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The Old Red Brick Schoolhouse




Consisting of letters from schoolmaster and school-mates, a list of pupils and records of the Old Brick Schoolhouse.


A Letter from Squire Ramsey, Teacher at the Old Brick Schoolhouse


Sunnyside, Washington,

October 3. 1905.

Mr. Alonzo B. Reeves, Secretary, and My Former Pupils.


Dear Sir:

Your invitation to attend the second reunion of the pupils of the Patterson School was received late yesterday.

Now had I the wings of an albatross and the speed of a carrier pigeon, I would be with you on time and join your social gathering tomorrow afternoon, for I fully realize the incompleteness of a reunion without the presence of the teacher who for the six or seven years antecedent to 1860 helped you to wrestle with the intricacies of the three "R's."

But. possessing neither the wings nor the speed as above noted, the best I can do is to imagine that my dear girls and boys are back in their teens and their teacher in his early thirties, and that we are having a jolly good time in the little brick schoolhouse at the end of the lane.

Although almost a nonogenarian, my general health is excellent. I had, however, quite a spell of sickness in the early part of the year.

Whenever and wherever you meet any of your old school-mates of the Patterson School, give him or her my very best regards, accepting for yourself a full share.

Yours truly,

William Ramsey.



List of Pupils in the School District No. 7, Van Buren Township


Benire Van Cleve, Dayton Rike, Peter Rike, Sarah Rike, Nancy J. Wead, Elizabeth Wead, Wm. Wonderly, Peter Long, Peter B. Long, Anna Brumbaugh, Morrison Garst, Ed. Garst, Laura Garst, Perry Garst, A. B. Reeves, J. L. ("Lal") Reeves, John Reeves, Alwilda Worman, Mary Worman, Elizabeth Shroyer, Amanda Shroyer, John Shroyer, Sarah Shroyer, Albert Williams, John L. McKnight, Robert McKnight, Wm. McKnight, Edward Fry, Wm. Haller, Richard Haller, Lizzie Haller, Hortense Vincent, Robt. McCain, Joseph McCain, James McCain, Lizzie McCain, Robt. Hudson, Robt. Patterson, Wm. Patterson, Stephen J. Patterson, Lizzie Patterson, John H. Patterson, Frank Patterson, Stewart Patterson, Katie Patterson, J. B. Moorman, Frank Moorman, Lizzie Moorman, Parker Rusby, Anna Rike, John Souders, Fred Kramer, Charlie Kramer, Margaret Kramer, Caroline Kramer, Joseph Cavanaugh, Urie Chambers, Jennie Chambers, Lucy E. Chambers, Elizabeth Hant, Sarah Schaffer, Margaret Wahlers, Franklin Brooks, Scott W. Ditman, Laura Ditman, Winfield Ditman, Milton Ditman, George W. Ditman, Mary Jane Higgins, Sarah Ellen Higgins, Cynthiana Brooks, Annie Losier, Franklin Brooks, Winfield Imes, Mathias Glasier, Mary Glasier, Henry W. Lowman, Daniel Davis, Newton Garst, Jasper Garst, Willie H. Harrison, James F. Harrison, Belle A. Ripley, Mary S. Ripley, Louisa Kramer, Julia Patterson, Emma Cotterill, Ella Cotterill, Stephen H. Jones, Anna Schutte, Kate Schutte, Sarah Jane Eby, Albert Benham, John Benham, William Benham, Gertrude Benham, Louisa Brandon, Oscar Brandon, Emeline Brandon, John Brandon, Lucy U. Paul, Henry Nollman, Lizzie Nollman, Adolph Kramer, Rebecca Kramer, Robert Eimes, Charles Eimes, George Klein, Annie McGrath, Louise Alther, Jacob Stout, Elizabeth Stout, Mary Brown, Thomas Campbell, Davis Clark, Ashley Garst, Frank Garst, Mary Garst, Charlie Carson, Richard Mullis, Martha Mullis, Flora Shroyer, Virginia Ripley, John Corson, William Rademaker, Jacob Setters, Chris Sellers, Eliza Dawns, Henry Singly, Findlay Harrison, Mary Grace, Anna Brown, Mary E. Canary, James Rusby, Henry Rusby, Francis Rusby, William G. Dawn, John Chambers, Laura Chambers, Frederick Schutte.



Some Records of the Old Brick Schoolhouse

Preserved in the Record Book of the Trustees, now in the possession of Urie Chambers

Whereas on the 21st day of March, 1846, the trustees of Van Buren Township laid off and established a new school district from Districts Nos. 8 and 11, to be known and designated as School District No. 7, Van Buren Township, Montgomery County, Ohio; I hereby appoint J. Stewart Wead, Jacob Shroyer and Jefferson Patterson as Directors of said new district from this 16th day of May, 1846, till the 3d Friday of September, 1846, and until their successors are elected and legally qualified.

