Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois

Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy
Real Data - Always Free & Always Updating!
Genealogy - Preserving the Past - Inspiring the Future!

Return to Home Page

History of Jerseyville - 1822 to 1901
Early Schools and Teachers

The first school taught in Jerseyville was by Irvin Little, in the Old Red House, in the winter of 1834-5. He soon exchanged the hazel for the hoe as the more profitable.

The second teacher was the venerable John Adams of Jacksonville, Ill., a man, it is said, who has taught more boys than any man in the United States, having been for many years a teacher in many of the best Academies in New England. He taught here in 1836. He taught the first school in the old school house which was built in 1836, on land donated for school purposes by A. H. Burrett. The house measured 20x24 feet, and stood on land now in Capt. John Smith's yard, on Spruce and Jefferson Streets.

The third teacher in Jerseyville was Prof. Penuel Corbett, who came to Jeseyville with his family in 1838, and began at once teaching in the old school house formerly occupied by Mr. Adams. Mr. Corbett taught for many years in Jerseyville, and will be long and favorably remembered by many of our older citizens.

George I. Foster began teaching in the winter of 1849, and taught for about 15 years, both private and public schools.

Willard Guernsey taught for several years mostly, or entirely, in the 40's.

George Grego also taught for some years, mostly in the 40's.

James Newman taught in what was known as the Guernsey school house, which is now occupied as a residence, standing on Washington St. between Pine and Mulberry Streets. He taught mostly in the 50's.

Sprague White also taught for a short time somewhere about 1855-6.

Penuel Corbett School
A graduate of Harvard University in 1817, Mr. Corbett came to Jerseyville with his family in 1838, and began teaching school in the first school built in Jerseyville, whiich was in 1836. The old school house stood in the lot now owned and occupied by Capt. John Smith, on Spruce and Jefferson Streets. After teaching here for a number of years, he went South where he taught for a number of years; returning, he resumed teaching in the new brick school house erected in 1853. Mr. Corbett died May 1, 1878, in his 90th year. He resided in Jerseyville 40 years, devoting most of his years teaching. He will never be forgotten by the citizens who were his pupils. "He rests from his labors, but his works do follow him."

Miss Virginia Corbett's School
A graduate of Monticello in 1847. Immediately after graduation, she taught in the Seminary for two years. Returning to Jerseyville, she opened a select school for young ladies in the Seminary building erected by Miss Farley, especially for Miss Corbett's school. Here Miss Corbett taught for seven and one-half years, closing in the spring of 1856. Miss Virginia Corbett afterwards married Mr. Isaac Harbert, who died in Jerseyville, Ill., in September, 1872. Mrs. Harbert still remains with us, living on West Pearl Street.

Mrs. Susan Henderson Cutting's School
In the year 1857, Mrs. Cutting founded a school known as the "Jerseyville Young Ladies' Seminary," which she conducted as a private enterprise until 1869, about twelve years, employing in her corps of teachers the best talent she could obtain in the East and West. Instruction was given in common and higher English branches, with Latin and French, painting, drawing, vocal and instrumental music. Mrs. Cutting labored and sacrificed much through her school, to bless and refine every home represented in her school.

In her catalogue published in 1861-2, I find the following Board of Instruction:
Mrs. L. M. Cutting, Principal; Miss Jennie V. A. Vosburch, teacher of French and Latin; Miss Harriett M. Henderson, principal of primary depr't; Miss A. Maria Blackburn, teacher of mustic on piano; Miss Ella V. McGannon, teacher of vocal music and piano.

Students in advanced department:
Cornelia F. Bowman, Kate Beatty, Emma J. Blackburn, Josephine Bramlet, Mary J. Brown, Georgiana Bonnell, Mollie E. Blackburn, Mary A. Barr, Sarah M. Chirstopher, Sarah Cory, Jennie M. Carr, Mollie N. Cross, Addie S. Corbett, Mollie R. Conklin, Mary E. Dunsdon, Mary C. Dobelbower, Ella Davis, Mary A. English, Jennie M. French, Mary E. L. Herman, Mary Hurd, Fannie Hesser, Hattie C. Henderson, Annie E. Howell, Kate McKinney, M. Jennie Kirby, Carry Lerue, Lenora A. Landon, Mary Landon, Fannie M. McGill, Anna May McGannon, Hattie Nevius, Mollie Nevius, Anna Maria Pennington, Fannie M. Paris, Anna M. Pittman, Hattie A. Paris, Emily J. Peairs, Josephine Price, Anna Rue, Henrietta Remer, Martha M. Snell, Clara J. Snell, Lucy J. Snell, Eunice M. Seward, Hanna M. Seward, Henrietta Seward, Sarah J. Smith, Martha Stelle, Josephine Smith, Mollie B. Stryker, Emma Terry, Julia Tichnor, Lizzei Van Pelt, Abbie Voorhees, S. Allice Wyche, Hattie S. Warren, Nellie J. Wyckoff, Anna M. Williams, Charlotte A. Williams, Mary Jane Wharton, Lizzie A. Wyckoff.M

Government: This is parental. The Principal endeabors to make the Golden Rule her guide in the general supervision, and control of all. A conscientous regard for the right is inculcated in the minds of the pupils, each reporting daily his own violations, if any, of the rules.

Mrs. Cutting's death was a sorrow to all who knew her, and her funeral services were held at the Presbyterian Church, June 6, 1890, Rev. I. C. Tyson officiating. Besides the family and relatives who were seated nearest the casket, just behind them sat 46 of her former students, now almost all wives of prominent men of Jerseyville. So passed from our midst a good and useful woman.

Source: [History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901, by Rev. Marshall M. Cooper, Jerseyville Republican Print. 1901]