Header Graphic
History of Dayton, Ohio 1889
Chapter Thirteen

(page 217)




Educational-Early School Legislation-Great Interest in Public Schools 1835-1838-Dayton Academy-Lancastrian School-Early Private Schools-Francis Glass-Milo G. Williams-E. E. Barney-Dayton Public Schools-German Schools-Night Schools-Colored Schools-Instruction in Music-High School-School Law of 1853-Superintendent of Instruction-Intermediate School-Normal School-Penmanship and Drawing-Night Industrial School-Comparative Statement-Public Libraries-First Library Incorporated in Ohio-Dayton Lyceum-Mechanics' Institute-Dayton Library Association-Dayton Public School Library-Cooper Female Seminary -Emanuel Parochial School-St. Joseph's Parochial School-St. Mary's Parochial School-Holy Trinity Parochial School-Holy Rosary Parochial School-St. Mary's Institute-Deaver Collegiate Institute-Miss Anna L. J. Arnold's Select School for Girls-John Truesdell's Select School for Boys-Miami Commercial College-Union Biblical Seminary



THE celebrated ordinance of 1787, so potent in molding the thought and institutions of Ohio, provided that "religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of instruction shall forever be encouraged," and the first constitution of Ohio declared that this shall be done by "legislative provision." In the ordinance of 1785, regulating the sale of lands in the West, Section Number 16 of every township was reserved "for the maintenance of public schools within the said township." While the declaration of the ordinance and the constitution, and the munificent provision of land, owing to the then small value of the land and the comparative poverty of the people, remained for a long time inoperative, they were the germs out of -which time and favorable circumstances were only needed to develop our splendid free school system. It was not until 1825 that the first act establishing free schools was passed by the legislature. A citizen of Dayton, Judge George B. Bolt, was a member of the legislature that year, and was an earnest and active advocate of the measure. The tax levied was but one mill on the dollar, and being inadequate resulted in little immediate good. It was, however, an important step in advance, for it established the principle of direct taxation for the support of schools. How insignificant the sum realized was will appear from two facts taken at random from the books of the auditor of Montgomery County. In 1829 the total amount for school purposes apportioned to Dayton Town-' ship, at that time embracing a very large territory, was one hundred and thirty-three dollars. In 1833 the school fund for Montgomery County was only eighteen hundred and sixty-five dollars.

            (page 218) From 1835 to 1838 occurred in Ohio a wide-spread and intense interest on the subject of public school education analogous to a revival of religion. Conventions were held and addresses made on the subject of education in every part of the State. Samuel Lewis was elected the first superintendent of instruction, and the Rev. Calvin E. Stowe, D. D., was sent by the legislature to Germany to investigate and report on the system of public education in Prussia. An elaborate report was made by Dr. Stowe to the legislature, which was printed, widely circulated, and made a profound impression on the public mind.

            A memorable convention was held in Dayton in August, 1836, in the interest of free schools, the proceedings of which were published in full in the Dayton Journal. A committee of arrangements was appointed, consisting of E. E. Barney, R. C. Carter, R. C. Schenck, George B. Holt, and Milo G. Williams. Delegates were present from Cincinnati, Dayton, Oxford, Springfield, Hamilton, Lebanon, Middletown, and Franklin, and visitors from Bellville, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan. Rev. E. Allen was elected president and D. A. Haynes secretary. The convention remained in session three days. Able addresses were made by Rev. W. H. McGuffey, D. D., a man of remarkable ability as a speaker and afterwards the compiler of the famous readers that bore his name, and Dr. Harrison, an eloquent and distinguished professor in the Cincinnati Medical College. The discussions took a wide range and were participated in by some of the most distinguished educators in the State. What advanced views were held may be learned from the resolutions adopted which favored the establishment of normal schools that teaching might become a profession; the introduction in the schools of the studies of geology and physiology; and the publication of a periodical to be called the Teachers' Magazine.

            The Dayton Journal, at that time edited by R. N. and W. F. Comly, warmly and ably advocated the cause of public schools, and freely opened its columns to the discussion of the subject. But how inadequate the school fund was as late as 1837 to support free schools appears from a statement in the Journal that the taxes available that year for school purposes in Dayton amounted to only eight hundred and eight dollars and forty cents. It was the remarkable popular uprising in favor of free schools, that extended throughout the State that insured the passage of the school law of 1838 which rendered an efficient school system possible.

            But while the time for free schools had to wait for the development of the country, the pioneer citizens of Dayton were not insensible to the value of education for their children. As early as 1799 a school was (page 219) taught in a block house located near the river batik, at the head of Main    Street, which had been built for protection against Indians. Benjamin Van Cleve, so prominent in the early history of Dayton, was the teacher, and the school was continued through parts of the years 1799 and 1800.

            It is probable that Dayton was at no time without a school, but the names of only a few of the teachers have conic down to us. Cornelius Westfall, a Kentuckian, opened a school in the fall of 1804 and taught a year in a cabin on Main Street, south of First. He was succeeded in 1805 by Chauncey Whiting, of Pennsylvania.

            Fortunately the records of the old Dayton Academy were carefully preserved by the late John W. Van Cleve, and have been deposited in the Public Library. From this source we may trace the history of that institution. In 1807 an act incorporating the Dayton Academy was obtained from the legislature. The incorporators were James Welsh, Daniel C. Cooper, William McClure, David Reid, Benjamin Van Cleve, George F. Tennery, John Folkerth, and James Hanna. In 1808 the trustees erected by subscription a substantial two-story brick schoolhouse on the lot lying north of and adjoining the Park Presbyterian Church. Mr. D. C. Cooper, the proprietor of the town site, a man of large and liberal views, donated, in addition to his subscription, two lots and a bell. William M. Smith, afterward for many years a prominent citizen of Dayton, was the first teacher employed. In his contract with the trustees he proposed to teach "reading, writing, arithmetic, the classics, and the sciences." Training in elocution was made prominent, one of the rules of the school requiring that "for the improvement of the boys in public speaking a certain number, previously appointed by the teacher, shall at every public examination pronounce orations and dialogues in prose and verse, to be selected or approved by the teacher, and familiar pieces shall be recited in the presence of the teacher by all boys in rotation who can read with facility, every Saturday morning." In 1815 Mr. Smith had for an assistant Rev. James B. Findley, who afterward became a distinguished Methodist preacher. Mr. Smith continued principal of the Academy for many years, and was succeeded by Gideon McMillan, a graduate of the University of Glasgow. If we may credit the claims made by McMillan, in his advertisements, he must have been an accomplished scholar, as he offers to teach both the ancient and modern languages. In 1820 the Lancasterian, or "mutual instruction" system of education, was exciting great interest. Joseph Lancaster, an Englishman, deeply impressed with the advantages of the system, which had been introduced into England from India by Dr. Bell, in 1789 opened a school for poor children in Southwork. The success was great and liberal (page 220) contributions poured in to enable him to extend the schools to other places.

            Dr. Bell now appeared, claimed the system as his own, and being a churchman and having the support of the clergy, supplanted Lancaster, who was a Quaker. Lancaster, disheartened, emigrated to the United States in 1818 and soon succeeded in awakening a wide-spread interest in his methods, and Lancasterian schools sprang up in every part of the country. The system no doubt was characterized by some valuable principles, which have been embodied in present methods of instruction. It was claimed that by promoting scholars in each class to the position of monitors or instructors on the ground of good scholarship and conduct, one teacher, who only needed to act as general supervisor, might control and instruct five hundred scholars, thus saving great expense. Corporal punishment was never resorted to, and tickets of merit to be given or withdrawn were the sole reward or punishment for scholarship or conduct. No public examinations were held and pupils were expected to be governed only by a sense of honor. The high hopes excited by the Lancasterian system of education, its general adoption in the towns and cities of the United States, and its entire abandonment, is an interesting episode in school history, and may serve to moderate our enthusiasm for new methods of instruction until thoroughly tested by experience. Sharing in the general feeling in favor of the Lancasterian methods of instruction, the trustees of the Dayton Academy determined to introduce it in that institution. The trustees at that time were Joseph H. Crane, Aaron Baker, William M. Smith, George S. Houston, and David Lindsly. It was necessary to erect a building specially adapted to the purpose. The house was built of brick on the north side of the academy and consisted of a single room, sixty-two feet long and thirty-two feet wide. The floor was of brick and the house was heated by "convolving flues" underneath the floor. The walls were thickly hung with printed lesson cards, before which the classes were marched to recite under monitors selected from their own number as a reward for meritorious conduct and scholarship. For the youngest scholars a long, narrow desk, thickly covered with white sand, was provided, on which, with wooden pencils, they copied and learned the letters of the alphabet from cards hung up before them.

            The school was opened in the fall of 1820.

            A few of the rules adopted for the government of the -school may illustrate some of the peculiarities of the system:

            "The moral and literary instruction of the pupils entered at the Dayton Lancasterian Academy will be studiously, diligently, and temperately attended to.

            (page 221) "They will be taught to spell and read deliberately and distinctly, agreeably to the rules laid down in Walker's Dictionary; and in order to do that correctly they will be made conversant with the first rules of grammar. The senior class will be required to give a complete grammatical analysis of the words as they.proceed.

            "They will be required to write with freedom all the different hands now in use, on the latest and most approved plan of proportion and    distance.

            "There will be no public examinations at particular seasons; in a Lancasterian school every day being an examination day, at which all who have leisure are invited to attend."

            In 1821 the trustees adopted the following resolution, which would hardly accord with present ideas of the jurisdiction of boards of education or the authority of teachers:

            "Resolved, That any scholar attending the Lancasterian school who may be found playing ball on the Sabbath, or resorting to the woods or commons on that day for sport, shall forfeit any badge of merit he may have obtained, and twenty-five tickets; and if the offense appears aggravated, shall be further degraded, as the tutor shall think proper and necessary; and that this resolution be read in school every Friday previous to the dismission of the scholars."

            Gideon McMillan, who had previously been employed in the academy, and who claimed to be an expert, having taught in a Lancasterian school in Europe, was appointed the frst principal. In 1822 he was succeeded by Captain John McMullin, who came with high recommendations from Lexington, Virginia. In connection with the school while under his charge occurred in 1823 a unique Fourth of July celebration. A procession, composed of the clergy of the town, the trustees, the teachers, and two hundred scholars, marched from the school to the Presbyterian church, where the Declaration of Independence was read by Henry Bacon, and a sermon delivered by Rev. N. M. Hinkle. It seems that Captain McMullin had served as a soldier, for the Watchman, in a notice of the celebration, says: "Captain John McMullin appeared as much in the service of his country when marching at the head of the Lancasterian school as when formerly leading his company to battle." Captain McMullin was succeeded in the school. by James H. Mitchell, a graduate of Yale College, who taught for several years, but after a fair trial discontinued the Lancasterian methods. Mr. Mitchell afterwards followed the profession of civil engineer and was a highly esteemed citizen of Dayton for many years.

            In 1833 the academy property was sold and a new building erected (page 222) on lots purchased on the southwest corner of Fourth and Wilkinson streets. At this time the trustees were Aaron Baker, Job Raines, Obadiah B. Conover, James Steele, and John W. Van Cleve. Mr. E. E Barney, a graduate of Union College, New York, was elected principal in 1834, and remained at the head of the school until 1839 when he retired and engaged in business. Mr. Barney was a remarkable teacher and man, and fuller notice of him will be given. By the introduction of the analytical methods of instruction he exerted an important influence on our public schools. Teachers educated by him carried these methods into the schools in advance of most places in the West and gave them in their early history a high reputation.

            In 1840 a school was taught in the academy building by Mr. Collins Wight. In 1844 the trustees placed the academy in charge of Mr. Milo G. Williams, a teacher of large experience and reputation, who remained until 1850 when he removed from the city. By this time the public schools had been successfully established and a high school organized. The trustees, believing that a separate academy was no longer needed, after obtaining authority from the legislature, deeded the property to the city board of education.

