us to bring well-scrubbed potatoes from home. Since 
our school was heated with a huge, old-fashioned furnace, she would put our potatoes on 
top, and by lunch-time they were deliciously done. 

Field trips? We had them. Many a beautiful Friday afternoon in fall and spring was spent 
exploring the woods near our school, with our teacher guiding us in tree and wild flower 
identification. 

Teacher stress? Probably, but it really didn't show. I recall rainy-day recesses when we 
girls jumped rope, even hot pepper, in the school room. 1 realize now that our teacher's 
nerves were probably jumping in rhythm! Come to think of it — during the five years that I 
spent in the Somerset School, we had four different teachers! 




Oak Grove School 



46 




BROWN 
TOWNSHIP 



Brown Township in tiie 
northwest corner of the 
county was incorporated 
May 3, 1815. It was set off 
from Mifflin and Pine 
Creek townships and 
named in memory of Ma- 
jor General Brown who 
commanded the armies of 
Canada. 

it has been written that 
the first school was taught 
by John Campbell, a 
Scotsman at Black Walnut 
Bottom in 1806. He taught 
seven days a week. A schoolhouse was erected that same year. This was before the formal exist- 
ence of Brown Township. 

After the area became incorporated as Brown Township, many schools came into being. They 
include Trout Run *1 and *2, Slate Run *1 and *2, Francis Draft, Hilborn, Gtcetar, Pump Station, 
Child's Hill (Beulah Land), Cedar Run, and Gamble schools. Information on some of the schools 
such as the Francis Draft SchoolQ) of Daugherty's Run and the Hilborn School(2) is scarce with 
only foundations left to prove their existence. The Gamble School® is mentioned in the minutes 
of Brown Township, but its exact location can only be guessed. 

Another school with a little-known history is the Gtcetar School(§) which was located at the 
southern border of the township on Pine Creek. The area supported a sawmill industry. The 
school was built in the 1890's but was short-lived. 

Two other schools that no longer stand are Mount Fern@ and Cedar Run©. The Cedar Run 
School, which was closed in 1947, stood off Route 414 north on the turn to Cedar Run and has 
been torn down. Presently only the foundation and part of a wall can be seen. The Mount Fern 
School's location is not specifically known, but it is known from minutes of Brown Township that 
the building itself cost $294 to construct, and in 1890 new furniture and exterior repairs cost $116. 




Cedar Run School 



Beulah Land School — Clara Holmes, teacher, c.1910 



Trout Run School *1(7) was located at the mouth of Trout Run, and Trout Run School *2(B) is 
located a few miles almost directly north of the first. Both of these schools served lumbering 
communities. School *2 is still standing and, having closed in 1914, is occupied as a private 
hunting cabin. 

Of the remaining four schools — Slate Run *1 and *2, Pump Station, and Child's Hill (Beulah 
Land) — much more information is known. Pump Station(9) is located about nine miles from 
Slate Run on the Coudersport Pike. The school which was remodeled from a private residence 



47 



opened in 1912. Before this school opened, students were boarded in Slate Run Closina in 1917 
however, ,t was short-l.ved. Pump Station itself was a border station that pushed oil across the 
top of a mountain from the Bradford fields to Bayonne New Jersey '^''^"^^ °" ^^ross the 

Of the two Slate Run schools®, the first closed in 1911 and the second in IQSQ it i. „ » i. 
Schoo? Vp'rcirt"^ '^° 'T'r ^^'°°'^ °^ J^^^ extensLrrtlVellng o thfot'V I dt'^r 

of, oulh^iLTound t .:r' ^"^ °' ^'^ "^'" ^°°"^ "^^ ' ^^^"^'-' ^°"^^ -h-^ dumped^' the 

also remembers lh,t inl918 people with cars were first employed to drl'e children to schooT Per 
afte T'^rcw^TTu"" '"'"r"'"" '5 ="»"' 'he area Ssell. The area was ca^lld Ss h1 I 

Mr. Tomb, who had a lumber camp on the mountain where the Aigerines now stands 



June 14 "90 

. . . lo buy erasers & chalk . . . 

and TJildnlToTs' """" '" '^^°"'''' '° ^"""" ^'^^ ''' ""^^ ^°"*''°'^ ^"^ --'- -'«-'- -^ '" -^ repair 

Excerpt from the Brown Township School Board Minutes 



48 




CASCADE TOWNSHIP 



Rugged terrain and mountain streams of 
Cascade give credence to the name of the 
township, which was formed from territory 
taken from Hepburn and Plunkett's Creek in 
August, 1843. Mountainous and rocky, this 
area was not suitable for sustaining settlers 
preoccupied with farming. Sites near the 
streams on more level land provided the 
best locations for the homes of the early res- 
idents. Keilysburg, the only town, is situated 
on Wailis Run on lands owned by Michael 
Kelly and so named in his honor. 

Peter Brouse built the first schoolhouse in 

Cascade Township in 1844; Michael Kelly 

built the second in 1848, and two more were 

constructed in 1849. 

The school year in these early days amounted to three months. The hardships of this pioneer 

life meant that few students attended school more than half of this three-month period. In fact, 

the distances that had to be traveled over this rough land to reach a school often meant that only 

grown members of a family were physically able to attend. 

A tale of intrigue concerning Kelly School(l) is recorded in the minutes of the school board 
meetings. It seems that in January of 1879 the president and secretary of the board were in- 
formed that the teacher in charge of Kelly School was not the person he represented himself to 
be. The secretary went to Rose Valley to interview a Mr. F. Chaple who was believed to have some 
knowledge of this teacher known as O.C. Griswold. Mr. Chaple informed the secretary that the 
teacher's real name was Francis Close and that the real O.C. Griswold was a teacher in Bradford 
County. 

The facts became apparent that Francis Close had borrowed or otherwise obtained possession 
of the certificate belonging to O.C. Griswold. He thereby deceived the board and obtained the 
position by fraud. The president and secretary found it impossible to assemble all the members 
of the board for a meeting on short notice. They, therefore, went themselves to the school and 
confronted Mr. Close with the facts. After some equivocation, he admitted the fraud and immedi- 
ately gave up possession of the school. The pupils were dismissed with the information that 
school would be closed for a short time until a new teacher could be selected. 

In all, Cascade Township had five schools; McLaughlin(2), closed in 1923; Slacks Run®, 
closed in 1926: Masten®, closed in 1931: Wailis Run *1(5), closed in 1900 and Wailis Run *2@, 
closed in 1948, and Kelly, also closed in 1948. 

On May 18, 1948, the school boards of Cascade, Eldred, Fairfield, Gamble, Upper Fairfield and 
the Borough of Montoursville voted to form a joint district. 









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Hasten School — Kathryn Brannaka, teacher 



Kelly School — Elizabeth Pauling, teacher - 
1922 



49 




Wallis Run School *], also known as Huffman's School — 19231924 




CLINTON TOWNSHIP 

Clinton Township, established in 1825, was 
named for DeWitt Clinton, then governor of 
New York. This new township included most 
of the Black Hole Valley and what is now Mont- 

^ ^ ^V*" \' ^'''^"'"J^^^^ r:^^^7 gomery Borough. The Black Hole Valley was 

• ^ J^m.^tSsfJ. Co&^->»^S^V .^Bn^*^?/ a very rich and fertile land noted for its beau- 

ty. The valley is drained by the Susquehanna 
River and three creeks: Black Hole Creek, Mill 
Creek, and Turkey Run. These waters were vi- 
tal to the settlers of this area as they furnished 
the power to run sawmills and grist mills. 

In 1790 the Coleman family settled in Black 
Hole Valley and five years later operated a 
grist mill near what is known as Thomas Dam. The centrally located mill was the site of the first 
schoolhouse in Clinton Township. This school was built about 1802 on the Coleman Tract, now 
owned by the Baptist Association. The first regular teacher was Nathaniel Smith. Dabol's Speller 
and the New Testament were the early books used for education. Prior to this first schoolhouse, 
families of the community often hired a teacher who passed from house to house teaching their 
children. It has been recorded that these early teachers were mainly Celts and often addicted to 
strong drink. 

Records show another early school was built on the Peter Bourne Farm, later known as Burns 
Farm. This small square school was complete with puncheon floor, slab benches, and a ten-plate 
wood burning stove. The dates of erection and abandonment are unknown, but the school was in 
service in 1827. 

On the grounds of the present St. John's Lutheran Church, was an old log schoolhouse known 
as the Mench School®. The date of construction is not known, but some time before 1873, the 
log structure was abandoned and torn down. Replacing this early facility was the Montgomery 
School, built of frame construction. This second school was located on the Montgomery farm 
and named for the owner of the land. The first teacher in this school was Hugh Castle, a man 
highly respected in the community. He lived with the Montgomery family and taught the children 



50 




First Public School Building in Montgomery 
Borough ^ 




Mountain Groue School i- 

of the area for several years. Finally the brick Muncy Station School succeeded the first two in 
serving residents of the Black Hole Valley. This school closed in 1930. 

Another early facility in the valley was the Groff School®, located at the fork of the roads at 
the Stone Quarry. This school was in service from 1873 until the 1880's. 

One mile east of Montgomery, next to the First Baptist Church and graveyard was built the 
Baptist School. At the time of construction, the site was a beautiful and safe location for child- 
ren. When the railroads made their appearance in the valley, however, things changed. In the fall 
of 1879, the school was set afire by sparks from a train engine and burned. The remainder of the 
school term was taught in another existing building. The location of the succeeding brick Baptist 
School® was then determined and purchased for $150. This school remained open until 1930. 

The Davis School® was built about 1893 off Armstrong Road on land given by William Davis. 
This frame school served the area until 1929 and is now a residence. 

The first Pine Street School® was of frame construction. When the building became too small 
to serve as a school, it was moved to a local farm and used as a wagon shed. In its stead a brick 
building was constructed near the Grange Hall on Route 15. This newer school was used until 
1930. 

The Mountain School®, built in the early forties, developed a reputation far above the average 
school. The pupils of this school were unsurpassed by others in many areas, especially in spelling 
and arithmetic. The school closed in 1930. 

The school known as the Mountain Grove School® was first held in a building called the 
Stone Quarry School on Route 54. When the Quarry School became outdated, it was torn down 
and replaced by a more modern building. This second school remained in use until 1930 and still 
stands as a residence. 

The first Clintonville School® was a log building on the south side of the main road. This 
school was succeeded by a brick building which was razed some years later. A third frame school 
was then built on the north side of the road above the Kinsey Street junction. Crowded conditions 
necessitated an addition to the school. On March 7, 1927, the Clintonville School was destroyed 
by fire. 



51 



The town of Montgomery was incorporated as a borough on March 21, 1887. Prior to this date it 
was part of Clinton Township. The first public school building in the borough was Education Hall. 
This two-room brick school was located on the corner of Houston Avenue and Bower Street. 
Shortly after the borough's incorporation, the school was deemed too small, and extra class- 
rooms were opened in various buildings throughout the town as the need arose. 




COGAN HOGSE 
TOWNSHIP 



Cogan House Township was 
formed in 1843 from parts of 
Jackson and Mifflin townships. In 
1846 quite a settlement had grown 
around a sawmill owned by a Mr. 
Schuyler. It is believed that the 
sawmill was located near where 
the clubhouse of the Red Fox 
Hunting Club now stands. 

By 1846, a small settlement had 
grown at White Pine, and as both 
settlements contained a number 
of small children, the school di- 
rectors set to work in 1846 to 
build a log house in each settle- 
ment. The school house at White 
Pine was built on a corner of Ben- 
jamin Quimby's farm and was 
known for years as the Quimby 
School (T)- The schoolhouse on 
Hoagland's Run was built near Schuyler's mill and for years was called the Schuyler School0. 
Meginness' History of Lycoming County states that the first teachers were Lucy Doctor and 
Lucinda Moss but does not tell in which school each taught. 

There was much traffic on the State Road in the 1800's, and Casmer Wittig found it profitable 
to establish a tavern and inn near the Schuyler School. He named it the Buckhorn Tavern. When 
Schuyler moved his sawmill away from the settlement, the school gradually became known as 
the Buckhorn School. 

in 1892 a post office was established near the Buckhorn School and was named Steuben Post 
Office in honor of Baron von Steuben of Revolutionary War fame. The name of Buckhorn 
(Schuyler) School was again changed; from this time on until the school was closed, it was of- 
ficially known as the Steuben School. 

Quite a large village grew up at Buckhorn. Although the name of the school was changed from 
time to time, the village was always known as Buckhorn. 

The White Pine School, also known as the Summit School and first called the Quimby School, 
educated the children of families engaged in the lumbering operations of the time in the white 
pine forests. The school was located about three rods west of the present school building at Sum- 
mit. The site for the schoolhouse was donated to the school board with the provision that in the 
event the school was ever discontinued at the Summit, the school grounds were to revert to the 
Quimby estate. 

As the school population of the settlement increased, the first log schoolhouse became too 
small to accommodate the large number of pupils, so it was torn down and a larger log school- 
house was built on the site. 

The first religious services held in Cogan House Township evidently were held in the log 
schoolhouses at Summit and Buckhorn as early as 1846 by the Rev. Bellman and the Rev. Bamity 
who came by horseback from Jersey Shore. The Summit Methodist Church was built in 1860 on 



52 




Buckhom School — lua McCracken and her school children — 7909 

the summit of a hill, and it was then that the school changed its name to Summit and retained the 
name until it closed in 1961. 

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, a frame schoolhouse was built a few rods east of the 
log schoolhouse. A second room was added in the 1890's. For many years the abandoned log 
schoolhouse was used as a band hall by the White Pine Band. 

A great deal of traffic passed by the Summit School after the June flood in 1889. During the 
1850's, the Plank Road was extended from Salladasburg through White Pine to English Center to 
accommodate the flow of forest products and, in later years, the hides and leather from the large 
tannery at English Center. The 1889 flood swept away long sections of the Plank Road which were 
never restored, and as a consequence most of the traffic came as far as White Pine, then turned 
east and passed the Summit School and on down to the covered bridge on Larry's Creek and up 
over Buckhorn Mountain past the Buckhorn or Steuben School to the railroad at Cogan Station. 
The two schools of Steuben and Summit were never isolated as they were located on a heavily 
traveled road. 

The Summit School and grounds have passed back into possession of the Quimby family to be 
used as a church hall for its remaining years. 



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summit School 



Brookside School 



53 



There were five other one-room schools located throughout Cogan House Township. They were 
Brookside School(3), closed in 1940; Cogan House School®, closed in 1961; Beech Grove 
School® (pictured on page 23), closed in 1948; Steam Valley School©, closed in 1937; and 
Green Mountain Schooi(7), closed in 1945. 





y^ogan House School — 1890 



Standing around their pile of scrap metal, these children at 
Green Mountain School were part of a drive conducted dur- 
ing the 1942-1943 school year A common practice at many 
schools during the war was the collection of scrap which was 
sold to the federal government, melted down and recycled. 
This group collected 10,405 pounds of scrap and received 
$55.61 for its efforts. 




CUMMINGS 
TOWNSHIP 



Cummings Township, tak- 
en from Mifflin and Brown 
townships in 1832, was named 
for John Cummings, an asso- 
ciate judge at the time. Be- 
cause most of the terrain is 
rough and mountainous, most 
settlements were lumbering 
communities; however, there 
were a few farms along both 
branches of Pine Creek. 

Stewart's History of Lycom- 
ing County tells us that: 

The first school in this town- 
ship was taught by Robert 
Young, in the year 1806 on 
the James Strawbridge sur- 
vey at the first fork of Pine 
Creek. Mr. Young was an ex- 
emplary man in many re- 
spects. He was a consistent 
Christian, a faithful teacher, 
and a strenuous advocate of temperance at that early day when liquor was deemed as much 
a necessity as bread or meat. The fruits of his labors are still observable in the consistent 
lives of many of his pupils, who learned of the venerable pedagogue the catechism and 
everything else to make a good impression on the young mind . . . The first schoolhouse 
erected exclusively for school purposes was built one and one-fourth miles below the first 
fork of Pine Creek in 1828. 

The school was known as Stewart School(T) and was named for a large family. It was also called 
the Island School. One source claims it closed in the 1860's. 



54 







WatervUle School "1 



Waleruille School *2 



North of Waterville on Little Pine Creek at the mouth of English Run the lumbering village of 
English Mills(2) supported a school which records show closed about 1896. 

North of English Mills at the mouth of Panther Run on Little Pine Creek is Carsontown(2). The 
school here existed in 1876 and closed in 1925. In its latter years, although the population was 
scattered because the lumbering era had passed, school was still held. 

