The Lakewood Public Schools - 1984: A Compilation of Histories

Board of Education

Board of Education by Luella Wise
Early Days of Lakewood, by the Historical Research Committee, Lakewood Chapter: Mrs. Milton D. McIntyre, chairman; Nell R. Farmer, editor.
Lakewood, O., Lakewood Chapter: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, c1936, Pg. 99 – 104.

On January 28th, 1871, the first board of education was elected by ballot. Alfred Elwell, receiving the most votes, was elected for a term of three years. Richard Fry with the next number of votes was elected for two years, and C. G. Calkins for one year. Richard Fry was chosen chairman of the board, Alfred Elwell, treasurer, and C. G. Calkins, clerk. From this time the name "East Rockport" seems to have been used. At the next meeting, February 7th, 1871, Richard Fry filed his bond for five thousand dollars as treasurer, and it was sent to the Auditor of Cuyahoga County. The work done by the board the year of 1871 included naming the buildings "East School", "Middle School", "West School". Miss E. C. Preston was hired as teacher for Middle School, Miss Juliette Comstock for East School, and Miss Bessie Brown for West School. Rules for proper conduct were adopted, one of which was, "Scholars while in the schoolhouse or upon the school grounds will be required to abstain from rude and boisterous conduct, scuffling, and the use of profane and improper language". Another was, "In addition to reading, spelling and writing, no scholar shall be required to study more than two of the following studies, geography, arithmetic and grammar." The adoption of the use of Harvey's Elementary Grammar and McGuffy's Readers was made. A partition dividing the Middle School into two rooms was ordered. The authorization to Mr. Elwell for purchasing a half-acre of land on the south side of Middle School from Mrs. Anna Wagar for three hundred dollars was given. On September 18th, 1871, it was reported that a contract had been made with Archer Webb for the purchase of about a half-acre of land for thirteen hundred dollars.

That the board was thrifty is shown by the fact that for years they sold the apples from trees growing in the school years and rented the pasture lands around the buildings. In 1871, James Kidney, who bought the land from the Nicholsons and later sold it to James Wallace, paid ten dollars for the apples growing at East School. Before the next annual meeting, Richard Fry resigned, and W. E. Clarke was elected to fill the position. At the next election Adam Wagar was elected for three years and James Keyser for one year to fill the 'position of Alfred Elwell, who had resigned. The meetings were very frequently held in Joe Howe's store. In 1872, a new West School was built, and the board sold the old one to C. R. Atwell for one hundred dollars. Miss Ada Osborn began to teach at West School on January 9th, 1873, but resigned March 24th because of ill health. Miss Sophronia Clague took her place. Other teachers that year were Miss Ida Bartholomew at East School and Miss Bessie Brown at Middle School.

On August 9th, 1873, the board voted to buy the building known as "The Good Templars Lodge" at the cost of one hundred and sixty dollars. This was built for the use of the Good Templars, probably the first organization of Rockport previous to 1850. For years it was simply called "The Lodge". It was on the northwest corner of Hilliard Road at its intersection with Warren Road. Parties and dances were held there. The board usually met there, from that time until the large school was built. In 1874, we find new members James Cannon and O. W. Hotchkiss on the board. A most important action was taken August 17th, 1874, when it was voted to hire Mr. S. P. Merrill for a "Higher School" at a salary of sixty dollars a month. Other teachers that year were Miss Juliette Comstock at East School, Miss Bessie Brown at Middle School, and Miss E. C. Preston at West School, each receiving forty dollars a month. The Higher School began that year on September 14th. We have been told that pupils attending this Higher School carried their lunches with them in pails. The boys wore jeans or homespun clothes made by their mothers, and home knitted socks. "Anthony over" was the favorite game. In November, 1874, Miss Nellis Amidon was appointed to teach at Middle School in place of Miss Bessie Brown. The teachers for 1875 were S. P. Merrill, Middle School, Higher Department; Miss C. E. Ackerman, Middle School; Miss Juliette Comstock, East School; and Miss Carrie Thatcher, West School.

A new board member in 1876 was Edwin Andrews. Teachers that year were E.N. Dodge, Middle School, Higher Department, at sixty dollars a month; Anna Wagar, Middle School, at thirty dollars; Mary Calkins, East School, at thirty dollars; and C. Hotchkiss, West School, at thirty-five dollars. .

In 1877, the name of Ezra Nicholson appears on the board. Teachers that year were Miss Kate Southard, Middle School, at thirty-five dollars; J. F. Morton at Middle School, Higher Department, at sixty dollars; Miss Elmina Phillips at East School, at thirty-five dollars; and Mrs. J. C. Cannon, West School, at thirty-five dollars. That year it was voted to pay each of the janitors one dollar a week.

The teachers in 1878 were Juliette Comstock at East School, Kate Southard at Middle School, and A. A. Cannon at West School. Each received forty dollars a month. Eliza Clapp Glasier, taught at the Higher School for sixty dollars.

