Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives

Clearfield County

History of Clearfield County

by

Lewis Cass Aldrich

published 1887

 

Chapter 18

 

Copyright

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HIST0RY
OF
CLEARFIELD COUNTY
PENNSYLVANIA

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS

EDITED BY
LEWIS CASS ALDRICH

SYRACUSE, N. Y.
D. MASON & CO., PUBLISHERS
1887

 

 Chapter 18

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Chapter 279
EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


CHAPTER XVIII
DEVOTED TO A REVIEW OF THE ORIGIN, GROWTH, AND DEVELOPMENT
OF THE EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS OF CLEARFIELD
COUNTY.1
 


     THE circumstances which have most influence on the happiness of mankind, the changes of manners and morals, the transition of communities from poverty to wealth, from ignorance to knowledge-these are, for the most part, noiseless revolutions. Their progress is rarely indicated by what historians are pleased to call important events. They are not achieved by armies or enacted by senates. They are sanctioned by no treaties, are recorded in no archives. They are carried on in every school, in every church, behind ten thousand counters, at ten thousand firesides.” In the study of the important events in the world’s history, the places where these events have culminated, or in which valorous deeds have been accomplished, are second in interest only to those events or deeds; they “ remain hallowed to all time.” There is no event in the play of man’s life more important than that when he completes the first act and ends the first age.

     “ And then ” - becomes“ the whining school-boy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping, like snail, unwillingly to school.”

     And of like importance is the character of the place into which he crept, and in which he played the second act in life’s drama, and ended the second and most important age of his existence.

     In the schools of Clearfield county there has been in progress for upwards of eighty years a noiseless, progressive revolution, in which ignorance and superstition have been supplanted by knowledge. It is the purpose in this chapter to give a general review of these places, as well as a more particular history of the schools of Clearfield town. In the account of the schools of the county at large, this article must necessarily be brief, because the time in which it was prepared was so limited that reliable information, of all the schools could not be obtained, and it was not desired to have this sketch come under South’s definition of “ most of the histories,” which he defines as “ Lies immortalized, and consigned over as a perpetual abuse and flaw upon prosperity.” The facts recorded here are stated upon the authority of the State and county records, or where, because of the careless manner in which many of these were kept, or from the nature of the fact stated, nothing could be found here, the most authoritative, attainable information has been sought, tradition not being relied upon to any considerable extent.
 



1 By J. Frank Snyder, of the Clearfield Bar.

 

 

 

 

Page 280

HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.

 

LAW


     Penn, in his frame of government, dated 25th of April, 1682, gave the governors and provincial council instructions to “erect and order all publick schools.” Almost a century later, in the same city, and in the same year (1776) in which there dawned an era signalized as the most remarkable of any that had occurred in the world’s history, the convention established to prepare a constitution for Pennsylvania took what has proven to be the initiatory step in the establishment of our system of public education. In the “ Plan or Frame of Government,” Chapter II, Section 4, it was provided, “A school or schools shall be established in each county by the Legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct youth at low prices; and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more institutions.” This provision seems to have had for its prime object the placing of the means of education within the reach and at the command of the masses. The public mind was thoroughly convinced that, with an educated populace, a “ government of the people, for the people, and by the people,” was possible. Then came the constitution of 1790, and by it important changes on the subject of education.
 

OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS.


     ARTICLE VII, SECTION I. - “The Legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide by law, for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis.”

     This provision was incorporated into the constitution of 1838, and remained intact until the adoption of the constitution of 1874.
 

     The first important legislative enactment was the act of 1809. It reads as follows :

     “ SECTION I. It shall be the duty of the commissioners of the several counties within this Commonwealth, at the time of issuing their precepts to the assessors, annually to direct and require the assessors of each and every township, ward and district, to receive from the parents the names of all children between the ages of five and twelve years, who reside therein, and those whose parents are unable to pay for their schooling; and the commissioners, when they hold appeals, shall hear all persons who may apply for additions or alterations of names in said list, and make all such alterations as to them shall appear just and reasonable, and agreeably to the true intent and meaning of this act; and after adjustment they shall transmit a correct copy thereof to the respective assessor, requiring him to inform the parents of the children therein contained, that they are at liberty to send them to the most convenient school, free of expense; and the said assessor, for any neglect of the above

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.

 

duty, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five dollars, to be sued for by any person, and recovered as debts of that amount are now recoverable, and to be paid into the county treasury for county purposes: Provided always, that the names of no children, whose is otherwise provided for, shall be received by the assessor of any township or district.

     “ SECTION II. That the said assessor shall send a list of the names of the children aforesaid, to the teachers of the schools within his township, ward, or district, whose duty it shall be to teach all such children as may come to their schools, in the same manner as other children are taught; and each teacher shall keep a day-book, in which he shall enter the number of days each child entitled to the provisions of this act, shall be taught ; and he shall also enter in said book the amount of all stationery furnished for the use of said child, from which book he shall make out his account against the county, on oath or affirmation, agreeably to the usual rates of charging for tuition in said school, subject to the examination and revision of the school trustees, where there are any, but where there are no trustees, to three reputable subscribers to the schools, which account, after being so examined or revised, he shall present to the county commissioners, who, if they approve thereof, shall draw their order on the county treasurer for the amount, which he is hereby authorized and directed to pay out of any moneys in the treasury.”

     It has been frequently told us that but one family residing in this county applied for and received the benefits of this act ; that but one parent was willing to say that he was unable to pay for the schooling of his children. Now poverty was a great inconvenience to many of the early settlers of our county, but not a disgrace, and there were parents who were willing and did say that they were poor and unable to pay for the schooling of their children. There is no lack of authoritative evidence to support this statement. The records of the county commissioner’s office furnish many items upon this subject. The earliest entries are the following minutes, to wit:

     Thomas McClure, as assessor for Pike township, returned the names of two children, in 1815, whose parents were poor and unable to pay for their schooling.

     “ August 19th, 1822, Order to Samuel Waring for teaching three children in Bradford township, as returned to us by the assessor of said township for the year 1822, agreeable to the act of Assembly for the teaching of the poor gratis (including stationery,) $4.54.

     “ June 9th, 1823, One order in favor of John McCord in full for the tuition of -, in the year 1821, (including justice’s fees,) $0.52½.

     “June 10th, 1823, order 176. Samuel Waring, for tuition of poor children in Bradford township, $9. I I.

     “ March 22d, 1825, One order in favor of John McCord for educating poor children of -, $5.75.

 

 

 

 

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.


     "June 5th, 1826, One order in favor of James Reed for the education of poor children, $8.75"


     The next is a minute of the only payment for which a corresponding bill has been found, and, as a matter of interest and information, the heading of the account and the affidavit are given, to wit:

     “ Clearfield county
     “ To Daniel Spackman, schoolmaster in Lawrence township.
                                                                                             Dr.
     “ 1826..................................................................$23.22.

     “ Clearfield county, ss :
     “ Daniel Spackman, the subscriber, a schoolmaster in Lawrence township, in said county, on his solemn affirmation doth say that the above bill of schooling. is according to his usual rates of charging in his schools, and the time and number of days are correctly charged to each child to the best of his knowledge and belief, and further deponent saith not.
 

     DANIEL SPACKMAN.


     “ Sworn’and subscribed Dec. 28th, 1826, before GEO. WILSON, Commissioner.”

     Other payments were made as follows :


     “ 1827, May 2d, to James A. Reed, Lawrence township, $3.72 ; 1828, May 20th, to Geo. 0. Keys, Lawrence township, $14.37 ; 1830, November 8th, to A. Thorp Schryver, Lawrence township, $2.94; 1832, February 1, to James A. Reed, $15.56½; 1832, August 11th, to J. H. Laverty, $15.00 ; July 5th, 1834, J. H. Laverty, -; October 17th, 1835, J. H. Laverty, $5.00; December 1, 1834, to J. H. Laverty, $16.58.”
 

     Governors Mifflin, McKean, Snyder, Findley, Heister, and Shultze, serving from December 21, 1790, to December 15, 1829, each directed the legislative mind to the constitution of 1790, and its provision upon the subject of education. Mifflin urged the establishment of public schools, McKean followed in his footsteps. The defects of the act of 1809 were pointedly criticised by Simon Snyder, and Findley joined him in his criticisms. Heister commended a system of education. Shultze wanted schools that would be within the reach of all. In 1824 the act of 1809 was repealed, and this act met the same fate in 1826 -never having been enforced-thus reviving the act of 1809. James Buchanan, in a speech delivered at West Chester, previous to the election of Governor Wolf, said :

     “ If ever the passion of envy could be excused a man ambitious of true glory, he might almost be justified in envying the fame of that favored individual, whoever he may be, whom Providence intends to make the instrument in establishing common schools throughout this Commonwealth. His task will be arduous. He will have many difficulties to encounter, and many prejudices to overcome, but his fame will exceed even that of the great Clinton, in

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


the same proportion that mind is superior to matter.  Whilst the one has erected a frail memorial, which, like everything human, must decay and perish, the other will raise a monument which shall flourish in immortal youth, and endure whilst the humas soul shall continue to exist.  'Ages unborn and nations yet behind ’ shall bless his memory.”

     To George Wolf that honor was accorded, and over his signature, on the 1st day of April, 1834, the “ general system of education by common schools ” was adopted. The act is long, and only the preamble and a few of the more important sections will be given here.

     Preamble, “Whereas, it is enjoined by the constitution, as a solemn duty, which cannot be neglected without a disregard of the moral and political safety of the people ; and, whereas, the fund for common school purposes, under the act of the second of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, will, on the fourth of April next, amount to the sum of five hundred and forty-six thousand, five hundred and sixty-three dollars and seventy-two cents, and will soon reach the sum of two millions of dollars, when it will produce, at five per cent., an interest of one hundred thousand dollars, which, by said act, is to be paid for the support of common schools; and whereas, provisions should be made by law for the distribution of the benefits of this fund to the people of the respective counties of the Commonwealth ; therefore,

     “SECTION I. Be it enacted, etc. That the city and county of Philadelphia, and every other county in this Commonwealth, shall each form a school division, and that every ward, township and borough within the several school divisions shall each form a school district. Provided, That any borough which is or may be connected with a township in the assessment and collection of county rates and levies, shall, with the said township, so long as it remains so connected form a district ; and each of said districts shall contain a competent number of common schools for the education of every child within the limits thereof who shall apply, either in person, ‘or by his or her parents, guardians, or next friend, for admission and instruction.”

