Upper Burrell Township
Westmoreland County Pennsylvania
School Records

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When Upper Burrell Township was created in 1879, there were four one room schools in the township. The four original schools were named : Chestnut Hill , Milligantown, Walnut Hill, and Crawford-Whitten. We could find no record of the date of construction of these schools. However, judging from earlier published maps of Burrell Township, the school houses were built prior to 1857, probably after the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Free Public School Act in 1834. Later, as the population growth concentrated in various neighborhoods, four more schools were added: Menk, Joint, Merwin, and Black or Oakwood. All of these did not operate continuously because of the variable number of school age children available from time to time. This also meant that a teacher might one year teach in one school, but be required to teach at a different school the following year. All of the one room schools were closed permanently in 1939, and there is scarcely a trace of any one of them to be found today. The old buildings were usually auctioned by the School Board for about $100-$200, dismantled, and hauled away. As part of the lease agreements, the land reverted to the land owners.


This school , located on the west side of the Markle Road on the top of a ridge about one mile from Merwin was named for the chestnut trees that once covered the hill. In 1879, the property belonged to John C Wiley and later to William J and Hazel Troutman. It is now part of the Alcoa property.

Prior to 1914:
Miss Sweeney
Elliot McGeary
John C Wylie
WH Sproull
Blanche Beighley
TC Clements
Myrtle Wylie
1914: Earl Walley
1915: Louise Porter
1916: Nora Swank
1917: Margaret McCullough
1918: Lillian Scott
1919: Mabel Ralston
1920: Myrl Ester Swank
1924: Alex Graham
1925: Helen Kramer
1926: Ruby Oyler
1927: Ruby Oyler
1928: Ruby Oyler
1929: Dorothy Guyer
1930: Dorothy Guyer
1931: Jean Dunlap
1932: Stella Hauger
1933: Stella Hauger
1934: Jean Shoop
1935: Jean Shoop
1936: Edythe Bolen
1937: Elizabeth Carlson
1938: Elizabeth Carlson
1939: Anna Rosa


Named for Jameson Milligan who operated the nearby grist mill, this school was located on a bank overlooking Little Pucketos Creek, near the bottom of Rich Hill Road. When this school was closed in 1939, the lumber was used for a house built at Camp Jo Ann, and the bell from the steeple was placed on a post in the front yard.

1914: Ralph Harker
1915: WW McKeever
1916: WW McKeever
1917: Mae Hilty
1918: Marie Klingensmith
1919: Mae Hilty
1920: May Belle Raught
1921: Anna Myers
1922: Anna Myers
1923: Anna Myers
Mabel Wills, Temp
1924: Mabel Wills
1927: Margaret DeVinney
1928: Elmer C Bell
1929: Jean Brewer
1930: Jean Brewer
1931: Dorothy Guyer
1932: Unknown
1933: Gladys Covert
1934: Melza Campbell
1935: Melza Campbell
1936: Elizabeth Carlson
1937: Stella Hauger Hill
1938: Elinor Schroyer
1939: Elinor Schroyer


This school was located on Pennsylvania Route 780, one half mile east of the present Penn State Campus, on a bank overlooking the site of the Township Municipal Building. There were some nice trees close by, but many fallen trees and branches cluttered the schoolyard and its rough and hilly playground.

Prior to 1914:
Mabel Kunkle Vernam
Minnie Hankey
1914: Elizabeth Stewart
1915: Ruth Orr
1918: Edythe Hildreth
1919: Margaret Willyard
1925: Marion Kunkle
1926: Alex Graham
1927: Dorothy Guyer
1928: Dorothy Guyer
1929: Mabel Wills
1930: Hazel Reinsel
1931: Edythe Bolen
1932: Edythe Bolen
1933: Edythe Bolen
1934: Edythe Bolen
1935: Ruth Humphrey
1936: Ruth Humphrey
1937; Ethel Herd
1938: Ethel Herd
1939: Ethel Herd


Named for the Charles Menk family on whose property it was erected, this school was located on Upper Drennen Road about one mile from Pennsylvania Route 780. It was built prior to 1906, possibly at about the same time that the Crawford school was moved. The Edward Oliver residence is presently situated on the site of the old school.

Upper Burrell Township
Westmoreland Co., Pa


Myrtle Wylie, Teacher

Mary Ross
Locadia Misiewicz
Anna Misiewicz
Mary Misiewicz
Florence Miller
Anna Meyers
Evelyne Stewart
Ethel Baxter
Josephine McCutcheon
Mary Heckman
Ray Stewart
Russel Heckman
John Haffey
Harry Haffey
Stanley Misiewicz
John Miller
Willie Haffey
William Vebelum

School officers:
WM Gill, Pres
WA McKee, Sec
CM McElroy,Treas
WJ Haffey
WJ Beacom

