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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Maineville Academy Once Area School Of Higher Learning

Dallas Bogan on 7 September 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
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One small town in the County that seems to be growing by leaps and bounds is the village of Maineville. Shortly before its inception on March 27, 1850, a school of higher learning was established, The Maineville Academy.
The Maineville Academy was the brainchild of William Butterworth. In 1847 a joint stock company was developed to create a school of higher education. Stock was sold for $25.00 per share that gave authorization to the stockholders to have a vote at the meetings.
The establishment was constructed and opened on Monday, September 25, 1848. Its first principal was John W.F. Foster, a Kenyon College graduate.
The small settlement of Maineville, which had no corporate name, no graveled roads, nor post-office at this time, was now in the limelight with an educational facility.
The academy building was two-stories high and constructed of brick. It consisted of two schoolrooms on the first floor and a social hall on the second. The latter was used as a town hall where some of the early county teachers' institutes were held, and where many public entertainments were given.
The institution, before completion, was thrown into a financial bind. It was short of funds and for a short time was at a standstill.
Governor Jeremiah Morrow came to the rescue. Without security of any kind, he advanced the means for the completion and equipment of the building. He also served as the first President of the Board of Trustees.
The Academy was center-stage for all of Hamilton as well as the surrounding townships.
The primary method of transportation for students at this time was by foot. They who lived on the west side of the Little Miami would walk to school every morning and walk home after the day's session.
Foster's Crossing was the stopping-off place for students who took the train. A board walk of 1 3/4 miles long was provided for the student's convenience in their journey between Fosters and Maineville.
On May 2, 1857, the Academy developed financial difficulties that resulted in reorganization.
John W.F. Foster, R.F. Stevens, John Morrow, Ransom Snell, C.E. Witham, O.S. Murray, Benjamin Tufts and others embraced restructuring of the system.
After this turnabout, success was virtually assured until the year 1874. The Academy was then transferred to the Maineville Special School District.
It was quite an honor to have been a student of this fine Academy. Hon. Benjamin Butterworth, member of Congress of the first Ohio District, was probably the most prestigious scholar to have attended. Some of the graduates went on to become doctors and educators, while others pursued different professional undertakings.
Robert Brenner, author of "Maineville, Ohio, History," writes that the Maineville Academy had, in the late 1850's, a library of 445 books. This facility was called the "Library of Maineville Division No 360, Sons of Temperance."
Each volume had pasted in its front a sheet of paper that recorded the name of the library, the number of the book, and the eleven rules regarding the regulations of the loan of books to non-members.
A non-member was charged $1.00 admission for access to the library for one year. All books could be kept for duration of four weeks. For any book used over this period the person was charged two cents a day.
A student dormitory was constructed in 1870 on the corner of Main and Mulberry, but was never used.
Some of the teachers of the Academy were: Dean Babbitt, Rev. J.H. Wilson, Prof. John W.F. Foster, Prof. C.W. Kimball, Charles Drake, N.F. Cotton, Robert Milliken, Frank Tufts and Rev. I.J. Cushman.
With an ever-expanding public school system, and a question of building safety, the Academy was eventually forced into exile. John Morrow was its last President.
The building was demolished in the spring of 1901. It stood for 53 years as a symbol to higher education in Warren County. Quite respectively, a two-story red brick school building was constructed on its original site.

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