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THE first school of any kind in Portland was opened in the fall of 1847, by Dr. Ralph Wilcox, one of the very first settlers of the city, whose connections with the pioneer days has elsewhere been referred to. His school was conducted in a house erected by Mr. McNemee at the foot of Taylor street. It had a very brief existence, but several who are still living in Portland were pupils in this primitive hall of learning.
In February, 1848, Thomas Carter and family reached Portland. In April or May of that year Miss Julia Carter (Mrs. Joseph S. Smith), opened a school in a log cabin on the corner of Second and Stark streets. She taught but one quarter, and most of her pupils had previously attended Dr. Wilcox’s school.
In the winter of 1848 and ‘49, Aaron J. Hyde taught a school in what was for years known as the "Cooper Shop." This cooper shop was the only public hall in the town for some time. It was located on the west side of First street, between Morrison and Yamhill streets, on a lot which it was commonly reported a former owner had bought for the consideration of "two pups." Mr. Hyde served in the Mexican war; came to California in the. spring of 1847, thence to Oregon; married a Miss Whitley, of Polk County, settled on a donation land claim about four miles southwest of Linn County, where he died in 1859.
Previous to the passage of the act organizing the Territory of Oregon, August 13, 1848, Congress had reserved the sixteenth section of each township for educational purposes. In framing the [page 380] act for the creation of Oregon Territory, Hon. J, Quinn Thornton added the thirty-sixth section. This departure from the precedent in this regard provoked much opposition in Congress, but by the persistent labors of Mr. Thornton, and other liberal minded legislators, this munificent addition to our educational resources was secured. Not only have the public schools of Oregon received the benefits of this wise enactment, but those of every State and Territory since organized have been thus endowed.
Rev. George H. Atkinson was among the first to agitate the subject of free schools in Oregon after the establishment of the territorial government, and to him our city and county schools are greatly indebted. He came to Oregon especially charged with the educational interest of the Territory, arriving in Portland in June, 1848. He brought with him a quantity of school books of the latest and best authors, and afterwards imported a large supply. For many years a resident of Portland he was ever active in behalf of her educational interests, and in recognition of his services, it has recently been decided to bestow his name on one of the public schools.
Rev. Horace Lyman, late of the Pacific University, followed Mr. Hyde as a school teacher in Portland. He opened a school late in December, 1849, in a frame structure built by Col. Wm. King for church and school purposes. It was located on the west side of First street, second door north of Oak.. On this building was placed a bell which now hangs in the steeple of the Taylor Street M. E. Church. Dr. Lyman taught three months and had about forty scholars.
In April, 1850, Cyrus A. Reed opened a school in the "school house." He taught for three months and had an average of sixty-two pupils.
The next teacher was Delos Jefferson, now a farmer of Marion county. He began in August, 1850 and continued for three months. Following Mr. Jefferson carne Rev. N. Doane, then as now, a minister of the M. E. Church. He taught nine months, beginning about December 1, 1850. [page 381]
All of the schools so far mentioned, were private, and sustained by tuition fees. Ten dollars per quarter for pupils was the usual rate, with the exception of Mr. Doane’s school. The latter received some pecuniary assistance from the M. E. Missionary Fund.
The establishment of a public free school, had however been discussed. Rev. H. Lyman, Anthony L. Davis,1 Col. Wm. King and others, made strenuous and continued efforts to organize a school district under the territorial law. In the midst of much opposition on the part of those who had no children of their own to educate, and of others who had personal interests in building up private and denominational schools, success was finally attained, but the precise date when an organization was perfected we have been unable to learn. The first evidence that an organization had been completed, is furnished in the Oregonian of December 6, 1851, when a "Free School" is advertised. The board of directors consisted of Anthony L. Davis, Alonzo Leland and Reuben P. Boise. This board announced that John T, Outhouse would begin a school in. the school house, next door to the "City Hotel" on Monday, December 15, 1851. "Books to be used: Sander’s Reader, Goodrich’s Geography, Thompson’s Arithmetic and Bullion’s Grammar."
Mr. Outhouse, then about twenty-two years of age, a native of New Brunswick, taught continuously, with the usual vacations, until March, 1853. He is now living at Union, Oregon, and is still engaged in teaching. He began with twenty scholars, and so large had his school become in the fall of 1852, that an assistant was deemed necessary. He was paid, most of the time, at the rate of $100 per month from the county school fund, Portland, at this time, paying two-thirds of his salary.
Among the arrivals in Portland, in September, 1852, was a young woman from Massachusetts--Miss Abigal M. Clark (Mrs. Byron P. Cardwell). Miss Clarke taught a few weeks in the Portland [page 382] Academy and Female Seminary, then in its second year and under the management of a Mr. Buchanan. This engagement was not congenial and she soon after accepted an offer to enter the public schools.
From an editorial in the Oregonian, November 20, 1852, it appears that "at a recent meeting (first Friday of November), the citizens voted $1,600 to support a free school."
A notice a few days later, signed by Anthony L. Davis, Benj. Stark and A. .Leland, announces the opening of a school on Monday, December 6, 1852. Mr. Outhouse is named as teacher in the "school house," and Miss A. M. Clarke, as teacher of the primary classes on First street, between Taylor and Salmon, where she had an average daily attendance of over ninety pupils.
After Mr. Outhouse closed his work, Miss Clarke continued opening her school in the same house, near Taylor street, March, 1853. She taught until midsummer of the same year, and then accepted a position in an academy at Oregon City, then under the care of E. D. Shattuck, now Circuit Judge and residing at Portland.
