Know Your Town — Education / Antioch

[Remember that the Historical Society will be giving a program on the rest of Yellow Springs’ educational history at the Senior Center on Sunday, April 22, at 2 pm.]

ANTIOCH COLLEGE is a private, nonsectarian, nonsegragated coeducational liberal arts college. It offers the A.B . and B.S. Degrees in a 5-year work-study program. It was founded by the Christian Church in 1853 with Horace Mann as its first president. It is famous for its “co-op” system of alternating work with study in which Antioch pioneered, a program introduced by Arthur Morgan in 1921.

The College occupies 35 buildings on the 100-acre site in the southeastern part of the village, and employs approximately 600 persons. An additional six buildings are in use by the Outdoor Education Center in 950-acre Glen Helen. An enrollment of 1650 students is drawn from all 50 states and 27 other countries. About half of the student body is on campus at one time, the other half on co-operative jobs in some 33 states and 17 foreign countries. An additional 100 students are studying or working abroad on the Antioch Education Abroad program.

THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES office of Antioch Colloege provides programs for adults in various ways. At the present time programs are being held through National Science Foundation institutes, for high school math and science teachers, an annual liberal arts seminar in depth, and international and work-study programs for young adults from abroad. More programs are in the planning stage.

affiliated with the college are several research organizations:

FELS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, with a staff of 70, occupies a modern 140-room laboratory for the study of human development.

Two U.S. Air Force Projects are being conducted at Antioch.

THE BEHAVIOR RESEARCH LABORATORY carries out basic and applied research on human perception, attention, sensori-motor performance, and decision-making, and on the evolution of brain and behavior in mammals.

THE ANTHROPOLOGY RESEARCH PROJECT carries out statistical research in the areas of anthropometry and research in applied physical anthropology.

Participating in the college community is the CHARLES F. KETTERING RESEARCH LABORATORY. It is engaged in basic research in biological science, with emphasis at present on the problems of photosynthesis and of biological nitrogen fixation. It is supported by the non-profit Charles F. Kettering Foundation, and employus 35 professional scientists and the necessary support personnel.

A full season of winter plays as well as outdoor summer programs have drawn travellers and area residents to the ANTIOCH AREA THEATRE for many years. The village’s fame spread to the East and even to Europe in the 1950s, as the Area Theatre became the first company in the world to produce all of Shakespeare’s plays in five consecutive years. In the spring of 1961, the college constructed an outdoor amphitheatre modelled after the famed Greek theatre in Epidaurus. Five plays have been given there each summer with casts assembled from the ranks of professional actors and augmented by students and area residents. The continuing winter seasons are also in the tradition of true community theatre, drawing both the actors and the audiences from the village and surrounding areas as well as the college.

Numerous other cultural events sponsored by Antioch College are open to village residents. These include: concerts by the Antioch Orhcestra and the Antioch Chorus as well as other musical and dance programs by visiting performers; art exhibits both in the Antioch Inn and Olive Kettering Library, and lectures by visiting speakers from all over the country. The college FM radio station, WYSO, which broadcasts to nearby communities, specializes in fine music and educational programs.;


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Yellow Springs Timeline 1800 to 1870

[Material collected by Mary E. Morgan. We encourage you to suggest additions.]

1800 – 1870

1803-05     Lewis Davis: log cabin at the Springs (friend, “in-law” of Benjamin Whiteman who was active in Clifton area)

1825-26     Owenites unsuccessfully try to establish a colony at the Springs – built some structures – unsuccessful communal venture

1829     Elisha Mills builds resort – watering place. Oliver Farnsworth edited and published the first newspaper in Yellow Springs

1834     Benjamin Deaver, first tan yard in Yellow Springs

Early 1840s     Elisha Mills sells Springs property to Neffs in order to build Yellow Springs House Hotel (site of John Bryan building) and to help son William build his village – Neffs use property first as holiday residence for family & friends. Later – sons turn it to commercial use (resort).

1840     Land donated by William Mills to Methodist Church (first building west of the railroad, at corner of Dayton and Corry streets)

1843     William Mills finishes his mansion and  moves his store from the Springs to Dayton Street (first Yellow Springs businesses were on Dayton Street)

1845     First school-house in corporation on Elm Street

1846     Mills brings railroad to Yellow Springs (Neffs now making a resort at their Yellow Springs property)

1850s     “Water Cure” sanitarium at The Springs. Thriving lime works by railroad.

