Since it’s the season of the start of school it’s an opportune time to share a slim volume about the history of one of the village’s early schools. The building exists today as a private residence.
This sketch was written by Ruth Welch and read as a paper for the Thanksgiving Exercises, the fall of 1910. A number of visitors present that day thought that it ought to be published. It was voted upon at the next business meeting of the “Marigold Society” and so this booklet came to be.
The history is authentic for John Graham, the donor of the school land, was Ruth’s great-great-grandfather . Her great-grandfather was Isaac Baker. Her grandmother, Hester Baker Hutchinson, and her mother, Nettie Hutchinson Welch, attended this school. Ruth’s father, L. D. Welch, has been a member of the Board of Education for a number of years. The family has the school records back to 1856, as Isaac Baker was also a member of the School Board.
Ruth became a Boxwell Patterson
graduate a member of a class of ten from Miami Township, the spring
of 1911. Thus far she has made a splendid school record. She
acknowledges the great help of her mother in preparing this paper.
Mrs. W. C. Lacey
Supt. Of Miami Twp. Schools, 1910-1911
Not many district schools can hold a place in history as does the little red brick school-house situated in District No. 5, Miami Township, Greene Co., Ohio.
About the year 1815 or 1816 John Graham
with his family moved from Kentucky to Ohio. When first coming to
Ohio, they lived in what is now known as the “Gregg” farm on the
Clifton Pike. Later Mr. Graham bought four hundred acres of land in
the part of Miami Township where the “Hyde” School I located.
There being no school close by at that time, he gave and set apart a
plat of ground for school purposes.
It is hard to get the exact date of the year that the first school-house was built; but it was somewhere in the thirties, as Fergus Graham was the only child of the donor of the school land who was young enough to attend school from this family. It was at that time called the “Brown”School. Mr. James Brown owned the farm now occupied by Mr. J. B. Stevenson. Mr. Brown gave the first stove for the school-house. It was what they called a ten-plate stove, having a large oven to it: and the wood that it took to feed that stove was astonishing. There are perhaps five or six people still living who attended this school in the thirties.
Later when Mr. Thomas Goe, who had
married Margaret Graham, built the house now occupied by Mr. J. H.
Hyde, the school was known as the “Goes” School. Some time during
the fifties Mr. Robert Hyde came here from New York and bought the
farm of Mr. Goe, and from that time to the present, the School has
retained the name of “Hyde”>
The first building was a frame structure and it was situated a few rods west of the present building. The conveniences of the first building were very few, compared with the model equipments of our modern school rooms. There were no desks, tablets, or steel pens and many other things that we would find impossible to do without. In place of desks there were shelves that were fastened to the walls extending around three sides of the room; long benches hewn out of logs were used for seats; these were for the use of the older pupils; for the little ones, they used just the benches and these were made smaller.
The school was made of pupils who came from far and near to obtain their limited education; and yet from just such surroundings as these in early life have come our strongest and best men and women who have done more good for our country than tongue or pen can tell. A singing school was also an interesting feature of this school, a meeting being held one night of each week and one who was good in music was generally chosen leader. The lights for these evening gatherings were home-made candles set in blocks of wood. Water for the needs of the school was carried from the Goe home.
Preaching services were also held here, the people bringing their dinner as the meetings lasted all day. Reverends Hill, Newsome, and Gowdy were among those who conducted services. Camp-meetings were held in the grove during the summers. It was then heavily wooded all about with only paths instead of roads. The Shawnee Indians were neighbors to these people and their trail ran not a great distance away from the school, along the Little Miami River.
Mr. McHatten, General Isaac Sherwood,
and Miss Sally Grant were among the first teachers. At that time and
until the year 1870, the teachers were hired for only a quarter of
the year. Very seldom would on teacher be employed for a longer time.
The present building was erected during the fifties and the furnishings must present quite a contrast to those of the old building. Now we have blackboards on the three sides of the room (a good slate board in front), roomy single desks and comfortable seats, a globe, up-to-date maps and charts, free text-books and library books, and a stove that is a splendid heater, requiring little attention and practically as safe as far as setting the building on fire is concerned.
This school was not lacking in brave
soldiers, for, when the call came for volunteers at the beginning of
that long four years of strife, not less than seventeen gallant young
men offered their services to their country. Four of these soldiers,
Messrs. Baker, Musselman, Hume, and Horney gave their lives for this
In the year of 1861 a library society was organized and they had their society paper and conducted their meetings m much the same manner as at present. While their society paper had quite a gruesome name being called the “Casket”, it was nevertheless a very instructive and interesting paper. To them, however the name “Casket” meant a jewel box, and it is only our association of the date and what the name has come to mean since that we find it a bit incongruous. Some of the contributors to the first issue of the “Casket” are still living in the village of Yellow Springs. Two of the writers are now living miles away.
Following is he editorial taken from
the first issue of “Hyde’s” first “School News”:—
“The first number of our little paper ‘The Casket’ is now before you, fresh from the hands of our young editors. Its columns are closely filled with gems of thought, bright and warm as the pure young hearts of its youthful band of contributors.