            Numerous advertisements of schools taught outside of the academy appear in the Dayton papers between 1815 and 1834. Mention may be made of a few of the most prominent. In 1815 Mrs. Dionecia Sullivan opened a school for girls, in which were taught reading, writing, sewing, lettering with the needle, and painting. Mrs. Sullivan and her husband, William Sullivan, were prominent and influential in the early history of the Methodist Church in Dayton, and were highly esteemed. In 1823 Francis Glass, A. M., the author of a "Life of Washington" in Latin, opened a school for instruction in the ordinary English branches, mathematics, the classics, and modern languages. Mr. Glass was so remarkable as to deserve a more extended notice, which will be given on a future page. In 1829 Edmund Harrison, a competent and successful teacher, taught what he called the Inductive Academy in a building which he erected for the purpose. Mr. Harrison was followed by Norman Fenn, who for several years was a popular teacher. In 1832 Miss Maria Harrison, a daughter of Edmund Harrison, an accomplished woman, taught a school for young ladies. In 1831 T. J. S. Smith, afterwards an eminent member of the Dayton bar, taught a school for boys in the stone building on Main Street, known as the old Bank building. To illustrate how soon new ideas penetrated the West it may be mentioned that Dr. and Mrs. Foster in 1829 advertised a school to be conducted on the method of Pestalozzi.

            (page 223) Advertisements of singing schools and writing schools appear frequently. The faming advertisement of D. Easton, teacher of penmanship, recalls the day before the invention of steel pens, when no small part of the time of the teacher was consumed in making and mending quill pens. He offers to teach "the round running hand, the ornamental Italian hand, the waving hand, the swift angular running hand without ruling, and various others, both plain and ornamental, and will also give lessons in making quill pens."

            If we may believe that the teachers were competent to teach what they professed in their advertisements there was no branch of study from the simplest rudiments to Hebrew that was beyond the reach of the pupils of Dayton at that early day.

            A few of the early Dayton teachers are worthy of special notice. Francis Glass, A. M., who taught here in 1823-1824, was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1790, and came with his parents to America when he was eight years old. His father was engaged as a teacher at Mount Airy College, Philadelphia, where he remained until his death. Francis Glass was educated at "the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in his nineteenth year. He married young, and, pressed by the wants of an increasing family, he emigrated in 1817 to Ohio in the hope of improving his fortunes. Better adapted to a professor's chair in a college than to the rude schoolhouses of the West, he met with no great success as a teacher. He removed from place to place, teaching the first school taught in Clinton County, Ohio, and having .schools at various times in Warren, Miami, and Montgomery counties. There is something pathetic in the story of this enthusiastic and guileless scholar, who, amid the hardships of pioneer life and the bitter privations of poverty, never for a moment lost interest in classical study. Mr. J. P. Reynolds, one of his pupils, who was instrumental in securing the publication of the "Life of Washington" in Latin, in an introduction to that work, gives a graphic description of a pioneer schoolhouse and of its teacher, Francis Glass. Wishing to pursue classical studies, and having heard of Glass as a competent teacher, Mr. Reynolds sought him out. He says: "The schoolhouse now rises fresh in my memory. The building was a log cabin with a clap-board roof, but indifferently lighted-all the light of heaven found in this cabin came through apertures made on each side of the logs, and then were covered with oiled paper to keep out the cold air, while they admitted the dim rays. The seats or benches were of hewn timber, resting on upright posts placed in the ground to keep them from being overturned by the mischievous urchins who sat on them. In the center was a large stove, between which and the back part of the building (page 224) stood a small desk, without lock or key, made of rough plank, over which a plane had never passed, and behind this desk sat Professor Glass when I entered his school. There might have been forty scholars present, twenty-five of whom were engaged in spelling, reading, and writing, a few in arithmetic, a small class in English grammar, and a half dozen like myself had joined the school for the benefit of his instructions in Greek and Latin. The moment that he learned that my intention was to pursue the study of the languages with him his whole soul appeared to beam from his countenance. He commenced in a strain which in another would have appeared pedantic, but which, in fact, was far from being so with him.

            "The following imperfect sketch drawn entirely from memory may serve to give some idea of his peculiar manner: ' Welcome to the shrine of the muses, my young friend, Salve! Xaipe! The temple of the Delphian god was originally a laurel hut, and the muses deign to dwell accordingly, even in my rustic abode. Non humilem domum fastidiunt umbrosamve ripam."' Mr. Reynolds gives more to the same effect, but this may suffice. It was Glass' great ambition to write and publish a "Life of Washington" in Latin, and when Mr. Reynolds met him he had nearly completed the work. Mr. Reynolds, who highly esteemed him, furnished him the means to remove to Dayton in 1823, and there the life was completed and the manuscript delivered to Mr. Reynolds, who agreed to assist him in finding a publisher. Lengthy proposals of publication fully describing the work were printed in the Cincinnati and Dayton papers, but without result. In the columns of the Dayton Watchman, covering the time of his residence here, may be found advertisements of his school. Shortly after his arrival this characteristic one appeared: "The subscriber, having completed the biography of Washington, which had engaged the greater portion of his attention and solicitude for the past two years, and being constrained to remain in Dayton for some months for the purpose of correcting the proof sheets of said work, respectfully announces that his school is now open for students of either sex, who may wish to prosecute classical, mathematical, or English studies. As respects his literary attainments or standing as a scholar, he refers to the faculty of arts of any university or college in the United States." Proof-reading was only the too sanguine anticipation of the poor author, as the work was not published until 1835, long after his death. It would seem that school teaching in Dayton at that early day was not without its annoyances, for in an advertisement in the Watchman he denounces the conduct of certain boys who had removed an out-house from his premises in the night as 44 ungentlemanly and unsoldierly." His friend, Mr. Reynolds, removed (page 225) from Ohio and was absent for several years, and during his absence Francis Glass died. It seems from advertisements which he was profuse in inserting in the newspaper, that he struggled manfully on with his school and as a last resort ofered his services as a physician. With his inextinguishable love of the classics, shortly before his death he published in the Watchman a Latin ode on the death of Lord Byron, which was followed in succeeding numbers of the paper by translations in prose and verse by some of his scholars. The ode was prefaced by the following introduction: "To the academicians and scholars in the United States of America, especially of those who delight in literary pursuits, Francis Glass, A. M., wishes much health."

            This brief notice in the Watchman is all we know of his death : "Francis Glass died August 24, 1824, after an illness of about three weeks." In the same column of the paper appear the unavailing proposals for the publication of the 11 Life of Washington." He was buried in the old city grave-yard, which has long ceased to be used for burial purposes and is now occupied by residences. The remains of all unknown persons were removed by the city to Woodland Cemetery, where he now sleeps in an unmarked grave.

            In 1835 the "Life of Washington," through the instrumentality of Mr. Reynolds, was published by Harper Brothers. Mr. Reynolds had acquired considerable literary reputation as the author of a “Voyage Round the World in the United States Frigate Potomac" and by contributing to the Knickerbocker Magazine, and was able to rescue from oblivion the long neglected and dearly loved work of his old teacher. It forms an openly printed volume of two hundred and twenty-three pages. That such a work in Latin should have been written by a country school teacher remote from libraries and compelled to teach an ungraded school for his daily bread is certainly one of the curiosities of literature. Eminent scholars have pronounced the style terse and vigorous and the Latin classical. It was introduced into many schools as a text book, and the writer remembers its use in the Dayton Academy in 1838. It is now out of print and rare, but a copy may be found in the Dayton Public Library. We may smile at the eccentricities of Francis Glass, but we must respect him for his fne scholarship, his patriotism, and his kindliness of heart. All honor to the pioneer teacher and scholar, who in another age and under more favorable circumstances might have become a Casaubon or a Scaliger. Allibone thought Glass worthy of a place in the "Dictionary of Authors," and Duykinck has a lengthy notice of him in the “Cyclopedia of American Literature."

            Milo G. Williams was another teacher of mark at an early day. In (page 226) 1833 he was invited by Mr. David Pruden to come to Dayton to take charge of a manual labor school, to be established in the large brick building owned by him, which until a few years ago stood at the junction of Jefferson and Warren streets. Mr. Williams was to conduct the academic and Mr. Pruden the labor and boarding departments. The large building was used for the school and boarding purposes, and shops were erected for instruction in various mechanical trades. A large number of boys from Cincinnati and other places were attracted to the school by Mr. Williams' reputation' as a teacher and the school for a time enjoyed great popularity. Not proving a pecuniary success, it was closed after a few years' trial, and Mr. Williams returned to Cincinnati to continue his work as a teacher there. Both Mr. Williams and Mr. Pruden were actuated by philanthropic motives in the establishment of the school and deserve credit for the attempt to combine intellectual culture with preparation for the practical duties of life. How this may be done is still perplexing the minds of educators, and it is no discredit to them that they did not fnd the solution. The effort now being made in several cities to introduce manual training in our public schools is full of promise, and it is hoped that in this way this desirable end may be reached. In 1844, by invitation of the trustees, Mr. Williams returned to Dayton to take charge of the Dayton Academy, where he taught with great acceptance until - 1850. Solicited by leading members of the religious denomination to which he belonged, he resigned to take a position in a college of his church at Urbana, at which place he died in 1880, having reached a ripe old age. He was a gentleman of fine presence, admirable social qualities, and ever ready to unite with others in efforts for the public welfare. He was one of the founders and the first president of the Dayton Library Association and in many ways left his impress on the community.

            But perhaps the teacher who made the deepest impression on our system of education was Mr. E. E. Barney. Coming to Dayton in 1834 he brought with him from New York the most advanced methods of teaching and introduced them here. He inspired his scholars with his own enthusiasm, and transformed study; from drudgery into pleasure. He procured the best apparatus for the illustration of natural science, and by frequent excursions to the country sought to make his pupils familiar with the botany and geology of the region. Composition and declamation were required studies, and a literary society and library were established in the school. He encouraged the planting of trees and f lowers, and by every means at his command sought to develop a symmetrical character. He was quick to notice 'the aptitude of pupils for (page 227) particular callings in life, and his advice often exerted an important influence on their after career. The discipline of the school was mild, but firm, and largely left to the honor of the-pupils. Corporal punishment was rarely resorted to. Each morning the school was opened with the reading of the Scriptures and prayer.

            In 1838 when a public meeting was called to determine upon the building of the first public schoolhouses, Mr. Barney heartily advocated the measure. His experience and advice were freely given in planning and seating the new schoolhouses, and his school furnished educated teachers, who carried at once the newest methods of instruction into the public schools. Invited in 1845 to take charge of the Cooper Female Seminary when it was first opened, he entered on the work with the same ability and energy that built up the great car works of which he was so long the head. A large part of the older citizens of Dayton were his scholars in the Dayton Academy or Cooper Seminary, and recall his instructions with pleasure and gratitude. Mr. Barney died in 1880. But little is known of the early history of the public schools of Dayton. The school directors of that early day kept no records of their proceedings; at least, none have been preserved. We glean from the newspapers the names of a few directors and teachers, and that is all. Before 1831 schools had been partly supported by taxation, but it was not until that year that the school district of Dayton was formally organized. A meeting was held at the courthouse Saturday, May 14, 1831, and Dr. John Steele, F. F. Carrell, and Warren Munger.were appointed directors, Edmund Harrison clerk, and William Bomberger treasurer. It would appear from the following notice that the directors did not serve, but no explanation is given in the newspaper:

            "First District school will be opened Monday, December 5, 1831, by Sylvanus Hall, approved teacher, in the schoolroom on Jefferson Street, between Water and First streets. Public money appropriated to support it.




" Directors."


            Three additional rooms were soon afterwards opened in diferent parts of the city for the convenience of scholars.

            From this time until 1838 schools supported by taxation were taught for* a few months each year in rented rooms. No public school buildings had been erected, and the majority of citizens sent their children to private schools. During this period the following persons served, at (page 228) different times, as directors: Thomas Brown, William Hart, James Slaght, J. H. Mitchell, David Osborn, Ralph P. Lowe, Simon Snyder, and William H. Brown. Among the teachers of this period were Mr. and Mrs. Leavenworth Hurd, who taught in the old academy building, on St. Clair Street. The public funds not being sufficient to sustain this school, one dollar per quarter was charged for each scholar. We have now reached the period when the public schools began to assume the importance in the public estimation which they have ever since maintained.

