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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Washington School Was Early Rural Seat Of Learning

Dallas Bogan on 7 September 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
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Washington School, like numerous other early rural Warren County schools, survived for many years. It was just one of the facilities that was possibly a victim of consolidation because of higher operating costs and an improved transportation system.
The late Marion Snyder wrote of the school and portrayed many of its students in a couple of articles. As for the location of this fine school, Mr. Snyder writes that it was located "at the junction of Stubbs Mills Road and Trovillo road and was east of the intersection that saw Shawhan come from the south and cross Stubbs Mills and continue on north."
The writer wants to thank the Warren County Genealogical Society for their contribution of this sketch of Washington School. Quincy Stubbs wrote it in his 86th year, and it details his recollection of his school days. We shall now use his own words.

"The first knowledge I had of the Washington school was in the year 1851 when I was nearly three and one-half years old. My father took me up to where Elijah Trovillo was laying the foundation stone for the old schoolhouse which stood a little north of this one. I learned that my father, Zimri Stubbs, gave one-half acre of land to revert back to the owner of the land when not used for school purposes. When the present school house was built another half acre was donated likewise.
"The old school house had a hall nearly 6 feet wide across the front with a door at each end into the school room. The seats and desks were black walnut and white oak. A big box stove was up in front. Wood was burned all the time I attended, up to November, 1866.
"There was no well dug for a number of years after the school house was built. Two boys with a wood bucket on a stick would carry the drinking water from Mathias Brant's farm a half mile away, when they did not choose to get it out of a nearby creek.
"The only decorations there were in the school room were the half dozen or more beech gads [switches] in the corner, the paper wads sticking to the ceiling, and the cross look on the master's face.
"Sometimes dogs and even hogs would raid the dinner buckets and baskets on the low shelves in the hall. Poor children would sometimes do likewise.
"We took goose quills to school and the master made our pens to write with. He had to be a mechanic as well as an instructor. Chalk came in large lumps and had to be broken.
"The road was east or back of the school house for a few years after the first school house was built. There was no gravel road past the school house until 1868 or later.
"Ox teams were a familiar sight. After a rain I would take the children from Stubbstown to school with a young ox hitched to a wagon.
"A boy would set a book up on his desk and with his Barlow knife cut a hole through it. Boys that expected to get a whipping would puts withs [?] inside their pants.
"Masters and teachers were hired for a term of three months. I have a faint recollection that women teachers got forty dollars for the three months' term.
"The bell rope hung at the side of the door in the hall. When a boy was kept in after school, and was out to get an introduction to the beech gads, [the other] boys would pull the bell rope. The master would run out to see who had rung the bell. The kept-in boy would jump out the window.
"Boys that were sent out to harvest a few beech gads would score or gash the bark, so they would break easily.
"We played town ball, paddle ball, bull pen and buck.
"I only remember of one master that made scholars stand out in front with a paper dunce hat on. Another master made them stand with an extended arm.
"My mind often wanders back to my school days at Old Washington, and the many incidents that took place. One boy I often think about that lived on the old Paris farm, but later was known as the James Cook farm, moved with the folks he lived with away out west.
"The day they were loading their wagons for their long journey, this boy came to bid a last fond goodbye to his playmates. A short distance south near the road, he cut his full name and date on a beech tree which was visible for 25 or 30 years or more, until David Worley cut it down. His name, John W. Vananders, May 4, 1854. In the 14 years I went to school I gazed on that name.
"Masters and teachers I had in school from September 4, 1852, to November 1866, at Washington School in Warren County, Ohio.

  1. James Young, an oldish man, blind in one eye. He was my first master. If a scholar was violating one of the iron bound rules, he would throw a big beech gad at them, big end first. They would have to take it up to him and feel its power.
  2. Jonas Stubbs, my second master. He was my first cousin.
  3. Joseph Robertson. He taught longer than any other.
  4. Abiah Stubbs, my sister.
  5. Jane Stubbs, my sister, whipped me for going out to throw at a bird, and I did not hit it either.
  6. Ellen Stubbs, last survivor, about 90 years.
  7. Lee S. Dunham, was county treasurer.
  8. Joseph A. Dunham, gave me the hardest whipping I ever had.
  9. Kane Graville, was too lenient.
  10. Mary F. Wright, large woman, with eyes like an owl.
  11. John F. Kibbey.
  12. Rose Clarige, a holy terror, whipped six the first day.
  13. Thomas Platt, a swell dresser.
  14. Julia Saunders, called the bloomer girl. She wore bloomers.
  15. Mary E. Fall, small in stature, but very neat.
  16. Washington Whitacre, with whiskers galore.
  17. ______Fisher, had one short leg.
  18. Rebecca R. Bovey, she got closer to the scholars than any other.
  19. Alfred N. Rich, Loveland, Ohio.
  20. John C. Trovillo, a former scholar.
  21. John Milton Dunham, next last survivor, aged 88 years.
  22. Joseph Young, only had one arm. He must have been in the Pen.
  23. Lizzie Vestal, enjoyed crying over fiction love stories.
  24. Sarah Compton, my last teacher, she wore boots.

FOOTNOTES: [a place to add additional information that you might want to submit]


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This page created 7 September 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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