     The act inter alia provided for the election of directors, the appointment of inspectors, and created the secretary of the Commonwealth superintendent of all the public schools established. The directors were empowered to elect delegates whose duty it was to meet with the commissioners of the county, and with them decide whether or not a tax for the expenditure of each district be laid. This act was amended by an act approved the 15th of April, 1835, relating principally to the tax and providing that the township or district voting in the negative should not be compelled to accept, and abolished the office of inspector.

      The record showing the districts that accepted or rejected the act has not been preserved, or if preserved it has been misplaced, and not now to be found. James Findly, superintendent of common schools, in his report of
 

 

 

 

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.


1835-6, dated December 5, 1835, says: "All the appropriation of 1836 ($75,000) may therefore be drawn from the State treasury during the coming year, except the quotas of Columbia and Clearfield, from which no reports of the proceedings of the delegate meetings have ever been received, ‘and of Lebanon, every district of which rejected this system.”

     Mr. Wickersham in his “ History of Education in Pennsylvania,” informs us that there were seventeen districts in the county, eight of which accepted and nine refused to accept the system. Ferguson township is reported to have been the only district not accepting in 1845.

     The act of 1854 “ expressly provided for graded schools and the study of the higher branches.” By it the office of county superintendent was created, etc. This act became a law over the signature of our illustrious townsman, ex-Governor William Bigler, whose efforts in behalf of education are well known.

     In concluding this subject a brief extract from the report of the superintendent of common schools for 1858 is given :

     “No changes in the school laws are proposed. What the system most needs is to be let alone until it can have time to develop, for it is peculiarIy a thing of popular growth as well as legislative creation. Constant changes in the school laws embarrass and dishearten the plain men-not lawyers-who are charged with their administration in the respective districts. Public opinion will remain unsettled so long as there is expectation, or fear of continued change ; but if it is discovered that the system is reasonably permanent they will the more readily and cheerfully adapt themselves to it. Pennsylvania is empathically the land of steady habits, and unsuited to the legislative fluctuations that have been so damaging to the school system of a neighboring State. Stability and habit are cardinal virtues in this connection and not to be lightly valued.”
 


EARLY SCHOOLS.
 

     The pioneer settlers have all gone to their final rest, and their departure deprives us of the best evidence as to the location and character of the earliest schools of the county. Many sources of information have been sought and as many different opinions obtained. These opinions and statements have been relied upon only where there is satisfactory proof of their correctness.

     Tradition has it, and it is now universally conceded, that the first school in Clearfield county was taught in 1804 in a log cabin near Thomas McClure’s, in Pike township, being about two miles south of the present site of Curwensville. But little is known concerning this school, excepting that the first teacher was a Mr. Kelly, and that he was succeeded by Messrs. Fleming, Alexander, and BaiIey. Dr. A. T. Schryver, who first taught in the county in 1826, in speaking of this school says : “ There was a log cabin at McClure’s, but I don’t recollect anything about it. It was not there when I came. It
 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


was near a grave-yard.  A church was built there after I came; it was a Presbyterian Church.”

     Various authorities have stated that the second school-house “ was built one mile northeast of where Clearfield town is now situated.” Evidence has been sought to corroborate this statement, but without success. The first school-house, one mile northeast of Clearfield, of which any reliable evidence can be found, was a deserted log cabin situate on the west side of the ravine west of the “ Archie Shaw ” grist-mill.

     It is stated by a former writer in commenting upon this school-house, that “ the first school was taught by Samuel Fulton, a surveyor.” We understand that it is claimed that Mr. Fulton taught here in 1806. If this conclusion is right the writer is compelled to say that it is not at all probable that the statement is correct. An article published in 1859 upon no less authority than Mr. Fulton himself, is to the effect that he was here on surveying trips only in 1802-3-4-5 and 6, and that “ in 1807 Fulton came to this county with his wife, having married in the beginning of the year 1806.”

     It is possible that Samuel Fulton taught here prior to 1816. Josiah Evans was the teacher in 1816-17, Robert Wrigley in 1817-18-19, William Hoyt about 1819-20, and George Catelow 1820-21. Dr. Schryver, in speaking of the house referred to as being built in 1806, says : “I can’t tell anything positive about it.”

     The first school in Curwensville was taught in 1812, “ in a one room dwelling house, a division being put in the room, thus forming two rooms, one of which served as a bachelor’s hall for the master.” Josiah Evans claims to have been the first teacher, but it has been repeatedly stated that Jesse Cookson was the first teacher, and Mr. Evans the second.

     In 1813, or 1814, “ the people of Curwensville and vicinity collected together, and by their united and voluntary effort put up a log house for school purposes.” The “ old log school-house,” ‘as it was called, was located on what is now Filbert street. The building was constructed of logs, its dimensions were fourteen by sixteen feet. The roof was covered with clap-boards, held
in place by poles extending from one end of the roof to the other, which were held down by heavy stones. The door was of rough boards. On one side a log was left out for light, the space was covered with greased paper, and served as the only window in the house. The seats were slabs, in which wooden pins were put for legs. Holes were bored into the wall on one side of the room, into which long wooden pins were driven, and upon these a slab -smooth side up-was secured for a writing desk. Jesse Cookson, J. Miles Hoover, Whitson Cooper, Mr. Burrett, John A. Dale, afterwards sheriff of Franklin county, and associate judge of Forest, and Dr. A. T. Schryver, all taught here.

It is stated that shortly after the building of the last mentioned school-house others were erected, viz.:

 

(37)
 

 

 

 

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.

 

     One on the Grampian Hills.  Dr. Stark taught here, as did Dr. A. T. Schryver.

     One near Daniel Spackman’s, in Lawrence township, in 1822, in which Peter Hoover and Daniel Spackman taught prior to December 28, 1826, at which date he (Daniel Spackman) presented his bill to the commissioners for “ schooling ” a number of children of poor parents. This house has been confused by writers with the Amos Reed school-house, which was built about 1830 near where the Pine Grove school-house was afterwards built -1860- and now stands.

     It is told us that the first school-house in Brady township was opened near Luthersburg in 1817, another authority fixes the date in 1820. A careful examination has failed to produce any satisfactory proofs sustaining either of these dates. John Carlile, of Troutville, Brady township, who has recently died at the advanced age of eighty-four years, says: The first school taught in Brady township was held in Libius Luther’s bar-room in Luthersburg, in the winter of 1827, by Whitson Cooper, and in 1828 Peter Hoover taught in the same place. In 1829-30, school “ was kept ” in a log cabin along the pike, on Mr. Luther’s farm. This cabin was built by the men who were working on the pike. In 1831 Libius Luther and Fred Ziegler each gave a strip of land, and the citizens appointed a day, and then turned out and put up a good sized hewed log house, in which private schools were held until the common school superseded them. John B. Heisey and Miss Brockway taught here.

     It is also stated that the first school in Brady township was opened near Luthersburg in 1817. Upon careful examination this is found to be an error; the correct date is 1827-8.

     Samuel Waring kept school in Bradford township prior to August 19, 1822, on which day he received pay for schooling three children of poor parents. It would also appear that he taught in 1823.

     Philip Antis donated a piece of ground near where the Wright nursery is now located, a short distance below the Logan mill on the public road from Clearfield to Curwensville, on which a school-house was built about 1824. John Patton, sr., father of Congressman Patton, was the master here in 1826. It was here, in this house, under the tutorship of his father, that Hon. John Patton attended school for the first time.

     James Read was a school-master in Lawrence township in 1826, and according to the best attainable evidence it would appear that he then taught in the grand jury room of the court-house. If this conclusion be correct, it was the first school taught in Clearfield town.

     Samuel Fulton appears to have taught about this time in the creek school-house, which stood on the left bank of the river almost opposite the mouth of Clearfield Creek. Miss Brockway, Samuel Fulton, Miss Eliza Jane Jacobs, and Miss Eliza Mapes are believed to have taught in this house in the order named. The place was abandoned about 1827-30.

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.

 

     Upon the abandonment of the creek school-house James A. Reed than kept school in his house, which stood near where Mr. Matt. Reed recently lived in Lawrence township, which, we think, was prior to May 2, 1827.  John Hall succeeded Mr. Reed as teacher at the same place.

     George O’Keys built a log cabin in “Paradise “-near where the road leading to the Jacob Irvin homestead leaves the Penfield road-some time about 1827, and kept a school there.

     The Price school-house, which accommodated the upper ,end of Pike township, was located at the cross roads near the William Price farm, and was erected about 1828, as in that year religious services were held in it.

     Dr. A. T. Schryver taught in grand jury room of court-house in Clearfield town, in winter of 1829-30. From here he moved his school to a log cabin used by Martin Nichols as a temporary residence while building a more commodious house. This cabin stood just across the river opposite where the jail now stands.

     The Clearfield Academy, completed in 1830, and the Curwensville Academy, completed in 1831-2, are also among the earliest schools of the county. These early houses, excepting the two last named, were as a rule of the same dimensions and style of architecture as the “ old log school-house ” of Curwensville, already described. Many of the schools, however, were not taught in buildings erected for that purpose, some were kept in the house of the master, others in abandoned log cabins. In fact, it appears that when a cabin was unfit for use as a habitation, it was just the place for a school. Judging from the reports of an early authority, at least one-half of the places in which the early schools were taught were unfit for any purpose except it might have been for “pig pens or chicken coops.” The limited means of the first settlers had much, yes, all to do with the character of these houses, as they were all erected by voluntary aid. It did not require any great length of time to erect one of these houses, as the following account, related by an eye witness, will show. He says: “ I was present one morning when the spot selected for the proposed house was cleared ; that same evening I found there a full grown school house ready for occupancy, and on the following morning the sessions of school commenced.”

     These schools were all supported by private contributions or subscriptions. The masters were not bound to receive all who might apply, but it is safe to say none were rejected, unless it was on account of the poverty of the parents, and not on this account after the passage of the Act of 1809, where the parents were willing to say that they were unable to pay for the schooling of their children.

