Wood County, Ohio
Genealogy and History
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School History

Source: "The First One Hundred Years of Bowling Green, Ohio" By Charles Sumner Van Tassell

Transcribed by Deanna Lawrence

The Beginning of Bowling Green Schools
After the first settlements were established in Bowling Green it was decided that a school for the children was in need. By the summer of 1834 the first settlers of bowling green had set up schooling held in Alfred Thurstin's log cabin which was located near the northeast corner of now Main and Wooster Streets. The cabin was fifteen by twenty-feet in size, chinked with mud and covered by shakes held down by weight poles. (Alfred Thurstin was one of the first early settlers to Bowling Green, born April 20, 1806 in Chenango County, New York he came to Bowling Green, Ohio in the fall of 1833, raised his log house and then returned east for his prospective bride, Miss. Emily O. Pike.) This make shift log school was used until the first school house was built in 1835. The families hired a teacher named S. W. Hanson from Maumee. The pupils of this first early school were: Louisa, Eliza and Maria Martindale, Henrietta and Phoebe Moore, Nathan and Albert Moore, Ambrose, Albert and Samantha Shiveley, Richard, Ambrose and Joseph Hollington, Mahala and Henrietta Rice and Isaac Hixon. The children attended school for six weeks while their teacher "boarded around" and at the end of the school term received a small sum for service. (As remembered by some of these first pupils at a gathering together on July 31, 1895.) At noon the children had recess in which they played by swinging on grape vines, picking wintergreen, and killing snakes. There was not much order in the classroom and the children were pretty much allowed to do whatever they pleased, they went out when they wanted and came in when they were ready to. The books used for teaching were whatever the families had, a Bible, another a history, a spelling book, and another "Life of Marion". A story has it that one morning on the way to school young William Hollington was bitten by a prairie rattle snake that would have most likely killed him if it had not been for an Indian doctor named Wolverton who showed the people a weed that when you extracted the juice from counteracts the poison of the rattlesnake. William was able to return back to class in no time. By 1835 the new South School log structure was built by Adam Phillips, Lee Moore, Henry Shiveley, Joseph A. Sargent, Joseph Hollington Sr., David L. Hixon, Thomas R. Tracy, and David DeWitt. The new South School stood near the northeast corner of the intersection of now South Main Street and Napoleon Road. It is said that the first teacher of this school was William Bailey, a visitor from New York, then Master Simmonds from Cleveland, followed by Morris Brown from Milton Township, next Isaac Van Tassel II, followed by Miss Patty Burdick and in 1841 Miss. Richards ending lastly with W. R. Peck, known as The Little Doctor, in 1851. Some of the pupils attending the newly built school were; William Phillips, John Lorenzo and Daniel Thurstin, Isaac and Margaret Hixon, Peter F. Richards, Samantha Shiveley, Alfred, Albert and Ambrose Shiveley, Thomas Williams, Isaac and Abigale Tracy, John, Joseph, and Washington DeWitt, Snowden L. and Nancy Sargent, Amelia Crago, Ann Stauffer, Caleb Clark, Nathan and Albert Moore, Frank McGinnis, Henrietta and Phoebe Moore, Richard, Joseph, Ambrose, and William Hollington, Max Nearing, and John, Fred and Josephine Hartman and probably others.

By 1836 the settlers in the north near the Stauffer-Walker cabin desired a school close to them so a second log structured school house was built at the present northeast corner of Main and Ridge streets. Although there are no records of the teachers of this new school there was Lucy Bassett (Mrs. John A. Shannon) who taught here. This log building became Bowling Greens main school house up until the first frame school structure was built on site of the city building in about 1856. But there were also other outlying log school houses built. There was the old "Bell School House" on the northeast corner of section 26, Plain Township. Louisa Martindale, who later married Isaac Van Tassel II, was a pupil at this school and later became a teacher there. A belfry was constructed at this school and the bell from the Indian Mission on the Maumee River was place here, donated by Rev. Isaac Van Tassel I. When the title to the building passed to the Plain trustees the bell was removed and is now in the possession of the Bowling Green State College.

List of Superintendents of Bowling Green Schools from 1856-1932

E.W. Lenderson II from 1856-57
M.D.L. Buell from 1857-59
John S. Ellis from 1859-60
George E. Cory from 1860-61
Charles Swigart from 1861-62
M.D.L. Buell from 1862-64
Frances McGinnis from 1864-65
William Callahan from February 1866-1868
George S. Canfield from 1868-69
C.W. Munson from 1869-71
H.C. Norton (taught three months) 1871
John L. Gilpartrick from January 1871-73
Gideon Ditto (taught four months) 1873
Samuel Case (substituted for two months) 1874
W.H. Wolfe (taught three months) 1874
John B. Cash from 1874-75
L.D. Heller from 1875-77
William S. Haskell from 1877-83
J.W. Sleppey from 1883-85
D.E. Niver from 1885-89
D.A. Haylor from 1889-97
M.E. Hard from 1897-1900
Charles E. Shimp from 1900-1901
J.A. Culler from 1901-03
N.D.O. Wilson from 1903-11
Walter F. Shaw from 1911-15
W.P. Starkey from 1915-17
David C. Bryant from 1917-1930
A.B. Conklin from 1930-1932


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