Erie County (PA) Genealogy  
Schools - Public & Private

City of Erie - First School

Contributed by Diane Marshall


The article below has been extracted from Nelson's History of Erie County, page 485. It has been submitted by site visitor Diane Marshall who is seeking any additional information that may be available on the Hildebrand and Schantz families. Diane has indicated that four of the students -- Zebinia Schantz, Edward Hildebrand, Charles Reed Hildebrand (listed only as Charles Reed), and Henry Schantz -- are in her ancestral chain. The transcription of the article has been completed by Bill Klauk. Anyone having information on these families should contact Diane Marshall directly.


The first schoolhouse built in Erie was in the year 1806, on the southwest corner of Seventh and Holland streets, where school building No. 2 now stands. It was of hewed logs, about 18x20 feet in size and was built for the sum of thirty dollars, which was paid by contributions of the citizens. This first temple of learning was surrounded by the native forest, a foot-path leading to the school from the village, which was mostly collected in the vicinity of German street, below Fourth Street. The roll of the school during the year 1812 is preserved as a historic relic. It contains the names of thirty girls and forty boys, as follows:

Girls — Hannah Rees, Sarah Brown, Betsy Dobbins, Julia Bell, Eleanor Stuart, Ann Laird, Mary Wilkins, Sarah Bell, Eliza Wilson, Mary Wallace, Mary Curtis, Jane Hughes, Ann Teel, Mary Wilson, Eliza Hoskinson, Rebecca Rees, Kate Oiler, Harriet Rees, Sarah Forster, Mary Brewster, Mary McSparren, Mary McNair, Dorcas McDonald, Caroline Kelso, Eliza Cummings, Adeline Kelso, Eleanor Lapsley, Zebinia Schantz, Mary Ann Lapsley and Catharine McFarland.

Boys — Alexander Brewster, Dunning McNair, John McSparren, Zedekiah Curtis, Daniel Gillespie, Edward Hildebrand, Charles Reed, William Brown, Harry Rees, Edwin Kelso, George Dunn, Cyrus Reed, John Dunn, William Bell, John Teel, Albert Kelso, James Gray, Samuel Irwin, James Wilson, Robert Erwin, Henry Schantz, William W. Dobbins, William Hoskinson, Laird Forster, John Hughes, Charles Wilkins, Alexander Irwin, Jacob Snavely, George Gallagher, Barney Gillespie, Johnson Laird, Samuel Brown, William McDonald, James Hughes, Thomas Growotz, Benjamin Wallace, John McFarland, Charles Growotz, Archibald Stuart and Richard McCreary.

Lot No. 1378, upon which the school house was built, was bought from the State August 4, 1804, by James Baird, for the sum of twenty-five dollars. It was afterward purchased by means of contribution collected by Capt. Daniel Dobbins, and was patented in the name of the “Presque Isle Academy.” This name appears to have been informally given by the contributors, as no record can be found of a corporation having been formed with that title. For the next quarter of a century, nothing occurred of special importance connected with the schools of Erie, ex­cepting the establishing of the Erie Academy, which will be referred to hereafter. The schools that were kept up during the interval were all maintained by private contributions.


This page was last updated on  Monday, March 7, 2005 .

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