A new name on the board, in 1879, was that of Silas Gleason. Important actions were taken that year. Ezra Nicholson was selected by the board to get plans and estimates for a two-room school on the Middle School site. At the next meeting he presented plans by Coburn and Barnum, architects, which were adopted. It was voted at this meeting to notify William Maile that one hundred thousand bricks would be needed at a price not to exceed four dollars per thousand, delivered. At a later meeting, the architects were directed to make new plans and specifications. Several bids were received, and contracts were finally given to Latimer and Clements for mason work and material ($2,475.00), and to E. A. Cass for carpenter work and materials ($2,044.00). The work on the new school must have started at once, for a meeting in August the treasurer was instructed to make payment to both contractors. At this meeting an additional forty-two dollars was allowed the mason-contractor for cutting the name "East Rockport Central School" and the year "1879" and for a stone cap for same. It was voted to sell the old building to the mason-contractor for fifty dollars. The board accepted Mr. James' proposition to furnish the stone from his quarry for twenty dollars for the inscription.

At a meeting held August 25th, 1879, Mr. S. H. Herriman was hired as a teacher of Central Higher School and Superintendent of Schools at seventy-five dollars a month, to begin when the new school was ready for occupancy. Other teachers that year were Miss Carrie Woodbury at East School, Miss Myra Cannon at West School, and Miss Kate Russell at Central School, each, at thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents a month. The name "Middle" was changed that year to "Central".

In 1880, the board voted to increase the number of members to six. New board members were S. Gleason, S. S. Hutchins, Archer Webb, Noble Hotchkiss and Lewis Nicholson. The board appointed L. D. French, Superintendent of Buildings. The Superintendent of Schools was directed to promote such pupils from the primary school to the grammar school "as shall be found suitably advanced in study". It was while the new building was being built that the "Lodge" was used as a school. That year a teacher's committee was appointed to confer with the Superintendent of Schools. Teachers-elected were S. H. Herriman, Superintendent, T. D. Oviatt as assistant at Central School, Miss Kate Russell at Central School, Miss Kate Ellett at East School, and Miss Myra Cannon at West School. Mr. Herriman's salary was the same, T. D. Oviatt and Miss Ellett each received thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents a month, and Miss Russell and Miss Cannon were paid thirty-five dollars a month each. A rule was adopted that year that, under the direction of the Superintendent, every pupil must take part in rhetorical exercises twice each term unless prevented by protracted illness.

On February 2nd, 1881, the board met in the new school, house, and nearly all their meetings were held there from that time except a few held in the "Lodge". That year lightning rods were placed on the buildings, and the salaries of the teachers at Central School and West School were raised to forty dollars. Teachers that year were Miss Myra Cannon at Central School, Miss Carrie Brown, West School, Miss Ella Hull, East School, Mr. Herriman, Superintendent, and Miss Sarah Alexander, assistant teacher.

The year 1882 saw two new board members, D. A. Wagar and P. S. Clampett. That year it was voted to have janitors furnish their own kindling wood, but gave them three dollars a year extra for it. On June 5th, 1882, Mr. William L. Lippert was elected Superintendent of Schools. Teachers that year were Miss Carrie Brown, Miss Sarah Alexander, Mrs. M. M. Gleason, and Mrs. W. D. Pudney. Salaries were cut to thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents and thirty-five dollars, per month. The board adopted the use of Ray's Practical Arithmetic, Eclectic History, and German with grammar in the High School. The request by the East Rockport High School for the use of the organ for an entertainment was granted. The offer of the Rockport Dramatic Association of seventy dollars for the use of the "Lodge" was accepted.

Mr. Lippert and his teachers were re-elected in 1883. This was the last meeting recorded in the clerk's book, but the treasurer's ledger gives the names of teachers. In 1884, Miss E. Alexander took the place of Mrs. Gleason. In 1885, Mr. Lippert and his teachers were re-elected. In 1886 and 1887, the teachers were Mr. Lippert, Miss Carrie Brown, Mrs. W. D. Pudney, Miss Florence Beebe and Miss May Tegardine.

In the fall of 1888, Mr. Charles J. Weeks was elected Superintendent. His teachers that year and the next were Mrs. W. D. Pudney, Miss Carrie Brown, Miss Florence Beebe and Miss May Tegardine.

In the fall of 1895, Mr. J. M. H. Fredericks was elected Superintendent. New teachers previous to that date were Mary Hutchin, Emily Cain, Ellen Wagar, Belle Tegardine, Anna Walling, Lucy West, J. M. Durnell and J. O. Gordon.

New teachers from 1895 to 1900 included Bertha Clark, Emily Harpham, G. W. Jenkins, Emma Morell, Maud Mullaly, Margaret O'Connor, W. A. Putt, Elsie Rose, F. B. Rupp, Bertha Sears, Josie Sook, Jennie Thomas, Mary Venable and Bertha Wagar. Substitute teachers during this period were the Misses Maud and Kate Tegardine, Miss Sibel Reed, Miss Grace Nicholson and Miss Bessie Baker.

Luella Sanborn Wise wrote this article, Board of Education, which appeared in the Early Days of Lakewood, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1936.