Given under my hand this 16th day of May, 1846.      Jos. B. Johns, Clk. of P. Tp.



July 25, 1846

The Board met pursuant to adjournment at the house of Peter Rike and agreed to lease of Jefferson Patterson a lot of ground whereon to erect a schoolhouse, and the said Jefferson Patterson being present did by a lease convey to the said directors and their successors in office for the sum of one dollar, a lot of ground particularly described in said lease.

J. Patterson,  Chairman.  Attest: J. S. Wead, District Clerk.            


August 1, 1846

The Board of School Directors met this day at the house of Jefferson Patterson and entered into a written agreement with John Painter and Jacob Doll furnishing all the materials, for which they are to receive two hundred and fifty-three dollars, to be paid when said building is completed.

J. Patterson,  Chairman.  Attest: J. S. Wead, District Clerk.          


September 18, 1846.

At a meeting of the voters of this district, held this day pursuant to law and public notice at the schoolhouse, Jefferson Patterson was appointed Chairman, the report of the school directors of the preceding year being read, the voters proceeded to the election of directors for the present year, whereupon it appeared that Isaac S. Van Cleve was duly elected for one year, Jefferson Patterson for two years and J. S. Wead for three years.

Jefferson Patterson,  Chairman.  Attest: J. S. Wead. District Clerk.


Meeting of Directors, September 18, 1846

The school directors this day met at the schoolhouse, and after being duly and legally qualified to discharge the duties of their offices, proceeded to choose a chairman and district clerk and treasurer, whereupon Jefferson Patterson was chosen chairman and J. S. Wead district clerk and treasurer.

J. Patterson, Chairman  Attest: J. S. Wead, District Clerk.


November 2. 1846

The Board of School Directors this day held a meeting at the district schoolhouse.  Henry G. Reddout appeared and made application to be employed as a school teacher, producing to the Board a certificate of qualification from the school examiners of this county, whereupon it was agreed that said Henry G. Reddout be employed to teach a school for the term of one month or more if the parties can agree to commence the 8th day of this month at the rate of twenty dollars per month as per written agreement entered into between the Board and said Henry G. Reddout this day.   It is agreed that each scholar pay thirty-three cents per month.

J. Patterson, Chairman.  Attest: J. S. Wead. District Clerk.





Society Gossip

(From the Dayton Journal. September, 1904)


Old Times Renewed

Mrs. Talbot Chambers, of Oakwood, entertained the older pupils who attended school at the old Van Buren Township School between the years of 1850 and 1860 at her home Saturday afternoon. She was assisted by her daughter, Mrs. Lucy Chambers Schnebly. and son, T. U. Chambers. As many โ€”of the guests had not met for forty years and more. there was quite a guessing contest as to who was who. All formality was dropped and each person was addressed by his or her old school name. There were present:   Jennie Mead Davis, of Warren County; Lucy Chambers Schnebly, of Peoria, III.; Laura Ditman, of Dayton; Mrs. Amanda Shroyer McKnight; John, Bob and Bill McKnight, of Miamisburg; Leon and Cal. Reeves, Ed. Fry, Parker Rusby, Steve Patterson, Bill and Chas. Kramer, John Shroyer, Ben Moorman, Bill Lohman, Urie Chambers of Dayton, and Joe Cavanaugh of Xenia.

Much regret was felt that it was impossible for their old teacher. Squire Ramsey. to be present, as he is now living in Oregon, hale and hearty at the age of eighty-five years. They had the old school desk decorated with his picture, together with that of Colonel John Johnston, who used to visit the school.  John Patterson's absence was much regretted. After refreshments of ice cream, cake, coffee, fruit and cigars, it was decided to form a permanent organization.

T. U. Chambers was elected chairman; Alonzo Reeves, secretary; William Kramer, treasurer.   S. J. Patterson declined to act as treasurer on account of not being able to furnish bond.

Everyone present, on account of meeting with their childhood associates, imagined he or she were kids, but when the photographer requested the man with the white mustache (Ben Moorman) to move a little to the left the men all took a side step to the left. The youngest scholars present were 52 years old and were placed in the infant class.

Recitations were held and the remainder of the session was given up to speaking pieces.   Bill McKnight made a hit reciting "The District School."

Before adjourning a rising vote of thanks was given to the hostess, who enjoyed the afternoon as much as any present.


