of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.

Volume XX Number 3 August 2003

Manchester College and the Manchester School System

For twenty years Manchester College provided classrooms and equipment and teachers for the North Ward school, one of the elementary schools of the town. In addition, for more than ten years it conducted on the campus a high school level academy which accepted anyone who had completed the first eight grades of public school. This academy course was certified by the Indiana State Board of Education in 1910 although it was operating several years before that. It was closed in 1922 although a preparatory department for older students who could not meet the requirements for regular high school continued after that.

Because college teachers were not permitted to teach both college and academy students, a separate academy faculty was needed. President Otho Winder convinced several former MC students who had not received their degrees to return to college and teach classes in the academy. They earned an allowance of from $25 to $75 per month and continued their studies in College. Most eventually earned a Bachelor's degree. Among them were Vernon Schwalm, Edward Kintner, L.W. Shultz and W.W. Peters.

The North Ward school was the practice teaching setting and was part of a Normal School or a training school for student teachers. In 1909 Manchester College was accredited for class C elementary school teacher certification. This was a three-year Normal course at the College level and was in effect until 1939. At that time a four-year program became a new requirement for an elementary license for teaching in elementary schools.

North Ward classrooms were in what is now the Communications Building on the College Campus and were taught by regular teachers. College Normal students would observe these classes and eventually practice teach with master teachers observation and suggestions. In 1929 Manchester College was approved to give a B.S. leading to a high school license.

Some children attended classes at the college for their entire elementary school education. So there was a great deal of concern when the College gave notice to the school system that they no longer could provide facilities on campus for the North Ward School. At the same time the population in the Northeast section of town was increasing because of the influence of the College. This led to the building of the Thomas Marshall School in 1929. Kenneth Burr as Principal of the North Ward school at the College became the Principal of the new school and some of the College practice teachers served in this new school.

Mail Messenger Saving the Pieces

Vance Free, mail messenger between the railway stations and the North Manchester postoffice, is coming to the conclusion that one of his main jobs is to gather the pieces. Much of the morning mail for North Manchester is thrown from the Erie west bound train at Bolivar. There is a chute by the side of the track to catch this mail, but a lot of the time some of the sacks miss the chute and go scattering over the right of way, or sometimes under the car wheels. Tuesday morning a sack of paper mail went under the wheels and yesterday morning a sack of first class mail. The order of the railroad company is that this train shall be slowed to from 20 to 25 miles an hour at Bolivar, but the claim is that it often goes through there at from 50 to 60 miles an hour. Complaints are being filed with the postoffice people about torn papers, but they can do nothing more than pass these complaints on to the fellows higher up.

From the News Journal, January 10, 1929

Dry Snoopers Were Forgetful

It seems that along with any other weakness that Prosecutor Joseph Murphy may possess he is a poor judge of snoopers. Hereafter he should put his snoopers through a memory drill before he employs them. Wednesday when Jacob Tryon appeared in court to answer a charge of selling liquor the two dry snoopers who had charged they had bought of him failed to identify him, and for a moment turned Mayor Wilson's court into a one ring circus with Murphy as the slap sticked clown.

These snoopers were George Clark and Harold Chaplain. Mayor Wilson asked Clark to point out and identify Tryon, who was seated near him in the court room, but instead Clark pointed to a man in the back part of the room who might have passed for the Ancient Mariner. Chaplain pointed to another man, and there was little to do but release Tryon. So far there appears to be no way of finding just how these men came to forget so soon what their liquor vendor looked like, but there is a saying that some of this bootleg whiskey is pretty fierce and it might even cause a lapse of memory.

From the News Journal, September 27, 1929

Garbage Collection Starts Next Week

Charles Collins has been employed to collect garbage in North Manchester during the summer and fall months and will make weekly collections commencing Tuesday of next week. Tuesday he will collect west of Walnut Street and on Thursday east of Walnut street. Mr. Collins asks that garbage be placed in containers near alleys. In case there are alleys he cannot drive through with his truck he will make other arrangements. Garbage should be free of glass, tin cans and as free of water as possible.

People generally will be glad that garbage is to be collected again this summer. Mr. Collins collected last year, but it was the first year it had been done, and many did not arrange for him to collect at their places. To make it profitable, he must have most of the garbage of the town, and people should assist by placing the receptacles where they will be convenient to collect and by keeping the garbage free of all objectionable matter.

News Journal, 1929

Wrecked Church Built in 1847

The tooth of time and the wrecker's bar turn the pride of yesterday into the junk heap of today. Workmen commenced tearing down the old Henny building on West Main street Friday. That building is known to most as a paint shop. A few older ones recall when it was a second hand store, and a few still older recall that it was a laundry, and a still smaller few recall when it stood on the south side of the street and was a church building of which the Lutheran people were justly proud. It is being torn away by Charles Henny, the present owner to give place to a new building that L. S. Renicker is to build, he having purchased the lot.

A crew of workmen under the direction of Paul Grist is dismantling the old building. It is distinctly of the old style of construction, having a heavy frame, with joists of logs hewed to a surface on only one side. This building was erected in 1847, and stood on the south side of the street until 1882 when it was moved away to give place to the present church. It was dedicated as a church in the summer of 1847 by Rev. H. A. Myers and Rev. Hugh Wells, both at that time in Indianapolis. Rev. J. B. Oliver was the pastor. It was 33 x 44 feet in size, and the pride of the denomination. When it was built the largest individual donation was $40 from William E. Willis, but as was said of those days, "faith was greater and lumber cheaper" than today.