There were three other schools in the township in 1876. The first Ramsey School(4), said to 
have been a log building, closed about 1885, and the second Ramsey School closed in 1916. This 
second building is presently used as a hunting cabin, but the building has been altered. The first 
Waterville School (5) closed in the 1890's but continued to be used as a residence until it burned 
recently. The second Waterville School® sits on a hill above the highway. A wall on the hillside 
between the school yard and the road was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). 
Closed in 1953 as a school, the building is owned by the township and now has an addition in the 
front. The East Hill School®, also in existence in 1876, is located northeast of Waterville on top 
of Puderbaugh Mountain and is, therefore, sometimes referred to by that name. The school 
closed in 1915. Although at one time it was supported by lumbering and later a farming commun- 
ity, the area is now populated only with hunting cabins. 




East Hill or Puderbaugh School — 1914 
55 




ELDRED TOWNSHIP 

Eldred is one of the smallest townships in Lycoming County, 
with Warrensville being its only village. Eldred was carved 
from Hepburn Township in 1858. 

In 1802, Samuel Carpenter, the son of an English Quaker, 
cleared the land now occupied by Warrensville. His original log 
house was still standing in 1902 and formed the kitchen of the 
dwelling of Isaac Alderhold. The Carpenters had a saw and 
grist mill which, along with the making of maple sugar and 
crude potash, were the early industries. The Quakers, cultured 
and intelligent, considered the education of their children of 
first importance and established the earliest schools. 

Joseph H. McMinn's Historical Sketch of Warrensuille, Pennsyluania, an early history of Eldred 
Township, published during the centennial of Warrensville in 1902, refers to three log schools 
built within two miles of the village between 1813 and 1835. One source also tells us there was an 
Eight Square School located just east of Christian Hill between 1811 and the 1870's. 

The first stone schoolhouse, the Quaker Hill School®, was built in 1835. The second of brick 
was erected in 1886, closing in 1950. Lewis P. Reeder is credited with being its first teacher, and 
pupil capacity was thirty pupils. 

In 1826, a stone schoolhouse was erected on a two-acre plot donated by Daniel Bayley for a 
schoolhouse and burying ground. This first Christian Hill School® stood until 1878, when the 
second was built on the same site. Lewis P. Reeder is credited with being its first teacher. It closed 
in 1947. 





Christian Hill School 



Quaker Hill School — 19241925 



The Warrensville School®, built in 1860, was located just west of the Christian Hill School and 
was closed in 1947. 

North Eldred School® was built in 1859 and had a capacity for forty pupils. Located two miles 
northwest of Warrensville, it closed in 1959 and is now a private residence. Excelsior School(5) 
was three miles southwest of Warrensville. Located on the William Winter farm, it had a pupil 
capacity of thirty pupils and closed in 1949. 

Some information about the schools of Eldred Township was gathered from a conversation 
with Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wright of Warrensville. Mr. Wright is 93 years old and has many 
memories of the eight years he taught in the township. Being a man, he was given the tougher 
schools and was shifted from one to the other as the population of older children increased in 
each. Receiving his teaching certificate from the County Normal School in Muncy, he taught in 
four of the schools between 1909 and 1918. 

Mr. Wright tells how a Mr. Harry Freezer on snowy days would drive his sleigh to school, pick- 
ing up and dropping off children. He himself attended North Eldred School from the age of seven 
in 1894 until he was eighteen years old. The last two years were not so regular as attendance was 
not mandatory after sixteen years of age. 



56 





Excelsior School 



Quaker Hill School — H.G. Casner. teacher— 1889-1890 




FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP 



Fairfield Township was created in 1825 and eventually had 
five one-room schools: RogersQ)- Clees, Baxter, Keebler, and 
Road. 

The duties of each director for his school are listed in the 
school board minutes for the 1934-35 school term. Each direc- 
tor was required to look after his school, note and arrange for 
repairs needed, nominate teachers for hire, acquire fuel, 
books, and other supplies, make sure the school was cleaned, and make sure that drinking water 
was available. 

The autonomy of individual school boards is reflected in the decision of the directors of Clees 
School in October, 1937. It was decided that new toilets were needed but that the present toilets 
would be retained until the Department of Health compelled them to be changed. 




In November, 1946, a Mothers' Club was formed. Representatives of this group attended the 
school board meeting of Fairfield Township and requested more room for pupils attending the 
township schools. This group also discussed the poor condition of the toilets. 

By 1948, the township school board was holding discussions regarding the disposal of Clees(2) 
and Baxter(3) schools since they no longer were being used. The bid for Baxter School was 
$1,670, and it was accepted from Douglas Baxter. Ralph C. Cavanaugh's bid of $1,750 for the 
Clees School also was accepted in June, 1948. 

The sale of Road School® came before the board in March, 1951. There was a petition from 
the Mothers' Club in April of that year to retain Road School for use as a community hall. On 
April 18, 1951, however, the board voted unanimously to sell this property. It is presently a gift 
shop. Keebler School(5) was auctioned August 23, 1952, with the provision that the building be 
moved within five months. 




Keebler School — March, 1917 




FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP 

The territory known as Franklin was taken 
from Moreland Township some time during the 
year 1822 and was named in honor of the cele- 
brated Dr. Benjamin Franklin. The streams of 
Franklin Township were important to the econo- 
my of the region and excellent power was fur- 
nished for thirteen sawmills driven by water. 

The most important industrial enterprise in 
the township for some years was the Franklin 
tannery, established in 1832. It was located 
about one-half mile below where Lairdsville now 
stands. One of the largest tanneries of that 
period in Northern Pennsylvania, it gave em- 
ployment to a large number of people. Lairds- 
ville, the only town in the township, was laid out 
in 1852. 



58 




A class from the Lairdsuille "Big School" 



Lairdsuilte "Elementary School" 



The first inhabitants seemed to appreciate the value of an education and in 1810 had a school 
in successful operation near where Richie now lies. The teacher was a Mrs. Smith. The township 
was subsequently well-supplied with educational facilities. The public schools were under the 
supervision of an efficient board of directors who took an active interest in the intellectual good 
of the young. 

There were six schools located in Franklin Township. Germany(l), a wooden structure, was 
located on Township Route 678 on the road to Gnityville. It closed in 1931. Chestnut Grove(2), 
also wooden, was located near the Columbia County line and closed in 1947. 

Other schools included Bald Eagle School(3), closed in 1947; Pleasant Valley School(4), closed 
in 1949; Starr School®, located two miles southeast of Lairdsville, closed in 1962 and still stand- 
ing; and Lairdsville School®, closed in 1962. The Lairdsville School was actually comprised of 
two separate buildings that were located next to each other. The small frame structure served as 
an elementary school while the larger building adjacent to it was known as the Lairdsville Big 
School, where the older pupils were taught. 

A former sheriff of Lycoming County taught in the township's schools, and his daughter 
Eleanor Spring Ritter taught at the Starr School. Her husband, J. Howard Ritter, also taught at the 
Starr School and later became one of the Commissioners of Lycoming County. 




Lairdsuille School — 1920 

59 




Starr School 



Chestnut Croue School 




Pleasant Valley School 




GAMBLE 
TOWNSHIP 



Formed from parts of 
Lewis and Cascade town- 

C9\j^ ■')}^^^^'~^^^^^^^"^''^ *" i 1^ /' ^V^ ships, Gamble Township 
^-^f ¥// ^t^^l A * ■%\\\, /^ ^ II was named in honor of 

Judge James Gamble who 

presided over the voting 

pertaining to the carving 

of this township in 1875. 

Beautiful Rose Valley® 

^ was the site of the first 

schoolhouse built in Gamble Township. This log structure was built by John Griggs in 1839, and 

its first teacher was J.W. Milnor. 



60 




Rose Valley School "1 at center — before 1906 



Rose Valley School *2 — The concept of the bookmobile 
in Lycoming County was initiated and brought to fruition 
through the efforts of Clarence McConnel. 



The second schoolhouse at Rose Valley® existed until 1962. Wallis Run School *1(2) closed in 
1900 and Wallis Run *2(3) in 1942. Other schools were Ely®, closed in 1900; Loder®, closed in 
1902; Butternut Grove© and Chestnut Grove(7), both closed in 1921; and Beech Valley®, closed 
in 1962. 

On the night of December 11, 1863, the schoolhouse at Beech Valley burned down. The school 
directors convened on December 19, 1863, to consider the rebuilding of the school. The four 
directors who were present were Joseph Hall, Daniel Griggs, Christian Brining, and William 
Gpdegraff. Mr. Hall moved that the house be built on the old site and this was agreed upon with 
the following resolution: 

Resolved that the schoolhouse be built twenty four feet square and nine feet high with 
the necessary desks and seats and a good flew built of brick the House to be built of plank 
and lined on the inside as high as the Desks . . . Weather boardes on the outside, the Desks 
to be built against the house and two tables in the center with seats on both sides and a 
desk for the Teacher the foundation to be laid up dry the lower floor and desks and seats 
and tables to be of pine the upper floor of pine or Hemlock Excerpi from school board minutes 

The main item on the agenda of the school board on July 13, 1872, was the Rose Valley School. 
The president and secretary, according to powers previously vested in them by the board, set the 
building of a school house in Rose Valley on the site occupied by the Olde Building to Ferman 
Fields for the sum of six hundred and sixty-two and one-half dollars to be built according to the 
board's specifications. 

During the year 1954, the township school board voted against a jointure with the Montours- 
ville School District. In August of that same year, a special meeting decided to have the lower 
four grades attend the Rose Valley School and the upper four grades Beech Valley. 

Wallis Run School was sold by the board to Floyd Hessler in 1957 for the sum of $175. 

Each year the parents met with the school board to discuss the grading of pupils and the possi- 
ble jointure with Montoursville schools. They wanted to keep their children at home. Finally, in 
1962, all neighborhood schools were closed. 




Butternut Grove School 



Chestnut Grove School — H. Olive Strouble, teacher, c.1893. 



61 




HEPBGRN TOWNSHIP 

Set off from Loyalsock Township, Hepburn Township was or- 
ganized in 1804 and named for William Hepburn, ex-senator 
and judicial administrator. 

The first school was taught by Samuel Reed in 1805 near 
Cogan Station. Another early school was built on Leonard 
(Jlmer's land between Balls Mills and Warrensville. In this 
school Conrad Hatter taught in the German language for three 
months for two bushels of wheat. 

In the Brief Historical Sketch of the Blooming Grove Colony 
and Meeting House by David C. (JImer in 1928, we learn about 
Klump School 0. 

The Blooming Grove area was settled in 1805 by a group of German Baptist Brethren 
who had come from near Schwarzenau, Germany. Despite seemingly overwhelming hard- 
ships and privations, the people never lost their religious zeal. Early a combined church 
and schoolhouse was constructed. This building was heated by an open fireplace. 

Later another building was put up. This was called Ktump's School from the name of a 
blacksmith nearby. The pupils sat facing the wall, the boys on one side, and the girls on the 
other. This building was later replaced by a frame building. 

A number of the men who had settled In the township had had the best education availa- 
ble at that time. As a result they required their children to get an education — sometimes 
at a great cost. Many of the children had to walk 4 miles to and from school each day of the 
three months term in the bitter winter weather. 

Dr. Haller was the first teacher and taught until 1828. He was a severe disciplinarian. One 
day all the boys in school were soundly flogged because they played during the noon hour 
when he was absent. He was a highly educated and cultured man who had been banished 
from Germany for being a Pietist. He spoke French, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He Is buried 
In the cemetery back of the church. Among the teachers following Dr. Haller were Michael 
Blehl, Joseph Gross, Christley Helm and Gottleib Helm. 

The people were opposed to the school law of 1834. They believed that the result would 
be an inferior school. They were afraid of the taxation that would come and also because It 
was designated that the English language was to be used. However the law went into effect 
and an English teacher was put In charge. The Germans did not like this teacher and so 
started a school of their own at one of the farm houses (pictured on page 13)@. The cost of 
the school was provided for by dividing the expenses among those using it. 

This Independent School was in use for only two years, and the Klump School was torn down in 
the mid 1930s. 

The original Balls Mills® building (pictured on page 8) was of frame construction and located 
half way between Balls Mills and the present brick school building. It is remembered that stu- 
dents used to sled to school. Another winter play area was the school basement. 

Located north of the Klump School on the Pleasant Valley Road is the Pleasant Valley 
School®. This brick building stands next to the Hepburn Baptist Church. On Movember 6, 1931, 
the Hepburn School board accepted a bid of the Trustees of the Hepburn Baptist Church for $210 
for the school building and out buildings. It was later sold to be used as a residence. 




Klump School — flag pole raising 



Klump School some years later 



62 



The Hepburnville School® now the parsonage for the Hepburnville Presbyterian Church, was 
also of brick construction. Possibly an earlier school was of frame construction. 

Begun in the 1840's the Crescent Iron and Nail Works located in the extreme northwestern cor- 
ner of the township provided a site for another township school building®. One former student 
remembers a large trap door near the teacher's desk for the storage of coal and kindling. Another 
student recalls having had Clarence McConnel, former county superintendent, as his teacher 
about 1920. 




Pleasant Valley Sctiool 

An article in the August 28, 1930, edition of the Williamsport Gazette and Bulletin provided the 
following account of the Factory School(7)- 

. . .The year before the passing of the public school bill, a school was established in a 
dwelling house, opposite the later site of the school, and was equipped and maintained by 
subscription of those whose children attended. These children were mostly of the Ball and 
Heyd families. 

A year later, 1846, the original edifice was built, a short distance below the road, and 
beyond the present home of Mrs. Fry. William Ramsey, of Newberry, was the first teacher. 
In a little room some eighteen by twenty feet, he heard the stumbling reading, 'riling, and 
'rithmetic of about fifty or sixty young minds. The seats for the children, and they were 
crowded with that number of pupils to accommodate, were made of slabs with sticks of 
wood for the legs. 

To this rude log building, even less than ill equipped for the needs of growing children, 
the offspring of neighboring farmers, and of the men employed in Ball's woolen mills, saw 
mills, and cradle factory, secured their elementary foundation for education. Seventeen 
teachers, both men and women, nearby farmers, and farmers daughters, supplied the 
school until the time of the second structure, in 1873. 

At the time the second and present building was erected by Daniel Snyder and several 
artisans of the locality, a new site was chosen, beyond the home of Mrs. Fry. The room was 
equipped after the fashion of the time, with seats for the accommodation of two pupils, 
placed in two rows, with a wide aisle between. At the front of the room a platform was built, 
and the teacher's desk was placed there. A step from the platform were the long recitation 
benches, where the classes assembled at signals of the teacher for their individual les- 
sons . . . 



63 



Among the thirty-five teachers who acted as instructors from the time of the building's 
erection to its closing term in 1915, are many people well-known as educators, and profes- 
sional men, today. 

Emerson Collins, State official and orator, and his brother, General Edgar Collins, of the 
United States army, took their turns at drilling the age-old ABC's. 

Rev. George Sheets, well known minister of Rock Island, III., began his career as teacher 
of the little country school. 

Dr. Frank Harper, prominent physician, was a one-time teacher there. Rev. Leidy Lovell 
located in the West, also began his early career there. 

Charles Bidelspacher, of Williamsport, State Assemblyman, taught at the school as a 
young man. A. M. Weaver, superintendent of city schools at Williamsport and formerly 
principal of the Williamsport High School, laid the foundations for his later repute, during 
his years there . . . 

J. A. DeFrain, principal of DuBoistown schools, taught several terms at the Factory 
School, and J. George Becht, deceased, at onetime state superintendent of the Depart- 
ment of Public Instruction, was also a Factory teacher. 

Ephriam Helm, now an instructor at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, has gone a long 
way since he began his teaching career, in this little red school house, which incidentally is 
not red, but white with weather-boarded walls. 

Many of those who attended the little school have also become well known. Among 
them are: Herman Collins, styled the Girard of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a brother of 
General Edgar and Emerson Collins; William Ball, of California, a grandson of the first 
William Ball, and a well known grower of oranges and English walnuts, in his home state. 
A brother, Albert Ball, deceased, was associated with him in business, and also attended 
the old school . . . 




Crescent School 



Crescent School — Fernanda Helm, teacher — 1905 1906 



Both pictures are believed to be the Crescent School. 

About the same time this article appeared another newspaper article on the Factory School 
was printed. 

