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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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elected and the salary raised to $1,500. In

1868, on account of sickness, he deputized
George W. Heiges to serve the balance of
the term.

The sixth convention assembled in May,

1869. Dr. B. F. Porter of Chanceford was
elected president. At this meeting S. G.
Boyd who had been an energetic teacher in
the county, was elected County Superintend-
ent without opposition at a salary of $1,5(.)0.
In his first annual report Mr. Boyd announced
that Wrightsville, in 1870, built a magnifi-
cent brick school building at a cost of $22,-
000, including lot on which it stood, and
furniture. It is yet a noble monument to the
enterprise of the towQ. During this year,
Manheim Township accepted the school sys-
tem and took advantage of the benefits which
accvLied from the State appropriation. He
held that year, in the county, twenty-two
institutes each two days in length. In the
year 1871 the borough of York taking advan-
tage of the act of 1867, and seeing the neces-
sity of better local supervision, elected W.
H. Shelley, Borough superintendent, and after
this event the county superintendent had no
f m-ther supervision of the York schools. The
York High school was organized the same
year. In 1871 Mr. Boyd was elected Presi-
ident of the Peach Bottom Railway and W.
H. Kain was made deputy county superin-

At the seventh convention, held May, 1872,
ninety-seven Directors were present. A. H.
Glatz was chosen President; Wilson Grove,
W. J. Arnold and Henry Fortenbaugh secre-
taries. The salary was reduced to $1,200 per
annum. W. H. Kain was elected over two
competitors. He was a graduate of Pennsyl
vania College and well fitted for the position.
On March 28, 1873, the Legislature passed
an act requiring the county commissioners of
York County to provide and furnish an office
for the use and accommodation of the county

The eighth convention met in May, 1875,
Rev. T. M. Crawford, presiding, W. J. Arnold

and Dr. B. F. Porter, secretaries. The num-
ber of directors ninety-five. The nominees
were W. H. Kain, A. W. Gray and George
R. Prowell. Mr. Kain was re-elected. In
his first annual report he stated that Spring
Garden had the best built and best furnished
school houses in the county. Fairview ranked
next. In 1876 there were 410 schools in the
county; average salary paid to male teachers
was $33.50 per month and to female teachers
$31. 50 per month. There were 20,500 pupils
attending public schools in the entire county,
with an average attendance of 13,115. State
appropriations $19,025; amount raised by
taxation $127,482. The amount paid for
teachers' salaries $73,381. Of the teachers
290 males and 120 females.

The ninth convention was held May 8,
1878. At this meeting, Lemu.el Ross of
Dillsburg was made president, and Capt.
Magee, N. Z. Seitz, C. R. McConkey, Millard
Blackford and Dr. James Gerry secretaries.
There were seven candidates nominated.
D. G. Williams was elected. Two hundred
and six directors were present. During the
previous winter the State Legislature had
passed an act allowing the county superin-
tendent a fixed compensation for each school
under his supervision in the county. At the
time of this election, there were 380 schools,
exclusive of York Borough. The area of the
county is 921 square miles, making the salary
$1,671 per annum.

At the ninth triennial convention, which
assembled in May, 1881, Capt. Magee of
Wrightsville was chosen president; H. C.
Smyser of Dillsburg and A. D. Thompson of
Hopewell, secretaries. One hundred and
sixty-eight directors formed the convention.
The candidates were D. G. Williams, S. J.
Barnett, J. P. Hays and Daniel Simon. Mr.
Williams was re-elected.

On May 7, 1884, the tenth convention was
presided over by B. Frank Koller of Shrews-
bury, with William Heltzel of Hanover, H.

C. Smyser of Dillsburg, and Capt. Magee of
Wrightsville, as secretaries. One hundred
and eighty-five directors voted. The candi-
dates were D. G. Williams. H. C. Brenneman,

D. J. Barnett, M. H. Seitz, D. H. Gardner,
J. P. Hays and Jacob Smith. Mr. Williams
was again re-elected, and is the present effic-
ient county superintendent.

