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Full text of "A history of the schools of Edgar County, Illinois"

A HISTORY OF THE SCHOOLS OF 
EDGAR COUNTY, ILLINOIS 



HUMPHREY 



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/LBlflL,:L.C57XrH5bi4>C2/ 



A HISTORY OF THE SCHOOLS OF 



EDGAR COU NTY , TLLINOIS 

(TITLE) 



BY 



Charles L. Humphrey 



THESIS 

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS 
FOR THE DEGREE OF 



Master of Science In Edu r.n t-.i on 

IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY 
CHARLESTON, ILLINOIS 



1968 



YEAR 



HEREBY RECOMMEND THIS THESIS BE ACCEPTED AS FULFILLING 
THIS PART OF THE GRADUATE DEGREE^OJED ABOVE 










ADVISER 




DATE 



DEPARTMENT HEAD 



. 









PHBPACS 

The cultural development of a community Le dependent, in 
part, on the development of Its school system. The purpose of 
this study was to traoe the historical development of the school 
systems of Edgar County, from the date of the first sohool In 
the county, 1820, through 1968. Brief histories of the 
political boundaries of gdgar County, and the publlo school 
systems of Illinois were also Included as background materi 

This study was oonoerned with the growth of the schools 
of Edgar County, and with the development of eaoh of the 
present sohool districts. This study tracer, the formation 
of the sohool districts from the early village and olty schools, 
through the formation of the township schools, and to the 
organization of the present Unit Districts whlvih are in 
operation in the oounty. 

Information concerning the history of the schools was 
collected from histories of 3dgar County; histories of Illinois;; 
histories of the townships and villages of Edgar County, which 
were written by early residents of the county; newspaper files; 
official records, such as. Laws of Illinois . Annual statistical 
■jeporta of the Superintendent of Public Instruction , and the 
Annual for the id , ; :.- County Public reboots lJO/^1,^67 ; looal 
school board minutes; and from personal interviews of present 
and past board members, teachers, oounty superintendents and 



11 

local historians. The Information gained from these sources 

was used to trace the establishment, use, termination, or present 

status of the school districts in Edgar County. 

The one room oountry school is no longer a reality in 
Edgar County. A few such buildings still remain. Host, however, 
have been torn down, or are in a bad state of repair. Some 
have been remodeled into homes. Others have been oonverted 
into community centers and still serve their communities In 
this capacity. 

The cultural heritage of the citizens of Edgar County is 
rich In the traditions of our schools. This heritage which 
we have inherited from our forefathers should not be forgotten. 
However, many of the records of the schools have been lost 
or destroyed; most of the people associated with the early 
school systems have died; and all that remains of the early 
schools are the memories. 

It is hoped that this study will somehow stimulate, and 
revive, some of these memories and restore the Interest and 
respect which is due these early schools. 

The author would like to thank all of these people who 
helped find information, or who took the time to be of service 
in the writing of this paper. Their help 1? greatly appre- 
ciated. 



TABLK OP CONTENTS 

Page 

JPACS 

LIST OP TABLES o . . . . iti 

LIST OF HAPS o lv 

Chapter 

I. THE D8V3LOPHBHT OF POLITICAL BOUNDARIES 1 

II. JSVSLCPNSNT OF THE FU3LIC SCHOOL 31 

OF ILLINOIS . . • • • 

III. BASLY SCHOOLS OF SOGAa COUNTY. ...••••.. 

IV. < JtflON SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 95. . • • • • • 1** 

V. COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2 

71. COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT MO. 3 2? 

711. . i UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4. .... • 33 

VIII. COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 5. . . . . . 

IX. 3COTTLAHD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 41 

x. summary, .....•• 

APPBNDIX 

BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . . ....... • * 52 



1,1 ^P OF TI&L& 
Table Pago 

1. ddgar Count/ school Statlatloo, 190 3-1 90«*. ... 11 

2. Publlo . ohool JtatUtloa, 1877-1878 18 

3. Sttgar County Public .^ohoolo at Time of 

Reorganization In 19**8 ^7 

k, iSdgar County Sohool Cotamlsslonera 1829-1865, . . 50 

5. adgar County Superintendents 1865-1968 . „ . . . 30 

6. 5dgar County Mohool "tatletlce, 1966-67. • • • • 51 



III 



LIST OF MAP.T 

Paga 
1* Map of Illinois and 3d gar County. 8 e , . . . . . 2 
2. Hap of 3dgar County School Districts „ 13 



lv 



CHAPTER I 

THE DEVELOPMENT OP POLITICAL BOUNDARIES 

The history of Edgar County dates back to the early 
part of the eighteenth oentury. From 1673 to 1765, the Illinois 
Territory was claimed by the French. In 1717* Illinois became 
a part of the Frenoh colony of Louisiana. In 1765. France 
relinquished her claims to the Illinois Territory and it became 
a province of England until 1773. After the surrender of 
Kaskaskla to George Rogers Clark on July 4, 1778, the Illinois 
Territory was a county of Virginia. "The new county vaguely 
defined as to boundaries was attached to that commonwealth. 
This act was passed In October, 1778, and proclamation of the 
act made June 17 » 1779. m1 

In 1787, Virginia gave up her claim to the territory 
and It became a territory of the United States of America. 
In 1790, Edgar County was Included In the Northwest Territory 
and was at that time a part of Knox County. (See Map page 2) 

With the arrival of settlers from Kentucky and Tenneraee, 
the population of Illinois Increased rapidly and the territory 
was granted statehood in 1818. 

From 1819 until 1823, Edgar County was a part of Clark 
County. On January 3, 1823, Edgar County was formed. The 



F. 5. 



1 Ed ward J. Hughes, Counties of Illinois*. Tholr Orl^lon 
Evolution . (Springfield:" State of Illinois, March 21, 193*) 



MAP OF ILLINOIS AND EDGAR COUNTY 



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oounty was named In honor of General John Edgar. He was born 
In Ireland and later beoame an offloer In the British Navy 
during the American Revolution. He married an American woman, 
who helped three British soldiers to desert from the British 
Army during the Revolutionary War. Because of this, General 
Edgar fled to Kaskaskla and later joined the Colonial Army. 
Sdgar County was named by the wife of General Bdgar. "It Is 
told. . . Mrs. Sdgar was at the capital and was given per- 
mission to name It / Sdgar County / and she bestowed upon It 
her own name saying, 'My husband gave this name to me; It Is 
min-e, and I give It to this new oounty— I name It Edgar.'" 2 

"From 1824 until I856 Edgar County was divided Into 
five precincts— PI Ice, Wayne, Carroll, Fairfield and Ripley. "3 
When Sdgar County was first formed. Its northern boundary 
was north of the present olty of Chicago. This was the bound- 
ary line until 1826 when Vermillion County was formed. With 
the formation of Vermillion County, Sdgar County's boundary 
was reduced to the area that it presently contains. By the 
year 1356, most of the settlers of the county were In favor 
of having township organization, and on November k of I856 an 
election was held to decide this question. 

"There were a total of 2,320 votes oast and of this 
number 1,3^9 were In favor of organization and 971 oppossed . "^ 

**w*nm^ ii ■!■ m ■■ ■■ w j» * wh '— ■ ■■ h im— urn- i n i ■ i. 11 pi i i i ■■ i ,i .1 .11 1 ■■ 1. 1 11 . . 1 1 11 . 

2 Hl3torlcal Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Edgar 
County . ( Chicago? Munsell Publishing Co., 1905), p. 624. 

-* The History of Edgar County. Illinois . (Chicago: 
Wm. Leaaron, and Co., 186 Dearborne Street, 1879) , p. 5^3. 

4 bid ., p. 5*9. 



The townships duly formed were "Grandview, Young America, 
anbarrass, Kansas, Ross, Sims or Symmes, Stratton, Prarle, 
3roullletts Creek, 31 bridge. Buck, Edgar, and Paris. "^ 

These 13 townships which were originally formed in I856 
are still In existence today. Hunter and Shllo were added 
In 1866. 



5 The Hlrtory of Sdfi-ar County. Illinois. 1879 . pp. 249- 
250. 



CHAPTER II 

TBI DEVELOPMENT 0? THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS OP ILLINOIS 

The development of the public schools of Illinois has 
been connected with the public land policy of the national 
government. The nucleus for the public school system of 
Illinois had its beginning on July 13, 1778, when the Congress 
of the American Confederacy passed the Northwest Ordinance of 
1787. The following words were contained in this Ordinance. 
"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, sohools and the means 
of education shall be forever encouraged. "^ Section 6, Article 
1 of the Enabling Act provided that section sixteen of each 
tovmshlp, or one of equal value, would be granted to the State 
for the use of the sohool of that township. Article k of this 
Act gave three per-cent of the net proceeds 0* the sale of 
Public lands in Illinois as a general fund for the encourage- 
ment of learning of which one-aixth part was to be devoted to 
the support of a college or university, with the remainder 
going to the benefit of the Public sohool. Prior to this Act, 
the Ordinance of 178< set aside the sixteenth section of each 
township to be reserved as a bounty to public schools. * 

^- Illinois Blue Book 1955-1956 . State of Illinois, 
Springfield, p. fOO. 

