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Of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.

Volume XXIV   Number 4     November 2007

North Ward Elementary School: The “Training School”

By Jo Ann Schall

            From its beginning in 1889, Manchester College has prepared teachers for the nation’s public schools.  Its first efforts centered on preparing eighth grade graduates for teaching in rural and small town schools, with 12-week summer courses in Manchester’s Normal School. The summer Normal School was quite popular, drawing as many as 534 students to campus by summer, 1927.

 And from its beginning, the College and the North Manchester schools worked together to ensure that prospective teachers had observations and hands-on experiences with school children.

In 1908, that collaboration suddenly intensified.  The Indiana State Teacher Training Board informed the College that it would have to have its own elementary school on campus to retain state approval for its teacher preparation program.  According to the January 9, 1908 North Manchester Journal, Professor Crouch from the College met with the local school board at City Hall with a proposal.  If part of grades one through four could be transferred from the Central Ward building, along with two teachers, the College would provide suitable rooms and adequate equipment for them on the College grounds.  The College would form a model Training School, demonstrating excellent teaching for the students and community and meeting State requirements for the College’s teacher education program. 

            Fortunately for the College, the school board was struggling with overcrowded schools and the proposal appeared to be a good solution to its problem.  On January 16, 1908, The North Manchester Journal reported that the school board and College had entered into a contract.  The College would provide two appropriate elementary school classrooms and supplies for them, the school corporation would provide two teachers, parents could decide whether to send their children to this new school, and enrollment would be restricted to 15 children in each of grades 1-4, with the new school under the supervision of the town’s superintendent of schools.  The contract was to be good for three years, with a possible extension of two more years. 

            After the contract was signed, the College moved ahead with all due speed.  Two classrooms were fitted out in College Hall (Bumgerdner Hall), at the east end of the present Administration Building.  Many Normal School students were on Manchester’s campus by the mid-term opening of classes on April 13, with others joining them at the beginning of the 12 week Normal Summer School session on May 26.  They soon had access to students in the new Training School, which opened on June 10, 1908.   

            The new school was to be open for 48 weeks each year.  It’s unclear how long that rigorous schedule survived, but an advertisement in the May 15, 1913 North Manchester Journal recruited Summer Normal School students with the promise of work with children in the Training School.  There didn’t seem to be any recruitment for these children, so they may have been continuing their 48 weeks of study.   Parents were pleased to have their children out of the basement of the Central Ward Building and taught by teachers who were graduates of the State Normal School at Terre Haute.  Teachers seeking licenses were pleased to observe in the campus school, then discuss their observations the following day with their professor.  And the College was so pleased to have this unique model school on campus that it featured the school in advertisements for the College.  The state was also pleased; it granted accreditation of all teacher education programs at the College on April 9, 1909. 

The new campus school housed two grades in each classroom all through its career.  This gave new teachers a realistic view of classroom management in a pattern that was found in many Hoosier schools at that time.  Manchester College also had a country training school, with grades one through six in a single classroom, from at least 1909 to 1913. Very little information can be found about this school, although the August 25, 1910 Journal listed Miss Muchmore, the teacher at the Country Training School, as one of Chester Township’s teachers for the coming year.  The May 15, 1913 ad mentioned previously said Esther Shively had taught the Country Training School for the preceeding three years.  The location of that school is unknown. 

New endeavors often require adjustments.  In the second year of its existence, the Training School offered a class for grade 6-7 students at the Central Ward Building, located where the present town library stands, in addition to its on-campus Training School.  This arrangement appeared to last for just the one school year.  In the September 8, 1910 North Manchester Journal, new boundaries were drawn for North Manchester’s schools, and students north of a particular line were now required to attend the North Ward School, the new name for the College Training School.  By Fall 1911, and perhaps a year earlier, there were three elementary classrooms on the College campus, housing grades 1-6.  The grade 1-6 pattern continued until the school closed. 

Manchester College: The First Seventy-Five Years included a 1912 letter from Charles Greathouse, following a visit from state inspectors from the Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction.   They were impressed with what they saw at Manchester College, writing that “Adequate courses of study are being carried out in the educational department, complete records of students are on file, training schools both town and country under good supervision are being maintained, and the letter and spirit of the law are being complied with.”   