There are now 397 schools, and the salary
is $1,786.50 per annum. Since 1854 one
hundred and six permanent certificates have
been granted by the school department at
Harrisburg to teachers in York County.
There are 144 frame and 220 brick school -
houses in the county. The last of the old-time


log houses has disappeared. But a number
of those now standing are reported iinfit for


The first session of the county institute
assembled in the court-house, in York, on
Saturday, December 23, 1854. According
to an account of said meeting in the York
Gazette, the following teachers and directors
were present: Teachers — John Taylor, Dan-
iel Klinefelter. Solomon Meyers, J.N. Taylor,
Ephraim Trimmer, Aaron Trimmer, Jonas
Deisinger, George M. Ettinger, J. M. Alding-
er, W. H. Jordon, L. Haney, S. S. Mathews,
John Keller, E. Keller, J. E. Kline, Daniel
Beitzel, W. F. Davis, C. A. Ebert, G. Scheffer,
W. H. Bond, J. M. G. Wiseman, Zachariah
Rudy, Michael Galligher, Charles Alexander,
Henry S. Bear, Martin L. Duhling, and John
Conoway. Directors— Jacob Dehufif, Wind-
sor; E. Garretson, Spring Garden; William
Diehl, Seven Valley; Jacob Falcomer, Pine
Hill; David Smyser, West Manchester; Dr.
W. S. Roland, Alexander J. Frey, J. Jessop,
William Sayres, and Dr. A. R. Blair, all of
York. In the absence of the county super-
intendent, Dr. Roland was called to the chair,
William Diehl and David Smyser were
chosen vice presidents; J. W. Graham and
Dr. A. R. Blair, secretaries. The institute
I elaborate set of resolutions, with
exhaustive preamble, complaining bitterly
of the same evils that still beset the system.
It was resolved to call another county con-
vention of teachers and directors on Thurs-
day, January 2-5, 1855, which meeting lasted
till Saturday noon, of the same week, and
was addressed by Hon. Thomas H. Burrowes
and Rev. Charles Martin. From this small
beginning the county institute has grown
in importance and influence. It is now ac-
knowledged to be a strong lever in supporting
and encouraging a healthful educational
feeling in the county. Since the legislative
act has been passed requiring all boards of
education of the public schools to allow the
teachers full time for attending the Institute,
nearly every teacher in the county is regularly
in attendance for the entire week. The ses-
sions are held annually, and continue for five
days. Some of the ablest instructors and
lecturers in the country are selected.

A large number of the citizens of York
Borough and the county attend these annual
meetings, and Institute week is looked for-
ward to with great interest. The State
annually appropriates $200 to its


The town of York was laid out in 1741,

but before this time parochial schools were
opened in connection with the "Evangelical
Lutheran Church of Codorus," now Christ's
Lutheran. A school was opened in 1735.
Barthol Maul was teacher. The German Re-
formed people also had a parochial school in
connection with their church, which was
opened about the same time. Ludwig Kraft
was teacher in 1740, and for many years
later. These two schools and others of a
similar character, were kept in operation for
many years. There were subscription schools
in force at different times, but no accurate
history of their work can be written, on
account of insufficient data. Rev. John An-
drews, an Episcopal clergyman, conducted a
Latin school in York, previous to the Revo-
lutionary War. It was still in operation in
1785, and enjoyed a good patronage. John
Dobbins, W. H. Brown, D. B. Prince, Roger
Dougherty and John A. Wilson, were success-
ful teachers of private and classical schools
before the common school law was passed.

THE ACT OF 1834.

After the passage of this act, considerable
trouble was manifested.

