A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

The county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... online

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plan. Several prominent citizens became interested and a meeting
was held and an article of agreement and subscription was drawn up
and signed by nearly all the citizens of the town. For the welfare
and good government of the school, Allen Trimble, William Keys,
Samuel Bell, John M. Xelson, Joshua Woodrow, Sr., John Boyd and
William Wright were chosen trustees of tlie "Hillsboro Lancastrian
school." These trustees were empowered to contract with McMullen
to teach the school and were to pay him a salary not exceeding six
hundred dollars for the first year. They were also authorized to
provide fuel and other necessaries. All expenses were to be paid by
assessment on the subscribers in proportion to the number of scholars
each sent to school. Allen Trimble subscribed four pupils, John
Boyd four, William Keys three, Francis Shinn three, John Smith,
Pleasant Arthur, Xewton Doggctt and some forty others one or two
each. The school was opened in the log house on Main street in
September, 1818, and all the appliances of the Lancastrian system
were provided. Among these latter was the sand desk which supplied
the place of the modern blackboard. Between sixty and seventy were
enrolled at the start, and the number was afterward increased during
the continuance of the school to ninety. In 1821 an addition twenty
feet in length was added to the school house. This school seemsi to
have prospered for four years, and whatever the defects of the system
may have been, it had the merit of turning out good readers, writers
and spellers. In these two early schools no provision was made for
indigent pupils, excepting what assistance was given by their abler
neighbors, and that assist^ance was rarely withheld from the deserv-
ing. The Lancastrian school under Capt. McMullen closexl in 1823.
An effort was made by John S. McKelvy to continue it, but the
system was soon abandoned. No effort was made in these schools to
teach anything beyond the common branches, except an occasional
class in bookkeeping. The next school of any note was taught in
1826 by Eben Hall and his wife, who came from Massachusetts.
Hall, a man of classical acquirements, taught the advanced branches,
such as algebra, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and his wife taught the
primary classes. Nelson Barrere was a pupil of this school and went
thence to Augusta college. Owing to domestic troubles, Hall did not
teach many months. He was succeeded by Benjamin Brock, who
taught for a year or two. Judge Gregg also taught a school about the
same time. In 1827 Eobert Way, a Quaker preacher, who had been



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EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 211

teaching in Fairfield township, came to Hillsboro, and began a school.
He was a teacher of considerable reputation, and taught for many
years in Clinton county, where he died a few years ago.

In the year 1827 a movement was made tn the direction of higher
education in Hillsboro, which, on account of the impetus it gave to
the cause of education and the results flowing from it, deserves special
notice. In 1828 a number of the citizens of Hillsboro and the sur-
rounding country organized themselves into an association to found
the Hillsboro Academy. During the same year they raised money by
subscription and bought in lot No. 103, on Main street, on which
there was standing a frame building 18 by 36 feet in size. In 1829
a charter was obtained from the l^slature of Ohio, with the follow-
ing names as incorporators: William Keys, Jacob Kirby, Joshua
Woodrow, Sr., Isaac Telfair, Allen Trimble, Andrew Barry, and
John M. Nelson. These were to serve as trustees until the time
designated for the regular annual election. We have no record of
this corporation imtil February, 1843, the intervening history having
been lost or mislaid. It is known, however, that Gov. Allen Trimble
was elected president of the first meeting, and continued to hold that
position until April, 1854, when he was succeeded by Gen. J. J.
McDowell. In 1860 Samuel R Hibben was elected to fill the place,
and he served until the Academy property was turned over for public
school purposes. Col. W. O. Collins, Dr. Jacob Kirby, Dr. G. C.
Sams, Judge Thomas Barry, R. D. Lilley, Sr., James M. Trimble,
and other prominent citizens were members of the board for a num-
ber of years. But all have gone with the years, leaving behind them
the memory of their earnest and intelligent efforts to organize a
school system that would give advantages to the boys and girls of the
county.

From 1827 to 1831 the building on Main street was used as a high
school, by Eev. J. McD. Matthews. In the autumn of 1838, James
A. Nelson opened a high school for boys and girls, his assistant
teacher in the latter department being Miss Ann Kemper, of Walnut
Hills, Cincinnati. In 1840 the building was deeded to John M.
Trimble and removed to a vacant lot just across the street.