2 John D. Hlckc, The Pederal Union— -A History of the 
United States to 1865 . (Houghton Mifflin Company, Cambridge, 
MSse., 193?). P. 178. 



The State of Illinois did not pass any legislation 
oreatlng autnorlty for organizing sohools and for maintaining 
then by publio support until 1325. In that year Senator 
Duncan secured the passage of such a law. This law provided 
for the levying of taxes on property within the school district 
to provide funds for the operation of the schools. 3 it also 
provided for a board of directors which had charge of the 
school, was required to examine teachers, and was to have gen- 
eral oversight of the subjects taught. This law gave two 
per-cent of the net revenue of the State to the public schools. 
This act also provided for the establishment of a school or 
schools In each county open to all white citizens of the state 
between five and twenty-one years of age. This part of the 
law was repealed in 1829, 

In 1833, the legislature passed a bill whloh required 
the teacher to keep a record of dally attendance. The teachers 
depended upon this attendance reoord for their share of the 
township school fund. This share was based, upon the pro- 
portionate part of the total attendance for the township. 

Prom 1829 to 1855 there was no free public school 
system In the state. The schools were maintained mostly by 
subscription, but were supplemented in part by the distribution 
of the small township fund to the sohools in proportion 
to the dally attendance of the children of that district. 

3George W. Smith, A, Student's History of Illinois . 
(Chicago: Kail, McCreary Co., 1930), p. 115. 

^ Lai.-g of Illinois. 1825 . First Session, Fourth General 
Assembly, p. 121f. 



In 1855, the legislature of the State of Illinois passed 
the School Law of 1855 which levied an annual school tax of 
two mills on the dollar on all taxable property in the state.* 
This school system, whereby oommon aohools could be had wherever 
the people chose to organize and establish them, was free to 
residents from five to twenty-one years of age. Until thir. 
time educational opportunities were limited to those who were 
willing and able to pay the expense which the law required the 
publio to pay. J Before 1855, Illinois did not require that 
its prospective teachers should meet any standard requirements 
to become qualified to teach in the publio schools. 

The school tax of two mills on the dollar had been 
repealed by 1905, and in lieu of this tax, one million dollars 
was appropriated annually for support of the schools of the 
State of Illinois. The largest part of all school funds in 
1905 was obtained from two direot taxes on property which was 
within the school district. This tax was levied by the aohool 
district. This tax was levied by the school direotors. The 
limit was 2^ mills on the dollar for building purposes. 



^ Lawc; of the State of Illinois, 1 , 355 * Nineteenth General 
Assembly, p. ??. 



Bdffar County 



Historical Sncyolopedla of Illinois and History of 
nty. p. 666. 



CHAPTER III 
EARLY SCHOOLS OP EDGAR COUNTY 

The first settlement In Edgar County was established 
In the spring; of 1817. In that year, Remember Blaotanan, John 
strattou, Anthony Sanders, William Whitley, and Aloyslus 
Brown settled on the North Arm of the Grand Fralrle, which 
at that time was part of the old Wayne Precinct, In the 
fall. Colonel Jonathan Mayo arrived in the newly established 
settlement. During the winter of 1817-1818, Barna B. Reynolds 
also located In the North Arm area.* 

With the arrival of each new family, the desire of the 
settlers to provide an education for the children of the 
settlement inoreased. By 1820, it was deoided that there 
were enough ohlldren to warrant the erection of a school 
building. At this time, a little log house was erected on 
the land of William Whitley. This was the first school house 
In Edgar County. Amos Williams was the first teacher of this 
school. The courses taught consisted of a little spelling, 
reading, and writing. As were most of the early schools of 
this period, this was a subscription school. Sach parent 
paid in proportion to the number of children he sent to the 
sohool. The teacher 1 s pay usually consisted of peltries, 
coonskins, beeswax, or any article which could be used in 

Vrhe History of Bdp;ar County. Illinois. 1379 . p. 225. 



barter. 

The following description of this school was taken from 
the Annual for Sdxar County Publlo Schools. 1910-1911 . It was 
originally written for the Ual ^y Gazette by the Honorable 
A.J. Hunter who attended the sohool in 1B39. At that time 
Augustus E. Bowlin was the school master. 

The eohoolhouse was Ik x 16 feet, made of hewn logs, 
clapboard roof, a door In one end and a fireplace in the 
other. It had a stick and day chimney and the house 
was warmed by a log flrej the andirons were large stones 
weighing about thirty pounds. Frequently they beoame 
overheated so that they would burst, throwing the frag- 
ments all about the room. 

The crude cracks between the logs of the house were 
filled with clay. There was only one window made in the 
side of the house and that was made by leaving out one 
log and the space was filled by a row of 8 x 10 glass. 
Under this window, a writing desk was plaoed k% feet 
above the floor. This desk was a rough board. Just as 
it came from the sawmill, about two feet wide. A high 
bench was made so that those learning penmanship could 
be seated as a higher grade, being higher up In the air. 
There was usually a string of girls and boys on this 
bench; their heads reached close to the celling, and 
their bare feet swung in the air. They enjoyed the 
privilege of studying nature through the window. 

The other seats were made of oak slabs; fresh from 
the sawmill and the only finish they had was from the 
scrabbling of the girl 3 » llnsey and the boys 1 Jeans 
pantaloons. The moot interesting pleoe of furniture 
in the house was two large wooden hooks over the fire- 
place that held in reserve about a dozen well selected 
hickory sticks. They were always used for the purpose 
of dusting the boys clothes as well as an admonition 
for future thought. 

Regular school books were unknown. The school 
book trust had not been discovered. Any and all kinds 
of books were used without references to the contents. 
There was one book called the English Header that was 
used by one class that could read without spelling out 
the words. The head one in the class would read a few 
sentences, then pass the book to the next and so on to 
the end. Some testaments were also used for this purpose. 



2 Mrs. J, Odgen 0»Hair, "History of Symmes Township", 
1925, unpublished document, p. 1. 



10 

School hours were from 8 a. a. to 6 p.m. tn the 
summer and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. One hour was 
allowed for recess from 12 noon to 1 p.m. 3 

The first sohools in the county which were really 
public sohools were organized March 7, 1862, by the County 
Commissioner 1 a Court. This first school district embraced the 
village of Paris and some of the adjacent farms. This district 
contained three schools, one southeast and cornering the 
village, one east of the village, and the third school inoluded 
the village. This distrlot oonforras to the present-day bound- 
ary of Paris Union School Distrlot No. 95.^ 

After the passage of the School Law of 1825, John M. 
Kelly was appointed as the first school commissioner of the 
county and was given powers of keeping the funds from the 
sale of school lands. The county officer had no authority 
to examine teachers and to superintend the school until 1855»* 

Schools were established at a very early date In 
31brldge, Stratton, Grandview, Sims, Paris, Broulllett, and 
Hunter townships. Prairie, Edgar, and Embarrass township 
schools were established before I855. The rest of the county 
was hardly settled when the School Law of I855 went Into effect, 
The schools which were organized In riosa, Buok, Kansas, Shiloh, 

honorable A. J. Hunter, "First Schoolhouse In Edgar 
County", written for Dally Gazette . Annual for , Edgar County 

. j.^o Sohools. L 910-1911 . George if/ fro m7c3 Sly uperi at en- 
dent, p. 101-102. 

^"Parls School System Keeps Paoe with Modern Trends 
in Field of Education", Paris, Illinois Pally Beacon News . 
October 2k % 1936, p. 19. 

^ The History of iiti^ar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 297 . 



11 



and Young America townships profited and were established 
under the School Law of 1865. 

3etween 18 55 and I879 the number of schools Increased 
sharply. There were seventy public schools In the county 
In 1355. Three years later In I858, this number had Increased 
to 97— by I879 to 137. This Increase In the number of schools 
Is attributed to the School Law of I865, which provided for 
free public schools." 

The total expenditures for maintaining the Edgar 
County school In 1903-1904 school year was )110, 467.84. Of 
this amount $71.^82.91 was for instruction. At this time, the 
average monthly salary for male teachers was $50.4? and the 
monthly salary for female teachers was $40.41. This informa- 
tion was obtained from the following statistical report for 
iSdgar County Schools. 

Statistics for Edgar County Schools for the Fiscal 

Year ending July 1, 1904j 

number of persons under 21 ————————— 12020 

number of persons between 6 and 21 —————— 8623 

number of school districts ——————————— 143 

number of school buildings ————————— 145 

whole number of pupils enrolled ————————— 

male teachers ——————————————— 6*1 

female teachers ——————————————— — — l4p 

schools of one room —————————— —————— 124 

schools of two or more rooms ———————— 21 

private schools ———————————————— 

whole amount paid teachers ————————— $71,482.91 

total expended for support of schools ————— $110,467.00 

estimated value of school property —————— ^260,630.00 

principal of township fund — — — — — — — ;'*7,132.03 



6 Ibld .. p. 297. 



12 



statistical report of Paris Hl^h School 19C+ 
H.W. Moaloal Superintendent 

total enrollment for past year ————————— 212 

total enrollment In other grades —————— 1200 

grand total enrollment — — — — — — — — 1412 

salaries of lnstruotlon for year 1903-190*1 — — jpl3 # 900.00 
other expenditures for the year ——————— 313 t *K)0.00 

Salaries 

of Superintendent H. W. Monlcal— — — — — — $1,500.00 

of principal of High School Miss Tlllle Hoss — J900.00 

of principal of 1st tfard School or Tanner School — - 0.00 

James Tanner ——————————————— ji450.00' 



^ Historical 5ncyclor>edla of Illinois and History of 
3d gar County , p. 070. 