Former students at the old Factory School in Hepburn Township think so fondly of the 
little one-room institution which they attended in their youth that for some years it has 
been an annual custom to hold a reunion, where Factory alumni, some of them holders of 
positions of prominence, and many of them now old men and women, have had an oppor- 
tunity to meet again and talk over their memories of the happy days spent together in 
school. 

Recently their loving recollections of the old school received a rude shock when they 
read that the building, unused for school purposes for several years, had been raided as a 
speakeasy. County Detective Robert Burns and other officers visited the schoolhouse and 
seized some liquor, arresting the alleged proprietor. 

The raid was prompted by reports that persons were resorting to the schoolhouse to im- 
bibe liquor, instead of imbibe knowledge. 

To those who had attended the Factory School, news of its new status caused not only 
surprise, but real sorrow, so much so that there is some talk of an effort to acquire the 
school in the name of the reunion association and preserve it for reunion purposes. Wheth- 
er this can be accomplished or not remains to be seen. Hepburn Township no longer owns 
the school, having sold the building several months ago, after it had stood idle for some 
years. 

To be accused of being a speakeasy is some comedown for the old school, which a few 
years ago was considered the most eligible candidate for the honor of being made the sub- 

64 



ject of a state publication on the typical one-room Pennsylvania rural school and the part it 
had played in education. 

The late J. George Becht, then state superintendent of public instruction, was the spon- 
sor of this proposal. He was fanniliar with the story of the Factory School, having taught 
there as a boy in his 'teens when he was at the beginning of his distinguished career as an 
educator. He knew many of those who had attended this old school and was aware of the 
stories which could be told of it as illustrations of the splendid work which was accom- 
plished by devoted teachers in such institutions throughout the state. 

The Factory School burned sometime in the 1930's. 

All Hepburn Township schools closed in 1929 except the Factory School which closed in 1915 
and the Independent School which was in use for a brief time in the 1830's. 




^- 






Factory School 



JACKSON TOWNSHIP 

Jackson Township, although extremely Iso- 
lated in the northern part of the county, was 
not wanting for educational facilities. There 
were twelve one-room schools throughout 
this area. 

The first school in the township was the 
Rutty School® built in 1829 on land owned 
by Sam and Polly Rutty. Isaac Kehler was the 
first teacher in this subscription school. The 
structure had a dirt floor and an open fire- 
place for heat and light. In 1872 this building 
was destroyed by fire and replaced by the Krise School®. Unfortunately three years later this 
school also burned. Two brothers were believed to have set the school afire in a squabble over its 
location. 




65 









Gospel Box School 



Reed School — Alcin Reed, teacher 



The Gospel Box or Neal School(3) was built as a church in 1878 but was used as the third 
schoolhouse for the area. 

Another school was constructed on the J.B. Fulkrod farm at the east end of the township in 
1872. This facility was originally called the C. Klump School, but the name was later changed to 
the Kehler School®. 

The construction of the Independent School® about 1872 pleased area residents. At this time 
all the students were within two miles of their schools. The school closed in 1912 but the building 
still stands as a home. 

In 1825 Jacob Beck gave land for the building of the Mountain School®, the first school in the 
Block House area. Beck's father-in-law, George Miller, built the school along Williamson Road at 
the foot of Laurel Hill. 

The Raker School(7) was built in 1840 in the center of the township. The blackboard from this 
school is in the Lycoming County Historical Museum (pictured on page 24). 




Centennial bchooi 



66 



Little is known about the Triangle School® which closed in 1880 or the Jackson Corner 
School, also known as the Henry French SchoolCg), which was in use from 1853-1873. 

Centennial School® was built at the Block House Fork at Buttonwood. The school was so 
named because it was built in 1876, the centennial year. It continued in use until 1952. 

Zuker's School® or Sugar Hill School was built in 1835 in the extreme northwest part of the 
township. It closed in 1904. Reed School ©closed in 1961. 




Kehlcr S.. < 



riehier. teacher 



Mountain School 




JORDAN TOWNSHIP 

Located in the extreme eastern part of Lycoming 
County, Jordan Township received its name from 
one Alexander Jordan. He was the presiding judge 
of the district of which Lycoming County formed a 
part at that time. Jordan Township was detached 
from Franklin Township. 

Mear a place known as Lungerville, the first school- 
house, the Prairie SchoolQ), was built. Its first 
teacher was Press Yorks. This school closed in 1921. 
Early records show that William Richard was the 
teacher of Richard's Grove School® in 1859. This 
teacher had twelve students; and since Mr. Richard 
was a mere nineteen years of age at the beginning of his teaching career, some of his pupils were 
older than he. Richard's Grove School was one of the last to close in Jordan Township in 1962. 




Peterman School — Roy C. Peterman, teacher — 19191920 
67 



The school at (Jnityville(3) was founded because the citizens of that community did not wish to 
send their children to the rural school at Salem. About 1905 the Peterman School(4) was built on 
land owned by the Peterman family with Albert Boudman being the first teacher. This building, 
no longer standing, was in use until 1929. 

The remaining schools in Jordan Township were Biggertown@, closed in 1937; Cleveland®, 
closed in 1940; Gordner or Lore School(7), closed in 1948; the previously-mentioned Salem®, 
closed in 1962; and Grange School (9), closed in the 1890's. 

A quote from Stewart's History of Lycoming County sums up Jordan Township: "The education 
of youth and the moral culture of the people are not neglected, as they are well supplied with 
schoolhouses and facilities for worship." 




LEWIS TOWNSHIP 



Lewis Township was formed in 1835. It was named 
for Ellis Lewis, the man who was then serving as 
circuit court judge of Lycoming County. Lycoming 
Creek traverses the entire length of this geographi- 
cally narrow township. 

The first school erected in the township was the 
Pennsdale School in 1841. Abraham Bunnel was 
the first teacher. In 1842 Bunnel and Samuel Bodine 
also held Sunday school for about forty children in 
the school building. 

An increase in population made a second school 
near Pennsdale(T) a necessity. On August 10, 1878, 
the school board let a bid of $245 for the construc- 
tion of the new 18 by 30 foot building. It was to be 
built on land donated by Watson Kelly and to be 
completed by October 15, 1878. 

The second school constructed in the township 
was the Keys School(2) which was located just 
north of Fields Station. 

The Corter School (3) near Powy"s Curve was the 
township's third school. Its original date is un- 
known, and the history available concerning the 
school reveals that it was sold at a public auction 
on July 24, 1879, for $8, with the stipulation that the run-down building had to be removed within 
one week. A bid was let on the same day to have a new building constructed for $551. The school 
is pictured here in 1900. The building is now in use as a private home. 

The Bobst Mountain School(4) was built prior to 1863 and closed in 1938. A cemetery close to 
this school isolated on top of a mountain dates to pre-Civil War times. The school board minutes 
of February 24, 1863, indicate that the board members had to investigate charges of abuse of two 
children lodged against the teacher, Abraham Dersham. The record states: 

We proceeded to hear the evidence in the case and after a full and Impartial hearing 
found that there was nothing in evidence to show that he has ever misused them in any way 
what ever and dismissed the case and ordered the teacher to go on and Teach out his Term 
of School. 
The building is now used as a hunting cabin. 

The first Gray's Run School® was near the mouth of Gray's Run. The date of construction is 
not known. It is reported, however, that a student playing in a tree near the school fell into the 
stream and drowned. The school was subsequently closed and a new building erected at a differ- 
ent location. 

On August 12, 1865, specifications were set by the school board to build a 24 by 24 foot square 
school building near Gray's Run for $499. The building was to be completed by December 1, 1865. 
Former students recall that the funds for digging a well for the school were furnished by the PTA. 



68 




Early Gray's Run School — Asher Williamson, teacher Bobst Mountain School 

An 1881 school board suggestion for the second Gray's Run School® was that the school have 
two months of summer school and three months of winter school. After due consideration, the 
board on June 6 ". . . resolved to have two months Summer School at . . . Gray's Run commenc- 
ing this day." The teacher's pay was set at $20 per month in the summer and $30 per month in the 
winter. The building is now being used as a private dwelling. 

The Trout Run School(7) was established on May 27, 1854, when the school board resolved that 
". . . we build a school house at Trout Run 28 ft. long by 26 broad ft to be built of as good materials 
and after the same plan as the house at Thomas Corters . . . " 

Trout Run's growing population prompted an 1876 school board meeting to be ". . . held for the 
purpose of makeing some arrangement to procure an Assistant Teacher in School No. 3 (the 
Trout Run School) for the Term of four months from Nou the 29th 1876" In addition, on June 3, 
1878, it was ". . . Resolved to enlarge the School House at Trout Run by extending the building 
back to the line of the lot and having sliding doors placed so as to divide the room into two separ- 
ate Schools . . . And resolved that the schools be graded by using one room for the primary class 
and the other for advanced Scholars." The bid for this addition was let on August 10, 1878, at the 
price of $390. 

A new Trout Run School® was built in 1909 and was in use until 1959 when the present build- 
ing was constructed. 

One of the highlights in the history of the Trout Run School occurred during S. B. Dunlap's 
tenure as county superintendent. Dr. Lester K. Ade, state superintendent of public instruction, 
came to Trout Run to visit and to give a speech in the school where he had received his elemen- 
tary school education from 1898 to 1907. Dr. Ade's career in education began in 1910 when he 
became a teacher in a one-room school in Hepburn Township. 

Bodines® had three school buildings in its history. The first was on a hill across the bridge 
from Bodines. The date of this building is unknown. The second school, also undated, was along 
the railroad tracks which ran through the village. The third building was built at the east end of 
the village after the second school had burned and still stands minus its unusual belfry. The 
school is currently being used as a hunting cabin. 





ki^Bfl£^^^^^ .•^^H.b^^^^^^H 


*^"' . 




E3 




mi 


|l 






■ ,^^^ 


^^-^mT^ 


rr 


^a^H 






Trout Run School 



Trout Run School — The oversized belfry seems to be typical 
of the schoob in Lewis Township. 19091959 



69 




Carter School 



Bodines School — 1959 (at right) 




LIMESTONE 
TOWNSHIP 




Jamestown School — 1923 

Limestone Township which borders Nippenose is an area of great beauty and once was thought 
to be one of the finest agricultural regions in the state. First called Adams Township, it was later 
named Limestone, a direct reference to the rock strata that underlies the entire valley. Its early 
population was composed of sober, honest, and industrious people who used its many natural re- 
sources to construct sawmills, grist mills and a quarry and to raise stock and harvest grain. It was 
the only township in the county that published a weekly newspaper It was this kind of ambition 
and dedication that prompted the people living in Limestone Township to build their first school 
in 1824. 

Located in the village of Oval, the first attempts at formalized education were made within the 
walls of a wooden frame structure called Oval *1®. Situated near the center of the township, it 
was surrounded by fertile farms and was easily accessible to the children living in every direc- 
tion. This building held classes for the students living in this centralized section until 1892 when 
the expanding population found its size inadequate to cope with increased enrollments. The 
structure, however, continued to be useful to the community long after the last pupil had ceased 
to cross its thresholds, for it served as a place to hold church services, and much later as a shed 
to store machines. It even remained intact until as late as 1978 when the weight of heavy snow 
caused the roof to collapse and put an end to its existence. 

The building that replaced Oval *1 as a functioning school was more spacious and much more 
elaborate. Built of brick, it had two classrooms and even an auditorium. Students attending this 
school could further their education as far as the eleventh grade, and interscholastic sports such 
as basketball were offered. This multi-roomed school burned in 1917 or 1918 and was later re- 
placed by another brick structure called the Oval Grade and High School. Still standing but now 
vacant, this building was erected directly across from the site of its predecessor. The brick used 



70 



in its construction was hauled by wagonload all the way from the Antes Fort train station, a 
distance of about six miles. 

To educate the growing number of children throughout this beautiful valley, six other schools 
were built in varying locations. In between the Lochabar area and the Limestone Church a one- 
room frame structure named the Moore School® was built. It held classes for the children in that 
farming area until it closed in 1914. 

Located at the same end of the township in the fields above Millport Hill was the site of another 
one-room school built of red brick. A small porch was attached to the front entrance and outside 
toilets of matching brick occupied corners of the back lot. Commonly called Eck School(3) or 
Ecktown, it derived its names from the large number of people named Eck who lived in the vicin- 
ity. Although the main occupation was farming, one family owned a lime kiln. The average 
attendance of the school numbered sixteen, and it was this low attendance that figured in its clos- 
ing in 1921. 




Coltomsuille School — Miss Defrain. teacher — c. 1894. Notice that the picture is printed backwards and that the flag haa only 
45 stars. 

Another brick school located south of Oriole taught the children from that community and as 
far away as the county line. Named Jamestown School(4) it was converted into a family home by 
the Bill Lehman family and is still standing today. The interior of the school, equipped with most 
of the standard items, included an organ and kerosene lights on the windows that served to illu- 
minate the dark winter days. Drinking water was obtained from a local store in Oriole with the 
use of a pole with a bucket on the end. Some boys rode horses to school, and a woman teacher 
even utilized this method of travel, boarding the animal in a farmer's barn while school was in 
session. The usual amount of schoolboy pranks took place at Jamestown. The boys especially 
enjoyed magnifying the sun's rays through a curved glass until the intensity of the light ignited 
the objects underneath. Fortunately this type of amusement was done in moderation, for James- 
town was one of the last two schools to close in the township, shutting its doors in 1943. 

At the opposite end of the township stood a frame school in a rather remote location. Named 
Mountain(5) because it was situated among picturesque mountains, the school was often referred 
to by local residents as Mosquito Valley. The basic livelihood in this locale was farming, and 
many of the boys and girls that attended this school were required to help their families with the 
crops. Mr. Fred Hampe, a very knowledgeable resident of Limestone Township, remembers an in- 
cident that happened to his father, who was a school director for the area. One day in October Mr. 
Hampe's father drove his horse to Mountain School to check on how the teacher and the school 
year were progressing, only to find the bewildered teacher in front of an empty classroom. Ques- 

71 



tioning the teacher about this strange state of affairs, he learned that this had been happening 
every day since school started in September. The teacher had traveled to school every day, had 
opened the doors and had made preparations for the school session to begin. At the end of the 
day she closed her books, not once seeing a sign of a single pupil. It turned out that all the child- 
ren had been employed picking potatoes, and once the crop was completely harvested, attend- 
ance resumed at a normal pace. Mountain School continued functioning until 1918, when de- 
creasing numbers of students forced its closing. 

Below Mountain School lies the little town of Collomsville®, the site of a brick school named 
after the village itself. Located across from the Lutheran Church, the school has since been con- 
verted into a private home. This building was built in 1905 and has more than one room. It was 
another of the last schools in operation, also closing in 1943. There were, however, two frame 
schools long since demolished, that stood next to this building and that were constructed in the 
one-room tradition. The first of these frame buildings was also referred to as the Collomsville 
School, but it became ineffective when the population grew too large, and an additional frame 
structure was built next to it to house the overflow of pupils. In 1905, the school directors con- 
tracted Adam Eck to construct the present brick building for $3,500. 

The one frame building was torn down to make room for the new brick structure, and for many 
years the other frame building and the new brick school stood side by side. While the brick Col- 
lomsville school was holding classes, the old frame building to its right was being used as a 
voting place and gathering spot for making rag carpets on a loom. The frame school also had to 
be reopened after the Oval school burned to serve as an instructional building for the older 
grades. In 1944, a man named Lewis Ream bought this frame building and tore it down for its 
lumber. 

Proceeding from Collomsville over the mountain toward South Williamsport we find one more 
school before reaching the end of the township line. In a field along Stopper Road stands the 
neglected remains of a brick schoolhouse named Reidy(7). Presently used as a storage shed by 
the Clarence Stopper family, the crumbling foundation is a reminder that time will soon 
eliminate even the sturdiest evidence of one-room schools in Limestone Township. Reidy closed 
its doors in 1920. 



Few one-room schools were equipped with more than the basic necessities. Pianos, victrolas, and euen sports 
equipment were luxuries the teacher purchased herself or raised funds for by conducting box socials. Mrs. Ger- 
trude Bitner discovered a nouel way of securing such extravagances while teaching at the 
Collomsuille School in Limestone Township. 

Late in April one of her students missed a few days of school. When asked about his ab- 
sence, he claimed he was making cider Because Mrs. Bitner liked cider, she asked him to 
bring a gallon the next time he came to school and she would buy ii Though the regular 
selling price for cider at that time was 35<. the boy charged her $3.00. Attributing the high 
price to the belief that many people thought school teachers were rich, Mrs. Bitner was anx- 
ious to taste this expensive brew. Much to her surprise, the homemade cider was actually 
real whiskey made from a still. The student probably had no idea what he was selling, or he 
wouldn't have picked his teacher as a customer As it turned out, the boy was a relative of a 
school board director and at the very next school board meeting, Mrs. Bitner promptly 
asked for a movie projector and a uictrola. She received the items she requested with no questions asked, and 
had one of the best equipped schools in the township. 