Early in the history of the academy it received, through the
efforts of Governor Allen Trimble, a donation of the State's interest
in two tracts of land forfeited for taxes. After paying $1,600 to
heirs having claims on the land, enough was realized above this
amount by the sale of a portion of the land to buy a lot and erect a
building. Thirteen acres in the north part of the town was pur-
chased, and on it a two-story brick edifice was erected known as the
Hillsboro Academy. This building was ready for occupancy in 1846.
Isaac Sams commenced his school in September of that year, aided at
different times by Fred Fuller and Messrs. McKibler and C.
Matthews. The reputation of this school for thorough instruction in



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212 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

the highetr branches grew rapidly as a result of the efforts of Mr.
Sams, a gentleman of impressive appearance and genuine ability.
Prof. Sams retired from the Acadetaiy in 1851, and after Frederick
Filler had chai^ two years the building was turned over to the board
of education.

The first notable institution in Highland county for the educa-
tion of girls was the Oakland Female Seminary, founded in 1839 by
Bev. Joseph McDowell Matthews, who purchased for his purpose an
acre of land and the old Presbyterian church building, at the junc-
tion of the Chillicothe and Marshall roads and Main street of Hills-
boro. This institution was the first female school in Ohio in which
a thorough collegiate education was given, and during the time it was
maintained by Mr. Matthews a hundred young ladies were gradu-
ated. The worthy head of the school deserves remembrance as one
of the founders of higher education in the county. He was educated
in youth under Dr. Lewis Marshall of Kentucky, and was for some
time a preacher, but finding the demands of that' calling too severe,
he turned his attention to education, for which he was peculiarly
fitted.

In 1865 the Hillsboro Female College was incorporated, the pio-
neers in the enterprise being James H. Thompson, Jacob Sayler,
John Dill, William O. Collins, J. I. Woodrow, J. K. Emrie, J. H.
Mullenix, J. McD. Matthews, John Baskin, J. Milton Boyd and
-David Fenwick. The capital stock was named as $50,000, and there
were to be fifteen trustees, eight of them to be appointed by the Cin-
cinnati conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1857 a
college building was completed at a cost of $50,000 for building,
grounds and furniture, and Mr. Matthews, one of the incorporators
and the inspirer of the enterprise, was given charge as president of
the college. The officers of the corporation at the same time were
James H. Thompson, president ; J. M. Boyd, Alexander Buntain,
Joseph H. Mullenix, David Fenwick, Edward Easton, Henry
Turner, John Dill, William M. Meek, J. McD. Matthews, Jacob
Sayler and James J. Dryden, trustees. Rev. Joseph McDow-
ell Matthews continued in charge of the college until his resignation
in December, 1860. In later years he again served as president in
1872-77. Other educators in charge were Rev. W. G. Lewis, Rev.
Henry Turner, Miss Jennie Warren, Rev. Allen T. Thompson, Rev.
D. Copeland, Rev. J. F. Lloyd. The college was endowed about
twenty-five years ago by the bequest of several thousand dollars made
by Mrs. Drusilla Buntain.

In the old seminary building from which Mr. Matthews removed
to enter the Female college. Miss Emily Grandgirard began her
famous school for girls known as the Highland Institute, in 1857,
and this she conducted for many years, graduating a large number
of young women well trained for the duties of life. She also is



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EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 213

worthy of remembrance among the people of the county who have
exerted a wide influence for good.

But academy, seminary and institute are all things of the past
The Presbyterian school or seminary has long since been abandoned
and the building is now being used as a Children's Home by the
county. The Methodist college building is not in use. The high
grade of education to be obtained in Qie public schools operated
against them, and it was impossible to support special schools under
such circumstances.

