EDUCATION CONSIDERED—FIRST SCHOOLS—FREE SCHOOLS—PRESENT SCHOOLS—EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ETC.
THE members of the Susquehanna company, by whom this valley was first settled, or at least which sent its strong and combative representatives here as early as 1762, appropriated 500 acres of land to each township in support of schools to be established. The company also appropriated several thousand acres of land in the eastern portion of their purchase for the benefit of the Indian school of Dr. Wheelock, in Connecticut. This was the foundation of Dartmouth college.
Prior to 1773 no organized effort on the part of the people in behalf of schools at this place was made. That year, however, the town voted a tax of three pence on the pound in support of a free school in each township. The next year a committee of sixteen, headed by Capt. Lazarus Stewart, was appointed with power to erect schoolhouses and employ teachers.
The Yankee schoolmaster generally "boarded around" among the patrons of his school, attended all the quiltings and singing-schools, sometimes neglected his scholars, did not neglect the big girls, and was usually devoted to one in particular. At some of his stopping-places he fared sumptuously, at most places he had to put up with "pot luck," while at a few places his sides and jaws exhibited a decided collapse at the close of the boarding week. The early schoolmasters were a very useful but poorly remunerated class of people. We do not learn that any of them ever received land for their services, as did some of the "orthodox ministers of the gospel." After the jurisdiction of Connecticut and the Susquehanna company ceased, several of the school tracts of land were leased for a term of years. Finally, nearly if not all the tracts were sold, and the proceeds added to the township funds, under the authority of a legislative enactment of this State.
The constitution or laws of every State in the Union provide, to a greater or less extent, for educating, the rising generation. Pennsylvania, though late in her movements in this direction, has, nevertheless, advanced steadily in her course, until her system of education is equaled by few, and surpassed by no other among civilized men. The incipient steps of our system were the laws of 1809 and 1824, which provided for educating poor children at the public expense. From 1824 to 1833, when the free-school system was introduced, Luzerne county expended $3,509 for this purpose. This appears like a small sum for educating the poor during a period of ten years in a county like Luzerne. No doubt, however, it was sufficient to meet the demand, as the people were not then fully aroused to the importance of the subject.
By the provisions of the common-school law of 1833, the people were to express their approval or disapproval of the measure by electing, or refusing to elect, six directors in each township. In September, 1834, a vote was taken in twenty-six townships, when twenty-three approved of, and three, Hanover, Newport and Nescopeck, disapproved of the law. In November following, the directors elected assembled, as instructed by act of assembly, at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, and resolved to levy a school tax equal to double the sum appropriated and allotted by the State to Luzerne county. The sum so allotted was $1,331.20, and consequently [p.377] the whole amount appropriated for public education in this county for that year was $3,993.60 This was a creditable and flattering commencement. In the following year a tax of $3,000 was levied, and, with the exception of two or three townships, the excellent system of free education was permanently established.
Hon. J. P. Wickersham, in his history of education in Pennsylvania, has this to say of Luzerne county:
"This chapter can not be closed without some notice of the introduction into a portion of the State of a system of schools that had an important bearing upon subsequent educational history. We have reference to the system of free public schools brought by the Connecticut settlers into the valley of Wyoming. Pennsylvania as a province, of course, had nothing to do in establishing them; in principle they were an advance upon the schools then existing in Connecticut, and in most essential respects were similar in design and management to the public schools of the present day.
"The first settlements in Wyoming valley were made under the auspices of 'the Susquehanna company,' organized in 1753, by some 600 citizens of Windham county, Conn., and approved the following year by an act of the colonial assembly. The surveyors of the company were sent out in 1755, and at that time and subsequently seventeen townships were laid out, each five miles square and containing fifty shares, each of 300 acres. They were located in blocks on the bottom-land along the rivers, and embraced territory now within the limits of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Bradford and Susquehanna counties. The names of these townships are Huntington, Salem, Plymouth, Kingston, Newport, Hanover, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Providence, Exeter, Bedford, Northumberland, Putnam, Braintrim, Springfield, Claverack and Ulster.
"The first attempt to settle on the lands laid out by the company was made in 1762, and continued in 1763, but owing to the hostility of the Indians, no permanent settlement was effected until 1769. Constantly harassed by the savages, compelled to carry on a continuous struggle, amounting at times to open warfare, with rival claimants to the land on which they had built houses and established homes, almost annihilated by the terrible massacre of Wyoming during the Revolutionary war, these brave and hardy men of Connecticut still maintained their ground; and in 1783 the population of the seventeen "certified townships" is estimated to have reached 6,000. It has now swelled to 200,000.
"The first action taken in regard to schools was as follows: 'At a meeting of the Susquehanna company, held at Hartford, Conn., December 28, 1768, it was voted to lay out five townships of land within the purchase of said company, on the Susquehanna, of five miles square each; that the first forty settlers of the first town settled, and fifty settlers of each of the other towns settled, shall divide the towns among themselves; reserving and appropriating three whole shares or rights in each township for the public use of a gospel ministry and schools in each of said towns; and also reserving for the use of said company, all beds and mines of iron ore and coal that may be within said townships.'
"It was also voted to grant Dr. Eleazer Wheelock a tract of land in the easterly part of the Susquehanna purchase, ten miles long and six miles wide, for the use of the Indian school under his care; provided he shall set up and keep said school on the premises.
"This proposed Indian school was never established, although it is stated that Joseph Brant and other Indians attended Dr. Wheelock's school at Lebanon, Conn. Instead of coming to Pennsylvania, Dr. Wheelock went to New Hampshire and became the founder of Dartmouth college. The directions of the company in other respects were carried into effect in all the townships as soon after settlement as possible. The 'three shares' in each township amounted to 960 acres; in a general way the whole was set apart for school purposes, but in a number of instances land [p.378] was voted for the support of ministers of the gospel. The funds arising from the sale of these lands were not husbanded as they might have been, but in some townships they still exist, and are used for the benefit of the public schools. The schools as well as other local affairs were managed, as in New England, by a general town meeting. The mode of proceeding is thus described: 'A school meeting was called, by public notices posted in the district. The inhabitants of the district met, and elected, in their own way, three of their number to act as school committee, which committee hired teachers and exercised a general supervision over the schools. The teacher was paid by the patrons of the school, in proportion to the number of days they had sent children to school. A rate bill was made out by the teacher and handed to the committee, who collected the money.' The general township fund was used to build schoolhouses and to pay teachers.
"A few scraps of history have been gathered up that will serve to show the interest taken in education by those pioneer settlers in a Pennsylvania wilderness.
"At a town meeting held in Wilkes-Barre, August 23, 1773, a vote was passed 'to raise three pence on the pound, on the district list, to keep a free school in the several school districts in the said Wilkes-Barre.' 'A subsequent meeting,' says Charles Miner, in his history of Wyoming, 'especially warned, adopted measures for keeping open free schools, one in the upper district, one in the lower, and one in the town plot.'