News Journal, September 23, 1929

North Manchester Schools

A presentation for Funfest -2003

On the first day of December, 1850 a little girl trudged off to school, happy because she was six years old at last and could enroll in school in North Manchester. She went to school in a log school house built on the corner of Third and Walnut and school was held for three months beginning the first of December. Records have been found showing that school was held in this little log cabin beginning in 1938, first taught by Thomas Keller. Another school was in The Pocket, and may have been taught by Quakers.

The first so called public school was in a frame school house built on West Second Street by Maurice Place and his daughter Elizabeth who were the teachers of the school. It was financed by popular subscription. It was held for a six month period and also had a shorter summer session.

A child of this early period would have worn homespun or home woven dresses made by their mothers. In summer they wore calico and went barefoot. An exceptionally large school might have had 30 pupils. They used McGuffeys readers, Pineo grammars, Websters spelling book, Mitchell geography and Rays arithmetic. Much of the learning was by singing the information in unison, such as the state capitols or the multiplication tables. Noisy classrooms! During recess the water bucket might be passed with the dipper so each child could have a drink. Special privilege to pass the bucket only if you were very good.

Parents could visit school on Fridays to keep in touch with the learning. No report cards were given but each child was examined at the end of the term. On Fridays, children read their compositions, had spelling bees or recited poems they had learned.

In 1865 a two story school house was built on the site where our library now is and many people were very unhappy that it was too far out in the country, that the town would never grow out that far and that children might be attacked by animals in the woods. Indeed there were woods between Main Street and the school and no sidewalks. Both teachers and children had to walk in the sandy streets. But this school building burned down..

When the town discovered that Chester township would not build the kind of school they wanted to replace it they finally decided to incorporate as a town and then build it themselves. That is why Manchester (as it was called then) became an incorporated town in 1875. The new building was bigger -- in fact the janitor lived in one corner of the building. It was finished in 1875 and Henry Gunder was the first principal. The pride of the new schoolhouse were the walnut bannisters on the stairway. It required many patches on little trousers for the bannisters to have the polish that was so noted in later days. The first formal commencement as on June l, 1882..

This school building was condemned by the state in 1922 and Central high was building on the same site. This building, too, brought controversy. Some of the people were slow to approve the addition of a high school course, thinking it would educate the youngsters beyond their needs and there would be no living with them. Why not build three small school houses for the lower grades? But Central High was built in 1922.

Then there was Manchester College. Manchester College came to No. Manchester in 1889. The town fathers made a money gift to encourage that. Then in 1894 thru some bad financial dealings it went bankrupt and the town gathered money again to encourage a buyer. By 1910 it had established a reputation as a college training teachers for the local system and many others. In 1910 the College started an elementary school in its own classroom where its students would practice teaching. It was one of the elementary schools in the No. Manchester system and was called the North Ward school.

By the early 1920s the College needed these classrooms for College classes just when more and more people were coming to that area of the town as College students or teachers. So there was pressure on the School corporation to build a school in that part of town. So in 1929 Thomas Marshall School building was built and Burr who had been the principal at North Ward school at the College became the principal at Thomas Marshall School.

Manchester College has continued to have influence in the early years of the school system by supplying teachers for the local schools and helping local citizens to understand some of the advantages of a college education.

No New Cases of Small Pox

Signs are hopeful this morning that the small pox epidemic has been stopped and that there will be no more new cases. None have been reported either at North Manchester or Laketon during the past few days, and all who have had the disease are getting along well. Mabel Weimer, who had been quarantined for the disease, has been released and has fully recovered. It

is expected that she will return to her school duties tomorrow. None of the people who are known to have been in her company immediately prior to her sickness have developed the disease, and the time is pretty well past for the disease to develop.

Prompt and effective measures both here and at Laketon have probably headed off what might have been a serious epidemic. People have been cheerful about complying with the regulations outlined, and that has helped a great deal.

News Journal, November 4, 1929

Old Fashioned, But We Have 'Em

There are many cases of measles in town and country and while the disease seems to be the old fashioned kind lasting several days, there have been no complications and few serious cases. Children in the first four grades of school and those under school age were most seriously affected, for most children have measles and other kindred diseases before they are very old.

There are many deaths the country over in a year's time from measles and strange as it may seem the measles germ has never been isolated by medical science. People think of the disease as one of the necessary inflictions of childhood and it is considered more lightly that it should be in view of the number of deaths each year. We have pretty well removed the danger of smallpox, typhoid fever and diphtheria, but measles, mumps, chickenpox and kindred diseases are as prevalent and as dangerous as ever. The medical man looking for a way to get into the hall of fame could well devote his time to studying these diseases.

News Journal, January 28, 1929

Manchester College Library

During the lifetime to the College --now nearly 115 years --the library has had three "homes" and six head librarians.

The Librarians are 1919-1925 Olive Miller

1925-1944 L. W. Shultz

1944-1968 Ruth Coblentz

1957-1958 Thurmyle Gosnell

(during one-year absence of Coblentz)

1968-1989 Allen Willmert

1989- Robin Gratz

The first library was located on the second floor of the Administration Building - west end, Bible School area. In 1919, for example, there were 12,000 books in the collect. The second location was in what is now the Communications Building. That building was first occupied by sciences, and the North Ward School and was later converted to the Library.

As the collection grew, the College built Funderburg Library building and were faced in 1966 with the task of moving about 60,000 books. North American Van Lines sent word that they would be unable to accept offer to move the books from the old to the new library "... too large and fantastic a job to undertake...." So with Miss Coblentz' planning and the work of about 275 students and 25 faculty for two days the "large and fantastic job" was successfully completed and the new Library opened.