     It has been written of the early teachers that, “while many were strictly moral and well qualified for teaching in that day, yet many lacked all the essential elements of the teacher-they were profane, illiterate and tyrannical.
 

 

 

 

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.
 

The bottle, in some instances, was kept concealed about the school room.  Many on account of being old or crippled, were supposed to be fit for nothing else, and hence were recommended to teach school.  the qualities most pleasing to the patrons were a good ability for flogging unruly boys and a good knowledge of spelling and writing.  It was a very rare occurance to find one of those teachers who could not write well."  The teacher boarded 'round.


     The course of study was spelling, reading and writing; these branches were successfully taught. In speaking of the Amos Reed school-house-referred to hereafter-Dr. A. T. Schryver tells us, that, “it was a kind of a resort for all youngsters to go to spell; they were better spellers three times over then than now. They met there every Saturday and Saturday night, and would have spelling school and singing school combined. They spelled out of a dictionary and some of them could not be downed.”

     There was no regular system of text books. One teacher reports that there were twelve different kinds of reading books in use in his school. The Testament, biographies of Washington, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Webster’s Speller were the principal early text books. Pike’s Arithmetic came into use and was taught to the “single rule of three.” These books with a few
sheets of unruled foolscap paper, a bottle of ink and a goose quill, constituted the scholar’s outfit. The teacher made and mended pens and set copies for all the scholars.

     The manner of imparting instruction was very different from the system now in use, there being no uniformity in text books; there were no classes, and individual instruction was given. The Johnsonian theory of teaching was frequently used, the teacher contending that the memory could be strengthened and the lesson permanently impressed upon the mind by stating the idea sought to be taught and then administering a good flogging-a sort of improvement of the memory by association.

     The scholars of these early days were very much as they now are. Boys are boys the world over. They never wanted for amusement, never waited for ‘something to turn up, but oftentimes turned things upside down to suit themselves. This was especially the case about Christmas time and the other holidays. Dr. Schryver says that at these times the scholars run the schools to suit themselves. They would sometimes lock the teacher out and keep him out for a whole week. The obnoxious system of treating was in existence then as now. If the teacher did not treat when demanded, “ the girls would urge the boys to ‘ declare a lock-out ’ and bar the door.” “ The pupils,” he says, “ once levied on me for a treat and handed this paper up to me,” to wit :

“ Master, we want a treat ; please furnish

“ Candy .................................2 lbs.

“ Raisins .................................2 lbs.

“ Ginger Cakes.................................3 dozens.

“Apples.................................2 bushels.

“ Whiskey.................................2 quarts.

“ Please sign your name.“

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.

 

     He says "that several times three or four boys would get around me to carry me out, but were afraid to take hold of me"


     It is stated on good authority that whilst Daniel Spackman was the master at the school house near his home, that there was a lock-out of some duration. Getting tired of the protracted rest given the master, Mr. William Reed conceived the idea of smoking the boys and girls out, but knowledge of his plan in some way got to the scholars, and they prepared themselves for the emergency by taking a pole into the school-house with them. The master and Mr. Reed came and sought admission in vain. Mr. Reed thereupon climbed upon the roof, placed a board over the chimney and seated himself upon it. As soon as the smoke began to inconvenience the scholars, they put the pole, which they had taken the caution to provide, up the chimney, and using it as a battering-ram against the board, knocked Mr. Reed and his board off the chimney and to the ground, causing him severe injury.

     The early settlers in the county were not an educated people, but, as a rule, they were desirous of having their children properly educated, although some entertained strange views upon this subject. One honest and upright man refused to educate his children because he “was afraid it would make fools and rascals of them, and he was desirous that they should live honest and upright lives.”

     After 1830 school-houses began to increase ‘in numbers throughout the country. There was a general desire for better laws upon the subject of education. This sentiment grew stronger and stronger, and in 1831 “petitions asking for the establishment of a better system of public education ” were presented to the two Houses of the State Legislature.

     In the immediate vicinity surrounding Clearfield, a number of schools were held and school-houses erected by the people, just upon the eve of the passage of the act of 1834, and immediately thereafter. Prominent among them are the following, to wit :

     A house was built about 1834, by private subscriptions, at the point where the T. and C. Railroad bridge crosses Clearfield Creek, about two miles east of Clearfield town. The present school-house, located some distance from this site, is known as “ Waterford,” or vulgarly as “ Hell’s Half Acre.” Robert Wrigley was one of the earliest teachers here.

     In 1837 Frank Dunlap taught school in Lawrence township, near where Benjamin Dale now lives. Whether this was a private school or a free school, the writer cannot state.

     In 1838 a school-house was erected by public expense, by John Shaw, sr., at a point on the Penfield road just opposite where Mr. Eli Carrick now resides. This school was widely and familiarly known as the “Tom Hainey school.” The first teacher was Miss Julian Holly, who taught in the summer of 1838. Frank Dunlap taught the common schools here in the winter of 1838-9.  A. J.

 

 

 

 

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HISTORY 0F CLEARFIELD COUNTY.


Hemphill, Samuel Worrell, J. Kay Wrigley, Miss Elizabeth Livergood, perhaps Miss Mary Scoville and Miss Mary Ann Hoffman, all taught in this house.  The last named teacher taught her scholars to spell and read backwards, having her spinning-wheel in school and running it while the scholars recited.  It is told us that upon one occasion a huge rattlesnake took his place in the doorway here, thereby terrifying teacher and scholars, who all crowded into one corner of the room.  Finally one of the girls said she was not afraid of it, and to prove her statement ran and jumped over it, and threw a stick into the school-house for the teacher, with which they then killed the snake.  This school-house was a noted place for spelling and singing schools.


     A log cabin used to stand on the river bank in Reedsville - now Clearfield borough - just across the street from where Mr. A. W. Lee lately resided. It was old and abandoned, but in 1859 common schools were held in it for Lawrence township. The logs were rotten and alive with bed bugs. When the room was thoroughly warmed these would come forth and feast upon the scholars and greatly annoying them. From this circumstance the place was called “ Bed Bug Seminary.” The first school was taught here in 1855-9 by Dr. Schryver. Daniel Connelly, esq., was the next teacher, in 1859-60. In 1862 it was replaced by a new building some distance from the river, which was abandoned many years ago, and is now used for a dwelling house.

     School was held every day during the week in the early schools, and latterly every second Saturday was a holiday.
 

ACADEMIES.


     Mr. Wickersham, in his excellent book, “A History of Education in Pennsylvania,” says, “Franklin and his coadjutors, in founding the academy and charitable school of the Province of Pennsylvania, in 1749, modeled it in most respects after the school Penn had chartered half a century before. They, too, contemplated a central school or an academy, open to all and free to the children of the poor.” The public mind, in the early days of the Commonwealth, seems to have been educated to the belief that the language of the constitution of 1790, enjoining “ the establishment of schools throughout the State in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis,” meant that central schools or academies should be established, open to all and free to the children of the poor. So widely prevalent was this idea, that in the organization of new counties, and in the selection of “ seats of justice ” for the same, ground for an academy was as much a necessity as ground for the public buildings. The history of the academies of this county, therefore, very properly begins with the selection of a location for “ the seat of justice.” In 1805 Governor McKean appointed Roland Curtin, John Fleming, and James Smith, commissioners, to select a location for the seat of justice of Clearfield county. They selected a site and laid out a town upon the lands of Abraham

 

 

 

 

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Witmer, near the mouth of the creek Chincleclamouche.  Upon the plot or plan of the town as returned by them to the office of the Secretary of State, three lots are marked as "Academy lots."  On November 5, 1805, Abraham Witmer gave his bond to these commissioners in the penal sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned, inter alia, as follows: "And the said Abraham Witmer further agrees and engages to give his bond, or other security as may be required, to such person as may be authorized to receive the same, for the payment of three thousand dollars on the first day of May, which will be in the year of our Lord ,1812, one-half thereof to be applied for the use of an academy or public school in said town."

     The next step in this matter was the making, execution and delivery of a deed, bearing date March 6, 1813, recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds in and for Clearfield county, on 27th April, 1813, in deed book “ D,” page 320, Abraham Witmer and Mary Witmer, his wife, to Robert Maxwell, Hugh Jordon, and Samuel Fulton, commissioners of Clearfield county, conveying, inter alia, “ and also three other lots of ground in the said. town, for the use and benefit of an academy, fronting on Walnut street and adjoining each other, bounded in front by Walnut street, on the north by an alley, on the east by Fourth street, and on the west by lot number one hundred and sixty-one, each lot extending to the aforesaid alley one hundred and seventy-two
feet.” These lots are numbers 162, 177 and 178, in the present plan of Clearfield borough.

     By an act entitled, “An act establishing an academy in the town of Clearfield,” approved 12th February, 1827, it was enacted as follows :

     “ SECTION 1.-That there shall be and hereby is established in the town of Clearfield, in the county of Clearfield, an academy for the education of youth in the useful arts, sciences and literature, by the name and style of ‘ The Clearfield Academy.’

     “ SECTION 2.-That until the first day of April, eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, the trustees of the Clearfield Academy shall consist of the following persons, to wit : Alexander Reid [Reed], Moses Boggs, Reuben Winslow, John Kylor, Martin Nichols, John P. Hoyt, James Ferguson, Elisha Fenton, and William McNall [McNaul], which said trustees, and their successors to be elected as hereinafter directed, shall be and hereby are declared to be one body corporate and politic, by the name, style and title of ‘The Trustees of the Clearfield Academy,’ etc.

     “ SECTION 3.-That the said trustees of said academy, and their successors, shall have full power and authority to use one common seal, and the same to alter at their pleasure.”

     The fourth, fifth and sixth sections relate to the meeting of the trustees, by-laws, and elections.
 

     “ SECTION 7.-That the sum of two thousand dollars be and the same is

 

 

 

 

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hereby granted to be paid by warrant to be drawn by the Governor on the State Treasurer to the Trustees of the Clearfield Academy, or a majority of them, one thousand dollars thereof, to enable them to erect suitable buildings for said academy, or to be otherwise applied under their direction, in such manner as they shall believe to be most advantageous for promoting the object of said institution, and the remaining one thousand dollars shall placed in some safe productive fund or funds, and the income thereof shall be forever applied in aid of other revenues, to compensate a teacher or teachers in said academy; provided, that the money hereby granted shall not be paid until the sum of one thousand dollars shall have been raised by private subscription for the benefit of said institution, and there shall be admitted into said academy any number of poor children who may, at any time, be offered in order to be taught gratis; provided, also, the number so admitted and taught shall, at no time, be greater than five, and that none of said children shall continue to be taught gratis in said academy longer than two years.“1

     At this point - in view of the articles previously written upon this subject - the question is suggested, Was the academy built upon the lots donated by Abraham Witmer ?