EDGAR COUNTY 



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CHAPTER IV 
PARIS UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 95 

The first school In Paris township was built by Amos 
Will lass in 1824 on a lot owned by General Alexander. This 
lot was located on the south end of the alley which divides 
the two blocks on the south side of the publlo square. For 
some reason this log cabin was surrounded by a wooden stock- 
ade. Isaac Alexander taught in this school in 1828. 

Paris High School has in its possession the original 

copy of the first contract made between a teacher and the 

people of the community for the establishment of a school. 

The class of 1917 had the document reproduced in bron: e 

and it now adorns the walls of the High School Assembly Hoom. 

The contraot reads as follows » 

An artiole of agreement, made and entered Into 
thi? 21st day of August 1824, between Amos Williams 
of the First Part, and the undersigned subscribers of 
the second part, 

WIIM33SSTHI — That the said Williams engages to teaoh 
a school in the town of Paris, Bdgar County, Illinois, 
for the term of six months, (Saturdays exepted) at 
the rate of Five Dollars per scholar, one half of said 
sum to be paid in trade, at cash prlceaj the other 
half to be paid In money, the school to commence on or 
before the first Mondays of October next, if a sufficient 
number of scholars can be had-»the subscribers, on 
their part, engage to furnish a sufficient quantity 
of fire wood and keep the sohoolhouse in good repair 
during the above term, 

Ijbld., p. 333. 



15 



All lost time, on the part of the teaoher, to be 
made up at the expiration of said term. 

Subscribers Names 

William Means -— 2 Jon. A. tfayn — .— 1/6 

Smith Shaw — — — 3 William Ilearn — — 1/6 

John Fugett — — 1/2 John Lycan ••••••- 1 1/2 

Samuel Vance ■■ — 2 Robert Brown — — 4 paid 

3bon Center —— 2 Wm. '.Whitley — — 1/4 

Thomas Jonea — - 1 1/2 John Wells — — — 1/3 
Thomas Tennery — 4 

In lB35t one room In a building on the front of lot 
sixteen was used as a sohoolhouse. 

The -iev. Henry I. Venable founded The Edgar Academy in 
December of 1841. "It was located on six aores where the 
Catholic ohuroh and school now stands." 2 At first, Bdgar 
Academy was a school for girls, later on, boys were admitted 
to the school. Her. Venable was assisted by his wife, Martha 
Martin Venable. This school became famous as a pioneer 
Institution of learning In the Eastern Illinois area. It was 
the only school in all of eastern Illinois where the classics 
were taught.-' 3ecause of ill health, ilev. Venable sold the 
Academy to the people of Paris. It became a publlo school 
In 1849. Professor James Nelson was the first prlnolpal of 
this school. A department of musio was added to the curricu- 
lum by Professor Nelson. 

A Methodist Seminary was ereoted In 1848. Colonel 
Johnathen Mayo gare the Seminary a block of ground between 

^ Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of 

Edgar County , p. 670. 

>The History of Edgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 300. 



16 

East Court Street and East Wood Street for the site of this 
building. A two story brick building was ereoted on this 
site. The Temperanoe Soolety added a third story on the 
building for a meeting hall. This school was under the 
direction of L'.ev. Jesse H. Moore. In 1869, this building 
became a public school, although the land was not purchased 
from the trustees of the Methodist Eplsoopal Church of Paris 
by the Paris Union Sohool Dlstriot until 1875. This building 
was located on the present Mayo school slte.^ 

There is a reoord of a school which was conducted In 
a one story frame building on Washington Street by a Mr. 
Bastion, a Methodist Minister. Mr. Bastion left Paris around 
184-8, and a Mr. Neville then taught for a while In the same 
building. It was reported that Mr. Neville always had a long 
whip in his hand and that he was able to use It with a great 
amount of aoouraoy.5 

Twenty years after the village of Paris had been 
organized and Incorporated, the trustees of Edgar Academy 
secured a charter from the legislature. P«rls Union School 
District was organized in accordance with an act of the 
legislature on April 15, I869. This sohool dlstriot was 
Independent of the city government. The charter members were 
Samuel Graham, George C. Levlngs, Levi C. Mann, H. J. Miller, 
Henry Van Sellar and Obed Poote. "The charter was liberal, 

^ Hlstorloal Snoyolopedja of Illinois and History of 
Edgar County , p. 670. 

^Dr. Ployd M. Davis, "Davis Plolcs up Thread in Series 
of Articles," Paris Dally News . February 7. 1923. 



17 

and specially provided for instruction In the branches of 
a common sohool eduoatlon, science, higher mathematics, and 
languages. "° 

The first county Institute was held In Paris In 1886, 
when Captain George Hunt, the county superintendent, called 
the teachers together. 

Professor Jealah Hurty came to Paris In 1866 and took 
oharge of the schools. When Paris Union School District was 
formed In 1869, he became the first superintendent of the 
Paris School District. He served in this oapaolty until 1871 » 
when he retired and founded the Hurty Academy. This school 
occupied the second and third floors of the Old Mulllns build- 
ing. In I876, the Hurty Academy merged with the Sdgar 
Collegiate Institute which had been established by 3ev. Venable, 
The old academy was abandoned in 1880, and Professor Hurty 
established a private school in the Methodist Church which 
he operated until 1865. Altogether his schools had four 
different locations in Paris. 7 

The First Ward School, which later was named the Sanford 
Grade School, was erected on West Washington Street In 1869 . 
This building was torn down in 1930 and the lot remained vacant 
for over twenty years. The site is now ocoupled by the 
Carolyn Wen2 School. 

Paris High School was organized in 1^71. The purpose 
of this school was to provide a liberal and practical course 

%ie Histor y of 3d gar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 33**. 
^Thurman B. Hice, "The Hoosier Health Officer", pp. 10-11. 



18 

of study for high sohool students. It was not Intended to 
be a college preparatory school. In 1875, the Old Method irt 
Seminary .School was purohased by the school district and was 
used as a high sohool. 

It Is Interesting to note that In 1379, Paris High 
Sohool offered courses in Ueading, U.S. History, General History. 
English Analysis, English Literature, Hhetoric and Composi- 
tion, Latin, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, 
Botany, Natural History, Physical Geography, Geology, Natural 
Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Mental Science, and the Con- 
stitution of the United States. 9 

By 1879, school was held in Paris in four large public 
school buildings. The Superintendent of the Paris Schools at 
this time was one Professor Alfred Harvey. Professor Harvey 
after leaving Parle, became president of the State Teacher's 
Association. The following record of the public school 
statistics for I877-I878 was given in the History of Ed,a;ar 
County, Illinois, I879. 

PUBLIC SCHOOL STATISTICS POH 1877-78 
Professor Alfred Harvey— Superintendent of Paris Schools 

whole number of persons in dlstriot under 21 — 2007 

number between 6 and 21 (school age) ————— 13^5 

whole number of pupils enrolled —————— 1019 

greatest number enrolled in any month———— 819 

least number enrolled in any month—————— 690 

average monthly enrollment — — — — — - — - 778. 4 

average dally attendance ———————-. 650.4 

number of teachers employed——————— 

*Parla Sohool System Keeps Pace with Modern Trend in 
Pi eld of 3ducation", Paris. Illinois. Dally Beacon News . 
October 2'+, 1936, p. 19. 



19 



superintendent — — — — — — — — — — — — 1 

salary of teachers and superintendent —-—■— ^8265.29 

The Cost of Tutlon for the year per pupil, inoludin 
High School j 

on the whole number enrolled ••————--- $8.10 
on the average nurabe2* belonging — — — — - — 7IO.62 
on the average daily attendance ————— 1 '.71 

The attendance and expenses of the High School are as 
follows: 

whole number of different pupils enrolled — — — 
greatest number of pupils enrolled In any month — 76 
least number of pupils enrolled in any month 
average enrollment for the year — — — — — — 

average daily attendance •—«—«.——— 61.3 

Tutlon, including salaries: of teachers and the High 
School's proportion of the Superintendent 1 s salary t 

on the whole number of sohedules -—--—— $15.62 
on the average number enrolled — — .— — 18. 76 
on the average dally attendance -.«———-. 20.90 

Statlstioa furnished by William Roth, I879 County 
Superintendent 

Public Schools of Sdgar County, 18 79 

number of persons under 21 —————— 12^29 

number of persons between 6 and 21 — —— — 8618 

number of dlstrlots — — ^— — — — — — 137 

districts having school five months or more » 135 

whole number of months school ——————— 

whole number of pupils -----———— 6786 

male teachers ■ ■ ■■■ ■ ■ ■ Ill 

female teachers — — ~— -— — — — 

upgraded schools ———————— —-.——— 132 

graded schools •---*———•————- 

private schools -»»------•-————— 1 

whole amount paid teachers —————— $114,192.97 

total expended for support of schools — 365,665.52 
estimated value of school property — — — — l96.989.OO 

principal of township fund ————— ^56,010.729 

The first record of education for Kegro children in the 

publlo schools occured at this time. "In I879, twenty colored 

children attended the publlo schools and shared the advantages 

that the white students had, although they occupied a room to 



Th e History of Edgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 299. 