At a public meeting, in the court house,
in November, 1835, notwithstanding the
most violent opposition, it was resolved, by a
considerable majority, that an experiment
should be made of the advantages, offered by
the law of the preceding year. As the greater
part of business, in those days, was conducted
on principles of barter or trade, it was doubted
by many whether any tax could be collected
for school purposes. Jlany resisted the pay-
ment of tax as long as possible, and the col-
lector's duty was far more burdensome, and
much less lucrative, than in these modern
times. The only compensation of the treas-
urer was exoneration from militia duty,
while the maledictions of rich and poor alike
were heaped upon the collector. The follow-
ing are the names of the first directors,
elected under the provisions of the law of
1834 : Daniel Kraber, Frederick Baugher,
John Voglesong, Dr. T. N. Haller, Jacob
Laumaster, James Chalfant, Joseph Garret-
son, C. A. Morris, Dr. Alexander Small, Dr.
Luke Rouse, Jacob Emmett, and James My-

The borough, from the organization of
the school system, was divided into two wards
for school pirrposes, viz. ; North and South,
which division continues to the present time
in the purchase, ownership and sale of school
property, or erection of new buildings, a
separate and distinct tax being levied in each
ward for this pui-pose.


Daniel Kraber, served as an active
of the school board, from the time of his
first election until his death, a period of
forty-four years. William Sayres was the
first tax-collector under the law of 1834, and
subsequently for a number of years a director.

Among those who taught private schools,
previous to 1834, may be mentioned : Lewis
Miller, J. Hartrick, Michael Bentz, Henry M.
Skelton, Abner Thomas, Patrick McDermott,
Emanuel Spangler, John Smith, James B.
White and daughter, Robert W. Long, How-
ard Gilbert, Mrs. Beard, Mrs. Davis, and
Mrs. Montgomery. Very few schools at this
time were taught by female teachers.

The teachers who were in service imme-
diately before the adoption of the law of 1834,
were at once employed under the new system,
and the directors, in their respective wards,
appointed the following teachers : Sarah
Jones, Ann Love, Lydia Love, Sarah White,
Jane White, Margaret Hunter, Joseph Mc-
Pherson, Samuel R. McAlister, G. J. Joint
and wife, Patrick McGuigan, Robert W.
Long, Benjamin Ziegler, Malona Gowin.

Of these teachers. Miss Ann Love contin-
ued in the employ of the board until Decem-
ber 19. 1870, when her resignation was re-
luctantly accepted, after a service of thirty-
four years. In a graphic manner she nar-
rated many interesting incidents in the edu-
cational work of those early years. Patrick
McGuigan taught in the public schools dm -
ing thirty-two years (1836-1868), and died
while in service.


Beginning with 1837, the following appear
in regular succession, as members of the
board in North ward, down to the present
time : George Lauman, John G. Campbell,
Peter Mclntyre, Rev. J. G. Capito, John J.
Cochran, William Sayres, George A. Heckert,
Thomas E. Cochran, Henry L. Fisher. W.
Latimer Small, C. B. Wallace, Joseph Smy-
ser, John M. Brown, Dr. A. R. Blair, Henry
Lanius, Dr. E. H. Pentz, Rev. W. B. Raber.
George Meredith, John Demuth, Samuel M.
Barnitz, Rev. A. H. Lochman, Alexander J.
Frey, George C. Stair, John Gibson, Israel
Loueks, T. K. White, Rev. J. C. Smith,
James Kell, W. H. Griffith, David E. Small,
Clay E. Lewis, Dr. Jacob Hay, Arthur King,
J. B. Rupp, Dr. C. A. Eisenhart, Dr. B. F.
Spangler, Rueben Hildebrand and F. Beck.

Frederick Baugher served continuously
from the first election, held in 1836, until
1859, a period of thirty three years.

Charles A. Morris, whose name is also
found in the first board, served ten years

(1836-1846), and, on February 1, 1847, he
was appointed superintendent of the schools
of the North ward. He served in that ca-
pacity, without compensation, during five
consecutive years, and, on his retirement, re-
ceived the very hearty acknowledgments of
the board, for the efficient and faithful dis-
charge of the duties of his office.

