History of the Schools of Somerset County

Created: Monday, 14 September 2015 Last Updated: Monday, 14 September 2015 Written by Administrator Print Email

The following history was written by Professor J. B. WHIPKEY, County Superintendent from 1875 to 1881, and published in 1877 as part of the State Report:

What is now known as Somerset county formerly constituted a part of Bedford county, and consisted of but four townships. In April, 1795, an act of Assembly was passed making all that part of Bedford west of the crest of the Allegheny mountains to the top of Laurel Hill mountain, a new county, which was named Somerset. The boundary was afterwards changed on the southeast by the addition of Southampton township, which has since been divided into five different districts, viz: Allegheny, Northampton, Larimer, Greenville, and Southampton. The first settlement in this county was made in that part now known as Lower Turkeyfoot township; but the precise time at which it was made, is unknown. There is a tradition current among the people of the southern part of the county, that, after Rogers WILLIAMS (who was the founder of the Baptist Church in America) had abandoned his church, a part of his congregation left Providence, Rhode Island, and traveled west. After rambling around through the wilderness for two summers, they finally settled in this county, about the year 1650, near where is now the borough of Ursina. The colony consisted of five men and a few women and children. The names of the men were WILLIS, COLLINS, ABRAMS, GREATHOUSE, and McNEAL. This tradition appears to be in some degree plausible from the fact, that a house of worship was erected by this sect, in the same place where the colony is said to have settled, as early as 1774. This is known as the Jersey Church, and beyond a doubt was dedicated five or six years prior to that of any other church in the county. This colony brought two books, one copy of the Bible and a psalm book, which were the only books in the colony for a period of one hundred years. The children were taught the alphabet in early times from letters which were made on a clapboard with charcoal. As Turkeyfoot township was first settled, it is probable that the first school organized in the county was near Ursina; but when, or by whom, is not known. It is known, however, that a school was taught at the Jersey Church as early as 1776.

About the year 1800, an old, dilapidated dwelling, that stood near the church, and had been vacated for a number of years, was deemed good enough for a school-house, and happy were the boys and girls whose good fortune it was to attend a school even in this hovel. This school was taught by an Irish professor, whose name is lost to history, and even tradition fails to mention the quality of his work. This state of affairs was not to last always, and a better day dawned about the year 1828, when Mr. COX and David RODERICK commenced to teach in Turkeyfoot. The first school-house in Lower Turkeyfoot was erected near the old JENNING\'s farm, by Henry COLLINS, in the year 1830, and David RODERICK, who was considered an efficient teacher in his day, taught the first school in the new house. The people accepted the common schools in 1836. Henry L. HOLBROOK and Abraham COLLINS were members of the school board at the time the new system was adopted. In 1848, the township was divided into two parts, and named Upper and Lower Turkeyfoot townships. Among the most proficient teachers who taught in the township up to the time of its division, were Hugh CONNELLY, Elijah YOUNKIN, John SICHLITER, Jackson MITCHELL, and A. J. COLBORN. Among the most energetic and influential men who brought about the acceptance of the common school system in Turkeyfoot were Moses JENNINGS, William HICKSON, John C. KING, Hugh CONNELLY, and John RUSH. In 1835, there were six schools in Turkeyfoot; within the same territory there are nineteen at present. A school was taught near Kingwood, in Upper Turkeyfoot, by John DRURY, in 1813.

A school was organized in a private house near Paddytown, by William KILPATRICK, in 1815. The first school-house in the district was built near John CRAMER\'s, in 1820, and its first teacher was Bernard CONRAD. After the adoption of the common schools by Turkeyfoot, Bernard CONNELLY and Henry L. HOLBROOK were appointed an examining committee, and officiated in that capacity for several years. In 1801, all that part of Turkeyfoot lying on the south and east side of the Casselman river, was formed into a new township, and named Addison, in honor of Judge ADDISON. The first school in this township was taught in a private house, near where Petersburg now stands, in 1792. The first school-house was built near the Casselman river, in a meadow now owned by William HANNA, in 1800; and Adam BOWLIN, whose knowledge of hunting was far superior to that of teaching, was the first to domineer over the little urchins who attended this school. The school-houses were used for church purposes, in early times, and, so far as can be ascertained, education was in a backward condition prior to the enactment of the common school laws; but let it be said, in honor of Addison, that her citizens were among the first to accept the common schools, adopting the system in 1834, the same year it was established; and, notwithstanding the fact that but three school-houses were built the first year, under the supervision of energetic school directors, such as General M. A. ROSS and Judge HANNA, the schools were rapidly increased in number and efficiency. Among the most proficient teachers who taught in this township during the first few years of the common school system, were J. M. DAWSON, William ROBINSON, and Professor J. J. STUTZMAN. A town was laid out by William J. BAER, on the right bank of Laurel Hill creek, in Turkeyfoot township, & named Ursina. It was incorporated in 1872, and contains a well-graded school; also, one of the finest school buildings in the county. Confluence is another small town, situated about two miles further south, at the junction of Laurel Hill creek and Casselman river. This town was incorporated in 1874. The school was graded last year, and is in good condition; but it is unfortunate for the people that the school-room does not meet the demands of the school.