20 

themselves."* 

By 1331, a new building had been ereoted on the old 
Methodist Seminary School site at a oost of $50,000. This 
building- had eleven rooms and was considered to be large and 
convenient for the times. This building was used by both the 
grade school and the high school from 1881 to 1908. However, 
the rapid growth of the high school made neoessary the 
erection of a separate building. The present high aohool 
building was erected on South Main Street In 1908. This 
building contained twenty-five class rooms and laboratories 
for chemistry, biology, and the domestlo sciences. In 1921, 
a new wing was built on each end of the old building. One 
wing was a gymnasium, the other was the auditorium. In 193&, 
another addition was made for the library. A large new 
gymnasium was built in 19^2, 

The Junior High School was organized In 1921 in the 
Old Mayo School building. This building was destroyed by 
fire In 192?. The present Mayo building was dedloated on 
September 1>, 1938. At that time It had a capacity for 725 
students. The building was built at a cost of $146, ^3. 

Cf the Paris schools which are in use today. Tanner 
School on West Chestnut Street Is the oldest. It was built 
in 1892. Itedmon School is located on South Central Avenue 
and was built in 1911 » Vance School Is on North Main Street 
and was erected in 1912; Carolyn Wenze Sohool was built In 1953« 

10 Ibld .. p. 33*+. 

"Paris Schools Keeps Pace with Modern Trends in Field of 
Sducatlon", Paris. Illinois Dally Beacon News . October Zk , 
1936. p. 19." 



21 

Paris Memorial School was dedicated on April 27. 195*5. 
It was built at a cost of $297. 335.71. All of the sohools 
mentioned above have enrolled grades one through six. 
School, enroll?? all eight grades and has the only Junior high 
school consisting of the seventh and eighth grades in the 
oity. Paris also has one Catholic grade school, it. lary's 
Parochical School, which was constructed in 1899. 

On February 20, 1968, a position paper was presented 
by the special building committee of the Paris Board of 
3ducation to the school board. The plan which was advanced 
by the committee would eventually replace the antiquated 
Tanner, Vance, and Redmon elementary schools. At the present 
time, the plan consists of two parts. The first part includes 
the closing of Tanner School and the addition of enough class- 
rooms to enlarge Carolyn tfenz School from 2^0 students to *100 
students. This addition would serve the educational needn 
of the western area of Paris* The new addition would have 
twelve clauarooms made out of a stran-steel structure. 

The second part of the plan is to add onto the present 
Mayo School to improve the Junior High School curriculum. The 
addition would consist of a band room, a vocal music room, 
an art room, an Industrial arts shop, and a home economics 
classroom laboratory. 

A referendum to authorize the project is already In the 
planning stage. The tentative target -date for the first new 
addition la 1970. 

12 Ibid .. p. 19. 



CHAPTER V 
COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2 

The unit two sohool system was formed in 19^8 when 
Brooton, Hume, and Metcalf sohools consolidated. The unit 
had two school centers at that time. One center was at 
Brocton, and consisted of grades one through twelve. The 
other center was made up of the combined schools of Hume and 
Metoalf. This school was named Young America. Grades one 
through eight attended school at Hume, Young America High 
School was established at Metoalf. In 1952, the unit gained 
nore territory when Redmon withdrew from Unit 3 and combined 
with Brocton. The high school was located at Brocton, and 
grades one through eight were sent to aedmon. 

Construction on a new consolidated school for Unit 2 
began on August 19. 1967. The Unit 2 school board announced 
on December 8, 1967, that the new sohool will be known as 
Shlloh High School and Grade School. The name for the new 
school was taken from the township In whloh It will be located. 
The naming of this sohool follows the precedent set by Young 
America township. Shlloh will replaoe Young America High 
Sohool, Brocton High Sohool, liedmon Grade School and the grade 
school at Hume. Construction site for the school is between 
Hume and Metcalf Juat off of 3oute 36 and is at the north edge 
of Shiloh township. The building is to be ready for the 1968-1969 
school term. Unit 2 sohool district is located in all or parts 



23 

of the following townships : Young Amerlcai Shllohj Bnbarrass, 
and Buok. 

Young America township was organized on the 9th day of 
March In I85J+. The first settlers came to Hlokory Grove In 
1820 In searoh of ooonsklns and honey. In 1822, Daniel lieed 
built a cabin at Hickory Grove and registered his land at the 
land office located In Palestine, Illinois. 1 

The first school house In the township was the "Old 
Green Sohoolhouse w which was built around 185^. Sarah Henthorn 
was supposed to be the first teacher of this sohool. In I879, 
this building was being used as a carriage house. 2 

The town of Hume was laid out for E.W.S. Hume in 
November of I873 by George tf. Foreman, the oounty surveyor. 
The first school in Hume was built In 1875.3 The present 
school in Hume was built in 1900 and had eight rooms attached 
in 1939. 

The town of Hetoalf was surveyed for John A. Metoalf 
in 187^; a school was built soon after the establishment of 
the town. A two story brick school building was erected in 
1908. The present Young America High Sohool building was 
constructed in 1921. 

Buck township was organized in 1857 and was oalled 
Pilot Grove. However, the name was changed to Buok because 

1 ilstory of Sdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 159. 
2 Ibld .. p. 522. 
3 Ibld .. p. 523. 
\bld .. p. 524. 



2k 



there was already a township In Illinois named Pilot Grove, 
The township was organized in the Buckler Schoolhouse, This 
township was originally part of the old Fairfield and Carrol 

Precincts. 

Bull's Head Township was formed on March 3. 1866, but 
was changed to 3hiloh Township by a petition on April 27. 1866. 
Ths first school was built in the winter of 1855 near the 
tfllllara Kiles farm. The first teaoher was a man by the name 
of Edmonson. ^ The first settlers oame to Embarrass Township 
around 1826. However, no attempt was made by the settlers 
to conduct a school until 183*+. Edward Brown was employed 
by fifteen families to teach their children. Sohool was held 
in an unoccupied cabin. Mr. Brown taught from 15 to 20 
students, /round I836, Samuel Wood erected a temporary log 
oabln which served as a school. The schools were taught by 
subscription. The tuition for a three month term for one 
pupil was from one dollar to one and one half dollars. If 
a family had several students attending the school, their 
tuition was lowered. The teaohers also were given their 
board by the families of the students. This was part of 
the tuition and was obtained by the teaoher living with 
each family for one week at a time.^ 

The town of Hedmon was surveyed on January 9# 1872 for 
J. 3. Warnlck and Joseph Hedmon by the oounty surveyor, 
George V, Foreman. ? In I879, the only sohool in Hedmon was 

5 i**d.. P. 505. 
6 Ibid.„ p. 508. 
7 Ibid., p. 503. 



25 

held In a hall, and building facilities were considered 

inadequate. P In 1928, a history of the development of the 

Hedmon Sohool System was prepared and edited In the high school 

annual. The Hedmonlan . The following account was given: 

The first grade school in Hedmon wan a hall in an 
old warehouse building which stood on the lot where the 
Klrohner and 31ggs store now stands. The children who 
attended school were the children of Hedmon who found it 
lnoonvlenent to attend the Old Arbogast Sohool of which 
Hedmon was a part. The first teacher was Miss Tillie 
Hoth. 

This hall continued to be the sohool building until, 
in the early eighties, a one room school house was 
built on the site of the present grade building. In 
1891 the school was made a two-room grade school by the 
addition of another rooi to the old structure. The 
first teachers were Camllle fiioe Henn and Dr. rf. S. Jones. 
These two rooms served the purpose of a grade building 
until the present building was erected. 

