FOUR WALLS WITH TOMORROW INSIDE: Records that document the beginning of formal schooling in (and around) Vermilion are both scarce and slightly obscure. But among the papers of Peter Cuddeback, the first village treasurer, is a hand-written register denoting it as the "Day Book of the First School of Vermilion". The book bears the name of George R. Ezra Sprague and is dated 1814.
While there were several schoolhouses in the township to the west and south the first known school building in the village proper was a log structure (c.1830) wherein records show that classes were taught by one Charity Smith during the 1840's. This school was likely claimed by the lake by the 1860s.
One of the town’s earliest schools was located on the site now occupied by the Vermilion Township Hall. Late Vermilion resident and author Phoebe Goodell-Judson (1832–1926) mentions this school in her autobiography, “Pioneers Search for An Ideal Home” (published in 1986). Another early Vermilion school known as the “Seminary” was located in Hanover Square on the southwest corner of Grand and Ferry streets (currently Vermilionite Mike Rini’s front yard). In 1903 the Seminary was removed to provide a place for the town’s first water tower. It was placed on a lot on the east side of Grand Street just two doors south of the railroad tracks. It was razed in the late 1960s.
In 1851 Vermilion formed its first Board of Education. In many respects its organization signaled the start of our present formal education system. The board set uniform rules and guidelines / standards and courses of instruction that were to be applied to schools throughout the township.
In 1873 the Vermilion school system was reorganized and an ample 4-room brick High School (upper photo) was built on State Street the following year - at the cost of a whopping $18,000. [Note: Given inflation it would have been about $350,000 today. So, it was, indeed, a major investment.] Students from rural areas that wanted to attend this school either walked, came by horse, or found board in the village. Youngsters in the lower grades continued their schooling at the "Seminary" until new rooms were added (lower photo) to both the back and front of the building to accommodate them.
While the school is recognizable in both accompanying photos there are some subtle, but significant differences. Probably the most noticeable difference is the stairway entrance on the upper / older photo. Looking closer it becomes obvious that when the building was updated to accommodate students in all grades the biggest addition was at the back of the building. However, the front of the structure was also modified eliminating the stairway outside the building. Each of the lower grades occupied one room in the building with one teacher. Gym classes and basketball games took place in a wooden outbuilding built later, directly east / behind the school.
Another big change to the school came in June of 1908 when fire escapes were added. The escapes were added after a March 4, 1908 fire at Lakeview School in Collinwood, Ohio on Cleveland’s eastside killed 172 students, two teachers. and one rescuer. It was one of the deadliest school disasters in Ohio and U.S. history. As a result, people in Vermilion, across Ohio and throughout the nation immediately recognized the necessity of installing fire escape exits on all multi-story buildings. It is also worthy of noting that fire escapes were also added to the Vermilion Town Hall at that time.
For reasons unknown [at least to me] no one graduated from State Street school until 1889 when a class of four young ladies, Edith Leimbach (Hageman), Alice Nieding (Reimenschneider), Georgia Brummet (Daley), and Martha Forwick (Moyer) received diplomas. However, graduation ceremonies were held before a large audience at the Town Hall Opera House. Most, if not all, graduation ceremonies were conducted at the Opera House until 1927 when South Street School was built.
Some State Street School Facts: The VHS Class of 1907, comprised of seven students, was the very first to complete a full 4-year curriculum. Four of these students became teachers, one became a commercial fisherman, one became a pharmacist, and one Ralph Gegenheimer died in 1909. Aside of the fact that there were no graduates in 1906 the smallest class to have graduated from our local high school was the Class of 1894. That year only three persons were in the class: Alice Kane-Jones, Albert Krapp and George A. Naegele. George Feiszli (VHS 1913) was the only local graduate to lose his life in France during WW1.
I don’t know what will eventually become of the old State Street School – or any of our old schools for that matter. But as late American artist Lon Watters (1914-1995) saw it: “A school is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside.” Perhaps that’s really all we ever needed.
- Sunday, March 22, 2020
Vol. XV, No 43 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, March 28, 1912
A new, fast printing press, the capacity for small work, varying in size from a visiting card to letter paper, is being installed in the “News” office this week. It is a Pearl No. 11, one of the latest products of the Golding Mfg. Co., of Franklin, Massachusetts. Its speed is only limited by the ability of the operator and has been run at the rate of 3500 per hour.
For some time past the “News” job department has been crowded for want of press capacity, especially on small commercial work. After April 1st the new machine will be in operation in our capacity for job work increased twofold. This will enable us to turn out work promptly.