     In his report to the superintendent of public instruction for the year ending June I, 1877, Dr. J. A. Gregory, then county superintendent, in speaking of the Clearfield Academy, says: “ The lots on which it is situated and $1,000 in money were donated by Abraham Whitmer [Witmer], of Lancaster county,” - see “ Pennsylvania Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1877,” page 176. Mr. Wickersham, in his “ History of Education in Pennsylvania,” Chapter XXII, on secondary education, page 459, says, in speaking of the Clearfield Academy : “The lots on which it was located . . . were the gifts of Abram Witmer, of Lancaster county.” These gentlemen have fallen into error upon this question of location, as will be seen in continuing the history of the lots donated by Abraham Witmer.

     In the minute book of the county commisioners [sic] of Clearfield county there appears the following entry : “June 15, 1830.-At the request of the trustees of the Clearfield Academy, a conveyance, made to them of lots in Clearfield town, Nos. 162, 177, 178, by the commissioners, being the same lots which were conveyed to the commissioners of Clearfield county, for the use of an academy in Clearfield town.” Then follows naturally the deed, “ Alexander Caldwell, J. F. W. Schnarrs, and Robert Ross, of Clearfield county, commissioners of said county,” to “ Thos. Hempbill, Joseph M. Martin, Robert Ross, jr., A. B. Reed, G. P. Gulich, trustees of the Clearfield Academy.” Dated June 15, 1830. Recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds, in and for
Clearfield county, 12th July, 183~ in deed book “ D,” page 138, for lots “Nos. 162, 177, 178, situate in the town of Clearfield.”
 



1 The sum received by this institution under net of 1838, Chapter 8386, up to 1st February, 1843, was $2,075.--Republication of Pamph. Laws, Vol. IX., page 266.
 

 

 

 

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     We next find that among the minutes and proceedings of the Board of Trustees of the Clearfield Acadamy, inter alia, it is thus recorded. "And now to wit: May 8, 1830, On Motion Martin Hoover, esp., was appointed President of the Board of Trusteed of the Clearfield Academy, for the ensuing year, and Joseph M. Martin was appointed Secretary"  "And now to wit: Saturday, May 22, 1830, Messrs. Ross, Hartshorn, Hoover, Hempbill and Martin being present on motion.


     “ Resolved, That the lots belonging to the said Academy, Nos. 162, 177, 178, be advertised for sale on the second Tuesday of June next, at the Court House in Clearfield town. That the same be advertised in the Clearfield Banner and offered for sale on said day at public outcry, sale adjourned to 14th June inst. And now to wit: June 14, 1830, Academy lots sold to Jacob Irvin for forty dollars, twelve and one-half cents.”

     “ Resolved, That the deed be made to Jacob Irvin for the above lots, provided he pays the cash when made, or that he gives a judgment note for the same with security, he to pay all expenses and costs arrising.” [sic]

     “ Resolved, That Joseph M. Martin attend to taking the judgment note from Jacob Irvin, and to have it entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield county.”

     “ And now to wit: June 23, 1830. Resolved, That the president and secretary of the Board of Trustees for and in behalf of the whole Board make, execute and acknowledge an assignment of the deed for the Academy lots Nos. 162, 177, 178 to Jacob Irvin, sold to him on the 14th inst, which deed is executed to the said trustees by the Commissioners of Clearfield county.”

     We then find assignment, Martin Hoover, President of the Board of Trustees of the Clearfield Academy, and Joseph M. Martin, Secretary, to Jacob Irvin, dated 26th June, 1830, recorded deed book “ D ” 320, 12th July, 1830, of lots Nos. 162, 177, 178. Consideration, $40.12 I-Z. These lots were subsequently used by William Jones as a brick yard, and still later by M. Shirk as
an annex to his tannery, an old bark shed still standing on same.

     The lots upon which the Clearfield Academy was erected were acquired under the following conveyance: John Bumbarger and Anna Maria, his wife, by their attorney in fact, Alex. B. Reed, to Moses Boggs, Garry Bishop, Reuben Winslow, Martin Nicholls, George Wilson, James Ferguson, Doctor J. P. Hoyt, trustees of the Clearfield Academy, dated 7th February, 1829, recorded 21st May, 1829, in deed book “ D ” 128. Consideration, $120. For “all those two certain lots of ground situate in the town and county of Clearfield, one of the said lots known in the plan of said town by No. 31, containing in front by Front street 60 feet, and extending in depth 200 feet to an alley bounded in front by Front street, on the east by said alley, on the south by lot No. 32; and on the north by lot No. 30. The other lot situate in the town aforesaid known in the plan thereof by. No. 32, containing in front on Front

 

(38)

 

 

 

 

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street 60 feet, and extending in depth 200 feet to an alley bounded in front by Front street, on the south by lot No. 33, on the north by lot No. 31, and on the east by an alley."  These proceedings and conveyances in the mind of the write, answer the question suggested by the negative.  The Clearfield Academy was not built on the lots donated by Mr. Witmer, the reason whereof does not appear, unless it is that the lots donated by Mr. Witmer were swampy and unfir for the purpose for which they were donated.


     Frequent inquiry has been made as to the date when the academy building was erected. We are told by Mr. J. A. Gregory, in his report as county superintendent, published in the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for 1877, at page 176, that “ in the year 1824 the first academy in Clearfield was completed.” In this the writer cannot agree with the learned superintendent, who evidently must have relied upon information received from persons, honest in their statements, but who depended largely upon their memories for the data, as the date given is six years earlier than the true date. The academy was completed in 1830, which conclusion is based upon the following facts : Beyond all question the “ Clearfield Academy ” was incorporated by the Act approved February 12, 1827, supra. The title to the lots on which it stands was secured by the conveyance of February 7, 1829, and the books of the treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Clearfield Academy furnish the following corroborative minutes, to wit: Order No. 4, “ November 1828, order in favor of Isaac Southard and Samuel Merrell as the first payment for building the Clearfield Academy, $500."

     In the report of Richard Shaw and Samuel Fulton, the auditors “ for the year 1829, up to 22d May, 1830, as follows :

     “ It appears that, that when the academy is finished according to contract, by Southard and Merrell, and their payments are all due, then taking into their settlement the different sums loaned them, there will be [due]

     “ Amount due from Abraham Witmer, being balance of his subscription, about $900.00.”

     Mr. James Wrigley, who was born in 1812, and who worked on this building - and was afterwards the treasurer - is positive that it was not completed, and that no school was held in it until the winter of 1830-31.

     The Clearfield Academy, then, was completed in 1830. The building is situate on Front street, in the town of Clearfield, and faces Witmer Park, which extends to the eastern bank of the West Branch of Susquehanna River, and also almost directly opposite the landing known to lumbermen as the “ Lick.” The structure is of red brick, having a front of about sixty feet on Front street, and extending back about thirty feet, two stories high, with a cylindrical, octagon tower built from the center of the building. The building is now used as a dwelling house, with one room reserved and occupied by one department of the primary schools of the borough.
 

 

 

 

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     Did the academy trustees ever receive the fifteen hundred dollars donated by Mr. Abraham Witmer? This question has been frequently asked, and the writer has never seen a published answer to the inquiry. The inquiry must be answered in the affirmative. On October 3, 1838, the treasurer, Richard Shaw, is charged in his account as follows : “To draught on the Treasurer of Clearfield Co. received from Commissioners of the county on account of debt due by Abraham Witmer dec’d, in part of his subscription to the Academy, $600. ”

     Subsequently, suit was brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin county, against John Graff, administrator of Abraham Witmer, deceased, and judgment obtained on 28th August, 1835, for $1,270.12. Mr. Graff assigned to the Clearfield Academy, in part payment of this judgment, a bond -against Alexander Irvin, amounting to $1,070.52, which was afterwards canceled by Richard Shaw, giving his bond for the payment of the same on April 1, 1838, which was subsequently paid. The small balance, after deducting attorney charges, was arranged.

     Again it has been asked, what became of the $2,000 appropriated to this school and mentioned in the act of 12th February, 1827 ? It was also paid, as is shown by the account referred to, in which are these charges against the treasurer : “To cash received from the Commonwealth, available funds, $1,000; to cash received from ‘ Do,’ to be placed in some safe productive
fund, $ I,000.”

     The moneys received from Mr. Witmer’s estate, and also from the Commonwealth, were mingled and a portion invested, and finally was transferred to the school district of Clearfield borough, under act of 17th April, 1871.

     The first school held in the academy was in the year 1830-31, and was taught by Dr. A. T. Schryver, now living. The writer is well aware that it is stated in various articles heretofore published, that the first school was taught here in 1828 by Dr. Schryver, but from what has been written such could not have been the case. From a statement made by Dr. Schryver recently, it would appear that he taught in Curwensville in 1826-27 ; on Grampian Hill in 1827-28 and 1828-29, and in 1829-30 in the grand jury room in Clearfield, and in the log cabin across the river - opposite the jail - which was built by Martin Nicholls, and in which he lived while building a new house. We have, in support of this position, the statement of Mr. James Wrigley - corroborated by a collateral event - that he attended the first school in the academy, and that Dr. Schryver was the teacher, and that it was in the late fall of 1830. We have it from Dr. Schryver himself that he received pay for the schooling of two poor children of Lawrence township ; that they attended his school at the academy in Clearfield ; that he received his pay from the county during his term in. the academy ; and that he only taught in the academy one winter. The records of Clearfield county show that Dr. Schryver received two dollars
 

 

 

 

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and ninety-four cents for educating poor children of Lawrence township, on November 8, 1830, which minute has been shown him, and he informs us that our conclusion fixing the date of the first school in the Clearfield Academy in the fall of 1830 is correct.