With the labors of Miss Clarke, the regular work of the free schools seems to have been for a time discontinued. Private schools were opening and closing every few weeks. The "academy" was flourishing under Rev. C. S. Kingsley. General apathy in reference to public schools prevailed. Over a year elapsed after the closing of Miss Clark’s term before any movement was made toward reviving the free schools. The newspapers made no mention of the regular annual meeting in November, 1853. August 11, 1854, Col. J. M. Keeler, then county superintendent, announces that he is ready to organize school districts.
During the fall of 1854, Thomas Frazar began the agitation of the school question. He had printed, at his own expense, notices for a school meeting. He posted these notices, and after failing five times in succession to secure a quorum to do business, he succeeded in the sixth attempt, and as a result, there appeared in the Oregonian of December 7, 1854, the following "call:"
"We, the undersigned, legal voters of the Portland school district, deeming it important that district officers should be appointed [page 383] and our public schools re-organized, hereby annex our names to a call for a special meeting of the legal voters in this district to convene at the school house on First street, on Monday evening, December 18, 1854, at half past six o’clock, then and there to elect, 1--A chairman and secretary of said meeting; 2--A board of three school directors; 3--A district clerk; and to transact such other business, etc. Thomas Frazar, Josiah Failing, H. W. Corbett, W. S. Ladd, P. Raleigh, L. Limerick, D. Abrams, T. N. Lakin, A. D. Shelby, Anthony L. Davis."
At this meeting Thomas Frazar, W. S. Ladd and Shubrick Norris were elected a board of directors.
In December, 1855, Multnomah county was organized, and in January, following, L. Limerick was appointed county school superintendent. Horace Lyman and J. M. Keeler, had previously served as county superintendents when this city was included in Washington county.
It is quite probable that L. Limerick taught the first school under this organization. Prior to this time, it appears that the city had been divided into two districts, with Morrison street as the line-north was district No. 1 and south, district No. 2. The board in the south district consisted of Win. Patton, Col. Win. King and E. M. Burton. When this organization was effected it is impossible to ascertain. It had, however, a legal existence during the incumbency of L. Limerick as county superintendent, as a description of its metes and bounds is found in Mr. Limerick’s writing. In the fall of 1855, J. M. Keeler, just from Forest Grove-Tualatin Academy-taught the district school in this district, in the two-story house still standing on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Second streets. He continued here for six months and in April, 1856, the district was again merged into No. 1.
July 7, 1855, Messrs. Frazar, Ladd and Norris advertised for a "competent person to take charge of the Public school in District No. 1. A young lawyer, Mr. Sylvester Pennoyer, had lately arrived` in Portland. He had gone from New York to Puget Sound to practice law. Becoming discouraged with the prospect, he sold his library and started for home. He saw the advertisement and at once [page 384] sought an interview with Mr. Frazar. The result was that he was employed and taught for six months in the "School House." This, we believe, ended Mr. Pennoyer’s career as a pedagogue. He subsequently embarked in business; has been a successful merchant; a prominent figure in politics and at present is Governor of Oregon. For over two years after the close of Mr. Pennoyer’s school, no record has been found that gives any definite information concerning the public schools of the city.. No one seems to have been directly employed by the board to teach until school was opened, May 17, 1858, in the New Central School.
After the consolidation of the two districts, in 1856, Col. J. M. Keeler became a zealous advocate of the immediate erection of a suitable school building. At a meeting of the taxpayers, May 12, 1856, to discuss this project, J. Failing, H. W. Davis, Wm. Beck, S. Coffin and A. M. Starr were appointed a committee to ascertain the cost of different sites for school grounds. The committee reported in favor of the James Field’s block, No. 179, (where the Portland Hotel now stands), which was purchased at a cost of $1,000. On this site a school house known as Central School was erected, at a cost of about $6,000. Here school was first opened May 17, 1858, with L. L. Terwilliger, principal and Mrs. Mary J. Hensill and Owen Connelly, assistants. Up to July 23d of that year, two hundred and eighty pupils had been enrolled. Of this number but two resided west of Seventh street. Mr. Terwilliger was principal for two and a quarter years; August, 1860, Rev. George C. Chandler, one year; July 22, 1861, G. F. Boynton, nine months; April 30, 1862, O. S. Frambes, one year; March 23, 1863, John McBride, nine months; January 11, 1864, E. P. Bebee, one and a half years; August, 1865, O. S. Frambes, three years; September, 1868, J. W. Johnson, nine months (transferred to High School April 26, 1869); April, 1869, R. K. Warren, two and a quarter years; September, 1871, J. M. Williamson, three years; September, 1874, A. J. Anderson, two years; September, 1876, T. H. Crawford one year; September, 1877, S. W. King, three years; September, [page385] 1880, C. W. Roby, five years. In 1883 the board of directors sold the block upon which the Central School stood to the Northern Pacific Terminal Company for $75,000 on the guarantee that a hotel should be built upon the block within a reasonable time. According to the terms of the sale the school building was to remain the property of the district, but was to be removed from the grounds. This was done a short time thereafter, the building being moved to a block immediately north of the old site, owned by Hon. P. A. Marquam, and was here occupied for school purposes until the close of the school year in 1885, when the Park school building was sufficiently enlarged to accommodate all the scholars in the district.
