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New School Districts After State-Mandated Jointures

Much of the history of the Blackhawk School District was gathered by a group of students at Pennsylvania State University, Beaver Campus, and published in a book entitled The Blackhawk School District, Diversity Then and Now. The co-authors are Babs Donnell, Cheryl Nicely, Edith Porter, and jean Means, to whom we are indebted for an account of one of the newest of the merged districts of the county. Another local historian, Mary L. Turek, has also compiled a history of the district."

The Blackhawk District that began operation on July 1, 1970, is located in north central and northwestern Beaver County. The new district was created from two school districts representing eight separate areas: Highland Suburban School District, consisting of Patterson Heights, Patterson Township, West Mayfield, and Chippewa Township; and Northwestern Beaver County School District, made up of Darlington Borough, Darlington Township, South Beaver Township, and Enon Valley.

The initial step toward the formation of the Blackhawk District came when the Beaver County School Board met in October 1968 to adopt a plan for administrative reorganization in the county. Blackhawk was one of the districts to be in operation by July 1970.

Patterson Heights, a residential borough incorporated in 1899, had its first school in session by 1900, a two-story building with a bell tower. For a time, eight grades were taught there. Since 1970, the children of Patterson Heights have attended elementary, middle, and senior high school in the Blackhawk District."

Patterson Township, surrounding Paterson Heights, was originally a rural area. It became an urban residential community with a population of 3,550 in 1981. Historian Edith Porter describes the schools of the township: the "green" school, a structure with lap-siding painted green; a one-room frame building at School Street and Darlington Road, built before 1886; and a two-story yellow brick building constructed in 1895. In the 1920's, the frame school was moved and a new school, Central School, was built on the old site. Meantime, a fire had completely destroyed the yellow brick building on November 27, 1922. Students and teachers evacuated the building safely, but classrooms and supplies were gone. Additions were made to the Central Building in 1926 and 1932, then the school became a junior high school. The first ninth-grade class was graduated in May 1933.

West Mayfield in 1887 was an unincorporated community in White Township. A residential area and station stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad, it stretched out on either side of Thirty-Seventh Street. West Mayfield became the site of the Babcock and Wilcox Company, Tubular Products Division in 1899. Other plants followed, and new and better schools were needed for the growing population." Approved as a borough in 1923, West Mayfield had already constructed the four-room West Park School. Liberty School was second, built in 1930.

Following the borough's inclusion in the Highland Suburban School District, students could attend either the Highland Junior High School and Northwestern High School or Beaver Falls junior and senior high schools. When West Mayfield became part of the Blackhawk School District, all secondary school students attended the Blackhawk High School.

Chippewa dates its beginning to 1816 when South Beaver Township and Ohio Township were divided by the Beaver County Court into four townships. One of them, originally named Adams Township, within a year took the Indian name of "Chippewa." The settlers had put up a log schoolhouse by 1830. Since the population of the township steadily increased, by 1870, four red brick schools were built - the Flying, Dunlap, McKinley, and Braden schools. Historian Babs Donnell states that the four were in operation from 1870 until 1930.

Flying School was located on the Denny farm on Achortown Road. Its last teacher was Mildred Stinson Grove; Lawrence V. McMillin had preceded her. Mr. McMillin also taught at Dunlap School. A Commencement booklet for Dunlap School in 1928 lists all the eighth grade students under Mr. McMillin's instruction. The Public School Annual for 1960 presents a tribute to Mr. McMillin upon his retirement in 1959, praising him for fifty years of devoted service as teacher and administrator.

The McKinley School, situated at the intersection of McKinley Road and Thirty-Seventh Street Extension on the Bernhardy farm, was still standing in 1981. Serving as the last teacher at the school from 1924 to 1930 was Roberta Kirk Eakin.

Braden School, located at the intersection of Darlington Road and Braden School Road, was most famous for the man for whom it was named. Billy Braden was an active worker for the Abolition Society, which met in 1842 in the Braden School. Braden School was torn down in 1935 or 1936.

A new consolidated school was erected in 1930 in the township. Located on Shenango Road near Darlington Road, the Chippewa Elementary School, an eleven-room building, opened on january 5, 1931, putting an end to the one-room schools of the past. Additions made the school the largest elementary school in the state. In 1964 Robert Stinson served as principal of Chippewa Elementary School while Dr. Charles Groff filled the office of supervising principal of the Highland Suburban jointure. Dr. Joseph M. Cioffi served as building principal from 1972."

A junior high school was constructed in 1957 for Chippewa and Patterson Township students following the jointure of the two townships. In 1973, Highland Suburban junior High School was converted to a middle school under the supervision of Principal Bert Robinson.

The borough of Darlington lies along Little Beaver Creek. Laid out in 1804, the borough was incorporated as Greersburg in 1820, named for one of the first landowners. Because of confusion with Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the name was changed in 1830 to Darlington. A stage coach stop on the route between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, it bustled with general stores and small business establishments. Never very populous, it declined in population after the stage coaches became obsolete .

Darlington's chief claim to fame was the Greersburg Academy, built between 1802 and 1805, about which Joseph Bausman wrote in his History of Beaver County. The final home of the academy was a red brick building in Darlington constructed in 1884. It continued in operation until 1908.

For many years, the brick academy building served as a public school in Darlington, housing elementary grades and a two-year high school. The class of 1910 was the first graduating class: Fae Eakin, Ralph McClain, and George Seanor. A four-year high school program was offered in 1921." Until 1957, this high school graduated students trained in vocational agriculture, home economics, or the academic subjects of the Preparatory Course. In 1957-58, high school students of Darlington matriculated at Northwestern High School. The Northwestern jointure, formed in 1957, included Darlington Borough, Darlington Township, Enon Valley Borough, and South Beaver Township.

