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|Daugherty Township Schools|
One-room schools sprang up in rural areas all over the township as the population grew. They housed grades 1-6. Parents wanted schoolhouses close to their homes so students could get to school and back easily. Most students walked while some rode a horse or came in a buggy. Unmarried teachers usually lived with a nearby farm family.
The early school buildings were very plain inside and out. A small stove sat in the center of the room to heat the room during cold winter months. Students sitting too close to the stoves were often too hot, but those farther away were cold. Older students were permitted to use the stove to heat up their lunches. On cold snowy winter days students would hang their wet mittens by the stove and when they were ready to go home they would be toasty warm.
Desks were scattered around the room. Blackboards were just that … boards painted black. Students used pieces of soft limestone to write on them and erased them with a soft cloth.
Outhouses were the norm in those days and usually if there were enough students there was one outhouse for boys and a separate one for the girls.
There was more to do at school beside learn. The teacher was in charge of assigning daily chores. The older boys often carried in water and in the winter carried in wood for the stove. The girls were in charge of cleaning the boards, collecting homework, sweeping the floors, etc. Many of the older boys were needed to work on the farm in spring and fall months and were unable to attend classes and the chores were then the responsibility of the younger students.
Besides teaching reading and good penmanship, most of the early learning involved memorization. Students memorized poems and tables of subtraction, addition, multiplication and division.
One of the most popular events was the weekly spelling bee. Students would line up along the wall. The teacher would give the student at the head of the line a word to spell. If he or she spelled it correctly, the student remained standing. If not, the student sat down. The teacher continued to give words until only one student was still standing. That student was the winner.
Families were a big part of the classroom success. They donated books and necessary supplies. They would come to hear the students recite poetry and essays. At Christmas students performed a play that they rehearsed to perfection to entertain family and friends.
Besides being used for the daily routine of educating children, it was a place where Christmas parties, community suppers, church services and lectures were held. On Election Day schoolhouses were used by the locals to vote.
Even though the one-room schoolhouses could be a noisy place, the students persevered. These dedicated teachers were successful in teaching so their students would thrive in an uncertain world.
Daugherty Township’s early teachers were mostly women. Because pay was so low, many teachers taught only for a year or two or until they were married.
The following are known schools that have existed within the township.
Point Pleasant School
A one-room frame structure, was originally located on Tulip Drive on property owned by the Hoey family.
Not much was recorded about this early school except that from November 1916 to January 1917 the school was closed several times for fumigation because of students’ exposure to diphtheria.
When the school closed, the building was no longer needed and it was moved across the road to the Clark Humes farm and used as a wagon shed.
Muntz School was a one-story frame schoolhouse on Dogwood Drive near Silver Springs Road. On August 3, 1896, the School District of Daugherty Township purchased a lot of ground for $100.00 from John Flinner, who was the executor of the last will and testament of Gilbert Muntz.
In later years the Muntz School was known as the Point Pleasant School. This school thrived for many years. Highest attendance at the school reached 42 students in the late 1920s.
Records show that in 1933, 22 of 27 students had perfect attendance with the average daily attendance at 98 percent. School board minutes attribute this success to teacher Daniel Smith.
Teachers over the years included Margaret White, Mary Bell, Olive Christler, Clara Isenhour, Zella Douglass, Grace Frishkorn, Helen Hoey, Dorothy Palmer, Zella Hart, Faye Boggs, Pearl Flinner, Bessie Porter, Edith Cron, Katheryn Zahn, Wilda Craig, Vesta Hoey, Roxie Sylvia, Juliette Frew, Anna Rosemund, Claude Allen, George McChesney and Gertrude Wolfe.
When the school closed in 1941, John Ballin, Jr. purchased the building for the sum of $400.00.
Today the building is a private home.
Brookdale School, a one-room brick schoolhouse, was located on Blockhouse Run Road.
Early teachers included Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Wolf, Miss Cramer and Miss Emma Chirra. Between 1903 and 1920 records show over 50 students attended classes yearly.
In February 1928 Miss Geneva Hoey, teacher, listed the following students who were on the Honor Roll for perfect attendance in Room No. 1: Earl Campbell, Donna Pilchard, Ellis Good, Ralph Sayres, Mary Allison, Jessie Eiler, Martha Allison, Wiley Lowe, Ruth Allison and Sarah Lowe.
Those who missed just one day included Truby Haluga, Adoph Tomanio and Henry Keeton.
In Room No. 2, Daniel C. Smith, teacher, listed the following students who were on the Honor Rool for perfect attandance. Daisy Jakovic, Charles Eiler, George Sayres, Cora Eiler, Everett Gibson, Arthur Lovett, Elvia Gibson, Helen Frishcorn and Fred Sayres.
Those who missed just one day were Jesse Allison, Mike Haluga, Tony Haluga, Joseph Jaurbresic, Anna Haluga, Edda Allison and Grace Frishcorn.