In addition to the county superintendent and various school directors, some of the most critical observers a 
young teacher encountered were the students' parents themselves. Generally supported by the parent popula- 
tion, the one-room school teacher had to maintain an aura of dignity and 
adhere to a strict moral code to secure the respect of these adults. One 
young teacher's credibility was almost endangered when the Oval School in 
Limestone Township bought their first radio. Regular instruction came to a 
halt, as the entire class anxiously awaited their first radio experience — the 
noon news. Mrs. Gertrude Bitner was teaching in Oval at that time, and 
vividly remembers the advertisement that accompanied this newscast Broz- 
man's department store was appealing to new mothers-to-be by advertising 
a free booklet for the pregnant woman. Mrs. Bitner was quite concerned 
about how this type of promotion would be received at home when the 
children were dismissed for the day. Some parents were upset and wrote 
notes to her, but apparently no lasting reprisals resulted from the ad for Mrs. 
Bitner held that same teaching position for about seven years. 

72 





LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP 

In the late 1800's Loyalsock Township had the 
largest population of any Lycoming County town- 
ship and is believed to have had as many as twelve 
schools at one time. There are conflicting accounts 
as to exactly how many of these were one-room 
schools. One must remember that prior to 1923, the 
township boundaries included a large section of 
what is now Williamsport, including the Vallamont 
and Grampian areas. When Williamsport annexed 
these two areas in 1923, the township lost a large 
section of its school district to the city. 

Records show that school was first taught about 1820 by Abraham Zallman in an old, log te- 
nant house on the road from Williamsport to Warrensville. The first school building in this town- 
ship was a private school on the southwest corner of Meade and Sherman streets. This building is 
now a private home. 

The first public school east of the city line was Limestone School(T)- This brick structure was 
located on the corner of Westminster Drive and East Third Street, near where the Colonial Motel 
now stands. The school was named for the natural resource mined in the area and served the 
children of the quarry workers. 

The Sand Hill School(2). also brick, was located on the Montoursville Road. At that time Mon- 
toursville Road, which is now Edercrest Drive, passed by the building of the Williamsport Coun- 
try Club and through woods to the present Warrensville Road. The school stood midway between 
the Warrensville Road and the crest of the hill. The majority of the residents served by this school 
worked in the local quarries; others were farmers. This building was sold to the Boy Scout troop 
from Pine Street Methodist Church and used as a club house. 

There were two brick schools which served the farming community of the township. About 
three miles north of Montoursville Road at the corner of Warrensville Road and what is now 
Walters Road was the school named Mill Creek(3). It was so-named for the small creek at the rear 
of the school grounds. Another school called Fairview® was located on Fairview Road and served 
the area west of Mill Creek and north of Four Mile Drive. Both schools are still standing and are 
currently used as residences. 

Another school was located at the Y formed by the intersection of Northway Road, Quaker Hill 
Road, and Northway Road Extention and was thus called Union School(5). This was the first 
school in the area made of logs. The original log building was destroyed by fire, and about 1825 a 
stone schoolhouse was built to serve the center of the township. This stone structure was then 
replaced by a new brick school about 1860. When this last Union School was closed in 1929, the 
building was sold to a local church and used as a social hall. 

The Eagle School® was constructed on Bloomingrove Road, three miles from the intersection 
of Grampian Boulevard and Market Street. Rumor says the school was so-named because eagles 
nested in this area. This brick school was built on a slope and was one of the few one-room 
schools with a basement for storage of coal and wood. This school is now a home and wood- 
working shop. 

The Grandview School® was situated on Cemetery Street, north of Rural Avenue near Wild- 
wood Boulevard. The name supposedly referred to the view of the western part of the city, the 
Susquehanna River, and Bald Eagle Mountain. This brick facility was sold to Wildwood Cemetery 
and then torn down. 

The brick Heshbon School® was located on Heshbon Road and was named for the iron foun- 
dry that was in that vicinity. (Heshbon is a Biblical term meaning a place of fire.) When the school 
closed, the building was sold to an adjacent church and later demolished. 

The history of the Sheridan Street School (until 1923 part of Loyalsock Township) began with a 
log schoolhouse(9) built on the north side of Sheridan Street east of Sherman Street. This school 
served the residents of the area known as Lloyd's Addition (land north and east of the city). When 
the log facility became too small for the growing community, a new brick four-room school was 
built on the southeast corner of Sherman and Sheridan Streets. This Lloyd's Addition School is 
now the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. 



73 



The most significant educational figure from Loyalsock Township was J. George Becht, a state 
superintendent of schools. The building of the Becht Elementary School in 1929 marked the 
close of the Limestone, Sand Hill, Mill Creek, Fairview, and Union Schools. The six-room addi- 
tion to the school in 1936 signaled the close of the Grandview, Eagle, and Heshbon schools. 




Limestone School in background 



Heshbon School 




Inside Heshbon School — Mildred Park, teacher 
74 




LYCOMING TOWNSHIP 



In 1858 Lycoming Township was formed from territory taken 
from Old Lycoming Township. Three of the industries essential to 
the development of north central Pennsylvania — farming, mill- 
ing, and lumbering — were predominant in this locality. Along 
the creek for which the township is named could be found good 
flag and building stone; thus numerous quarries evolved. Near 
these centers of activity six one-room schools sprang up. 

The first school was built on land deeded to the Lycoming 
School District on September 18, 1862, by William and Sarah 
Andruss. This school was known as the Biehl School(T) and re- 
mained in service until 1876. At that time the pupils were moved to the Pleasant Hill School(2) at 
Mount Pleasant until it closed as a school in 1941. All of Lycoming Township's schools are frame 
buildings. 

A school was built at Maple Spring and was called Maple Springs SchooKj). Closing in 1948, 
the building was then used to store farm machinery and has since burned. 

The Perryville School(4) was built off Route 973 at the foot of the hill in Perryville. Those who 
were students fifty years ago remember that behind the school the tail race from the nearby mill 
provided a place to fish for suckers. That was until Lucy Corter, their teacher, caught them. 
Besides suckers, the boys caught crabs to put down the girls' backs. Miss Corter is also remem- 
bered for boiling chestnuts over the stove for a noontime treat. Another teacher there, Florence 
Kinley, sent the pupils to cut their own switches when they needed to be disciplined. Closing as a 
school in 1949, the building now serves as a residence. Still standing and fondly remembered in 
front of the building is the large oak tree, over one hundred years old. 

The State Road School(5) was built on the road for which it is named. One teacher who had one 
of her first teaching experiences here prior to WW I remembers it as two of the happiest winters 
of her life. Another teacher, probably in the late 1920's, was the fifth substitute in the building. 
Before beginning work, a director and she had to clean up the toilet paper that had been spread 
throughout the room as well as to get rid of the snake that was curled on the teacher's chair. The 
building remained in use until 1949. 

The school at Quiggle's Place, known as Quiggleville School®, closed in 1949. This school's 
well was paid for with money earned from a box social. After Lewis Township's Corter School 
closed, those students attended school at Quiggleville. The first students from this school to at- 
tend a high school in Hepburnville hitched rides on passing coal trucks to reach the closest bus 
stop at Cogan Station. Today the building has been turned and moved a few feet into the woods 
and is used as a dwelling. 




Penyuille School — Elizabeth Ely, teacher — 1948 



Pleasant Hill School — 1906 



75 



McHENRY 
TOWNSHIP 

After sixteen years of the area citi- 
zens' fighting for a new township, 
McHenry was formed from Cumm- 
ings and Brown townships on August 
21, 1861. It was named for A. H. 
McHenry, a Jersey Shore surveyor 
who had been instrumental in the 
township's formation. 

The first school within the town- 
ship was taught by Robert Young in 
1804, and the first schoolhouse was 
built about a half mile above the 
mouth of Callahan's Run in 1808. By 
1891, there were four schools: Jersey 
Mills, Cammal, Ross, and Mt. Zion. 
Records show that a Herritt 
School(T) closed some time in the 
1890's. The Ross School® served a 
small farming community at one 
time until it closed in 1912. The com- 
munity of Bluestone was one of farm- 
ing and lumbering. In addition, its 
quarries provided the bluestone sidewalks of Williamsport. No longer standing, the Bluestone 
School® closed in 1908. Mrs. Mildred Campbell Moore's grandfather had donated the land for 
the school with the stipulation that the land revert to the family when no longer used for a school 
building's location. Mrs. Moore attended and later taught at the school. One inside feature that is 
remembered is that it had a huge blackboard. 

In addition to teaching in the Bluestone School, Mrs. Moore also taught in the Cammal 
School®. Throughout her teaching career Mrs. Moore influenced a number of students to go on 
to the Muncy Normal School and become teachers. Among them was Gertrude Moore who 
subsequently taught in McHenry Township before going to Jersey Shore to teach. 

The Cammal School had two stories. The first floor was for the primary grades of one through 
four, and the second floor was for the grammar grades of five through eight. When the mill closed 
around the turn of the century, the population dwindled. The second floor was then used for 
extra-curricular activities, school board meetings, and as a polling place. In 1977 the building 
was razed. 

Three miles up the hill northeast of Cammal is Okome(5), an area once known as Mt. Zion, 
which was, until the Civil War, a lumbering community. After the end of the lumbering era, the 
residents turned to farming. Okome had at least three school buildings in three different loca- 





jkuinc School— 1917 



Okome School — late 1800's 



76 



tions. One school was in use in the 1850's. Another building closed as a school about 1880 but re- 
mained standing until it burned in 1913. 

Collins and Fred Swarthout have told about the last building. Mewton Thompson donated the 
land for the school which was to revert to the family when the building was no longer used as a 
school. The Swarthouts' mother was one of the first to attend school in this Okome School, and 
Collins was one of the last graduates of the school prior to its closing on April 21, 1933. The wood 
from the school is now part of the Beulah Land hunting cabin. Because the school district was 
somewhat isolated on a mountain top, the attendance averaged only eight students. Between 
June, 1930, and February, 1931, the school was closed due to feuding among the McHenry Town- 
ship school directors. During that time, the students attended Cammal School. Collins recalled 
that once the bus that drove them down the steep hill did not have any brakes. 

The Swarthouts had many stories to tell. Fred, for example, told how he had taken the weight 
off the clock in order to make time go faster, thus making the school day shorter. 

The Jersey Mills School® is located on land donated by Richard Stradley. In addition to being 
used as a school, the building was also used for Methodist Church services. Today the building is 
used as a personal residence and looks very much as it always did except for an additional room 
and the missing belfry, lost when a tree fell on it. 




Blue Stone School 



Jersey Mills School — The rooms on either side of the belfry 
were added as cloak rooms and chemical toilets. The pipe in 
front is an air uent for the toilets, c. 1926 



Trout Run March 20th 1882 

It luas resolved to stop the boys playing ball near the school house & throtuing balls & stones over and against 

the buildings — Excerpt from the Lewis Township School Board Minutes 



77 




McINTYRE 
TOWNSHIP 



Mclntyre Township was 
formed in 1848 from a sec- 
tion of Lewis Township. This 
mountainous area is now 
known for its coal mines; 
however, large sawmill com- 
munities once populated 
the hills of this township. 
The communities grew up 
around the sawmill and 
thrived while the sawmill 

A -x,_ '-' was in existence. Each com- 

l-^ munity had its own school. 

Such was the case of Carterville or Lynnfoot School0. It was part of a sawmill community which 
was situated halfway between Roaring Branch and Langdon. This school closed in 1868. Mclntyre 
School(2) was part of the village of Mclntyre. Non-existent now, the village at one time comprised 
170 dwelling houses, one store, one church, and a schoolhouse. The Mclntyre School was in ex- 
istence from 1844-1890. Other sawmill community schools were Pleasant Stream SchoolC 




Sechrist School 



Sechrist School 



78 



closed in 1919; Grays Run(4), which closed in 1912; Langdon School©, which closed in 1917; and 
Red Run School®. The latter school had three rooms. The first room was closed in 1906, the sec- 
ond in 1916, the third in 1920. 

From 1844-1890 Astonville School® was at the mouth of Frozen Run. This school was part of 
an iron furnace community in that area and closed when the iron furnace was destroyed. The 
children remaining in the area then had to walk to Marsh Hill to school. The Marsh Hill School® 
was used as a one-room school until 1946. The building is kept in good repair as a hunting camp. 

The Sechrist School® at one time served only three families. When the school closed in 1913, 
Mr. Fred Brannaka moved it up a steep bank and used it as a garage. 

Ralston's first school® was in South Ralston. The first and second grades of this school were 
closed in 1892. The building was then used for a butcher shop and later razed. The Crandalltown 
School® served a sawmill community. 




McNETT TOWNSHIP 



McNett Township was formed from a por- 
tion of Mclntyre Township in 1878. The name 
McNett came from the name of one of the peti- 
tioners who requested that the township be 
separated. This area is noted for coal and iron 
ore. From 1837-1847 iron was made in this 
mountainous township. 

The first school in this area, Union School, 
built in 1858, was to serve Union and Mclntyre 
townships, of which McNett Township was a 
part. At about the time McNett Township was 
formed, the school was closed. 

Mcllwain School® was probably built about 
fifteen years after the end of the Civil War. The 
school was named for Joseph W. Mcllwain who 
was instrumental in having the school built 
and who served for many years on the board of directors of McNett Township schools. The school 
served the area until 1941. The building has been razed. 

A schoolhouse was built near the railroad's ascent of the mountain at Penbryn. The village and 
school were given the Celtic name Penbryn, meaning head of the mountain. This name was later 
changed to Carpenter. This village had a steam sawmill owned by E. W. Sweet. 

Roaring Branch had a school® east of Lycoming Creek in the 1880's. No other information 
could be obtained about this school. 




Parson's Hilt School 



Masten School 



79 



Masten was a sawmill village containing some ninety homes plus various buildings. It was 
located on the border of two townships — McNett and Cascade. Because of this, there were two 
schools — one in each township. The Masten School (3) in McNett Township was closed when the 
sawmill ceased operations in 1933. 

Several other schools in the township were the Ramsey School, built sometime before 1892; 
the Ellenton School(4), closed in 1945 and currently used as a hunting cabin; Leolyn School(5), 
closed in 1928; and the Parson's Hill School®, built before 1892 and closed in 1946. The Parson's 
Hill alumni still hold annual reunions. Yorktown School0 (pictured on page 35) closed in 1919. 




Mdlwain School — Lulu E. Saxon, teacher — 19101911 




MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP 

Mifflin Township, one of the earliest townships in the county, 
was created in 1796 by dividing Lycoming Township and naming 
the new area for Governor Thomas Mifflin. 

A school was taught near the site of the region's first sawmill 
in an abandoned building in 1829. A schoolhouse, built in 1834 
upstream from the location of the first school, also was used as a 
place of worship. Louis F. Carey was the teacher. 

Early citizens of Sailadasburg had many differences among 
themselves and, consequently, could not agree to have a build- 
ing suitable for a school. The children, therefore, had to go to 
school in the available church facilities. Eventually a frame 
school building, with a second floor to be added later when need- 
ed, was constructed. A second frame building was built by G. H. 
Cline in 1876, at a cost of $1,200 and was in use until 1936. The 
bell from this school is displayed behind Cohick's Trading Post in 
Sailadasburg. The first primary teacher was Miss Sadie B. Hooven 
who taught a total of fifty-one years, forty-seven of which were in 
Sailadasburg. 



80 




Brick School — 1907 



Chestnut Groue School — August 18. 1940 — first home- 
coming 




-■■V' 



Original Chestnut Groue School 



Main Creek School — 1932 




Inside Main Creek School 
c. 1920 



Myrtle Lillian Moyer, teacher 



Salladasburg School 



In 1880-1881, Wildwood School® stood at Stony Point, a lumbering village at the bridge to 
Puterbaugh Mountain. Both the Harrer School®, 1885-1890, and the Stably School®. 1880's, 
served sawmill communities. Peter Schneider, a strict German teacher at the Stably School, is 
said to have thrashed one pupil, Elwood Thomas, three times during one class recitation. 

As of 1876, there were six schools in Mifflin Township. By 1891, there were seven: Chestnut 
Grove, Main Creek, Plank Road, Mud Run, Forks, Brick, and Friedens. 