            In 1837 Samuel Lewis was elected, by the legislature, State superintendent of schools. Mr. Lewis entered upon his work with great enthusiasm, visiting every part of the State, and addressing the people at all important points. It was one' of these addresses that led to the public meeting in 1838, which resulted in the building of two schoolhouses. Prior to that time not more than three hundred dollars in any one year could be raised by taxation in a school district for the purpose of building schoolhouses. By the law of 1838 it was provided that 11 a special meeting might be called after twenty days' notice, stating an intention to propose a schoolhouse tax, at which a majority of the voters present, being householders, were authorized to determine by vote upon the erection of a schoolhouse, and how much money should be raised for such purpose." Legal notice was given, and a public meeting assembled May 7, 1838, in the courthouse. Strenuous opposition was made to the levy of the tax by a few wealthy citizens, but after a heated discussion the measure was carried by a large majority. The amount to be raised was fixed at six thousand dollars, and it was resolved to build. two houses, one in the eastern and one in the western part of the city. General R. C. Schenck, at that time a rising young lawyer, was an eloquent advocate of the public schools, and was warmly seconded by Simon Snyder, to whom, as the advocate of schools and libraries and of every measure at that early day that tended to promote intellectual and moral culture, the people of Dayton are deeply indebted. The opposition did not end with the meeting. It was believed that it could not be proved that the law had been complied with in giving notice of the meeting. This had been anticipated by Mr. E. E. Barney, who had taken the precaution to post the notices in person, and, accompanied by a friend, had visited them from time to time to see that they were not removed. The injunction was not granted, and the houses were built on the sites now occupied by the second and fourth district schoolhouses. The plans were taken from the Common School Journal, and embodied the most advanced ideas of the time on the subject of school architecture.  (page 229) Unfortunately no records of this important period of our school history down to 1842 have been preserved, and we have to rely upon tradition and the newspapers of the day for our scanty facts. Now that the public school system is firmly established in popular, favor and has become as much a part of our city institutions as the municipal government itself, it is difficult to realize the necessity felt by the friends of the public schools in their early history to devise every practical method to bring them to the notice of the public and increase their popularity. On several occasions the schools marched in procession through the streets and the public was made to realize their magnitude and the great work they were accomplishing.

            In 1838 D. H. Elder, principal of one of the district schools, had instructed his scholars in music on a method highly commended the by Journal of that day. On the Fourth of July the school marched procession, headed by a brass band, and escorted by the Blues and Grays, the militia companies of the town, to the Methodist church, where a concert was given by the school, which was received with enthusiasm, the Journal saying that "if anyone can hear the appeal to his patriotism sent forth by the united voices of this small company in the young army of the republic while singing, ' My Country 'Tis of Thee,' without feeling his opposition die away and his whole heart warm towards the human school system, he is made of sterner stuff than should enter composition."

            In 1839 a public meeting was held, of which-Dr. John Steele was chairman and Simon Snyder secretary, at which it was resolved that the Fourth of July should be celebrated by a procession composed of the public, the private, and the Sunday-schools of the town, which should assemble at the corner of Main and Third streets and march to the public square (Library Park), where exercises were to be held and a picnic dinner given to the children. The parents and citizens marched on one side of the street and the teachers and children on the other, and the spectacle made a deep impression on the public mind.

            In 1856 the school year was closed with a grand picnic and exhibition of the public schools. The Journal gives a lengthy and enthusiastic description of the parade, saying that it was "the most beautiful and exhilarating scene witnessed in our streets for years." The procession formed at the corner of Main and Third streets and reached to Steele's Hill, and was composed of the city council, the board of education, the high and district schools. Two brass bands enlivened the procession with music, and each school carried a beautiful silk banner, the scholars wearing rosettes. The Journal says "the procession must have contained (page 230) twenty-five hundred persons, including teachers, pupils, and others, and reached from the courthouse very near to the grove, where the exercises were held." The exercises began with prayer, then the "exhibition song" was sung by all the pupils, conducted by Charles Soehner, the teacher of music, and accompanied by the German brass band. Declamations and patriotic songs followed, and the formal exercises were concluded with an address by the president of the board and the delivery of diplomas to the graduating class of that year of the high school. After an excellent picnic dinner the rest of the day was spent in games of all kinds. The procession of 1856 made such a favorable impression on the public that it was determined to repeat it in 1859. The board of education appointed Henry L. Brown, Henderson Elliott, and D. A. Wareham a committee to make the necessary arrangements. The Journal says, in reference to it," The public schools took the town yesterday. It was a pleasant sight, that army of children." The procession marched down Main Street to the fair grounds, headed by the Phoenix Brass Band, followed by Rev. D. Winters, chaplain of the day, the city council, the board of education, and the schools. The high school carried a beautiful silk national flag, and the scholars wore rosettes of red, white and blue; the district schools marched behind silk banners ornamented with gold lace, each school having a distinct color. The following mottoes were inscribed on the banners: 'Let there be light," "Education is the main pillar of the Temple of Liberty," 11 We are taught to love Piety, Morality, and Knowledge," " We mingle reason with pleasure and wisdom with truth," "We love to learn." Arrived at the grounds, after prayer, declamations and songs were given and short addresses made by D. W. Iddings, the mayor of the city; R. W. Steele, president of the board of education; and Isaac H. Kiersted and Henderson Elliott, members of the board. The scholars were then dismissed to enjoy a bountiful dinner from their well filled baskets.

            A procession of the seven thousand youth and children now in our public schools would be a grand and inspiring spectacle, but there is no longer need of such a demonstration.

            Ralph P. Lowe, Simon Snyder, and William H. Brown were the directors of the schools in 1838-1839. Mr. Lowe removed to Iowa many years ago, where he held the distinguished positions of judge of the supreme court and governor of the State. Mr. Brown removed to Indiana, where he lived to a great old age, and manifested his continued interest in Dayton by occasionally contributing to the Dayton Journal reminiscences of early times here. Simon Snyder died in Springfield several years ago, and his remains were brought here and interred in Woodland Cemetery.  (page 231) In 1839-1840 Simon Snyder, R. P. Brown, and Thomas Brown served as directors, and in 1840-1841 George W. Bomberger, Jefferson Patterson, and Solomon Price. Of all the prominent friends of the public schools of this period whose names are recorded, only a few are living-Thomas Brown, R. N. and W. F. Comly, and R. C. Schenck.

            In September, 1839, the schools were opened in the new schoolhouses and continued for three quarters of twelve weeks each. Collins Wight was principal of the western district and D. L. Elder of the eastern district. The salary of the principals was five hundred dollars per annum. In addition to the principals one male assistant and three female teachers were employed in each house.

            It would seem that the zeal of the directors of 1839 outran their discretion in keeping the schools open for so long a period. In March, 1841, a city charter was granted to Dayton, by which the control of the public schools was given to the council. In the interim between the adoption of the city charter and the appointment by the council of aboard of managers of public schools as provided for in the charter, a committee of the city council was appointed to take charge of the schools. This committee consisted of Henry Strickler, David Davis, and David Winters. On the records of the city council is found the first report of the condition of the schools which has been preserved, made June 14, 1841. The committee say: "It was necessary to suspend the schools from April, 1841, to January, 1842, to enable the directors of 1841 to discharge the indebtedness incurred in 1839 by the directors of that year requiring the schools to be kept open the whole year, thus anticipating eight hundred dollars of the school fund of 1840. The schools were kept open in 1840 six months; then suspended until January, 1841, with a view of closing without indebtedness. But the great change in money affairs defeated the object, as the poll-tax of fifty cents a scholar could not be collected. The schoolhouses are now in use by the principals of the schools, in which they are teaching private schools. They hold them on condition that in each house twenty charity scholars shall be taught each quarter."

            The city charter fixed the levy for school purposes in Dayton at two mills on the dollar, and directed that the " school tax so levied, and all other funds that may be collected or accrue for the support of common schools, shall be exclusively appropriated to defray the expenses of instructors and fuel, and for no other purpose whatever." No provision was made for contingent expenses, which rendered it necessary to require a tuition fee of fifty cents per quarter from each scholar. Parents who were unable were not expected to pay. This tax was continued for several (page 232) years, until suitable provision was made by law for contingent expenses.

            In addition to the levy of two mills for tuition purposes, ample power was given to the city council to issue bonds, by vote of the people, for the erection of schoolhouses.

            The city charter directed "that the city council shall in the month of January, each year, select from each ward in the city one judicious and competent person as a manager of common schools; the persons so selected shall constitute and be denominated the board of managers of common schools in the city of Dayton, and shall hold their offices for one year, and until their successors shall be chosen and qualified."

            The general management of the schools was committed to this board, but in the most important particulars it was merely the agent of the council. The power to levy taxes and issue bonds was vested in the council, and the board could only recommend the amount that in its judgment was needed.

            Practically, however, the board exercised complete jurisdiction, as in no case were its recommendations disregarded. The fact that the two bodies cooperated for so many years without serious difference of opinion or conflict conclusively shows the unanimity of public sentiment in favor of liberal provision for the schools.

            The first board of managers for the schools was appointed by the city council in January,. 1842, and was composed of the following members: First Ward, Ebenezer Fowler; Second Ward, Robert W. Steele; Third Ward, Simon Snyder; Fourth Ward, E. W. Davies; Fifth Ward, William J. McKinney. From a report made to the city council December 12, 1842, it appears that the total amount of school fund in the treasury January, 1842, was two thousand, four hundred and eighty-two dollars and eighty-five cents. From this had to be deducted a loss on uncurrent money of three hundred and seventeen dollars and thirty-five cents, and an indebtedness from the last year of five hundred and fifty-two dollars and fifty-five cents, leaving only one thousand, five hundred and eighty-two dollars and ninety-five cents with which to conduct the schools.

            Four schools were opened, two in the public schoolhouses and two in rented rooms. Six male and ten female teachers were employed. The principals were W. W. Chipman, W. J. Thurber, E. H. Wood, and William Worrell. The salary of the principals was one hundred and ten dollars per quarter; of male assistants, eighty dollars, and of female teachers, fifty dollars. The board was determined to close the year without debt, and the schools were continued only one quarter, one month and one week, exhausting every dollar of the fund. The houses, (page 233) however, were not closed, the teachers continuing private schools in them throughout the year.

            The text books used were Picket's Spelling Book, McGuffey's Readers, Mitchell's Geography, Colburn's and Emerson's Arithmetics, Smith's Grammar, and Parley's Book of History. The board adopted a resolution requesting the teachers to read a portion of the Bible each morning at the opening of the schools. This custom has been continued in the schools until the present time. In the revised rules adopted by the board in 1874 the following section was passed without opposition and remains in force: "The schools shall be opened in the morning with reading of the Sacred Scriptures without comment and repeating the Lord's Prayer, if desired."

            It was an inauspicious time for the inauguration of the public school system, and it was only the appreciation by the mass of the people of the great value of the schools and their indispensableness in a free government that carried them triumphantly through the difficulties with which they were environed. The country had not yet recovered from the reaction which followed the wild speculations of 1837, and which prostrated the business of the entire country. It was a period of depreciated currency, of broken banks and unpaid taxes. The sum realized from the fifty cent tuition charge, which it was hoped would in some measure supplement the deficiency in the treasury from other sources, amounted in 1842 to only one hundred and sixty-two dollars and forty-eight cents. No taxes, however, were so cheerfully paid as those for the support of schools, and the board was cheered in this day of small things by the cordial support of the people.

            In 1843 the schools were open for six months, and the year closed without debt.. The time was lengthened as the funds would justify until in 1849 the full school year was reached.

            In 1841 the legislature passed a special act directing that a German school should be opened in Dayton, to be supported by the school tax paid by German citizens. This law, false in principle, and calling for an impracticable division of the school fund, was evidently enacted without due consideration. It remained a dead letter and no attempt was made to teach German until 1844, when the board was authorized by law to introduce instruction in German on the same basis as other studies. In that year a German school was opened, with William Gemein for teacher. Since that time German instruction has been a constituent part of our school system and has increased proportionally with the English, as the wants of the German population required. In the German schools one half the time is given to instruction in English.