The town of North Manchester still had crowded schools, in spite of the relief the North Ward School provided.  In the fall of 1912, the Central School Building housed grades 1-4 and 7-12.  Grade 1-6 students were also taught at the West Ward and North Ward schools, according to the September 5, 1912 Journal.  In the fall of 1915, Central had just grades 1–2 and 7–12, with the other two elementary schools continuing to serve grades 1-6.  (Journal, August 12, 1915) 

It’s unclear as to when or how the 48-week Training School schedule was carried out.  There was a June 3, 1915 North Manchester News notice of a summer school for children at the College, with classes for grades 1, 2, 5, and 6 meeting for three weeks and grades 3, 4, 7, and 8 meeting for the following three weeks.  The ad seems to be recruiting new students for the summer school.  During the following summers, summer school was held most, if not all, years.  It took place in varying configurations – sometimes for just grades 1-3, other times for all students through the 8th grade, sometimes for as little as two weeks, other times for as many as six weeks.  But one thing didn’t vary; growing numbers of Normal School students used the summer school heavily for the observation and practice teaching required by the College and State.  Smaller numbers of pre-service teachers who studied during the College year used North Ward classrooms in a similar way. 

Events at North Ward were so unremarkable that the chatty local papers rarely mentioned the school.  The February 20, 1916 North Manchester News reported that North Ward (only) was closed for two weeks because of the number of cases of scarlet fever in the north end of town.  The children were quarantined, along with their mothers, while the three school rooms were fumigated. The October 7, 1918 North Manchester News indicated that all schools in town were closed for four weeks because of the flu epidemic that swept across the state; three College students died, but apparently all younger students survived.  And a November 15, 1919 journal entry in the College’s yearbook, Aurora, said there had been a “wholesale whipping in the Training School,” with no cause mentioned.  Perhaps the new teachers were learning discipline techniques? 

North Ward was clearly integrated into the public schools in town.  Its teachers used the State curriculum and the State-approved textbooks, just as the other schools did.  Teachers hired by the North Manchester Schools circulated between all of the schools to teach music and art.  Local newspapers listed its teachers each fall, along with the list of teachers in the other public schools.  1923 News Journal articles tell of field days between the three elementary schools, North Ward, West Ward, and Central.  However, enrollment between the three schools differed.  In 1922 North Ward had 83 elementary students, West Ward had 147, and Central had 29 (only first and second grades met at Central that year, along with grades 7-12).   

            One notable event did occur at North Ward.  During 1920, workers attached the two original Manchester College buildings, the 1889 College or Bumgerdner Hall and the 1896 Bible Building, to form a large administration and classroom building.  The September 2, 1920 North Manchester News said the Training School and the College Academy (a high school sponsored by the College) would be moved out of this building and into the 1915 Science Hall.  This move likely occurred in the fall of 1920, although the first printed confirmation of the move came in a 1921-22 College Bulletin.  Its description of College buildings added the information that the chemistry department met in the basement of the Science Hall, “Training Rooms” were on the second floor, and the Academy was on the third and fourth floors.  People who studied in this building in the early grades remember a playground at the north side of the building, complete with a slide and swings and “a forest” on beyond.  They also indicated that the southeast classroom of the Science Building housed the first and second grade, the third and fourth grades met in the southwest classroom, and the fifth and sixth grades had classes in the northwest classroom.  The northeast classroom was remembered as the music room.  Each room was appropriately furnished with school desks, with small chairs for recitation between those desks and the front chalk boards.  One former student remembers tables instead of desks in the first and second grade classroom. 

            North Manchester was growing and there was construction all around town in the mid-1920’s.  In February of 1926, a new 12-grade Central School was completed after the old one had basically been condemned by the State.  The January 31, 1927 News Journal pointed out that the College was growing, too, and it needed all the rooms on campus for its expanding enrollment and programs.  The January 19, 1928 News Journal was even more to the point: “…while the College has no disposition to force the school from its buildings, yet it is generally understood that it would be agreeable to have them removed, and at the same time there are a great many patrons who feel that their children could be better served in a building separate and away from the College grounds.  Under the new arrangement the College would continue to pay a part of the teaching expense, using the (new) school for training teachers much as in the past.”  

