1835-1975 Pittsboro, Middle Twp. Schools and Teachers A Virtual Cemetery created by: Louzina Spoon
Description: There's so much interesting history on the beginning of the schools in Middle Twp and the Town of Pittsboro. The following is bits and pieces, taken from the 1975 "Progress Yearbook". (That being the last year of the Pittsboro High School era.) The Town of Pittsboro was laid out in 1834, and after the early settlers had bought land and built their homes, their next concern was of churches and education for their children. The school system began with the Common School, in 1852, with the first eight grades. However there was a school in Middle Twp taught by John Lineberry, located south of the Town of Pittsboro in 1835. Also another one in 1837, taught by Elias Leach, north east of Pittsboro. Benjamin Waters was one of his known scholars. Under the Indiana Constitution of 1852, the school unit and taxes were levied for school purpose. Within 5 years, Middles Twp. had built nine school houses. They were known as the Hughes, Caledonia, Pierson, Quebec, Spicklepoint, Tamarack, Tout, Number 3 and there was a Prescription School, where pupils who paid a certain amount, could attend in the summer months. One such school was taught by Mrs. Millie Weaver when she was 15 years of age.The first known school within the town of Pittsboro was located behind the old Methodist Church Bldg. at the intersection of Maple and Meridian. This is were the children of Pittsboro went to school. One of the student was Jack Hale. The school was taught by B. B. Freeman and later by G. I. Fenyear.The second school within the town was located on South Maple in the old Christian Church building. It was used there until 1879. The third location of the Common School within the town was located on east Main Street in a two story brick building. It had two rooms on each floor. The graduates from the eighth grade of that school were Hollis Weaver, Mamie Reynolds, Benjamin Hauk, Virgil Tout, Louise Fowler, Everett Turner and Will Wills.In 1894, Enos Hornaday was Trustee and he, with progressive ideas, and the boys and girls, were determined to have a High School. There were problems, but the High School did have its beginning. The first location was over the Brumfield Store known as the GAR Hall. Mrs. (Mary) Mamie Reynolds consented to be the first Principal of the new school. After the first year, the high school was moved to the hall over the Sawyer Bldg.,on the south east corner of the intersection . Professor A. L. H. Miller became Principal.In the fall of 1897 the high school was moved to the public school bldg on the east end of town and remained there until 1912. 1897 was a year to be remembered as it the year of the first high school graduates. They were Oscar Reynolds, Charles Kress, James Flaherty, Norman Worrell and Maude Hughes Newman. Maude had the distinction of being the first girl in Indiana to graduate from a certified high school. In 1898 Professor J. M Mathews was principal and another class of 4 boys and a girl graduated. They were Tom L. Dillon, Maude Keeney, Fred Worrell, Dr. Aubrey Pebworth and Miss Mary Dugan Other teachers besides the above mentioned, were J. A. Smith, F. C. Thomas, C.O'Mara, John Moore and John Sullivan. Old School # 6 was beginning to show signs of deterioration, and by the middle of 1900's, there was agitation for a new building. Richard Lee Dillon was Trustee and thought the school should be more centrally located, and he selected the present site. It was an unpopular choice, but construction was begun and the cornerstone was laid in the summer of 1913. In September of 1913 the High School started in the long frame bldg called the Cooper Shop, which had been used as an annex . There were 27 pupils 16 Freshman, 5 Sophomores, 4 Juniors and 2 Seniors. William Westerfield was Principal and Edith McClung taught Latin, English and History. The school was completed by the end of the year and the grade as well as the high school made the move. The four rooms downstairs, with 2 grades to each room, housed the grade school. The two rooms and the long assembly room upstairs, were for the high school students. In 1921 was another era for the Pittsboro High School, when the last High School bldg. was completed. Mr. Otha Dale was Trustee. Classes in the fall began before the bldg was completed, teachers and pupils had to compete with the noise and the smell of new plaster and paint. It was well worth it though, as when completed, the bldg. seemed to be very plush. That didn't end the changes and improvements for the school system. In 1919 a group of public spirited men organized a Stock Co. and built a long wooden gym, west and south of the grade school building. In 1945, Edgar Parker was Trustee, William Logan became Principal and remained for 10 years. Under Mr. Logan's guidance the hot lunch program began. Also, other principals that stayed awhile were John Paul Girard in 1926, for 7 years. Mr Jewell Vaughn followed and remained until he became Hendricks Co. Superintendent. Mr. Ralph Black served as Principal for 8 years. Many good teachers have taught the children of Pittsboro and Middle Twp. Mr. Glen Staton and Mrs Zelma Heinig have served the longest. Mrs Heinig was hired in 1946 by Mr. Parker, Trustee and taught for 20 years and then served 8 more years as 4-H Club Leader. In 1950 Hilden Ayres was trustee, another gym was build which was much needed. It was erected between the grade and high school buildings. Many activities have been held in that gym throughout the years and many memories. During the time when Merle Hendricks was trustees, the two classroom on the second floor of the grade school were remodeled, and 5 new classroom and furnace were added west of the gym, connected to by the long hall.Other teachers were Otha Nichols, Principal, Roy Leak, Helen Webb, Mayme Nichols Brill, Betty Gutherie, Genevieve Allen, C.M. Spall, Milby Stroud, Willa Swain, Josephine McCord Stevenson, L.V. Phillips, George Russell Hamilton, Shirley Essig, Alice Piersol, Claude Linton, Blanche Ashby, Frances Weaver Fisher, Leslie Lewis, Paul Linton, Katie Paige, Everett Watson, Frank Glen, Otho Breck, Ione Gentry, Mary Lewis, Jeanette Hampton, Mr. McNamara, Cecil Kelso, and Mr. Glenn. One principal remembered was Lee Ezra Michael. Professor John Teter followed Mr. Michael, Earl Freeman and Glen Staton, Albert Ross Williams, became coach and led the team to victory in the section.Others were Mae Miller, Gail Troyer, Verna and Lynn Turner, Esther McCord, May Nennecker, Helen Haynes Williams, Dessie Miles Martin, Virginia Vannice, Dorothy Corbin and Hortense Guthrie. Jewell Vaughan followed Mr. Girard. Ralph Black, During WW II some hired were Oren Stowers, principal, Mary Bailey, Irene Simpers, Elsa Smelser Majors, Ammy Pfeiffer, Lucille McRoberts Baker, Thelma Clem, Herbert Klausmeier, Virginia Buchanan, Altha Guernsey Leak, Henrietta Davis, Mrs. Nola Stowers, later Pete Fowler, Mrs. Ruth Hess, Lowell Bill Kirtley, Robert Leedy.1945 William Logan became principal, remaining 10 years.Later, Vera Turner, Raymond Scott, Robert Kirtley, Phyllis Casselman, Wm Schleifer, Martha Evans, Robert Shank, Olaf Ellis and Mr.Obrien....In 1975 the last High School Graduation took place, and Pittsboro High School became part of the Northwest Hendricks School System and Tri- West High School. Precious memories I hold dear, as a graduate of "good ole PHS".