"A town meeting in Kingston, held December 21, 1773, voted 'that Nathaniel Landon, Samuel Commins and John Perkins, are appointed committeemen to divide ye town into three districts, for keeping of schools.'
The other townships, without question, passed similar votes, thus recognizing at that early day the fundamental principles of all true systems of public instruction—the common education of all classes; schools supported by a general fund or a tax on property; local management and responsibility.
"A general county school organization seems to have been established, doubtless to give more efficiency to the local management. At a general meeting of the whole settlement, held on December 6, 1774, it was voted: 'That Elisha Richards, Capt. Samuel Ransom, Perrin Ross, Nathaniel Landon, Elisha Swift, Nathan Denison, Stephen Harding, John Jenkins, Anderson Dana, Obadiah Gore, Jr., James Stark, Roswell Franklin, Capt. Lazarus Stewart, Capt. Parks and Uriah Chapman, be chosen the school committee for the ensuing year.' These were leading men from every part of the settlement, showing how important they considered the subject of education. Well may Miner say: 'It may justly be regarded equally honorable and extraordinary that a people just commencing a settlement in a wilderness, wrestling steadily with the yet rude and unbroken soil for bread, surrounded by so many extrinsic difficulties and causes of alarm and disquiet, should be found so zealously adopting and so steadily pursuing measures to provide free schools throughout the settlement.'
"This system substantially continued in operation in the Wyoming region up to the time of the adoption of the common school system in 1834, when, with little change and no disturbance, it was merged into it; and, as the nearest approach to our modern public schools of any class or schools then known in Pennsylvania, it had considerable influence in shaping the school legislation which culminated in the act of 1834. It was Timothy Pickering, of Luzerne, as will be more fully shown hereafter, who, in the constitutional convention of 1790, secured the adoption of the article on education upon which was subsequently based the whole body of laws relating to common schools in Pennsylvania, up to the year 1874; and by so doing saved the convention from the threatened danger of committing itself to a much narrower policy."
As already mentioned, the Susquehanna company made all possible provisions for schools, in its allotment of its lands in this section. It granted large bodies of [p.379] land, and in all cases reserved a certain portion as a permanent school fund. Generally this was wasted practically and but little benefits accrued. Unfortunately the school authorities were allowed to sell the land at discretion and it often happened that some friend or sometimes a member of the committee would want the school land and it was sold at a time when the price was merely nominal. Had these lands been given in perpetuity, without the right to sell or transfer except upon short leases, in that case the school fund of Luzerne county would now have sufficient income to rebuild all the school buildings in the county and pay the entire expenses of a far more liberal system than we now have. In short, the school would have been one of our richest institutions, without the levy of a cent of taxes. This same story may also be told of nearly every county in the country. The fathers in this respect were most unwise and imprudent. In the matter of education how important it is to be started right, otherwise it is miseducation and an incurable act of injustice that ruins all in its evil course forever. Those men builded the best they knew— they followed precedent and for a song fooled away a fortune that belonged to their children's children forever. But there is another side to the subject. Possibly both the school and the church should be always very poor to be the best good. A very rich church is not after the fashion of the world's Redeemer. It is not an unmixed good to mankind.
Three thousand years ago there was a university in Athens, and the entire institution was not worth in cost a dollar. The president and all the professors of that immortal school were Epicurus. The school was in the gardens and groves and sometimes on the porches of the public buildings. The pupils were grown people and the teachings were conversations. To this school and to similar ones students repaired from the then known quarters of the world. Here was poverty in one respect, but immeasurable wealth in another.
Then, 1,900 years ago the church, so far as property was concerned, was about as poor as it could be. Is it possible the great founder of the church ever dreamed that the time would come when a $6,000,000 house, wrung from the sweat and toil of the unpaid and often starving poor, would disfigure the earth in the name of His holy region? A religious or educational institution clutching at the world's wealth is an anomaly in both education and religion. There is no royal road to education—this much is certain. The children of kings and emperors demonstrate this fact completely. There is infinite sadness in this prevalent idea fastened in the minds of our children that a teacher can teach them.
Of the earliest attempts at schools in this part of the world, Mrs. M. L. T. Hartman contributed to Dr. F. C. Johnson's Historical Record a very interesting paper, which is briefly summarized. The subject of education came with the very first settlers. The people mostly were from Connecticut, itself then only a colony, and the ideas they came with were constantly engrafted upon as they would see progress in the mother colony. Therefore schools were not neglected, although books, paper and all had to be brought all the way from the old home. Hon. Charles Miner in his history relates as follows: "Throughout the year 1777 schools engaged the greatest attention. They levied an extra penny to the pound for free schools. Each township was established a legal school district with power to sell the lands sequestered by the Susquehanna company therein for the use of schools, and also to receive of the school committee appointed by their town their part of the money according to their respective rates. In the settlement of Huntington were young men and women competent for teachers on their arrival; and, therefore, here at least, their rude log cabins had hardly more than been built until they built schoolhouse cabins as comfortable as the best of the houses, and the supposition is that desks and seats made of planed boards were in use as early as 1800. She says her first recollection of a schoolroom was in 1822 in the old schoolhouse nearly opposite the site of the Harveyville church, and then the desks and seats seemed to be old, but were made of [p.380] planed boards and were comfortable—the house a frame, one story 20x24; the writing desks built along each wall. A large wood stove occupied the center and the teacher's desk was movable. The door was near one corner and opened into the ante-room for hats and wraps. A respectful bow admitted a boy and a courtesy a girl. That summer, 1822, Caroline Turner was the teacher; Fannie Fuller had taught a year previous. Many of the children came more than a mile, some more than two miles. All were instructed in spelling, reading and writing. Grammar and history were taught to any who wished to study them, or were well advanced in the others. Noah Webster's Easy Standard of Pronunciation and the dictionary were our spelling books. John Roger's Primer, The English Reader, Columbia Orator, and American Preceptor were all used as reading books. Daboll's, Bennet's and Pike's were the arithmetics. Lindley Murray's grammar was generally used until superseded by Kirkham's about 1835.
Thomas Patterson long held the most eminent place as an educator in Huntington and Plymouth. Col. H. B. Wright, in his Sketches of Plymouth, awards great praise to Patterson. Other early teachers were Caroline, Ann and Fannie Turner, Anne and Catharine Half, George and Lydia Wadhams, Marietta and Hannah Bacon, E. Wadsworth, William Baker, Julius Pratt, Jonah and Joel Rogers, Delia Ann Preston and Romelia Chapin.
Among other early teachers in the valley from Connecticut were Amos Franklin, Enos and Amos Seward, Mrs. Margaret L. Trescott, Huldah Fuller, Cyrus Fellows and the sons and daughters of Capt. Thomas Stevens.