In 1878 the city had grown to such proportions that an additional school became necessary. At the annual meeting of the taxpayers, Charles Hodge, Lloyd Brooke and Frank Dekum were appointed a committee to select a site. This committee recommended the purchase of block 223, known as the Harker Block, for the sum of $12,000. The report was adopted and the board of directors were authorized to purchase the land and proceed with the erection of a building. It was completed in the fall of 1879, and, including an additional room in the basement for a High School Laboratory, its total cost to date is $31,000. It is a twelve-room, two story wooden building with basement. It was first occupied by the High School and eight classes of the Harrison Street School, which were temporarily accommodated while the new Harrison Street School was being erected.
In September, 1885, the Park School was opened as a regular grammar and primary school, with C. W. Roby as principal. Mr. Roby soon after resigned to accept the position of postmaster of Portland, and was succeeded by Mr. Frank Rigler, who remained until 1889, when T. H. Crawford. became principal. Twelve assistant teachers are employed.
HARRISON STREET SCHOOL.
Stephen Coffin, one of the original proprietors of Portland, donated to the city the north half of block 134, between Second and Third [page 386] streets, to be used for school purposes. In January, 1865, this site was exchanged for the north half of block 160, on Harrison street between Fifth and Sixth streets. On this ground a school house was erected, in 1866, at a cost of $9,941. In this building, known as the Harrison Street School, school was convened January 22, 1866, with R. K. Warren, principal and Miss M. N. Tower, Miss V. P. Stephens and Miss M. Kelly, assistants: For the first quarter of the school year there were enrolled 286 pupils.
In 1871 an extension to the building was erected at a cost of $4,995. Six years later two more extensions were added at a cost of $5,840. The entire structure was destroyed by fire on Thursday morning May 29, 1879, but was rebuilt the same year at a cost of $21,800. September 6, 1887, the new building was partially destroyed by fire. Contracts were soon after let for rebuilding, and in January, 1888, the present structure was completed.
Mr. Warren was succeeded as principal in 1867, by J. P. Garlick, who remained one year and for a short period thereafter Mr. Warren again held the position. In April, 1869, I. W. Pratt became principal, a post he has ever since most ably filled.
The crowded condition of the public schools in 1866 made the erection of another building a necessity, and the board of directors decided to establish a school in the north part of the city. A block was purchased in Couch’s addition on the west side of North Tenth street, between C and D streets. Here, in the summer of 1867, a seven room building was erected, costing over $12,000. School was opened in February; 1868 with, G. S. Pershin as principal, and Misses E. J. Way, A. S. Northrup and Carrie L. Polk, as assistants. During the first quarters there were enrolled 216 pupils. In 1877 two wings were added to the building at a cost of $4,121 and in 1888, on the same block, a two-story, four-room building was erected, costing $8,419.
G. S. Pershin was principal two and a half years; T. H. Crawford, two years; S. W. King, one year; W. W, Freeman, three years; [page 381] R. K. Warren, one year; E. E. Chapman, one year; Miss Ella C. Sabin, eleven years. Miss Ruth E. Rounds, the present principal, began work here in 1888. She is assisted by fifteen teachers.
"Atkinson" school was named in honor of the late Rev. George H. Atkinson. It was for several years known as the North school.
This department of the school system of Portland was instituted in 1869. On April 26, of that year, the plan took definite shape and a High school was organized with quarters on the second floor of the North school building, with J. W. Johnson as principal and Miss M. N. Tower (Mrs. F. K. Arnold), as assistant. In December, 1873, this department was transferred to the second story, north wing, of the Central building and in October, 1874, it was removed to the second floor of the new addition. In September, 1879, it was moved to the second floor of the Park school. Here it was conducted until the completion of the present High School building.
This building was begun in 1883 and finished in 1885. It is a brick structure and located on a block bounded by Twelfth, Morrison, Lownsdale and Alder streets. The style is what is known as the Transition or Semi-Norman, which prevailed during the reign of Henry II and Richard I. Architecturally it presents a most pleasing appearance, while for the purposes intended it is one of the best arranged buildings on the Pacific coast.
It is 140x200, in dimensions, and the main building is three stories, besides a basement and attic in height, while two towers adorn the front of the building, one 168 and the other 140 feet in height. On the first floor are six class rooms, one recitation room and a library; on the second floor six class rooms, a recitation room, museum, High school library, superintendent’s and principal’s offices; on the third floor two class rooms, art room, model room, laboratory, dressing room and assembly hall. The basement story is divided into four play rooms. The principle, upon which light, ventilation and heating are secured, is such as is approved by the best authorities on such matters, and it is believed the building, in these regards, is as nearly perfect as any school structure in the country. [page 388]
The building was projected under the directorship of John Wilson, Charles Hodge and William Wadhams, in March, 1883. Mr. Hodge dying March 30, 1883, James Steel was elected to fill the unexpired term of one year. William Stokes was employed as architect, under whose direction the entire work was designed and completed. The cost of the block was $30,000 and the building over $130,000.
At the close of the first term of the High school in 1869, Miss Tower resigned and Miss M. M. Morrison filled her place until November, 1869, when Miss M. A. Hodgdon was elected first assistant. Mr. Johnson’s acknowledged ability and earnestness, supplemented by Miss Hodgdon’s efficiency and long experience in teaching, laid the foundation for a higher education which had long been demanded by the intelligent people of Portland. In 1872, Alexander Meacham was elected the first teacher of French, and in 1874, Rev. John Rosenberg was elected as special teacher of German.