1852     First flour mill, John Lannen, owner and operator – sites for buildings of Antioch College chosen, construction begun

1853     Establishment of Antioch College. William Mills had 436 lots of every size and shape laid off and surveyed at forest Village or Yellow Springs (Hunster sisters – Fannie, Virginia, Margaret – were black women at Antioch in and out of prep school)

1853     Horace and Mary Mann with Mann’s niece (Rebecca Pennell – first full female professor in country) and nephew (Calvin Pennell) arrive to take up Antioch duties

1850s     Ups and downs of the young Antioch

1854     First Board of Trustees of Antioch College elected

1855     Stephen Kershner opened tinshop, machine shop also opened. Mills added 112 plots to original 436. Present Presbyterian church organized at request of Mills. William Compton had first dray line.

1856     Yellow Springs incorporates. Isaac Kershner, postmaster, elected mayor., Memnonia Institute organized in Glen

1857     Mills added 180 plots to Yellow Springs. Andrew Sroufe elected mayor. First graduating class of Antioch. Catholic church organized.

1858     J. W. Hamilton elected mayor. At second commencement, Mann announced college would survive its financial crisis. Fred Birch opened first coal yard.

1859     Water Cure Institution in Glen burned. Thomas Hill elected president of Antioch. Horace Mann died.

1860     Hezekiah Davis elected mayor. Ralph Waldo Emerson lectures at Antioch.

1861     A. B. Wambaugh elected mayor. 16 Antiochians answered Lincoln’s call for troops. T. B. Burkholder, first from Yellow Springs to enlist. Robert Bachelor, first soldier from township killed. L. Green started livery business with seven horses.

1862     J. W. Hamilton elected mayor. Moncure Conway brought his family’s slaves to Yellow Springs. Toll houses ordered sold by Trustees.

1863     27 Anthiochians lost lives in Civil War. 415 men from Miami township fought in Civil War.

1864     Plot of Yellow Springs cemetery recorded. P. D. Leonard elected mayor. Austin Craig elected president of Antioch.

1865     Wagon shop opened by Allen Jobe. E. M. Birch elected mayor. Wilberforce Universtiy established, Unitarian endowment of $100,000 given Antioch, represented by E. E. Hale.

1866     J. G. Adams elected mayor. Law passed enforcing enclosure of pigs. 12 below 0. George W. Hjosmer elected president of Antioch.,

1867     W. G. Whitehurst elected mayor.

1868     Free and Accepted Masons started.

1869     Neff House built.

1870     Opening ball at Neff House. Yellow Springs jail built

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The Library’s Special Sculpture

The Yellow Springs Library Association adopted the Tree of Knowledge sculpture for its logo, and Head Librarian Connie Collett recently supplied the YSLA newsletter exLibris with an article about the history of this library landmark.

Our Tree of Knowledge

This spring is an excellent time to take a close look at the library’s Tree of Knowledge sculpture by Yellow Springs resident and internationally noted sculptor Jon Barlow Hudson.

Starting in 1989, the Yellow Springs Library Association Sculpture Committee, led by Frieda Abrams, took the lead in the project which evolved from a program the sculptor presented for the association. Significant funding came from the Ohio Arts Council, but most of the funds were contributed by Yellow Springs businesses, organizations and individuals.

The tree form was chosen because of all it can symbolize: wisdom, life, knowledge, generation, fruitfulness. It could be an axis mundi, or connection between heaven and earth. Trees can be converted into paper for books, but here will be books made into a tree, a good fit for a town that values the reading and writing of books as well as the planting, nourishing and loving of trees.

Jon Barlow Hudson began work on the actual sculpture by getting piles and piles of old books. He experimented with different ways of stacking them into a tree shape until he decided on the spiral vortex of the final design. Once the stack was completed, latex molds of it were made, section by section. The molds were removed, reassembled and poured full of hot wax, eventually creating a wax replica of the stack. The wax sections were covered with a ceramic shell which was baked , causing the wax to melt and run out. The shells were then poured full of liquid bronze. When it had cooled the shells were broken off and the rough bronze pieces were sand-blasted, welded, ground and polished, then assembled back into the original tree shape.