It is not known that there was a schoolhouse, built in Wilkes-Barre prior to 1780, yet there was a school taught here prior to that. The first building stood on the east side of the public square, and later one was built on the plains near the Cortright residence. The third building was on Dr. Covell's farm, near the present railroad depot. The earliest teachers remembered were Godlove N. Lutyens, a German university graduate. In 1802 Asher Miner was a teacher, mixing this diversion with his early experiences as publisher and editor. Prior to 1806 select schools had been successfully taught. Mr. Parmaly had opened a school in the old stillhouse on Main street. Another was on East Union street, by William Wright. This continued a prosperous school until the time of Mr. Wright's death, 1816. Mrs. Jabez Fish had a juvenile school, taught only in the summer. This was on the river bank at the lower end of the commons. It is said the chief purpose of her old-fashioned Puritan school was to teach the Westminster Catechism from the John Rogers Primer.
The constitution of 1790 required provision to be made for the education of paupers or those too poor to educate themselves, and a list of this class of children was required by law to be made. The law was nearly a complete failure, as but few parents ever consented to put their children on the lists. During ten years in the entire county there was but $3,500 called for, and in Wilkes-Barre there were no paupers, it seems. Very much to the credit of the parents, some of whom were poor indeed.
In 1864 there were but three schoolhouses, all one-story buildings, in the then borough, now city of Wilkes-Barre, and at these there were but 187 scholars in attendance, and this in a borough with a population at that time of from 6,000 to 7,000. In 1865 George B. Kulp was elected a school director, as were also Hon. Daniel L. Rhone, now president judge of the orphans' court of this county, and the late Rev. George D. Miles, of the Episcopal church. During that year, principally through the efforts of these three, the present large Washington school building was erected. In 1866 Ex-Gov. Henry M. Hoyt and Ex-Atty.-Gen. Henry W. Palmer became members of the board. This twain, seconding the progressive policy of the aforementioned trio, the handsome Franklin school building was soon in course of erection, and before the close of the year it was completed and ready [p.381] for occupancy. The number of scholars had now increased to 676, and at the conclusion of Mr. Kulp's directorship this number had augmented to 1,716. The Conyngham school was also built during Mr. Kulp's membership in the board, which covered a period of twelve years' continuous service, ending in 1876.
This seems to have been the period—the turning point, so to speak—in the highway of education of the splendid system of schools in Wilkes-Barre, and the credit therefore is due the gentlemen named above. And while it perhaps is not exactly proper to say that any one did more than another of these gentlemen, yet the truth is Mr. Kulp was the oldest member of them, and he was first in the breach, or in other words, had commenced the struggle, and in the nick of time was backed by these men, and, pulling together, they were strong enough to beat down opposition.
The first public school in Wyoming valley was taught in Pittston. John Jenkins is known to have taught a school near the Ravine colliery for several winters prior to 1781. In 1810 a schoolhouse was built not far from the up-town brick schoolhouse, but on the opposite side of Main street. It was used for religious meetings, and was furnished with a loft and elevated pulpit.
March 21, 1810, "at a meeting of the subscribers for building a schoolhouse near Jedediah Collins'," William Slocum presided, and John Phillips, William Slocum and Nathaniel Giddings were elected a committee to buy or lease a lot from said Collins and have a schoolhouse built. They sold the building contract by auction, at $215, to Miner Searle.
An early school was taught by Mrs. Blakely Hall on "The Green," a portion of the present borough between the Lehigh Valley depot and Main street. This building was purchased by the railroad company and used for a depot until it was displaced by their present depot building.
The early school-teachers in what is now Franklin township were Amarilla Newberry, Ambrose Fuller, Miss Harris, William Calkins, George Ochmig, Susan Farver (Mrs. Daniel Lee), Henry Osborne, James Dickinson, Mr. Herring. The school building was erected in 1815, and was where now the village of Orange stands.
The settlers of Plymouth, early recognizing the importance of education, established schools as soon as the country became quiet after the Revolution. Two schoolhouses were built, one near the common field and the other near Ransom's creek. Jonah Rogers was one of the first teachers and commenced teaching about 1800. A Mr. Hamilton taught in the lower schoolhouse in 1806, followed by one Hazleton. The old academy was built in 1815. The early teachers in this building were Jonah Rogers, Thomas Patterson, Dr. Thomas Sweet and Charles C. Curtis. "The languages were first taught in the old academy as early as 1829, by Benjamin M. Nyce. Nyce and Patterson taught three or four years, and then Mr. Seivers, the last teacher who taught the dead languages in the old academy. A school was established in a building which stood nearly opposite the residence of George Snyder, in Larksville, as early as 1825. This was afterward removed to the location of the present schoolhouse. Schools were kept seven months.
The old academy is still used, and a fine brick building has been erected in the west end of the borough.
The first schoolhouse in Nanticoke was built of logs, before 1820, on the site of the old Union church, in the east part of the borough. The first teacher was Eliphalet Buckley. and in 1820 Silas Alexander was the teacher. Among the men who sent children to Alexander's school were Col. Washington Lee, James S. Lee, Isaac Ripple, John Mills and Thomas Bennett.
The first schoolhouse in Hazleton was built by the Hazleton Coal company in 1837. It was a frame building, and stood on the northwest corner of Church and Green streets. Miss Fannie Blackman was the first teacher, and among her immediate successors were N. D. Cortright and Isaac H. Baldwin. In 1843 Lewis Ketchum, afterward a member of the California senate, took charge of the school. [p.382] He was succeeded in 1845 by his brother, H. H. Ketchum. Previous to this and for some time afterward the school was kept open part of the year by private subscription. The first building for a private school was erected by A. Pardee in 1847. This school was kept about two years. The building stood on the south side of Broad street, between Wyoming and Laurel.
The first public schoolhouse stood on the northeast corner of Cedar street and Spruce alley. In August, 1853, the schoolhouse on the corner of Church and Green streets was burned, when the store on the southeast corner of Broad and Wyoming streets was rented for school purposes. The two-story brick school building on the north side of Green, between Church and Laurel streets, was opened in February, 1855, with Abel Marcy as principal. This was the first graded school in Luzerne county. While Mr. Marcy was principal four teachers were employed, and after 1866 the length of the school term was eight months. Mr. M. was elected superintendent of the county in 1860.
In the spring of 1857 the borough elected the first school board. In 1859 C. L. Rynearson was elected principal of the schools and five teachers employed, and the school term increased to ten months. A noted Irishman, William Brandon, who was generally called "Priest" Brandon, as he sometimes preached previous to 1800, was one of the teachers.
The people of a neighborhood united and formed a school district (frequently pronounced "deestric"), and with a little help from the land set apart by the township, selected committees to attend to the schools and hire the teachers. These built the schoolhouses and ran the entire affair.
In Black Creek township the first school was in the old Rittenhouse first log cabin, converted into such after he had built a better residence. It was burned, and then a school near where the brown church now stands was built. Mr. Tripp was the first teacher.
The first schoolhouse in Dallas township (now in Dallas borough) was erected in 1816, built of hewn logs by William Honeywell, Philip Shaver, William Hunt and John Honeywell.
In the year 1800 there was a log schoolhouse in Exeter that stood near George Miller's, and Josiah Beach was teacher and then John McMillon. In the latter part of the other century Exeter township voted a tax to support a short winter school. For fifteen years after the free school act of 1833, Exeter continued to support its schools by taxes. The first school in Sturmerville was in a log schoolhouse in 1819, Rachel Goodwin was an early teacher.