81 



There were two Chestnut Grove schools®, both of which were located in the sanne field. The 
second school closed in 1943, and was torn down in 1948. The title to the land then reverted to 
the land owner. 

Located along the road for which it was named, Plank Road School(5) closed in 1902. Plank 
Road had been built between the mouth of Larry's Creek and English Center to enable lumber to 
be hauled more easily. 

Fredrick Friedel offered land for the building of a schoolhouse on his farm. Mrs. Ruth Pepper- 
man, his granddaughter, recalls moving to the farm from Williamsport in 1906 to attend the 
school, called the Brick School. At that time the Brick School® was closed, but after Ruth Pep- 
perman's father checked on the number of school-age children nearby he found the school could 
be supported, and it was re-opened for several years before its final closing. The building is now a 
residence. 

Mud Run School® closed in 1930, and Canoe Run or Friedens School®, closed in 1946. Both 
were frame buildings. 

In 1949, the last two schools in the township, First Fork or Forks(g)and Main Creek® were 
closed. During their last years, they shared the education of the area's scholars. One school had 
grades one through four while the other had grades five through eight. 

The students and their teachers have varied school memories. Several, for example, men- 
tioned diseases such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, and head lice. When the snow was deep, both 
students and teachers had to employ unusual means of transportation. Mrs. Rebecca Richards 
remembers four little boys and one little girl riding mules to the First Fork School from a farm 
about a mile away. After the students had arrived at the school, they would give the mules a pat 
on their rears to send them on their way home. From 1916 to 1919, Myrtle Moyer Johnston taught 
in the nearby Main Creek School, the school she had attended earlier. In deep snow she often 
would ride her horse to the porch of the school and then send the horse home. Sometimes her 
father would take her in a sleigh. 

Today the First Fork School is the township building, and the Main Creek building is a private 
dwelling. 




-^ 



* ,■• 



}*'bMt^ii.--^-:'^ 



tm 



.-'s^TKr^- 



First Fork School — John Pepperman. teacher — c. 1898 Salladasburg School — Miss Sadie Hooven — c. 1895 




MILL CREEK TOWNSHIP 



" ^tf Mill Creek Township, established in 1878, was the youngest of the large 

=^^iV7N family of townships into which Old Muncy was divided. The sources of 
~^1]" ^^ Mill Creek rise and drain most of its territory, hence its name. Residents 
'^ of the area made their living by the soil after nearly all the valuable tim- 

ber had been removed. Huntersville, established in 1849 and located on 
the Wolf Township line, housed the only post office. 

There were three schoolhouses, all wooden in structure, located as fol- 
lows- the Gortner School or Mud Hole(T), as it was sometimes called, about one mile west of Hun- 
tersville and closed in 1928: the Baier School®, still standing on the Woodly Hollow Road ^- 
tween the White Church and the Allegheny Grange, closed in 1947; and the Hites School®, 
three-quarters of a mile north of the Allegheny Grange and a mile east of the Heilman Church, 
closed in 1947. 



82 




MORELAND TOWNSHIP 

The word Moreland, as described by the old dictionaries, 
referred to a hilly country, and it can be inferred that this town- 
ship, located in the extreme southeastern part of the county, 
was given its name for just that reason. Hilliness is a striking 
feature of the extensive territory that this township covers. 
Moreland had two grist mills, two steam sawmills and two post 
offices. The principal occupation was farming. 

The following information, taken from One-Hundred Years of 
County Superintendency states that a school known as the 
Eight Square School was: 

The first schoolhouse in Lycoming County . . . built in 
'Moreland township In 1796. It was made of round unhewn 
logs, with two windows made of greased paper. There was a 
clapboard roof. A pine board supported by pins along two 
sides of the room, furnished the writing desk. Long pine 
slabs, on four good substantial pegs, made the seats. An 
open fireplace, piled high with hickory logs provided the heat and much of the light. 
Barmond Barkelow was the first teacher and the only books used were the New Testament, 
Dilworth's Speller, and an Arithmetic. 

Another schoolhouse which was used by children of the early settlers was located on a farm 
owned by Jacob Springman in 1800. The teacher was a Mr. Trerman. The house was primitive in 
design and structure. 

History of Moreland Township shows that there was a total of seven schoolhouses. Pleasant 
Grove or Back Bone®, as it was sometimes called, was located on Route 442 between Muncy 
and Bloomsburg. It was closed in 1926 and is no longer standing. Green Valley0 was a wooden 
structured school, located northeast of Hughesville on the Green Valley Road. It closed in 1937. 
Hill School®, one mile southwest of Route 118 at the top of Warren Hill, closed in 1946. Laurel 
Run(§), one mile south of the three-lane highway between Muncy and Bloomsburq, closed in 
1947. 

Other schools included the Opp School®, which operated until 1954 when it was razed; the 
Eight Square *2(D, closed in 1958; and the Frenchtown®, located on old Route 118 between 
Hughesville and Lairdsville, closed in 1962 and now used as the Canusarago Grange. 



MUNCY TOWNSHIP 

^J The first township in Lycoming County, Muncy Township, was 
carved from Northumberland County in 1772, twenty-three years 
before Lycoming County was created. Its name was derived from 
the early inhabitants — the Monsey Indian Tribe. 

It is not surprising that the educational system of Lycoming 
County began in this area. The first settlers were of the Quaker 
belief and their intense beliefs included the education of the 
young in the same faith. 

In 1768 when Samuel Wallis, also a Quaker, arrived to establish 
his estate at what is now Halls Station®, the area was a densely forested wilderness. He began 
building Longreach (Muncy Farms) in 1769 and records show that by 1794 he had in his employ a 
schoolmaster to provide education for his seven children. (See Homes and Heritage of the West 
Branch Valley.) He had a small schoolhouse on his Muncy farm near the present intersection of 
old Route 220 and Route 405. Later this building was moved south across the road. This struc- 
ture was destroyed by fire in 1800 and was rebuilt on the original site, the north side of the road. It 
was last used as a restaurant (Tiffany's Parlor) before it was razed to make way for the Lycoming 
Mall in 1979. 

The Society of Friends (Quakers) began a school in Pennsdale® in 1793. By 1801 seven men 
were charged with the care of the small schools then in existence. In 1805 William Ellis donated 
the land for a new schoolhouse. A log schoolhouse was constructed and was made spacious 




^3 




Friends School 



Halls Station School 



enough to accommodate the children from other meetings. This building had an aisle in the mid- 
dle with tiers of benches and desks on each side. The backless benches held four students. A big 
ten-plated, wood-burning stove in the center of the room provided heat. The first teacher was 
James Kitely of London, England. Neither blackboards nor maps were used for instructional pur- 
poses for quite a while. A committee of six men and four women was appointed to visit the 
school. 

The new Friends Quaker School, built of stone in 1859, had desks and chairs that were screwed 
into the floor. William Winner, a carpenter and mason, was responsible for its construction. This 
school remained under the jurisdiction of the Quakers until 1946 when it was purchased for use 
as a private home by Mr. and Mrs. Grant Bussler. Mrs. Bussler, the former Mary Frye, was the 
granddaughter of the builder, Mr. Winner, and teacher when the school closed at the end of the 
summer term in 1915. 

An unhewn log cabin on Main Street and East Water Street is said to have been the first school 
within the present limits of the borough of Muncy. It was built prior to 1800 of round, unhewn logs 
and roofed with bark. The regulation pine slab, with four pegs in it, was used as a seat. 

The main sites used for schoolhouses in this township were Bush@, closed in 1947; Halls Sta- 
tion, closed in 1936; Oak Run(4), closed in 1948; and Centre®, closed in 1934; Pennsdale®, 
closed in 1934. 




Pennsdale School — Leo R. Guillaume, teacher — 190^. The 
first boy in the third roiv is Clarence McConnel (see dedica- 
tion and preface). 



5^^ 



Bush School 



84 




MUNCY CREEK 
TOWNSHIP 

Muncy Creek Township was taken from the 
large township of Muncy in 1797. The first 
school sessions held in Muncy Creek Town- 
ship were taught by Moses Rorick in the Old 
Emanuel Lutheran Church located between 
Muncy and Hughesville in 1800. That same 
year, a schoolhouse called Shane School(T) 
was opened. It was situated on what is now 
known as Musser's Lane in the southwest cor- 
ner of Muncy Manor. The school's last teacher 
was Francis McConnell (1917-1918), with the school directors closing it during his last year. 

About 1816 the Quakers of Pennsborough (Muncy) erected a log schoolhouse, known as the 
Guide School House® with George Hogg as the first teacher. The school also was known as 
Guide Grammar of East Muncy. There is speculation that the term Guide was derived from guid- 
ance as used in a religious sense. While this early school was established primarily to provide 
religious and educational background for the Quaker children, it soon was opened to the child- 
ren of other religious denominations. 

A brick structure, replacing the original log building in 1824 or 1825, was called the Union 
School and Meeting House. It was opened to all denominations and governed by a board of trust- 
ees of mixed religious backgrounds. Samuel Rogers was the first superintendent. With the pas- 
sage of the Free School Act in 1834, the school came under the jurisdiction of the Muncy Creek 
Township board of school directors. 




Guide Grammar or East Muncy School 

Turkey Bottom School (3), one of the first one-room brick schools, continued to be used until 
1932 when it was consolidated with a new school in Muncy. The building was purchased and con- 
verted into a private residence. 

A road now crosses the site of Clarkstown School®- The first school in this area was built of 
wood. A flooding of Little Muncy Creek washed away the foundation and a brick school was built 
on the opposite side of the stream. An 1870 record book refers to this school as the Penn Mills 
School. This too closed with the opening of the new consolidated school in Muncy in 1932. 

The first schoolhouse between Muncy and Hughesville, located at Shoemaker's Mills(5) was 
called by this same name. After the mills were dismantled, the school received the name of Fair- 
view. This building is still used as a private home. 

Charles Lose, a noted Lycoming County educator, once taught at Northwest School(§) also 



85 



called Buckley School, located just outside Muncy on the road to Williamsport. It too is now used 
as a private home. 

One of the few two- room schools was the one at Port Penn®. 

The original building for Glade Run School® was constructed about 1870, about two and one- 
half miles southeast of Muncy. With the spring flooding of Glade Run, a new schoolhouse was 
erected on the opposite bank of the run. 

Muncy Dam School(9) served a community of canal workers and river workers. It was located 
at the extreme western edge of Muncy Creek Township at the site of the dam. This location is so 
remote that the road leading to the site of the school is impassable, and the schoolhouse was 
abandoned long ago. 




Fairuiew School as a home 



Falrview School 




NIPPENOSE TOWNSHIP 



The township that once abounded in fertile farms and productive 
mills was first originated in 1786 and given the name Nippenose, an In- 
dian term meaning like the summer that referred to its warm and gentle 
climate. Situated between high hills, it was an area that offered a diverse 
selection of livelihoods. The choice land bordering the river was ideal 
for farming, and a body of water known as Antes Creek provided the set- 
tlers with the necessary natural resources to establish a woolen factory 
and flour mills. This variety of occupations was an incentive to early set- 
tlers, and soon the growth in population was steady enough to warrant schools. 

The first school erected within the boundaries of Nippenose Township was located somewhere 
in the area of Antes Fort and simply called Eight Square®. It was distinctive because it was one 
of only two octagonal structures in the county constructed entirely of logs. Closed in 1868, it was 
replaced by a more refined frame building that was named Granville *10. 

This first Granville School was a wooden structure that was built in a field rather centrally lo- 
cated and in the general area of its eight-sided predecessor. For a number of years it served the 
educational needs of the industrial workers living in and around Antes Fort. A white frame 
building, this school educated the children from the late 1800's and early 1900's until age and 
wear forced its closing in 1911. 

While Granville *1 was still holding daily sessions, another frame school was constructed, this 
one built to educate the children living along the river and on the island between Jersey Shore 
and Antes Fort. Named the River Mill School® because of its proximity to the Susquehanna 
River, it was situated on the side of a hill near the present site of the Fort Antes graveyard, and 
not far from the famous Revolutionary Fort Antes. Because of the steep bank and the busy road 
below, it was not an ideal location for a child's safety. It did, however, provide the children with a 
picturesque view of fields and river and afforded them ample recreation in the form of gathering 
hickory nuts from behind the school and apples from a neighboring orchard. Like many of the 



86 














Cranuille School *1 — April 4. 1904 



CranuUle School *2 



schools, water was supplied by a nearby farm, but in this case it was not a sought-after commodi- 
ty because the source contained sulphur and emitted a rancid odor. Before a new decade had 
begun the area serviced by the River Mil! School was abandoned by many families and the half 
dozen children remaining were not enough to keep the school in operation. It was closed in 1919. 

Located in the Bald Eagle Mountain Range is a secluded valley known as Morgan Valley. Within 
these mountains a small and fertile farming community existed and built a one-room school 
named after the valley itself. The Morgan Valley School® had a nice play yard and was of the 
wooden frame construction, complete with pot-bellied stove and water crock. Its teachers often 
lived in Antes Fort and traveled the eight miles to school in all kinds of weather. Some remember 
their winter clothes being frozen on the bottom from making the long trek in winter, and of slid- 
ing down the icy road on the return trip home. Due to the isolated location of the school the 
classes were very small, a factor that caused its closing in 1921. Its usefulness did not end there, 
however. Like many of the frame schools, it was purchased by a private citizen and dismembered 
for its fine lumber. That lumber was then transported to Antes Fort and used in the construction 
of a home that is still standing today. 

Located across the road from the first Granville school building, stood the last of the one- room 
schools, a sturdy brick structure given the name Granville *2(5). Continuing to educate the child- 
ren whose ancestors had attended the Eight Square and later Granville *1, this building also 
opened its doors to the remaining few students who had gone to River Mill. Some noticeable 
changes were made in the construction of this school. Although it is classified as a one-room 
school, it contained two floors with an upstairs teacher and a downstairs teacher. Rectangular in 
shape, it had a porch and a belfry. 

Inside, wainscoating was built from the floor halfway up the plastered walls. The walls were not 
as simple as some of the earlier schools for they were adorned with pictures that included Sir 
Galahad hunting the Holy Grail and a doctor bending over a sick child. Because of the active in- 
volvement of the P.T A. the school had some basic sports equipment, a phonograph, and even the 
fundamentals of a small library. Perhaps the most noticeable difference between this school and 
its ancestors was the replacement of the pot-bellied stove with a hot air furnace. The teacher still 
fueled the fire, but it created a more even heat with air vents located in the side walls. It even 
created a source of amusement when one of the older boys placed a chunk of limberger cheese in 
the air vents and class was dismissed early. This school continued until 1923 when a cracked 
foundation and the need for more room forced its doors to close and terminated the era of the 
one-room schools in Nippenose Township. 



87 




OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP 

Old Lycoming Township was formed in 1785, more than nine 
years before Lycoming County itself was formed. Being one of the 
original townships, it was first known simply as Lycoming Town- 
ship. When the new Lycoming Township was formed in 1857, this 
area was then designated as Old Lycoming. Over the years this 
farming community was served by a number of one-room schools. 
Little is known about the J. Pitcoe School0, the earliest school 
in this area, which closed prior to 1880. 
The original Oak Grove School® was a brick structure built before 1892 and located near the 
present Williamsport Area Senior High School. On March 27, 1917, this building was destroyed by 
a hurricane while school was in session. Many children were injured and some narrowly escaped 
death. A new frame Oak Grove School(3) was then built to replace the demolished building (pic- 
tured on page 26). Some years later an additional paste- board classroom was built in back of this 
school to handle an increased number of students. The Oak Grove School finally closed its doors 
in 1952. 

The Bottle Run School(3) was a brick structure also built before 1892. It was located off Bottle 
Run Road on what is now Grange Hall Road. The school closed in 1945 and is now a home. 

The children of the Garden View section of Old Lycoming Township have been educated in a 
Franklin School along Lycoming Creek Road since before 1892. The date of construction for the 
original one-room frame building is unknown. At some time this frame school was replaced by a 
one-room brick structure, built where the present Franklin School now stands. This Franklin 
School(5) was similar to most one-room schools of the time. While the school had a very small 
play area, the students who attended remember making their own fun playing in the Maples, two 
rows of beautiful trees near the schoolhouse. As the area's population grew, need arose for a larg- 
er facility. Sometime between 1920 and 1925 the old brick school was torn down to make way for 
community growth and a new four-room building was constructed. At first only two rooms were 
used, but as need developed each successive classroom was put to use. 