     The second teacher was James H. Laverty, who began in the fall of 1831 and continued as teacher until Decembr [sic] 20, 1834; salary, $300 per year. On 28th March, 1834, at a minority meeting of the trustees, the academy was leased to Mr. Laverty for a term of two years after April 1, 1834. Subsequently, on April 11, 1834, this contract was annulled, and Mr. Laverty notified to quit the premises, which he did, on December 20, 1834.

     On May 5, 1834, twenty-two by-laws were adopted by the trustees, and a lengthy report was made, stating, inter alia, “ that there are no available funds that can be made use of for general purposes.”

     In December, 1834, Judge Moses Boggs was employed as teacher from December 20, 1834, to May 1, 1835, upon the following terms : “ He is to receive all he can make by the teaching of scholars that are sent to his school; the board of trustees agree to pay him the sum of fifty-five dollars, . . . provided he is to teach the five [poor] children as is directed by the act of
Assembly.”

     September 2, 1835, Mr. John Heisey was appointed teacher for one quarter, “ he to take the academy and to look only to the subscribers to him for his pay.”

     In 1836-37 the free schools for Lawrence township were held in the academy, as is shown by the following report of the superintendent of common schools, 1836-37 : “Trustees kept no school-teachers employed by common schools.” The academy trustees subsequently had sessions of school before the common schools began and after they closed, contributing, however, to the support of the teacher of the common schools. Common schools were held here each year until 1840 by Lawrence township, and then by Clearfield borough until 1852.

     The following is believed to be a correct list of the additional teachers who taught in the academy from time to time, with the dates of their respective elections, it being impossible to learn the length of time each taught, viz. :

     Hugh Caldwell, April 3, 1837 ; salary, thirty dollars per quarter; Thomas Lever, elected September 8, 1837 ; Adam C. Shaw, March 8, 1839 ; James H. Rankin. May 6, 1839 ; W. H. Butler, October 7, 1839 ; W. L. Martin, April 23, 1840 ; Lewis Huxthal, June 20, 1840; Jno. L. Cutle, April 24, 1841; Matt. Taylor, January 26, 1842 ; Frederick G. Bctts, January 24, 1844 ; W. C. Welch, January 24, 1844 ; Wm. Porter, March 25, 1844 ; J. G. Gordon, July, 1844; Jno. L. Cutle, February 1, 1845 ; Jno. F. Weaver, May 8, 1845 ; Mrs. C. Betts, May 8, 1845 ; Thos. Fulton, January, 1846 ; Wm. A. Wallace, November IO, 1846 ; Wm. Hotchkiss, December 1, 1846 ; Miss Mary D.
 

 

 

 

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Hotchkiss, August 19, 1847; Cornelia McGee, December 20, 1848; Rev. Mr. Merwin, April 26, 1850; Mrs. Wrigley, July 13, 1850; Mr. and Mrs. Catlin, September 28, 1850; W. A. Campbell, July 26, 1854; Joseph Buchannan, -----, 1857; Rev. J. M. Galloway, January 15, 1858; C. B. Sanford, March 30, 1858; Miss Smith, March 30, 1858; J. M. Galloway, January 31, 1859; Miss H. S. Swan, May 16, 1863; Dan'l W. McCurdy, November 28, 1863; J. P. Worrell, November 28, 1863 ; Rev. P. L. Harrison, September 23, 1865.


     The following persons assisted Mr. Harrison, viz: Miss H. S. Swan, Mrs. Harrison, Miss Byer, Miss Broom, Miss Clark, Miss Smith, Miss Mitchell, Miss Cray, Miss M. McAlpine.

     Mr. Harrison quit the academy in 1873, after which Miss H. S. Swan occupied two rooms with a girls’ school ; R. M. McEnally one room as boys’ school, and also for a night school; I. P. Schaeffer, German school; Miss M. McAlpine occupied one room in which she gave private instruction in instrumental music.
 

CLEARFIELD ACADEMY-MISCELLANEOUS.
 

     Phonography. - In 1830 - Dr. A. T. Schryver kept a night school in the academy, at which he taught phonography.

     At an early day the services of the Catholic church were held here.

     September 7, 1837. Terms of Thomas Lever, (teacher) : “The ‘use of the academy for a residence, the interest of the $2,000 appropriated, and to teach

Spelling and reading for................................$1.50
The above with arithmetic and writing. ............ 2.50

The preceding with geography and grammar........3.00
And with French or Latin................................4.00.”
This is perhaps the first teacher who taught French and Latin in the county.
 

     1841, January 23. Permission given Rev. Mr. Wilcox to occupy one room for prayer-meeting.
 

     1843, January 21. “Contract for making desks and seats let to James Wrigley, for the price specified in his proposal, $48.”
Union Sunday-school directed to occupy lower room.


     1844, October 21. I. G. Gordon employed as teacher of Latin, Greek and mathematics.
 

     1846, March 16. Female teacher directed “ to cause her pupils to write compositions.”
 

     1846-7. Female school taught in connection with common school.
 

     1851, August 21. Bidwell’s hemispherical maps introduced.
 

     1851. Kitchen built by J. C. Whitehill.
 

     1860, February 6. Rev. J. M. Galloway “stated that the academy tuition failed to meet expenses, under his contract, and asked to be released from the remaining two years under his contract.”
 

 

 

 

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     1865, September 23.  Rev. Harrison introduced "Holbrook's Geared Tellurean," which his scholars will remember with peculiar plaesure.

 

     1869-70. The Republicans Friend, a school paper edited by R. D Swoope, esq., was read each week. This was followed by the Democrat’s Friend, edited by P. B. Wacthel. Then, as now, these two elements could not get along very well, and were suppressed by the Rev. Mr. H., and a compromise and combination effected giving birth to the School Echo, edited by R. D.
Swoope and P. B. Wacthel, the lion and the lamb having lain down together. It was concluded that competition was the life of the school, as well as of trade, and a new journal was started- The lndependent-edited by J. F. Snyder, assisted by W. A. Hagerty, esq. These papers thrived for a considerable time.

     Ex-Governor William Bigler and Hon. William A. Wallace were elected school directors by the board of trustees under the act of April 17, 1871. Mr. Wallace resigned in 1875 and Governor Bigler subsequently died, thus leaving a vacancy which has never been filled.

     J. F. Weaver, G. L. Reed, Rich. Mossop, Jas. B. Graham, Joseph Shaw, James Alexander, and J. B. McEnally, acting trustees, by their deed dated August 25, 1876, recorded in deed book No. 12, page 273, conveyed the academy property to the school district of Clear-field “for the use of the graded schools.”


     This conveyance practically ends the history of an institution which has done much to advance the cause of education, and though its walls may crumble and decay, we will look upon the place where it stood with reverence, for it will recall the fact that in years past there stood a building on that spot, within the halls of which we sat and received instruction and discipline so
valuable to us in the struggle for success; and then too we will not forget that the first “ free schools ” of the township of Lawrence and of the borough of Clearfield were opened, thereby giving the advantages of education to the poor as well as to the rich of this community. The teachers of this institution were men and women well qualified for the work which they undertook. Many of them to-day occupy prominent and responsible positions. Some have been highly honored by their fellows, prominent among whom is Hon. William A. Wallace, ex-United States Senator.

     Curwensville Academy.-John Irvin, by his deed, dated November 4, 1831, recorded in deed book E, 351, conveyed to Job England, Jno. P. Hoyt, Isaac Bloom, and Jno. Irwin, jr., trustees of the Curwensville Academy, a piece of ground situate in Curwensville, “being sixty feet square, and the same lot on which the school - house is now being built.” This academy only existed as such for a few years, after which the common schools occupied it, under which head it will be treated more fully.

     Female Seminaries. - The superintendent of common schools in his report
 

 

 

 

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for 1841, page 397, in speaking of this subject with reference to Clearfield county says: "There are no female seminaries."  But Mr. thomas H. Burrows in his "State Book of Pennsylvania" (2nd edition, page 234), in speaking of Clearfield says: "the literary institutions are an academy, a female seminary, and seventy-six common schools."

 

     By referring to the head “ Academy Miscellaneous,” it will be seen that there was a female school taught here in connection with the common schools, and this we presume is what Mr. Burrows terms “ a female seminary,” as it is possible that such school was in existence when the first edition of his book was published in 1843.

     Miss Swan’s School.-In 1868 Miss H. S. Swan established a school for girls, in Clearfield, in the Keystone building, on Second street, between Cherry and Walnut streets. This school was very successful and was continued at the same place until 1873, when it was transferred to the academy, and upon the organization of the Leonard graded schools in 1874 was abandoned. Miss
Swan was an excellent teacher-she is now dead. She was assisted by Miss S. Germond, Miss E. Cooper, and Miss Fannie D. James.
 

     Common Schools.-When, or where the first free school was held in the county cannot be definitely determined, but it is very probable that it was either in the Clearfield or Curwensville academies. The system was then in its infancy. Nine of the seventeen districts of the county, we are told, rejected it. We have searched in vain for the record showing what districts these were. From the records found it might be stated with reasonable certainty that Bradford, Burnside, Covington, Chest, Lawrence, Pike, and Penn townships all accepted the system in November, 1834, and that Bell, Brady, Decatur, Fox, Girard, Jordon, and, Jay did so in 1835, Beccaria, Gibson, and Morris doing so in 1836; but this statement is not claimed to be without considerable doubt. The only reliable data found being the report of Thomas H. Burrows, then superintendent of the common schools, who, in his report for 1836-7, says that on November 4, 1834, the whole number of districts in the county was seventeen - accepting, districts eight, not accepting, districts nine. The same authority tells us in his report of 1836-7 that “ Williston, Brady and Covington townships received appropriations ; that there were four schools in the Williston district with three male and two female teachers ; Brady district, four schools and five male teachers ; Covington two schools and two male
teachers ; that reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography were taught, and the character of the teachers respectable and competent ; good character well qualified.”

     It is a lamentable fact that the record of these struggles was not more carefully kept, as they would of themselves form an interesting chapter in the educational history of the county. The records in the commissioner’s office contain practically all that can be found. There is evidence of the meeting

 

 

 

 

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of the school delegates on May 2, 1836, which meeting is evidenced by the following minutes:

     “ Received of the commissioners two dollars for attendance as school delegate.
“ May 3, 1836.           JAMES MCNIEL.”