The pioneer schoolhouse in Plains was built in 1818, on the road between Johnson's and Miner's gristmills. It was of round logs, and was well ventilated. The first teacher was Sylvester Dieth, an eccentric Yankee and a good teacher. The old log schoolhouse was used summers till 1824 or 1825, when the school was kept in Mr. Parsons' house until 1829; then the little white schoolhouse was built. This was a frame building, 20x24 feet, lathed and plastered, and was at that time the best schoolhouse in this part of the country. Asahel P. Gridley, a graduate of the seminary at Cazenovia, N. Y., was the first teacher. This building served until 1869, when a two-story house, 22x40 feet, was built.
Something of the school efforts here fifty years ago as they relate to much earlier school efforts are given in a communication by G. H. R. Plumb, to a recent issue of the Historical Record. Mr. Miner had published a letter in which he urgently appealed to the people not to let the "old academy" the Wilkes-Barre Female academy, go down forever. The fact of the publication of this appeal became in time the only authentic assertion that at one time in the long ago they had a female seminary here; another was the "Wyoming seminary," also for females. The latter was for a long time conducted by the Misses Perry. Here were two female and one male seminary, reared by the people so long ago that their posterity finally [p.383] reached the degree of indifference to the subject as to allow all to go to decay. Dr. Thomas W. Miner's letter is dated April 20, 1836, published in the Republican Farmer, John Atherholt, printer. He asks, after telling something of its past glories: "Shall we let it go?" He appeals strongly for them to sustain an institution "our fathers reared." He enumerates among its foster children a Scott, Mallery, Greenough, Dyer, Denison, Beaumont, Joseph and Joel Jones and C. Miner.
An old prospectus states: "The department of education will be under the direction of Miss F. M. Woodworth. The seminary is delightfully situated on the banks of the Susquehanna."
Of the schools in Newport township it is said that as early as 1803 there was a schoolhouse on the Middle road opposite the cemetery. There is no record of any of the early teachers, and no one now living can remember them. January 3, 1806, it was voted that the interest of the public moneys for the three years past be appropriated to the benefit of the schools. Six trustees were appointed to divide the township into three school districts. The committee reported Jannary 6, 1806, that the north division had fifty-one children; the south division seventy-two, and the west division thirty-four. Schools were then established in each division.
Wyoming Seminary.—This well known and justly popular institution of learning, located in the classic valley of Wyoming, has a history well worthy of note. It was started in 1807 as the Wilkes-Barre academy, and in a few years the name changed to its present form.
The friends of education in the old Oneida Methodist Episcopal conference, after establishing on a broad and permanent basis a seminary at Cazenovia, N. Y., in the northern portion of their territory, determinedly entertained the project over fifty years ago, of providing for the increasing educational demands of the southern portion of the work. With a commendable foresight they devised measures for the erection of an institution of learning in northeastern Pennsylvania. At the session of the Oneida conference, held in Wilkes-Barre, August 9, 1843, the matter was fully discussed, and the necessary preliminary steps taken by the appointment of David Holmes, Jr., Lucian S. Bennett, Thomas Myers, Madison P. Myers, Lord Butler, Sharp D. Lewis and Silas Comfort as "trustees of a contemplated seminary of learning, to be located either in Wilkes-Barre or Kingston," according to the amount of subscription obtained in each place within a given time. Kingston, providing the largest subscription, was the chosen locality. At the first meeting of the board of trustees David Holmes was elected president, Silas Comfort, secretary, and Madison F. Myers, treasurer. The first building, a brick structure of three stories, 37x70, was erected and opened for students in 1844. The size of the chapel was 24x29; recitation room, 13x29, and room for primary department, 20x29, with some twenty rooms in all for students; cost of the building about $5,000. Such was the beginning of this educational enterprise—one building, two teachers, and fifty scholars. The trustees secured as their first principal Rev. Reuben Nelson, A. M., then a young man, but who afterward abundantly demonstrated his fitness to inaugurate and carry forward such an enterprise to a successful consummation. Under such leadership, seconded by the energetic co-operation of a noble-minded and self-denying board of trustees and a corps of efficient teachers, the institution attained a popularity and influence second to none of its class in the land.
In half a dozen years after the erection of the first edifice, such was the patronage obtained that an additional building was demanded. In the spirit of an unselfish liberality, the late William Swetland volunteered to erect the projected additional building at his own expense. The second building was named by the trustees Swetland hall, in memory of the respected donor. At the same time, Hon. Ziba Bennett contributed $1,000 as a foundation for a library. This was thereafter called, in honor of the donor, the Bennett library.
[p.384] In the early spring of 1853 additional facilities were deemed essential, and the building of a wing or wings to the main building was contemplated, with a view to afford accommodation to a larger number of students. On March 15, 1853, the seminary buildings were burned. While the brick and stone and ashes were yet warm the trustees, with undaunted heroism, in their meeting on the day of the fire resolved that a committee of three be appointed to draw plans and specifications for the rebuilding of the seminary. This showed the stuff these men were made of. Again did the tried friend of the cause, William Swetland, come to the rescue, and he nobly undertook, at his own expense, the work of rebuilding and enlarging Swetland hall. Through the liberality of Payne Pettebone, George Swetland, A. Y. Smith, and Isaac C. Shoemaker, a third building was erected about the same time, to which the name Union hall was given. Thus, through fire and disaster larger and better buildings were erected, and the three blocks, "Wyoming seminary" in the center, with "Swetland Hall" on the left and "Union Hall" on the right, stood a noble monument to the energy and liberality of the men of Wyoming valley.
In a few years afterward the ladies' boarding hall was destroyed by fire. Then a fierce tornado swept over the place and unroofed the building. Then a flood did more or less damage to the seminary property. Yet with heroic spirit the board of trustees measured up to every exigency, so that repeated difficulties have been overcome, financial embarrassments removed, and the whole machinery kept moving without intermission and without a jar.
The Civil war seemed for a brief period to interfere with the wonted success of the institution. Yet even with this temporary drawback the trustees projected other plans for the success of the school. A commercial department was added in 1863; Prof. W. S. Smyth, afterward principal of Cazenovia seminary, was secured to take charge of the commercial college, and under his efficient supervision it proved a decided success. Prof. L. L. Sprague was the head of this department for many years, and under his management it developed into an institution equal to the best schools of the kind in the country.
At the close of the war it was found that the enlargement of the seminary was absolutely required. The three buildings had already been united by the addition of wings, yet this did not meet the demand for room. In the year 1866 it was determined to erect a memorial building, to be named "Centenary hall." This was commenced in 1867 and completed in 1868, at a cost of about $25,000. The buildings are all under one roof, three and four stories high, with 350 feet frontage.
The edifice, as a whole, is an ornament to the valley, and an honor to the country and the church. There are ample accommodations for l75 boarding students and 250 day scholars.