In 1910 the old school house was torn down and the 
present grade building was built in Its place. . . . 
the members of the School Board during the time of the 
building were Dr. W. S, Jones, Mr. 3. S, Meyers, and 
Mr. Francis G. Blair, state superintendent. ... 
delivered the main address. The first teachers to 
enter upon duties In the new building were Mr. A, L. 
Shellenberger and Ethel loser Kennen.9 

The following Is an account of the High Sohool: 

Do you remember way back when. • . we oocupled the 
room in the southwest corner of the second floor of 
the trade school building. . . In our cramped quarters 
we had two teaoherr, Mr. Gunn and Mr. Bennett. The 
former taught English and history; the latter had charge 
of Latin, rlathematios and solence. Our laboratory was 
one corner of the big room; our olass was the pigeon 
hole off to the right. . . A community high school 
became a near reality, when the bonds were issued. 
But to minds which can grasp conorete ideas better 
than the abstract ones, the foundation, the long piles 
of oriole, and great heaps of sand meant something. 
During the summer and fall of 1925, we watched the 



6 Ibld, 



? The Hedmonlan . Hedmon Comm. H.S., Class of 1928, p. 36, 



26 



workmen going about their tasks. . . There were four 
classrooms and a library. . • During our first basket- 
ball season, 1925-26, many interesting and amusing 
incidents took place. , . At that time we had four 
teachers. There was Mias Hioks, the Latin instructor; 
and Mr. Dunn our coach. Mr. Gunn was our principal and 
Hiss Noakes, the English teacher. The 3oard of Direotors 
in 1925-26 was composed of d. B« ^tandly, president; 
I. J. Brlnkerhoff, A. T . Wood, J. P. Carter, and Bert 
North. 10 

In 19^8, Hedmon consolidated with Kansas to form 
Community Unit No. 3# Both a grade school and a high sohool 
were maintained in Hedmon by Unit 3 until Hedmon pulled out 
of the unit in the summer of 1952. Prom that time, the high 
school students were sent to Brocton, and the grade school 
students were transported to Hedmon. One reason which was 
given for the split between Hedmon and Kansas was "lntersehool 
and community jealousy." 11 

The town of Brocton was incorporated in 1890. Around 
i860, a two story brick building was constructed in Brocton. 
This building, in addition to serving as a grade school building, 
also housed a two year high sohool. The building was used as 
a grade school until 1952 when Brocton and Redmon consolidated. 
The old building Is still in use today, serving as a oafeteria 
for the high school. A new high school building was built in 
192^. This building is already outdated and does not serve the 
needs of the community effectively. Unit 2 should be looated 
in its new home by September, 1968. This new building will 
cost olose to $1.3 million. 



10 Ibld. . p. 12. 

11 Robert Decker, private interview, Kansas, Illinois, 
December, I967. He was a teaoher at Hedmon, Illinois vhen the 
split occurred. 



CHAPTER VI 
COMMUNITY UJ.ir SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 3 

Community Unit Sohool District Number 3 was formed In 
19^8. Moat of the dlstrlot is located In southwestern Edgar 
County, although parts of northwestern Clark County and 
southeastern Colas County are also Included In the district. 
The sohool district takes in all of Kansas Township, most 
of Grandvlew Township and small amounts of both Embarrass and 
Buck Townships in Edgar County, The territory whloh makes 
up Grand view Township was purchased from the Indians by the 
federal government. It was surveyed and offered for sale by 
1822. Arlo Sutherland came to the township in June In 1822 
and made the first land entry which was recorded In 1825. ^ 
Joseph McCracfeln was the first teacher to teaoh In what is 
now Grandvlew Township. He began a school in 1826. Mr. 
McCraokln was also a tavern keeper. 2 

The iiev. J. A. Steele taught the first school In the 

village of Grandvlew in 1837. LeBaron, In his History of 3d gar 

County. I llinois. 1879 . reported the following about the 

Steele 1 a school t 

The school established by the Steeles was designed 
for, and proved to be of, a higher character than the 
common pioneer schools of the country; and, had 



1 The Hist ory of Edgar County. Illinois. 1870 . p. 339, 
2 lbld .. p. 33*+. 



28 

Mr. Steele 1 s health been spared, there is every reason 
to believe that here had been laid the foundation for 
an institution of learning that would now rank among 
the most influential in the West. This is almost the 
identical history of the foundation of many of the 
noblest colleges and seminaries in the State. 3 

The Grand view schoolhouse is now serving the community 
as a community center. This building was built in 1906. It 
was a two room building and nerved as a grade school until 1924. 
In that year, a third room was added. Prom 1924 until 1933 » 
a two year aooredited high school served the small community. 
Grades one through six were housed in two of the rooms. In 
the third room of the building, olasses were held for the 
seventh, eighth, and tenth grades the next year.^ The high 
school was closed at the end of the 1932-1933 sohool year and 
then served as a grade school until 1943, when Unit Three was 
formed. At that time, all students were transported to Kansas, 
Illinois, to attend school. 

The small oommunHty of Dudley is located two miles 
north of Grandview. The first teacher in Dudley was William 
Ramsey. He taught school here In a small frame building in 
1855.-' This building was replaced by a two story frame building, 
and was at that time, known as the Dudley Academy, Thomas J. 
Hughes was the head of this sohool. From 1886 to the school 
year 1894-1895. Dudley sohool was a one room sohool. A second 
room was added to the one room school in 1894, and high sohool 
work was offered. The ninth and tenth grades alternated each 
year. The name of this two year high school was 

3 Ibjd .. p. 335. 

^Jerry White, Private Interview, Paris, Illinois, February, 
1968, Teacher at Grandview, taught high sohool and grade sohool 
from 1923-1933. 

^ The History of Qdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 368. 



19 

Dudley Township High School District No. 156. 6 

In 1902 the number of the grade sohool distriot was 

changed from No. 2 to No. 100. 

The tenth year olass of 190^ was the first olass 
to hold commencement exercises. Commencement exercises 
were held every two years through 193^» Sometimes 
Dudley would Join with Grand view for commencement 
exercises. High sohool worlc was taught until the fall 
of 1935 when all of the high sohool students attended 
liedmon Community High School. 7 

Prom 1935 to 194**, school was held in both rooms of 
the building. Two teachers were employed to teach grades one 
through eight. In 19^4, only one room was used with the fifth 
and sixth, and the seventh and eighth grades alternated. 

Dudley District No. 100 became part of Unit 3 in 19^8. 
Grades one through six were taught in 19^8. For the next 
three years, only five grades were taught in the school. By 
the 1952-53 sohool year, only four grades, one through four, 
were being taught. In 1952, Redmon withdrew from Unit 3 and 
the Dudley school closed. The students of the oommunity 
were sent to Kansas to attend school. "On June 22, 195&, the 
Dudley school house was sold at public auction. 118 This 
building is now serving as the "Dudley Community Center." 

"The first sohoolhouse in Kansas Township was located 

south of the state road and Just south of Clay Longs. It was 

soon moved onto the MoDavitt land, one half of a mile south of 

where the present Walnut Grove sohool now stands,"* 

^ Calendar and Directory of ffdgar County Public Schools 
1; . '-; -.'I "• "." .Bloc Tone T' ; r>^ v luperlnten .: 61 Schools, ] ," ;-c. 

?Mary M. Young, "History of Dudley, Illinois", p. 10. 
Life lonr resident and area teacher. Attended two story frame 
building. 

Slbid., p. 11. 
o 
James Bull, "History of Kansas Township", p. 1. Early 

resident. 



30 

In 1852, a sohoolhouse was built at Warrington, whioh 
la three miles north of Kansas. School was held in a snail 
one room log building. The seats used by the students were 
benohes with no backs. The desks were shelves built onto the 
wall. One log had been left out the full length of the room 
for a window. Neither geography nor grammar were taught In 
this sohool. Spelling and history were given some attention. 
The students sang the oapltals of the states and also the 
multiplication tables. 10 

The village of Midway was founded In I850. The name 
was changed from Midway to Kansas shortley after the town was 
founded. The plat was recorded on the 16th of July, I853. 

Education began soon after the town was founded. An 
acre of sround was donated by William Brown. This school was 
located where the First Methodist 3plsoopal Church was later 
built. Halloctc's tire shop Is now located on this site. The 
first teacher was John MoDavltt, a wealthy farmer. The school 
soon became too small; it was moved to another location, and 
then was used as a harness shop. 11 

During the Civil War, a four room, two story frame 
building was erected. This building was destroyed by a fire 
In 1888. At that time the population of Kansas was 2,000 and 

still growing. The present grade building was built in 
1839. This building is two stories high and was used for 
both the grade school and the high sohool until 1936. 



10 



Tii. . Sarl f Hfstory of Kansas", The Kansas Journal . Kansas, 

Illinois, August 2k, 1922. * 

July l6. 1 1953. Tr ? 1 k 0ur FlrRt Hundred Years, Kansas, Illinois, 



31 

In 1889, The Village of Kansas made and published, piano 
to open the Eastern Illinois formal Sohool In Kansas. However, 
the sohool was located in Charleston when Senator Pemberton 
swung the vote to Charleston. 

The Eton Academy was opened Kay 1, 189**. in Kansas. 
Edward Wlllasey and his wife operated the school until 1904. 
The school enrolled students from age eight through high 
school. 12 

The present high school building was built with federal 
funds in 1936. An addition was made to both the grade school 
and the high school buildings in 195°. Sight class rooms were 
added at the grade sohool. Proa 195^-1956. all first grade 
students of Unit 3 attended Inclose, a two room country school. 
At the high school an agricultural and industrial arts building 
was constructed. This was in addition to six classrooms, a 
cafeteria, and central offioes for the Superintendent and the 
high school prlnoipal. 

On Saturday, April 13, 1968, a bond issue was passed 
by the people of Community Unit Sohool District Ho. 3. The 
purpose of the election was to authorize the school district 
to build an addition onto the high school. The building 
program includes the demolition of the old section of the grade 
school. The newer part of the building will be retained for 
use of kindergarten through fourth grades. Eight new olaserooms 
will be constructed at the high sohool to house grades five 
through eight. Also, a large gymnasium with dressing rooms 

12 Ibld .. p. 26. 



32 

and a lobby will be built at the high sohool. The old gymnasium 
19 to be converted into a junior high sohool gymnasium. The 
estimated ooat of construction for the proposed building 
program is $<*50, 000. *3 Construction is to begin in the summer 
of 1968, and the building should be ready for use by 1969. 