In this connection it is fitting to mention the service of (Jov. Allen
Trimble, who, from his coming to the oounly, was to the day of his
death the friend of popular education. He took an active part in
inaugurating the present common school system. Always foremost in
the early educational enterprises at home, he accomplished much for
the cause in Ohio while governor of the state. He appointed, in 1822,
the commissioners to report a system of education adapted for com-
mon' schools. Nathan Guilford of this commission secured the
passage of the act in 1825, which was the first step toward our present
school system. Governor Trimble, in his inaugural in 1826, and in
his messages, and from that time to 1830, urged upon the legislature
the interests and demands of common schools, and recommended
increased taxation for their maintenance. His influence more than
anything else effected passage of the acts of 1831-2. His services,
when the system was in its infancy, cannot be over-estimated, and
should always be remembered with gratitude by the people of Ohio.
To no one person are they more indebted for the proud rank their
schools have taken than to Allen Trimble.

During the years of the inception, growth and prospefrity of the
Academy, the public schools were in operation as primary schools,
and were gradually growing in usefulness. Instruction in them was
confined to the primary branches. Under the law of 1825 and 1831
a portion of the expense was paid from funds raised from taxation,
and part by the patrons of the schools. Soon after 1832 schools
sustained by public money were inaugurated. These schools were
taught for the next four years by George McMillen, Matthew Simp-
son, Messrs. Wilcox and Davis and others. In 1827 a grammar
school was taught by Rev. Joseph McDowell Matthews, afterward the
principal of the academy and the founder of Oakland Female semi-
nary, and president of the Hillsboro Female college.

In the year 1835 the old log school house built in 1815, gave place
to a one-story brick house, erected on the same site. The first school
in this house was taught by Matthew Simpson, who was afterward
succeeded in turn by 0eorge McMillen, S. D. Beall and D. Ruckman.
At this time the interest of the public schools was in a manner over-
shadowed by those of the academy and seminary. Still the rapidly
increasing number of children requiring primary instruction



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214 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

demanded more room for the schools, and in 1846 a two-story house
was buili known as the Walnut street house. The schools reopened
in 1847, with David Herron and Amanda Wilson as teachers in the
Walnut street house, and William Herron and Marv Muntz in the
old Main street house. About one hundred fifty pupils were enrolled.

In 1850, Professor Sams called the attention of the people to the
bene^ta likely to accrue to the youth by an organization under the
law of 1849, known as the Union School law. This was ably advo-
cated by James Brown, of the News, and Mr. Emrie, of the Gazette,
and was resolved upon by a popular vote, and in the spring of 1851,
a Union School board of education, consisting of D. J. Falles, John
M. Johnson, J. R, Emrie, R. H. Ay res, Benjamin Barrere and
Washington Doggett, were elected. The organization was perfected
during the year, and in the autumn t!he Union Schools opened with
Henry M. Shockly as superintendent. It was determined at the time
to add a high school department to be taught by the superintendent,
assisted by Prof. Sams, whose services for half of each day were
secured. The schools were in charge of Mr. McKinney until 1856,
when he was succeeded by Mr. Sams, who remained in charge until
1858. During these last years the system found favor, and it was
believed by those interested it would in time supplant all other
schools. Thef schools opened in 1858 with Lewis McKibben as
superintendent In December of this year the old academy building,
in which three grades were taught, was destroyed by fire. For the
next eight years the schools were without good accommodations,
changes of teachers were frequent, and they lost much of the ground
they had gained in the few years before.

In 1862 Mr. McKibben was succeeded as superintendent by John
Edwards, and in 1864 he was succeeded by L. McKibben. For
various reasons a superintendent and an A grammar teacher were not
employed for 1865, and the school, including the lower grammar and
the grades below, was continued in charge of B. C. Colbum, of the
B grammar grade. The board and the people had been convinced of
the absolute need of a good building, which would accommodate all
the children under one roof. They had in 1863 purchased a fine lot
on West Walnut street for $2,630. The purchase was confirmed by a
vote of the people and preparations were commenced for erecting a
commodious Union School house. Some delay occurred in commenc-
ing it, but in 1865 plans and specifications were drawn up for the
building. These articles and plans differed materially from those of
the 1(^ house of 1815, which w^as, by the terms of the contract, to be
^'chinked and daubed." The contract for building the house was let
in 1866, and the work pushed forward during that year and the next
two. The board, under whose auspices the house was built^ consisted
of C S. Bell, Jajnes S. Murphy, Washington Doggett, N. Rockhold,
J. C. Gr^g and J. H. Mullen. The old school houses and lots were