Oak Grove School *J — after hurricane of 1917 



Paste-board building at Oak Grove 




Early Franklin School 

88 




"Of all the memories of the past,-*. 
Those of school are the ones that last" 




Bottle Run School 



FrankUn School — 1919-1920 



PENN TOWNSHIP 

Penn Township, formed in 1828, was named for Penn 
Township in Berks County. Tobias and Isaac Kepner who 
had moved from Berks County received the support of 
the court to use that name in Lycoming County. 

Some one hundred and twenty-five years ago, the first 
Superintendent of Schools for Lycoming County, Jesse 
W. Barrett, reported two hundred and twenty-two schol- 
ars attending the five schools of Penn Township. It was 
estimated that the cost of teaching each student for one 
month was forty-eight cents. The schools were open for 
four months at that time and teachers were paid from 
$15.00 to $21.25 per month, the higher figure being that 
for each of the four men teachers. The tax collector se- 
cured $330 of school tax and the state appropriated $54.59. 





Frantz School 



Muncy Creek School 



89 



The number of schools eventually grew to eight. Of these, two remain standing. The Frantz 
School0 closed in 1947 and is now owned by Mrs. Donald Frantz. Charles and Marian Bower use 
the Derr School(2) as a summer home. It closed in 1937. The first to close was the Neff School® 
in 1919. Irvin Holmes is remembered as a teacher there. The Lyons(4) and Marsh Run(5) Schools 
closed in 1933. The 1940's saw the last use of one-room schools in Penn Township. The Muncy 
Creek School® at Strawbridge closed in 1944 with Edna Sones as its last teacher. The three re- 
maining schools were closed in 1947. Grace Myers was the teacher at the Frantz School that year. 
The other two schools closed in 1947 and were taught by husband and wife, Lillian Smith at the 
Sugar Run School (7) and Myron Smith at the McCarty School (S). This school was also named the 
Fribley School after a small village that existed there at one time. It is interesting to note that the 
last Lycoming County School Superintendent, Ralph Smith, began his teaching career at the 
Fribley School in 1925 with eleven students to begin the year. During the winter months, he se- 
cured room and board at the Harley Kepner farm adjacent to the school. 

Near the end of the school year, it was the custom for all students and teachers from the various 
schools to join together at an institute held in a local church. There were contests in the major 
school subjects along with displays of penmanship, maps, and art work for inspection by parents, 
township school directors and county school officials. 

Superintendent Smith has commented that the one-room schools in most cases met the edu- 
cational needs of rural students. Small classes made it possible for students to progress rapidly 
to a level equal to or superior to the educational achievements of students attending larger con- 
solidated schools. 




PIATT TOWNSHIP 

Before 1858 Piatt Township, named for William Piatt, an asso- 
ciate judge, was a part of Mifflin Township. The first schoolhouse 
was built in 1796 at Level Corner(T)- The present brick building 
there is dated 1886. As with many schools, dwindling population 
caused the school to close in 1958. 

Both the Cement Mills or Cement Hollow School(2) and the 
Martin's School(2) were in use in 1876. The former closed in 1943 
and the latter in 1956. 
The Larryville School(4) was known as the Millville School until 1892. It also is known to have 
existed in 1876. The June flood of 1889 washed away the building (pictured on page 11). The pres- 
ent building, now used as a township building, was built by John D. Neff. His grandson, Richard 
Neff, was in the last class held in the building before it closed in 1958. 





fe:i!CTI!yPii 



Larryville School 



Level Comer School 




Cemer\t Mills School — WW 



Mciiiins i>i_;k 



91 




PINE TOWNSHIP 

Pine Township, named for its profuse forests of 
pine trees, was formed in 1857 out of three sur- 
rounding townships — Brown, Cummings, and 
Cogan House. The area is populated at the north- 
ern and southern ends with a sparsely populated 
area in between. 

In 1839, a grade school was built at English 
Center(T), a large, sawmill community which also 
at one time had a large tannery employing one 
hundred men. The school was two stories high 
and served the community until 1957. After the 
building was closed, it was a source of opposition 
between a group of people who wanted the build- 
ing saved and a group who wanted it dismantled. 
To the regret of many citizens, the school was 
torn down. 

The Oregon Hill(2) community built a school- 
house in 1891. This building was two stories high. 
As the number of students increased or de- 
creased, the building was used accordingly as a 
one-room school or a two-room school. The build- 
ing closed in 1959. A Mrs. Harbach was the last 
teacher. The children were then sent to school out of the county to Wellsboro. The building is 
now used as a township building. 

The Ivy School(3) was built in 1899. May Minier was the last teacher. When this school closed in 
1921, the children were transported to Oregon Hill's two-room school. 

The Texas School® closed in 1917. The students then boarded in homes in the area of Oregon 
Hill and attended school there. 

The Snow School® closed in 1917. This school burned one winter day when it was unoccupied. 
It is believed that mice chewing matches was the probable cause of the fire. 

Rogers was another sawmill community. Its school, Rogers School®, closed in 1901. 
Glen School(7) closed in 1921, and Chestnut Grove School® closed in 1917. 




Oregon Hill School 



English Center School — Virginia Hostrander. teacher — 
I920-I92I 



92 




PLGNKETTS 

CREEK 
TOWNSHIP 

Plunketts Creek Township in 1890 
had in operation the following one- 
room schools. They had been erect- 
ed at the sites of the most populated 
areas and later closed as the popula- 
tion shifted to more industrial villag- 
es: Heisley, also known as Moorhart, 
and the Store Box School; Barbours 
Mills; Stryker; Factory; Hessler; Proc- 
torville; and Hoppestown. 

The first schoolhouse erected in 
the township was a log building lo- 
cated about four-tenths of a mile 
north of the present Consolidated 
Sportsmen's Grounds on Route 87. 
The site is now owned by the Mahlon 
Barton family. This Heisley School (T) 
was also known as the Moorhart 
School and as the Store Box School. It was attended by the children of families residing in the 
area of Shore Acres and north, to and including the Woolever area. After this school was closed, 
the pupils in the area of Woolever attended the Butternut Grove School in Gamble Township. This 
was located across the creek from the homes of Woolever. Those living south of the Heisley 
School attended the Loyalsockville School in Upper Fairfield Township. 

The second school was built at the mouth of Big Bear Creek about 1838, and was known as the 
Barbours Mills School(2) and in later years was called the Barbours School. It was in use until 
1936, when the A.J. Barbour Consolidated School was built on land donated by C.S. Whipple 
near the Barbours Baptist Church. Mr. Whipple requested that the school be named in honor of 
A.J. Barbour because it was on this site that the latter had been stricken and died. 

The ownership of the first Barbours School reverted to Mr. Whipple, who, in turn, donated it to 
the congregation of the Barbours Methodist Church, which remodeled it and used the building as 
a place of worship from 1937 until its closing in 1979. Damaged several times by floods, it now 
stands vacant. 

The Stryker School (3) was located at the foot of Stryker Hill along Township Route *880. The 
site of the Stryker School was at the extreme lower end of Loyalsock Manor and was attended by 
children living in Little Bear Creek and Cove areas, the Edwin Woolever family who lived across 
Loyalsock Creek opposite the mouth of Little Bear Creek (property now owned by the Pentz fami- 
ly), the Stryker family whose farm was comprised of all the area now known as Loyalsock Manor, 
the Blairs and any children who lived across the creek on the Jacoby Land. After most of the 
families had moved from the area, leaving only the Stryker family with school-age children, the 
school was closed and sold to Robert Faries who converted it to a summer home. The Stryker 
children of school age then commuted to the Barbours School by horse and buggy and in the 
winter by sleigh. 

The Proctor School (J) (Proctorville, as it was originally known) was built about 1868. It was the 
largest of all the township schools. During the years of the tannery operation in the village, sever- 
al hundred men were employed and most of them took up residence in Proctorville. From 1869 
through 1898, this was a bustling settlement and warranted the erection of a two-room school 
building. With the closing of the tannery, many families moved away to other industrialized are- 
as, and the population dwindled rapidly. Attendance in the schools decreased considerably. Soon 
only one classroom was needed to accommodate the pupils. The other portion of the building 
was allowed to deteriorate and was then finally razed about 1917. By this time, only three one-room 
schools remained in the township. They were located at Barbours, Hoppestown, and Proctor. 

The monthly report for the year of 1891 shows that one male teacher was in charge of thirty-six 
students, ages nine through nineteen years, at a salary of $35 per month. The nineteen-year-old 



93 




Barbours .S( lu 
1913-1914 



teacher — Proctor School — Homecoming 1957 - 
tor Community Building 



Presently the Proc- 



was a young man who later became a medical doctor. A female teacher was in charge of forty-two 
pupils, ages six through eight years, and was paid $24.66 per month. It is believed that the age of 
the pupils was a factor in determining the salary — the teenage boys requiring more discipline 
was one reason for negotiating for a higher salary. This school that ran a six-month term had 
many visitors — some months twenty or more. Single female teachers seemed to attract the 
most visitors. 

The Hoppestown School© was one of the last to be erected and was located about two and 
one-half miles northeast of Proctor in a little village known as Hoppestown. Classes were held in 
this building until 1931; thereafter, the pupils were enrolled at the Proctor School and were trans- 
ported by a private car. 

The Factory School® was located on Big Bear Creek in the vicinity of the present Dunwoody 
Fish and Game Club. Originally the site of the Rogers Woolen Mill, an industrious, little settle- 
ment grew there with people from Muncy, Pennsdale, and surrounding areas. An itinerant minis- 
ter held worship services in the various school buildings. The Woolen Mill, destroyed by fire in 
1891, was never rebuilt. Nearly all the families moved to other localities where they could earn a 
living. The property was sold to the Dunwoody Fish and Game Club, and the school was closed. 
Pupils remaining in the area were transported to the Hessler and Barbour Schools. 

The Hessler School(7) was located near the top of the mountain on Big Bear Creek about two 
and one-half miles beyond the Factory School. It was attended by the Hesslers, the Whipples, the 
Millers, and others residing in the area. All pupils lived quite a distance from the school. Miss 
Laura McCoy, who taught in the Montoursville Schools from 1919 through 1950, began her career 
teaching in the Hessler School in the early 1900's. She has related that she boarded in the Hessler 
home, walked or waded through snow to the school building which was a distance of about two 
miles, built her own fire in the old box stove, kept the building clean, split her own firewood for 
the box stove, and taught seven pupils. After the closing of this school, pupils living in the area 
were enrolled either at Barbours or Huntersville schools. Those living on the Miller farm were stu- 
dents at the Huntersville School. Others were enrolled at the Barbours School and were boarded 
in the Barbours area at the school board's expense. 

The Barbours and Proctor schools were the last one-room schools in Plunketts Creek 
Township. As some of the families returned to this area in the twenties, the population increased. 
The students were transported to either the Proctor or Barbours schools. Those living in the ex- 
treme southern end of the township were enrolled in the Loyalsockville School. 

The Plunketts Creek Township information was researched and written by Virdie S. Houser. 



94 




PORTER TOWNSHIP 

rHamed for Governor David R. Porter and taken from Mifflin Townsfiip 
on May 6, 1840, Porter Townsfiip is a small township which surrounds 
much of the borough of Jersey Shore. 

Within the area which became Porter Township, the first school was 
taught by George Austin in 1808, and the second school was taught by 
Gabriel Morrison in 1809. The first schoolhouse was built in 1809 along 
the river road. The following year the building was used for religious 
services. Within the Jersey Shore borough the first school was taught 
by John H. Grier in 1816. 
From school board minute books of Porter Township, interesting information is learned; how- 
ever, there are some items that are not clear. The schools of a township, for example, are referred 
to as School No. 1, School Mo. 2, etc. with the specific name of the buildings never given. In the 
minute book, one can fairly well guess from other references that School No. 1 is Ferguson, No. 2 
is Vilas Park, and No. 3 is Nice's Hollow. They state, for example, that on June 13, 1863: 
The School-House cite was again discussed, & other cites proposed; but no action taken. 
On motion the Sect, was directed to confer with the School department, as to whether a 
law had been past, in regard to Directors taking cites for School-Houses etc. in Lycoming 
County. On motion Messrs. Brown and Ferguson wear appointed a Committee, to measure 
and find where would be the centerable and proper place to get a cite for School-house Mo. 
2 when it Shall be rebuilt. 

After nearly five years of planning and discussing, the Porter Township Board adopted a reso- 
lution on January 25, 1868, delineating the sites for two schools: 

First A cite of the one half acre or thereabout as shall be determined on when runoff — 
on the South West corner of the Mark Schlonaker farm, — at the junction of M. Q. Crane's 
lane with the public road leading from Jersey Shore to Pine Creek Secondly, One half acre 
or thereabouts off the property of the Heirs of Wm Harris dec*^, and at the junction of 
Nicholes Run lane with the Public Road leading from Jersey Shore to Phelps and Dodges 
Mills on Pine Creek. 
About a week later the price for each of the half-acre lots was set at $125. 

Planning for the two new schools continued, and on June 19, 1868, the board accepted the 
draft of A. I. Kline for the buildings. They were to be built of brick from Thomas Waddle's kiln and 
be 38x32 feet with 13-inch walls with a distance of 14 feet to the eaves. 

After several more months of deliberating, the board, on July 29, 1868, ". . . unanimously 
agreed to accept the bid of E. Harvey it being for $1675.00 for Each house, . . . " 

On October 15, 1868, the board examined the new houses, and ". . . it was agreed that the 
Board abandon the Old School Houses, and that Snyder and Ferguson each could do with the 
one on their land as they saw proper." Both men were board members. 

Some additional matters concerning the two new schools had to be decided at the board's 
November 14, 1868, meeting. The board appointed a ". . . committee to procure a Gass burning 
Stove for School House No. 2 of not less than 16 inches in diameter. " Salaries for the teachers 
were set at $44 per month for males and $40 per month for females — "the teachers to make 
their own firs." A roofing problem which had been discussed at the September meeting was again 
mentioned, and the board decided to buy "ribed Shingles from Jasburg . . . Board will pay trans- 
portation and the extra for ribbing, for the reShingling of School House No. 2 . . . " 

On January 30, 1869, the board ". . . ordered that our Brick School Houses, shall not be used 
by any denomination for holding of Meetings . . ." 

The problems of planning, constructing, financing, and administrating the two new schools 
were concluded at the board meeting of October 8, 1869, when the final bills were paid. These 
were $28 for a pump and $54 to Anson Willits for digging a well and Backhouse holes at School 
House No. 1. 

Both former teachers and students of School No. 1, apparently known as the Ferguson 
School(T). have shared their memories. 

Miss Ruth Bardo, who began her school career in 1897, attended this school. She recalled that 
although a well had been dug early in the school's history, water for the school had to be carried 
from the nearby Bardo farm when she was a student. Miss Bardo, who later taught music in the 
Jersey Shore schools for many years, demonstrated her interest in music as a student by having 
the family organ hauled to the Ferguson School for special occasions. 

95 



Another former student remembered Professor Hart's coming once a month to teach penman- 
ship, the erecting of a flag pole just before 1920, the quarantining of many students, and receiv- 
ing head marks for giving correct answers. 

Gertrude Brownlee Bitner, a former teacher at Ferguson School, related many interesting stor- 
ies from her Ferguson School teaching experience. Before she began teaching there, a number 
of teachers had been forced to resign because of discipline problems. Parents related to her that 
one substitute gave all As in an attempt to maintain discipline. To encourage parental support, 
Mrs. Bitner initiated a PTA. She also welcomed parents to visit the school. To satisfy the school's 
need for a flag, she successfully solicited and received the support of the DAR. She said that dur- 
ing the depression years many children had no coats in cold weather and that the school boards 
refused to supply paper. She recalls one winter when there were twelve foot snow drifts outside 
the building, as well as snow blown into the school building. School was held, however, as long as 
the teacher could make it to the school. Many of the children came in the severe weather simply 
because it was the only warm building available. 

Mrs. Bitner organized a pet show and a doll show as recreation for the students. Her major ac- 
complishment in extra-curricular activities was the organizing and coaching of a winning football 
team — an unprecedented feat for a young female teacher. To prepare herself she borrowed many 
books about football from the library. Her team played opponents from schools in places such as 
Antes Fort, Tombs Run, and Jersey Shore. Her versatility was further demonstrated by her pur- 
chase of several pianos during her teaching career in order to share her interest in music with her 
pupils. 