Darlington Township was formed in 1847 from Little Beaver Township in the northwestern corner of the county. It was the site of cannel coal mining. Clay mining later replaced coal as the main industry, but that too has declined. An industrial park has brought some businesses into the township."

The earliest schoolhouse in Darlington Township was also the earliest in Beaver County. North of Darlington Lake, Douthett School stood for perhaps a hundred years or more." We are told that it was in use until 1939, the year in which all one-room schools in the township were closed. The school, located on Hell's Hollow Road, has now vanished.

Other schools mentioned in Darlington Township School Board minutes for August 29, 1875, according to historian Cheryl Nicely were Mt. Nebo, Hartshorne, Stringtown, Poverty Point, also known as Cory's School, Pleasant Hill, Syracuse, and McGeorge School. Mt. Nebo closed in 1929; Hartshorne and Stringtown, in 1939. Poverty Point, or Cory's School, was located on the property of John Cory. Before 1873 the log school was replaced by Excelsor with donated foundation stones and timber. It closed in 1939. Pleasant Hill, another log school, served as a school for the mining families of Cannelton. It was closed in the early 1900's. Syracuse School housed children of miners employed at the Syracuse mine. Built after 1901, Oakdale, a two-room school, replaced the Syracuse School. It continued in use until 1939. McGeorge School was built in 1874 on Madden Run Road and was used until 1934.

With the closing of the one-room schools in 1939, the township students attended the Darlington Elementary School, newly built on Route 168 on the edge of Darlington Borough.

Enon Valley Borough lies on the northern border of Darlington Township; in fact, just over the border in Lawrence County. Geographically it seems to be part of the county. Enon Valley was settled in 1800 "but not officially laid out until 1850. A residential area with some small businesses and farming families, Enon Valley in 1981 had a population of 455. Built in 1926, the elementary school is a two-room building originally housing grades 1-8. In the adjacent Enon Valley High School, students attended grades 9 and 10. In 1957, Enon Valley became part of the merger that formed the Northwestern Beaver County jointure. The Enon Valley Elementary School continued in use until 1973, when the building was abandoned. Middle school students attended the Northwestern Middle School, and high school students, the Blackhawk High School. Grade school pupils attended Darlington Elementary.

South Beaver Township, the eighth of the political entities comprising the Blackhawk School District, once included all the county land areas north and west of the Ohio and Beaver Rivers. A township with a rich Indian heritage, it was traversed by the Sandusky Indian Trail and the Tuscarawas Trail. The township mail was handled by post offices in Black Hawk village on the southern border and at Rowestown in the south central part of the township. Black Hawk was a stage coach stop with an inn for travelers located on the Old Tuscarawas Trail."

Before 1954, historian jean Means writes, there were eight one-room schools in the township: McElhaney, Saint's Rest, Groscost, Court Schools, Johnson School, Blue Ridge School, Lime Kiln School, and McCloy School. J. L. Engle's map of 1901 includes all of them. Closed in 1920 were Groscost and Lime Kiln schools. The first Court School, called Brush Run School, was closed in 1925, as was the first Blue Ridge School. The others - McElhaney, Saint's Rest, Court School number 2, Johnston, the second Blue Ridge School, and McCloy School - were closed in 1954.

In that year, the first consolidated school of the township, the South Beaver Elementary School, was opened to township students in grades 1-8. Mrs. Agnes S. Groscost served as principal. Head teacher of the school from 1960 to 1969 was Mrs. Anona K. Harper. The school was enlarged in 1964. In 1970, William A. Ketterer was appointed principal of South Beaver Elementary School.

Writing in 1977, local historian Mary L. Turek cites Dr. William P. Hahn, superintendent of Blackhawk schools, as the key figure in the three initial years of the newly merged district. "As chief school administrator he faced not only the challenge of blending two professional staffs, but also the challenge of unifying eight diverse communities which had been merged into one new district. 1117 In his position of superintendent from 1970 until June 30, 1974, Dr. Hahn "was the driving force" that led to the completion of the high school building and its opening in just three years. An even greater achievement was his getting the Blackhawk High School evaluated and accredited by the Middle Atlantic States Association during the first year of the school's operation.

Other administrators serving the district in the first years of the merger were Dr. George Appel, director of secondary education; Edmund F. Truter, director of elementary education; Thomas Cochran, principal, Northwestern High School; Arthur J. Cornell, principal, Highland junior High School; Charles Dudas and Ronald Alberts, elementary school principals.

The three-fold purpose of the schools, these educators wrote, is to preserve a democratic way of life, to advance cultural standards and encourage a beneficial regard for cultural heritage and to create an environment conducive to the development of well-integrated individuals, equipped for a meaningful and productive life."

In 1976-1977, there were 4,179 students enrolled in the Blackhawk District. Dr. Melvin R. Miller was superintendent of the district. Other members of the administration included Thomas L. Cochran, assistant superintendent; and Edmund R. Truter, director of elementary education.

Kenneth H. Yonkee became the superintendent of Blackhawk Schools in the summer of 1981. He remained in office until 1986, when Jack Fullen was named acting superintendent of the district. On July 1, 1987, Dr. Martha J. Johnston began work as the Blackhawk School District's new superintendent. Dr. Johnston had previously served as superintendent of the Avonworth School District. One of her objectives, one urged by the Blackhawk School Board, is to bring academic programs to the high level of accomplishment the district's band and athletic teams have reached. Jack Fullen was named to the position of assistant superintendent .69

Center Township, an area settled early by the Baker, Dungan, and Douds families, has existed in its present form only from 1914, when Moon Township split into two separate townships, "the larger southern section" becoming Center Township. The township lies in the central part of the county. For thirty to forty years, it remained a rural area. Its location, however, along the Ohio River on the east and on either side of Brodhead Road, a historic road connecting Fort Pitt with Fort McIntosh in Beaver, led to the township's development as a suburban area from the mid-fifties to the present. Its school system has grown along with the establishment within its boundaries of Pennsylvania State University, Beaver Campus, the Community College of Beaver County, and the Beaver County Vocational-Technical High School. Many professional and commercial establishments are located in the township as well as a large retail shopping area - the Beaver Valley Mall."