At the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church held in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1872, Rev. Dr. Nelson, after serving as principal for a period of nearly thirty years, during which time he developed his skill as an educator and financier; was elected senior book agent at New York, and resigned his position as principal. He was succeeded by Rev. D. Copeland, A. M , president of the Female college of Hillsboro, Ohio, a gentleman whose literary tastes and attainments, acknowledged abilities and extended experience as an educator, rendered him pro-eminently fitted for the important and responsible position of principal of an institution of this grade. Never was the institution more successful than now. The course of study is most thorough and elevated. The curriculum will compare favorably with that of the highest institutions of its class. This time honored and deservedly popular institution receiver its full share of patronage, and under its present efficient management is destined to exert a still more potent influence in the education of the youth of our land.
The system of instruction adopted is thorough, and designed to prepare the students for the active duties of life or for a course of professional or collegiate study. [p.387] There are nine departments of study provided, and eight courses of study are arranged in order to meet the various wants of students: The common English course, course in literature and science, classical course, college preparatory course, musical course, vocal and instrumental, and commercial course. As an evidence of the high grade of scholarship of young men prepared here for college, to-day they stand among the first at the best colleges in the country. Many leading men now distinguished in church and state have been educated in this seminary, including Hon. W. W. Ketcham, Gov. H. M. Hoyt, Hon. H. W. Palmer and Hon. H. B. Payne, Rev. L. C. Floyd and Rev. P. Krohn, and that fine pulpit orator, Rev. W. P. Abbott, of New York.
The Old Wilkes-Barre Academy.—An article appeared in the Historical Record in 1886 from "C. E. L.," of Carbondale, in which he makes some pleasant references to the long ago which are historical, summarized as follows:
The writer of the article referred to went back to a period less than fifty years ago, and says: "I saw no reference to the old 'yellow academy," which, to me and doubtless to others who remember it, is attended with more ancient, and therefore hallowed, associations. At the time I entered it the old building was in a dilapidated condition through extreme age and bad usage by the scholars, one of whom had made two or three unsuccessful attempts to end its existence by conflagration. The structure was one of four public buildings which then occupied the square, viz.: The courthouse, 'fire proof' (in which the county offices were located), the Methodist Episcopal church and the academy. Running through the square at right angles were Main and Market streets; on the latter a long gable-end building, with roof supported by pillars, constituted the public market house. All these buildings were of a style of architecture peculiar to the Pennsylvania Dutch towns of that period, and beyond the power of any imagination to describe, though I can see them now clearly in my mind's eye. The schools taught in the academy were excellent for the time, and, as I have said, many eminent men were fully prepared for college within its uncouth walls. The names of the teachers I can not recall, except the principal, Deacon Sylvester Dana, a graduate of Yale, and a most excellent preceptor. With great kindness of heart and much patience, he was yet very thorough and severe. The discipline of his school was maintained at all hazards, and woe to the scholar who disputed his authority. His mode of punishment was the rawhide, a plentiful supply of which was always kept at Mr. Anheiser's store on the west side of the square. I remember on one occasion going to the store for one which Mr. Dana used to chastise the late Judge Waller. Among the names of those who were attending the academy are J. Butler Conyngham, Frank Butler, Charles Collins, C. P. Waller, George G. Waller, Sam McCarragher, S. H. Lynch, Tom Smith, Bob Wright, Ed Butler, Charley Chapman, W. L. Conyngham and Jonathan Bulkeley. The latter had an experience at one time with the deacon's rawhide which resulted in the indictment of the teacher. A number of the pupils were summoned as witnesses before the grand jury, and I well remember how awestricken we were as, one by one, we appeared in the august presence of the jurymen to give our testimony. But the case was settled before it came to trial, and Jonathan ceased to be a member of the school.
"According to my recollection the old building was demolished in 1839, and for two or three years the school was kept in a part of the old Morgan hotel, on River street. A brick building of more modern pretensions and appointments was erected on the old site, and that gave place, with the other buildings on the square, to the present courthouse."
After the erection of the new courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, in the year 1804, the old building, which had been removed to a point a few feet west of the present courthouse, was converted into an academy. It was incorporated under the style and title of the Wilkes-Barre academy, and was the first institution of learning, [p.388] superior to the common log schoolhouse, in Luzerne county. The first teacher or principal was the Rev. Thayer, who was followed by Mr. Finney. Mr. Finney was succeeded by Garrick Mallory in 1809. The trustees requested Dr. Dwight, of Yale college, to send them an active, intelligent and competent teacher and graduate. The Doctor sent them Mr. Mallery, under whose superintendence the school advanced to considerable eminence. Greek, Latin, the mathematics and all the higher English branches were taught here. Soon the institution became very popular, and students from abroad came in such numbers that the trustees, by the advice of Mr. Mallory, engaged Andrew Beaumont as assistant. Mr. Beaumont was then an active, intelligent young man, just arrived in the valley. Messrs. Mallory and Beaumont were succeeded by Joel and Joseph H. Jones. Then followed Woodbridge, Baldwin, Granger, Orton, Miner, Talcott, Ulmann, Hubbard and Dana. Finally, the old edifice was sold to H. F. Lamb, who removed a portion of it to his lot in Franklin street, where it was used in the erection of a dwelling. Such was the end of the first courthouse and academy in Luzerne county. In 1842 a new brick academy was erected on the site of the old one, and a high school prospered there for several years under the tuition of Owen and Jackson, but eventually dwindled to a common day school. In 1858 the building was sold to E. B. Harvey, who removed and converted it into a residence on Union street.
Some of the teachers and students of the Wilkes-Barre academy, who have risen to eminence in the world, are the following:
Garrick Mallery was a president judge of the State courts and one of the first lawyers in the nation. Andrew Beaumont was a statesman, who ably represented his constituents in the State legislature and in congress, and who held important trusts under the federal government. Daniel Ulmann, an eminent lawyer in New York; a candidate for the office of governor of that great State. Joel Jones, a president judge and a prominent lawyer in Philadelphia. H. B. Wright, an able lawyer, and representated this district in congress. B. A. Bidlack also represented this district in congress, and afterward became the United States minister at the capital of New Granada, where he died. Luther Kidder was a lawyer of note and a president judge. George W. Woodward, was one of the supreme judges of Pennsylvania. Dr. S. D. Gross, professor of surgery in the Jefferson Medical college in Philadelphia. Ovid F. Johnson, a brilliant lawyer and the attorney-general of this State. Samuel Bowman was the acting bishop of the Protestant Episcopal church in Pennsylvania. J. S. Hart, the eminent principal of the Philadelphia high school. There were also Zebulon Butler, D. D., of Mississippi, and George Catlin, a celebrated painter. E. W. Morgan was major of the Eleventh United States regiment of infantry during the Mexican war and then principal of the military school at Newport, Ky. Maj. A. H. Bowman, of the United States army, and Lieut. J. C. Beaumont, of the United States navy, were also pupils in this academy.