^Notice of Proposed Building Program for Community 
Unit Sohool District No. 3, Kansas, Illinois, issued by the 
Board of Sduoation. 



CHAPTSa VII 
COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4 

Community Unit School District No. Pour Is located In 
southeastern Edgar County. It is the largest sohool district 
in the oounty. The townships which lie in the Unit ^ district 
are: abridge, Symmes, Stratton, Hunter, and Paris. The 
school district boundary line also extends into parts of 
Broullletts Creek, 3dgar, Shlloh, Buck, and Grandview town- 
ships. 

The first sohool In the oounty was built in what lu 
now Hunter township. In 1R?9. LeBaron noted In his History 
of adgar Count:/. Illinois. 1879 . that five sohool houses were 
operating in the township. 1 

Daniel Lane made the first settlemtnt in Stratton 
township in the spring of 1313. 2 The first school In the town- 
ship was taught by Richard Kimbrough in the winter of 1825-1826, 
on Samuel Trogdo^s farm.^ William Denlng taught school In 
the sohool house near Col. J.M. Blackburn 1 s farm. This building 
served as a school for over forty years. It was torn down In 



x rhe History of aflprar County. Illinois. 1379 . p. 387. 

2 ;bid.. p. W* 

-'•Irs. W. 0. Wright, "History of Stratton Township", 
1927. p. 10. 



34 

the fall of 1878.^ 

The village of Vermillion was Incorporated April 1, 1872. 
It was surveyed and laid out by Sdward Wolcott, the county 
surveyor, In 1856. The village was named for Jaies S. Vermillion. 
The first school In the village was taught by Edward Eldrldge. 
A two story brick building, containing three rooms, waa erected 
In 13?0 at a cost of $5000. The first floor was divided into 
two large rooms. Here, on the first floor, grades one through 
six were taught. The second floor was Independent of the 
first floor and was reached by an outside stairway on the 
southwest oomer of the building. The seventh and eighth grade 
students had classes on the second floor. This old building 
was torn down in 1910. The present Vermillion school was 
built in 1911 • At that time, only three teachers were employed, 
although there were four rooms. In the Edgar County Public 
Schools Annual for 1912-1913 . there la a picture of the Ver- 
million sohool with these words, "Vermillion Public Sohool, 

One of the best buildings in the middle west. Modern in 9very 

7 
detail. The pride of the entire community." 

Vermillion HJ.gh Sohool Dlstrlot No. 116 graduated thirty 

one students from a four year high school between 1918 and 

1923. ?roa 1923 until 1947, the school dlstrlot offered only 

^ The History of Edgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 481. 
5 Ibld .. p. 482. 

"Gertrude 3. Karknes, "Golden Memories— Reunion Class 
of 191 2-1913 « H Furnished by Leonard Prye. 

7 Annual for Sd^ar County Public Schools. 191 2-1 91% 
George irf. Brown, County Superintendent of Schools, p. 116. 



35 



Q 



two years of high sohool won. In 19^9. Vermillion was 
oonverted into an eight classroom sohool. Grades one through 
eight were taught until 1955. when Crestwood. the main attendance 
center for the district, was: oorapleted. Slnoe 1955. Vermillion 
Elementary Jchool has served only part of the district. Grades 
one through four are taught to the students residing la the 
southeastern part of the district. ° 

James McNufct taught the first sohool in abridge 
township in 1823. Ihla school was built of unhewn logs and 
had a large fireplace In one end. Greased paper was used 
for windows. Benches were made out slabs of rough wood. These 
had no backs but served as seats for the students. Writing 
was practiced on large slabs of wood fastened onto the wall 
by wooden pegs. ''Goose quills were used, one of the require- 
ments of the teacher being that he knew how to make them into 
pens. The shree •ii«s» were the chief acquirements of the day, 
and to be proficient in these was considered enough by the 
aspiring scholars." 10 

Dr. I-eter Yeargin taught the first sohool in the village 
of El bridge on February 21, 1837. This sohool was conducted 
in a private home. Dr. Yeargin taught about fifty students 
in this r, . year. Later, the district erected a small frame 
house In 1350. rhls building was used until 1876. At that 



' Annual statistical deport of the Superintendent of 



v ouax statistical report; or tie dupei, . 
Public Instruction . State of Illinois. 12^7. /arno; . - le«r.el , 
perl niend en t of Public Instruction, p. 302. 



9 Annual 



oohool Jlreotory Algar County aohools. 1966-1967 k 
Carl Jonea, County Superintendent of Schools, p. 12. 

IQ The ^lrtory of Bdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . P. ^05. 



36 



time, It vac replaoed by an old church bulldlnr. 



The village of Nevlns first held school In a log 
cabin. In 1379. sohool was held In a frame building which 
was originally built for a ohuroh. 12 This building was torn 
down and replaoed In 1926. Sohool was then held In the new 
building until 195^. In 1955. Nevlns sohool was olosed, sold, 
and oonverted Into a home. * 3 

Symmes township was originally part of the old Fair- 
field Precinct. The township was formed In 1823. The first 
teaoher In this township was Nelson tf. Nunnally. Mr. Nunnally 
was very active In olvlc affairs and served as a member of the 
state legislature for three terms. The first schoolhouse 
was built of unhewn logs, and had a olapboard roof and a 
puncheon floor. School was held during the three summer 
months and the three winter months. This was a total of only 
sir months per year that the students attended school. 

Mr. Nunnally used an elementary spelling book. The 
student 1 s lessons were heard onoe or twloe a day. Lessons 
consisted of, at first, attempting the recital of the alphabet 
"on" and "off" the book. After a term or two, spelling of 
simple simple words began. When he got as far as "balcer", he 
was allowed a first reader followed by a second and third. 

H-MIS8 Olive Brown, "The Story of Slbrldge Township", 
p. 1. Presented to the Sdgar County Historical Society. 

12 The History of Sdgar County. Illinois. 1879. p. 407. 

13 
^Stella Lamb, Personal Interview, Nevlns, Illinois, 

November, 1967. A Granddaughter of Daniel Boll, one of the early 

settlers of the township. She attended Nevlns sohool In 1890. 

Llfelonrr resident of Nevlns. 

Mrs. J. Odgen 0*Halr, "History of Symmes Township", p. 1. 



37 

After a while, the arithmetic oame In, writing with a quill pen 
began, and, laving safely passed these stages, the common school 
was complete. Pupils learned to read, write, and cipher to 
the Rule of Three, and that was considered enough to fit them 
for the ordinary pursuits of life. ^ 

Unit four was formed in 1948, The present main attendance 
center is at Crestwood Grade School, It is located about one 
mile east of Paris on United States Route 150, Grades one 
through eight are taught at Crestwood, A kindergarten class 
is also conducted by the school at Crestwood. Vermillion also 
has grades one through four, 

Crestwood was oompleted In 1955* While Crestwood was 
being built, school for the unit was conducted at Vermillion, 
Oliver, Nevins, and 51 bridge. This was between the years 
1948-1955. The district does not have a high sohool. The 
school board pays tuition to Paris Union School District lio. 95 
for their students to attend Paris High Sohool. 



1 5 -fhe History of gd--;ar Jounty. Illlnels. 1879 . p. 469. 



CHAPTER VIII 
COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 5 

Community Unit Sohool Distriot No. 5 lies mostly in 
the twonshlp of Hose. The reet of the District is in the 
north half of Edgar Township and the far western portion of 
Prairie Township. 

The first sohool in what is now Edgar Township was 
built at Steam Point, Rev. G. W. Riley taught the first term 
of school here in I830. Edgar Township was not formed until 
April ?. 185?. 1 

Bloomfield was laid out in 1831. In that year a com- 
bination sehoolhouse and Baptist Church was constructed. The 
building was slmillar to other early day school buildings. 
It was made of unhewn logs, had greased paper for windows, 
split log benches for seats and was eighteen feet square. ^ 
John McKee was the first teaoher to teaoh school in Bloomfield. 
The following description of the contract between John McKee 
and the citizens of Bloomfield was given by Mrs. Winfield Scott 
In her "History of Sdgar Township" t 

Article of agreement entered into the 6th day of 
July, 1840, between John McKee of the one part and the 
undernamed subscribers of the other part, 

^he History of Sdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 535. 
2 Krs. ^infield H. Soott, "History of Sdgar Township", p. 1. 