The leaves that spin out of the top of the tree were fabricated from sheet metal, cut and folded into shape and welded into place. The patinas on the metals were done by applying chemicals and heat, and a protective coating was also applied.

While all that was going on, the area south of the library was made ready to receive the sculpture with new pavers and plantings designed by Roger Beal and installed by Gary Stutzman. On installation day, a large crane lifted everything into place and it was bolted down. A celebration was held on May 12, 1993, so this year marks the sculpture’s 25th anniversary.

When you take a close look at the Tree of Knowledge, take time to admire the detail, examine the book bindings, read the book spines, and find a “tree house,” – or is it Dorothy’s Kansas house? Find a bookworm. Find a “book plate” – why would there be a “book plate” in a Yellow Springs tree? And who knew you could do puns in bronze? And look for some outdated media formats that didn’t hold up nearly as well as books.

Some of the people who made the sculpture happen have moved on or passed on, but if you enjoy your visit to the sculpture, you might want to thank members of the original Sculpture Committee who are still our neighbors: Kay Curley, Julia Cady, Connie Crockett, Tia Huston, Margaret Silliman – and of course, Jon Barlow Hudson.

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Program on Local Schools History April 22

With the current interest in the future of Yellow Springs schools it seemed an opportune time for a program on the history of township and village schools.

On Sunday, April 22, at 2:00 pm in the Yellow Springs Senior Center Great Room board members of the Yellow Springs Historical Society will present a program about Yellow Springs learning from the earliest schools in the 1820’s to the present day. Audience members are encouraged to share their own memories or memorabilia, The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Hugh Taylor Birch’s Other Gift

As something of a followup to The Story of Glen Helen is a newspaper clipping from the Akron Beacon-Journal issue of January 24, 1954 covering another unusual Antioch College venture (although the majority of the article is given over to Antioch’s history).

Antioch Revenue Raiser

Ohio College Builds A Shopping Center
Beacon Journal Staff Writer

YELLOW SPRINGS, O.—Antioch College is small and conservatively run but never slow when a forward step is needed. It will take a big one this week.

Wednesday Antioch will open a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shopping center to serve a residential area built up from some swampy, ocean-front land that was left to the college a decade ago.

The center, southern Florida’s largest, and the land development before it are Antioch’s answer to the major problem confronting all small colleges — rising costs and declining endowments.

Here on the little, 100-year-old campus they think the answer is a good one.

Just filling in the swamp brought in close to $2,000,000 in added funds. Most of the shopping center’s 172,000 square feet of space was contracted for months ago.

Numerous retailers have made inquiries, so many that already plans for expanding the place are well along in the talking stage


AS FAR AS it can learn, Antioch is the first college to try such a venture. Many another small—and not a few big—schools have written for information. It may start a trend. Antioch officials hope it will. It would not be Antioch ‘s first.

This was one of the first American centers of higher learning to admit women and Negroes on the same basis and for the same courses as those offered white men.

It helped design the half-classroom-half-work approach to education, the famed cooperate study plan in which 533 employers in 31 states participate.

Antioch has plugged hard for a democracy-on-the-campus program. It gives the student as strong a voice in affairs, academic and otherwise, as that of the highest ranking faculty member.

These—and activities like the shopping center—come about from the powerful influence exerted on Antioch by its first president, Horace Mann. His were greatly advanced concepts. Public education was among them. He fathered it in this country.


A STATESMAN as well as an educator, Mann left a comfortable New England home to take the job. That was in 1853.

The Christian Church had just finished building the college. The church, which had no formal creed, wanted a college that did not teach one, which came into the project later.

But money was a problem then as now, and not even a Dr. Mann could conceive a two-story, flat-roofed shopping center with parking space for 1,050 wagons and buggies as a source of funds.

In 1859 the school including what was then the tallest building west of the Alleghenies was sold at auction. Mann’s friends bought it, reorganized its board, hired him back to run it. He did until his death a few months later.

Up to the time of World War I, Antioch was jut another little college. It offered A.B. and B.S. Degrees in major fields. It worked hard at the job of paying the faculty every month.


THEN CAME Arthur E. Morgan, a man who never went to college but who knew enough to run this one and to go on as the first head of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the early 1930s..

Morgan—his eyes were so bad he had to quit college the first week—had come here to the center of the Miami River Valley as chief engineer for a big state flood control project.