“The object of our school sheet is not to instruct the public in religious or political affairs; we are all young and there are many questions in reference to these subjects, that we have not yet sufficiently considered to enable us to decide in respect to them. Neither can our paper be regarded as a news paper; it has a higher end in view. ‘The Editors’ have felt that there is a portion of the community called ‘The Little Folks’ or ‘New Begnners’ who have no opportunity of making their debut into the literary world and yet be strictly under the guidance of their teachers or parents. It is for the special benefit of school boys and school girls that we have decided to publish a school paper.
“As most of the readers of our little journal will be the parents and immediate friends of our contributors, we trust that youthful errors will be kindly excused. In spite of the most watchful care on the part of the teacher, there will no doubt be many errors plainly observed by you, such as imperfections of style, and want of judgement in selections of subjects, etc. Our motto is ‘Try, Try Again’: so our friends may hope that the imperfections of this number of our ‘Casket’ will be very much lessened in our next.
“We aim to make our paper the very best published in our vicinity, and with such a school band as ours we have no fears for our success. No gentle remindings of arrears unpaid will ever be found in the columns of the ‘Casket’. Our paper is free to all who will come and lend a listening ear, without money and without price.”
One article, dated March 2nd,
1861, gives an idea of how our free school interested newcomers to
this country. It is headed as an Extract from a Note-book of a
“It was when in the United States traveling through Greene County, in the south-western part of the state Ohio, I had passed south of Yellow Springs about two miles I should think, when I saw a sight which much interested me. Having heard much of the free schools of America and being quite a devotee of education myself, this system excited my liveliest interest and attention; as I travelled through the country , I found it dotted all over with little brick school-houses, and many times I would stop when passing one of them and watch the children at play. This day that I was speaking of was a beautiful day in March; it was pleasantly warm and the horizon was bedimmed with a delicious haze and I was enjoying the delightful weather and viewing the beautiful scenery as I jogged slowly along, thinking how much more the soil would produce subjected to English cultivation. After making about six turns in the road, I suddenly stumbled upon one of the little brick school-houses. It was noon as the Americans call it. All the boys were out playing ball; there was nothing peculiar about them as I know of excepting their dress, which struck me rather oddly, as they were mostly dressed in a kind of woven jacket which displayed their different tastes. One I noticed had a light blue, another a green, another a brown, one red, one which I noticed more particularly had on an indigo blue, which fitted very tightly. Calling up one of the little boys I said to him;—’My little fellow, what do you call that garment which the larger boys wear?’ ‘Why,’ he says, ‘they wear breeches.’ ‘No, no’ say I, ‘I mean that garment which covers their upper extremities.’ He stared at me in utter astonishment as if he did not know what to make of me. Say I to him again, ‘I mean that garment that they wear where other men wear coats.’ ‘Oh,’ say he, ‘why,—why,—that is a warmus.’ ‘A what?,’ says I. ‘It is a warmus,’ he replied; ‘I think they are mighty purty; I wish pap would git me a right yellow one with a red edge and then we would have all the colors of the rainbow in our school.’ I took out my note-book and set down Mr. ‘Warmus,’ for fear I would forget it. As I looked around more particularly I saw some of the larger boys chewing tobacco which made me feel sad and turned my thoughts in a different direction as I jogged on.——C.——“
Here is a pun taken from the same issue. “Why should our school be a good judge of fruit?: Because the applegate is always open.” Howard Applegate and his sisters attended school here.
Beginning with the year 1856, the following teachers have been selected to teach this school:—
Miss Ellen Ewing, Absom Pearson, E. Sowers, M. L. Brown, Miss Deming, Mary E. Hyde, Mrs. J. D. Milliken, Mary E. Condon, Miss Emily Currier, Mr. Eli Jay, Miss Etta Huntington, Miss Ciara Leonard, Miss M. Kieffer, Miss Hirst, Manuel Lawrence, Marion Lawrece, Miss Ella Kieffer, Warren H. Wilder, Miss Ella Davis, Miss Kate Leonard, J. P. Miller, Miss Gerturde Ward, Miss Dora Minton, Mrs. McNair, Miss Lockwood, Miss Mary Currie, Georgia Jackson, Miss Mary Mitchell, Mary J. Hand, Amos R. Wells, Electa Johnson, Della Miller, Cora Funderburg, Anna Speer, Miss Krepps, Nettie Hopping, Grace Welch, Sue M. Hagen, Thos. H. Berryman, Miss M. Weaver, Miss Hardy, Mr. W. C. Lacey, and Mrs. W. C. Lacey.
The school is now under the supervision of the Supt. Of the Miami Township Schools. All the schools have a regular course of study with music and drawing a part of the curriculum. There has been a number of Boxwell-Patterson graduates who have done and are doing good work in the Yellow Springs High School. Some have received a college education and others are now pursuing the course. Some of the pupils of the earlier days are now holding position of honor and trust. Hyde sees to it that the foundation work is well done. The present teacher is very careful to develop the pupils naturally along physical, intellectual and moral lines.
The literary organization of Hyde School to-day is called the “Marigold Society” and the paper is the “Hyde School News.” The “Yell” is as follows:—
“Hyde! Hyde! Hyde!
Hot, cold, wet, or dry,
Get to school or die!
Hurrah for Hyde School!!!
Do right! Do right! Do
When? Now! Who? Everybody!
When they boys play ball, they change
the third line of the yell to “Play ball or die.” Our base-ball
nine is hard to beat! Whatever we do, we do to the best of our
ability and try to remember and to obey our motto, “Do Right!”
Hurrah for Hyde School!