Five schools existed in the area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Schools number 1 and 2, Bunker Hill, Mt. Pleasant, and Vankirk are located on Caldwell's map of 1876. Even earlier, in 1859, there had been a Davis School. Apparently the name "Davis" was also used later for Mt. Pleasant School. These schools provided for the educational needs of the township "until 1919 when they were reorganized to form the Center Township School District.""

Alcorn School was numbered district 1 when it was in Moon Township. A printed "Souvenir" in 1904-1905 named Melvern MacKall the teacher of a school of 55 pupils. The school board at that time included A. A. Cochran, president; Frank Schade, secretary; J. E. Smith, treasurer; J. W. Reed; William Johnson; and W. J. Todd. County Superintendent was Chester A. Moore. Among the teachers of Alcorn School were Mrs. Gray in 1927, with a school of 40, and Hope Stevenson in 1938, with a school of 61. Alcorn School, a two-room building, was closed in 1941 and is now a private home.

Simon Field, perhaps schoolhouse number 2 on Caldwell's map, was located on the edge of a field owned by a man named Simon. A class photograph of 1905 shows a small school of 21 pupils and Ada Staub McCleary, teacher. Only 13 pupils are photographed in front of the school in 1911. The teacher is not identified. C. E. Douds was known to have taught at Simon Field at about that time.

Bunker Hill School was situated near the top of the highest hill in the township, according to the brief history of schools published in the Bicentennial history of the township. The first school burned; the second school closed in 1939 and was converted into a social hall by the Center Township Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1821.

Vankirk School was named for its first teacher. The few available photographs of the school are not dated. Only one teacher is named - D. D. Eberle. In 1941 the school was closed. Moved across Vankirk Road, it became the Vankirk Lutheran Church.

Mt. Pleasant School, shown on Caldwell's 1876 map, was originally named Davis School. It was situated on Chapel Road. Closed in 1939, Davis School became a private home.

In the 1930's the need for the consolidation of educational services became imperative. With WPA assistance and a local bond issue, Center Township School District began construction of an eight-room building on Center Grange Road. Alvin W. Elliott was principal of the new school that opened on October 1, 1939, accommodating students from Bunker Hill, Simon Field, Davis, and Center schools." Alcorn and Vankirk schools remained in use until 1941, when an addition made it possible to house all township elementary pupils in the Center Township Consolidated School on Center Grange Road. Secondary students attended schools in Monaca or Aliquippa school districts until the 1960's.

In 1945-1946, Mr. Elliott was named supervising principal of the township school, and an ever-increasing number of teachers were employed. In 1955-1956, John W. Montini was named supervising principal of the township school. However, in 1958-1959, Center schools formed a jointure with the Monaca School District, and the administration and organization changed. Harry E. Fink was re-elected supervising principal of the Monaca Area School District and John W. Montini, assistant supervising principal. John H. Paine was named head teacher of the Center Township School. In 1959-1960, Mr. Paine was named principal of the Center Township School. The jointure did not prove satisfactory and on July 1, 1960, it was dissolved.

In 1962, the Center Township High School on Baker Road Extension was completed. The high school is a handsome building of 31 rooms. From the date of its opening, it has served as a junior-senior high school. In 1967, the Center Township junior High School opened and for some years housed the intermediate grades 4-6 while the junior high school students remained in the high school building.

In the meantime an addition had been made to the Center Elementary School in 1961. With a continually growing population and the desire to establish a kindergarten program, the district constructed one more building - the Todd Lane Elementary School, which opened in September, 1971.

In 197 1, the Center School District merged with its neighbor, the Potter Township School District, to form the Center Area School District. Potter Township, with an area of 6.48 square miles, lies between Center Township and the Ohio River. It became industrialized in the 1930s and 1940s when the St. Joseph Lead Company established a zinc smelting plant in the township and the Koppers Company built a World War II defense plant - Kobuta. The St. Joseph plant was erected on the site of what had once been the village of Bellowsville, where a school had been part of the community. Independent School originally served Moon Township residents in Bellowsville and then became part of Potter Township. After the merger, the Potter Township Elementary School, a brick structure on Frankfort Road, was in use in the Center Area School District.

The merger proved effective, for Potter Township's small population of 484 in 1970 and its relatively high tax base complemented Center Township's fastgrowing population and relatively low tax rate.

Dr. Harry E. Fink filled the office of superintendent of Center Area Schools for many years beginning in 1967-1968. Earlier he had served as supervising principal. Elementary supervisors included John W. Montini, serving as elementary principal and as elementary supervisor, 1960-1967; John Zigerelli, elementary principal, 1967-1970; Donald Bradshaw, director of elementary education, 1967-1970; Edward Elder, elementary principal, 1969-1970; Rudy Gradisek, high school principal, 1962-1969, then secondary director of education; and Philip M. Kanfush, Jr., high school principal, 1969; Samuel Gagliardi, assistant high school principal.

As in most of the Beaver County schools, the student enrollment of Center Area School District has declined since the mid-seventies. The economic troubles of the steel industry have led to decreasing population in nearly all school districts of the county. In Center the student enrollment of 3,300 in 1975 fell to 2,206 in 1983. One response was the closing of schools - the Potter Elementary School. The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit occupies most of the Center Elementary School. Only grades K-1 are housed in the former elementary school on Center Grange Road. The Todd Elementary School accommodates grades 2-5. The Center Area junior-Senior High School houses grades 6-8 and 9-12.