He liked Yellow Springs, once the spa of society from Cincinnati, 65 miles south, and before that a stop on the old Bullskin Stage Trail from Detroit to the Ohio River.

The college took him on as president because of his definite educational ideas, especially in combining work and study. He put the system in operation in the early 1920s.

Antioch students are like those in most colleges that first year. As sophomores they attend classes two months, then put in two months on a job to which they are referred by the college and which is related directly to their major field.

The student is a regular employe. He is paid the going rate which, in many cases in recent years is much higher than that paid the professors who sent him out on the job.


THE ACADEMIC YEAR runs 10 months and is broken up. Five months are spent working, five on the campus. A degree can be had in four years. Most students take five, however.

Though no work -your-way-through-college plan, the system helps with the cost of the extra expenses which result from it. The college loses few students to the employers.

The kids feel,” said Norman Bixler, the campus news bureau chief, “that if theyr’e worth so much now, they’ll be worth that much more when they’re through school.

“We know, though, that some of them have had perfectly fabulous offers to go with firms full time, especially engineering students.”


ON THE CAMPUS broad policy is laid down by a 20-man board which is chaired by a conservative lawyer from Springfield, O., nine miles north. He is Homer C. Corry. More of him later.

Dr. Douglas McGregor, who will preside at the shopping center dedication, is president. Under him is an Administrative Council. It has seven faculty members and three students. They implement board policy and make some of their own, particularly in academic matters.

Other campus activities are run the the Common Council, six students and three faculty members elected by proportional representation. They appoint a student to serve full-time as a city manager would in the outside world.

Currently the “community manager” is Clare M. Kramarsick, 21, a West Hartford, Conn. co-ed majoring in math. Her budget for directing campus services—police, fire inspection and the like—is $35,000. She is paid $55 a week for her work.


THERE ARE NO inter-collegiate athletic contests. A big intra-mural sports program serves instead.

There are no fraternities. Students have a number of organizations including a not very active left-wing group, a branch of the Progressive Party.

All this, even the left-wing group, is perfectly permissible within what Dr. McGregor calls “the ground rules of democracy.”

As you might expect, the charge of Communism has come up often. Dr. McGregor likes nothing better than a chance to deny it hotly.


WITH SUCH a background and amidst such a system, it is easy to see how the school got into the shopping center business.

The land for it came from an alumnus who failed to graduate, Hugh T. Birch. He flunked out his last term lacking a geometry credit. At his death in 1943 he had made millions out of the land here and in and around Chicago.

Among his holdings was 228 acres of swamp off Fort Lauderdale’s Sunrise blvd. at N. E. Twenty-fourth av. He left it to the college and his retirement home on high ground nearby to the state of Florida.

The college surveyed, went to a business consultant and was advised to fill in the land for development. It did so by a bootstrap method. Each new fill was paid for by money from the sale of the last one. The 188 acres thus disposed of raised $1,750.,000.

The consultant said the final acres on the boulevard provided a good business site. It was the conservative Corry who proposed, after an investigation, that a shopping center be built. The final decision was made in May. Construction began a month later.


THERE ARE three buildings with space for 58 stores, the largest a supermarket containing 15,000 square feet. Expansion plans call for a four-story department store on the site and extension of the main building for as many small shops as are needed.

The project cost $2,500,000.

The dedication ceremonies will continue for three days and mong those on hand besides college and Fort Lauderdale officials will be Magda Gabor of the famous sister combination.

The feeling here is that if he were still around today, Horace Mann would approve of the whole thing right down to and including the appearance of Miss Gabor.

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The Story of Glen Helen — Chapter V (Final)

Chapter I     Chapter II     Chapter III     Chapter IVa     Chapter IVb

Again America takes note of Antioch as a pioneer institution. The ideal of Horace Mann is yet its guide. So far was he ahead of his time that when in 1921, sixty-eight years after his great inaugural address, his ideal was presented anew as a practical working program, it still appealed to the educational world as a unique, radical, and daring innovation.

In the new Antioch there has been no ritualistic copying of early forms, as blind imitation of the methods of the great educator. The genius of Horace Mann was not in his methods, but in the clearness of his vision and the vigor of his hope and faith. He saw higher education, not as just a device for training the mental faculties or for preparing men and women for vocations. To him the higher education could mean nothing less than the realization of the whole possibilities of men and women, in body, mind and character, in cultural appreciation, in professional mastery, and in the refinement and tempering of character. A craving for beauty, completeness and proportion of the whole life, was his controlling impulse. If Horace Mann were living today he would not be repeating his program of the past. A pioneer always, he would be searching the natures of men and women to discover their latent powers and their springs of action, and he would be exploring every phase of modern life, to learn how best to help his students to complete adjustment and mastery.