     Payments were made on the same date and on the same account as follows :

     James Elder, $3.00 ; Jesse Kyler, $4.00; James Thompson, $4.00 ; E. Fenton, $2.00; Abram Leonard (December 6, 1836), $2.00.

     Among the interesting things recorded are the following, which will give some idea of the interest taken at that early day in some of the townships:

     Fox Township.--” Elizabeth M. Hyatt’s school near John Green’s ; the number of scholars taught is 22 males, 34 females ; total 56 ; been taught 15 weeks.

     “ Hannah M. Brockway’s school has been taught ten weeks ; number of scholars, 8 males and 17 females ; total 25.

     “ Minerva Horton’s school has been taught ten weeks ; number of scholars is 3 males and 12 females ; total 15.

     “ Three schools not opened.”

     Brady township at this time (1835-6) was divided into six districts, with contracts for building five school-houses, three already raised, others making preparations.

     The most interesting of these reports comes from Chest, and is as follows :

     The school directors from “old Chest, now Chest, Bell and Burnside-”

     “ Do report that we have put into operation three schools, first, taught by Sarah Snyder three months at $8 per month, in all twenty-four dollars.
     2. “ By Simon Thompson three months, at fourteen dollars per month.
     3. “James Campbell three months, at $16 per month. Rent of school house and stove had for school purposes from John Smith.
     “ Character of teachers good, as known to us, and kept good rules in scholl [sic].
 

     Branches taught, reading and writing and arithmetic. First school, as above
stated, had twenty scholars........................................20
Second school about thirty........................................30
Third school about forty........................................40


     “ We certify that the above is a true statement of the schools established in ‘old Chest now Bell Chest and Burnside townships.’ ”
 

     As a matter of local interest to Beccaria township, the following minute is given.

     “ The following is a description of the house in which the citizens of Beccaria township have proceeded in the school section. On Fryday [sic] the 18th day of March [1836] At the township election they elected six directors which was-

 

 

 

 

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     "Anthony Wright, Joseph Turner, Samuel M. Smith, Wm. Cree, Jacob Leonard, M. C. Robertson, and they met on the next Friday, and elected M. C. Robertson for delegate who met in Clearfield town at the delegate meeting and voted for a school, and then within the space of twenty days met again and organized by appointing Anthony Wright president, Samuel M. Smith
treasurer, M. C. Robertson secretary. Then we proceeded to divide the township into five schools it being as few as we could put the township off with. Each school will have twenty-five scholars above four years old, and then we ordered an election to see if the people would have an additional day and they said not.”
 

     This report was made in 1836.

     It cannot be definitely settled at what date the first common school was held in Brady township, but it is very probable that it was in 1836 or 1837. John Carlisle was employed to teach it. In speaking of this school he says : “ There were no primaries ; all Brady was the district ; all came who wanted to or could come. I soon found I was overwhelmed. I had a Bible and Testament class, after that all kinds. Whatever the parents had they would send their children with, old torn spelling books and primers of all varieties. The house was crowded ; some came a long way.” Westly Horn was employed to assist Mr. Carlisle, each taking one end of the room. Mr. C. also says : “ We soon had eighty scholars on our list, and over sixty of an average.” Cobb’s was the first regular series of books introduced. He also says, " then came a new set of teachers, the Seylers, the Arnolds, John Reams, Westly Horn, and others.”

     It is not the province of this article to give a detailed account of the county, and these few incidents have been cited merely to show that there was some activity upon this question. Leaving these matters for local historians we will now turn to the

     Common Schools of Clearfield Town and Borough.-The first common schools held in the town of Clearfield were held under the management of the school directors of Lawrence township in 1834-5 or 1835-6, in the Clearfield Academy. The academy trustees usually had two months school before and after the three months of common schools. The same teachers were employed by both and were jointly supported, the trustees paying from $2 to $6 per month on account of the salaries. The schools continued to be taught in this way until 1840, when the town of Clearfield became a borough.

     From 1840, the date of the incorporation of Clearfield borough, until the fall of 1852, the common schools for the borough were held in the academy under the same arrangement with reference to payment of teachers, as that had by school directors of Lawrence township.

In 1851 George Thorn, as contractor, erected the “Town Hall ” which, by the way, was the first common school building erected in the borough. The

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.
 

first school was opened in this building in the fall of 1852.  The "Town Hall" was located on Pine street on lot No. 90, and immediately east of the Presbyterian Church.  It was a two story brick structure about 30 by 50, with two rooms down stairs and one large room or hall on the second floor.  Besides being used for school purposes, it served as a place of amusement.  Ventriloquists, magicians and magic lanterns met and amused the populace here.  Singing schools and spelling schools also found place.  "Lockouts" were not strangers here, one being recalled which lasted several days.  All efforts to obtain a correct and chronological list of teachers have resulted in failure.  Upon the best information we find that the following persons were among the teachers:  H. B. Smith, first teacher, 1852-3; A. P. Moore, T. J. McCullough and Eliza Livergood, (first female teacher) Mr. Ferguson, ---- Permit, W. S. Bradley, William M. McCullough, Charles B. Sanford and John G. Hall (1857-8_, John H. Fulford, Mr. Bingham, J. McGaughey, C. B. Sanford, Mr. Prideaux, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Liddle nee Swan, Miss H. S. Swan, Miss Hannah Spackman, Mrs. W. J. Hoffer nee Walters, Mrs. Mary Cooper nee Sackett, George W. Snyder, Mr. Innis. Private schools were taught in summer seasons by many of the then young ladies of the town, in this building. The building continued to accommodate the common schools of the town until 1872. In the fall of the previous year the school directors, by deed dated the 4th of November, 1871, recorded in deed book vol. 5, 367, in consideration of $1,800, purchased the old Methodist Church property on Cherry street and fitted it up for school purposes, using it in conjunction with the “Town Hall,” it being occupied by J. F. McKenrick, A. W. Mulholland, Mrs. Hoffer nee Walters, and part of the time by Miss Mary Riley, Mrs. Ella Morgan, Miss Ella Doyle, the “ Town Hall ” school being taught at this time by Mr. I. P. Schaefer.

     In 187I, April 17, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an act entitled “An Act to establish graded schools in Clearfield.”

     The preamble reading as follows:

     “ Whereas, Legislation is necessary for the purpose of establishing, in the borough of Clearfield, a system of graded schools in which the rudiments and lower English branches shall be taught free, and the higher English branches and languages and classics shall be taught at moderate prices, and in order to secure to the children of all citizens thereof an academical education, if they desire it, and to insure the keeping open of the schools the longest period possible, in each year, consistent with the resources of the taxpayers therein ; and

     “ Whereas, It is believed that these objects can be obtained by uniting the resources and management of the common schools in said borough, under an arrangement, made by authority of law; therefore,” etc.

     The Act consists of five sections, the first of which gives “The trustees of the Clearfield Academy power to sell and convey into the school district of the borough of Clearfield the academy lots, subject to the express condition
 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


that the same shall be used for the purpose of a public school, in which all the English branches, methematics, and the classics shall be taught.

     Section two authorized the directors to sell the lots on which the town hall and the newly acquired houses stood.

     Section three fixes the number of directors at eight-six of whom are to be elected by the people and two every two year by the trustees of the Clearfield Academy. Authority is given to erect building, borrow money, and issue bonds.
 

     Section four regulates the supervision of the schools, and directs that lower branches shall be taught free.
 

     Section five authorizes the trustees of the academy to appropriate money towards the erection of building. A supplement to this act was passed April 9, 1872, authorizing the erection of the school-house upon any other ground that might be purchased for that purpose.

     On May 2, 1873, James T. Leonard, et al, by their deed recorded in Deed Book, Vol. 4, p. 153, in consideration of the sum of “ one dollar and a desire upon the part of the said James T. Leonard to advance the cause of education in the borough of Clearfield,” conveyed to the school district of Clearfield borough the lots “ known as the David Litz foundary property,” upon which the Leonard Graded School building now stands.

     The school district, by their deed dated October 17, 1874, recorded in Deed Book, Vol. 7, p. 242, conveyed the town hall and Methodist Church properties to James B. Graham for $3,445.

     The trustees of the academy conveying the academy property, as hereinbefore stated by deed of August 25, 1876.
 

LEONARD GRADED SCHOOL.
 

     The building, a fine brick, stands on an elevated spot overlooking the town from the east. It is divided into ten apartments, one of which is occupied by the Leonard Library Association’s library.


     The first school was opened in this building in September 28, 1874, under the most promising circumstances. Great interest was manifested by the whole public, which was given voice by an opening, or dedication exercise, in the Opera House on Friday, October 9, 1874, at which the following exercises were held :

     1. Prayer, Rev. A. D. Yocum ; music, Clearfield orchestra. 2. Hon. W. A. Wallace, on behalf of the board, presented the building to the citizens. 3. Dr. R. V. Wilson accepted building on behalf of the citizens. 4. Dedicatory prayer, Rev. H. S. Butler. 5. Address, “ Graded Schools,” J. P. Wickersham, State superintendent of common schools. 6. Address, Ex-Governor William Bigler. 7. Address, Rev. H. S. Butler. 8. Benediction, Rev. H. S. Butler.

 

 

 

 

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The task of properly grading the schools fell upon the principal, Prof. G. W. Fortney, and I. P. Schaeffer, assistant, who proved themselves equal to the emergency. He found everything in confusion, but soon systematized and graded the schools so effectually that B. C. Youngman, succeeding Mr. Fortney as principal, adopted their arrangement, which, with such improvements as time made necessary, is still in force.
 