The following names constitute a list of
members of board of directors in the South
ward, who served in regular succession from
1847, to the present time : N. P. Buckley,
Alexander Hay, Jacob Welsh, Dr. J. W.
Kerr, P. Frank, Dr. W. S. Roland, Joseph
Root, George Oaks, David Small, V. K.
Keesey, David Laumaster, George A. Barnitz,
W. C. Chapman, Hon. D. Durkee, William
Beitzel, James Adams, William A. Good,
Samuel D. Spangler, Abraham D. Forry, Dr.
William Johnston, E. G. Smyser, Lewis
Carl, Dr. T. N. Haller, Dr. Luke Rouse,
William Frysinger, S. Oswald, G. K. Kane,
Michael Bentz, David F. Williams, Joseph
Garretson, Joseph W. Jessup, Dr. A. R.
Blair, Hon. R. J. Fisher, Rev. J. O. Miller,
M. B. Spahr, John B. Welsh, Alexander
Duncan, William H. Albright, Herman Noss,
George W. Reever, Zachariah Dugan,
George W. Strubinger, Jacob Erney, James
G. Cameron, J. M. Deitch, W. E. Patterson,
Alexander Spangler, F. F. Buckingham,
Adam S. Pflieger, and Dr. S. J. Rouse.
D. K. Noell, George P. Smyser and J.
Frank Gable.

Many of the members of the board, both
from the North and South wards, were re-
elected a number of terms successively.

In the year 1849, efforts were made to
secure a uniformity of text books in the

On December 13, 1836, certificates of teach-
ers were ordered "not to be received, unless
they qualify themselves to teach geography
and grammar."

As early as June 25, 1836, it was directed
that the schools should be kept open nine
months of the year.

On August 18, 1837, a separate school was
established for colored children at the expense
of the borough — both wards uniting for this
purpose. This school has been continued
separate and distinct to the present time,
with James L. Smallwood as teacher, who
has served continuously nearly twenty years.


The first school buildings were rude struc-
tures. In most instances, even in town, they
were small, with unsuitable furniture and
poorly ventilated. The board of education


did not own any school property until 1838.
Before this time small rooms were rented
wherever they could best be obtained. Previ-
ous to 1870, many of the buildings in use
were unfit. The Central School building,
King Street, erected in 1850 at a cost of
$2,200, was very acceptable. In 1868 Duke
Street building was erected, at a cost of
$5,100. The High School building, in 1872,
costing 141,796; the same year, West King
Street building, costing $11,868; in 1875,
Cherry Street building, costing $11,500.
Since then several other new and handsome
school-houses have been erected. For the
year 1884, the valuation of school property in
York is estimated at $125,000. The expen-
diture for school purposes were $34,513, and
the State appropriation $8,593.


From the time of passage of the act, crea-
ting the office of county superintendent of
schools in 1854. until the year 1871, the
schools of York were under the supervision of
that officer. The field of labor was too ex-
tensive for him to devote much special atten-
tion to York. S. G. Boyd, then the superin-
tendent of the county, urged upon the York
board of education the necessity of tak-
ing advantage of the act allowing them
to elect a borough superintendent, a part
of whose salary would be paid by State
appropriations. The board being com-
posed of gentlemen of intelligence and
enterprise, passed a resolution accepting
the provisions of the act, and at once
elected W. H. Shelly, borough superin-
tendent, by a unanimous vote. He was
formerly from York, but at that time was
professor of languages in Albion College.
Michigan, was thoroughly prepared to fill
the honorable and responsible position,
and has held it continuously, with great
credit to himself and great benefit to the
schools since his first election. The
schools, fifty-five in number, are now
thoroughly. graded, and are under effective


The High School was organized in 1870
with the Borough superintendent as princi-
pal, and Miss Mary Kell, assistant. She
still occupies that position, and is a faithful
and devoted teacher. Since its organization
the following additional persons have occu-
pied positions in this school in order named:
George R. Prowell, S. B. Heiges, C. F.
Chamberlain, Kolce Preston, A. Wanner
and H. C. Brenneman. At present Mr.

