OLD SCHOOL HOUSE MAKES HOME FOR
by Helen M. White
of the News Staff
Out on Newell’s Run in Newport township of Washington
live a married couple who must really have enjoyed their school days---or maybe
it was each other.
In any event, during those days
when Ethel Davis and Edwin Pritchett were absorbing their three R’s in the old
one-room White School on Newell’s Run, they formed an
attachment to the building.
Later, after they were married
and when the school building was abandoned and destined for destruction either
by wreckers or neglect. Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett purchased the old structure for
“This was about 22 years ago,”
Mrs. Pritchett said. “We built this addition on and lowered the ceiling in the
school house which made room for second store)’,” she explained) adding that
they now have a seven room home.
“You can see here where we
closed off the front door,” the friendly woman said, pointing to the outlines
of the old entrance. “The windows are the same ones that were in the school
Mrs. Pritchett said that the
huge, hand-cut stones of the foundation are the early, on ones and that this
was the second school house built on them.
“My mother also went to White’s
School. She said that the first building burned when she was just a little girl
so young she could barely remember the fire.
“This must have been at least 75
years ago as mother is 77, now,” Mrs. Pritchett related.
Everett Hanna, 80, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
a native of Newell’s Run, on a recent visit to the scenes of his childhood told
that he and his mother (Nora Smith Hanna horn in 1862) had both attended
“We lived in Milltown when I
started to school,” Hanna told. “1 went to Newport School two miles or so each
way---for my first two grades, I was in the third grade, or Third Reader, they
called it, back then, when I started to White’s School.”
Hanna chuckled as he told that
back then, the girls sat on one side and the boys on the other in the school.
“I always tried to get the back
seat so the teacher couldn’t see everything I did,” the old gentleman told.
Discipline was strict in school
then and no child was ever spoiled by sparing the rod. Hanna told that one time
he had looked over and made a face at his sister for which misconduct he was severely
punished by the sharp-eyed teacher.
His first teacher at White’s
School was Miss Susie Dew, Alice Gano was the second Others, he recalled were
Florence Lauer, Williard Duff and Sophie Rhomyer.
“Williard Duff was really strict and we didn’t
get by with anything. He’s the one who put a big knot on my head for making a
face at my sister,” Hanna said.
Like most boys of his
generation, Hanna left school at the end of the 8th grade and went to helping
on the farm. However, after leaving the farm, Hanna held some highly technical
“You learn more from life and
experience that in school. At least I did,” he said.
Hanna discovered that he knew
the parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett and between them, they decided that
the first White’s School on Newell’s Run had been built around
Hanna told that he thought the
land for the school building had originally been bought from Gus Noland, “Maybe
he donated the land, I’m just not sure,” Hanna said.
Situated along the picturesque
banks of Newell’s Run, this early school, once so alive with eager scrubbed
faces of generations now gone, or approaching middle and old age, seem to have
been overlooked by historians.
No available reference work even