            In 1929 a new elementary school was built for North Manchester’s children.  Thomas Marshall, said to be named by the North Ward students, opened in September 1929 and took in all former North Ward and Central School elementary students.  Manchester College Bulletins had listed the North Ward teachers as members of the Education Department faculty for years; now they listed many of the teachers in North Manchester.  According to the May 28, 1931 News Journal, Manchester College paid $5000 a year to the North Manchester schools and to some individual teachers, for their work with the College pre-service teachers, a practice also reported in the May 2, 1932 North Manchester News..  The College students still used the town schools heavily for both observation and practice teaching, although after a few years the long lists of teachers in the Manchester College Bulletin stopped.  Most likely, College financial support for the Manchester schools stopped at about the same time. 

            Manchester College still needed practice experiences for the summer Normal School students, and so the College continued funding and administering summer schools for local children, even after the North Ward School was closed in 1929. These summer schools were generally five weeks long.  The May 20, 1937 News Journal indicated that the 1937 summer school at Thomas Marshall was for grades 1 – 8 and was administered and supervised by three local teachers employed by the College, although it was actually taught by 20 practice teachers studying at the College.   

The last College-sponsored summer school took place at Thomas Marshall during the summer of 1939, with 138 children enrolled and 16 Normal School student teachers handling their morning-only classes.  Twenty-six four and five year-olds attended a Bible School at Thomas Marshall at the same time, taught by the town’s Ministerial Association.  At this point, the State ended teacher licensing through Normal Schools and people who aspired to be teachers had to enroll as regular college students for at least two years.  Manchester College’s need for summer school classes for practice teaching ended, resulting in the closing of these schools. 

On October 6, 2007, a reunion was held in the 1915 Science Hall, formerly the North Ward School and now the College’s Communication Building, to be razed in 2008.  Six people who had studied at North Ward as children attended the reunion.  They were delighted to see each other, reminisced about old school mates and teachers, and expressed their appreciation for their elementary school years on Manchester’s Campus in the Training School / North Ward School.  While records are incomplete at best, North Ward served children and new teachers for 21 years.   Summer schools continued the training school tradition for another 10 years.  Perhaps this article and the more extensive notes which underlie it will help those days to be remembered.

 Jo Ann Schall, November 7, 2007

  Sources Used:

 Aurora 1913 -1932

A Century of Faith, Learning, and Service.  Timothy K. Jones.  Manchester College, 1989.

Manchester College Bulletin (College Catalog), 1895 – 1931

Manchester College: the First Seventy-five Years.  Ira Frantz, Ed.  Brethren Press, Elgin, Ill. 1964

Memories of Manchester.  Otho Winger. Elgin Press, Elgin, Ill. 1940

North Manchester Journal 1880 – 1916

North Manchester News 1913 – 1920

North Manchester News Journal 1920 – 1940

Oak Leaves 1913 - 1926

Tales of the Old Days.  W. E. Billings.  News Journal, North Manchester, IN, 1926.

Interview: Mary Kathryn Fish Uhrig, October 30, 2007

Interview: Ruth Weaver Tully, October 26, 2007


 Teachers at the North Ward School / Manchester College Training School: (Incomplete List)

 1908-09:  Dora Bell Damion, grades 1-2, Minnie Marshall, grades 3-4

            Alice Woody, grades 1-2, Bessie Sims, grades 3-4 (both at Central Ward Building?)

 1909-10:  Elizabeth Frank, grades 1-2, Minnie Marshall, Grades 3-4, Ethel Perkins, grades 6-7 at

            Central Ward Building, Esther Shively, Country Training School


            Joy Muchmore, Country Training School

 1911-12:  Joy Muchmore, grades 1-2. Martha Hoover, grades 3-4, Blanche Rinehart, principal and

            grades 5-6      

 1912-13:  Nellie McCord, grades 1-2, Martha Hoover, grades 3-4, Blanche Rinehart, principal and

            grades 5-6, Esther Shively, Country Training School

 1913-14:  Esther Shively, grades 1-2, Martha Hoover, grades 3-4, Blanche Rinehart, principal and            grades 5-6.

