Source: The Manchester Republican, September 7, 1872

The North Manchester Graded School.

This school under the supervision of Prof. Miller, formerly of The Springfield Academy, is becoming quite popular. The present term is being attended by a large number of young ladies and gentlemen from the rural districts and from neighboring towns and villages. Near a hundred students are already in the road that leads to usefulness, and we wish we could get every young man and woman to attend school and obtain an education. With such a teacher as Prof. Miller at the head of our public schools, parents can find no excuse for neglecting to educate their children. Let every citizen give the school proper encouragement so that North Manchester may be able to compete with any of her sister towns in education.

Source: The Manchester Republican, November 27, 1873

Irwin Stratton, county Superintendent visited our school this week. He speaks well of our teachers, but don't boast much of the school house.

Source: The Manchester Republican, March 19, 1874

The winter term of our School closes today. It has been as profitable as could be expected with such a building as we have, furnished as it is.

Source: The Manchester Republican, March 26, 1874

--There is a positive and growing necessity, for something to be done towards a new school house and a better system of schools in this place. No public improvement that we can make, will add more to the general welfare of the town, than a first class school.

It is a duty we owe to ourselves and our children, that we give them better opportunities, than our present facilities afford. We are ready for a local tax, in any reasonable sum, if we can thereby secure good educational facilities. We had much rather spend our money at home, but we shall be compelled to send it abroad, if there is not something done here in the next two? years, and we know of others in the same situation.

Click here for articles about the N. Manchester schoolhouse fire on April 16, 1874.

Source: The Manchester Republican, April 23, 1874

Because of the impossibility of obtaining suitable rooms the Township Trustee decided not to have a Spring term of public school in this place, consequently Mr. Scott rented Union Hall, where he is teaching a subscription school. Miss Effie Shallenberger is also teaching a subscription school in the M.E. Church.

Source: The Manchester Republican, April 30, 1874

There will be a school meeting at Bones Hall next Saturday evening to devise plans for building a school house. All who are interested in having a good school in Manchester are requested to come out and help. We must have a school house in time for a winter term.

Source: The Manchester Republican, April 30, 1874

--At the school meeting last Saturday night, after thoroughly discussing the needs of the town in the way of a school house, the following named gentlemen were elected a building committee. Jesse Arnold, George Lawrence, and L.J. Noftzger. It is part of their duty to cooperate with the township trustee, and secure a house of at least seven rooms one of which shall be devoted to the township high school. The rooms are to be large, well ventilated, lighted, and warmed. In order to have a school that will supply our own wants and attract pupils from abroad, one that will be a credit, and profit to the town and township, we must have a first class house in every particular. There is no use in putting money into a little cheap concern that will be out grown in three or four years. There is no public investment we can make that will make so large a return in the general prosperity of the town as the building of a good school house. The tax each man expends in such a building, will add more than a like sum to the value of his real estate. If a man owns $2,000 worth of property, and is taxed $100 to build a good school house, that single improvement to the town, would enhance the value of his property, more than it would if he should spend the money directly upon his own ground.

Source: The Manchester Republican, July 9, 1874

Commencing MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1874. Ending NOVEMBER 14, 1874.
Classes will be formed in Practical Arithmetic, Mental Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, U.S. History, Anatomy, Physiology, Higher Arithmetic, Algebra, Physical Geography, Natural Philosophy, and School Management.
Classes will be formed, if desired, in Geometry, Trigonometry, Surveying, Analytical Geometry and Calculus, Rhetoric, Latin, Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry, Intellectual Philosophy, or Science of Government.
Tuition for the term of fifty days, $5.00.
L.W. Jordan, Principal.

Source: The Manchester Republican, August 20, 1874

--The plans and specifications for the new school house will soon be ready for the inspection of contractors. The foundation will be of Logansport stone and the upper stories of good brick. The general plan will be about as follows: The building will be near 70 feet square, divided through the center by a large hall from which the stairways will ascend. Connected with the hall will be cloak rooms, on each side of the hall, and two school rooms, 24x35 feet each. The second story will be divided into three rooms, two the size of the rooms below, the other about twice the size which will be used for the Township high school and general audience room. In addition to the above the upper story will probably contain an office and a recitation room, the latter separated from the audience room by folding or sliding doors, so that the two rooms may be made one when necessary. The work on the building will be pushed forward as fast as possible. Some of the rooms will be done in time for our winter school.