Wanner is principal, Mr. Brenneman and
Miss Kell, assistants. The school numbers
120 pupils, and graduates a class every year.


Since the year 1834, the time of the adop-
tion of the public school system, about 250
different teachers have been employed. A
number of them continued in the same posi-
tion for many years. William Kraber, who
served continuously for twenty- two years, for
a long time teaching advanced grades, died
in 1869. Miss Eebecca Welshans, who died
in April, 1876, had taught in York thirty
years. Miss Rebecca Kraber, who died in
1872, had taught twenty-four years. D. M.
Ettinger, the surveyor and mathematician,
did good service for fourteen years in York
schools, and afterward was professor of math-
ematics in York County Academy.


One of the efficient agencies for promoting
the cause of education in the community is
the Teachers' Institute, which meets twice
each month. At its sessions, topics pertain-
ing to the science and art of teaching are
discussed, and much benefit thereby derived.


At the foot of Beaver Street, in York,
stands the historic old York County Academy,
within whose sacred walls many incidents
have transpired, dear to the hearts of a great
number of persons of all ages and conditions
in life. For nearly three-fourths of a cen-
tury, it was the only educational institution,
of any continued reputation in the county
in which the higher branches were taught.

The land on which it is located was lot
No. 636 in the original plat of the town of
York. In 1777 Conrad Leatherman became
the owner of it. In 1785 he sold it to St.


John's Protestant Episcopal Church of York.
Eev. John Campbell, then rector of this
church, obtained the sum of 15,000 toward
building an academy on this lot and a rec-
tory on the adjoining one. The academy
building was erected in 1787. The same
building, with a few slight changes, is still
standing and continues to be used. On Sep-
tember 20, 1787, it was incorporated with
the Episcopal Church, to which the institu-
tion was then attached. The distinguished
Revolutionary soldier. Col. Thomas Hartley,
was president of the board of managers;
Robert Hettrick, secretary; Henry Miller,
treasurer; Hon. James Smith, Col. David
Grier, William Harris and Rev. Mr. Hender-
son, visitors. March 1, 1788, Rev. James
Armstrong, who afterward was rector of St.
Jghn's Church, became the first teacher of
the English department and principal of
the academy. He was required to teach
reading, wi'iting and mathematics. The price
of tuition to the children of the town and
county was 40 shillings; strangers and their
children, £3 per annum. The corporation
engaged to make up any deficiency in the gross '
proceeds below £70. Mr. Robert Hettrick
was engaged at the same time to teach the
Latin, Greek and French languages, rhetoric,
experimental philosophy, geography, astron- 1
omy and history. Rev. John Campbell was
appointed to teach moral philosophy and
divinity. He was considered the principal
of the school.

By a second act of the State legislature,
approved March 1, 1799, the academy was
tendered as a public school for York County
by the rector, church wardens, and vestry-
men of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in
whom the property by the previous act was
vested. By this second act, all right and
title to said buildings and grounds were
conveyed to and vested in " the trustees of
the Yoik County Academy." By specifica-
tion in the act, it was established as a
' ' school or academy for the education of
youth, in the learned and foreign languages, I
in the useful arts, sciences, and literature.''

Under the specifications of this charter, it
became a representative institution for the
education of the young of all denominations
in the county of York, and twenty-one trus- i
tees were appointed as follows: Rev. John
Campbell, rector of the York Episcopal
Church; Rev. Jacob Goering, pastor of the
York Lutheran Church; Rev. Robert Cath-
carfc, pastor of the Presbyterian Church; \
Daniel Wagner, Col. Thomas Hartley, Hon.
James Smith, signer of the Declaration of
Independence; Hon. John Edie, of York;

Gen. John Clark, Dr. Jacob Hay, Sr.,
Judge_ Jacob Barnitz and Sheriff Conrad
Laub, of York; Hon. Jacob Budisill, of
Hanover; Elihu Underwood, of Warrington;
William Ross, of Chanceford; Col. Michael
Smyser, of West Manchester; William Pax-
ton, of Newberry; Philip Gossler, of York;
William McClean, William Scott, John
Black and George Bard, of that portion of
York now embraced in Adams County.