Since December 4, 1984, Dr. Victor Morrone has served as the superintendent of Center Area School District. Under his administration, emphasis in the elementary and middle grades in the 1980's is being placed on the basic learning skills of reading and mathematics. On the 1987 Testing for Essential Learning and Literacy Skills - the state-required TELLS - Center Area eighth grade students scored well in the reading and mathematics tests, ranking with the top districts in the county. With goal-centered instruction, all grades are striving for mastery of the basic skills.

Hopewell Township for about forty years has had unchanging boundaries in the southeastern corner of Beaver County. In 1812, the area became an off-shoot of the First Moon Township. Also included in the new Hopewell Township was a small section of the Second Moon Township. In 1948, Hopewell Township lost almost half of its territory when Independence Township was formed. The riverside communities broke away to become incorporated boroughs, Aliquippa (now West Aliquippa), in 1894, Woodlawn in 1908, and Shannopin (now South Heights) in 1901. In 1926, the borough of Woodlawn annexed New Sheffield village."

Hopewell's growth, like Center Township's, occurred mainly after World War II, when many families left the industrial towns for suburban living in the townships. In 1970, the township had a population of 14,133.

During the reorganization of rural school districts in Pennsylvania in the sixties, the school districts of Raccoon and Independence townships formed a jointure with Hopewell to create the Hopewell-Independence-Raccoon School District. In 1969-1970, the jointure became the Hopewell Area School District.

Since all three townships of southeastern Beaver County were settled in the early nineteenth century, they have had a history of many one-room schools. A few of the schools are still standing. By 1939, most of the small frame schools were closed. A few remained in operation until 1953.

In Hopewell Township, the historian of Hopewell schools, former administrator Donald Kratzert, lists the Old Scottsville School, New Scottsville School, Old Sheffield School, the Frog Pond School, Fairview School, Morrow School, Mt. Vernon School, and the William Smith School and briefly describes them. For the rich history of these one-room schools we refer you to Mr. Kratzert's "History of Hopewell Area Schools."

Raccoon Township was an area that withdrew from Moon and Greene townships in 1833. Raccoon Creek forms its eastern boundary. The township consists of about 19 square miles. In 1970 it had a population of 2,615. The schools, all one-room structures, were Green Garden, Scott School on Holt Road, Smith School on Route 18 near Oak Knoll, Lower Service School near the Service Creek Church Cemetery, and Crab Hollow School off Route 18.

Independence Township, formed in 1848 when it broke away from Hopewell Township, comprises 23.66 square miles and in 1970 had a population of 1,761. Raccoon Creek flows through the township, and on its banks was one of the earliest villages of the county. Independence village was the site of the "76" post office .78 Independence School was located near the village. The other schools of Independence Township were Ridge School, Butler School, Goresuch School, and Raredon Run School.

In addition to these one-room schools, the Hopewell-Independence-Raccoon areas had a private secondary school available to their students - the New Sheffield Academy. Located on Mill Street, it was incorporated in 1889 and remained in operation until July 7, 1915. The academy evidently could not compete with the public high schools that were in operation by the second decade of the century in Woodlawn, Beaver, and Monaca."

In 1939-1940, Mason J. Bodkin was supervising principal of the New Sheffield Consolidated High School. By 1940-1941, working under Mr. Bodkin were Maurice A. Heath, principal of the New Sheffield Consolidated High School, and Mrs. Margaret Ross, principal of the Hopewell Consolidated Building - Elementary. Donald D. Kratzert was named principal of the New Sheffield High School in 1941-1942. Succeeding Mr. Bodkin as supervising principal in 1948-1949 was Charles L. White. Mr. Kratzert and Mrs. Ross remained in their position of principal of the high school and the elementary school, respectively."

New elementary schools were constructed at Five Points and at Johnson Street in 1938-1939. The Johnson Street School became a high school-elementary building. Until 1954 when a new junior-senior high school was built on Brodhead Road in the Scottsville area, the Johnson Street School housed grades 9-12. The first graduating class was in 1941 - a class of 41 graduates.

In 1952, the schools submitted plans to the county office for reorganization and the formation of larger administrative units in the county school system. In that year a jointure of the three districts led to the formation of the HopewellIndependence-Raccoon joint School District. Plans for a larger organization including South Heights and Georgetown, Hookstown, Greene and Hanover townships proved to be inoperable.

The first president of the board of the Hopewell-Independence-Raccoon School District was B. Albert Smith, who had served on the Hopewell Board for many years.

The first new school built after the jointure, in 1953, was the Raccoon Elementary School on Patterson Road, a twelve-room school. Its construction permitted the closing of Green Garden, Scott, and Smith schools. Next, a junior-senior high school on Brodhead Road was completed in 1954 and housed all secondary students in the joint district. A handsome structure of 38 rooms, the building became the Hopewell Memorial junior High School after 1963 when the Hopewell Senior High School opened.

The Independence Elementary School on Route 151 was opened in 1956 - a six-room building later enlarged to fifteen rooms.

In 1960, the new Hopewell Elementary School on Kane Road helped to relieve the crowded conditions of the schools. Opening at the beginning of the 1963-1964 school term was a twelve-room structure on Maratta Road, an elementary school named the Margaret Ross Elementary School in honor of Mrs. Ross, who served as an elementary principal in the district from 1939 to 1966."

In 1963, the new Hopewell Senior high School, located in the Scottsville area, was completed. For students and teachers this building was like a dream come true. The light brick complex included 24 regular classrooms, five science rooms including an observatory, a library, and special rooms for industrial arts and mechanical drawing, commercial subjects, home economics, and art. A gymnasium and band room were included .12

Supervising principal of the joint school system was Charles L. White from 1954 to 1958. He was succeeded by John Milanovich, serving from 1958 to 1963. In 1969 Mr. Milanovich was named superintendent of the Hopewell Area School District. High school principal was Donald Kratzert from 1954 to 1961. Camillo Bonomi was named high school principal in 1961 and served to 1963. Elementary principals for the years 1954 to 1963 were Mrs. Ross and Norwood Singer. Alex Belvis was named principal in 1963.