     The following is a complete list of all the teachers employed in this institution up to this date, viz. :
 

     1874-5.-G. W. Fortney, I. P. Schaefer, Miss H. S. Swan, J. F. McKenrick, A. R. Reed, Miss Fannie D. James.
     1875-6.-B. C. Youngman, I. P. Schaefer, Miss H. S. Swan, J. F. McKenrick, Miss Mattie Morrison, Miss Fannie D. James, Miss E. A. P. Rynder.
     1876-7.-B. C. Youngman, F. G. Harris, Miss H. S. Swan, J. F. McKenrick, Miss E. A. P. Rynder, Miss Mary W. Moore.
     1877-8.-B. C. Youngman, Frank G. Harris, Miss H. S. Swan, J. F. McKenrick, Miss E. A. Rynder, Miss Mary W. Moore.
     1878-9-B. C. Youngman, Frank G. Harris, Miss Ada Ale, J. F. McKenrick, Miss Hattie Moore, Mrs. Mary W. Shaw.
     1879-80.-B. C. Youngman, Frank G. Harris, Miss Ada M. Ale, Matt. Savage, Miss Hattie R. Moore, Miss Mabel McGeorge, Miss Carrie M. Flegal.
     1880-I.-B. C. Youngman, F. G. Harris, Matt. Savage, L. E. Weber, W. E. Tate, Miss Kate M. Mitchell, Miss Carrie Flegal.
     1881-2 .-B. C. Youngman, Matt. Savage, L. E. Weber, J. M. Davidson, Miss Kate M. Mitchell, Miss Carrie Flegal, Mary Powell.
     1882-3.-B. C. Youngman, Matt. Savage, Miss Lois McGaughey, J. H. Mead, Miss Kate M. Mitchell, Miss Sophie Whitehill, Miss Mary Powell.
     1883-4.-B. C. Youngman, Matt. Savage, Miss Kate M. Mitchell, Jno. C. Barclay, Mrs. Alice Heisey, Sophie Whitehill, Annie Savage.
     1884-5 .-B. C. Youngman, Miss Madge Forcey, Miss Saddie Gallaher, Jno. C. Barclay, Miss Alice Heisey, Miss Sophie Whitehill, Annie Savage.
     1885-6.-B. C. Youngman, Frank Hutton, Saddie Gallaher, Jno. C. Barclay, Alice Heisey, Sophie Whitehill, Annie Savage.
     1886-7.-B. C. Y oungman, Saddie Gallaher, Mary F. Heckendorn, Jno. C. Barclay, Alice Heisey, Sophie Whitehill, Jennie M. Read, Annie Hall, Annie Savage.

     The first class was graduated in 1876. No commencement was held until 1877, when the 1876 and 1877 classes joined, and held commencement exercises in the opera house on April 4, 1877.

     The school has done a great work in the cause of education. Its classes have not been large, but the success in life of its graduates indicate the training received.

     Of those who, from time to time, have graduated from the Leonard graded

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


school, J. F. Snyder and W. A. Hagerty (class of 1876), A. P. MacLeod and W. Irvin Shaw (class of 1879), have entered the legal profession ; Huston Hartswick (1878) and Preston Wilson (1879) the medical profession ; J. F. Short, journalism ; Benjamin F. Boggs and Joseph H. Hammond have become stenographers ; Ida M. Gearhart and C. H. Bickel (1877), Lois McGaughey (1878), Mary Powell, Sophia Whitehill, and Frank Marshall (1879), Will Owens (1880), Alice Worrell, Kate Bickel, Carrie Carrick, and Larry MCDonald (1884) have become teachers in the common schools.

 

     The course of study pursued is such as is prescribed by the act of Assembly creating the school. Its present principal, Professor B. C. Youngman, who has now been in charge for eleven years, being an able and effective teacher, by whom the classics and higher branches have been most successfully taught. But few of the graduates of this institution have entered college. Miss Blanch Flegal entered Pittsburgh Female College; Huston Hartswick entered West Point; Preston Wilson, Amherst ; W. Irvin Shaw, Lafayette ; Harvey Liddle, Princeton;-all of whom received their preparatory training at the hands of Professor Youngman.

     The name given the school, viz., “ Leonard Graded Schools,” was so applied in honor of Hon. James T. Leonard, who took a deep interest in the success of the schools. Although almost four score years old he daily visited the halls during 1874-5 and 1875-6. It is not the purpose here to eulogize any one, but in view of the present indifferent feeling toward Judge Leonard, attention is here directed to some of the marks of respect shown him by the pupils and by the people. The first event was the presentation to him, on December 22, 1874, of an ebony cane, surmounted by a solid gold head beautifully engraved, and having the following inscription : “ Christmas, 1874. Presented to James T. Leonard by the pupils of the Leonard Graded School.”  Some might be inclined to say-Oh ! this is simply what the children did ; well enough, that is true. Let us see what “the people ” did. Under the title of “ Leonard Graded Schools, Liberality of Hon. James T. Leonard,” published in the town papers about August 30, 1876, after giving a detailed financial statement of the school district, this minute appears : “ And on the 26th August, [1876,] at a full meeting of the board, and upon settlement being made as aforesaid, it was ascertained that the district owed to Hon. James T. Leonard, on the original investment, for building, furniture, apparatus, etc., $14,302.53, together with $1,074.61 of interest, for which he held no security; and, on motion, it was resolved to issue bonds to the amount of $I,000, bearing interest from date. and an order on the treasurer for $74.61 ; and upon delivery of the same to Judge Leonard, he made the following donation to the Clearfield borough school district : ”

     “ And now, 26th August, 1876, I hereby donate to the school district of Clearfield the sum of fourteen thousand three hundred and two dollars and

 

 

 

 

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fifty-three cents (14,302.53), being the balance due me for money advanced for erection, furniture, and apparatus of the Leonard Graded School building, upon settlement this day made.   Jas. T. Leonard. '

     “ All of which appears upon the minutes of said school board, and is hereby respectfully submitted to the tax-payers of the district.
“ (Attest.) BY ORDER OFTHE BOARD.
“A. C. TATE, Secy.       JAMES T. LEONARD, Pres’t.”
     Also, under the head of “ Complimentary Supper to Hon. James T. Leonard,” is the following :

“ CLEARFIELD, August 30, 1876.
“Hon. James T. Leonard.
     “ DEAR SIR : In the statement published this day, by the school board of Clearfield, the citizens of your borough are informed of your munificent gift to the Leonard Graded School. As a slight evidence of their appreciation of that gift, and of your other persistent labors in the cause of education in our midst, they would respectfully tender you a complimentary supper, to take place at the Leonard House, on Friday evening, September 1, 1876.
“W. H. DILL,
“A. C. TATE,
“E. A. BIGLER,
“ Committee.”

Reply :

"CLEARFIELD, August 31, I 876.
“Rev. W. H. Oil, A. C. Tate, and E. A. Bigler, Committee on behalf of Citizens :
     “ GENTLEMEN : Your letter of 30th inst., inviting me to a complimentary ‘ supper,’ is before me. I accept, with pleasure, your kind invitation, and would express to you and through you to the citizens of Clearfield my thanks for their appreciation of my efforts in behalf of education.
“ Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“JAMES T. LEONARD."

     The supper took place at the time appointed, Hon. G. R. Barrett sitting at the head of the table. In the language of Father Test, a great amount of good things were “ deposited beneath this vest ; ” numerous toasts were offered and responded to in neat addresses by Hon. William A. Wallace, Hon. G. R. Barrett, Hon. J. B. McEnally, Rev. W. H. Dill, T. H. Murray and Israel Test, esqrs.

     “The Leonard Literary Association” was an out-growth of and an auxiliary to the Leonard Graded School. It, was organized in November, 1874, by the teachers and older scholars of the schools, and became an efficient educator. The meetings of the society were held on Friday evenings, and were very interesting and largely attended by the citizens, regardless of age. As a literary and debating society it has never been excelled in the county. After the

 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.


close of the schools, in 1876, the interest in this direction seemed to calm down, and since 1878 no meeting has been held.


     The literary society had, as one of its objects, the establishment of a public library. Through dramatical entertainments, the first of which was given June 8, 1875, another on December 23, 1875, and lecture courses, a considerable sum of money was raised, which, with donations from the citizens, was used in the foundation of a public library, the care of which was assumed by the Leonard Literary Association. The library, consisting of about 500 volumes, was opened to the public on September 1, 1876. Oscar Mitchell, esq., and W. A. Hagerty, esq., are the present librarians.
 

     Through the efforts of Mr. B. C. Youngman, the present principal, a school library has been established in connection with the High School department of the Leonard Graded Schools. Some donations have been made, and with the purchases this library is worth about two hundred and fifty dollars.
 

CURWENSVIILE.
 

     In the Curwensville Academy the first common school for Pike township was held about 1835 by John Patton, sr., at eighteen dollars per month. Hugh Caldwell, Peter Hoover, Reuben Hunter, et al., taught here. This building was used until 1852, when a school-house was built on Walnut street. The board bought the old Methodist Church and held school in it until 1869, when it was sold. Their district at that time owned one lot on Walnut street. General Patton bought and presented it with two other lots adjoining, on which additional buildings were erected. These lots were finally sold for $3,400, and the lots on which the Patton Graded Public School building stands were purchased. General Patton again purchased another lot on the
corner and presented it to the district. The Patton Graded Public School building was completed in 1885. It is of stone, and is the finest school building in the county. General Patton donated towards its erection $16,500 and the corner lot valued at $3,500. The first school in this building commenced October 5, 1885, with the following teachers:
     Mr. G. W. Weaver, principal ; Mrs. G. W. Weaver, grammar school ; Miss Lou Farewell, intermediate school; Miss Mamie Irvin, second primary; Miss Lizzie Crouch, first primary school.


     The first commencement was held in 1886 with the following graduates : Harriet Crouch, Katie Krise, Blanche Sloss, May Kratzer, Mollie Hoover, S. P. Arnold, Walter Buoy, G. F. Kittleberger, Orvis Kerns.
 

     During the year 1886 a library association was formed. A new book case costing $120, and 400 volumes have been placed in the library room.
 

     William Irvin erected in Curwensville a brick school-house in about 1854, which was rented by the borough and used for many years as a “High School.”

 

 

 

 

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HISTORY OF CLEARFIELD COUNTY.

 

RACE IN THE SCHOOLS


     But little of interest can be learned concerning the attendance of colored children at the early schools ; whether there were any such in the county is not known to the writer. The first authentic reference to provisions made for this class of scholars is a minute of January 17, 1844, when George Leech was authorized to rent benches in the upper school room of the Clearfield Academy for the use of colored pupils going to school.

     Dr. Schryver informs us that in 1855 there were colored scholars attending the common schools of the county ; that they were children of Samuel Cochran, and attended the Grampian Hills school; that there was no distinction made because of their color.