Such an attitude must lead to innovation and exploration today as surely as in 1853. Forgotten or neglected elements will be brought into the curriculum, and undue emphasis will be softened. If prevailing habits of mind are leaving some great resource of human life neglected, then Antioch must awaken interest and restore balance of values.

America is coming to live in cities. Automobiles dash along the roadds, but the intimate beauties of nature generally are unobserved. Yet,

The groves were God’s first temples,”

and the quiet and beauty of nature still are potent to give poise and fineness and quiet strength. He who has not learned to walk alone by still waters or to tread in solitude the forest paths has missed a great source of spiritual strength. For young people to have this opportunity during the precious college years should add a finer quality to their lives. To correct a short-coming of the modern temper, to relieve this blindness of urban eyes, to create appetite for nature where none exists, is a necessary factor of modern education.

Thus Glen Helen is not an accidental or alien addition to the Antioch setting. One of the chief reasons why the old Antioch was chosen as the site for the new adventure was the fact that it was surrounded by this natural beauty. Yet this region of rare excellence was in alien hands. Noble forest trees were being cut for logs, and in some spots beautiful wooded ravines had been used for dumping grounds. It was with mixed hope and longing and heartache that the new president watched the natural beauty slipping away. To prevent this loss great effort was made, and little by little a part was acquired. Mrs. Jessie Armstrong and Mr. and Mrs. Orlo G. Price each had presented a tract to the college, and Mr. George Little purchased and held a tract until the college could buy it, but the greater area was still out of reach.

Then came Hugh Birch with his boyhood memories of the Glen, and his long cherished hope that this great beauty might be preserved. And now it is at last complete and safe. Mrs. Armstrong and Mr. and Mrs. Price gladly relinquished their tracts to make them part of this complete realization. During the months that the lands which now comprise Glen Helen were being assembled and purchased, Hugh T. Birch and Arthur E. Morgan tramped over the hills and along the streams, exploring every nook and delighting in each new spring discovered and each exceptionally fine tree they came upon. During these days of exploring together they discovered mutual interests and a similarity of tastes which made both of them regret that their friendship had not begun long years before.

Rugged wooded cliffs, forested promontories overlooking the distant hills, deep nooks where wild flowers never have been disturbed by grazing cattle, tumbling brooks and quiet river banks overhung with century-old sycamores, miles of quiet woodland paths over the hilltops or by the river’s brim, hidden grassy banks by generous springs, all these enter into that great inheritance which is now Glen Helen.

Not every student who comes to Antioch will be sensitive to these treasures. Of many in the future as in the past it may be said,

“A primrose by the river’s brim
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more.”

Yet in these woods Edward Orton made those acquaintances with nature which were the basis of his career. Here Bergen, the botanist, found his life work, and many another has found strength and inspiration. Here Irene Hardy roamed, and perhaps found inspiration for her lines, “I follow the trail.”

I follow the trail
     To find truth ere I rest
I follow the trail.
     Men say I shall fail
In this measurelesss quest
     To find truth ere I rest
What though I should fail
     I follow the trail.

May we not hope that in these quiet vales and by these crags some future Shelley may be stirred by the morning song of the tanager, some unborn Wordsworth may have fresh intimations of nobility in man, and some other Hugh Birch may find enduring friendship in nature and lasting inspiration to fine living. Others may sing as Sidney Lanier did, of the awakening love of nature,

“So, when man’s arms had circled all man’s race
The liberal compass of his warm embrace
Stretched bigger yet in the dark bounds of space;
With hands a-groupe he felt smooth Nature’s grace;
Drew her to breast and kissed her sweetheart face:
Yea man found neighbors in great hills and trees
And streams and clouds and suns and birds and bees,
And throbbed with neighbor-loves in loving these.”

If these things come to be, then will Antioch be fulfilling its aim olf arousing the latent fineness that is in men, and the spirit of both father and daughter will live again in beautiful Glen Helen.

