Schools of Toulon

Contributed by Karen Seeman

Schools of Toulon.—The school history of the township embraces almost the entire history of this district up to 1861. In 1813 a common school was presided over by Miss Elizabeth Buswell, while a select school was taught by Miss Susan, daughter of Elder Gill, both held in the old court house. Miss Booth also taught in a house west of Oliver Whitaker's late residence then belonging to Royal Arnold, while the pioneer lawyer, W. W. Drummond, conducted a school in his own house. The first school-house was the "Old Brick," erected by order of the commissioners, and the first teacher, T. J. Henderson. In 1849 Miss Booth conducted the summer school in the building, while Miss Bayce presided over a private school in the old Masonic Hall, near the Methodist church.

In the former chapter reference is made to the seminary. In March, 1850, the commissioners passed the following resolution: "This day came Samuel G. Wright, Samuel Beatty and Oliver Whitaker, a committee appointed in December, 1849, in relation to the building of a female seminary, and presented their report, together with a plan of said seminary, which report was accepted. Whereupon it is ordered that the committee proceed to receive subscriptions toward building said seminary. And it is further considered, that whereas the funds now on hand, arising from sale of lots in Toulon ($630) are insufficient to build a female seminary without the aid of individual subscriptions, and whereas there is an unwillingness on the part of the people to subscribe toward the erection of said seminary, without it can be used for the education of males as well as females, it is ordered that said committee proceed to build, said seminary according to the plan presented by them, for the accommodation of both males and females."' This building was completed, and N. F. Atkins and Mrs. Atkins taught there, with the permission of the commissioners.

In December, 1850, District school No. 1, at Toulon was taught by Charles Myers, who received 830 per month for instructing seventy-eight pupils. Miss E. J. Creighton was assistant. At this time the senior boys and girls attended the seminary. During the previous summer, Oliver White and Miss Hubbard were the teachers. Union District school was presided over in February, 1856, by J. E. Hickok, who received $20 per month and board. There were fifty-six pupils enrolled, but only eighteen present. There was no chair to be seen here at this time. In 1857 a writing school was conducted at Toulon by H. L. Bailey. On May, 20th, that year, specimens of his pupils' work were submitted to a committee comprising Thomas Hall, Charles Myers and Nelson F. Atkins, who indorsed his method of instruction and testified to marked improvement in the writing of the pupils, particularly that of Isabella Pierce.

In the fall of 1858 the school house on Soap Hill and that west of the fair grounds, were completed. Wm. Campbell became principal of Toulon seminary in September, 1858. In March, 1859, Isaac O. Reed and Oliver Whitaker, school directors, announced that Mr. Carpenter's school, or District No. 1, would embrace all Toulon, south of Main and west of Olive, and also the senior male pupils of the whole town. It was also announced that Mrs. Burge would commence school in the seminary, March 16th, taking in all between Main and Thomas streets, except the senior male pupils. Miss Mary Perry opened a select school here in June, 1860. Prior to that she was teacher of what was known as the " Fair-ground " school.

In October, 1861 Oliver Whitaker and Branson Lowman resigned as school directors, when Davis Lowman and Warham Mordoff were elected. They, with J. C. Reed, formed the board. In March 1862, Joshua Thorp proposed to teach the high school for $30 per month, on condition that he be authorized to employ a female assistant. Ellen King was engaged as teacher in the brick schoolhouse and Mary Whitaker in the Fair-ground school. Mr. Thorp presided over the seminary from October, 1861 to February 1862, with Mary Perry assistant. Olive Decker taught at Soap Hill, Elizabeth Marvin and Mary Beatty assistants in the brick school. During the war it appears there were no records kept beyond the ordinary cash book. The schools, however, were regularly carried on, several teachers' names appearing. In April 1886, Patrick Nowlan was appointed clerk of board, vice Oliver White, resigned, and subsequently elected for three years. S. M. Dewey took Amos P. Gill's place, and on September 1866, David Tinlin was chosen, vice S. M. Dewey, deceased. B. G. Hall was principal of the seminary from April 1866 ; Mrs. P. O. Hall in the grammar department, Miss S. A. Beatty in brick school, Miss C. Robinson in Fairground school, Miss E. S. Tilden at Soap Hill. In August 1867, forty-seven votes were recorded for and fifteen against the purchase of the seminary from the county. Calvin Eastman was elected a director in August, 1868, John Berfield in April, 1869, Benjamin Turner in 1870. In September, 1870, Robert Blackwell, principal, with Charles Myers, Anna G. Murphy, Sarah Berfield, Fanny Young, Ruth Thomas presided in the schools of Toulon. Stephen Lloyd, director in 1871, and James M. Brown in 1872. In April of this year it was resolved to erect a new school-building, and on August 10 an election was held to consider the question of building a $15,000 house. In July Frank Matthews was chosen principal. The question of building was decided by sixty-five votes for, nine contra. The school census of the district taken in 1872 showed the population to be 1,040. In February 1875, the new school-building was completed and opened. Frank Matthews, Manning Hall, Sarah Berfield, Pauline Shallenberger and Kate Keffer were the teachers.