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EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 215

sold at public sale, the Main street lot for $2,000. This, as we have
seen, was bought in 1815 for $50.00, a big price at the time. Schools
were opened on the 6th of September, 1868, in the new house, with
the following corps of teachers: H. S. Doggett^ superintendent;
Lewis McKibben, high school teacher; E. G. Smith, A grammar;
Maggie Richards and May Ellis, intermediate; Serena Henderson,
Mary Doggett, B grammar; Maggie Richards and May Ellis, inter-
mediate ; Serena Henderson, Matilda McFadden, and Sarah J. Lam-
bert^ primary. A revised course of study and a code of regulations
were reported by the superintendent and adopted by the board. At
the start four hundred and ten pupils were enrolled. These were
examined and classified in their proper grades. Soon after the open-
ing another intermediate teacher was required, and Ellen Eckly was
employed. It was also determined to employ a teacher for the Ger-
man language, and Gustav Chateaubriand was selected. In 1869
Caroline Clay was chosen for this position. A regular high school
course of study was adopted at this time, which, in 1872, was revised
and extended, and arranged for three years' study. From that time
onward the board determined to give diplomas to those pupils who
satisfactorily completed the course. Pupils completing this course
are prepared to enter college or qualified for the active business of
life. The number of pupils enrolled in 1890 were 49 in the high
school and 775 in lower grades, making a total of 824. A school for
colored children is taught in a commodious and convenient brick
school house erected by the Union School and township board.

Prof. Isaac Sams in reviewing the history of the progress of edu-
cation during his residence in the county says: **To one who has
closely watched the progress of education in the county of Highland
and the village of Hillsboro for over forty years the vast amelioration
in the attainments, the demeanor and moral status of the youth,
seems almost miraculous. And in general, it may be affirmed of
the educational condition of Highland coimty and of Hillsboro, the
county town, that no agricultural county of an equal population can
be found to excel it either in method or effect"

Since the year of the National Centennial great advances have
been made in education. The Washington school building on the
comer of East and Beech streets has been added, as the increase of
population and the growing extent of the city made the Walnut street
building too small to accommodate! the rapidly growing number of
pupils. The Walnut street school house contains twelve rooms,
which were crowded to overflowing, and as a matter of necessity better
facilities for this class was demanded. The Washington building
was erected at a cost of some forty thousand doUard and is a marvel
in beauty and convenience, having all the modem improvements in
school furniture, with large assembly hall, office of superintendent,
with apparatus for lighting, heating and ventilation conducing to



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216 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

the welfare and comfort of those who attend. No expense has been
spared to make this school an ideal one, and the schools of Hillsboro,
under the control and direction of Superintendent Connard and his
able assistants, will take rank and be unequaled by any in the state.

The schools in the various neighborhoods of the county, in the days
of settlement, were few and far between. There was, for instance,
a little log cabin on Clear creek, spoken of before, where James Dan-
iels, a young man from Virginia, taught a mixed school of the boys
and girls, big and little, for miles around. Young men, in buckskin
breeches, hunting shirt and heavy brogans, took lessons in spelling
and reading, while the smaller ones were busy with primer and pot-
hooks, beginning the tiresome task of learning their ab abs and ib ibs,
and with cramped fingers slowly making the hooked marks, then
supposed to be the first and essential elements of good penmanship.
The girls from six to eighteen wore linsey dresses, without hoops or
stays, nothing to impede or interfere witfi the free action of hands
or feet, and in their noon games of "prisoner's base" were as fleet of
foot as the wild deer. This school was kept up every winter for
many years, and many of the boys and girls that attended that humble
cabin school have left the impress of their personality upon our
county history and have been heard from in the halls of Congress,
on the fields of battle, and in the highest circles of political and social
distinction. From these schools have come the lawyers, doctors,
preachers, statesmen of the county, and the mothers that have made
the county great by impressing upon the mind and heart of their boys
and girls, tliat virtue, courage, morality, honesty and religion were
the security of their persons and the safeguards of social state.