Look over your stationery and anticipate your wants by leaving your order now.
Mrs. Allen Dead
Maryette (Seeley) Allen, mother of Mrs. Upton Darby, died at the home of her daughter, Tuesday afternoon at 4 P.M. Funeral services Thursday at 2:30 P. M. At the residence. Burial at West Richfield, O.,
Absorption of too much liquor at the Milan dispensaries, and not the negligence of the county commissioners, caused the accident at the Milan bridge several months ago when Alfred Gard, of Findley, William Schoenegge, and Charles Stein of Milan township, were thrown from a buggy, according to the answer of the County commissioners, filed by prosecuting Attorney Hart Monday morning in the common pleas court. Alfred Gard, by his next friend, James Gard, sued the commissioners for $10,000 in damages.
The answer states that all three men became intoxicated in Milan; and that William Schoenegge, the driver of the rig, had consumed so much liquor that he did not even know his own name, or what he was doing. It is further declared in the answer that the buggy was driven across the bridge at a furious rate or speed, although the commissioners had posted up a warning on the bridge to the effect that vehicle should go across the structure on a walk.
The commissioners claim that going too fast caused the buggy to skid. The men in the vehicle say that loose planking made the horse stumble. In the accident, Gard sustained a broken leg, and the other men suffered minor injuries.
Joseph F. Wagner, a stockholder instituted a suit in the Court of Common Pleas Tuesday to compel the trustees of the West Huron sporting club, B. E. Taylor, W. E. Hughes, George Hollingshead, William Gordon, C. B. Dewitt, R. L. Ransom, and James Melville to grant the Cedar Point company right-of-way for its proposed automobile road from Rye Beach to Cedar Point, through land skirting the lake shore, owned by the club. The trustees, according to Mr. Wagner, have refused to make the grant, and as a result construction of the proposed auto Road is being held up.
A decree for the plaintiff was entered by Judge Stahl Monday in the case of Stewart F. Rathbun vs. Joseph Unser, an action instituted by the plaintiff to quit his title to lands in Vermilion township as against the claims of the defendant. Trial of the case was begun some time ago, the continuances were necessary several times, it was not until Monday that it was completed.
One day last fall Rathbun and his wife took several baskets of fruit from the premises involved in the controversy just adjudicated and was arrested upon the complaint of Unser. Institution of the title suit soon followed. In another suit Rathbun sued Unser for damages and this case is still pending.
Rathbun was represented by Judge E. B. King; Unser, by attorney George W. Ritter.
Mary A. Hill has brought suit in Common Pleas Ct. for divorce from Capt. Edwin A. Hill, on grounds of extreme cruelty. The parties are Vermilion residents and were married at Wakeman, May 22, 1882, and have three children.
A coronet that can be played by role of perforated paper, like
For the convenience of hunters an Illinois man has patented a decoy duck folds into a small compass when not in use.
In some parts of Mexico the natives hang the nests of large spiders in their homes to trap flies and other small insects.
A light bar be held against the upper lip by clasps fastened to the nostrils has been patented by a clergyman to prevent a sleeping person snoring.
Of the 11 presidents, beginning with Lincoln in 1861, all save Cleveland, a modern Democrat, have been Republicans. Before Lincoln the list includes 2 Federalists, (Washington and Adams), 4 old-line Republicans, 6 old-line Democrats and 3 Whigs.
BORN – to Mr. Mrs. Bert Schneider, a daughter, Sunday, March 24, 1912.
The storage shed owned by J. H. Plato was burned during the night Friday, with a loss of about $600.
Martin Malay, died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lorain, Sunday night from Lockjaw. He is survived by his mother, three sisters and one brother.
The funeral service over the remains of C.C. Hazel were held on Friday afternoon from the home of his niece, Miss Alpha Hazel. Rev. E. C. Snyder conducted the services and the remains interred in Kendeigh’s Corners Cemetery.
A. C. Field, believes he has the champion brood of laying hens in the county. For the 24 days this month his 16 hens have laid 292 eggs, a daily average of over 12 eggs or 3 – 4 of an egg to each pullet.
Mr. Fred Zurcher is still confined to his bed.
Several from this place attended the funeral of Mrs. Wm. Baxtine.
Mr. Frank Broughton is assisting the Leimbach brothers in trimming their orchard.
