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Early History

Pioneer Schools


Pioneer Schools

History of Washington County, Ohio. H.Z. Williams, p. 573,574

The first school in the township was held in the upper settlement. At first the children ere instructed by Caleb Greene at the family residence. This was as early as 1801 or 1802. Subsequently, the first school house in the township was erected, about fifty yards north of where Little’s tannery stands, only mark of the deserted site being a growth of locust trees thereon.


Caleb Greene, son of John and Mary Greene, conducted the first school in his home in 1801. Three years later the first school, a log structure, was erected in the Haysville community. It was replaced by a brick structure.
In later years two grade schools, one at Milltown and another at Newport, were established, along with a high school in the old Methodist church. The three schools were consolidated in 1889.
School opened in a new frame building and was charted for a high school. This frame structure was destroyed by fire, in January, 1894, and in 1895, a new brick structure, near Turkey Knob was opened.
In 1917, the four high school grades were transferred to a new building on Harrison street. The last class to graduate from this building was the class of 1968. In the fall of 1968, the students were transferred to Frontier High School.
Voters elected to build a new grade school in November, 1925. The three acre lot was secured from William J. Todd. The grade school was dedicated Friday, April 22, 1927.
Funds for a larger and newer gym and school addition were appropriated in the school bond passed by voters in November, 1954. The first basketball game was played January 18, 1956.
The first kindergarten class was started in September, 1967. The 25 pupils were under the instruction of Mrs. Sue Herlan.
--Eileen Thomas

White's School.jpg

White School


by Helen M. White

of the News Staff

Out on Newell’s Run in Newport township of Washington County, Ohio 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 their home.

“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 house.”

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 White’s School.

“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 jobs.

“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 mentions it.

The Newport School House



composition # 6

by Diana Ellis

Hand-written between 1810 and 1813

The Newport schoolhouse, a magnificent building -----Swamp Street nearly half a mile from the pleasant Ohio. Its walls are constructed of logs and clay which make a splendid appearance to the eye of the stranger, as he passes by. I gazes upon it and exclaims “What can this be that makes so delightful an appearance, it can hardly be possible that a town like this can afford a schoolhouse quite so Elegant as this.

This house, though rather inclined to follow old age, yet we still retain a great hope that it will stand another season. It has long been the place of divine worship, and it looks as though it was the place where our for fathers were first taught to read. It commands a pleasant prospect of the wilderness that lies but a small distance off to the west, which makes it much more beautiful than all the rest, when the forest is covered with varieties of flowers and the brow of the little hills are o’erspr with evergreen and laurels. What can be more pleasing than to stand in the door of this elegant building and behold nature arrayed with all its beauty spread before us. But this schoolhouse almost exceeds nature for beauty; the windows are oranmented with flowers of many kinds and the crevices are stopped with moss and tow (?) that the children while in their leisure hours were employed in collecting to make them comfortable while they were engaged in their studies.

The following note is written on the back of the composition, and it was returned to Diana Ellis after she was married. I would presume that the writer was or had been the teacher at that school.

“Mrs. Burris, On looking over old papers, I came across this which I send you as a relic of the olden times, which though like ourselves it be somewhat faded may serve to remind you of youth and school pleasures long past.

J. Lawton


Bell's Run School.jpg

Bell's Run School

BELL’S SCHOOL HOUSE Bell’s School House is still standing today. It is a rented home, the property belonging to the Barth family. The school had eight grades. Some of the teachers were Nathaniel Kidd, Carl Edward, Gertrude Eddy, and Bertha Wening.