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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Miscellaneous Wayne Township Items

Dallas Bogan on 10 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

Wayne Township's School District No. 2.

An item taken from a meeting of the Wayne Township Pioneer Association, dated August, 6, 1886, gives in some detail the location of original School District No. 2. This district, at the time, included Section 17, and parts of Sections 18, 12 and 11, all in Wayne Township.
Section 17 was purchased and occupied by South Carolinian Amos Cook in the year 1803. Benjamin Evans, also from South Carolina, purchased Section 18 in the same year.
Samuel Heighway sold to Jonathan Newman, who emigrated from North Carolina in 1802, the southeastern quarter (160 acres) of Section 12. Heighway, previous to the sale, built a gristmill on the creek known as Newman's Run, just south of Waynesville. Nathan Edwards bought the southwestern portion of this purchase in 1803, who settled the land in 1804.
Ichabod Corwin and Samuel Manning purchased Section 11 and afterwards sold the northeast quarter to James Edwards, a native of New Jersey, who located on the land in 1822.
The first schoolhouse constructed in the district was a log house with dimensions about 16 feet square, which contained an eight-foot fireplace. Four small windows were installed, two with four lights of 8x10 glass, and two with two lights 8x10. Part of a log was cut on the west side and filled in with glass, quite a luxury in those days.
The writing desks were broad boards pinned up to the sides of the house. The seats were rough benches, made from slabs of split lumber from the sawmill.
The schoolhouse was built in 1814 and stood in a Sugar Grove in Section 17 on the land of Elisha Cook. Presumably, the name of the schoolhouse was the Sugar Camp Schoolhouse.
Conditions of the school in this pioneer time were that there was no school during the maple sugar season, with the schoolhouse being used during that time for boiling syrup and making maple sugar.
A brick schoolhouse was built in 1827 on Section 18, Jonathan Newman being the contractor. This building was used for school purposes from 1827 to 1866, when it was taken down and rebuilt, Josiah Craft and Thomas Wilson taking the contract. Perry E. Kenrick again rebuilt it in 1885.
Schoolteachers who taught in the old log schoolhouse prior to 1827 were Wm. Hindman, Wm. Anders, Morris Place, Wm. Edwards, Mary Newman, Owen Evans, Fanny Smith (later Butterworth) and Benjamin Stanton.

The Old Octagonal Stone Schoolhouse

Jan Thomas, a superb researcher, provided the writer with a report of an old octagonal stone schoolhouse that was located in Wayne Township. The feature was written by Walter Kenrick who describes the structure as probably being the second schoolhouse on lot No. 4 in Wayne Twp.
Wellington C. Connel attended here about 1842 and gives a physical description of the structure.
"It was built of stone and of octagon shape about 30 ft. or over in diameter. The roof came to a point and the stovepipe ran through the roof at the highest point.
"The seats were puncheon with pins for legs, no backs and were arranged to front the center. The door was on the west side and opposite was the teacher's station. On the outside wall, resting on pins built in the outside wall was a shelf of puncheons on which the pupils did their writing standing up.
"Heat was furnished by one large ten-plate stove in the center with the pipe running out the roof, no chimney. These ten-plate stoves of which I saw a sample in the white birch church in Waynesville were so built the smoke had to travel several times back and forth before entering the pipe, thus getting advantage of all the heat would be in a four ft. stick of wood."
Kenrick says that the school building was located on the south end of the school lot of one acre, 1/2 of which was taken from two separate farms.
The octagonal stone schoolhouse was replaced in about 1860 with a frame building. The new frame schoolhouse was built on the two farms mentioned earlier in this text. The building was used until sometime later when it was moved to the farm owned by the late Ernest Harlan, and transformed into a dwelling, which burned soon afterward.
Kenrick attended school No. 4 from 1876 to 1878 where the students had to carry water from the old well about 350 feet south of the old stone schoolhouse. A new well was dug about 1900 that was located just a few feet west.
The school ground was a significant location during the Civil War, where all the musters were held, the young soldiers being drilled at this location.
The lot was about 500 feet east of the old Pinckney Road, or present Lytle-Ferry road (the writer will pen a short history of this road at a later time), which was connected by a narrow lane about two feet wide with high steps at each end to weed out the stock.
John Tamsett owned the farm just west and adjoining the school ground. His property is shown in the 1903 Warren County Atlas of Wayne Township to be in Section 15, in the northwestern part of Wayne Township. The school itself was actually located in Section 9 on the Janney farm. The old octagonal stone schoolhouse was undoubtedly the only school structure of its kind in Warren County. If any readers of this column have any more information on this schoolhouse, I would deeply appreciate any assistance. I can be contacted through The Western Star.

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This page created 10 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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