The first regular examination by a board of examiners for promotion to the High school, was held on the 20th day of September, 1873. Thirteen pupils were examined, eleven of whom were members of the North school-the other two being members of a private school.
In 1876, 137 pupils were enrolled at the High school, and Rev. T. L. Eliot, then county school superintendent, says in his report for the year: "The High school is constantly increasing in members and influence for good in the community. The country is beginning to look at its scholars as prospective teachers-a thorough education and culture are imparted, and full opportunity is here given to young men and women to fit themselves for the business of life."
Mr. Johnson was succeeded as principal, in 1886, by A. J. Anderson, who retained the position for one year, when R. K. Warren was chosen. Mr. Warren remained until 1888, when Miss Ella C. Sabin was elected to the dual position of city superintendent and principal of the High school. Miss Sabin has since most ably filled both positions. She has been intimately identified with the cause of popular education in this city and State for over fifteen years and in great measure the present gratifying success of the public schools of Portland, is due to her excellent management. [page 389]
Miss Sabin is assisted in the management of the High School by the following corps of teachers: Mr. L. F. Henderson, principal’s assistant; Miss H. F. Spalding, Miss Christina MacConnell, Mrs. ‘Alice C. -cove, Mrs. Margaret Allen, Mr. Calvin U. Gantenbein and Miss Lillian E. Pool.
COUCH AND FAILING SCHOOLS.
At the annual meeting of the taxpayers, held March 6, 1882, the board of directors were authorized to purchase two blocks for school purposes-one in the northern and the other in the southern part of the city and to erect on each a school building. The board bought block 159, Couch’s addition, and block 55, Caruther’s addition. On the last named block a two-story, wooden building, of twelve rooms, was completed in October, 1883, at a cost of $38,800, upon which was bestowed the. name of the Failing school, in honor of Josiah Failing. The building in the Couch addition, an exact counterpart of the Failing school, was completed in 1884. The latter was named in honor of Capt. John H. Couch, who, with Josiah Failing, was a member of the first board of directors after the re-organization of the district in 1856.
Miss Anna M. Burnham has been principal of the Failing school ever since its organization and is assisted by fourteen assistant teachers. Miss Georgia L. Parker was principal of the Couch school for one year, since which Justus Burnham has held the position. Thirteen assistant teachers are employed.
The Lownsdale Primary is a separate department of the Portland school system; but at present occupies quarters in the High School building. Miss Carrie Packard is principal. Six subordinate teachers are employed.
Since September, 1886, a school has been maintained on Portland Heights, known as the Ainsworth School, named in honor of Capt. J. C. Ainsworth, a former director. Miss Marian S. Clarke is principal.
The school buildings possessed by the district are not only well adapted to the purposes for which they were built, but those constructed within the past few years add greatly to the architectural [page 390] appearance of the city. They number, including the High School, six, five of which have twelve rooms each, while the seating capacity of all the public schools is 4,500. Upon these buildings the district has expended over $250,000. The .property of the district comprises five and one-half blocks of ground, while the buildings thereon and their contents are valued at $375,000.
There are three departments in the scheme of the public schools--Primary, Grammar and High. The Primary is divided into four grades, each requiring one year to complete. The Grammar department has the same number of grades, requiring four years to complete. The High school course requires three and four years work, according to the course pursued. The English or general course can be completed in three years, while the classical requires four years.
The studies pursued in the Primary and Grammar department are similar to those commonly taught in such schools. The High school has a liberal course of study, consisting of higher mathematics, the Natural Sciences, Latin, German, Mental Philosophy, Political Economy, Rhetoric, English Literature, General History, Elocution and Constitutional Government.
Ninety-five teachers are employed in the public schools, exclusive of the superintendent. The present annual cost of maintaining this corps of employes is about $80,000.
Following is a complete list of teachers in service at the close of the school year in June, 1889.
Miss Ella C. Sabin, city Superintendent and Principal of the High School; Miss Ellen C. Turner, teacher of Drawing; Miss Ella E. Mitchell, teacher of Vocal Music; Mrs. Margaret Allen, Miss Tillie C. Amos, Mrs. A. B. Anderson, Miss Jessie Anderson, Mrs. M. L. Aram, Miss A. L. Atwood, Mrs. Isabel Baker, Miss M. S. Barlow, Mrs. E. F. Berger, Miss Belle Bitely, Miss E. L. Bridgeford, Mrs. Sarah M. Buck, Miss A. M. Burnham, Mrs. Jennie Burnham, Mr. Justus Burnham, Miss Emma Butler, Miss L. Buckenmeyer, Miss Lulu Campion, Miss Jennie Caples, Miss M. S. Clarke, Miss Kate M. Colburn, Miss Myra J. Cooper, Mr. T. H. Crawford, Miss E. E. Crookham, Miss A. J. Davey, Miss Cora David, Miss Josie Davis, Miss H. A. Davidson, Miss E. F. Davison, Miss A. G. DeLin, Miss A. L. Dimick. Miss Ione Dunlap, Mr. C. U. Gantenbein, Mrs. May Garman, Mrs. A. C. Gove, Miss Alice A. Gove, Miss Minnie Gray, Miss Nettie Gray, Mrs. C. E. Greene, Mrs. V. F. Goodwin, Miss Sarah D. Harker, Mrs. Sarah E. Harker, Mr. L. F. Henderson, Miss Mary C. Hill, Miss Elsie Hoyt, Miss A. C. Jennings, Miss Jeanie E. Jones, Miss Blanche R. [page 391] Kahn, Miss Kate Kingsley, Miss Anna E. Knox, Miss Anna M. Knapp, Miss Sophia Lawrence, Miss C. F. Lamberson, Mrs. E. H. Leisk, Miss C. M. Lindsay, Miss C. Mac Connell, Miss Luella Maxwell, Miss Lucy S. Merwin, Miss Mary McCarthy, Miss E. J. McIntyre, Mrs. E. W. McKenzie, Miss Minnie Michener, Miss Mary N. Millard, Mrs. E. D. Miller, Miss Bertha Moore, Miss Eugenia Morse, Miss Clara Mundt, Miss Alice Parrish, Miss F. Plummer, Miss Lillian E. Pool, Miss M. L. Powell, Mr. I. W. Pratt, Miss Eva S. Rice, Miss E. G. Robinson, Miss R. E. Rounds, Miss H. A. Salisbury, Miss T. Schermerhorn, Miss Kate L. Shuck, Mrs. C. R. Simpson, Miss M. J. Smith, Miss Josie Southard, Miss H. F. Spalding, Miss Mary Spaulding, Miss Ida Springstead, Miss H. C. Stewart, Miss L. C. Stout, Mrs. N. E. Swope, Miss Mina Tregellas, Miss Edith Van Vleet, Miss Kate Wallace, Miss Bessie Wilson, Miss Margaret Wilson, Mrs. Eva D. Wills, Mrs. A. J. White.