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A Woman of Yellow Springs Past for History

[On this last day of Women’s History Month we feature a woman who was largely responsible for one of Yellow Springs most valuable resources for local historical research.]

[September 1953]

She Retrieves the Past

by NORMAN BIXLER, Director, Antioch News Bureau

The first time that Bessie L. Totten, ’00, walked across the Antioch College campus as a member of the college family, she was a slip of a girl. At sixteen she came to the college preparatory school to learn her Latin and algebra.

On June 20 she walked across the campus again, as she has so often for more than half a century. But this time she mounted the Commencement stage to receive from Antioch President Douglas McGregor the brilliant hood of Doctor of Human Letters, its stark black and snowy white lined with the blue and gold of the College she has served so long and well.

Miss Totten has been on the faculty longer than any other member. She retired as Associate Librarian in 1941, but she continues as Curator of Antiochiana, the historical collection of the College, whose story she probably knows as well as she does her own.

In the citation for her honorary degree, Miss Totten was praised for “her efforts, her foresight, and her judgment in salvaging, collecting, and organizing the materials which would otherwise would have been irretrievably lost,” but are now the Antiochiana collection.

“Miss Totten’s long period of service and the efficiency and imagination with which she has performed her duties do not constitute the sum total of her contribution to the College. . . .

“Bessie Totten is a link with out past, not just in her person, but through her expression of the spirit of idealism and service with which Horace Mann inspired Antioch four decades before she came to study here.”

The association of Miss Totten’s family with the College extends almost unbroken through the College’s entire hundred years, and even before. Her grandfather, the Rev. D. F. Ladley, was on the subcommittee of the Christian Church which chose Yellow Springs as the site of the College. He signed the articles of incorporation on May 14, 1852.

Miss Totten herself was born in Springfield, the daughter of Alice Ladley Totten and Dr. William Emerson Totten. Her father was a physician in that city; but he died when she was a young girl, and she and her mother returned then to Yellow Springs.

Dr. D. A. Long, then president of Antioch came to Miss Totten’s mother in 1892, when the College received a sum of money called the Joy Fund. Some of it, he told Mrs. Totten, was to be put into scholarship money, and he thought the granddaughter of the Rev. Ladley was one of those to whom a scholarship should be offered. So Miss Totten came to the preparatory school at Antioch.

When she completed that work, she entered the College itself, from which she was graduated in 1900, majoring in English and languages.

Mis Totten was asked recently when her interest in Antiochiana began.

“I remember when I first went to work at the library,” she said, “The Librarian showed me a shelf of books she had collected about Antioch and asked me to take particular care of them. I guess that’s when my interest started.”

Miss Totten described what to her were the two most dramatic high spots in the College’s acquisition of historical material about itself. She told of the time Dr. William A. Dawson, later Acting President, got curious about what was stored in the College’s dusty basement.

Today that “dusty basement” is busy, clean offices, but in the early 1900’s no one went down there from one week to the next.

Rummaging around through boxes and cobwebs, Dr. Dawson found a box of Horace Mann’s letters, Trustees’ reports, and historical documents.

Perhaps ten years later, Arthur E. Morgan, then President of the Collewge, visited a second-hand bookstore in Washington. He found a box of manuscripts and papers in a corner and idly leafed through them. To his amazement many of them were signed by Horace Mann. A relative of Mann’s had sold his home in Washington, and the buyer in turn had sold the papers for a song. Morgan hastily bought the box and brought them back to the Antiochiana collection.

But from Robert Straker, ’25, now with Longmans, Green and Co., have come the most extensive Antiochiana gifts, Miss Totten said. Straker is a national authority on Mann..

For many years all the historical treasures which are Miss Totten’s concern have been crowded into a small space in the library which the College has outgrown. When the new library, gift of Charles F. Kettering, is built, there will be proper room for the Antiochiana collection. Miss Totten is already full of plans for that day.


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Know Your Town — Part 4: Education

The timing is certainly appropriate to share the next section of the Know Your town booklet published by the League of Women Voters, what with the future of Yellow Springs schools the topic of lively discussion.

From text of this chapter it appears that the booklet was written just after the current Yellow Springs High School had been built.

The Yellow Springs Historical Society will be presenting a program on the history of the schools of Yellow Springs from the very early township schools on Sunday, April 22. so keep an eye out for details shortly.