In 1812 the citizens of Kingston erected a large two-story frame building, to be used for the purposes of an academy. This school was first taught by Thomas Bartlett, who had been an assistant under Mallery, in the Wilkes-Barre academy. He was followed by Bennett, Severs, W. H. Bissel (first Republican governor of Illinois in, 1856), Ketchum and others, under whose discipline and instruction the institution prospered many years. It was finally supplanted by new and enlarged schools, and the building becoming dilapidated it was demolished by E. Reynolds, who erected his residence on or near its site.
In 1815 the citizens of Plymouth erected a large two-story, frame building for educational purposes. Schools were taught in it by Steel, Park and others until 1828, when the first classical school was organized under the direction and principalship of Benjamin M. Nyce. He was succeeded by Patterson and Severs. This is the oldest academy in the county. Like the one in Kingston, it had a bell, and was used for many years as a place of religious worship. [p.389] With these venerated old schoolhouses and teachers the plain, substantial, old- fashioned system of education has passed away. They have been replaced by new and splendid edifices, occupied by new teachers, adopting new systems, new books, and imparting new ideas, or rather new modes of shooting the young ideas.
Wyoming Conference Seminary.—This flourishing institution in the borough of Kingston was opened September 24, 1844, with thirty students, the faculty at the time consisting of Rev. R. Nelson, principal, and E. F. Farris and Miss Ruth Ingalls, teachers. The opening address was delivered by J. P. Durbin, D. D. The anticipated success of this seminary has been fully realized. The yearly number of students has increased to upward of 700, which fact established the character of Mr. Nelson and his assistants, together with the board of trustees, for competency, energy and good government. The original building cost about $6,000, one-fourth of which was contributed by Thomas Myers. In 1851 William Swetland contributed $3,000 for the erection of Swetland hall, and the Hon. Ziba Bennett donated $1,000 as the foundation for a library. On March 15, 1853, the entire establishment was consumed by fire, but through the noble liberality of William Swetland, his son George and his son-in-law Payne Pettebone, who together donated $8,000, of Isaac C. Shoemaker, who gave $1,000, and of Urban Burrows and A. Y. Smith, who each contributed $500, the institution was at once raised from its ashes. Judge Bennett also made another liberal donation to replace the library. The entire property of this institution is valued at $50,000. The seminar is under the general superintendence of the Wyoming conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, but the trustees and board of directors have been composed of able men without regard to denominational preferences.
In the ante-bellum days there were several southern boys generally in attendance upon this school. This suddenly changed as the war clouds thickened, and in a brief time the impetuous Southerner had ceased to bask within the shades of this fostering mother of education. Since the war and its scars have come and gone, however, instances have occurred where the North and the South have met after many years, with their "silver threads among the gold," and renewed in their accidental meetings, the soft, sweet stories of auld lang syne, those of the campus ground.
The Wilkes-Barre Female Institute was chartered in 1854, and in October of that year opened with fifty female pupils, under the superintendence of the Rev. J. E. Nassau. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. S. Howes, then Rev. W. S. Parsons. The institution is under the general direction of the Presbytery of Luzerne county. It has a library, a philosophical and chemical apparatus, and is in successful operation. This institution, becoming pecuniarily involved, was extricated from its embarrassment by the liberality of Col. G. M. Hollenback and others.
About 1840 Mr. Dana had erected a building on Academy street and organized a classical school, which in a measure took the position previously occupied by the old academy in the public square. A brick building was erected in 1842 on the site of the old structure, and under the direction of Messrs. Owen and Jackson a high school had a successful existence in it for a number of years; but in consequence of various causes in time it lost much of its prestige and became only an ordinary day school. E. B. Harvey purchased this building in 1848, and moved it to Union street and converted it into a dwelling.
The Wilkes-Barre Female Institute was chartered April 10, 1854; following trustees: George M. Hollenback, Alexander Gray, Harrison Wright, Ario Pardee, Samuel Wadhams, John Brown, John Urquhart, Henry M. Fuller, Elisha B. Harvey, William R. Glen, John Fraser, Andrew T. McClintock and Rev. J. Dorrance, ex officio. At a meeting held April 15, 1854, George M. Hollenback was chosen president; John Fraser treasurer, and Edward M. Covell, secretary, and a building committee was appointed. May 8, 1854, Rev. John Dorranee reported that the Presbyterian church of Wilkes-Barre had raised $10,000 for the establishment of the [p.390] institute, and soon afterward a contract was awarded to D. A. Fell & Co. for the erection of a suitable building on River street above Smith, which was finished and the school opened in it September 13, 1854.
Catholic School.—The two-story brick convent stands a little to the south of the Catholic church at Plains. This is a plain but comfortable building with five class-rooms, an office, two music-rooms a recitation and drawing-room. The attendance of pupils is an average of 375.
Mallinckrodt Convent.—This institution, an academy of the Sisters of Christian Charity, a boarding and day school for young girls, was founded in 1878 by the Sisters of Christian Charity, who emigrated from Germany to America in 1873, the founder of the society being a noble lady, Miss Pauline von Mallinckrodt, sister of the much lamented Hermann von Mallinckrodt, member of the German parliament, who died some years ago. The Mallinckrodt convent is, besides its being a pensionat for young girls, the mother-house and novitiate of the Sisters of Christian Charity of the United States, who are devoted to the instruction and education of the young in parochial schools, academies, orphan-houses, etc., in many places throughout the United States. It affords many advantages to young girls desirous of acquiring a solid, polite and religious education. The course of instruction is given in both the German and English languages, and embraces a wide range of useful branches. It is one of the foremost female educational institutions of our country and is patronized by many of the leading families of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and other large cities. The mother superior, Eugenia, with sister Marguretta in charge of the boarding school, having ten teachers in this department and six in the normal department. A fine chapel was built in 1884.
St. Mary's Convent.—St. Mary's school on Canal street, in charge of the Sisters of Mercy, was opened in October, 1875. The pupils numbered over 500, and were divided into five classes, three of girls and two of boys. A few months later two teachers were added and a more complete classification was obtained.
The children attending this school are afforded every opportunity for obtaining a thorough English education. The annual closing exercises were held for the first time, in June, 1876, at which time an acadamy for young ladies attached to St. Mary's convent on Washington street, was opened, with about forty pupils in attendance, divided into two classes.
The Wilkes-Barre Business College was founded by W. J. Solly, September 1, 1886, and incorporated February 7, 1887, its object being to teach those branches of a practical business education. Board of trustees: John W. Hollenback, president; F. C. Johnson, secretary; Hon. C. D. Foster, S. L. Brown, H. H. Welles Jr., H. H. Harvey, A. A. Sterling, G. Lewis Baldwin, Gen. E. S. Osborne. Orley Hazelton and W. A. Billingham, principals.
Harry Hillman Academy of Wilkes-Barre commenced its educational existence September 14, 1877, its primary object being to prepare boys thoroughly for college or university and the technical school. From the first it has had a healthy prosperity and now numbers 128 students—within five of its limit. This year (1892) has a graduating class of sixteen. Its certificates are recognized by all the leading institutions of learning in the country. In 1884 H. Baker Hillman purchased ground and erected the academy building. The teacher's handsome residence near the academy is upon ground presented by W. L. Conyngham, and the costs of this building were maintained by Messrs. Fred Ahlborn, W. L. Conyngham, E. P. Darling, J. W. Hollenback, L. D. Shoemaker and William Stoddart.