Prior to 1914:
Jean Walker
Myrtle Wylie
1914: Louise Parker
1915: Myrtle Wylie
1916: Louise Porter
1917: Margaret Willyard
1918: Margaret Willyard
1919: Edna Koontz
1920: Mina Swank
1921: Mabel Glunt
1922: Zora Baxter
1923: Floyd H Bair
1924: Ruby Oyler
1925: Ruby Oyler
1926: Marion Kunkle
1927: Marion Kunkle
1928: Raymond H Amalong
1929: Nellie Walter
1930: JK Ludwick
1931; James Walter
1932: Unknown
1933: Jean Dunlap
1934: Ruth Humphrey
1935: Edythe Bolen
1936: Elinor Schroyer
1937: Elinor Schroyer


In 1911, a state law was enacted which provided for the consolidation of small rural schools and the transportation of pupils , at public expense, to larger and better equipped buildings. The centralization of schools in Upper Burrell was accomplished for the 1939-40 school term, and a new two story brick schoolhouse was opened at a fairly central location on Seventh Street Road (Pennsylvania Route 780). 

This beginning of a new era marked the beginning of many changes in the schools. With the six classrooms now in one building, there were no more non-graded schools,and it was necessary to provide transportation for the majority of students. While the teachers were now relieved of custodial duties, they had to assume th responsibility for loading buses and supervising noon playground. For the first three years, the following four teachers provided instruction for approximately 140 students: Ethel Herd, Grades 1 and 2; Anna Rosa, Grades 3 and 4; Stella Hill, Grades 5 and 6; and Elinor Schroyer, Grades 7 and 8.

There was no official building principal, but Mrs Elwood served as Head Teacher until 1956. During this period, the school population was constantly on the increase, necessitating an addition to the building in 1951. Financed through the State School Building Authority at a cost of $162,000, a cafeteria and six more classrooms were added, completing the building as it is today. In 1956, Houston T Force was elected Building Principal. By that time there were twelve teachers plus several special teachers, a school nurse, a custodian, and cafeteria staff.

Crawford Public School

1905 Crawford Public School
District No. 1
Upper Burrell Township
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Harry A Eyler, Teacher
Clinton Swank
Homer Young
Cargil Swank
Clyde Thompson
Charles Walp
Clara Beighley
Florence swank
Ida Barkley
Beckie Baxter
Cora Hall
Geroge Stewart
Sloan Stewart
William McCutcheon
Carl McWilliams
Nelson Swank
Mabel Barkley
Helen McWilliams
Cora McCutcheon
Jennie Barkley
Sarah Crooks
Bertha Barkley

Pupils present every day during term:
George Crooks
Archie Crooks
Hunter Crooks
Blanche Beighley
Elizabeth Stewart

School Board:
David Watson
AG Crooks
Frank Stewart
Robert Wylie
JP Hamilton
Martin McElroy

Prior to 1914:
Harry D Eyler
1914: WW McKeever
1915: Elizabeth Stewart
1916: Mabel Ralston
1917: Mabel Ralston
1918: Zella Masters
1919: Lottie Stoops
1920: Ruth Moncie
1921: Myrl Ester Swank
1922: Robert Glunt
1923: Robert Glunt
1924: Mary Ross
1925: Mabel Glunt
1926: Raymond H Amalong
1927: Raymond H Amalong
1928: Marion Kunkle
1929: JK Ludwick
1930: Thelma Lee McAfee
1931: Thelma Lee McAfee
1932: Unknown
1933: Evangeline Finney
1934: Evangeline Finney
1935: Evangeline Finney
1936: Mildred Varnum
1937: Mildred Varnum
1938: Stella Hauger Hill
1939: Stella Hill

Merwin Public School

Merwin Public School
District No. 1
Upper Burrell Township
Westmoreland Co, PA

Lura V Wylie , Teacher

Ella Wolford
Olive Kunkle
Nora Borland
Fern Wolford
Abbie Kunkle
Edna Crooks
Ethel Wigle
Mary Rowan
Pearl Swank
Calvin Borland
Clyde Borland
William Crooks
Homer McElroy
Lloyd McElroy
William Rowan
William Wolford
Margaret Hunter
George Rowe
Monroe Hunter
Carl Crooks
Kenneth Crooks
Raymond McElroy
Clifford Rowan
Clair Wigle
Theodore Gill

School Board:
CO Wylie, Pres
RA Hunter, Secretary
I Wolford, Treasurer
WJ Willyard
Wm Barclay
CM McElroy

Prior to 1914:
Mabel Palsgrove Antoine
Blanche Beighley
Laura Viola Wylie
Russell Rowe
Catherine Glass
1914: Myrtle Wylie
1915: PA Foresman
1916: MB Moore
1917: Nora Swank
1918: Mabel Ralston
1919: Lillian Scott
1920: Anna Myers
1921: Helen Fleming
1922: Effie May Honse
1923: Katherine Kuhlman


1924: Elizabeth Watt
1925: Alex Graham
1926: Mary Wylie
1927: Nellie Walter
1928: Nellie Walter
1929: Ruby Oyler
1930: Ruby Oyler
1931: Stella Huger
1932: Unknown

Transcribed by Marilyn Blair
(my note** this school has since closed permanently, the building remains as an apartment complex) 


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