            (page 234) In 1845 a night school for instruction in the ordinary English branches was opened to meet the wants of apprentices and others who were unable to attend the day schools. For many years night schools were kept open during the winter months, in different parts of the city, with apparently excellent results until 1888, when they were discontinued for want of sufficient patronage.

            Until 1849 no provision was made by law for the education of colored youth, who were excluded from the public schools. By the school law of 1849 school authorities were authorized to establish separate school districts for colored persons, to be managed by directors to be chosen by adult male colored tax-payers. The property of colored taxpayers was alone chargeable for the support of these schools. Under this law a school was opened in 1849 and continued until the school law of 1853 placed schools for colored youth on the same basis as those for white. Boards of education were directed, when the colored youth in any school district numbered more than thirty, to establish a separate school or schools to be sustained out of the general fund. From that time until 1887 the colored schools were conducted under the management of the board of education, and colored youth had equal facilities of education extended to them with the white. A commodious brick schoolhouse was erected on Fifth Street for the use of the colored graded school, known as the Tenth district, and pupils prepared in it were admitted to the intermediate and high schools. While under the fourteenth amendment which became a part of the constitution of the United States in 1868, colored youth had the legal right to demand admission to the public schools in the city districts in which they resided, the right was not claimed by the parents of colored youth. The separate colored school was continued until 1887, when, as a measure of economy and of more efficient teaching, the board of education abolished it. Colored youth now attend without objection the schools in the districts in which they reside.

            In 1849 music was introduced as a branch of study. For several years only a few hours each week were devoted to music, and instruction was given in the upper grades only. In April, 1849, James Turpin was elected instructor, and served until 1853 when he resigned to enter into business.

            In March, 1853, Charles Soehner was elected and served until December, 2, 1858. December 2, 1858, James Turpin was reelected and served until 1870.

            In 1870 the board employed W. B. Hall and Miss Amanda Buvinger as superintendent of music and assistant, both of whom were to devote their whole time to the schools, and give instruction in all the grades. In (page 235) 1872, William H. Clarke was elected superintendent of music, and introduced the plan now adopted in the schools of using the teachers as assistants. This in some measure meets the objection that no one man can do the work necessary to be done in this department. The teacher in each room is now responsible for the proficiency of the scholars in this as in the other branches of study. The aim is not simply to teach the scholars to sing by rote, but to give-them a thorough knowledge of the rudiments of music.

            After the resignation of Mr. Clarke, December 12, 1872, James Turpin was elected superintendent, February 13, 1873, but died November, 1873. Mr. Turpin was the first music teacher elected by the board, in 1849, and at different periods rendered many years of faithful and efficient service in this department.

            F. C. Mayer was elected January 8, 1874, to succeed Mr. Turpin, and has been continued in the position until the present time.

            As the public schools grew in popularity, and the large majority of the children of all classes in the city attended them, the need of instruction in the higher branches was more and more felt by the public. In 1847 the board of education procured from the legislature the extension to Dayton of the provision of the Akron school law, granting to that town authority to establish a high school. In 1848 the principals of the schools petitioned the board for the privilege of teaching some of the higher branches to meet a want expressed by many of their more advanced pupils. In their petition they state that many of their best scholars are drawn from the public to private schools from the lack of this instruction, and say that "we at present desire to introduce the elements of algebra and geometry, and perhaps physiology and natural philosophy." A committee of the board reported on this petition that it would not be wise to introduce such instruction in the district schools, but recommended the establishment of a high school. It was not, however, until 1850 that decisive action was taken. On April 5, 1850, Henry L. Brown offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:

            "Resolved, That this board do now establish the Central High School of Dayton, in which shall be taught the higher branches of an English education, and the German and French languages, besides thoroughly reviewing the studies pursued in the district schools."

            Mr. Brown was an earnest friend of the public schools and gave a large amount of thought and time to their advancement. He was for many years a member of the board of education, served for several years as its president, and rendered invaluable service to our public schools.

            (page 236) On April 15, 1850, the school was opened in the northeastern (now the first) district schoolhouse. James Campbell was the principal, Miss Mary Dickson assistant and James Turpin teacher of music. In the fall of 1850 the school was removed to the Academy building, the free use of which was granted by the trustees to the board of education. In June, 1857, an enabling act having been obtained from the legislature, the trustees of the Academy executed a deed for the property to the board of education, and the same year the old building was removed and the present high school building erected. Thus our high school, as a school for higher education, may legitimately trace its history back td 1807.

            While the new house was being built the school was taught in rented rooms in Dickey's block, on Fifth Street.

            The curriculum of the school has been enlarged from time to time until it now embraces all the studies usually taught in the best city high schools. Latin or its equivalent German is required to be studied by all the pupils. Greek is also taught to those who desire to prepare for college, and a large number of pupils have gone from the high school to the best colleges in the country, and many of them have taken high rank in their classes.

            In 1855 Jean Barthelemy was appointed instructor in French and taught for several years, but comparatively so few desired to pursue that study that it was discontinued.

            In 1857 the total enrollment of pupils in the high school was one hundred and one; in 1888 four hundred and twenty-eight. The number of teachers in 1857 (including Mr. Campbell who gave one half his time) was four; in 1888 eleven. In 1857 the salary of the principal was one thousand and two hundred dollars; in 1888 two thousand dollars. The following persons have filled the office of principal: James Campbell, from 1850 to 1858; John W. Hail, from 1858 to 1866; William Smith, from 1866 to 1872; Charles B. Stivers, from 1872 to the present time.

            The total number of graduates is seven hundred and twenty-three; two hundred and twenty young men and five hundred and three young women. A large majority of the teachers in our public schools are graduates of the high school, and other graduates are filling prominent positions in business circles and society. To say nothing of intellectual and moral culture, if the material prosperity only of our city were considered, no better expenditure of public money could have been made. The Constitution of Ohio adopted in 1851 directed "that the legislature shall make such provision by taxation or otherwise as, with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State." The first (page 237) legislature elected under the new constitution enacted the excellent school law of 1853. Up to this time our schools had been conducted under the city charter, and parts of several acts of the legislature that wee construed to apply to them. To simplify and make certain the law applicable to our schools, and to relieve the board in its action from the supervision of the city council, it was determined, in accordance with a provision of the law of 1853, to submit to a popular vote the question of conducting the schools of the city under that law. The vote was taken at the city election in April, 1855, and decided, without opposition, in the affirmative. The city council passed an ordinance May 25, 1855, defining the number, the mode of election, and the term of office of the board of, education. Heretofore the board had consisted of one member from each ward, appointed by the city council to serve one year. Under the ordinance the board was to be composed of two members from each ward, one to be elected each year by the people, with a term of service of two years. The first board it provided should be appointed by the council. From 1855 until the present time the schools have been conducted under this ordinance and the general school laws of the State. The first. board appointed, one half to serve until the next city election, was composed of the following members: First Ward, D. A. Wareham, Harvey Blanchard; Second Ward, Robert W. Steele, J. G. Stutsman; Third Ward, Henry L. Brown, James McDaniel; Fourth Ward, E. J. Forsyth, W. S. Phelps; Fifth Ward, John Lawrence, J. Snyder; Sixth Ward, William Bomberger, W. N. Love.

            In 1855 the Public School Library was established, a history of which will be given under another head.

            The need of a general superintendent, to give unity to our school system, had long been felt by members of the board of education, but the opposition of some of the teachers who had influence with a majority of the board, and the plea of economy, prevented for years the establishment of the office. Duties of supervision were imposed on members of the board, which, at the best, were very imperfectly discharged. It was not until 1855 that the office was created, and James Campbell, principal of the high school, elected superintendent, with the understanding that he should retain his principalship, and devote one half his time to the supervision of the schools. Mr. Campbell prepared a report of the condition of the schools for 1856-1857, which was the first extended report of the schools published. In May, 1859, Mr. Campbell resigned to engage in private business. Although the office was not abolished, repeated efforts were made in vain to elect a superintendent until 1866. In that year, impressed with the urgent need of supervision for the (page 238) schools, Mr. Caleb Parker, a member of the board who had retired from business, and who, in early life, had had considerable experience as a. teacher, agreed to accept the position, with the distinct proviso on his part that his services should be without compensation. He was elected in July, 1866, and served until April, 1868, when he tendered his resignation. The second published report of the board for 1866-1867 was prepared by him. On retiring from the office, Mr. Parker received a unanimous vote of thanks from the board for his disinterested and very useful services.

            Again it was impossible to find a man who could command the vote of the majority of the board for superintendent. Various expedients were resorted to by members of the board friendly to the office to secure an election. To remove the objection of unnecessary cost in conducting the schools, a plan which had been adopted with marked success in Cleveland was proposed. A committee of the board was appointed to consider it, and reported June 22, 1871, that "the efficiency of the school system would be increased without expense by the election of a superintendent, a supervising male principal, and Female principals for the district schools." This report was adopted by the board, and Warren Higley elected superintendent, and F. W. Parker supervising principal. This plan was continued for two .years with excellent results; but the majority of the board of 1873 decided to return to the old system. In 1873 Samuel C. Wilson was elected superintendent and served for one year.

            In 1874 John Hancock, whose reputation for ability and large experience as a teacher and superintendent commended him to the board, was elected and continued in the ofce until 1884. Dr. Hancock gave ten of the best years of his life to our schools and is worthy of lasting remembrance and gratitude by the people of Dayton.

            In 1884 James C. Burns was elected and served until 1888. In 1888 W. J. White, the present incumbent was elected. It was found that, owing to the removal of scholars from school before reaching the eighth year grade, the classes of that grade were very small in some of the districts. The principals, who were receiving the highest salaries, were giving the most of their time to these classes and the cost of teaching them was excessive. To remedy this, the intermediate school was established in 1874, and all the pupils of the eighth year grade were assigned to that school. The course of study was not enlarged, and the school was simply a union of the classes of the eighth year grade for convenience and economy. W. P. Gardner was the first principal, who after serving one year declined a reelection. Samuel C. (page 239) Wilson was elected principal in 1875, and held the position until the school was discontinued. The causes which led to the establishment of the school having largely disappeared, in 1886 the school was closed and the eighth year classes were restored to the several districts. It was impossible to procure experienced teachers to fill the vacancies constantly occurring in the schools. Young girls, without knowledge of methods of government or teaching, were placed over rooms full of children just at the most irrepressible period of their lives. These positions were confessedly the most difficult to fill of any at the disposal of the board, but there was no alternative. Ambitious and experienced teachers naturally sought the rooms where the higher branches were taught, leaving the lower grades for the novices. It is true that some of the best and most valued teachers now in the schools began without experience, but the frst year of their teaching was a heavy labor to themselves and an injustice to their pupils. A partial remedy was found by making the position of an experienced and successful primary teacher as honorable and the pay as large as that of any teacher in the district schools below the grade of principal. But that did not fully meet the case and the board determined to educate its teachers. A committee of the board, August 18, 1869, presented a detailed plan for a normal school and teachers' institute, which was unanimously adopted.

            The first week of each school year was devoted to the Teachers' Institute. All the teachers of the public schools in the city were required to attend and to render such assistance in instruction as may be requested by the superintendent of schools. The best methods of teaching and government were discussed and taught, and lectures delivered on these subjects by experienced teachers at home and from abroad. This institute was conducted with great zest and profit for several years, but as it required labor and time on the part of the teachers, they grew weary of it and with doubtful wisdom it was discontinued.

            In the normal school the studies to be taught in the district schools are reviewed, new methods of teaching are explained and illustrated, and thorough instruction is given in the theory and practice of teaching.

            Instruction is also given in intellectual philosophy, which sustains an intimate relation to teaching. Rooms in the school building, where the school is located, are placed in charge of pupils of the normal school, who, under the constant supervision of a critic teacher, thus learn the practical work of the school room.