Ferguson School — c. 1900 



Mice's Hollow School 



School Mo. 2, probably the one later known as the Vilas Park School(2). had in 1875 Hugh 
Castles as the teacher. It is not known whether or not this was the same Mr. Castles who was coun- 
ty superintendent from 1857 to 1863. 

Also from the board minutes we learn that on April 5, 1884, it was: 

Resolved that we the board of School directors of Porter Township agree to give to the 
RR Company Thirty feet of ground in width off of the South side of School Yard for the pur- 
pose of a Public Road. Providing the RR Co will give one fourth of an acre of ground, for 
the school yard, and if the board finds it necessary to change the door the RR Co will agree 
to do so at their expense and change the seats and make all the repairs that are needed, 
and said RR Co will fill on the west side as far as the fence of the Public Road leading up the 
hollow, on the North side five rods from the school House on the East side to the present 
boundary of the school yard with slate that came out of the Hains cut or Material Equally 
as good to the depth of Eighteen inches. 

In 1886 the school was supplied with thirty seats at $4.25 each. Also, two privies were built that 
year. In 1889, the school yard needed work to alleviate a water problem. Plastering was done to 
the building that same year. 

The school closed in 1940 and has since been razed for the construction of the Jersey Shore 
by-pass. 

96 



Preparation for a third building began in December, 1877. On June 8, 1878, one-half acre of 
land was purchased from J. P. Martin for School Mo. 3, Nice's Hoilow(2). It, like No. 1 and No. 2, 
was to be brick, 30 x 22 feet, have 13-inch walls, and a twelve-foot ceiling. Also, it was to have an 
iron roof. In addition, on June 15, 1878, the board ". . . decided to wainscot the building four feet 
high. Also, that the Shutters be panneiled. That there be but one door. The coal house to be out 
of doors, and no windows at the gable end. One window each side of the front door and to be 
three windows on each Side of Building." Work on the cupola by A. P. Cohick cost the board 
$24.50 in February 1884. 

Several people who either taught at or attended Nice's Hollow School related interesting infor- 
mation. LeRoy Heivly who taught there in the 1930's remembered having 65 pupils, 13 of which 
were in the first grade. Later, grades one through four were held in a rented church, and grades 
five through eight in the Nice's Hollow building. 

Paul Overdorf, who also once taught at the school, related the following incident: 

At Nice's Hollow one day during noon recess as we were eating our lunches, I heard an 
ominous crack, and looking up, saw the plaster ceiling bulging downward. I yelled. Every- 
body out quick! The ceiling's coming down! There was a mad scramble, and as the last of us 
went through the door, the whole ceiling fell in a cloud of dust . . .There was no school for a 
couple of days until the cleanup and re-plastering were completed. 

A school board entry in the minutes book during the 1930's indicates that screening was put 
around the school yard to keep the pupils from a complaining neighbor's strawberry patch. 

In the June, 1889, entry, there is reference to School No. 4, which incidently had the teacher 
with the lowest pay. $25 per month, while the other schools' teachers were receiving $35 per 
month. At about the same time, the teacher in School No. 2 is referred to as the principal — a 
term never mentioned before. It can only be guessed that School No. 4 is the Stavertown or Glen 
Grammar School(4). This school, a two-room brick building which for many years had Miss Cora 
Rinn and Miss Sadie Mack as teachers, has been torn down for the Jersey Shore by-pass. 

Another school that is only mentioned in school board minutes is the Mission School. After its 
closing in 1938, the students who had attended the school were sent to the Ferguson School, and 
the Ferguson seventh and eighth grade pupils attended school in Jersey Shore. 

One person recalled a Snyder School on Railroad Street in Stavertown. The school reportedly 
was used as a polling place. From a picture it was learned that there was a twelfth reunion for 
these students in 1925. 

Specific systems, books and subjects are mentioned in board minutes. On October 27, 1863, 
for example, ". . . It was agreed to adopt the Dutton and Scribner System of penmanship and to 
instruct our teachers strongly recommend it to the pupils, but not to imperitavely require all to 
procure it . . ." Outline maps are discussed in 1876 entries, and in 1879 the board agreed to use 
the Appletom series of books if there would be an even exchange on the present ones. Objections 
to the teaching of physiology and hygiene were recorded in 1885. 

The Porter Township board in the 1860's held four regular meetings during the year; the first 
Saturday Evening of Sept., Dec, April, andJune. 

Balloting concerning teachers in the 1860's was done by having each board member vote yea 
or nay. Around 1870, one of the school board members was also one of the teachers. In 1887, no 
one applied for teaching positions in the two township schools; therefore, the board had to check 
with the county superintendent as to how to proceed. 

In 1865 the salary of the board secretary was set at $10, and the compensation for the treasurer 
was set at 2 per cent of the disbursements. In 1876, the secretary received a $10 raise. The $20 
salary remained in effect through 1891. 

Two of the unusual facts learned from the minute book are that the school calendar was not 
consistent from year to year and that the teachers' salaries sometimes were decreased as well as 
increased. The following listing of the school terms illustrates the inconsistencies: 

1864 The last Monday of July begins the summer term 

1865 A five-month term beginning the second day of October 
1867 A six-month term 

1871 A seven-month term with three months beginning the first Monday in August and four 
months beginning the last Monday of November. This was later reduced to a six-month 
term. 

1876 The fall term at School No. 2 to begin the first Monday in September, and the fall term at 
School No. 1 to begin the first Monday in November. 

1880 A five-month term 

97 



1932 School to run from September to April 

1937 A May 3, 1937 entry states: "It was decided to open schools on August 30 and to allow the 
teachers to use their own discretion about holidays." 

The variances in salaries are seen in the following list: 

1865 $40 per month 1878 $45 per month at School Mo. 1 and No. 2 

1867 $40 per month for a *1 certificate *30 per month at School No. 3 

$35 per month for a *2 certificate 1882 $40 per month at School No. 1 and No. 2 

1875 $55 per month at School No. 2 --- 535 per month at School No. 3 

$50 per month at School No. 1 



1937 $100 per month for an eight-month term 




SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP 

Shrewsbury Township was taken from Muncy Township in 
1804 and named for the township of the same name in PHew 
Jersey. 

The earliest Lycoming County school records show three 
schools in Shrewsbury Township with seventy-four scholars 
for the 1855-56 term. Shrewsbury was the only district in the 
county reporting a higher average monthly salary for female 
•teachers($15.00) than male teachers ($14.00). There was only 
one of the latter. The cost of teaching each scholar per 
month that year, seventy-four cents, was one of the highest in 
the county. $77.13 was received from the collector of school 
taxes although $171.36 had been levied for school purposes. 
$28.00 was received from state appropriations. 
A total of five schools was finally established in Shrewsbury Township; two are still standing 
but serve the community in some other way. The Mapleton School0 closed in 1934 with Viola 
Crawley as teacher, but it has continued as an important center of community activities. The 
Point Bethel School® closed in 1947, and Arilla Budman was the last teacher. The building still 
serves the township as a polling place at election time. School was conducted at Highland 
Lake(3) until 1918 but no building exists. It is said that a cottage was often used. Few residents 
remember the Pine Grove School® on the Hillsgrove road near Lick Run. Some say the school 
closed around 1904. A hunting cabin is now located on the site. The Tivoli School® closed in 
1930 and has since been torn down. 

Among the teachers of Shrewsbury Township still remembered were Adelaide Barbe, Edith 
Beck, Elsie Chapman, Viola Crawley, Greta Dunn, Roland Fague, Howard Ferrell, Mildred Fox, 
Cora Fox, Judy Hall, Cloyd McCarty, Harry McCarty, Ransom Moyer, Mae Myers, Sue Myers, 
Emily Rigney, Harry Rogers, Henry Sanders, Earl Taylor, Helen Vandine, Laura Weaver, and Amos 
Wilson. 

Former studen'.s of the districts' schools remember many happy times. Baseball was the usual 
game with dog-and-deer being popular in the fail. Students especially enjoyed traveling by direc- 




Point Bethel oc/ii^i^i 



Pine Croue School 



98 



tor Ernest Shaner's bobsled to other schools each winter. During these visits they would often 



engage in games, spelling bees, and recitations. Ted Edkin recal 
school, the scholars would shout The Big Dog Under the Wagon 
often that they could follow him word by word. 

The Big Dog Cinder the Wagon 

(as recalled by Ted Edkin, Shrewsbury Twp.) 



s that when he would enter one 
a poem that he had recited so 



"Come wife," said good old Farmer Gray, 

"Put on your things, it's market day 

And we will be off to the nearest town 

There and back ere the sun goes down. 

Spot, no we will leave old Spot behind." 

But Spot, he barked and Spot, he whined 

And soon made up his doggish mind 

To follow under the wagon. 

"Poor Spot," said he, "did want to come 

But I'm awfully glad he's left at home. 

He'll guard the barn and guard the cot 

And keep the cattle out of the lot." 

"I'm not so sure of that," thought Spot. 

The big dog under the wagon. 

The farmer, all his produce sold 

And got his pay in yellow gold. 

He started home after dark. 

Hark, a robber sprang from behind the tree, 



"Your money or your life," said he. 
The moon was up but he didn't see 
The big dog under the wagon. 
Spot ne"er barked nor Spot neer whined 
But quickly caught the thief behind. 
He drug him down in the mire and dirt 
Tore his coat and tore his shirt 
And held him fast on the mirey ground 
While his hands and feet the farmer bound 
And tumbled him Into the wagon. 
Now Spot he saved the farmer"s life. 
The farmer's money and the farmer's wife, 
And now the hero grand and gay 
A silver collar wears today. 
And everywhere his master goes. 
He follows on his hoary toes 
The big dog under the wagon. 




Mapleton School 
99 




SaSQGEHANNA TOWNSHIP 



Sparsely settled Susquehanna Township was fornned from Nippe- 
nose and Armstrong in 1838. INamed after the river encircling it, Sus- 
quehanna's principal industry was agriculture although a grist mill, 
cloth factory, and steam flouring mill were in existence at one time. 
Nisbet, a postal town located near the railroad, was the site of its only 
school. A wooden frame building, the school was divided into two 
rooms — one to accommodate the first four grades and the second, grades five to eight. 
Operating as early as 1891, the only interruption in the normal school schedule came with the 
1936 flood when the building was inundated. Books and essentials were removed before the 
water could ruin them, and after a few days of vacation, school resumed as usual in the nearby 
Methodist Church. 

During the flood and for four years prior to it, a Mr. Bruce Casner was one of the teachers in the 
school. He remembers the high waters as well as his novel method of getting to school when the 
river was low and calm. Living in Linden at the time, he would paddle a canoe across the river and 
disembark on the opposite shore. After securing his canoe, he would walk the rest of the way to 
school. Closed in 1959, the Nisbet School is still standing today. 




Misbet School 




UPPER FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP 



Upper Fairfield Township evolved from the division of Fair- 
field Township on January 29, 1853, and comprised five 
schools: Loyaisockville, Farragut, Fairfield Center, Heilman's, 
and Pleasant fiill. 

Notes taken from the School Board minutes of September 8, 
1917, reveal interesting facts of the times: 

Teachers' Salaries: Anna Mulcaly $55 

Harry Sanders $55 Altha Edler 55 

Laura Lundy 55 Jessie Keebler 45 

Expenses: 

H. G. Phillips for trespass notices $1.50 

Collectors tax notices 1.30 

Report cards 1.20 

Total monthly bills for the five schools: $290.18. 



Repairs and cleaning $ 4.00 

Hauling coal 14.63 

Postage 2.50 



100 




Loyalsockuille School 



Farragut School 



Directors of the school board gave a very pointed talk to their teachers during the course of a 
meeting August 29, 1932. The topic of this discussion was expenditures. The result was that the 
teachers voted to return ten percent of their salaries to the school district. 

The Heiiman School® and equipment was sold at public sale on May 4, 1940, for $79.60. The 
owner of the land, Mrs. George Wilson, would not sell or lease the land, and the building had to 
be moved. It was removed to a site on Loyalsock Creek below Farragut and is a year-round 
residence. 

In 1940 the school board admonished the teachers to "Be careful about the hours they teach. 
Do not leave school out until proper time, and take in school at proper time. Place more time on 
vital subjects and not so much time on paper cutting and foolish things. Take care of the school 
supplies." 

A fire destroyed the Pleasant Hill School(2), and in December 1946 its students were transfer- 
red to Loyalsockville School. The lot of Pleasant Hill was sold at auction on April 19, 1947, for 
$250. Its coal shed was sold for $140. 

In May, 1950, amidst opposition Fairfield Center School(5) was closed. Later, in 1959, Far- 
ragut® and Loyalsockville® schools were also closed. 

Heiiman School, closed in 1938, still brings forth many fond memories to its former students. 
These former pupils held their third reunion in 1979 with sixteen in attendance. Mrs. Earle Stro- 
ble, who is responsible for organizing these reunions, marked the 50th anniversary in 1976 of her 
graduation from Heiiman School. 




Heiiman School 

101 




WASHINGTON 
TOWNSHIP 

Named after the first Presi- 
dent, Washington Township is 
one of the largest in the county. 
Blessed with bountiful woods 
and good soil, the White Deer 
Valley became a thriving agricul- 
tural region. In addition, the 
large expanse of woodland was 
the basis for a prosperous lum- 
bering business and early saw- 
mills flourished. Other indus- 
tries like grist mills were estab- 
lished as well, and for some time 
a wheel spoke factory was in daily operation. 

The first schoolhouse in the township was a rude log building constructed near what later be- 
came the residence of Thompson Bower. Built about 1800, its first teacher was an Englishman 
named Richard Fossit. Another teacher held classes in the old Baptist Church, and when it was 
torn down, the school year was completed in Piatt's tan shop. Several of these crude types of 
schools were built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and served the educational needs 
of this township until more sophisticated structures could be erected. 




Elimsport School — c. 1914 



At the eastern end of the township lies a fairly mountainous area. Because the rough terrain 
did not lend itself to farming, this section was less populated than other regions. It is within these 
boundaries that Texas School was built and operated until 1917. A wooden building, it is the on- 
ly one of seven structures that is not still standing. 

In another wooded and hilly area the Hillside School0 was situated. A wooden building now 
converted into a home, it was often the testing ground for new teachers. Most of the teachers 
were young and had come from farming families themselves. Parent participation in the school 



102 



curriculum was almost nonexistent, although they would often come to school to see special pro- 
grams or plays. This white wooden structure operated until 1945. 

The only postal village in the township was the site of the Elimsport School(3). A brick 
building, it was also converted into a home after it closed in 1957. After the one-room schools 
were consolidated, a larger building was built in Elimsport to accommodate all the children. 

Located in the heart of the farming community were two other one-room schools. Pleasant 
Green SchooK?) (pictured on page 39) was situated on a slope in the eastern part of the township. 
After Pleasant Green was closed, around 1957, it was utilized again when the new Elimsport 
School was built. Because the new school had not been completed on schedule. Pleasant Green 
had to be reopened to teach the children the first two months of the school term. Mrs. Kathryn 
Waltman had just returned to teaching at the time, and remembers the problems she encountered 
with rodents and cobwebs in reopening the school. The other school in this general area but 
located farther north was called Pike's Peak(5). Probably named this because of the steep hill 
leading up to the building, its grounds were a popular sled riding spot. Closed in 1957, it is now 
used for storage by a local carpenter. 

In the township another brick structure that still stands today is the White Hall School®. Com- 
plete with wooden porch and belfry, it was also closed in 1957 due to the dwindling population. 

One of the more scenic schools in the township is located along Ridge Road and is called the 
Laurel Ridge School(7) (pictured on page 25). Built in 1857 of stone, it has been converted to a 
home and has the same door and windows that the original building had. Closed in 1923, it is 
situated in a beautiful area and stands as a pleasant reminder of the one-room school days in 
Washington Township. 




WATSON TOWNSHIP 



In January, 1845, Watson Township was organized 
from Cummings and Porter townships. It was named 
in honor of Oliver Watson, Esq., president of the 
West Branch Bank of Williamsport. 

The first school was taught by Robert Young in 
1807, and the first schoolhouse(T) was built near the 
mouth of Tomb's Run about 1825. A second log 
schoolhouse(2) was used until about 1875. Although 
the Watson Independent School(3) closed about 
1898, the building is remembered to have stood until well into this century and was used as a 
woodshed and washhouse until it was torn down. 

The Harbor Mills School(4) also known as Safe Harbor was located at the site of an old iron 
works. The school closed in 1933 and has since burned. 

