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A HISTORY OF THE SCHOOLS OF
EDGAR COUNTY, ILLINOIS
IAS1IRN III UNIV 1 IBRAF1Y
3 2211 998880412
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A HISTORY OF THE SCHOOLS OF
EDGAR COU NTY , TLLINOIS
Charles L. Humphrey
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
HEREBY RECOMMEND THIS THESIS BE ACCEPTED AS FULFILLING
THIS PART OF THE GRADUATE DEGREE^OJED ABOVE
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
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
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-
TABLK OP CONTENTS
LIST OP TABLES o . . . . iti
LIST OF HAPS o lv
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, .....••
BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . . ....... • * 52
1,1 ^P OF TI&L&
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
LIST OF MAP.T
1* Map of Illinois and 3d gar County. 8 e , . . . . . 2
2. Hap of 3dgar County School Districts „ 13
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
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
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
5 The Hlrtory of Sdfi-ar County. Illinois. 1879 . pp. 249-
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. ??.
Historical Sncyolopedla of Illinois and History of
nty. p. 666.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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
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.
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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.
All lost time, on the part of the teaoher, to be
made up at the expiration of said term.
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.
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.
and specially provided for instruction In the branches of
a common sohool eduoatlon, science, higher mathematics, and
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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
of the following townships : Young Amerlcai Shllohj Bnbarrass,
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
? The Hedmonlan . Hedmon Comm. H.S., Class of 1928, p. 36,
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
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
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*+.
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
^ The History of Qdgar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. 368.
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
Slbid., p. 11.
James Bull, "History of Kansas Township", p. 1. Early
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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-
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
^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.
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.
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
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.
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
(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
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.
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
*"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
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
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.
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
** The History of Jdc;ar County. Illinois. 1879 . p. ^95.
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
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
will update the schools and help to improve the educational
opportunities of the children of Sdgar County.
TK3 3CH00L3 OP EDGAR COUNTS
AT THE TIME OP REORGANIZATION IN 19^8
District - School
1. Quaker Hill
3. Prairie Union
k . tfoodyard
7. Gal way
11. Maple Grove
15. Maple Grove
21. Excel a lor
District - School
23. Soot tl and
25. Cherry Point
28 . Hume
29. Gil key
31 . Wyatt
32. Mel wood
33. Van Siokle
34. Sliver Grove
37. Mt. Carmel
38. Water town
39 . Legg
'41 . Logan
District - School
44* 3d gar
50 . Payne
52. .land Ridge
53 • Kanner
55. Golden aula
58. Willow Grove
61. Pleasant Kill
64. Pan Handle
65. Sugar Grove
66. Clay»s Prairie
District - School
69. Steaa Point
70. Pine Grove
71. Blue Mound
73. Pilot Grove
81 . Henn
83. Valnut Grove
34. Maple Grove
35. Sugar Greek Point
89. North Am
Dlrtriot - School
9 j. Lane a Branca
94. Sulphur Springs
95. Paris Union
96. Plum Grove
99. Cross ,-ioade
101. Hickory Grove
106. Grand view
110. New Hope
112. Camp Chapel
113. Little Brick
115. Grand Center
117. Pleasant Grove
District - Sohool
119. Ft. ter
121. Walnut Grove
122. Willow Grove
124. Pleasant Hill
126. New Goshen
127. Bell Ridge
139. Grand Suooess
140. New Providence
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 Pupil Enrollment and Teacher Statistics
Illinois Publlo Sohoole
1966-1967 school Year
e ' am .
11 Pupil Enrollment and Teacher »tatlatloa. Il^lnoj.'.-
Public Schools. 1966-1967 . Circular Series A, Number 194, Bay
Page, Superintendent of Publio Instruction.
Articles and Pamphlets
Board of education. Notice of Proposed Building Program for
c immunity Unit School Dlstrlot ;»o. 3. (Kansas, Illinois
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
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.
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.
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.
Arbuokle, Sam. tf, , ^dgar County Superintendent for twenty
L-eclcer, Sober t, Former teacher at iledmon, presently teaohin-
Frye, iccnard. Graduate of the four year high school at
Jones, Carl. County Superintendent of Jchools since 1964.
Joneson, Nelle, Early teacher in county, first taught school
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
Bull, James, "History of Kansas Township", unpublished manu-
script 1927. Written for Carnegie Public Library,
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 .
Young, ., "History of Dudley, Illinois" unpublished
., 7. Written for the Carnegie Public
Library, Par , Illinois.