These were " declared to be one body
politic and corporate, with perpetual succes-
sion in deed and law, as the trustees of the
York County Academy." The constitution
can be changed by the legislature only. A
grant of §2,000 was made by the State in the
act of incorporation, and the sum was paid
over to the trustees, November 10, 1800. A
provision was made by the act that benefi-
ciaries, not exceeding seven, should be admit-
ted, on application, not to continue longer
than two years.

Hon. James Smith served as president of
the board of trustees until 1800, when, on ac-
count of the infirmities of age, he resigned
and John Edie was elected.

The funds granted by the State were in-
vested in United States stocks, and, by judi-
cious management, have afforded sufScient
income to keep up the necessary repairs on
building and ground to the present time.

On January 28, 1801, Mr. McMurray was
appointed teacher in the academy at a salary
of £130. Tuition per year, in common Eng-
lish branches, 18; higher branches, $16. An
invitation was published to poor people, to
send their children gratis.

Robert Adrain was appointed teacher at
this time, and girls were admitted as pupils.
The following minute occurs, October 21,
1801, at the close of a public examination of
the school: " The pupils exhibited evidence
of great improvement, and the teachers, as
well as the pupils, have obtained the appro-
bation of the board." Examinations were
held, first quarterly, then semi-annually, and
afterward were continued annually.

The following-named persons, in addition to
several charter members, served as trustees in
regular succession to the present time: Henry
Miller, David Cassat, Esq., Ralph Bowie,
Dr. John Morris, Andrew Robinson, Josiah
Updegraff, Dr. Maxwell McDowell, William
Barber, William Nes, Thomas Taylor, George
Small, J. Kelly, Rev. George Schmucker,
Charles A. Branitz, Rev. Lewis Mayer, Dr.
William Mcllvaine, John Schmidt, C. A.
Morris, W. Ash. Dr. John Fisher, Gen. Jacob
Spangler, Rev. James R. Riley, H. Spangler,
Philip Smyser, H. B. Wentz', Samuel Wag-



ner, Hon. Daniel Dm-kee, James B. Webb,
George S. Morris, Richard Ensh, Ph^ip A.
Small, James S. Connellee, Jacob Emmitt,
Jacob Barnitz, Charles Weiser, John Vogle-
song, John Evans, Capt. Donaldson, Jacob
Spangler, Peter Mclntyre, Dr. H. Mc-
Clellan. Solomon Oswald, Eli Lewis, Dr.
T. N. Haller, Thomas E. Cochran, J. Ct.
Campbell, Dr. Jacob Hay, Hon. A. J. Gloss-
brenner. Rev. C. W. Thompson, William
Wagner, Hon. R. J. Fisher, Rev. C. J.
Hutchins, Rev. A. H. Lochman, D. D., Ed-
ward G. Smyser, Rev. J. O. Miller. D. D., V.
K. Keesey, Rev. Jonathan Oswald, Henry
Lanius, William Denner, Gates J. Weiser,
Charles S. Weiser, David E. Small, M. B,
Spahr, Lewis Carl, Israel Loucks, Rev. W.
Baum, George F. Leber, Rev. L. A. Gotwald,
D. D.. W. Latimer Small, Rev. A. W. Lilly,
Jere. Carl, W^ H. Welsh, W. H. Souder,
John J. Vandersloot, John W, Buckingham,
Rev. E. W. Shields.

David Cassat, Esq., died in office, hav-
ing served for twenty- four years (1800-1824).
His life was devoted to the public welfare,
and his long usefulness in this community
has perpetuated his memory to the present

Among the trustees above mentioned, Rev.
Dr. Cathcart died while in office, having

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 76 of 218)