            As the great majority of the teachers in the schools are women, instruction in the normal school is confined to that sex. Pupils desiring admission are required to pass a thorough examination in the ordinary (page 240) branches of an English education. Applicants must be not less than seventeen years of age and must pledge themselves to teach in the Dayton schools two years after their graduation should their services be desired by the board. The board, on its part, guarantees to the graduates situations as teachers in the public schools whenever vacancies occur. In the fall of 1869 the school was opened and up to 1888 has graduated two hundred and forty-two teachers. A majority of the teachers in our schools are normal graduates and are doing excellent work. It would be unreasonable to expect that all the graduates of the normal school would prove equally good teachers; but that the instruction received has been invaluable to them and a great gain to the schools no one acquainted with the facts can doubt. In the primary departments the beneficial effects of this school are particularly noticeable. Colonel F. W. Parker, now at the head of the Chicago Normal School, was the first principal, assisted by Miss Emma A. H. Brown, a graduate of a normal school. Upon the election of Colonel Parker supervising principal of the schools, Miss Brown became principal, but resigned in 1873. In 1873 W. W. Watkins, principal- of the sixth district school, was made principal of the normal school, and held the position one year. In 1874 Miss Jane W. Blackwood, a successful teacher in the Cincinnati Normal School, was elected and served until her resignation in 1883. In 1883 Miss Mary F. Hall, the present incumbent, was elected.

            Previous to 1877 special teachers in penmanship had been employed occasionally, but for the greater part of the time instruction in that branch had been assigned to the teachers in the several rooms. Satisfactory results had not been obtained, and in 1877 the board elected C. B. Nettleton superintendent of penmanship. In 1878 drawing was introduced as a study, and its supervision added to Mr. Nettleton's duties. The board refused, in 1886, to elect a superintendent of these branches, but in.1887 Victor Shinn was elected superintendent of drawing. In 1888 Mr. Nettleton was again elected superintendent of penmanship, and now a special teacher is employed for each branch. The public exhibition of the work of the pupils in drawing in 1888 and 1889 has conclusively shown the great value of the instruction in this branch. The school law of 1873-1874 directs the board of education of each city district of the first class to appoint, a board of examiners, "who shall have power to examine the schools established in such district, and shall examine all persons who desire to hold teachers' certificates valid in such district." The Dayton Board of Education had long felt the need of a board of city examiners, and was influential in securing (page 241) the insertion of this and other clauses in the excellent school law of 1873-1874, sending its president, E. Morgan Wood, to Columbus, to confer with the House Committee on Common Schools. Under this law George P. Clarke, J. A. Robert, and William Smith were appointed city examiners. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Smith removed from the city, and             their places were filled by William Isenberg and Robert W Steele in 1876. In addition to. the above, the following persons have served on the board at different times: A. D. Wilt, John Hancock, James J. Burns, C. L. Loos, H. C. Marshall, Edwin L. Shuey, W. J. White.

            Impressed with the importance in a manufacturing city of affording artisans and others the opportunity of instruction in drawing, the board of education established in 1877 free night industrial schools. A school in free-hand drawing was opened in the Gebhart building, on Third Street, with James Jessup and Valentine Swartz as teachers, December 17, 1877.  On March 6, 1879 a school of mechanical and architectural drawing was added and opened in the in the first district schoolhouse, with Thomas A. Bisbee for instructor.  Mr. Bisbee taught this branch of drawing for several years with great success.  On November 11, 1880, the free-hand drawing school was removed to the large hall in the Eaker building, with Issac Broome and Charles B. Nettleton for instructors.  Mr. Broome was a very superior teacher and inspired his scholars with enthusiasm.  The school, under the management of Mr. Broome and Mr. Nettleton, was a great success.  In addition to those mentioned above, the following persons have taught in the school at different times: William Lutzenberger, Luther Peters, Silas R. Burns, William N. Roney, Lewis J. Rossell, George Prinz, and George Wyman.  Two schools were taught in the winter of 1888-1889 of architectural and mechanical drawing in the Kuhns building, on Main Street.

            In 1880, to call attention to this branch of study, a public exhibition of the work of the pupils was given in the City Hall. Committees of competent citizens were appointed to examine and report on the work, and such results were shown as to firmly establish the schools in popular favor. The committee of the board of education on the schools in 1880 say: "The attendance for the past year has been greater than ever, and the quality of the work, as attested by experts examine has been of a highly satisfactory character. About three hundred and adults from every walk of life have been instructed, many of whom are constantly using their knowledge in their daily avocations much to their own advantage, as well as to that of their employers.” These schools are undoubtedly the first step towards the introduction of manual training in the day schools.

            (page 242) The city is largely indebted to Mr. A. D. Wilt, a member of the board of education, for the introduction of this important branch of  study, and he deserves great credit for the persistency with which he advocated the measure until he secured its adoption.

            A comparison of the schools at different periods of their history will forcibly illustrate the progress that has been made. As the records of the board begin in 1842, that year is taken as the starting point. The years 1857 and 1867 are chosen, because reports were published in those years by Messrs. Campbell and Parker, and the facts thus made accessible. Under the present system, the completest statistics in every department are recorded and published annually:











Total enrollment







Average daily attendance







Number of teachers







Amount of school fund







Amount paid teachers







Value of school property







            * This includes the new Library Building.

            The increase proportion from period to period of the average daily attendance to the total enrollment is marked, and indicates the growing efficiency of the schools.  In 1857 it was forty-eight per cent; in 1867 sixty-six per cent; in 1875 seventy-one per cent; in 1880 seventy-four per cent; in 1888 seventy-eight per cent.

            It is not so easy to represent to the eye the growth in other and more important particulars. A complete system of gradation has been established, consisting of an eight years' course in the district schools, four in the high school, and, for those who wish to teach, one in the normal school, supplemented by a large and free public library. New methods of instruction that promise good results have been introduced, and so far as they stood the test of trial in the school-room, are in use; and such salaries are paid teachers as to secure the services of the best and most experienced.

            Equal progress has been made in school architecture. In the new buildings, which have been erected within the past few years, have been

            introduced whatever improvements in lighting, seating, heating, and ventilating, experience in our own and other cities. has suggested. There are in the city twenty school buildings with a seating capacity for eight thousand, four hundred and thirty-eight children.

            (page 243) As no mention could be made in the appropriate places of many of the members of the board of education and teachers who have been influential in molding and giving character to the schools, in justice to them the names of the presidents of the board from 1842 to 1888, of those members who have served four or more years, and of the principals of the schools from the beginning of our graded school system down to the present time are given.

            Presidents of the board of education: 1842, E. W. Davies; 1843, W. J. McKinney; 1844, E. W. Davies; 1845, Thomas Brown; 1846, Henry Stoddard, Sr. 1847,R. W. Steele; 1848-49, H. L. Brown; 1850-61, R. W. Steele, 1861-63, H. L. Brown; 1863-64, Thomas F. Thresher; 1864-69, H. L. Brown; 1869-73, E. Morgan Wood, 1873-75, Charles Wuichet; 1875-78, E. M. Thresher; 1878-79, C. L. Bauman; 1879-80, J. K. Webster; 1880-82, E. M. Thresher; 1882-83, S. W. Davies; 1883-87, R. M. Allen; 1887-89, C. H. Kumler.

            Members of the board of education from 1842 to 1889 who have served four or more years: W. J. McKinney, R. W. Steele, H. L. Brown, J. G. Stutsman, L. Huesman, William Bomberger, D. A. Wareham, Wilbur Conover, W. S. Phelps, James McDaniel, A. Pruden, S. Boltin, H. Elliott, Jonathan Kenney, John Howard, John H. Stoppleman, E. S. Young, H. Miller, W. L. Winchell, Caleb Parker, George S. Ball, Joseph Herhold, D. Dwyer, H. Anderson, N. L. Aull, Joseph Fischer, James Carberry, E. Morgan Wood, George Vonderheide, W. H. Johnson, B. Kuhns, R. M. Allen, E. M. Thresher, Charles Wuichet, B. F. Breidenbach, Thomas Kincaid, George L. Phillips, Samuel W. Davies, W. S. Kemp, W. M. Murray, Jacob Stephans, Louis N. Poock, C. L. Bauman, L. Rauh, C. G. Parker, W. J. Conklin, H. C. Eversole, P. E. Gilbert, C. W. Dustin, John E. Viot, James A. Marley, James J. Rossell, Redmond P. Sage, James R. Andrews, A. A. Winters, A. Junikl, W. A. Lincoln, C. H. Kumler, John Aman, George Neder, A. J. Althoff, Joseph B. Thompson, W. Oldig.

            Superintendents of instruction: James Campbell, Caleb Parker, Warren Higley, Samuel C. Wilson, John Hancock, James J. Burns, W. J. White. Principals of the high school: James Campbell, John W. Hall, William Smith, Charles B. Stivers.

            Principals of the normal school: F. W. Parker, Emma A. H. Brown, W. W. Watkins, Jane W. Blackwood, Mary F. Hall.

            Principals of the intermediate school: William P. Gardner, Samuel C. Wilson.

            Superintendents of music: James Turpin, Charles Soehner, W. B. Hall, W. H. Clarke, F. C. Mayer.

            (page 244) Superintendents of penmanship and drawing: C. B. Nettleton, Victor Shinn.

            Principals of the district schools from 1839 to 1889: Collins Wight, W. W. Watson, D. L. Elder, Thomas E. Torrence, Charles Barnes, R. W. Hall, E. H. Hood, W. W. Chipman, W. J. Thurber, William Worrell, J. D. French, C. Gaylor, W. Atkinson, A. Stowell, J. A. Smith, W. Knight, W. J. Parker, Joseph McPherson, M. N. Wheaton, R. L. McKinney, James Campbell, W. F. Doggett, Charles Rogers, W. Pinkerton,   W. H. Butterfield, R. Dutton, E. W. Humphries, A. C. Fenner, P. D. Pelton, H. Anderson, A. B. Leaman, W. Denton, A. C. Tyler, W. F. Forbes, J. B. Irvin, E. C. Ellis, W. Isenberg, A. P. Morgan, S. C. Wilson, H. H. Vail, W. H. Campbell, O. S. Cook, S. V. Ruby, S. C. Crumbaugh, H. B. Furness, N. L. Hanson, J. C. Ridge, James C. Gilbert, J. C. Morris, Tillie B. Wilson, Belle M. Westfall, Ella J. Blain, Lucy G. Brown, Esther A. Widner, A. Humphreys, C. H. Evans, W. W. Watkins, W. P. Gardner, A. J. Willoughby, C. L. Loos, Alice Jennings, Samuel Peters, Solomon Day, F. Loehninger, A. B. Shauck, W. N. Johnson, J. E. Johnson, J. G. Brown, Carrie Miller, William Hoover, James M. Craven, W. O. Bowles, Marie Jacque, N. Metz, W. D. Gibson, C. C. Davidson, Grace A. Greene, Sarah A. Finch, Margaret Burns.

            Many of the assistant teachers are as worthy of mention as the principals; but to give a few names might appear invidious and to print them all would be impossible.

            Libraries and schools are so intimately associated that they may be appropriately noticed in the same chapter. Indeed the Dayton Public Library is a constituent part of the school system. The fine library 'building was erected, and the library is supported by tax levied by the board of education.