Mrs. R. Kelly, while visiting at her daughters, Mrs. R. Sanders at Milan, was taken with the stroke of paralysis, and is in bad condition. Dr. Boss has the case.
Mrs. Gust Nuhn is very ill and is under the Dr’s. care.
Frances Ruggles and mother returned home Friday Florida where they spent the winter.
Mr. Price Supt. of high school is moving his family to town.
Mr. Jack Patton has resigned his position at the barbershop being under the weather.
Mr. Martin Denman of Chicago, Illinois, is on his farm south of town where he expects to be for at least a week to set things in order for the coming crops.
On account of the disagreeable weather the dance of last week was postponed until Friday, March 29. Try and turn out and also invite your friends.
Carl Hauff is on the sick list.
Mrs. Susan Smith who has been sick for the past eight weeks is no better at this writing
Sustained a Broken Leg
Mrs. Lewis Englebry fell yesterday in the yard at her home and broke her right leg just above the ankle. Dr. Buell was called and reduced the fracture.
Mrs. Witty is reported seriously ill at her home on Washington St.
He Miss Alice Mehnert who was called home by the death of her father last week, returned to her studies at Cornell Monday.
T. H. Bottomley and A. H. Heart will be guests at an alumni banquet of the college of pharmacy that Ada, O., tonight.
Sorosis met Friday evening at the home of Mrs. J. M. Delker with twenty-one members present. Current events on Women’s Suffrage were read by Mrs. Lewis Englebry followed by a reading by Mrs. George Naegele and a vocal solo by Mrs. A. E. Beeckel. Then came the debate. The question, Resolved that Man’s Intellect is Superior to Women’s, Mrs. Elizabeth Kane very ably upheld her argument to prove the assertion by facts and figures drawn from both secular and biblical history. Mrs. Franc Parsons just as ably defended the negative. A vote by ballot resulted 14 the affirmative six for the negative in one valid thrown out. This was followed by a nice lunch social hour. Mrs. Geo. Harris very ably assisted the hostess.
[NOTE: I found this altogether amusing.]
E. T. Bottomley of the NEWS, who has been very ill the past two weeks is considerably better and although it will probably be some time before he is able to work, his complete recovery is expected.
[NOTE: This is one of my g-grandfathers.]
Charles H. Delker, who entered St. Joseph’s sanitarium at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, last week, underwent an operation Sunday, in which a pressure from the spinal cord was removed. He was on the operating table nearly 2 hours, but rallied from the effects nicely and is now expected that he will recover the use of his legs.
Harold Shinn is gone west to take up a claim.
P. A. Sperry & Co. have purchased the hardware and grocery business of Henry Hull.
Claude Shinn who recently underwent an operation is at home again.
Birmingham Lady Violently Insane
So violently insane that required several men to hold her, and screaming at the top of her voice, Mrs. Amelia Parker, aged 25, wife of Lee Parker, of Birmingham, was taken to the Toledo State Hospital
Brooding over the recent death of a relative is believed to have brought on the insane attack, which was first evidenced at Elyria Sunday, where Mrs. Parker was visiting relatives. The authorities there were notified and Deputy Sheriff Cook Sunday afternoon, brought the unfortunate woman to this city. She struggled so fiercely that it took the assistance of several men on the Lake Shore train together into, in which she was conveyed to the county jail.
At the county institution, Mrs. Parker labored under the delusion that someone was attempting to kill her, and kept calling out for help. Her cries were so piercing that a crowd of about 50 persons gathered in front of the jail about 9 o’clock Sunday night, and a policeman entered the building to see what was the matter.
It was deemed best not to take Mrs. Parker to the probate court, Monday so Judge Sloan, after she had been examined by physicians, pronounced her insane at a hearing in the county jail. –Star Journal.
Eight men are dead and six seriously ill at the Huron County Infirmary at Norwalk. Ages range from 53 to 85. The fourteen men slept in a room in the second story and lack of ventilation is given as the cause.
Emil Oscar Maynard was born in the Kingdom of Saxony, Germany, Oct. 5, 1859. He came to Vermilion 22 years ago, and has resided here ever since. He was joined in marriage to Anna Kaufmann in the year 1891. To this union were born nine children, six boys and three girls, all of whom, together with the wife remain to mourn their loss.
Funeral was conducted by Rev. T. H. D. Harrold of the M. E. Church at the home Saturday, March 23, 1912. The K. O. T. M. Also had a brief service. Burial at Maple Grove Cemetery. The floral offerings from businessmen and K. O. T. M. And friends were beautiful.
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