39 



WITNESSETH i That John McKee on his part agrees to 
teach the art of Heading, Writing, and Arithmetlo to the 
best of his abilities, for five days in each wee*, at 
the Bloorafield sohoolhouse for the terra of six months, 
commencing on Tuesday the lUth day of this month, provided 
a sufficient No. of scholars oan be subscribed. And the 
under named subscribers on their part agrees to pay the 
above named McKee at the expiration of the school four 
dollars for each scholar annexed to their names, and 
repair and keep in repair the above named schoolhouse, 
and each subscriber is to furnish a portion of firewood 
equal to the portion of scholars they send at the season 
of the year that it Is necessary and the subscribers are 
to meet at the schoolhouse at twelve o'olook on the first 
Friday after the school coraraenoes to elect Trustees and 
a majority of the subscribers by their Trustees are to 
have a right to discontinue the school by allowing pay 
in proportion to the time he has taught. And McKee on 
his part is to have a right to at any time to discontinue 
the school by only charging for the number of scholars 
or days aotually sent and he is to keep an open book 
for subscribers till the number of scholars subscribed 
exceeds thirty. 

(Signed) Jesse Moore lj Samuel P. Clark lj Henry 
Drake 2j William Batter shell t; George W. Stephenson 1; 
Abram Connery li Ensign Mitchell 1; James Payne li 
Elizabeth Gorden 1| Ambrose Field 2j William Still well 
It Wm. Gordon 2j William Hawkins £» Wells Morgan lj 
Alexander Sommerville £.3 

In lo5^-l855 Andrew I. Trogdon taught at 31oomfleld. 
His salary was )2.50 per scholar for the quarter. John C. 
Wooley also taught a terra of school in 31oomfleld. Mr. Wooley 
was the candidate for President on the Prohibition ticket in 
1900.^ 

The first sohool in Hobs Township was kept in a log 
house about two miles oast of Chrlsman in I836. The pioneer 
teacher was a man named Haines. 

The city of Chrlsman was surveyed August 5, 1872 for 

3 lbld .. p. 2. 

rhoraas Hoult, "History of Bloomfleld, Edgar County, 
Illinois, 1927," p. 1. 



- 



1*0 

Mathias Chrlsman. It was Incorporated on March 2**th, 187^. 
Miss Ada Gibba taught an early school in Chrlsraan on the south 
side of the square in 187^. Prom 1875 to 1877, a Professor 
Heed taught a subscription school over the J. S. Seusley 
building in Kenton's Hall. A four room brick school was 
built in I877 at a cost of $8,000. Professor F. B. Green was 
the principal of this school. This building was enlarged to 
eight rooms in 1900. The first class to graduate from the old 
high school building contained only four members Eva Crawford, 
Nettle Hartley, riaohel Hoult, and W. ?. Hoult.^ 

Both high school and grade school were conduoted in 
the old brick building until 191^. In that year, the Chrlsman 
Township High School District Mo. 1^9 vas ready to move into 
their new high school. After Unit Five was formed In 19^8, 
construction on a new gymnasium was begun. This building was 
finished in 19**9. The old briok building whloh was built In 
1377. served as the grade school from 191*+ until it was torn 
down in 1966. The present grade school building was constructed 
in 1965. 



*"Th« City of Chrlsman* 1 , Unpublished Document, Written 
for the Carnegie Publio Library In 1927. 






•' 



. HTBB IX 
SCOTTLAND COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Scottland Elementary 3ohool District No. 23 and Scottland 
Community rilgh School District No. 162 have the same politioal 
boundary. Almost all of the two districts lie in Prairie and 
Broulllette Creek townships. Prairie Preolnot was formed in 
March, 185^. by order of the County Commissioner's Court. It 
later beoame Iralrle township in I856 when the county adopted 
township organization. 

Sylvester Barker was the first settler in the area. 
He came to the township In the spring of 1826. The first 
school was taught by Mrs. Nanoy Jones In her home In I830. 
Her house was located in what is now part of the village of 
Scottland. 1 

The town of Scottland was laid out for William Scott 
on September 17. I872. A two story building was erected In 
I879. This building served as a school for the village until 
1906. 2 The first consolidated school In Edgar County was 
built In Scottland at a cost of $5000.3 p roal 1906 until the 
present time, this building has served the community aa both 
a grade school and a high school. 

1 The History of Sdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 516. 

2 Ibla .. p. 517. 

3 Annual for Sdc;ar County Public Schools. 1907-1908 . 
George V. Brown, County Superintendent of -.ohools, p. 11. 



42 

Broullletts Create Township wafi named for Pierre 
Broulllette, an old Indian trader. Robert J. Scott made the 
first settlement In 1826. Later In that year, Samuel Little- 
field moved to the township. Llttlefleld and Scott hired a 
man by the month to teach their children. School was held 
in the Llttlefleld cabin. Christopher Ward was the first 
teacher in the first schoolhouse built In the township 
in 1333.^ 



** The History of Jdc;ar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. ^95. 



CHAprSi X 
3UMMARX 

The school a of adgar County have gone through many 
complex changes sinoe the time of the first school taught by 
Amos Williams in 1820. The early schools were mostly subscrip- 
tion schools, and were built and paid for by the parents of 
the students. The teachers were paid in coonskina, beeswax 
and other articles whloh could be used in trading for supplies. 
As part of their salary the early teachers boarded with a 
different family each week. Host of the early schools were 
made of logs. The furnishings were rather crude, consisting 
of rough board desks and seats. Wood for the fireplaoe was 
usually contributed by the parents of the students. 

The ourrloulum of the early schools consisted of 
reading, writing, and arithmetic. There was no standard text- 
book used in the classroom. The 3ible and other kinds of 
books were used to teach the students how to read. 

iidgar County has had a county school officer since 
1825. when John M. Kelly was appointed as the first school 
commissioner. It was his duty to keep the funds from the sale 
of school lands. This office was maintained from 1825 until 
1865. In 1865. the State of Illinois abolished the Office of 
School Commissioner and provided for the eleotion of a County 



fc4 

Superintendent of Schools. George Hunt was elected as the 
first county superintendent. The present superintendent of 
aohools la Carl Jones. 

There were no public schools In Edgar County until I865. 
In that year, the School Law of 1855 went Into effect. Thlf" 
law levied an annual sohool tax of two mills on the dollar 
on all taxable property, and required the public to pay the 
expense of educating the children of the state. 

In I855t there were seventy schools in the oounty. 
This number had increased to 1J? in 1379. Most of these 
schools were rural, one-room schools. By 19^8, there were 
1U6 school distrlots in Sdgar County; of these, 133 were one- 
room country schools. In 19^8, school district reorganization 
occured on a county wide basis. At this time. Community Unit 
Sohool Districts Numbers One, Two, Three, and Four were 
established. Paris Union Sohool Dlstriot which had been formed 
by an act of the state legislature in I869 did not reorganise. 
The Soottland school systems voted to maintain a dual district 
system instead of forming a community unit district. 

?rom the one room school with only a few students, the 
enrollment of the elementary and secondary schools has greatly 
changed. By 190^, there were 6326 students enrolled In the 
public schools of Sdgar County. However, the number of students 
enrolled had deoreaaed to 527^ by 19&7. 

Although many of the school baildlngs are very old and 
can no longer be operated efficiently, steps have been taken 
by many of the districts to initiate building programs which 



^5 



will update the schools and help to improve the educational 
opportunities of the children of Sdgar County. 



APP2DIX 



*7 



TK3 3CH00L3 OP EDGAR COUNTS 
AT THE TIME OP REORGANIZATION IN 19^8 



District - School 
1. Quaker Hill 
2.. Soott 
3. Prairie Union 

k . tfoodyard 

5. Ross 

6. Dickson 

7. Gal way 

8. Hildreth 

9. Patterson 

10. Palermo 

11. Maple Grove 

12. 3aura 

13. Bodd 
li*. Kendall 

15. Maple Grove 

16. Boone 

17. Mitchell 

18. Legate 

19. Manley 

20. Victor 

21. Excel a lor 



District - School 

23. Soot tl and 

2k. Chrlaraan 

25. Cherry Point 

26. Watson 

27. Metoalf 

28 . Hume 

29. Gil key 

30. Bane 

31 . Wyatt 

32. Mel wood 

33. Van Siokle 

34. Sliver Grove 

35. Bogera 

36. Manning 

37. Mt. Carmel 

38. Water town 

39 . Legg 
10. Kidley 
'41 . Logan 
42. Scott 

JJ3. Bloomfield 



Ifrfl 



District - School 

44* 3d gar 

1*5. iarks 

46, Gosseit 

47. Garland 
^8. Bentwood 

49. Dole 

50 . Payne 

51. Brocton 

52. .land Ridge 
53 • Kanner 

54. Merkle 

55. Golden aula 

56. Patrick 

57. Shlloh 

58. Willow Grove 

59. Horaoe 

60. Larkln 

61. Pleasant Kill 

62. Banner 

63. Jones 

64. Pan Handle 

65. Sugar Grove 

66. Clay»s Prairie 

67. Forest 



District - School 

68. BaldKinevllle 

69. Steaa Point 

70. Pine Grove 

71. Blue Mound 

72. Stewart 

73. Pilot Grove 
7k, Barnett 

75. Baltimore 

76. Catfish 

78. Independent 

79. "cCollum 

80. Redaion 

81 . Henn 

82. Buckler 

83. Valnut Grove 

34. Maple Grove 

35. Sugar Greek Point 
86. Buckeye 

37. Kimble 

38. Morehouse 

89. North Am 

90. MoGee 

91. Kunter 

92. Hedgln 



Uc. 