            In 1805 the citizens of Dayton obtained from the legislature the first act of incorporation for a public library granted by the State of Ohio. The incorporators were Rev. William Robertson, Dr. John Elliot, William Miller, Benjamin Van Cleve, and John Folkerth. A pamphlet, stained and yellow with age, containing the constitution and rules of this library-probably the only copy in existence-fortunately has been preserved and deposited in the public library. A few of the rules are peculiar and may be worth presenting:

            " Damage done to a book, while in the hands of a proprietor, shall be assessed by the librarian at the rate of three cents for a drop of tallow, or folding down a leaf, and so in proportion for any other damage." In this day of gas and electricity, the fine for a "drop of tallow" is rather ludicrous, 4but no doubt books were often injured in that way when (page 245) the reader was compelled to peruse them by the feeble light of a tallow dip. Librarians are aware that the "folding down a leaf" is one of the common and annoying abuses of books at the present day. Another rule prescribes that "the method of drawing books shall be by lot; that is to say, it shall be determined by lottery who shall have the first choice, and so on for each proprietor." Unfortunately we have no intimation how the lottery was conducted. Rule eighteenth declares "if a proprietor lends a book belonging to the library to any person Who is not a proprietor, or suffers a book to be carried into a school, be or she shall pay a fine equal to the value of one quarter of said book." It is not easy to see what great damage could result to a book from being "carried into a school," but the whole tenor of the rules illustrates the preciousness of books at that early day, and the vigilant care taken of them. Like all libraries supported by voluntary subscription, every expedient to be resorted to to raise money. In the Gridiron, a satirical paper published in Dayton in 1822, a file of which has been preserved in the public library, a play and farce are advertised to be given by the Thespian Society for the benefit of the library.*

            *It is an interesting fact that Edwin Forrest, the celebrated tragedian, was, when a youth, a member of this Thespian Society. In commemoration of the fact he appeared in his favorite character of Virginius at the opening of the Turner Opera House, afterwards burned and replaced by the present Music Hall.

            The library existed until 1835 when it was sold at auction, as appears from the following advertisement in the Dayton Journal, of September 8, 1835: "Library at auction. The books and book-cases belonging to the Dayton Library Association will be auctioned at the clerk’s office at 2 o'clock P. M., on Saturday, the 12th inst.  Henry Stoddard, William Bomberger, John W. Van Cleve, committee.”  Mr. Van Cleve thusspeaks of the character of the library: "The number of books is small, but they are well selected, being principally useful standard works, which should be found in all institutions of this kind. Among them- are the North American and American Quarterly Reviews for the last few years." Who can doubt that this library during the thirty years of its existence was of inestimable value to the citizens of Dayton?

            In 1832 the Dayton Lyceum was established, the object of which was "the diffusion of knowledge and the promotion of sociability." Meetings were to be held once a week "for lectures, communications, essays and discussions on all subjects except for theology and the politics of the day." It was also proposed to collect a cabinet of antiquities and minerals and a library. A discourse was to be delivered “at the annual meeting of the society on the 27th of August, being the anniversary of the location of the town of Dayton.” For several winters the Lyceum furnished courses (page 246) of lectures and debates which were of the highest interest and afforded great enjoyment to the people of Dayton. In 1833 the library of the Lyceum was kept at the house of Ira I. Fenn.

            In 1833 the Mechanics' Institute was organized. The first secretary was Henry L. Brown. The object of the institute was "moral, literary, and scientific improvement." A library and reading rooms were connected with it, and for many years a course of lectures was given each winter. A public address was delivered at the courthouse July 1, 1833, by R. C. Schenck, in behalf of the Mechanics' Institute, and during its existence every citizen of Dayton who had any ability for lecturing was called upon for that service.

            At this period there must have been unusual literary interest and activity in Dayton, for there were no less than six public libraries in existence, as we learn from notices in the newspapers. None of them were large, but in the aggregate they reached a wide circle of readers. In connection with the Adelphic Society of the Dayton Academy, in 1837, at that time under the charge of Mr. E. E. Barney, was a library, worthy of mention because of the choiceness of the books it contained. The motto of the library was printed on the labels of the books:

            "Haurit aquam in cribro

            Qui volt discere sine libro."

            Impressed with the importance of establishing a library worthy of the city, a number of citizens met on the evening of December 10, 1846, and appointed a committee to draft a constitution. At a large meeting in the City Hall on the evening of December 29, 1846, the constitution was reported and, after considerable discussion and various amendments, adopted. Those who had constituted themselves members of the association by the payment of the required fee, met at the mayor's office January 12, 1847, and fully organized by the election of a board of trustees. The library was sustained by membership fees, fifty dollars constituting a membership in perpetuity, thirty dollars a life membership, and three dollars an annual membership. The first list of books for purchase was made by such men as,Judge Joseph H. Crane, John W. Van Cleve, Dr. John W. Hall, Milo G. Williams, and others. Several evenings were spent in discussing the best books to be purchased with the limited amount of money at the disposal of the association. The list numbered but little over one thousand volumes, but the books were Charles Lamb's "books that are books."

            The library was opened iii a second-story room near the northeast corner of Main and Third streets, where it remained until it was removed (page 247) to the new Phillips building, on the southeast corner of Main and Second streets. Mr. J. D. Phillips, who was a warm friend and liberal supporter of the library, had proposed to construct a room on the second floor of his building especially adapted to the use of the library, and lease it to the association on very favorable terms. The proposition was accepted, and a room forty by sixty feet, with lofty ceilings, supported through the center by handsome Corinthian columns, was prepared. This room was elegantly furnished, by special subscription, at a cost of over two thousand dollars. It is safe to say that at that day there was no library-room in Ohio, outside of Cincinnati, that would compare with it in beauty and convenience. A reading-room, supplied with the leading newspapers and magazines, was connected with the library, and the library was a favorite resort for our citizens, and the first place to which a stranger visiting the city was taken.

            For the first few winters free lectures were given in the City Hall, and every citizen at all available was drafted into service. Many of our older professional men may recall how they tried their "’prentice hand" on these lectures. After the removal to the Phillips building, courses of pay lectures were given in the large hall over the library. At that time the most noted men in the country did not disdain the lecture platform, and the names of a brilliant galaxy of lecturers, who appeared before the association, might be given.

            As may be inferred, it was no easy task to carry so expensive an enterprise in a city of less than twenty thousand inhabitants. Constant     appeals were made to the more liberal, and when this resource failed, resort was had to concerts, which enlisted all the professional and amateur musicians of the city, who gave their services gratuitously. The first of these, called a musical soiree, was given in 1849, and in 1859 a series of "Old Folks' Concerts," which were very popular, and netted to the association several hundred dollars. All these concerts were conducted by the late Professor James Turpin, who was ever ready freely to give his services to promote any worthy public object.

            The manuscript records of the association are preserved in the public library, and furnish a complete history of it from the beginning to the close. It fell to the lot of Mr. I. H. Kiersted to serve as secretary during the last three years of the life of the association, when it was laboring under constant difficulties. He does not hesitate to depart from the conventional dignity and dullness of ordinary minutes, and the records kept by him are very entertaining reading. He might rival Mark Tapley for cheerfulness under difficulties. "Hercules to the rescue," is his comment on a successful effort, headed by General R. C. Schenck, to pay of a (page 248) heavy indebtedness. He accounts for the failure of the board to provide        the usual course of winter lectures in this humorous way: "The public having feasted on lion's meat, have little or no taste for the flesh of inferior animals; but lion's meat is now, as heretofore, fifty dollars a meal without the incidentals, and the bard times forbid the indulgence in such expensive luxuries."

            By this time the Public School Library had become a formidable rival to the Library Association, furnishing the public with a large variety of fresh books free of cost. As the sole object of the members of the Library Association was to provide for the city a good public library, the conclusion was reached that the public would be best served by the union of the two libraries. In 1860 the members of the Library Association, by a vote, transferred their valuable library and furniture to the board of education. Many of the choicest books on the shelves of the public library were obtained in this way, particularly the invaluable volumes of Dayton newspapers from 1808 to 1860. From these newspapers the largest part of the local history published has been derived, and could not have been written without them.

            It would be unjust to close this sketch of the Dayton Library Association without a passing tribute to Wilbur Conover. In spite of the exactions of a laborious profession, he gave a large amount of thought, labor, and time to both the Dayton Library Association and the Public School Library, rendering them invaluable service.

            By the excellent school law of 1853, a tax of one tenth of a mill on the dollar valuation was levied for library purposes, the money so raised to be expended, and the books distributed by the State superintendent of instruction. The law contemplated the establishment of district school libraries, and the books purchased with that view lacked the variety necessary for city libraries. It was determined in Dayton not to distribute the books among the several schools, but to establish a central library. After receiving such books from the purchases of the superintendent of instruction as were suitable, he was requested to pay in money any balance due the city, and cheerfully complied with the request. The amount of money received was fourteen hundred dollars. Twelve hundred and fifty volumes were purchased, comprising books in every department of literature. Great care was taken in the selection of books to meet the popular wants, and the library was at once appreciated and extensively used. It was opened in the fall of 1855 in a room on the second floor of the United Brethren building, on the corner of Main and Fourth streets.

            W. H. Butterfield, principal of the Second District School, was the (page 249) first librarian, and at that time the library was accessible only on Saturdays. In 1858 it was removed to the Central High School building, then just completed, where it remained until the union with the Library Association, in 1860, when it came into possession of its elegant rooms. The inviting rooms and the addition of several thousand volumes of choice books brought the library into great prominence, and it became, as it has since remained, an object of city pride. A librarian was employed to devote his whole time to it, and since then it has been kept open every secular day and evening, excepting legal holidays. In 1867 the library was removed to the old City Hall, and when that building was torn down and until the new building was completed, in 1876, a room in the building next north of the courthouse was occupied. The rooms in the new City Hall were expressly fitted up for the library, and were creditable to the city.

            In 1856 the legislature suspended the tax of one tenth of a mill on the dollar and subsequently repealed the law. From that time until 1860 the library was maintained by appropriations made by the board of education from the contingent fund.

            In 1860 the legislature passed an act empowering boards of education, in cities of the first and second class, to levy a tax of one tenth of it mill on the dollar valuation, and under this law the library has been conducted, until the passage of an act by the legislature in 1887, establishing a library board for Dayton. Until the passage of this act, the library was managed by a committee of the board of education, appointed annually. It is unquestionably better to have an independent board, with longer terms of office, a part going out each year. Stability is thus given to the management, and a part of its members always possess valuable knowledge of the library, and experience in its government. The first board consisted of six members: two appointed for three years, two for two years, and two for one year. It was provided that after the end of the first year, two shall be annually elected, who shall hold office for a term of three years. The president of the board of education is ex-offcio member of the board. Under the law the board of education may levy a tax of one fourth of a mill annually on the dollar valuation for the support of the library.

            Among the important events in the history of the library was the publication, in 1884, of the exhaustive alphabetical catalogue. No one unfamiliar with such work can form any conception of the immense labor involved in the compilation of such a catalogue. It is of the greatest practical use, making available vast stores of information, which would be otherwise inaccessible. The catalogue reflects the highest credit on (page 250) the librarians, the Misses Dryden and Doren, who compiled it, and with most painstaking proof-reading, carried it through the press. A word may be said of the character of the library. It has been the aim of the committees who have had it in charge to make it as complete as possible in every department, and to build up a symmetrical library. To accomplish this, experts in every branch of literature and science have been consulted from time to time. As Dayton is a manufacturing city, it has been the aim to furnish such books as would be useful to those engaged in mechanical and manufacturing pursuits, and the library contains a large number of the best books that treat on these subjects. The reference books are numerous, and there are few subjects on which satisfactory information may not be obtained. In the departments of history, biography, travels, poetry, the drama, and essays, it is no exaggeration to say that a very large part of the best books in the English language may be found. The library is particularly rich in Sbaksperiana. We may anticipate an annual increase in the future of from fifteen hundred to two thousand volumes, and can readily imagine what a grand library it will become-a jewel worthy of the splendid casket which has been provided for it.

            As the library grew in size, the need of a library building was increasingly felt. Successive library committees called the attention of the board of education to it, but nothing was done effectively until 1884. The library committee of that year, consisting of Dr. W. J. Conklin, A. Junikl, and George Neder, on the 26th of June, 1884, offered a        resolution that a committee of four be appointed to inquire into the expediency of the board erecting a library building that should be fire proof. This was adopted, and the president of the board, appointed as such committee Messrs. W. J. Conklin, A. Junikl, George Neder, and Elihu Thompson. The committee reported favorably, and the erection of a library building was agreed upon. Various sites were proposed for the building, but after full consideration the City Park was chosen and` the consent of the city council obtained for the use of a portion of it for that purpose.