Tomb's Run School(S) remains as a community building today, having closed as a school in 
1959. The land, a part of the Seigel Estate, had long provided a place for educating the local farm 




Harbor Mills School 



Tombit Run School 



103 



families. Several teachers are remembered for walking to school. One drove his horse and buggy. 
LeRoy Heively, who taught here between 1926 and 1930, rode the train from Jersey Shore to Pine 
Creek where he walked the three miles to the Tomb's Run School. He then walked seven miles 
home to Jersey Shore. 




Watson Independent Sctiool — Jennie Ebnen teacher 



WOLF TOWNSHIP 

Wolf Township was taken from Muncy Township in September, 
1834, and named in honor of George Wolf, who was then governor 
of the state. 

In 1814 the first school was opened in Wolf Township in a room 
of a building located on a farm owned by Christian Kohler. A log 
house was built in 1818, and served educational as well as 
religious purposes. The Methodists organized their first religious 
society in 1820 and continued to use this building as a place of 
worship until 1844 when they occupied their own church. 

There were five students for Mary Bates to teach in the log 
school known as Woodly School when it first opened. It was situ- 
ated just below Picture Rocks. 

The building chosen by the Pennsylvania Federation of Junior 
.Historians to be preserved was the Newman School(T); its first 
building was built in 1841. The present building, which is the third 
one, was built in 1879. Refurbished by the East Lycoming Bicen- 
tennial Committee in 1976, the building and its grounds are pres- 
ently administered by the Lycoming County Historical Society. 

Keitly School®, built in 1790 on land also owned by Christian Kohler, was named for its first 
teacher, Peter Keitly, an English Quaker, who lived to be 93 years of age. Most of the students 
came from Quaker families, and this was a subscription school. 

Built of mountain stone in 1878, Huntersville School® is near the western border of Wolf 
Township. Its use as a school ceased in 1937, with Willard Poust its last teacher. 

The beauty of the surrounding countryside is noted in the number of 'Fairview'(?) schools 
throughout the county. Wolf Township had two Fairview schools, the second one located to the 
north of the original site. Closed in 1955 as a school, it stands now as a home. 




104 




HuntersuiUe School — 1931 



Pine Run Sctxool 




Vitta Grove School — 1891-1892 

John L. Shipman built Pine Run School(5). He had a stipulation that if the school should cease 
to be used for that purpose, the land would revert to his farnn. Mrs. Truman Myers was the last 
teacher in 1931. The original structure was built in 1850 and replaced in 1893. A former pupil, 
Mrs. Mabel Plotts, relates that the school never had more than twenty-five students. 

Mrs. Grace Myers Kohler was the last teacher at Steck School(7) which closed in 1932. It was 
built under the same conditions as Pine Run School. 

The Villa Grove School® was built in 1871. The township school board purchased the land for 
this building on October 9, 1858, for the sum of $13.75 from Alfred Lyons. There were 38 perches 
of land in the plot. In the early 1950's, the school board could not find the deed for the land. John 
Bubb was employed to survey the plot and the courts granted a quick claim deed. Later. Robert 
Ferrell of Picture Rocks found the old deed in the files of a Williamsport engineer, Mark C. 
Krause. 

Mr. Clayton Houseknecht taught in the school for a period of twenty-five years, a long tenure of 
service in a rural school. Mrs. Viola Houck was the teacher when the school closed in 1955. 



105 




Villa Groue School — now used by the Hughesuille Jaycees 




WOODWARD TOWNSHIP 

Woodward Township was formed from a part of Anthony Township 
on November 23, 1855. it was named in honor of Apollos Woodward, 
an associate judge of Williamsport. 

There were eight different sciiools which served the farming com- 
• munities of Woodward Township. The first school on record was the 
Emery Schooi(l), which closed sometime before 1880. The follow- 
ing schools were all in service prior to 1892 and continued in use for 
some time. 

The Stewart School(2) was located in East Linden on top of the 
hill. It closed in 1918 and has been torn down. 
The original Linden School® was a frame building located on Back Street in Linden. This 
building was replaced about 1927 by a red brick schoolhouse built on the site of the present 
Route 220. The brick school closed in 1954 and both buildings have been razed. 

The White Oak Grove School(4) was located on the old Route 220 highway, now called Young's 
Road. The school closed in 1945 and is used as a home. Some residents recall that an older 
school previously stood in this area, the remains of which were plowed up by a local farmer. 

The original Lower Pine Run School® was a frame building located on New Road, off the pre- 
sent Pine Run Road. This building was sold and used by the Pine Run Grange until it burned. The 
newer brick schoolhouse was built in the same general area and served the community until 
1948. This building is now a residence. 

There was a school out Quenshukeny Road called Limber Bridge School(B). It closed in 1951 
and serves currently as a residence. 

The Forest Glen School®, located northeast of Linden closed in 1948. It also has been con- 
verted into a home. 

The East Linden School® was unique in that it was a portable school commonly called the 
pasteboard box. While the community was growing (no date on record) there was some question as 
to exactly where the population would settle. Rather than erecting a permanent school, commun- 
ity members set up a portable one where the fireball is now located. The school closed in 1948. 



106 




Pine Run School — original building 



Pine Run School — second building 




White Oak Grove School — 
c. 7925 



Limber Bridge School 



Linden School 




w ^f V V^ V 



Forest Glen School — c. 1905 



White Oak Grove School — 1907-1908 



107 



Schools by Township 



Anthony 

Conn 

Greenwood 
Kiess 
Pine Run 
Steam Mill 
Stony Gap 

Armstrong 

Gibson 
Jacks Hollow 
Mosquito Valley 
Old DuBoistown 
Widow Slear 

Bastress 

Bastress 

Brady 

Oak Grove 

Somerset 

Stone 

Brown 

Child's Hill or Beulah Land 

Cedar Run 

Francis Draft 

Gamble 

Hilborn 

Mount Fern 

Pump Station 

Slate Run *1 and *2 

Trout Run *1 

Trout Run *2 

Utcetar 

Cascade 

Kelly 

McLaughlin 

Masten 

Slacks Run 

Wallis Run *1 and *2 

Clinton 

Baptist 

Clintonville 

Davis 

Graff 

Mench 

Mountain 

Mountain Grove 

Muncy Station 

Pine Street 

Cogan House 

Beech Grove 

Brookside 

Cogan House 

Green Mountain 

Steam Valley 

Schuyler or Steuben or Buckhorn 

Quimby or White Pine or Summit 



Cummings 

Carsontown 
East Hill 
English Mills 
Island or Stewart 
Ramsey *1 and *2 
Waterville *1 
Watervilie *2 

Eldred 

Christian Hill 
Eight Square 
Excelsior 
North Eldred 
Quaker Hill 
Warrensville 

Fairfield 

Baxter 

Clees 

Keebler 

Road 

Rodgers 

Franklin 

Bald Eagle 
Chestnut Grove 
Germany 
Lairdsville 
Pleasant Valley 
Starr 

Gamble 

Beech Valley 

Butternut Grove 

Carter or Rose Valley *1 

Chestnut Grove 

Ely 

Loder 

Rose Valley *2 

Wallis Run 

Hepburn 

Balls Mills 

Crescent 

Factory 

Hepburn Independent 

Hepburnville 

Klump 

Pleasant Valley 

Jackson 

Centennial 

Gospel Box 

Independent 

Jackson Corners 

Kehler 

Krise 

Mountain 

Raker 

Reed 



Rutty 

Triangle 

Zuker or Sugar Hill 

Jordan 

Biggertown 

Cleveland 

Gordner or Lore 

Grange 

Peterman 

Prairie 

Richard's Grove 

Salem 

Unityville 

Lewis 

Bodines 

Bobst Mountain 

Corter 

Early Gray's Run 

Gray's Run 

Keys 

Pennsdale 

Trout Run *1 and *2 

Limestone 

Collomsville 

Eck 

Jamestown 

Moore 

Mountain 

Oval I 

Reidy 

Loyalsock 

Eagle 
Fairview 
Grandview 
Heshbon 
Limestone 
Lloyd's Addition 
Mill Creek 
Sand Hill 
Union 

Lycoming 

Biehl 

Maple Springs 

Perryville 

Pleasant Hill 

State Road 

Quiggleville 

McHenry 

Blue Stone 

Cammal 

Herritt 

Jersey Mills 

Okome 

Ross 



108 



Schools by Township (Continued) 



Mclntyre 

Astonville 

Crondalltown 

Gray's Run 

Langdon 

Lynnfoot or Cartersville 

Mclntyre 

Marsh Hill 

Pleasant Stream 

Ralston 

Red Run 

Sechrist 

McNett 

Ellenton 

Leolyn or Carpenter 

Mcllwaln 

Masten 

Parson's Hill 

Roaring Branch 

Yorktown 

Mifflin 

Brick 

Canoe Run or Friedens 

Chestnut Grove 

First Fork 

Harrer 

Main Creek 

Mud Run 

Plank Road 

Salladasburg 

Stabley 

Wildwood 

Mill Creek 

Boyer or Baier 
Gortner or Mud Hole 
Hites 

Moreland 

Backbone or Pleasant Grove 

Eight-Square 

Frenchtown 

Green Valley 

Hill 

Laurel Run 

Opps 

Muncy 

Bush 
Centre 
Friends 
Halls Station 
Oak Run 
Pennsdale 



Muncy Creek 

Clarkstown 

Fairview or Shoemaker's Mil 

Glade Run 

Guide 

Muncy Dam 

Northwest or Buckley 

Port Penn 

Shane 

Turkey Bottom 

Nippenose 

Eight-Square 
Granville *1 
Granville *2 
Morgan Valley 
River Mill 

Old Lycoming 

Bottle Run 
Franklin 
Oak Grove *1 
Oak Grove *2 
Pitcoe 

Penn 

Derr 
Frantz 
Lyons 
Marsh Run 
McCarty 
Muncy Creek 
Neff 
Sugar Run 

Piatt 

Cement Mills 
Level Corners 
Martins 
Larryville 

Pine 

Chestnut Grove 

English Center 

Glen 

Ivy 

Oregon Hill 

Rogers 

Snow 

Texas 

Plunketts Creek 

Barbours 

Factory 

Heisley or Store Box 

Hessler 

Hoppestown or Steinhilper 

Proctorville *1 and *2 

Stryker 



Porter 

Ferguson 
Glenn Grammer 
Nice's Hollow 
Vilas Park 

Shrewsbury 

Highland 
Mapleton 
Pine Grove 
Point Bethel 
Tivoli 

Susquehanna 

Nisbet 

Upper Fairfield 

Fairfield Center 
Farragut 
Heilman 
Loyalsockville 
Pleasant Hill 

Washington 

Elimsport 
Hillside 
Laurel Ridge 
Pike's Peak 
Pleasant Stream 
Texas 
White Hall 

Watson 

Harbor Mills 

Log 

Tomb 

Tomb's Run 

Watson Independent 

Wolf 

Fairview 

Huntersville 

Keitly 

Newman 

Pine Run 

Steck 

Villa Grove 

Woodward 

East Linden 

Emery 

Forest Glen 

Lumber Bridge 

Linden I 

Pine Run 

Stewart 

White Oak Grove 

Williamsport School District 

Long Reach Independent 



109 



References 

Atlas of Lycoming County Pennsylvania, published by A. Pomeroy & Co. 1873. 

Bastress School Board Minute Book, June 17, 1893 to Dec. 8, 1913. 

Bennet, Katharine W., "Stories of the West Branch Valley," Thie Sun, August 15, 1928. 

Bertin, Eugene P., The Dedication Book of the New Grade & High School of the Muncy — Muncy 
Creek Twp. Joint School District, Muncy, PA, Sept. 1932. 

"Mosquito Valley School (1872-1925);' Now and Then, Vol. XIV pp. 

31-39. 

editor. Now and Then, Vol. XV! p. 463. 

Brown Township School Board Minute Book, June 6, 1887 to June 9, 1892. 

Burrows, Thomas H., editor, Pennsylvania School Architecture — A Manual of Directors and Plans 
for Grading, Locating, Constructing, Heating, Ventilating, and Furnishing Common School Houses, 
published by Authority, Harrisburg, printed by A. Boyd Hamilton, 1855. 

Common Schools of Pennsylvania, Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania, for the year ending June 1, 1877, Harrisburg — Lane S. Hart, State 
Printer, 1878. 

Eckert, John A., "Education in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of the Lycoming Historical 
Society, Volume 1, no. 2, October 1955, p. 19. 

First One Hundred Years of County Superintendency in Lycoming County 1854-1954, County 
Board of Education, Wiliiamsport, PA 1954. 

Gahan, T.F., "Original Township Schools — 1877 In Lycoming County," Now and Then, Vol. XVI 
(1968-1971) Mo. 4, July 1969, pp. 209-215. 

1st Heshbon School Reunion Booklet. August 14, 1976. 

History of Lycoming County, published by D.J. Stewart, Press of J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1876. 

Landis, Milton, Biography of Daniel Krise, 1958. 

, Cogan Gazette, 4th edition, collected notes. 

, Cogan School, Cogan House Township, collected notes. 

, collected notes from Beech Grove School. 

Lewis Township School Board Minutes Book, May 20, 1848 to March 25, 1882. 

Maneval, Francis, Annals of Jackson Township. 

McClarin, E. Bernodean, History of Salladasburg, Salladasburg, PA., August 17, 1937. 

McConnel, Clarence H., "Forgotten Schools of Yesteryears," Now and Then. Vol. XIV: 156-157, 

Jan. 1964. 

, A Pictorial Record of School Buildings in Lycoming County, 1791-196]. 

, "The Vanquished . . . The One Room School," The Journal of the 

Lycoming Historical Society, Vol. 11, No. 5, summer 1962. 

McMinn, Joseph H., Historical Sketch of Warrensville. Pennsylvania. Souvenir of Annual Reunion 
of Residents and Former Residents of Eldred Township. 

Meador, Yolanda, Ed., Evolution of a Township. 1976. 

Meginness, John F, History of Lycoming County, Chicago, Illinois, Brown. Runk & Co., 1892. 

, 1795-1895 Lycoming County Centennial; Common Schools Then and 

Now by Joseph H. McMinn, pp. 44-48. 

Montgomery-Clinton High School Alumni Association, Ed., The First Fifty Years. 1955. 

Nichols, William E., "History of Lloyd's Addition and Sheridan School," Wiliiamsport Schools 
Through the Years, printed by students of the Graphic Arts Dept. Wiliiamsport Technical Institute, 
Feb. 1958. 

110 



References (Continued) 

"Old One-room Schoolhouse," Williamsport Sun-Gazette, March 1, 1979, p. 12. 

Opp, lone and Howard, "Some Landmarks in Muncy Creek Township," rioiv and Then. Vol. XVII 
pp. 11-17. 

Pennsylvania Common Schools; Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools of Pennsylvania, 
for the year ending June 3, 1861, Harrisburg: A. Boyd Hamilton, State Printer, 1862. 

Pick, Jackie; Shelley, Dorothy; Morris, Lorraine; McCormick, Marion; Montgomery Area Bicen- 
tennial Celebration. Montgomery, PA., Intrada, 1976. 

Porter Township School Board Minute Book, May 23, 1863 to June 1, 1891. 

Price, Ralph, History of East Lycoming, Dewald Printers, 1979. 

Schnee, William E., "History of Black Hole Valley and Clinton Township," Now and Then. Vol. VII: 
89-93, Jan.-April, 1943. 

Smith, Ralph C, "Our County Schools, Past, and Present," Now and Then. Vol. XV pp. 501-508. 

Taber, Thomas T, A Chronological History of Muncy, Muncy, Thomas T. Taber, 1976-77. 

, Ghost Lumber Towns of Central Pennsylvania. Book No. 3 in the series 

Logging, Railroad Era of Lumbering in Pennsylvania, 1970. 

The Transition in Education in the Past Quarter Century in Lycoming County, 19371962. 

CJImer, David C, Brief Historical Sketch of The Blooming Grove Colony and Meeting House, 1928. 

"Villa Grove School," Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Aug. 3, 1978, p. 23. 

Warner, Elizabeth Willits, "Friends School in Pennsdale," Now and Then, Vol. XVII pp. 5-10. 

Wickersham, James Pyle, "A History of Education in Pennsylvania," Inquirer. 1886. 



Ill 




"Of all the memories of the past, those of school are the ones that last" 



112 



a: 



o 

Q. 




«<r- 



BRADFORD 



RURAL SCHOOLS 




o 
-5^ 



LYCOMING COUNTY 

SCALE 

12 3 MILES 

1 I 'l l' I l| 

1 2 3 4 S KILOMETRES