Orphans' Home.—During the war an arrangement was made with the State government by which soldiers' orphans were placed temporarily in the home. The remuneration for their care enabled the managers to enlarge their corps of helpers and lay by a small sum annually, to form a nucleus to an endowment fund. In 1864 the home became so crowded with soldiers' orphans that a larger building [p.391] became an absolute necessity. A subscription book was opened and application made to the legislature for an appropriation. The State promised $2,500, provided double that sum could be raised by subscription. At once four of the trustees, Messrs. G. M. Hollenback, W. S. Ross, William C. Gildersleeve and V. L. Maxwell, subscribed $1,000 each; others gave $500 each and many added smaller sums, thus securing the State appropriation and making it safe to commence building. The lot was offered at a very low price by Mr. Charles Parrish and Dr. E. R. Mayor, and the latter added as a gift an adjoining back lot for a garden. The building, a large brick edifice, and ample grounds on Franklin street, was completed and occupied in the autumn of 1866. In 1867 active steps were taken to secure the endowment fund. A book for subscriptions was opened. Judge Ross and William C. Gildersleeve each subscribed $5,000, and smaller subscriptions were added until the sum exceeded $16,000. The home is governed by a matron; the school is managed by a lady teacher. The children, besides their regular school instruction, are taught sewing and various household duties.
Common Schools.—An act of the legislature of 1834 was the strong foundation on which has been built the present public-school system. The first vote cast for that important bill was by Ziba Bennett, member from Luzerne—in the roll call his name came first and therefore his vote was first given. Mr. Bennett was associate judge of the county in 1842. In 1822 he became a partner with Mr. Hollenback in his store, and in 1826 commenced merchandising on his own account in the property he purchased of Stephen Tuttle on North Main street, and soon was one of the prominent business men of Wilkes-Barre. He was deeply interested in school matters and gratified a long desire when elected to the legislature by his instrumentality in securing the passage of the act. It provided a tax should be levied on all the taxable property and inhabitants; that townships, boroughs and wards should be school districts and that schools should be maintained at public expense, the supervision of schools in each district being entrusted to a board of six school directors, to be elected. The law was optional by townships. The secretary of the commonwealth was made superintendent of schools and to appropriate any money from the State in aid of education. As stated the vote to accept the law was in the affirmative in all the townships of Luzerne county, except three, but these continued to keep up their schools equal in every respect by levying a tax on the property of their respective townships.
It is now practically half a century since the law was put on the statute books. At first it did not meet unanimous favor from the people. Some opposed it on one ground and some on another. But the law forged its way rapidly to a universal approval, not only as wise, but as beneficence itself. A free school! Who would doubt for a moment but that this meant every child in the community would now be educated—all was free, without money and without price. Education! a boon at any price, worth, could it be had no cheaper, half a man's life to lose! What a rainbow of hope filled every friend of education. A half century has come and gone and its work is before us. We can begin to cast up results and balance the, books. Extravagant hopes have been only partially realized—only partially, most unfortunately, and the particularly sad confession now comes up from the whole array of educators for "compulsory schools," and "truant policemen" are demanded. States are passing such laws, and only a short time ago the whole country was startled with a strong and thoughtful paper in a leading magazine by one of the strongest thinkers in the nation, entitled: "Do the Schools Educate?" And now constantly do we see discussions in our best magazines pro and con on this vital subject.
Is it possible we are deceiving the rising generation on a subject so vital to them, as their education? Let us hope not. But it must be confessed that this demand by the rank and file of educators for compulsory schools is very near a fatal admission.
[p.392] This much we may now know: If it is imperative that we have compulsory free schools, then inevitably the State must furnish lavatories, fine-toothed combs, and decent clothing for those compelled to attend. When these are supplied, and this should be done promptly and ungrudgingly, then these newly-fashioned children can not go to school and become educated or Solomons on empty stomachs.
The following data is gleaned from the State superintendent's report of 1891, of the schools in Luzerne county: Whole number of schools, 672. Total male teachers, 199; female teachers, 543. Total scholars, male 17,337; female 18,787. In addition to these there are night schools—three in Avoca; three in Plymouth; six in Plains; one in Luzerne borough; three in Hughestown; six in Pittston.
New school buildings erected in Sugar Notch, Nanticoke, Edwardsville, Fairmount, Huntington, Sugar Loaf and those mentioned in Wilkes-Barre.
There are 67 school districts in the county, and the items of the districts are as follows:
Ashley has 9 schools; 2 male and 8 female teachers; scholars, 313 males; 381 females; total tax levy for schools, $5,219.29.
Avoca has 8 schools; 1 male and 7 female teachers; scholars, 244 males; 391 females; total tax levy for schools, $4,364.75.
Bear Creek has 4 schools; 4 female teachers; scholars, 34 males; 34 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,058.88.
Black Creek has 10 schools; 3 males and 8 female teachers; scholars, 263 males; 248 females; total tax levy for schools, $3,611.83.
Buck has 1 school; 1 female teacher; scholars, 15 males; 10 females; total tax levy for schools, $83.50.
Butler has 11 schools; 3 male and 8 female teachers; scholars, 217 males; 213 females; total tax levy for schools, $3,510.10.
Conyngham has 5 schools; 5 male teachers; scholars, 113 males; 110 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,685.87.
Dallas borough has 2 schools; 1 male and 1 female teacher; scholars, 47 males; 43 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,473.27.
Dallas township has 7 schools; 1 male and 12 female teachers; scholars, 102 males; 18 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,365.73.
Dennison has 5 schools; 5 female teachers; scholars, 78 males; 73 females, total tax levy for schools, $1,357.48.
Dorrance has 5 schools; 5 female teachers; scholars, 106 males; 73 females; total tax levy for schools, $839.55.
Dorranceton borough has 2 schools; 1 male and 1 female teacher; scholars, 70 males; 54 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,418.93.
Edwardsville has 6 schools; 1 male and 6 female teachers; scholars, 262 males; 301 females; total tax levy for schools, $5,116.60.
Exeter township has 4 schools; I male and 4 female teachers; scholars, 78 males; 69 females; total tax levy for schools, $763.57.
Exeter borough has 3 schools; 1 male and 2 female teachers; scholars, 59 males; 60 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,828.59.
Fairmount has 8 schools; 3 male and 9 female teachers; scholars, 133 males; 109 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,066.79.
Fairmount, (Ind.), 1 school; 2 female teachers; scholars, 8 males; 13 females; total tax levy for schools, $121.61.
Fairview has 5 schools; 3 male and 2 female teachers; scholars, 137 males; 114 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,981.06.
Forty Fort has 5 schools; 1 male and 4 female teachers; scholars, 118 males; 147 females; total tax levy for schools, $3,550.08.