            Attention was now given to the plan of the building. Mr. W. F. Poole, of Chicago, who, from his large experience in libraries in Boston, Cincinnati, and Chicago, has no superior in the knowledge of library construction and management, was invited to visit Dayton and suggest a plan. The plan suggested by him was substantially adopted, particularly as to the storage of books, after it had been submitted to prominent citizens who were invited to meet Mr. Poole. The rotunda so common in the best libraries was discarded because, although with its galleries it (page 251) is more imposing, it is attended with serious objections. By the plan adopted the books are all on the first foor with low shelves, within easy reach of the librarians, thus economizing space, securing easy and rapid delivery, and preventing the damage to the binding of books resulting from the excessive heat of the upper galleries.

            Architects were invited to submit designs in accordance with the plan and three were presented. The committee were unable to agree and asked the board to add three members to the committee. The additional members were Louis Reiter, C. L. Bauman, and A. A. Winters. On the 5th of March, 1885, this committee reported that they had agreed upon the design submitted by Peters & Burns, architects of Dayton. On the 11th of June, 1885, Mr. R. M. Allen offered a resolution, which was adopted, that the Committee on Buildings and Repairs be instructed to advertise for bids for the work of excavation and furnishing of the materials and labor necessary in the construction and laying of the foundation. The bids were opened on the 14th of July, and at the following meeting the contract for the excavation was awarded to Cain & Hildebrand, and for the foundation, stone, and work to Conrad Herrman. On the 17th of September the bids for the cut-stone and brick work were opened, and after being referred to the Committee on Buildings, the contract was, on the 1st of October, awarded to Mr. A. Doll, Jr. The contracts were awarded for wrought and cast iron work to McHose & Lyon; carpenter work to B. N. Beaver; plastering to George B. Sefton; copper, tin, and slate work to Adam Bretch; plumbing and steam heating  to Ware & Moodie; painting and glazing to McCune & Pugh; fire proofing to The Wight Fire Proofing Company; shelving to C. Wight & Son.

            The architects describe the building as follows: "In general style of architecture the building is a free treatment of the Southern French Gothic, or Romanesque, built of Dayton limestone, laid in random range work, with Marquette red sandstone trimmings freely used, giving a very rich contrast, assisted largely by red slate for the roof. The building, standing in the park among the trees, will always have a very attractive appearance."

            The library was removed into the new building in January, 1888. In May, 1889, it contained twenty-six thousand, six hundred and forty-seven volumes and one thousand and two pamphlets.

            The following persons served at different times during its existence on the board of the Dayton Library Association:

            Presidents: M. G. Williams, Joseph II. Crane, C. G. Swain, J. W. Van Cleve, D. A. Haynes, R. W. Steele.

            (page 252) Vice Presidents: Dr. John Steele, J. D. Phillips, E. Thresher, H. L. Brown, Wilbur Conover.

            Secretaries: R. W. Steele, G. W. Houk, I. H. Kiersted. Treasurers: V. Winters, D. H. Bruen, Y. V. Wood, W. C. Bartlett, H. S. Fowler, Charles G. Grimes, J. H. Winters.

            Directors: D. Beckel, James McDaniel, J. G. Lowe, J. H. Peirce, John Howard, Edmund Smith, L. B. Gunckel, T. A. Phillips, W. P. Hufman, Joseph G. Crane, E. A. King, J. A. McMahon, D. E. Mead, J. Greer, S. Craighead, Harvey Conover, T. J. S. Smith, L. B. Bruen, E. C. Ellis, E. S. Young, James Campbell, Dr. John Davis, D. Waymire.

            Library committees of the board of education : Henry L. Brown, E. J. Forsyth, John Lawrence, W. Bomberger, S. Boltin, H. Elliott, J. V. Miller, John Howard, B. F. Ayres, R. W. Steele, D. A. Houk, E. M. Wood, Wilbur Conover, E. S. Young, W. J. Shuey, W. F. Heikes, I. H. Kiersted, G. P. Clarke, G. M. Lane, W. L. Winchell, George L. Phillips, J. R. Andrews, J, G. Soulsby, C. L. Bauman, C. N. Vallandigham, D. G. Breidenbach, W. J. Conklin, A. Junikl, S. W. Davies, J. A. Marlay, G. Neder.

            The library board to 1889: W. J. Conklin, J. H. Hall, R. M. Allen, J. A. Marlay, George Neder, J. A. McMahon, H. C. Marshall, R. W. Steele. In 1844 the Cooper Female Seminary was incorporated. The first board of trustees consisted of Samuel Forrer, J. D. Phillips, Edward W. Davies, Robert C. Schenck, Robert W. Steele, and Richard Green. The principal object of the founders was to provide a school for the thorough education of their daughters at home. The name was given in honor of the founder of the town. The trustees of the Cooper estate, with the consent of Mrs. L. C. Backus, gave to the seminary a large and valuable lot on First Street, extending from Wilkinson to Perry streets, and a liberal subscription of stock was made by citizens for the erection of a building suitable for day and boarding scholars. The stockholders neither desired nor expected dividends on their stock, and the only privilege they enjoyed above others was the right to vote for directors to manage the institution. In October, 1845, the school was opened. Mr. E. E. Barney was elected principal, and entered upon the work with the ability and energy that characterized whatever he undertook. Under his management the school attained a great reputation, and attracted a large number of scholars from abroad.

            The following persons served as principals of the school in.the order in which they are named: E. E. Barney, Miss Margaret Coxe, Dr. J. C. Fisher, Rev. Victor Conrad, Rev. John S. Galloway, Mrs. B. G. Galloway, and J. A. Robert.

            (page 253) For many years the seminary property was exempt from taxation, but was placed on the duplicate by order of the auditor of state. As the owners of the property derived no profit from it, and it was used for educational purposes, the trustees believed that it could not be legally taxed and refused to pay. The property was sold for taxes and the trustees, acting on what they thought sound legal advice, appealed to the courts. The decision was adverse, and by this time the taxes, penalties, and court costs amounted to a large sum, which the stockholders personally were unwilling to pay. Rev. John S. Galloway, at that time principal of the school, bought the tax title and paid the costs in self-defense. Subsequently his widow obtained from a large majority of the stockholders the transfer of their stock to her, and by the purchase of the reversionary interest of the Cooper heirs, became the unquestioned owner of the property. Although the trustees had ceased to exercise jurisdiction over it, the school was continued until June, 1886. The property has now been sold by Mrs. Galloway and will be used for other purposes. While it is to be regretted that this valuable property has been lost to the public, no blame can justly attach to anyone in the matter.

            The Parochial Schools connected with Emanuel Catholic Church were established almost immediately after the church itself was organized in 1832. The present brick school building was erected in 1865. It is two stories high and seventy by ninety feet in size. It contains six schoolrooms and a chapel. The boys occupy three of the schoolrooms and are taught by three Brothers of Mary. The girls also occupy three rooms and are taught by Sisters of . Notre Dame. The school for boys was established in 1875 when the brothers came to take charge, the sisters having had charge of both boys and girls until that time. The ordinary branches of an English education are taught in both English and German, and in addition needlework is taught the girls.

            St. Joseph's Parochial Schools were established in 1847. Boys and girls both attended the same school until 1873, and were taught by the Sisters of Charity. Since that time the two sexes have been taught in separate schools, the girls still being taught by the Sisters of Charity and the boys by the Brothers of Mary. The school building for the girls is immediately east of the second district public schoolhouse on Second Street, and the St. Joseph's public school for boys is opposite the church building of the parish. It is a two-story brick building and was erected at a cost of thirty-five thousand dollars. In this building there are about two hundred boys in regular attendance. In both schools both the ordinary branches and the higher branches of an English education are taught. The Parochial Schools of St. Mary's Church were established in 1859 (page 254) in a small building, which was supplanted in 1878 by the present one erected at a cost of five thousand and three hundred dollars. There are in this building three rooms for boys and three for girls, and there are enrolled about two hundred and fifty pupils. The boys are taught by the Brothers of Mary and the girls by the Sisters of Notre Dame. The schools connected with Holy Trinity Church were established early in the history of the church, and since then the schoolhouse first erected has been torn down, and a larger one erected a little distance from the church edifice for the girls and another more spacious for the boys. Each has four rooms, and that of the boys has besides a large hall for meetings. There are enrolled about two hundred of each sex in these schools, and the boys are taught by the Brothers of Mary and the girls by the Sisters of Notre Dame.  

            There is also a school connected with the new Catholic church, the Holy Rosary, in North Dayton, which has its schoolrooms in the new building.

            St. Mary's Institute had its origin in 1849 for the purpose of giving employment to three unemployed teachers and to establish a better school than any then in existence here. The ground upon which the school is located was purchased of a Scotchman, named John Stuart. Two of the three brothers who were to take charge of the school arrived in Dayton on March 8, 1850, and one of these two, Rev. M. Zehler, is still connected with the institution. The third one arrived here two days afterward to take charge of the farm. The movement so far had been under the supervision of Rev. L. Meyer, a priest, who came to Dayton to assist the Rev. Mr. Juneker, then pastor of Emanuel Church, and afterward bishop of Alton, Illinois. On the 9th of March, 1850, the deed was made to the one hundred acres of land of which the farm is composed, and as Rev. Father Meyer had no money lie handed Mr. Stuart a small medal of St. Joseph, saying, "St. Joseph will pay." Mr. Stuart, soon after selling the property, left for Europe, and the brothers took entire possession of the premises. In June following the school was opened with about thirty-seven day scholars. In September of the same year boarders were admitted, the boarding school being started with one pupil, Joseph Greulich. Rev. Father Meyer, in 1853, purchased twelve acres more land, which lay within the corporation limits and adjoining the other land. In 1854 he built an addition to the frst house erected, but in December, 1855, a fire broke out and destroyed both the new building and the old. The brothers, together with their superior, were then without a home and had a debt of twelve thousand dollars on their hands, as they had paid nothing on the principal and had no insurance on their buildings. (page 255) The little community for a time lodged in a house in town, which was being erected, and had in it neither doors nor windows. In August, 1856, they began to rebuild the old house, and carried on the work as time and means would permit. Such was their success that in 1857 the school was reopened and was well patronized from the first. In November, 1862, Rev. L Meyer was recalled to France, where he opened an orphan asylum at Kembs, Alsace. Before he left this country, however, he had paid of all the debt upon the property and left it unencumbered. As the number of pupils increased, it became necessary to erect another building. In 1864 the buildings in existence were a chapel, thirty-two by sixty feet; the main building, forty by eighty feet, and a wing to the south, thirty by sixty feet. To this wing was added a building extending eastward forty by eighty feet, with a basement and two stories for schools and sleeping rooms. A dwelling house was erected in 1866, forty by sixty feet. In 1868 a church was built, fifty by one hundred and twenty-three feet, and forty feet from floor to ceiling. In 1870 the actual institute building was erected. This is four stories high, has a Mansard roof, seventy by one hundred and sixty-four feet. It was built in a very substantial manner and cost sixty-two thousand dollars. The lower floor of this building is occupied by two large study halls, two parlors, a refectory, a kitchen and a store-room. There is a corridor on each floor, ten feet wide, with stairs of easy ascent, with iron plates covering the steps at each end of the building that lead up to the different stories. The ground floor is taken up with eight class rooms and eight private rooms. Other stories are occupied for the various purposes of the institute, and the fourth floor is one large ball extending over the entire building, and is used as a sleeping room. The amusement ball consists of four different divisions-a floor sixty by one hundred and ten feet, and then sixty by fifty-eight feet on a floor for quiet amusements. The bath house consists of twelve small rooms, each provided with a window, bath tubs, and faucets for both cold and warm water. The upper story is frame and is the exhibition ball, in which the pupils give entertainments from time to time during the year. The expenses for construction were ten thousand and five hundred dollars, and the buildings so far were all complete and paid for.

            The Rev. L. Meyer was superior provincial until 1862, when he was succeeded by the Rev. John Courtes who served until 1864. From this time until 1886 the Rev. J. N. Reinbolt served in that capacity, and was then succeeded by the present superior provincial, Rev. L. Beck. The superior provincial has charge of all the schools belonging to the Brothers of Mary in the United States, Canada, and the Sandwich Islands. The office of inspector of schools was held by Brother J. B. Stintzi (page 256) from 1869 until 1886. Ile was then succeeded by Brother John Kim, who is still in that position. Like the superior provincial, he is obliged to visit all of the schools in the province once each year. Of these schools there are about forty in the United States, one in Canada, and thirty-two in the Sandwich Islands. In these schools there are employed about two hundred and fifty teachers, each of whom has, on the average, sixty scholars under his care, making a total of at least ffteen thousand scholars in the province.