     Two colored boys attended the “ Town Hall ” schools about 1866 and occupied a platform in one corner of the room. W. Banks Holmes was the last colored scholar who attended the “ Town Hall ” schools.

     There are but few colored scholars in the county, and so far as the writer can learn no distinction is made because of their color
 

COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS.
 

     Until after the passage of the act of 1854 the secretary of the Commonwealth was ex-officio superintendent of all the common schools of the State. That act directed that there should be chosen an officer for each county, to be called the county superintendent, whose duty it should be to visit, as often as practicable, the several schools of his county, and to note the course and method of instruction and branches taught ; to examine all candidates for the profession of teacher, etc. This act has done much in advancing and improving the grade and character of the schools of the county. Knowing the character of the schools and efficiency of the teachers of to-day you need but contrast them with the schools and teachers of 1854 to appreciate the improvement. The county superintendent in his report made November 14, 1854, says : “ Nine-tenths of the schools are of a very low grade, reading, writing and arithmetic only being required by the directors and citizens. Orthography is not understood by one-tenth of the former teachers, and arithmetic but imperfectly to the single rule of three ;” also, “ I have examined about fifty applicants, to eight of whom I gave certificates by authority of law, and four of these were natives of New York [so was the superintendent]. Twenty got second class certificates, four for reading, orthography and the elements of arithmetic, the balance were know-nothings.”

     The same superintendent says that he examined one applicant, to whom he refused to give a certificate. The applicant returned afterwards and wanted to know why he did not receive a certificate. He was informed it was because “ he did not know anything.” Whereupon he insisted upon his having a cer-
 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.
 

tificate to that effect, which was given him, and upon which he afterwards obtained a school.


     The schools of to-day, as well as the teachers, are, as a rule, of a high grade, in fact equal to those of any county in the State, very much of which is due to the efficiency of our county superintendents and their care in the examination of candidates for the profession of teacher, and in the granting of certificates.

     The following gentlemen have served as county superintendents, viz.:
     Dr. A. T. Schryver, 1854-7; L. L. Still, 1857-60; Jesse Broomall, 1860-3; Chas. B. Sanford, 1863-6 ; George W. Snyder, I 866-72 ; Jno. A. Gregory; 1872-S ; M. L. McQuown, 1878-84 ; Matt. Savage, 1884-7, and re-elected for the term from 1887-90.
 

COUNTY INSTITUTES.
 

     An attempt was made to hold an institute in 1854, but it was a complete failure. In 1855 a second attempt was made, which is described as follows by Dr. Schryver, the superintendent: “ The first of the kind was held in the Town Hall, in Clearfield borough, by myself, assisted by J. L. Evans. On the first day but eight teachers were in attendance with three school directors and ten citizens. On the second day the attendance was better and Miss S. S. Swan [now Mrs. Liddle], teacher in the Town Hall, brought in a large number of pupils. On the third day an organization was effected, and officers appointed for the year, after which the meeting adjourned to meet in December.” At the last county institute 255 teachers were in daily attendance.

     In 1859-60 institutes were held in Curwensville.

     In 1861 the county superintendent reports : “ No institute this year ; political excitement in the fall and war excitement in the spring seemed to forbid or excuse them.”

     In 1864 an institute was held in the borough of Clearfield, commencing on 23d August and continuing five days. About fifty teachers in attendance.

     In 1869 an institute was held in Curwensville ; 110 teachers present ; six days’ session.

     After this the institutes were as a rule held in Clearfield.

     In 1878 M. L. McQuown established a permanent lecture course in connection with the institute and introduced many prominent lecturers. This course was continued by his successor, Mr. Savage, and is now a prominent feature of the institute.

     In 1879 an educational exposition of scholars' and teachers' work was held in connection with the institute.  Premiums or diplomas were awarded the successful competitors.

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NORMAL SCHOOLS


     The first normal school in the county was taught in Curwensville by Mr. Still, in the first year of his term, and was a failure.  He taught only about two weeks.  The next year he was more successful, teaching 8 weeks.  No normals appear to have been held after this until Mr. Snyder's term, during which he held nineteen months.  Mr. Gregory and Mr. McQuown continued them  and Superintendent Savage abandoned them.

 

MISCELLANEOUS.
 

     The first attempts made in the county to grade the common schools was in 1858, in Clearfield and Curwensville.

     In 1856 public sentiment with regard to education and the school system was favorable.

     Mr. Broomall reports in 1861 : “ Public sentiment is mostly favorable to the school system ; it is taken to be a fixed fact, though occasionally I heard it decried.”

     In 1864 Mr. Sanford reports that, ” Owing to the war, which deprived us of the services of some of our best teachers, we were obliged in some instances to grant certificates to those whose qualifications were considerably below the standard.”

     In the summer of 1875 Professor J. W. Dale taught a successful elocution school in the Leonard graded school building.

     The last pioneer log school house stood in the “ Wood’s District ” of Ferguson township. It was removed in 1886 to give place to a more modern structure.

     In 1887, Miss Julia A. Orom, of Philadelphia, opened a summer school of elocution in the Leonard Graded School building in Clear-field. Miss Orom is a teacher of the Lemuel G. White method.

     Miss Matilda H. Ross, of Philadelphia, held a summer school of methods in Clearfield in June, 1887;

     The State Teachers’ Association of Pennsylvania held its annual session at Clearfield, July 5, 6 and 7, 1887. Over five hundred members were enrolled.

     A school was opened about 1875, in Frenchville, under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Recently a new building was erected in which it is proposed to have, a school under the charge of the sisters of charity. A school under the auspices of the same church was opened in Houtzdale in 1886.

     This article gives but a brief reference to the schools of the county. Nothing more was promised ; nothing more was attempted. The history of the schools of Clearfield town and borough have been treated more fully, and after much research and careful examination of such records as could be found, it is believed that the history of these schools here given is authentic.
 

 

 

 

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EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS AND INSTITUTIONS.
 

CONCLUSION

 

     From the first settlement until 1804, Clearfield County has no educational history.  The first period of interest is from 1804 - 1830, the date of the opening of the Clearfield Academy.  From 1830 to 1834 there was great advancement, and from 1834, the date of the inauguration of the common schools, until the present, there has been remarkable progress, as will be seen by a glance at the statistical table below.  Instead of the "old log cabin" in which the scholars were practically taught nothing but reading, we have our elegant brick and stone buildings in which the classics and all the higher braches are taught.  And yet, as Carlyle has fitly said, "If we think of it, all that our final highest school can do for us, is still but what the first school began doing- teach us to read.  We learn to read, in various languages, in various sciences; we learn the alphabet and letters of all manner of books.  But the place where we are to get knowledge, even theoretic knowledge, is the books themselves!  It depends on what we read, after all manners of professors have done their best for us.  The true university of these days is a collection of books."

 

 

 

 

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     The subjoined table will serve to show the comparative growth in educational institutions within the county since the year 1835; the number of schools, teachers, salaries paid, and number of pupils attending school annually:

 

Year

SCHOOLS

TEACHERS

SALARIES

SCHOLARS

Whole Number of Schools

Male

Female

Average Paid Per Month to Males

Average Paid Per Month to Females

Male

Females

1835-6 6 7 ... $.... $... 119 101
1836-7 10 10 2 ... ... 200 207
1837-8 53 35½ 14 13.11 6.91 2/3 784 676
1838-9 30 43 17 16.73¼ 5.34 782 620
1840 51 1/3 46 11 17.37¾ 8.43½ 880 725
1841* ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1842 64½ 54 6 16.81¼ 6.00 878 740
1843 83½ 59 21 16.54 8.54 1,324 1,126
1844 80 71 11 16.31½ 8.33 1,327 1,125
1845 76 51 13 16.98½ 8.13 1/3 1,112 914
1846 82 50 15 16.89 6.63½ 1,058 883
1847 75 59 18 17.49 10.65 1,341 1,138
1848 77 55 18 18.33 11.08 1,518 1,243
1849 91 67 13 17.29 9.16 1,484 1,223
1850 83 65 10 18.00 11.33 1,549 1,252
1851 96 77 19 15.85 9.95 1,856 1,479
1852 100 78 18 19.13 10.72 1,911 1,542
1853 85 61 18 19.85 11.84 2,506 1,757
1854 85 61 18 19.85 11.84 2,506 1,757
1855 100 70 32 24.61 1.214 [sic] 2,534 2,017
1856 114 83 34 24.38 20.00 2,370 1,823
1857 119 73 37 26.56 18.90 2,697 2,288
1858 123 80 34 24.62 19.62 2,828 2,202
1859 126 85 47 23.89 20.33 2,957 2,555
1860 127 84 54 24.69 19.89 2,799 2,450
1861 134 87 60 25.03 20.32 2,983 2,503
1862* ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1863 131 61 84 23.20 19.53 3,065 2,827
1864 140 47 95 27.02 21.95 3,097 2,939
1865 137 38 103 35.11 27.31 3,133 2,950
1866 140 44 103 35.60 28.19 3,169 2,961
1867 143½ 44 114 40.15 29.99 2,178 3,090
1868 153 69 91 37.15 30.27 3,558 2,973
1869 154 72 83 39.72 31.97 3,377 2,825
1870 157 79 79 40.30 33.82 3,557 2,871
1871 158 80 79 40.16 35.45 3,638 3,139
1872 167 94 82 41.13 37.09 3,040 3,210
1873 171 104 72 42.23 38.23 4,028 3,576
1874 179 106 88 43.62 38.53 3,908 3,331
1875 193 115 96 40.73½ 35.43 4,199 3,638
1876 199 120 83 39.12½ 33.06¼ 4,499 3,910
1877 208 126 94 34.83 30.03 4,387 3.918
1878 212 130 98 32.84 28.73 4,662 4,327
1879 211 118 107 32.16 26.94 4,698 4,512
1880 226 126 105 32.49 26.74 4,867 4,716
1881 242 128 137 34.33 28.33 5,048 4,711
1882 250 106 149 40.82 29.56 5,174 4,919
1883 251 93 166 38.47 30.46 5,630 5,686
1884 263 102 169 45.52 31.52 6,095 5,836
1885 275 126 162 39.36 32.25 6,842 6,454
1886 289 130 171 37.47 31.87 6,807 6,432


* No report.

 

 

   

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