Foster has 23 schools; 11 male and 12 female teachers; scholars, 740 males; 835 females; total tax levy for schools, $12,090.65.
Franklin has 5 schools; 2 male and 7 female teachers; scholars, 55 males; 60 females; total tax levy for schools, $849.27.
Freeland borough has 4 schools; 1 male and 3 female teachers; scholars, 161 males; 55 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,519.50.
Hanover has 11 schools; 5 male and 6 female teachers; scholars, 234 males; 303 females; total tax levy for schools, $5,615.50.
Hazle has 41 schools; 21 male and 23 female teachers; scholars, 1,037 males; 1,113 females; total tax levy for schools, $29,813.93.
Hazleton borough has 35 schools; 6 male and 29 female teachers; scholars, 943 males; 950 females; total tax levy for schools, $25,454.27.
Hazleton West., borough has 2 schools; 2 female teachers; scholars, 87 males; 84 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,414.05.
Hollenback has 5 schools; 5 female teachers; scholars, 127 males; 100 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,428.14.
Hughestown has 4 schools; 1 male and 3 female teachers; scholars, 135 males; 139 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,743.47.
Hunlock has 6 schools; 7 female teachers; scholars, 106 males; 103 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,070.08.
Huntingdon has 10 schools; 3 male and 7 female teachers; scholars, 200 males; 150 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,288.12.
Jackson has 6 schools; 1 male and 5 female teachers; scholars, 84 males; 69 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,195.10.
Jeddo has 1 school; 1 male teacher; scholars, 41 males; 35 females; total tax levy for schools, $480.69.
Jenkins has 11 schools; 3 male and 8 female teachers; scholars, 172 males; 275 females; total tax levy for schools, $6,278.08.
Kingston borough has 6 schools; 1 male and 5 female teachers; scholars, 209 males; 223 females; total tax levy for schools, $6,490.66.
Kingston township has 16 schools; 16 female teachers; scholars, 488 males; 404 females; total tax levy for schools, $7,198.52.
Lake has 8 schools; 1 male and 11 female teachers; scholars, 126 male; 98 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,343.
Laurel Run has 1 school; 1 male teacher; scholars, 41 males; 37 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,145.
Lehman has 8 schools; 1 male and 7 female teachers; scholars, 148 males; 135 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,499.71.
Luzerne borough has 6 schools; 1 male and 5 female teachers; scholars, 213 males; 249 females; total tax levy for schools, $3,795.01.
Marcy has 8 schools; 8 females teachers; scholars, 175 males; 209 females; total tax levy for schools, $6,918.15.
Miner's Mills has 5 schools; 2 male and 3 female teachers; scholars, 175 males; 209 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,871.55.
Nanticoke has 24 schools; 6 male and 24 female teachers; scholars, 697 males; 764 females; total tax levy for schools, $20,514.69.
Nescopock has 6 schools; 4 male and 2 female teachers; scholars, 104 males; 142 females; total tax levy for scholars, $1,528.77.
Nescopeck (Ind.) has 1 school; 1 male teacher; scholars, 30 males; 19 females; total tax levy for schools, $318.
New Columbus has 1 school; 1 male and 1 female teacher; scholars, 33 males; 26 females; total tax levy for schools, $253.11.
Newport has 16 schools; 6 male and 11 female teachers; scholars, 416 males; 429 females; total tax levy for schools, $16,535.99.
Parson's borough has 7 schools; 3 male and 6 female teachers; scholars, 158 males; 255 females; total tax levy for schools, $4,291.57.
Pittston borough has 25 schools; 3 male and 23 female teachers; scholars, 482 males; 641 females; total tax levy for schools, $16,587.91.
Pittston township has 10 schools; 2 male and 8 female teachers; scholars, 245 males; 357 females; total tax levy for schools, $6,200.19.
Pittston, West has 14 schools; 2 male and 15 female teachers; scholars, 385 males; 463 females; total tax levy for schools, $13,261.79. ,
Plains has 15 schools; 5 male and 11 female teachers; scholars, 508 males; 582 females; total tax levy for schools, $16,091.32.
Plymouth borough has 25 schools, 5 male and 25 female teachers; scholars, 601 males; 760 females; total tax levy for schools, $13,285.13.
Plymouth township has 26 schools; 18 male and 8 female teachers; scholars, 786 males; 899 females; total tax levy for schools, $19,330.26.
Ross has 8 schools; 17 female teachers; scholars, 139 males; 140 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,008.
Salem has 11 schools; 11 female teachers; scholars, 201 males; 169 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,540.72.
Shickshinny has 6 schools; 1 male and 6 female teachers; scholars, 142 males; 157 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,155.33.
Slocum has 2 schools; 1 male and 1 female teacher; scholars, 40 males; 50 females; total tax levy for schools, $366.50.
Sugar Loaf has 9 schools; 6 male and 3 female teachers; scholars, 228 raales; 172 females; total tax levy for schools. $3,159.50.
Sugar Notch has 9 schools; 3 male and 7 female teachers; scholars, 271 males; 388 females; total tax levy for schools, $7,307.55.
Union has 7 schools; 3 male and 4 female teachers; scholars, 83 males; 69 females; total tax levy for school is, $853.45.
White Haven has 6 schools; 2 male and 4 female teachers; scholars, 156 males; 180 females; total tax levy for schools, $2,849.31.
Wright has 2 schools; 2 male teachers; scholars, 30 males; 22 females; total tax levy for schools, $444.73.
Wyoming has 6 schools; 1 male and 5 female teachers; scholars, 167 males; 192 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,305.44.
Yatesville has 2 schools; 2 female teachers; scholars, 37 males; 46 females; total tax levy for schools, $723.02.
Laflin borough has 1 school; 1 male teacher; scholars, 19 males; 31 females; total tax levy for schools, $1,154.54.
Wilkes-Barre Public Schools.—Whole number of schools, 115; number of school buildings, 16; value of school property, $352,000. Board of control: W. G. Weaver, president; Thomas F. Hart, secretary; G. W. Guthrie, S. J. Strauss, W. T. Smith, Edward Mackin. Superintendent of schools, J. M. Coughlin. Enrollment: Baltimore, 141; Bowman Hill, 336; Centennial, 189; Central, 512; Conyngham, 353; Custer, 331; Franklin, 592; Hancock, 505; Hazel Street, 292; Hill Street. 211; Hillard Grove, 352; Mead Street, 322; North Main, 186; Parrish Street, 404; Union Street, 784. Total, 6,202. Average attendance, 4,335. Night schools, 12, with an attendance of 505. Total collections for school purposes the past year, $100,482.76. The Courtright Avenue school was burned and rebuilt and enlarged in 1891. A fine school building is to be completed on Hazel street January 1, 1893; also a building on North Main street. The past decade has built ten new school- houses costing each $25,000. The buildings and paraphernalia of this city comparatively stand second to none in the country. The elegant, seventeen-room high- school building was erected in 1889. In this building is the office of James M. Coughlin, city superintendent of schools. In the city are employed 20 male teachers and 97 female teachers.