The second settlement was made at Berlin, which, from all the information that can be obtained, must have been as early as 1750. The town of Berlin was laid out by Jacob KEFFER, Mr. FISHER, and Mr. HAY in 1774; and the lots donated alternately to the Lutheran and Reformed Churches for church and school purposes. Churches and school-houses were erected by both congregations as early as 1780. The school-houses were built of round logs, and very poorly furnished. The benches were made of slabs and the tables of rough boards. Though each church had a school-house of its own, the schools were never conducted on strictly sectarian principles. A stone school-house was built near the Reformed Church in 1825, and about the same time an old school-house was torn down and a frame one erected on the same site where the Lutheran Sunday school house now stands. This house is known as the "Red School-House," and is frequently spoken of by the people off that place.

A majority of the citizens of Brothersvalley township were averse to the common school system, and for this reason the people of Berlin withdrew from the township, and in 1836 formed an independent school district. The common school system was adopted by the new borough in 1837, and about the same time a new frame school-building was erected on a lot of ground that had been donated by Mr. FLETHER [Fletcher?] for school purposes. This house was used about twenty years, when, in 1857, it was torn away and a new brick-building constructed on the same sight [site?] by Jacob ZORN, senior. This house contained four rooms, and for the time being, it served the purpose of a school-house very well. The school was graded, and three rooms were occupied. From that time forward the school was placed under the supervision of good teachers, such as Philip SMITH, Reverend John BRUBAKER, and Professor I. F. RODABAUGH, and soon attained a standing second to none in the county. This schoolhouse was torn down during the summer of 1876, and a fine two story brick building, containing four rooms of ample size, which are furnished with the latest improved patent furniture, has taken its place. The members of the school board merit commendation for the judgment and economy exercised in the erecting and furnishing of this building. An old Albright Church, in the north-western part of this town, was changed into a seminary in 1853, which was kept open five terms; an effort was then made to build a college, but a difference having arisen between the citizens and church, as to the manner in which the money should be procured for the erection of the building, the enterprise was abandoned. When or where the first school was taught in Brothersvalley township has not been possible for me to ascertain. Schools were taught at different places, in private houses, however, as early as 1785, and were gotten up by a few intelligent men, who felt an interest in their own families and in the welfare of the community. A few of the early schools were German, and reading, writing, and arithmetic were the only branches taught. The people were slow in accepting the common schools fearing that the school tax would be very burdensome. Finally, however, after losing about $3,000 of State appropriation, they accepted in 1849. Prior to this, very few houses were built exclusively for school purposes, and in 1850 there were but six schools in the district. Since that time education has moved steadily onward, and at present there are within the same territory twelve thriving schools, with intelligent communities surrounding them.

The southern part of Brothersvalley and the northern part of Elklick were formed into a new township in 1842 and named Summit. The schools of this part of the county, in early times, were taught in private houses and deserted dwellings. Abraham H. MILLER states, however, that a small school-house was built on the farm now owned by Mr. KENSINGER, as early as 1795, but does not know that a school was ever taught in it. Mr. GEDDINGER taught a German school in an old dwelling on the farm owned by Mr. HARRICK, in 1796. The common schools were not adopted until 1844, and then only with great difficulty, as guns were loaded for the purpose of shooting the tax collector. But, happily, no blood was spilt for the cause, and after considerable controversy, the anti- school men concluded that the common school law was not as much of an infringement on their liberties as they at first thought it would be, and quietly acquiesced in the success of the schools.