To the delight of the teachers and students, P. Pettler & Son, dealers in machinery and supplies, donated and installed a handsome flagpole on March 9, 1912. The excited children watched as the flagpole, which was made of steel, six inches at the base and 50 feet high. Charles Kramer, who owned a newsstand on Third Avenue in New Brighton, donated a large flag and within days Old Glory was blowing in the breeze.
In June 1921, the Daugherty Township school directors advertised for bids to be submitted for the erection of a proposed two-room school building to replace the Brookdale School. Bids were accepted for both frame and brick structures. After the bids were reviewed, the directors decided to build the new school using local brick that was readily available and affordable.
The Brookdale School closed at the end of the school term in 1921.
Blockhouse Run School
Blockhouse Run School, a two-room brick structure, located on Blockhouse Run Road, replaced the Brookdale School. The building held twice as many students and was more modern than is predecessor.
It seems the students were on strike. The students were upset for several reasons. Some of the students opposed teacher Daniel C. Smith, who had taught in one-room schools throughout Beaver County for over 42 years. Mr. Smith had been known for spanking students who have misbehaved in class. Mr. Smith estimated he has taught over 1500 students since he began teaching at the age of 18.
Other students said they wanted better sanitary facilities at the school. Still others were upset with the condition of the playground.
Parents, on the other hand, were upset that the school had not been combined with another more modern school.
With residents in such an uproar, four of the five members of the Daugherty Township School Board resigned. It was their hope that new board members would be able to end the disputes quickly.
With attendance dwindling in 1941 the Daugherty Township School Board voted to close the school. The 15 students who had attended here were transferred to the Thompson School on Mercer Road.
This building still stands today and houses the Long Branch Saloon.
Brandt School, a frame one-room school building, was located off Route 68. Early teachers included Miss Wallace, Mrs. Ryan, and Miss Shuban.
In an interview with Vivian Cleis McLaughlin in 1984, she recalled a story that occurred on December 6, 1901. Rumors swirled around the township that the Brandt schoolhouse had been dynamited overnight.
Residents swarmed to the school expecting to see a disastrous site but were instead shocked to see the little schoolhouse still standing. Their teacher Miss Wallace quickly escorted the students who thought they would have the day off into the building and classes went on as usual. No one knew who started the rumor but it did prove that in a small community news travels fast.
A large two-room brick structure on Route 68 that replaced the nearby Brandt School. The school opened in the fall of 1929.
In the 1930s, Mrs. Grace McDanel and Paul Loehler were teachers at the school that housed 82 students.
The Brewer School Auxiliary, who met once a month, was very important to the success of the school. The organization aided in raising funds for textbooks and supplies.
Auxiliary officers in 1930 included Mrs. John Fink, president; Mrs. J.W. Cleis, vice president; Mrs. John Radtke, secretary; and Mrs. Grace McDanel, treasurer.
In December of 1930, the Auxiliary started a public library at the school. They received a $35.00 donation from Oak Grove Sunday School, held a bake sale where they raised $22.00 and J.W. Cleis donated lumber for shelving. Local merchants donated books and the library was up and running.
The school was also as the meeting place for the Bethel Sunday School class with W.G. Beisel, superintendent in the 1930s.
At the January 1931 Auxiliary meeting, members appointed a committee to buy a piano for the school. Board members Latshaw and Kline were in charge of the purchase. According to school records the piano was delivered in March 1931.
In March 1933, Daugherty Township School directors voted to close the schools despite repeated warnings from the state.
Dr. James N. Rule, secretary of the State Department of Public Instruction, told township officials that state appropriations might be withheld from districts closing schools before the end of the term.
By the end of school term, with state funds and the collection of back taxes, the township was able to keep all four schools open.
In 1953 the teacher for grades 1, 2 and 3 was Mrs. Helen Bonzo; for grades 4, 5 and 6 was George Basile, who was also the building principal.
Bran Hill School
Bran Hill School, a one-room frame school, was located on Mercer Road, and served Brighton Heights as its principle building of learning for 70 years.
Early teachers included Mrs. Charles Bertold, Miss Brandt and Miss Rayburn.
The building was also used as a voting precinct for
The schoolhouse was sold in November 1931 to Louis Klein at a public auction and was razed the following week.
The Bran Hill School closed it doors in 1931. Students were transferred to the newly constructed Thompson School.
Located on Mercer Road, was a larger brick structure built across the road from the Bran Hill School.
The school held its dedicatory services on November 27, 1931.
Teachers included Mrs. Margaret Shipley, Mrs. Naomi Sondheimer and Louise Gibson who also served as building principal.
After serving the township for 38 years it was closed at the end of the 1968-69 school year.
Today Daugherty Township is part of the New Brighton Area School District.
In 1973, The New Brighton School District sold the building to township officials for the sum of one dollar. Today the renovated building is home to the Daugherty Township Municipal Authority.