When Mr. Milanovich retired to head the Beaver County Intermediate Unit in 1971, Camillo Bonomi was elected superintendent of the Hopewell Area School District.

The greater capacity of the schools provided space at last for kindergartens, which were established in 1963. By 1970, seven kindergarten rooms were in use in four buildings with two sessions held daily.

The largest Hopewell High School graduating class was the class of 1976, when 439 students received their diplomas at graduation. Superintendent of Schools then was Mr. Bonomi.

On his administrative staff were Steve J. Mulik, assistant superintendent for instruction; Milfred W. Smith, assistant superintendent for pupil services; John Waters, high school principal; Stanley Yukica, assistant high school principal; Louis Salay, assistant junior high school principal; Norwood B. Singer, principal, Five Points and Margaret Ross Elementary schools; Alex L. Belvis, principal, Hopewell and Independence Elementary schools; and Ralph Gaudio, principal, Johnson Street and Raccoon schools .83

A survey made in 1964 noted that 68.5 percent of Hopewell Area residents were employed by the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation in Aliquippa, fewer than in a 1952 survey. More residents were finding employment in Hopewell, other Beaver County areas, and Pittsburgh." It was not foreseen then that the steel industry in Beaver Valley would suffer major losses and all but shut down. By June 1983, Hopewell had sold the Johnson Street School and the Five Points Elementary. The board closed the Margaret Ross School at the end of the 1983 school year.

Present Superintendent of the Hopewell Area District is Steve J. Mulik. Other administrators include Dr. Terry Mack, assistant superintendent; Dr. E. Robert Frioni, senior high school principal; Dr. David Gordon, assistant senior high school principal; Stanley Yukica, junior high school principal; Alex Belvis, assistant junior high school principal; and Ralph Gaudio, principal, elementary schools.

In our brief history of what later was named Riverside Beaver County School District, our chief source of information is the late Margaret Grandey's very complete Hitsory of Education in Riverside Beaver County School District, published in 1982. Mrs. Grandey served as secretary to the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Beaver County joint School System, formed when North Sewickley Township joined the Franklin-Marion jointure.

In 1801, Sewickley Township in the northeastern part of the county broke into two parts, one bound on the west by the Beaver River and the Beaver Division Canal and on the northeast by Connoquenessing Creek. This area became North Sewickley Township. In 1845 Marion Township was one of four townships that withdrew from North Sewickley. In 1850, Franklin Township was formed when it separated itself from Marion Township. The three townships form the northeastern corner of the county and together comprise a little more than 49 square miles. In 1970, they had a population of 10,828. North Sewickley and Franklin townships have developed a suburban character because of their closeness to Ellwood City and Zelienople, while Marion Township remains a rural farming area."

Bausman had much to say of the early schoolmasters of the one-room schools of these townships. Many of the schools of the nineteenth century remained in use in the three townships into the fifth and sixth decades of the twentieth.

The oldest of the one-room schools was reportedly built in 1798. The school took its name - Old Furnace - from the nearby Bassenheim Iron Furnace built in 1814 by Dr. Detmar Basse. Old Furnace in Franklin Township continued in use until 1943 - a period of 145 years, surely a county record. It is no longer standing."

In Franklin Township, a two-room school, North Star, and the one-room Greenwood, Ferndale, American, and Soap Run housed elementary students. Frisco, a two-story building on the Ellwood-Zelienople Road, had been designed as a bank but was never used except as a make-shift school.

Schools in Marion Township, dating from the last century, were BenVenue, Hartzell, Mt. Pleasant, and Nye.

The schools of North Sewickley were fourteen in number, eleven one-room schools and three buildings of two or more rooms. Indicated on Engle's map of 1901 are Pleasant Valley, Bellton, Centre, Grandview, Harper's Ferry, Glendale, Boulogne, Laurel Point, and the two-room Ellwood schools. Mrs. Grandey adds Forest Glen, Bennett's Run, Wiley Hill, Locust Grove, Molly Main, and Riverview."

High school students of the three townships were sent on a tuition basis to Beaver Falls or Ellwood City.

Increased population in both North Sewickley and Franklin led to the construction of larger schools. In Franklin Township, an eight-room red brick building was constructed in 1925 to replace the North Star School. Students from Frisco School and the old North Star School were assigned to the new structure. Old Furnace School was closed in 1943, Greenwood in 1947, and American in 1948. The first consolidated school in North Sewickley Township was built in 1945 - a two-story building called Locust Grove School on Cherry Hill Road. This school accommodated pupils from Riverview, Molly Main, Harper's Ferry, and Glen Dale schools. In 1947, Harper's Ferry School closed and in 1950, Glen Dale. Another modern eight-room building was constructed adjacent to the North Sewickley Fire Hall. This school, Hillcrest, was opened in 1953-1954."

in 1952-1953, more one-room schools were closed: Wiley Hill, Bologne Valley, Bennett's Run, Laurel Point, Forest Glen, Pleasant Valley, and Grandview. Pupils from these schools attended Locust Grove School or the Hillcrest School.

The Mt. Pleasant School was destroyed by fire in 1929, and its students were sent on a tuition basis to Zelienople. Not until 1945 were the other Marion Township schools closed - BenVue, Hartzell, and Nye. Their students, too, were sent to Zelienople.

In the period after World War II, township districts were urged to join with other township districts "in an effort to give all students of the state quality education at an economical price." Franklin and Marion districts began discussions on a joint school system, and at the first joint meeting, held on May 23, 1952, officers of the Franklin-Marion joint School System were elected and Articles of Agreement were signed. A Franklin-Marion Municipal Authority was formed to be in charge of building construction."

In 1953, North Sewickley Township indicated its interest in forming a jointure of grades 1 through 12 with Marion and Franklin townships. The suggestion seemed feasible as it would enable all three districts to establish a junior and senior high school for their students. At a meeting on August 3, 1953, the North Sewickley school directors signed the Articles of Agreement to become a part of what was to be the Northeastern Beaver County School System.