            The first superintendent of the institute was the Rev. M. Zehler, one of the first of its teachers, who served until 1876. At this time he asked o be relieved from, the cares and' responsibilities of his position, and was succeeded by the Rev. Francis Feith, who was succeeded in 1879 by the Rev. George Meyer. Rev. George Meyer served until 1886, when he was succeeded by the Rev. John Harks, and he was succeeded in his turn by the present superintendent, Rev. Joseph Weckesser.

            The present normal school building was erected in 1883, to take the place of one that had just been destroyed by fire. Previous to 1870 this building had been used for both boarding and normal school, but then the building on the north side of the church relieved the one on the south side from its boarding scholars, and has spice been used exclusively for the normal school, with the slight exception of being used for teachers who have served out their years of usefulness as a kind of retreat. Rev. George Meyer has been the superior of the normal school since 1886, when he succeeded Brother Joseph Senentz, who is now employed at Tokio, Japan, in connection with a college which the Society of Mary established there in 1888.

            The number of scholars in attendance upon this institute varies from about two hundred and fifty to three hundred. The latter number is in attendance at the present time, including day scholars and boarding scholars. The day scholars usually comprise about one third of the entire number in attendance. The institute was incorporated in 1878, and in 1882 it was empowered by the legislature of Ohio to confer degrees. The academic year consists of but one session, beginning on the first Monday in September, and closing the last week in June. Candidates for admission are required to present testimonials of good moral character, and being examined immediately upon their arrival at college, they are placed in the classes to which they belong. The course of study includes the common branches, and a full classical, commercial, and theological course, the student making his own choice of the higher course of study which he will follow. The discipline of the school is firm yet kind, strict obedience to the rules, diligent application to study, and blameless (page 257) conduct being required of every pupil. In securing these results, appeals are made to the honor of the pupil, to his conscience, and to religion.

            Deaver Collegiate Institute was established by Professor G. C. Deaver in 1876. The frst year the school was taught in Miami City on the site of the old military school, which was burned down in January, 1877, and at that time it was removed to its present location, the northwest corner of Wilkinson Street and Monument Avenue. The object of the school is to prepare young men and boys for college, and the course is of such a grade that scholars pursuing it faithfully are admitted to the Freshman class of such colleges as Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Williams, and Cornell. For several years Professor Deaver had different assistant teachers, but the plan not succeeding to his satisfaction, he amended it by dismissing his assistants, and limiting the number of his pupils to eighteen, and teaching them all himself. Professor Deaver is a graduate of Princeton, and has met with remarkable success in his educational work in Dayton, his scholars in numerous instances having carried the honors in the leading colleges in the country.

            Miss Anna L. J. Arnold's select school for girls is located at No. 310 West Second Street. It was established in the fall of 1886. The number of scholars in attendance has steadily increased until, at the present time, there are seventy. There are three distinct courses of study in this school -literary, scientifc and classical. The design of the school is to prepare young women for college, and two of the graduates of the school entered Wellesley College in 1886. The course of study is somewhat higher for those young women who do not intend to pursue their studies after leaving this school, the last term's studies for those who finish their education here being literature, the history of art, chemistry, geology, mental science, and two of the three languages -- Latin, German, and French. The teachers in Miss Arnold's school are Miss Anna L. J. Arnold, principal; Miss Frances R. Benson, primary department; Miss Ella G. Sullivan, intermediate department; Miss Myrtle Brett, penmanship and conventional drawing; Miss Emma Mercer, vocal and instrumental music, and Mrs. A. L. Howard, French. Scholars from this school are admitted to Vassar, Wellesley, and some other colleges, on certificates. John Truesdell's select school for boys was established in the fall of 1885. It was at first located on Second Street, and afterward was moved into the. Cooper Academy building, and at last into Room 8, Rike's building, where it is at present. The number of scholars is limited to fifteen. The course of study is adapted to the wants of each student, each student who desires, being fitted for college in the shortest time possible, consistent with thorough preparation. The work of the school, however, is not (page 258) limited to that object. The course of study includes the ancient languages (Latin and Greek), French and German, English literature, and a thorough course in the natural sciences.

            Miami Commercial College has, for more than a quarter of a century, held an important position among the educational forces, not only of the city, but of the central West. It was founded in 1860 by E. D. Babbitt, Esq., a cultivated, scholarly man, who, after a little over a year, admitted into partnership with him the present proprietor and principal, Mr. A. D. Wilt. During the four years in which they were associated together, the college received a large patronage and was firmly established. The firm issued the Babbittonian system of penmanship, which became widely known throughout the United States and in England. This branch of their business assumed such proportions that in 1864 Mr. Babbitt retired to take entire control of it, and Mr. Wilt has since then been sole owner and manager of the college, excepting a period of four years and a half, from 1882 to 1886, during which time he was postmaster of the city, and at that time had associated with him as partner Mr. W. H. Sunderland, who retired in 1886, leaving Mr. Wilt in sole control again. Since its foundation the college has had an attendance of between seven and eight thousand students, many of whom are among the leading business men of the West, their successful careers illustrating in the most satisfactory manner the practical value of the course of training here given. This course embraces a training in the theory of accounts, and also a series of practical transactions in a thoroughly equipped practice department. This department is provided with banks, and transactions are made by students in the various departments of trade, in such a way as to elucidate the operations of the business world.

            In addition to the course in book-keeping, a very comprehensive course in phonography has been given for the past seven years, and hundreds of graduates have entered business offices as amanuenses. The college has occupied for a number of years the entire upper floor of the elegant Firemen's Insurance building, on Main Street. Its present corps of instructors consists of the principal, A. D. Wilt, and Messrs. Charles S. Billman and Bickham Lair in the book-keeping department, and Miss Ella Steely and Miss Margaret Parrott in the phonographic department. Union Biblical Seminary is located on the northwest corner of First and Euclid streets, in Dayton, Ohio, on a slight elevation, which commands an excellent view of the city, its suburbs, and the surrounding country. The grounds contain five acres of land. The building is a neat, substantial, three-story brick structure, with porch, tower, and double front. Its dimensions are sixty-four by eighty-three feet. It (page 259) contains; on the first floor, a chapel, business office, and two recitation rooms; on the second, floor, a library and two recitation rooms; and on the second and third floors, well furnished dormitories for the accommodation of twenty-five students. The cost of the building was about twelve thousand dollars, and the building and grounds are now valued at thirty thousand dollars.

            Previous to 1871, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ had no institution specially devoted to theological training. In a few of the colleges instruction in some of the branches of theology had been given to young men who intended to enter the ministry, but nothing had been attempted adequate to the necessities of the Church. The General Conference of 1869, therefore, which was held at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, " instructed the bishops to appoint a board of education, whose duty it should be, besides seeking to promote the general work of education in the Church, to devise and adopt a plan for founding a Biblical institute, to be under the control of the General Conference, and to take measures to raise funds, to locate the institution, and to proceed with its establishment as soon as possible." Accordingly, the following persons were appointed members of the board of education, namely: Rev. Lewis Davis, D. D., Rev. Daniel Shuck, Rev. W. C. Smith, Rev. M. Wright, Rev. E. B. Kephart, Rev. D. Eberly, Rev. S. Weaver, Rev. P. B. Lee, Rev. W. S. Titus, and Rev. E. Light. "This board met, July 29, 1870, and passed resolutions soliciting one hundred thousand dollars for the founding of the proposed institution, to be located in or near Dayton, Ohio, and to be called Union Biblical Seminary. At the second meeting of the board, August 2,1871, it was resolved to open the seminary, October 11, 1871, with Rev. L. Davis, D. D., and Rev. G. A. Funkhouser, A. M., as professors. The executive committee was empowered to add another member to the faculty. They accordingly appointed Rev. J. P. Landis, A. M., pastor of Home Street [now Summit Street] Church, to assist in the work of teaching." The executive committee consisted of Bishop J. J. Glossbrenner, Rev. W. J. Shuey, Rev. L. Davis, D. D., Rev. John Kemp, Rev. D. K. Flickinger, Rev. D. Berger, and Rev. M. Wright.

            The seminary was opened at the time appointed, October 11, 1871, in the classrooms of the Home Street Church, Dayton, Ohio, with eleven students. This church was used for seminary purposes for eight years, in addition to its occupation by the congregation. Meanwhile Rev. John Kemp, Jr., treasurer of the Missionary Society from 1853 to 1869, donated grounds not far from the church, valued at ten thousand dollars, and upon this site a seminary building was erected in 1879, and to this building the work of the seminary was transferred in September of the same year.

            (page 260) At the opening of the institution, in 1871, Dr. L. Davis was called to its head from the presidency of Otterbein University. He held the position of senior professor until 1886, when, on account of advanced age, he was succeeded by Rev. George A. Funkhouser, D. D. Both of these gentlemen have been connected with the institution from the beginning. Rev. J. P. Landis, D. D., occupied a professorship from 1871 to 1874, and also from 1880 to the present time. Rev. A. W. Drury, D. D., was called, in 1880, to the chair of Church History, which he still occupies. Rev. R. Wahl, A. M., was Professor of Hebrew Exegesis and Church History from 1874 to 1875, and Rev. George Keister, A. M., was Professor of Hebrew Exegesis and Biblical History from 1875 to 1880. The faculty at the present time are Rev. G. A. Funkhouser, D. D., Senior Professor and Cherry Professor of Greek Exegesis and Homiletics; Rev. J. P. Landis, D. D., Professor of Systematic Theology and Hebrew Exegesis; Rev. A. W. Drury, D. D., Professor of Church and General History; and Rev. L. Davis, D. D., Emeritus Professor and Lecturer. The board of trustees elected by the General Conference of 1889, which met at York, Pennsylvania, May 9th, are as follows: - Bishops J. Weaver, D. D., E. B. Kephart, D. D., LL. D., N. Castle, J. Dickson, D. D., and J. W. Hott, D. D., ex oficio; Rev. W. M. Beardshear, D. D., Iowa; Rev. I. Baltzell, Pennsylvania; Rev. T. J. Harbaugh, S. L. Herr, Rev. G. W. Deaver, D. L. Rike, Rev. G. M. Mathews, Rev. S. M. Hippard, and Rev. S. W. Keister, Ohio; and Rev. J. L. Funkhouser,, Indiana. Trustees for two years, elected by the board: S. E. Kumler, Rev. H. A. Schlichter, D. L. Overholtzer, and two others not yet elected at the time of this writing.

            The executive committee is as follows: D. L. Rike, Rev. G. M. Mathews, S. E. Kumler, S. L. Herr, and J. A. Gilbert.

            The general financial agents from 1871 to 1885 were Rev. John Kemp, Rev. S. M. Hippard, Rev. W. J. Pruner, and S. L. Herr. The office of general manager was created by the General Conference of 1885. Rev. D. R. Miller was elected to the position, and reelected in 1889. The number of graduates from this institution from year to year has been as follows: two; 1885, eleven; 1880, four; 1886, ten; 1874, eight; 1881, five; 1887, nine; 1875, six; 1882, five; 1888, ten; 1877, five; 1883, eleven; 1878, fourteen; 1889, four. Total number 1879, 1884, twelve; of graduates, one hundred and sixteen. The entire number of students that have been in attendance at this institution is two hundred and eighty-two.

            The financial condition of the seminary is shown by the following statistics: The grounds, building, and furniture are valued at $30,000, (page 261) the library at $2,253.84; total, $32,253.84. The endowment fund is now $100,001.67; the contingent fund is $44,714.31; and the present assets, over and above all liabilities, are $128,375.22.

            The Alumnal Association, organized in 1880, now numbers one hundred and sixteen members. It has created a fund for an alumnal library, which library is used in connection with that belonging to the seminary, and is being enlarged by additions made each year.

Return to "History of Dayton" Home Page