At present, the people are enthusiastic in the cause of education. The members of the school board know their duty, and do it well, and notwithstanding the hard times, new school-houses are erected yearly. A flourishing town, situated near the center of Summit township, was incorporated in 1870, and named Dale City, but the appellation was afterwards changed, and at present it bears the name of Meyersdale. A few of the early settlers cleared a spot of ground, and built a school-house about seventy-five yards from where the school-house now stands, as early as 1812. This was a round loghouse, and the furniture consisted of split logs, with legs in the oval side. The school was taught by William SHOCKY, Peter ENGEL, and others; but, as the settlement grew rapidly, it became necessary to erect a larger house, about the year 1822, which was situated on the present school-grounds. This house was refitted in 1842, and supplied with new furniture, after which, it was called, the "Old Red." Among those who imparted knowledge in this house, were General William H. KOONTZ, C. G. STUTZMAN, George KNEE, and C. C. MUSSELMAN. A large brick building took the place of the "Old Red" in 1861. The means for the completion of this house was procurred partly by subscription and partly by donations. William BEACHLY, Peter MEYERS, Doctor U. M. BEACHLY, and a few others, were the most active and liberal in this enterprise. Five rooms in this building are now occupied, and the schools are in good condition.

Elklick township was settled at an early period, and is one of the oldest townships in the county. A German school was taught by Peter FAHRNY, in an old house, on the farm where Christopher GARLETS now lives, in 1794. The English school was taught by Jackson GRIFFITH, in an old dwelling, on the farm where John J. KEIM now resides, in 1810. This was probably the first English school in the district. There were no desks in the old house at Mr. KEIM\'s, and in order that this inconvenience might be obviated, the citizens of the neighborhood made a few tables of rough boards and put them in the room; but when the teacher (Mr. TURNEY) came, and found these tables in the house, he became indignant, and threw them out, stating that desks had a tendency to make lazy pupils. The first school-house was built on Samuel LICHTY\'s farm in the year 1830. But few school-houses were built prior to the adopting of the common schools, which was not until 1844; but since then, the schools have made rapid progress. The people are intelligent, and the school directors, through their strenuous efforts, have succeeded in elevating their schools to a standing second to no district in the county.

Salisbury formerly belonged to Elklick, and was not incorporated as a borough until 1862. The lot of ground upon which the school-house stands was donated by Joseph MARKLEY, about the year 1800, and a round log school-house, with a clapboard roof, was built upon it about the same year. This house, when completed, cost about ten dollars, and Mr. WARFIELD was the first teacher in it. The school was afterwards taught by Mr. McCONNELL, who understood music, and made himself useful among the people. Peter WELFLEY, a citizen of the town, taught a number of terms, and was considered a very good teacher. The school was then placed under the control of Jost J. STUTZMAN, who, on account of his proficiency in grammar, received the appellation of "Grammar King." He taught at different other places in the county, but, as Salisbury was his home, his attention was turned more particularly to that place. Forty-five years of his life were devoted to the teacher\'s profession, and under his supervision the school at Salisbury was wrought up to a high grade, from which, I am happy to say, it has never fallen; but under the control of such teachers as L. A. SMITH and J. D. MEESE, it has steadily improved, and at present the people of Salisbury have just reasons to be proud of their scholastic attainments. Quemahoning was one of the original townships at the time the county was formed, and extended from near where BARRON\'s mills now stand, on the south, to within three miles of Johnstown, on the north. In this township, as in many others, the first schools were taught in private houses, and almost invariably by Germans or Englishmen, who were employed by some man for the special benefit of his own family. A few school-houses were built as early as 1825. Little attention, however, was given to education before 1840, at which time the common school system was accepted. Since that time education has received a due proportion of the people\'s time and attention, and at present the township stands among the first in the county, both in the character of her schools and in the number and neatness of her school-houses. Stoyestown was incorporated in 1819, but the charter was forfeited by neglect of duty on the part of the borough officers, and it remained a part of the township until 1838, when it was rechartered, and has since been a borough. Henry STAUFFER taught a school in a church that stood near the old cemetery, about the year 1798. This church was burned a few years afterwards, through the carelessness of the teacher who then occupied it. An old dwelling on the lot where Paul B. SCHLAG now resides, was next used as a school-house, and in the year 1808 Judge Michael ZIMMERMAN went to school in this house, to Henry STAUFFER. A round log house was built on the lot where the school-house now stands, in 1810. This house was torn away in 1828. The third house was erected on the same site in 1860. Among the best qualified teachers who taught in Stoyestown before the adoption of the common school system, were Henry STAUFFER and Samuel PEARSON.