At the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Beaver County joint School System on September 8, 1953, the Board elected Edward C. Schaffer of Beaver as supervising principal of the Northeastern schools. The Board also voted to build a junior-senior high school. A site was chosen, a plot of land adjoining the Country Club. in the planning stage, the junior-senior high school building needed a name. Since the school was to be located just south of Connoquenessing Creek, Board member Jack C. Steckman offered "Riverside" as appropriate. The Board approved the suggestion, and the building was so named."

In September 1959, the school opened its doors. Housed the first year were all sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade pupils. To relieve the ever-present overcrowding in the elementary schools, two groups of fifth-graders were also enrolled in the new school.

The junior-senior high school building provided 19 classrooms and 18 special rooms for science, commercial studies, industrial arts, music, and homemaking. library and gymnasium were also included. In March 1959, Melvin Miller of New Brighton was named principal. Other administrators in 1958-1959 were Charles W. Krepps, Jr., principal of North Star Building; Rebecca H. Zeigler, principal of Hillcrest Building; Ruth L. Stilley, principal of Locust Grove Building; and Bertha D. Wright, principal of Marion Elementary Building.

Meanwhile, in March 1958, Marion Elementary School was completed, and Marion Township elementary students finally had their own six-room school.

Because of the ever-increasing student population in the townships, a fifth elementary school was constructed in 1962-1963. Riverside Elementary School consists of 18 classrooms and auxiliary rooms. R. Thomas Richards was named principal of the school in 1964.

In its first year the Riverside junior-Senior High School inaugurated many school activities and organizations. David Brooks organized and trained a band, which presented its first program at Christmas, 1961. Black, white, and green uniforms added esprit de corps in 1962. Organized in the first few years were a Student Senate and a chapter of the National Honor Society. A sports program was begun, consisting at first of basketball, track, and baseball.

With the inclusion of the twelfth grade in Riverside junior-Senior High School, the curriculum expanded, more elective courses were offered in the fine arts, and two new administrators were added to the staff. Leslie H. Marietta succeeded Mr. Miller as principal of the junior-senior high school. In 1962-1963 Carl Walcott was employed as elementary supervisor of the district."

An addition to the junior-senior high school provided for 500 more students and consisted of twelve classrooms, three science rooms, a large instruction room, two heating plants, and one unlooked for facility - a swimming pool.

The high school in 1966-1967 received its certificate of accreditation. The Board of Directors declared that "much of the credit for our high school's being accredited so early in its history is attributed to Mr. Edward C. Schaffer's planning and hard work."

Because of the increased space, kindergartens were organized in 1967-1968. Half-day sessions were held twice a day in Hillcrest, Locust Grove, and North Star schools. At Marion and Riverside schools only one half-day session was held daily.

At the close of the 1967-1968 school year, Superintendent Edward C. Schaffer offered his resignation in order to accept the position of assistant superintendent of the Beaver County Schools. Kenneth H. Yonkee of Chippewa Township was named superintendent of Riverside schools. Mr. Yonkee had been employed by the County School Board as a special education teacher in the county's secondary schools."

In July, 1974, the Northeastern Beaver County School District officially changed its name (to avoid confusion with another district in the state) to the Riverside School District. The district also changed its organizational plan from two units, elementary and junior-senior high school, to three divisions: K-4, 5-8, 9-12. The upper half of the elementary grades became the middle school.

The philosophy of education endorsed by the Riverside School District was drawn up for the Long Range Developmental Plan approved on October 1, 1969. It stresses the essential need of individual dignity and worth. One keynote of the philosophy is its positive attitude and forward look. The district intends that children should "study and participate in present life with a view of creating in them a desire to develop a better future society.""

In 1981, Superintendent Yonkee accepted the position of superintendent of the Blackhawk District. To head the Riverside schools, the Board of School Directors chose Dr. James Hoy, formerly assistant superintendent of North Schuykill District.

Enrollments in the district have dropped as in all districts of the county except the South Side Area. As of June, 1983, Riverside had an enrollment of 2,433, a decline of 544 since 1975. However, by 1983 only one of its elementary schools had closed. Locust Grove School was sold in 1979 to a local developer.

The South Side Area School District is comprised of three small boroughs and two townships: Hookstown, Georgetown, Frankfort Springs, Greene Township, and Hanover Township. According to Bausman, both Frankfort Springs and Hookstown from their earliest times were known for their excellent schools." Robert M. Bryan in his "School History," published in Historical Events of South Side, Beaver County, Pa., echoes Bausman as he gives a detailed account of schools in the general South Side area.

Greene and Hanover Townships lie in the extreme southwest corner of Beaver County. Formed in 1812, Greene Township was and remains primarily a farming community. The township originally included three communities: Hookstown, Georgetown, and the village of Shippingport. In 1843 Hookstown was incorporated into a borough; Georgetown became a borough in 1850.

Hookstown was in existence several years before 1797, when Matthias and Benjamin Hook patented lands there. The small population was made up of farmers and workers in hotels, a grist mill, and a distillery.

Georgetown, situated on a high plateau overlooking the Ohio River, was laid out on January 13, 1793, by Benoni Dawson. Georgetown was a post town and the home of steamboat men. It was also the home of famous Indian fighters - Adam and Andrew Poe .97

The population of these communities had begun to decline by 1880 and into the first few decades of the twentieth century. However, the population of Greene Township and its three communities began to swell in the mid-years of the twentieth century. As well as a farming community, the area has become a residential community for people making their living in Pittsburgh and its vicinity.

There had been schools operating in Greene Township in the early nineteenth century, and one of them was Mercer School. Gerogetown had two schools, meaning two school rooms, probably one above the other or perhaps two small buildings side by side. Two one-room schools were operating in Hookstown in the mid-forties of the nineteenth century. By 1900, the district still operated two schoolrooms, with a student body of 65. The average attendance, however, was much lower .