Of the above, Mr. I. W. Pratt, has been employed in the public schools for twenty years, while Mr. T. W. Crawford and Miss Ella C. Sabin have been in continuous service for a period of fifteen years, and Miss A. L. Atwood, Miss A. M. Burnham, Miss Jennie Caples, Miss A. L. Dimick, Mrs. A. C. Gove, Mrs. Sarah E. Harker, Mr. L. F. Henderson, Miss C. MacConnell, Miss M. L. Powell, Miss R. E. Rounds, Miss H. F. Spalding, and Miss Ellen C. Turner, have been employed for more than ten years.
The first Superintendent of the city schools was S. W. King, who was appointed in 1873. He was succeeded by T. M. Crawford, in 1878, who served until the appointment of Miss Ella C. Sabin, in 1888.
The growth of Portland during the past few years is perhaps as clearly indexed by the growth of the common schools as by any other means. From the time the public school system had attained sufficient importance to be placed under the control of .a city superintendent, the number of pupils who have received instruction at the public schools, has increased from year to year. The following table will show the number of pupils enrolled each year since that time :
The gain in the total number of pupils registered since 1874, a period of fifteen years, has been 2,962, which is a total gain of nearly 200 per cent. in considerably less than a score of years. It will also be seen that the number registered in 1889, above that of the previous year, is greater than it has been any year since 1884, showing that the growth of the schools has corresponded to the increase in population, and the material prosperity of the city.
While the material resources of the city have been developed, its commercial interests carefully consulted and its transportation facilities largely increased, the education of its future citizens has not been neglected. During the last ten years more than $1,000,000 have been expended by the taxpayers of the city in the cause of popular education. In 1880 the sum of $43, 862.03 was paid out for maintenance of schools; in 1881, $68,589.07; 1882, $118,105.56; 1883, $160,097.92; 1884, $150,150.42; 1885, $128,551.07; 1886, $129,362.20; 1887, $94,765.07; 1888, $139,-593.02; 1889, $135,347.51, and for 1890 it is estimated that $154,530.00 will be required. These large sums have been judiciously used and have made possible a system of free schools such as affords pupils an opportunity for a good practical education not surpassed by any city in the land.
Under the laws of Oregon the public schools of Portland are not under municipal control, the city government having nothing whatever to do with the city schools. The school district is a separate corporation, although the territorial limits of the district are identical with those of the city. All matters pertaining to the schools are primarily decided, not by the general voters but by the taxpayers, and women as well as men have a vote here. The schools are under the management of a board of five directors, chosen by the taxpayers, one being elected each year to serve five years. The amount of money to support the schools is raised by such tax on the property of the school distri6t as may be voted at the annual meeting of taxpayers held in March.
The distri6t has been most fortunate in the selection of its school officers. Since the organization of the free school system, the board of directors has been composed of Portland’s most progressive and [page 393] public spirited citizens who have generously devoted their time and attention to the. cause of popular education. A complete list of those who have served the city in this capacity since the organization of the district, in 1856, is herewith appended, it being eminently fit that the names of these laborers in behalf of the public weal should be preserved:
Resigned before expiration of term.
Mr. Charles Hodge died March 30, 1883. James Steel was elected to the vacancy at a special election, Apr. 24, 1883.
Of the thirty-three persons, including the present board, who have served as school directors during these thirty-three years, the following are dead: Wm. Weatherford, Josiah Failing, Alexander Campbell, John. H. Couch, J. D. Holman, Thos. J. Holmes, A. L. Lovejoy, J. A. Chapman, John G. Glenn and Charles Hodge.
Prior to April, 1863 the entire board was elected annually.
In October, 1862, the school law was amended, making a term of a director three years. In October, 1882, an act was passed constituting cities of 10,000 inhabitants one school district--increasing the number of directors to five and extending the term to five years.