The common schools were accepted in 1838. During the last eight years, the school has been under the care of Professor Frederick GROF, who has succeeded in bringing it up to a high degree of efficiency. The same year that the county was formed, the southern part of Quemahoning was formed into a new township, and named Milford. In this township houses were erected in early days for the double purpose of churches and school-houses; and Michael A. FREASE states that he attended a school taught by Mr. WILKENSON, in an old church, near where Jacob CRITCHFIELD now resides, in the year 1807. There were very few school-houses in the township prior to the passing of the school law. Colonel WILL, from Milford, was a member of the State Legislature at the time the law was passed, and voted for the bill, for which act he became very unpopular, and was advised by his friends not to attempt a re-election, as it would, doubtless, result in his defeat. The common schools were accepted the same year the law was passed, and, after the new system went into effect, a number of new school-houses were built, and the people patronized the schools pretty generally. The school system grew more popular every year, and, at present, the people are intelligent, and the school directors succeed in filling their schools with excellent teachers every year. New Centreville was incorporated in 1854. A school-house was built here in 1798, and a small house was annexed to it, which subserved the purpose of a temporary home for the teacher. Mr Jacob WEIMER resided in this annex, and taught the schools for a number of years. Three school-houses have been built on the same site, the present one being completed in 1874. It contains two large and well-furnished rooms, and reflects credit upon the citizens of the borough. The school has been under the supervision of able teachers for a number of years, and compares creditably with the other borough schools of the county. The northern part of Milford was formed into a new township in 1796, and named Somerset. This township was settled as early as 1760, by COX, SPARKS, and HUSBAND. The first attempt to teach a school was made by an Irishman, by the name of James KENNEDY, who had been bought by Herman HUSBAND, while at Baltimore, for his passage fare across the ocean. It appears that KENNEDY had escaped from a monastery in Ireland, and knew very little of the outside world. After "Jamy" had been thoroughly experimented upon, and it was found he was of no account as a laborer, it was decided that he would make, a school teacher. Accordingly in 1777, an old, dilapidated cabin was re-roofed with clapboards, and KENNEDY was set to work. The first object with KENNEDY was to inculcate in the children, that were so thoughtlessly entrusted in his care, the Catholic doctrine. In this he failed. He also proved an utter failure as an instructor of the young, and soon abandoned his school, stating that "there was no use in attempting to teach children who knew nothing."
A school-house was built near where SAMUEL\'s church now stands, in 1798, and a school taught in it by Israel BAILEY, in 1804. Mr. YOUNGMAN taught in the
same house in 1805, but died before his term closed, and was interred in the cemetery at that place. School-houses were erected at CASEBEER\'s Church and near WILL\'s Church, at an early date, but the greater number of the early schools were not accepted until 1841, and even then only by a very small majority, which was obtained by the energetic efforts of the friends of the common school cause.

Among the most efficient teachers who taught in the township prior to acceptance of the common schools, were Robert LAUGHTON and Doctor PATTERSON.

Since the acceptance of the system the schools have greatly multiplied and improved.

The town of Somerset was laid out in 1795, by Peter ANKENY, Adam SNYDER, and Herman HUSBAND, who were at that time the owners of the land on which the town now stands. The Court House square, and the Academy square were donated by Adam SNYDER, for the purposes for which they are now used. About the year 1812, General Alexander OGLE, who was the State Senator from this district, got a State appropriation of $2,000 to erect a county academy. The academy was built the next year, and Mr. COSTELL, who was master of German and French, taught the first session in the new building. The school was afterwards taught by Mr. BLOOD, who organized the first Latin class ever taught in this county. Henry L. HOLBROOK, who was among the best teachers that it has been the good fortune of the people of Somerset to employ, taught in the academy from 1826-1838. Colonel J. R. EDIE, while engaged in teaching in the academy, in 1842, introduced the first blackboard ever used in this county. The building is still standing and is occupied by the common schools.

The first school-house in the town of Somerset was built on the southwestern corner of the Lutheran cemetery. Here COSTELL, who was a Frenchman and a fine scholar, taught a school. The second school-building was erected on the lot on which the Union school-house now stands, the lot having been donated by Peter ANKENY, who was one of the original proprietors. This old house now forms a part of the carriage manufacturing establishment of Curtis KOOSER, on West street.