 1914-15:  Rose Rinehart grades 1-2, Esther Shively principal and grades 3-4, Amza Dunagan,

            grades 5-6

 1915-16:  Rose Rinehart grades 1-2, Esther Shively principal and grades 3-4, Erma Brown, grades


 1916-17:  Rose Rinehart, grades 1-2 (?), Esther Shively principal and grades 3-4, Erma Brown,

            grades 5-6

1917-18:  Agnes Kessler, grades 1-2, Hazel David, principal and grades 3-4, Grace Murray, grades


 1918-19:  Wilma Bollinger,

 1919-20:  Wilma Bolinger, grades 1-2, Anna Boyd, grades 3-4, Brilliana Dinier principal and

            grades 5-6

 1920-21:  Wilma Bolinger, grades 1-2, Anna Boyd, grades 3-4, Lillian Dinius, principal and

            Grades 5-6

 1921-22:  Anna Boyd, grades 1-2, Agnes Kessler, grades 3-4, Grace DeLay, principal and grades


 1922-23:  Ruth Forney, grades 1-2, Agnes Kessler, grades 3-4, Grace DeLay or Anna Boyd (?)

 1923-24:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Agnes Kessler, grades 3-4, E.H. Winegarner, principal and

            grades 5-6

 1924-25:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Agnes Kessler, grades 3-4, E.H. Winegarner, principal and

            grades 5-6

 1925-26:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Olive Bagwell, grades 3-4, Kenneth Burr, principal and       

            grades 5-6

 1926-27:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Olive Bagwell, grades 3-4, Kenneth Burr, principal and       

            grades 5-6

 1927-28:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Olive Bagwell, grades 3-4, Kenneth Burr, principal and       

            grades 5-6

 1928-29:  Edith Dresher, grades 1-2, Olive Bagwell, grades 3-4, Kenneth Burr, principal and       

            grades 5-6


Summer School Teachers, As Listed by Local Newspapers:

 1915:  Rose Rinehart, grades 1-2, 5-6 and Esther Shively, grades 3-4, 7-8

 1917:  Agnes Kessler, grades 1-3



 1921:  Mrs. Pointer and Miss Tyner, grades 1-3

 1922:  Agnes Kessler and Helen Tyner, grades 1-6

 1926:  Grades 1-7

 1927:  Grades 1-7

 1928:   Edith Dresher, grades 1-2 and Olive Bagwell grades 3-4 at North Ward

            Miss Davis, grades 1-2, Agnes Kessler, grades 3-4, Kenneth Burr, grades 5-6,

            Burke Miller, grades 7-8, and Warner Ogden and Leigh Freed, high school, all at Central

 1929:  Miss Bagwell and Miss Johnson, grades 1-4 at Thomas Marshall

            Burke Miller and Kenneth Miller, grades 1-8 at Central

 1930:  Kenneth Burr, Norma Blue, Olive Bagwell, grades 1-9

 1931:  Kenneth Burr, Ruth Bane, and Edith Dresher, grades 1-9

 1932:  Ruth Brane grades 1-3, Kenneth Burr grades 4-6, Louise Dingle grades 7-9, and Mildred

            Meyer and Mignon Anderson for pre-school.

 1933:  Kenneth Burr and Edith Dresher, grades 1-8

 1934:  Kenneth Burr and Edith Dresher, grades preschool-8

 1935:  Kenneth Burr and Ruth Brane, grades preschool-7

 1936: Kenneth Burr and Edith Dresher, grades 1-7

 1936:  Kenneth Burr and Edith Dresher, grades 1-7

 1937:  Kenneth Burr, Minnie Smith, Ruth Brane, grades 1-8

 1938:  Ruth Brane and Edith Dresher, grades 1-6   Preschool Bible School

 1939:  Minnie Smith and Ruth Brane, grades 1-6   Preschool Bible School