In 1878 Benjamin Turner was a director and clerk. In 1879, David J. Walker was elected director and clerk vice Benjamin Turner; in 1880, Caleb M. S. Lyon ; in 1881, Theodore Bacmeister; in 1882, Allen P. Miller; in 1883, Gus. Hulsizer was chosen director, Allen P. Miller being clerk in 1883, 1881 and 1885. In 1885 Gus. Hulsizer was chosen clerk. Warren Williams was elected director in 1884; Jeremiah Lyon, and James Nowlan, in 1885, and James Nowlan director and clerk, m 1886. The records point out the name of Samuel Burge as treasurer from 1880 to the present time. In July, 1881, Frank S. Rosseter was engaged as principal of the schools at $1,000 per year of eight or nine months, with Miss Amy Reed, assistant. R. J. Dickenson, Sarah Berfield, Mary Christy and Marian Starrett were also employed — the first named in the grammar school. In February, 1883, Mr. Rosseter resigned, and in March Edgar P. Hawes took charge, but moved to Arkansas shortly after. In May, 1883, Edmund C. Barto was appointed principal at $900 per annum. Prof. E. C. Barto resigned May 8, 1884, when Miss Amy Reed was appointed to fill his term. At this time Amy Reed, Alice Cowles, Mary Christy, Mirriam Starrett, Adna T. Smith, with Mr. Barto, formed the teaching staff. In 1884 Hamilton Rennick and Cora Keffer were added to the staff. The enrollment was 220. At this time, also, the academical board, with John F. Rhodes, Orlando Brace, Samuel Burge, H. Miner and T. Bacmeister operated with the district board.

In May, 1884, J. W. Stephens was engaged as principal at $1,000 per annum; Miss M. Y. Neale, teacher in "New Grade," Mrs. Helen Middlekauf assisted in High School, and Miss M. A. Lyon, wee Miss Starrett, resigned. In May, 1885, a petition of 50 citizens was presented, asking that J. W. Stephens be retained as principal. There is no further record relating to changes at this time, with the exception of Mr. Broomall's name appearing as principal in a record of meeting held August 6, 1S85, although his appointment dates from June 3, 1885. The names of Hattie Byatt and Dora Plighter appear as teachers under date October, 1885. H. W. Newland has served the district as school janitor almost from the date of the establishment of this office. In 1885 the directors were, Warren Williams, Jeremiah Lyon and James Nowlan. The corps of teachers was made up as follows: High School, J. H. Broomall, principal, Miss Amy Reed, assistant; second grammar department, J. H. Rennick; first grammar department, Miss Maidell Lyon; intermediate department, Miss Hattie Byatt; second primary department, Miss Dora Pliter, and first primary department, Miss Mary Christy.

The statistics of Toulon High School for year ending June, 1886, show 25 male and 42 female pupils, of whom 18 male and 20 female pupils were in their first year; 5 males and 10 females in their second year, and 2 males and 12 females in their third year of studies. The highest monthly salary paid was $112.50. The classes formed in September, 1886, are, Rhetoric, 12 scholars; Grammar, 16; Arithmetic, 38; Geography, 16; Physical Geography, 16; U. S. History, 18; Algebra, 5; Natural Philosophy, 17 ; Botany, 3 ; First Lesson in Latin, 2; Caesar, 3; sandwiched with Reading, Writing and Spelling. Geometry, of which there 6 scholars; Physiology, 8 ; Bookkeeping, 8 ; History and Zoology, will be taken up and finished during the year.

The Toulon Academy was opened October 12, 1883, with J. W. Stephens, of Eldora, Ia., principal, Rev. D. G. Stouffer, drawing master, Miss May Cady, music, and Gus Hulsizer, penmanship. This school was designed to offer a course of study, which was not provided for in the curriculum of the High School at that time. Among the original supporters of this academy were, J. F. Rhodes, Sarah A. Chamberlain, J. A. Henderson, B. F. Thompson, B. C. Follett, Harrison Miner, Andrew Oliver, Callison & Newton, C. M. Swank, R. H. McKeighan, T. Bacmeister, Wells White, A. P. Miller, W. T. Hall, Chas. P. Dewey, D. S. Hewitt, G. W. Dewey, sr., S. J. Connelly, W. W. Wright, D. J. Davis. Gus Hulsizer, S. K. Conover, Miles A. Puller, R. J. Dickenson, Starrett Bros., John H. Ogle, S. M. Adams, Samuel Burge, Orlando Brace, J. M. Brown, Robert Armstrong, Geo. Armstrong, James H. Miller, Abel Armstrong and J. H. Quinn. The academy meets the expectations of its originators, and continues to afford facilities for acquiring a good knowledge of the arts and sciences,—a practical, commercial or literary education. The following is the academical board of trustees elected in August, 1886: Dr. Bacmeister, Samuel Burge, J. F. Rhodes, Robert Armstrong and E. B. Starrett.