At present, there is a large two-story brick-building containing four rooms, on the old school grounds; which, in connection with the academy, supplies ample room for the six well-regulated schools of Somerset. A number of proficient teachers have had charge of the schools during the last twenty years, among whom was Sylvester COLLOM, F. J. KOOSER, and William H. SANNER. In 1847, the western part of Somerset township was formed into a new district, and named Jefferson. A school was taught in a private house, near Bakersville, in 1801. William SCOTT states, that in 1815, he attended a school taught by James WHITE, who was an inebriate, and that he frequently left his school at 10 a.m., and did not return until 2 p.m., and when he returned, he was intoxicated, and never failed to say, "James WHITE, honor bright." In early times the schools were not well patronized. It was urged that education would make the citizens proud and lazy, and that a few weeks of schooling each year was sufficient to fit the young men for farmers, and make the young women wise enough for farmers\' wives. William SCOTT taught a number of terms in this township, and of all the teachers who were contemporaneous with him, none are now living excepting Henry WEIMER. There are six schools in the district at present, and the citizens and school directors are working assiduously for the general upbuilding of the public schools. It was deemed advisable by Colonel H. B. BARNES, who was a member of the State Legislature in 1853, to erect a new township, as Milford was still too large for the convenience of the citizens, and Middlecreek township was cut off from the western part of Milford. It is probable that schools were taught in private houses at or near New Lexington as early as 1810; but by whom or what the status of the schools were, I have not been able to learn. The first school-house was built near where BARRON\'s Church now stands, in 1815. This was a round log-house with a clapboard roof and very poorly furnished. Schools were taught in this house by David TEDROW, George TEDROW, George LENHART, and others. The common school system was adopted in 1834. Jesse MOORE and John BOUCHER were members of the first school board, and through their energetic efforts the schools received an impetus which is felt even to this day. Among the best qualified teachers in the township at the time it was formed, were Josiah PILE and Evan SCOTT. A number of able teachers have labored in this district since the acceptance of the common schools, and education has made rapid progress. At present, Middlecreek compares favorably with her sister townships, both in the intelligence of her citizens, and in the zeal manifested in the cause of education. The northern part of Quemahoning was formed into a new township in 1801, and called Conemaugh. A few German schools were taught in this district as early as 1800; but the people were not in favor of education, and all that they deemed necessary was to be able to read and write in the German language.

After the common school law was passed, it was evaded by electing directors, who refused to enforce it. This state of affairs continued until 1869, when the friends of the common school system made complaint to the court. The directors then came forward and agreed to discharge their duties. They assessed a tax, and went to work at once. New school-houses were built, and old ones refitted. Teachers were employed and the schools were well patronized. Since then, some of those, who were most bitterly opposed to the common schools, have become the warmest friends of the system, and, at present, a majority of the citizens, are enthusiastic workers in its behalf. The school directors are making strenuous efforts to secure good attendance. And if the spirit for improvement, which is at present manifested, is continued, the whole of the Conemaugh will soon stand high among the schools of the county. In 1812, a township was erected out of the western part of Quemahoning, and named Jenner, in honor of Doctor JENNER, the discoverer of vaccination.

The first school in this township was taught on the second floor of a large log-house, one mile west of STANTON\'s mills, in 1804, by Moses FREAM, who was the owner of the house, and had organized the school for the special benefit of his own family. The first school-house was erected about one-half of a mile further west, on the same road, in 1814. The old stone chimney still stands to call up in review the recollections of by-gone days. The second school-building was erected near the Quaker Church in 1816. This was a much larger house, and the school was taught by Samuel BOYLES. In this district the schools have gradually increased in efficiency, and at present we can say, without exaggeration, that Jenner, with her fifteen schools and intelligent school board, merits high commendation for the prudent manner in which the schools are conducted. Jennertown was incorporated in 1874. The school has been under the control of Herman WALKER for a number of years, and compares well with the other smaller boroughs of the county. Stonycreek township was settled soon after the first settlement was made at Berlin. A school-house was built on the farm where Joseph GLESSNER now resides, in 1795. A school was taught in a private house, near Shanksville, by Henry STAUFFER, in 1807, and a school-house was erected at the same place in 1820. The early primary schools were German, and with but a few exceptions, were taught in private houses.