In 1878 the time for holding school elections was changed from April to March. [page 394]
Besides the public schools mentioned in the foregoing, Portland offers many advantages in the way of private and special schools for those who prefer them. Among the first of the private schools which assumed any magnitude was the Portland Academy and Female Institute, which was opened in 1850, by Mr. Buchanan. In 1852, C. S. Kingsley and wife assumed its control and managed it for several years. It was located on Seventh street between Columbia and Jefferson streets. In 1862, Rev. D. E. Blain was principal and Miss S. A. Cornell, preceptress, at which time there were seventy-five pupils in attendance. Two years later, O. S. Frambes became principal; Mrs. S. E. Frambes, preceptress, and J. G. Deardorf and Miss Mary McGee, assistant teachers. For some years after it maintained a high rank as an educational institution, but the growth and development of the public school system finally usurped the field and it ceased to exist in 1878.
St. Mary’s Academy, the oldest private school in Portland, was founded, in 1859, by the Sisters of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, from Montreal, Canada, who at the same time established a convent of their order. They opened a day and boarding school in a small wooden building on Fourth street, between Mill and Market streets. The school has had a prosperous career, and a large three-story brick building has recently been completed at a cost of $40,000 to meet the demand of the rapidly growing patronage it enjoys. At present twenty teachers are employed in instructing the 250 pupils [page 395] who are receiving their education at this institution. All of the common English branches are taught, besides Latin, German and French. Rev. Mother Mary Justina is provincial superior and Sister Mary Patrick is directress of studies.
It would be almost impossible to give even a list of the numerous private schools which, for a time, flourished in Portland. Among the earliest, not before mentioned, were those conducted by Rev. P. Machen, J. McBride and J. H. Stinson. For a time the congregation of Beth Israel maintained a Hebrew school, on the corner of Fifth and Oak streets. It was under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Eckman as principal and Rev. H. Bories and Geo. F. Boynton, teachers. The directors were: H. F. Bloch, N. Werthermer and S. Blumauer.
Among the most successful of the private schools of Portland is the Bishop Scott Academy, which owes its origin to the Protestant Episcopal church. As far back as the year 1854, a long time ago in this country, a committee was appointed by Bishop Thomas F. Scott, to secure property for a school, to be conducted under the auspices of the Portland Episcopal Church, in the then Territory of Oregon. The site selected was a tract of land near Oswego. Trinity school was finally opened in the spring of 1856, with Mr. Bernard Cornelius as principal. It had a precarious existence for a number of years, sometimes being closed for a year at a time, and closed permanently in 1865. Such names as the Rev. Mr. Fackler, the Rev. John W. Sellwood, and Mr. Hodgkinson are to be found on the records of the school, as having been in charge at various times. After the arrival of Bishop Morris upon his field of labor, in June, 1869, he took steps to establish a school for boys in the then jurisdiction of Oregon and Washington. He chose Portland as the site of the institution, which he named--in honor of his predecessor--The Bishop Scott Grammar and Divinity School. The very first money ever received by Bishop Morris for this purpose came from some little boys at the Ury School, Pennsylvania. They saved their spending money during Lent, and sent an offering of $50 to the Bishop of Oregon, for a school for boys. One of those little benefactors, now a busy man, recently visited Portland, and [page 396] manifested a warm interest in the academy which he had aided, as a child. Two double blocks in the pleasantest part of the city were next given for school purposes by Captain Flanders and Mrs. Caroline Couch; and the corner stone of the Bishop Scott Grammar School was laid on the 5th of July, 1870, by Bishop Morris, assisted by several of the clergy. The grounds at that time were away out in the woods in the western part of the city, and it required great faith in the development of the country and the town to establish a school at that time and place. With indomitable perseverance, however, it was built and opened for business on September 6, 1870, under Prof. Chas. H. Allen. The chapel of the school was named St. Timothy’s. The property at Oswego was sold for about $5,000, and held as the beginning of an endowment for the Bishop Scott Grammar School. The school was successful from the very beginning under the wise management of Prof. Allen. It continued with varying success until it was overcome by misfortune in the burning of the building on November 8, 1877. A large amount of church property was destroyed and the school received a severe set back. With his remarkable energy, however, Bishop Morris set to work immediately towards re-building the institution, and the corner stone of the present building was laid June 6, 1878. School was re-opened September 3d, of that year, under the charge of Dr. J. W. Hill as head master, who has been at his post up to the present writing. In 1887, the armory was built and military discipline was introduced; the name of the school changed to Bishop Scott Academy, the whole school re-organized and the institution entered upon a new era of usefulness. During 1888 and 1889, about $15,000 were expended on permanent improvements on the school property, consisting of a wing on the north side, practically more than doubling the capacity of the institution. For a number of years past the school has been on a substantial basis and has met with all the success its friends could wish for. It has grown to be an institution in the broadest sense of the word. The course of study is varied to meet the requirements of any class of students. The history of the school is closely interwoven with that of very many families. Its graduates and former pupils are now to be found all [page 397] over our Northwest. The influence for good that it has upon the young of the Northwest is beyond calculation. Its present success is, very gratifying to all interested in the cause of Christian education.
St. Helen’s Hall, a school for girls, was founded by the Rt. Rev. B. Wistar Morris, D. D., the present bishop of Oregon. Immediately upon his election as missionary bishop in 1868, he conceived the plan of establishing a girl’s school of a high order, in which religious and secular education should go hand in hand. In this undertaking he sought and obtained the co-operation of the sisters of his wife, the Misses Rodney, of Delaware, all graduates of St Mary’s Hall, Burlington, N. J., and teachers of reputation in the east.