Many outstanding teachers taught in schools in Hookstown in the nineteenth century. Hookstown was the home of an academy that became very important, after the Civil War, in training teachers and preparing students for college. Hookstown Academy up to 1924 played a strong role in teaching the basic courses and especially the summer normal school courses that furthered the education of county teachers.

Hanover Township, south of Greene Township, lying on the Washington County border, was settled in the eighteenth century. The Levi Dungan family laid out a farm there in 1772. One of the communities of the township was the village of Frankfort, which took the name of Frankfort Springs Borough when it incorporated in 1844. Nearby was the well-known health and recreational resort called Frankfort Springs, very popular for the medicinal qualities of its water." Hamlets in the township included Murdocksville and Hanover village. The village of Harsha became a post office community.

The borough of Frankfort Springs had an educational institution to be proud of - Frankfort Academy. Following the Civil War, the academy re-opened and a charter was secured in 1871. The second chartered academy was still operating in 1904. Like Hookstown Academy it may have continued into the 1920's, teaching the children of Frankfort Springs and preparing students for teaching.

By 1876 most of the one-room schoolhouses in use in the first half of the twentieth century were in existence. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the following schools were in operation: Reed, Upper Service, Mercer, Creek, Montgomery, Poe's School, all of these in Greene Township.

In Hanover Township, schools that continued in use in the present century were the Anderson, Keifer, Roberts, Breaden, Scott, Doak, Miller, Adams, Crook, Harsh, Buchanon, and Nickle schools.

In a letter to Mrs. Gladys Hoover in 1978, Allen W. Robertson, for many years custodian of South Side Area schools, named the above schools and also noted the two-room schools at Hookstown and Georgetown, the Frankfort School, and the Shippingport School.

We ought to mention their ultimate fate, so far as we know it. The Upper Service Schoolhouse was closed in 1937. Mercer School was still standing in 1976, but "abandoned and forlorn." The school on Mill Creek, perhaps called Creek School, was closed in 1928. Montgomery School on the road to Chester became a privately owned garage. The schoolhouse on the Poe property, sometimes known as the Hill School, is no longer standing. In Hanover Township the Anderson School closed before 1919. Keifer's School closed in 1920. The school near Mrs. Minesinger's known as the Roberts School closed in 1919. Breaden's School was not closed until 1947. It has since burned down. Doak's School closed in 1920; the Adams School, in 1939. Crook's School closed in 1941. Harsha School, closed in 1945, was destroyed by fire. Buchanon's School stood until about 1957. It has been razed.

In these one-room schools all eight grades were taught by one teacher, and many students proved by their excellent results on the eighth-grade examinations given yearly under supervision of the County Superintendent that good teaching and successful learning were often the product of the country schools. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Public School Annuals reported the highest-ranking students taking the test. Applicants were examined in writing, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, history, geography, and health. The test was comprehensive, and many students failed to pass, signaling a repetition of eighth grade or the end of their education and no possibility of admission to high school.

During the years of World War II, little construction was possible to house the expanding student population in the South Side area of the county. The Commonwealth urged school districts across the state to plan for future mergers and to create jointures with neighboring districts to help solve their immediate problems.

Before the mid-century, six independent school districts operated in southern Beaver County. In 1950 five districts formed the Hookstown joint School District: Frankfort Springs Borough, Greene Township, Hanover Township, Hookstown Borough, and Shippingport. The joint district planned to support a comprehensive 1-12 program. In 1952, the name was changed to the Southern Beaver County joint School District. South Heights Borough became a part of the jointure in 1954 but withdrew one year later. Not until 1961 did Georgetown become a member of the jointure, which was then offering a 1-12 program. Finally in 1969, the jointure gave way to a single district organization to be known as the South Side Area School District. From July 1, 1969, the district offered a K-6, 7-12 program of studies."'

To carry out its plans for construction, the Southern Beaver County joint Board had, in the mid-fifties, purchased land about two miles southeast of Hookstown and erected a new secondary school and a new elementary school building. The construction was completed and the schools occupied in the fall of 1956. The elementary school consisted of 18 classrooms, with a multi-purpose room, a kitchen, and other auxiliary areas. In 1963 an additional section of classrooms was constructed, providing the junior-senior high school building with 19 rooms in all. An on-site sewage treatment plant to serve both buildings was installed. Toward the close of the 1960's two temporary buildings were set up behind the elementary school to provide kindergarten classrooms and a library. Another wing was added to the elementary building in 1972 to relieve the need of temporary structures.

The combined school district members of the South Side Area were engaged in planning, financing, and building for a period of twenty years. Officers of the 24-member Southern Beaver County joint School Board in 1952-1953 were C. W. Carr, president; Carl Soisson, vice president; A. W. Robertson, secretary (a non-member of the Board); and William E. Noll, treasurer.

When the jointure was organized as a single district on July 1, 1969, Victor F. Thomas, Jr., was supervising principal. He held that position for a period of fifteen years, from 1955-1956 through 1969-1970. Serving as principal of South Side Area High School during these years were four schoolmen: Nandor A. Hrutkay, 1957-1960; Charles P. Henderson, from 1961 to 1966; Andrew W. Campbell, from 1966 to 1968; and William M. Kerr, from 1969 to 1970. Elementary principals were John Deward Matthews, from 1956 to 1958; Carl E. Walcott, from 1958 to 1962; Robert R. Wagoner, from 1962 to 1967; William M. Kerr, from 1968 to 1969; and Gary K. Butler, from 1969 to 1970.