The first schools at Greenfield have already been mentioned.
Higher education was supplied by the Greenfield seminary, a famous
institution for both sexes, founded in 1845 by Rev. J. G. Blair, who
had taught a select school some time before that date. The trustees
of the seminary, Hugh Smart, Clayboum Lea, John Surber, Milton
Dimlap, John Boyd, Andrew Kerns and Josiah. Bell, bought a lot
on Jefferson street in 1845, and built a substantial stone building.
Blair had charge of the seminary for about five years, assisted part
of the time by Rev. Robert W. McFarland, afterward a professor
in the State university, and W. D. Henkle, Ph. D., who in later
years was State conmiissioner of public schools and ^videly known
as an educational author. Dr. Blair was succeeded by J. C Thomp-
son, but the prosperity of the seminary began to decline, and in 1854
it was practically converted into a public school, under the Union
school system. Thompson was principal, under this arrangement,
until his death in 1856, when he was succeeded by John E. Chamber-
lain> who remained imtil 1860. Thomas H. Herdman was principal
until 1864. Notable among the subsequent heads of the schools
yrere Rev. J. G. Blair, a graduate of Yale, and afterward president



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EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 2lY

of the normal school at Fairmont, Va. ; Charles W. Cole, afterward
an attorney at Cincinnati ; C. W. Bennett, who became a professor
in Indiana university and Samuel Major, who was reared in High-
land county and graduated at Wesleyan university. He served for
a number of years as superintendent of the Greenfield schools, and
under his administration the high school was well developed. The
old academy building is now in use by one of the manufacturing
establishments of the town, and the schools are housed in elegant and
commodious buildings which are a credit to the town and county.
A first class high school course is provided, as well as the preparatory
studies, the school grounds are handsomely planted and well kept^
and everything testifies to the enterprise and intelligence of the peo-
ple of Greenfield. Twenty-one teachers are employed, and the aver-
age number of pupils is eight hundred and fifty. The superintend-
ent of this admirable system at the present time is James L.
Cadwallader.

It has been very difficult to obtain correct data for the early history
of Lynchburg schools. As near as we can ascertain about 1820 the
first schoolhouse was built. It was a log structure differing in no
way from others described in this volume. Fire place in one end,
windows made by cutting out a log and putting oiled paper over the
aperture; seats made of hewn puncheons with sticks for legs; high
desk on a high platform marked the seat of authority and tefrror,
while a well dried bundle of birch switches, near the teacher's desk,
marked the instrument of torture for the unruly or indolent Read-
ing, writing, spelling, were the branches taught. To reach the double
rule of three, was considered high mathematical attainmefnt. The
custom of treating in some manner became a law in those early
schools, and at stated times the teacher was coanpelled to treat the
scholars under the punishment of being locked out if he refused. In
1855 this small building was made to accommodate over one hundred
pupils. Mr. Richards, the teacher at that time, says: "The ad-
vancement of these pupils, seated in their box-seats, or mangers, was
thought to depend on the number of lessons said." But few of the
names of the earliest teachers can be obtained. In 1833 one Robert
Graham taught in the old log house. He received a salary of $15.00
per month, and taught three months in the year. Those following
Graham were Jacob George, Mr. Robinson, Samuel Morris, Houston
Hair and others up to 1844, when Jonah Cadwallader took charge
of the school. As the years went by the school grew in numbers and
charactefr of studies, until at present the schools of Lynchburg, under
the management of Superintendent C. A. Puckett, are the pride and
glory of the town. The growth in school building is tiius told by
Prof. Henry G. Williams, superintendent^ in 1895: "About 1853
the schools were organized as a village district and a new building
was found to be necessary. As many as one hundred pupils were!



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218 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

enrolled at one time in the little frame building. In вАҐ1864 a two-
room brick building was completed where the present town hall now
stands. By 1863 it was found necessary to add a second story to
this building. The third teacher had already been added to the
corps, and Miss Lou Brockman taught in an old frame building that
stood opposite the Ferris residence on Pearl street In 1874 it was
necessary to enlarge again and an L was built for an entrance to the
building, and a fourth room fitted up on the second floor, all at an
expense of about $1,250. By 1888 these quarters were too cramped
and a two-acre lot east of the old school ground was purchased of
G. Bayless and an elegant and modem school building was completed
in 1889 at a cost of about $10,500. At the time of opening it only



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 24 of 63)