Bishop Morris soon bought from Mrs. Scott, the widow of his predecessor, a desirable site for the girl’s school near the Plaza. The funds necessary for this purchase were furnished by Mr. John D. Wolfe, of New York, a noble churchman, who did the like for many other church schools in our country.
The school opened September 6th, 1869, in the building then known as St. Stephen’s Chapel, standing at the southwest corner of Fourth and Madison streets. There were fifty pupils on the opening day. By November 1, the number had increased to eighty and the principals, finding that they had more than they could do, called Miss Atkinson, now Mrs. F. M. Warren, Jr., to share their duties. Since then, the Misses Rodney have constantly taught in the school and continued to direct it, having had a gradually increasing corps of able assistants. Of them, Miss Lydia H. Blackler and Mrs. Mary B. Clopton may be especially mentioned, both having been very efficient in their departments; the one giving thirteen years of service and the other ten. Miss Rachel W. Morris, the very capable and energetic sister of the bishop, had much to do with the planning of the building and the organizing of the domestic department; and Mrs. Morris, the bishop’s wife, in the twelve years of her residence in the school, was also a zealous worker in behalf of the school.
The main dwelling, which was to be occupied by the bishop’s family and the boarding department of the school, was not finished till November 27, 1869. The funds necessary for this building and [page 398] for the various additions made to it, all came from friends of the church in the East, except the sum of $5,000, which was advanced by some citizens of Portland, to be repaid to them in scholarships.
The school had grown so large by Christmas, that the recitation rooms were too small and too few. The chapel was accordingly moved to an adjoining lot, purchased of Mr. Charles Holman. The building was then enlarged. As the school continued to grow, other additions were made to the dwelling house.
The name "St. Helen’s Hall" was given by two of the charter members of the faculty; one wishing to honor the memory of St. Helena, mother of Constantine, the other having in mind that "snowy cone" of Oregon, Mount St. Helens, which seems to keep watch as a sentinel over Portland. In 1880, the new chapel of the school was begun. It stands at the corner of Fifth and Jefferson streets. It is .a beautiful building, adorned with windows of stained glass, many of which are memorials of the departed. One of them was erected by several young men in memory of Henry Rodney Morris, the eldest son of Bishop Morris, who, when not quite nineteen years old, gave tip his life in an attempt to save the lives of two workmen.
The domestic arrangements of this school are those of a home. Very earnest attention is given to the health of the pupils. To this end, calisthenics form a part of the daily exercise, as well as walking.
The course of study is high. It may be either regular or special. It is quite abreast of the demands of the times and the improved conditions of society.
The school has an extensive library and an herbarium of great value, as well as a fine collection of shells, some from abroad, and many from the rivers and coast of Oregon. The instruction given is after the best methods in all departments, and so it has ever been. The German School of Music has always been the standard, in the musical department; and both this and the art department have more than a local reputation. Good English is cultivated, both in speaking and writing. The pupils are drawn from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, California and Honolulu. [page 399]
In view of the probable extension of the business portion of Portland into the quarter in which the Hall stands, Bishop Morris, several years ago, secured a beautiful block of ground on the western outskirts of the city, near the Park; and there the school will shortly be removed. This change has been hastened by the action of the city council, in selecting the present site of the school as that of the new city hall. A fine new brick building will soon be erected, and there it .is expected that St. Helen’s Hall will begin its next year. The grounds of the new home will be even more ample than those of the present one, and the magnificent view of river and mountain will be unobstructed.
Doubtless the twenty years of successful management by the same rector and principals have much to do with the present standing of the school. That it will continue to be a blessing to the State of Oregon seems to be assured. Probably 2,000 girls have received instruction at this institution, while 62 have graduated. The latter have formed themselves into a society of graduates and from time to time do some deed of kindness to their Alma Mater which strengthens the bonds that already unite them to her.
St. Michael’s College was opened August 28, 1871. It was founded by Very Rev. John F. Fierens, Vicar General, with Rev. A. J. Glorieux (now Bishop of Idaho), as first principal. In February, 1886, the college was transferred to the care of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, who still continue its management. The object of the college is to give a Christian education to Catholic youths, but those of other denominations are received without any interference whatever with religious opinions. The course of study is divided into four departments, viz : Preparatory, Intermediate, Commercial and Collegiate, the latter includes Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Surveying and Navigation, Rhetoric, English Composition and Christian Ethics. The present number of students is two hundred.
St. Joseph’s Parochial School for boys, was established in 1868. It is a Catholic institution and is conducted in the basement of St. Joseph’s German Catholic church, corner of Fourteenth and O streets. Miss Kolkmann is principal and Miss Orth assistant teacher. [page 400]
The Independent German School, corner of Morrison and Ninth streets was established in 1870 by a society composed of some of Portland’s most progressive citizens for the purpose of providing a school where both the ‘English and German languages could be faithfully taught without any religious basis. It is supported by voluntary contributions and tuition fees. Frederick Beecher is principal.
The International Academy, corner of Ninth and Stark streets, was started in 1875 by Rev. John Gantenbein, pastor of the First Evangelical Reformed Church, as director, and his daughters as teachers. German and English are taught.