The Twenty-One Who Went from the Little Schoolhouse to War


T. U. Chambers, William Benham, Morris Garst, John Chamber, Edward Garst, John McKnight, Frank Garst โ€“ wounded, Parker Rusby, John Benham - killed in battle, Jacob Seifers, Robert Patterson โ€“ Captain, William Rademaker,  Wm. Patterson โ€“ Captain, John Sowards, Stephen Patterson, Lawrence Reeves, John H. Patterson, Oscar Brandon, Perry Garst - Captain U. S. N.


Letters from Some of the Old Schoolmates


Dayton, Ohio, November 15, 1906.

Dear Uric:

I very much regret to tell you that I cannot be present at the annual meeting of the former scholars of the little brick school-house, to be held at the beautiful home of John Patterson, for the date that is fixed comes on the day when I will have to take out my substitute and instruct him as to his duties.

I hope that John Patterson's health may improve so that he can continue in his work of making the world more honest, better and happier.

Kindly remember me to my schoolmates and particularly to the dear girls.

Yours truly,

Ben Moorman.


U. S. Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N. H.,  November 27, 1904.

Mr. T. U. Chambers, Dayton. Ohio.

My Dear Oldtime Schoolmate:

I was delighted some time ago to receive from you a photo-graph of a group of my boyhood's friends and schoolmates, together with a note from you and a clipping from a newspaper.

I enjoyed reading your note and the newspaper clipping, but I must say the picture afforded me the most pleasure.

It is strange how old scenes and old memories cling to and go about with a person without reference to his travels or troubles.

The photograph was a delight in that it specialized old memories.   I felt upon looking at it like saying, "Well, is that you. Uric Chambers?" or, "Is that you, Steve Patterson?"   I would have passed you on the street without knowing you.  And so with all the others. It is too bad that you did not have a photograph of the venerable Squire Ramsey (God bless him), so that you might have had his phiz as a central one of that handsome group.

When I can I shall send a photograph of myself.

With many thanks for the compliment you paid me by remembering me, and best wishes to one and all of the old school, believe me.

 Very sincerely yours,

Perry Garst.


Dayton. Ohio, November 30, "06.

Mr. John H. Patterson, Dayton, Ohio.

My Old Schoolmate:

You ask me for complete memoirs of our work before and after school time at the little red brick schoolhouse that stood at the forks of the road, where the log cabin now stands. I generally arose in the morning at five o'clock in the winter and autumn and a little earlier in the spring. My work consisted in shelling corn and mixing it with bran to feed the calves and sheep, which were raised in quite numerous quantities in those early days, as our clothing and bread and butter depended on this branch of stock.   I also attended to feeding die cows, so the girls could do the milking; then we ate breakfast, which consisted usually of good, wholesome fried mush, hominy, fresh fried sausage and homemade bread baked in an out-oven, and spreads of butter and apple butter.

After breakfast we generally filled the wood box, then pre-pared to start for school with our well-filled dinner baskets of the very best eatables, going in all kinds of weather and never flinching from cold, snow or rain.  When we arrived at the school-house we were taken through our daily lessons of reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling.   In the evening we trudged home and found the usual chores awaiting us that were ours in the morning, and very frequently we had all the feeding to do, as our fathers with the hired men were in the woods splitting rails or cutting wood for sale or for the large fireplace in the sitting room.

My work on Saturdays usually consisted in riding one horse and leading three horses to tramp out wheat or other grains.  You know this was usually a cold job; then had to scratch the wheat away in front of the mill on a pile when we chaffed it.  My term of school usually began about the last of October or first of November, and ended about the first of April.   I will endeavor to describe the clothing that I wore and how it was obtained.

Overcoats were a rarity and a luxury.   Our clothes usually consisted of the best of satinette and jeans; our underclothing was made from the best of woolen goods.  These goods were obtained by trading or exchanging the wool of our sheep with the woolen mills, situated at Shakertown, for satinettes and woolen goods of all descriptions.  This was brought home and our mothers started the spinning wheel to twist this yarn.  This was done after supper until bedtime.   I usually had to run the reel, to wind in cubs, from which our mothers and sisters knit our hose and mittens.

Our boots and shoes were made from heavy cowhide by Mr. McKnight, the country shoemaker, and usually we became proud and had red-top boots made, then wore our pants in our boots.  If they needed polish, we mixed tallow and lard together, which was not very hard to procure, as we generally killed enough hogs and cattle.

I believe I have tried to give you the facts to the best of my recollection, and hoping that this will be sufficient, I am,

Your old schoolmate,

John H. Shroyer,

45 Union Ave.


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