Yellow Springs has been an Exempted Village School District since 1954. The local Board of Education is ultimately responsible for the administration of the schools. It consists of 5 members elected for a 4-year term, 3 at one election and 2 at another, every two years. They meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 8:00 P.M. at Mills House, behind Mills Lawn Elementary School. The Board encourages visits, and these meetings are open to the public.

The board is established in order to transact the business of the school. It hires the superintendent and teachers and may make the rules and regulations governing their employment, subject to the state code. The Board also establishes policies and curriculum in the school district.

Taxes up to 4.10 per $1000 of real property may be used for current operating expenses without a special vote by the taxpayers. When money is needed beyond that amount, the Board is authorized to increase taxes by a levy which must be for a specified purpose and for a limited period of time. Special levies must be passed by 50% of the people. In 1954, the majority of the total taxes was spent for schools. In 1963 of the total tax rate of 28.5 mills, 20.7 mills are for school operating expenses and 7.8 mills for bonds and interest.

For long-term improvements a bond issue must be passed by 50% of the voters in the general elections. According to law this can be no more than 9% of the total tax duplicate. The most recent bond issue of $665,000, in November of 1962, was for the building of the Yellow Springs High School.

The Community Nursery School was started in 1945 by a small group of parents who pooled toys and equipment in a private home. It now meets at the Vernay Foundation Building—a modern, colorful and spacious structure, designed to fit the special needs of a nursery school as well as the general needs of a community meeting house. The Community Nursery School is supported by funds from private donations and tuition fees. Children from all groups between the ages of 3 and 5 are welcomed. The school has five teachers for an enrollment of 34 children.

The Vale Friends School has a program from kindergarten through third grade at a school two miles south of the village. Families may affiliate with the school and parents assist in special programs. In 1962 the enrollment was eight with two teachers.

The Mills Lawn Elementary School, containing grades kindergaren through the fifth, is located in the center of town on a wooded plot of land which was given to the Board of Education by Antioch College in 1949. The L-shaped, one-story brick building was opened in 1953 and an addition added in 1956. Some attractive features are a kindergarten with a separate outdoor play area, and a large versatile room which serves as a cafeteria, play space, classroom, and auditorium. The enrollment in each room has averaged about thirty pupils per teacher. The elementary school has 18 teachers plus an art teacher and two music teachers who spend part of each day there.

The Antioch School is an experimental demonstration school operated by Antioch College. Located in open fields near the Antioch campus, it enrolls about 90 children from ages 4 through 11. Parents considering the school weigh its high degree of individualization in working with the child’s total growth, progressive development of self-direction and self-reliance and their own desire to support educational searching. Supported by a subsidy from Antioch College and individual tuitions, application for enrollment is open to any school child in Yellow Springs.

The Bryan School, named in honor of John Bryan, who donated the site, was built in 1929 and a wing was added in 1939. This building contains grades 6 through 8 and the 1963-64 enrollment is slightly over 300 pupils. Facilities for industrial arts, home economics and a library are available.

The Yellow Springs High School, completed in 1963, houses grades 9 through 12. It contains 15 classrooms, gymnasium, cafeteria, and library. Specialized areas such as science laboratories, home economics, industrial arts, music and commercial rooms are included in the building. It has a capacity of approximately 450 pupils and the 1963-64 enrollment is 300. The High School maintains a complete comprehensive high school program which includes forty-seven courses. The program meets or exceeds the standards set by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. Local high school students have consistently placed high in the State and District Scholarship Tests.

The Happy Times School for Retarded Children (west of Xenia) is administered by the Greene County Child Welfare Board. The program is financed by state funds, private sources and tuition from public schools. There are five teachers on the staff, each with an assistant. The five classes include students ranging in age from 6 to 21.


The Yellow Springs Public Library, at the corner of Walnut and Short Streets, is part of the Greene County Library System. The local staff consists of one regular librarian, an assistant, and two high school aids. Support for the County System is derived from the Intangibles Tax and a Real Estate Tax Levy. In 1961, the total county collection of books numbered 120,391, of which 12,060 were in the local library. Circulation in Yellow Springs totaled 44,306. Antioch College makes its library facilities available to villagers.

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More Women of Yellow Springs Past

Two clippings from the Xenia Gazette:

September 17, 1968

Mrs. Clara L. Brooks

YELLOW SPRINGS — Services will be conducted Thursday at 1 p..m. at the Central Chapel AME Church for Mrs. Clara L. Brooks, 83, of 139 W. Center College St., who died Monday at 9:45 a.m. In the Gibson Nursing Home, Xenia.