Dlrtriot - School 

9 j. Lane a Branca 

94. Sulphur Springs 

95. Paris Union 

96. Plum Grove 

97. Union 

98. Barnhill 

99. Cross ,-ioade 

100. Dudley 

101. Hickory Grove 

102. Harmony 

103. Baber 

104. Kansas 

105. Simpson 

106. Grand view 

107. Brinkerhoff 

108. Conlogue 

109. Asher 

110. New Hope 

111. Turner 

112. Camp Chapel 

113. Little Brick 

115. Grand Center 

116. Vermillion 

117. Pleasant Grove 



District - Sohool 

118. icCori 

119. Ft. ter 

120. 3ucianan 

121. Walnut Grove 

122. Willow Grove 

123. Inclo^ 

124. Pleasant Hill 

125. Pairvler 

126. New Goshen 

127. Bell Ridge 

128. Unoin 

129. Providence 

130. Walls 

131. rthoads 

132. Nevlns 

133. 3tipp 

134. Success 

135. Kirkpatriok 

138. HcCown 

139. Grand Suooess 

140. New Providence 
111. Fatton 

142. Slbrldga 

143. Salem 

144. Jefferson 

145. Oliver 
154. Isabel 



50 



3dgar County oohool Commissioners I825-I865 

1. John H. Kelly 1825-1829 

2. Jonathon Mayo 1829-1830 

3. Garland 3. Shelledy I83O-I831 
f. John ::. Kelly 1831-18^1 

5. Jonathan *layo 181H-1849 

6. John V. Blackburn I8I9-I85? 
?. Sheridan P. Read I857-I859 

8. James A. iiads 1359-1861 

9. V. 3. Burnett I86I-I863 
10. a. N. Elsnop 1863-1365 

Bdgar County School Superintendents I865-I968 

1. George Hunt I865-I869 

2. A. J. .iapes I869-I873 

3. a. S. Cuslck I873-I877 
k. W. V. Roth 1377-1882 

5. Dr. . -\ Stewart 1882-1886 

6. James A. Kerrlok 1386-139^ 

7. George H. Gordon 189^-1902 
3. George W. 3rown 1902-1913 
9. 0. Rloe Jones 191^-1923 

10. D. H. Hamilton 1923-1927 

11. 0. .Uce Jones 1927-1931 

12. Arthur C. Foster 1931-19^3 

13. Russell Stephens 1935-19^3 

14. Sam W. Arbuckel 19^3-1963 

15. Carl Jones 1963- 



1 



1 Pupil Enrollment and Teacher Statistics 
Illinois Publlo Sohoole 



1966-1967 school Year 



3d gar 


Cou 


5nr< 


sllmant 




TeaoherE 




Dlat 


Type 


Total 


SI 911. 


3«o. 


rotal 


21 em. 


3eo. 


002 


unit 


606 


392 


214 


33 


19 


19 


003 




4l 4 


2Q5 


129 


25 


16 


: > 


004 


unit 


1167 


660 


507 


39 




11 


005 


unit 


422 


314 


103 


25 


17 


8 


023 


e ' am . 


146 


146 





11 


11 





095 


■ 


2568 


] 


1312 


112 


'40 


63 


162 


sec. 


51 





51 


8 





8 1 



11 Pupil Enrollment and Teacher »tatlatloa. Il^lnoj.'.- 
Public Schools. 1966-1967 . Circular Series A, Number 194, Bay 
Page, Superintendent of Publio Instruction. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



3I3LI0CHAPHY. 

Articles and Pamphlets 

Board of education. Notice of Proposed Building Program for 

c immunity Unit School Dlstrlot ;»o. 3. (Kansas, Illinois 
1968). 

Hughes, Sdward J., "Counties of Illinois, Their Origlon and 

Evolution," State of Illinois, Springfield , March 21, 193<+. 

Rloe, Thurman 3,, "The Koosler Health Officer," autobiography 
of Dr. J, N. Eurty. 

Looal. £tate. and National Histories 

Hicks, John I. , The Federal Union— A History of the United 
States to 1865 . Cambridge, Massi., Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 1937. 

The History of £dgar County. Illinois. 1879 . Chicago i William 

* LeSaron gr. and Company, 193?. 

Hi storical 3noy capped la of Illinois and History of Ijdj^ar County . 
Chioagoi Munsell Publishing Company, 1905. 

Smith, George tf«, A Student's History of Illinois . Chicago: 
Hall, ;:oCreary Company, 1930. 

Troll, Con. Our First Hundred Years . Charleston, Illlnoisi 
Prather the Printer, 1953. 

Newspapers 

Davis, Dr. Floyd M., "Davis Picks Up Thread in Verier, of 
Articles." Pa ris Dally I-Jews . February 7, 1923. 

"Sarly Ml story of Kansas", The Kansas Journal . Kansas, Illinois, 
u^ust 2^, 1922. 

"Paris School System Keeps Paoe with Modern Trends In Field of 

3ducatlon." Parle. Illinois. Dally Ucaco;; ;.'ewa . October 
24, 1936. p. 19. 






. 









. 



. 



• 



























. 






5<* 

Off \c\ \\ fteoords 

IfSkvs pi Illinois. 1325 . First Session, Fourth General Assembly 
Springfield, >tate of Illinois. 

Lans of the State of Illinois. 1955 . Nineteenth General Assembly, 
Springfield, State of IlllnV la. 

Annual for Mkslt County Public Schools. 1907-1 ■ ' . George W. 
* 3rown, County Superintendent of Schools, 

Annual for Cdgar County Public Schools. 1910-1911 . George V. 
Brown, County Superintendent of Schools. 

Annua^ for iSdaar County Public Schools. 1912-1,913 . George tf. 
orowa, County Superintendent of Schools. 

Annual, S^hooi, directory for odfflar County Schools. 19 L 66-o7 ft 
Jones, County Superintendent of Schools. 

Annual Sta tl gtloa^. Report of the Superintendent of Public 

Instruction. 19^7 . State of Illinois.* Vernon L. Nioicell, 
m; , erintendent of Publio Instruction. 

Calendar and Dlreotory of l^ pr ar County Public Schools 1916- 

1917 . D. Hice Jones, "County Superintendent; of Sohools. 

Fall Pupil Enrollment and 1'eacher Statistics. Illinois Public 
School 3 n 1966-67 . Circular -.erles '., Number 19^ » ^«y 
""a", Superintendent of Publio Instruction. 

Illinois Blue Poo*. 19 55-56 . Springfield, State of Illinois. 

Illinois School Directory. 19^7-^8 . Vernon L. Ulokell, 
Superintendent of Publio Instruction. 

Personal Interviews 

Arbuokle, Sam. tf, , ^dgar County Superintendent for twenty 
years, 19^3-1963. 

L-eclcer, Sober t, Former teacher at iledmon, presently teaohin- 
in Kansas. 

Frye, iccnard. Graduate of the four year high school at 
Vermillion. 

Jones, Carl. County Superintendent of Jchools since 1964. 

Joneson, Nelle, Early teacher in county, first taught school 
in 1902. 



■ 



• 

































. 



. 












• 












55 

Laoib, Forrest, Director three man school evlna. 

Lamb, Stella, attended the first grade at Nevins 90. 

Her grandfather, David a oil, one of early settlers, 
.as Lived in Kevins all o: fe. 

Sexton, Ki a, taught in 'Jrandvlew system at time of two 
year high school, 

Webster, ..illiam, his Mother taught school In the Slbrl 
vicinity in 1903 for £20 a mont-.. 

White, Clifford "Jerry", Principal at 'lew in 1925 

later became Assistant County .Superintendent In 193^. 

Yargua, Jharle.: , School Board Director at MoCord Sohool, served 
on n three man school board, 192^. rhree year terra. 

Spec Lai, Works and Articles 

Brown, 1 Olive, ;, The Story of Slbridge Township", unpublished 
manuacript, presented to the 3d gar Coun torloal 
. 1927. 

Bull, James, "History of Kansas Township", unpublished manu- 
script 1927. Written for Carnegie Public Library, 
•Is, Illinois, 

xiarknf;' , ertrude . "Golden Memories— 1 \asa of 
1912-1913", unpublished manuscript, 1962. 

loult, Thomas, "History of Bloorafleld, Bdgar County, Illinois" 
1827, unpublished manuscript. Written at the request 
of Carnegie Public Library. 

Q»Halr, . J. Odgen, "History of fiymmes Township" written 

p the Carnegie Public Library, Paris, Illinois, 1925, 

is City of Chrisman" unpublished manuacript, no author given, 
bten for the Carnegie Public Library in 1927. 

The , AOdmonlan . non Lgh School Annual, 1928. 

Scott, . . Lnfield . ., "History of Bo* ear Township", 1927 
ssented to Carnegie Public Libra:- . 

Wright, Mrs, W*. 0., "History of ~tratton Township", unpublished 
. Lpt, 1927, written for Carnegie Library— Par . 
La. 

Young, ., "History of Dudley, Illinois" unpublished 

., 7. Written for the Carnegie Public 
Library, Par , Illinois.