The common school system was adopted in 1838, and Samuel LAMBERT and Daniel WALKER were members of the school board at that time. At present there are eleven school-houses in the district, which are, with a few exceptions, well supplied with furniture, and in a flourishing condition. In 1813, the northern part of Stonycreek was formed into a township, and named Shade. The first school-house in this district was built near where Samuel STATLER now resides, in 1810. This was a small round log cabin, with two windows about two feet square. The furniture consisted of slab benches and writing desks, and blackboards were not used. The first schools were taught in private houses, and Gasper STATLER, William NOOL, and Samuel PEARSON were among the teachers who conducted them. The common school system was accepted in 1837. Prior to this there were very few schools in the district, and many of the pupils were compelled to travel six miles to reach a school; but, at present, the school-houses are closer together, and, notwithstanding the fact that some of them are still in a dilapidated condition, there has been a very great improvement in education in this district within the last twenty years. Paint township was cut off from the northern part of Shade in 1837. The first school in this district was taught by M. SEESE, in a private house on the farm where Jonas WEAVER now resides. The first school-house was erected on the farm now owned by A. D. WEAVER, and Mr. SHULTZ taught the first school in this house. The German language was almost exclusively taught in the early schools, though SHULTZ taught both English and German. The common school system was not accepted until 1861, and then only through the most persistent efforts of such men as Joseph LEHMAN and Peter BERKEY. There were four school-houses in the district at that time, while now there are ten. Some of these, however, are very small and poorly furnished, but as the school directors are active men, and have already built several new houses, we believe that further improvements will be made. A school was taught by Henry ZUFALL, in a private house near Wellersburg, in 1796. The first school-house erected in Southampton township was located about one hundred rods south of Wellersburg, in 1802. This was a small log-cabin, and John Knox McGEE taught an English school in it in 1803. German schools were taught at different times and places by Peter WILLHELM and Jacob KETRING; but education made very little progress before the introduction of the common school system, which was in 1835. Since then, however, the progress of the schools has been somewhat accelerated. Two new school-houses have been erected, and the school directors are making an effort to raise the status of the schools.

Wellersburg was incorporated in 1857, and contains a graded school, which is in pretty good condition. The northern part of Southampton was erected into a new township, 1805, and named Allegheny. A school was taught at SHAFFER\'s Church by Mr. APPLEMAN in 1810. A number of the early schools were taught in private houses, but education received very little attention prior to the adoption of the common school system which was in 1835; since that time the number of schools has increased from three to nine, but several are very unsatisfactory, and will require the careful attention of the school officers. New Baltimore was incorporated in 1873. The first school in this village was organized in the Catholic Church in 1830. A school-house was built in 1863, and S. M. TOPPER taught the first school in this building. The school board is composed of persevering men, and it is hoped that they will soon succeed in raising the standard of their school. In 1812, the southern part of Southampton was formed into a new township and named Greenville. The first school in this district was taught by Peter ENGEL at the old Greenville Church in 1810. The common schools were accepted in 1835, at which time Hiram FINLEY Esquire and Peter ENGEL were members of the school board, and deserve great credit for the efforts they made in behalf of the schools. Solomon ENGEL has officiated as secretary of this school board for twenty years and the schools are now in pretty good condition. The northern part of Southampton was erected into a new township in 1852 and named Northampton. A German school was taught by Charles PETERSON in a private house owned by Philip POORBAUGH in 1796. Mr. POORBAUGH employed the teacher for the benefit of his own family, but other families patronized the school. The first schoolhouse in this district was built on the farm now owned by Val BRIDAGUM and a German school was taught in it in 1816. The common school system was adopted in 1835, and since that time the schools have gradually increased in efficiency. There are still several inferior school-buildings, however, but as the school board erected a very fine house last year, we may reasonably expect that still further improvements will soon be made. A new township was formed in 1854 and named Larimer. The first school in this district was taught at the White Oak Church in 1824 by Daniel DeHAVEN, who was the pastor of the congregation at that place. The first school-house was erected on the farm now owned by Jonas BITTNER. The common school system was accepted in 1835, at which time there were but two schools in the district. At present there are four good schools, and it is but just to say that the members of the school board are zealously devoted to the cause of education.

In early times, debating societies afforded primary training for such orators as Jeremiah S. BLACK, William H. KOONTZ, William J BAER, and A.J. COLBORN. These societies have long since disappeared, and literary societies, which have been established in almost every district in the county, have taken their place, and have been prolific of marked educational results.

The first teachers\' institute was held in 1855. The sessions of this institute have since been under the control of the superintendents, who have made them a potent means of improving our teachers.

In conclusion, we deem it just to say that, notwithstanding the fact that diligent efforts have been made to procure the facts in the foregoing sketch, yet, in some minor particulars, we have not secured as definite information as desired, but submit the fruits of honest labor to the candor of the public.