She was born Jan. 12, 1885, in Yellow Springs, the daughter of James and Eva Adams Logan.

For many years she was employed by the late U.S. Senator Simeon D. Fess of Yellow Springs and later worked at Antioch College. She was a member of the Central Chapel AME Church and the Jolly Stitchers Sewing Club.

Survivors include two sisters, Mrs. Anna Shoecraft and Mrs. Saretta Peters, and a brother, Lawrence Logan, all of Yellow Springs; two grandchildren, Cecil Logan of Yellow Springs and Willa Jean Blackman of Springfield; four great-grandchildren and two nieces.

The Rev. Richard Wheatley will officiate at services. Burial will be in Glen Forest Cemetery. Friends may call at Jackson, Lytle and Coffman Funeral Home 2-4,. 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, and at the church for one hour prior to services.

February 15, 1971

 Anna Struewing Sweetheart of YS Senior Citizens Unit

YELLOW SPRINGS — The woman who for 14 years has been a guiding light in the Senior Citizens Center here, and since the early 1960s shouldered the responsibilies of president that others called “too much,” was “paid” for her efforts Saturday.

Mrs. Anna Struewing received an affect ionate public tribute as about 80 fellow villagers marked “Ann Struewing Day” by naming her “Sweetheart of the Center” in a Valentine’s Eve party at the center.

Token payment for Mrs. Struewing’s years of service, key factor in making the center considered one of the outstanding Senior Citizens organizations in the nation, was made in the form of a money tree.

IN ADDITION, tributes were given by James Mitchell, president of the group’s board of directors, and by Mrs. Elinor Preis, reading a tribute written by Miss Catherine Dillon, who is recovering from surgery and was unable to attend. Mayor James Lawson proclaimed the day in Mrs. Struewing’s honor.

Mrs. Struewing has been acting director of the center for the last three months, during the recuperation of the director, the Rev. Wesley S. Matthews, from a heart attack. This is in addition to the eight-hour-a-day service to the center in the years since the death of her husband, Louis.

Mrs. Struewing participated in a senior citizen survey in 1957 and was on the advisory board in 1958-59, when the Senior Citizens was housed in the Yellow Springs Opera House, since condemned and torn down.

SHE HAS BEEN with the Senior Citizens ever since, organizing classes, working on many projects, and as president the last eight or nine years as well as serving on the board of directors.

The Rev. Mr. Matthews calls her service ‘outstanding,” and says she has “definitely been an asset to the center and the community.” He credited her with bringing people of different races and religions together in harmony in the organization.

Mrs. Stuewing herself says, ‘I just want to see the program go.”

A resident of the area since 1918, and a village resident since 1957, she credits the Seniro Citizens with giving her a great deal of satisfaction.

“I have met so many new friends here which I wouldn’t have otherwise,” she points out. Although she lives alone, she is not ‘by myself,” she says. She adds that she always likes to have something in hand to work on, that she likes to make afghans and quilts.

Workers at the center have just finished their yearly quilt project, which they have had for more than a decade. Mrs. Struewing helped with that as she did with a recently completed project for the Fels Research Institute making clothes, mattresses and quilts for dolls.

“THEY ALL treat me here like a mother,” she says happily. “I feel very much honored.”

In addition to her daily stint at the center, Mrs. Struewing belongs to the Catholic Ladies of Columbia and takes an interest in the affairs of St. Paul parish here. Part of her large family lives in the area.

She has seven children living of her framily of nine, and they have given her 37 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren, the newest born last week.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s Part 7

One can notice in this group the increasing popularity of cute characters as design motifs.

Of particular note is B-203, featuring “Whisper the Winged Unicorn,” a character developed by the Antioch Publishing Creative Department and used to illustrate children’s books, bookmarks, and other product lines. There was also a stuffed toy version, but it was not intended for sale, but as a promotional add-on at trade shows.

“Kirby Koala” on B-205 was a character licensed from Gibson Greetings.

Antioch bookplate B-199


Antioch bookplate B-200


Antioch bookplate B-201


Antioch bookplate B-202

Antioch bookplate B-203


Antioch bookplate B-204


Antioch bookplate B-205



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