Portland has two medical colleges. The older of these institutions, the Medical College of the Willamette University, was removed from Salem to Portland in 1878. For several years a building on the east side of Fourth street between Morrison and Yamhill, was used for college purposes, but in 1885 a new college building was completed at a cost of $25,000, on the corner of Fourteenth and C streets, capable of accommodating two hundred students. The faculty in 1878 was composed of L. L. Rowland, M. D., emeritus Professor of physiology and microscopy; A. Sharpies, M. D., Professor of principles and practice of surgery; D. Payton, M. D., Professor of psychology and psychological medicine; W. H. Watkins, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of medicine; R. Glisan, M. D., Professor of obstetrics; P. Harvey, M. D. Professor of diseases of women and children; O. P. S. Plummer, M. D., Professor of materia medica and therapeutics and Dean of the faculty; S. E. Josephi, M. D., Professor of genito-urinary and surgical anatomy; R. O. Rex, M. D., Professor of organic and inorganic chemistry; Matthew P. Deady, Professor of medical jurisprudence; E. P. Frazer, M. D., Professor of hygiene and dermatology; H. C. Wilson, M. D., Professor of eye, ear and throat; R. H. Alden, M. D., Demonstrator of anatomy. The present faculty is composed of E. P. Frazer, M. D., Professor of diseases of women and children and Dean of the faculty; C. H. Hall, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of medicine; James Browne, M. D., Professor of physiology and hygiene; Richmond Kelly, M. D., Professor of obstetrics; W. E. Rinehart, [page 401] M. D., Professor of anatomy; J. J. Fisher, M. D., Professor of materia medica and therapeutics; H. S. Kilbourne, M. D., United States army, Professor of surgery; Alois Sommer, M. D., Professor of chemistry; D. H. Rand, M. D., Professor of genito-urinary anatomy; W. B. Watkins, M. D., Professor of eye and ear; M. C. George, Professor of medical jurisprudence; George H. Chance, Professor of dental pathology: D. H. Rand, M. D., physician to out door department and free dispensary; W. E. Carll, M. D., Professor of practical and surgical anatomy.
The Medical Department of the University of Oregon was established in Portland 1887, and at the present time the college is located in the Good Samaritan Hospital, corner of Twenty-first and L streets. The faculty is composed of Hon. Matthew P. Deady, L.L. D., president of the Board of Regents and Professor of medical jurisprudence; S. E. Josephi, M. D., Dean of the Faculty and Professor of obstetrics and psychological medicine; Curtis C. Strong,
M. D., secretary of the faculty and Professor of gynaecology and clinical obstetrics; Holt C. Wilson, M. D., Professor of the principles and practice of surgery and clinical surgery; Otto S. Binswanger, M. D., Professor of chemistry and toxicology; K. A. J. Mackenzie, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of clinical medicine; A. C. Panton, M. D. Professor of general and descriptive anatomy; J. F. Bell, M. D., Professor of materia medica and therapeutics and microscopy; M. A. Flinn, M. D., Professor of physiology; G. M. Wells, M. D., Professor of diseases of children; Henry E. Jones, M. D., Professor of gynaecology; W. H. Saylor, M. D., Professor diseases of Benito-urinary organs and clinical surgery; A. J. Giesy, M. D., Professor of dermatology and hygiene; F. B. Eaton, M. D., Professor of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat; Wm. Jones, M. D., Professor of clinical surgery; Thomas B. Perry, M. D., United States Marine Surgeon, Professor of clinical surgery; Richard Nunn, M. D., demonstrator of anatomy.
Portland has two business colleges, which furnish ample means for instruction to those who desire to pursue a commercial life. The older of these institutions, the Portland Business College, was established November, 1866, by Mr. H. M. DeFrance and M. K. [page 402] Lauden, as the "National Business College," by whom it was conduced until July, 1872. Mr. Lauden then disposed of his interest to W. S. James, who continued the school till February, 1874, when he was succeeded by W. Lynn White. DeFrance and White continued together until July, 1880, when De France retired from the school, White becoming sole owner, and changing the name to "White’s Business College." The school was conducted by White until the time of his death, which occurred in April, 1881. Mr. A. P. Armstrong bought the school of the administrator of the estate of Mr. White, in July, 1881, changing the name to " Portland Business College," by which it is now known. He conduced the school as sole owner until March, 1889, when it was sold to the Portland Business College Association, an incorporated company with the following stockholders: A. P. Armstrong, D. P. Thompson, L. L. McArthur, T. H. Crawford, Wm. Kapus, Philip Wasserman, Walter F. Burrell and D. Solis Cohen. This association is now conducing the school. Its design is to afford young men and women an opportunity to fit themselves for practical life. The following departments are maintained, to-wit: business, shorthand, typewriting, penmanship and English.
The Holmes Business College is a comparatively new venture. It was opened in 1887 by G. Holmes, by whom it has since been conduced. Quarters have been fitted up in the Abington block with all appliances for giving a thorough education in such knowledge as is needed in following a business avocation.
Besides the above there are special schools for special instruction in needle work, a kindergarten school, and many opportunities for private instruction afforded by special tutors. Portland, it will be seen, has all the necessary advantages for instruction in the common, and many of the special branches of education, and only needs a first class university to crown the system to make it one of the strongest of educational cities.
1. Anthony L. Davis, one of the earliest and most zealous advocates of Portland's free school system, came from Fort Leavenworth, Indiana, to Portland, in 1850. He served a term in the State Legislature of Indiana and soon after his arrival in Port-land was elected a Justice of the Peace, serving in that capacity for several years. He was a man of high character and held in much esteem. He died in Portland in 1866.