Source: News-Journal, April 27, 1922


Interesting Letter from Mrs. Ella Rhodes Tells of Early School History

The News-Journal has an interesting letter from Mrs. Ella Rhodes, now of 902 East Costilleo street, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in which she tells much of the early school history of North Manchester. Her letter follows:

"With the razing of the Central school building a flood of memories fill me with thoughts of days gone by. Just as Robert Burns sang, "My Heart's in the Highland" so mine is in Indiana, although a sojourner for many years in the west on account of health. To the younger generation it might be interesting to learn of the early school houses of North Manchester. The first school house was situated on the corner of Walnut and Third streets where now stands the house of John Hare. Prohibition was not the law in those days and the school master hid his whiskey bottle in the hazel brushes which surrounded the place and at intervals went out and refreshed himself with the spirits imagining no doubt that it would stimulate him in wielding the birch on those hardy pioneer boys. The next house was on the north side of Second street west of the Methodist church where the house of Mrs. Alice Cummings stands. This was the first school that the writer attended, almost seventy years ago--a frame building in simple style much like our country school buildings of several years ago, although by no means so modernly equipped. A building was used for a school house in the part of town known as the pocket and was called the Maurice Place school. It being situated on his ground. It was a more commodious building and accommodated not only our town children but some from the country round. Yet there was but one room. Your recent rainy season has caused much mud but in those days with but an average rainfall the walks to this school at times were almost impassable and a favorite way to escape the miring mud was east from the school house to the river bank near the tannery, an establishment on the banks of Eel River, below the lots of Cowgill's and Peugh's where a path emerged and wended itself along the bank by a bubbling spring, among the trees and brushes, ending its winding way at a place near where the city hall is now located. Along this path the young folks loitered on their way home from school with talk and laughter, just as young folks do now from the modern school. Another building used for school was on Main street at the corner of Market street in a room on the second floor. The building on Second street was used for school as late as the early sixties. In 1865 a two story, frame school house was built where the Central building now stands. There were two rooms on the first floor, one on the second, both rooms opening from a hall that extended east and west across the building, the stairway ascending at the east end of the hall. The room on the second floor was for the advanced grades. This room was also used as the city's public hall or auditorium in which were held exhibitions, concerts, spelling schools and public entertainments of various kinds.

Until the year 1874 this building served its purpose well, yet there was much talk among the progressive citizens of the need of a better, more modern and larger building. The erection of this new building was hastened by the burning of the old school house at an early hour on the morning for beginning of the school 1874. The fire was surely the work of an incendiary and while it was considered the willful act of a miscreant yet it caused us to have this new building, splendid for its time, now old and out of date, soon to be laid low.

During the time of building, school was held in different places--in the old Methodist church which had been moved just north of the present church, really where the Sunday school room now stands as that room was an addition. Another place in which there was school was a wood house or shop standing where the residence of L.D. Fleming is at present. Also in a building on West Main street near the Pennsylvania station. School opened in the present building in the late fall of 1875, and it was an ungraded set of children that Prof. Henry Gunder met on that first morning but with his efficiency and tact a graded system was established and maintained. As time went on the crowded condition of various rooms and the growing of the city limits necessitated a fine new building in the west ward and the use of rooms in Manchester college in the east ward. Years have passed many teachers have come and gone, likewise many pupils and as a rule they have acquitted themselves well. North Manchester has been proud of her schools and may she have equal reasons to boast of her new building with its future teachers and pupils. In the first--the frame building on this ground--the writer was a primary teacher; at the same time Miss Mollie Stratton, a sister of Gene Stratton Porter, was the intermediate teacher. The superintendent was Jacob Yeagley. Since that time my interest in the schools on this ground has continued and with some degree of pride point to the fact that we are three generations of instructors in these schools. My daughter, Mrs. Sam Noftzger, for several years was a primary teacher in this school and her daughter, Dorothy, at the present time fills a position in the schools.