The long-range programs published every five years by the South Side Area District and filed with the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit announce the district administrators in 1973, in 1979, and in 1980. In 1973 C. John Brannon was superintendent; William Kerr, secondary principal; William E. Edgar, assistant secondary principal; and Gary K. Butler, elementary principal. In 1979 Dr. Albert Manerino served as superintendent; but in an addendum, the Long Range Plan Revision of December 10, 1980, announced Dr. Robert R. Perry as superintendent; William E. Edgar as high school principal; and Frank E. Meredith, elementary principal.

In 1973, the planning program noted that the district had experienced an inward migration of residents due to the (then) new Beaver Valley Expressway. In 1970, only 2.58 percent of the labor force was unemployed. Even in 1984 the district, with its wide diversity in types of employment, was not so hard hit by unemployment as some other Beaver County districts.

In the summer of 1987, Robert R. Perry resigned to accept the superintendent's post at Shaler Area School District. Appointed acting superintendent of the South Side Area School District was Dr. Susan P. Goodwin, then serving as supervisor of instruction."'

The South Side School Board unanimously hired Dr. George J. Szymanski to fill the position of superintendent beginning December 1, 1987. He viewed his appointment as an "exciting opportunity."

The Western Beaver County School District is made up of three boroughs, Ohioville, Industry, and Glasgow, all of which extend from the north shore of the Ohio River in the west central part of Beaver County. Ohioville, originally Ohio Township, was incorporated as a borough in 1962. It comprises about 24 square miles and in 1970 had a population of 3,918. Included in the borough are the former villages of Blackhawk and Fairview. At one time Smith's Ferry was a busy transportation center. The borough of Industry, incorporated in 1960, comprises 10.4 square miles. Now part of the borough are three small villages - Merrill, Ohioview, and Industry. The population in 1970 was 2,442. The third part of the school district is the town of Glasgow, laid out in 1836 and headquarters of the Sandy and Beaver Canal. In 1964 it was incorporated. In spite of its canal line and an oil boom in the 1860's, Glasgow remained a small town. In 1970 it had a population of 234. 113

One-room schools in the three communities accommodated grades one through eight. Students desiring secondary education had to pass the county examination for eighth-graders and then travel to Beaver or Midland for high school.

Glasgow had one one-room school, a school that continued in operation until 1956. Some time after that date, the school was remodeled to serve as the borough's municipal building.

Ohio Township School District had seven one-room schools, according to our Western Beaver County School District historian, Clyde Piquet, mayor of Industry and local historian and collector. He names the schools as Smull's, Hamilton, Ohioville, Forrest Hill or White, Bealer's Run, and Fairview. As in most rural townships, some of the old schools underwent name changes, or two of them were recollected as one."'

Industry Township School District had three schools: a two-room school in Industry village; Oak Grove, a one-room school; and the two-room Logan School. Oak Grove closed in 1937. The two-room Logan School had closed in 1931. The name of Logan may later have been given to Ohioview School, a consolidated school.

In the middle years of the twentieth century, the school boards of Ohio Township, Industry Township, and Glasgow Borough were faced with an acute problem. With more and more families moving into the rural and suburban areas, the number of students increased, and the rural schools became overcrowded. There was need for expansion. The only resource the individual districts had to finance new buildings or additions to present buildings was the local tax revenue. The state would lend financial support for classroom expansion provided a local district joined with a neighboring district.

The boards of Glasgow and Ohio Township school districts in 1952 formed a jointure to be known as the Fairview joint School District. This district, through the Fairview joint Municipal Authority, borrowed $425,000 On January 1, 1953, to construct the Fairview School located on Tuscarawas Road in Ohio Township.

Before the construction began, Industry Township School District requested to become a part of the jointure. The resulting district was named Ohio and Industry Townships and Glasgow School Districts, reports Mr. Piquet. By the end of the school year the name being used was Western Beaver County joint Schools. Nine years later the jointure was recognized as Unit V by the State Department of Education."'

Erected in 1953-1954, Fairview School was opened at the beginning of the school year in September, 19 54. A dedication service was held on September 10.

Formerly the principal of Industry Township schools, Ray W. Snyder now became the supervising principal of the Western Beaver County schools. In the year 1954-1955 one teacher - Mrs. Sarah R. Gorsuch - taught at the Glasgow Borough School, twelve teachers in the new Fairview School, two in the Industry Building, and seven teachers at Ohio View School. Frederick E. Ringer served as principal of Fairview, and Clifford Wilds was principal of Ohio View.

All three communities in the district were having growing pains and lacked sufficient classroom space for their students. Each area had provided education for grades one through eight, and high school education was "purchased" in tuition money for their students at nearby schools, mainly Midland Borough High School. Usually, writes Mr. Piquet, who served in 1952-1953 as secretary to Western Beaver County School Board, the tuition bills were the last to be paid; and until the tuition was paid, the receiving district would not admit the tuition students.

These facts led Western Beaver County Board to take the necessary steps to build a secondary school. President of the joint board was R. G. Hammond. The merger of the three districts into Western Beaver County School District became effective July 1, 1958, and a Western Beaver County School Authority was formed.

Supervising Principal Ray W. Snyder, who had labored long and earnestly for the "union district," died almost on the eve of the election in which the citizens of the three areas voted their approval of the jointure. As far back as 19391940 Mr. Snyder had been serving as principal of the Industry Township Schools. To show appreciation of his leadership and service, the Board gave his name to the elementary school that was constructed in 1959-1960. The Ray W. Snyder Elementary School was dedicated on August 18, 1960.

Following Mr. Snyder's death, the schools were temporarily administered by R. C. Robertson, an assistant superintendent of the county. On February 2, 1958, Frank A. Meredith was appointed supervising principal of the Western Beaver County Schools.

Applications for construction of a secondary school were sent from the local board to Harrisburg in 1955. In the spring of 1960 approval was given to the plans, bonds for the building were sold by the State School Building Authority, bids were opened, and finally on April 15, 1961, ground was broken for the construction of the Western Beaver County junior-Senior High School. The 2 2-room school was completed in 1962 at a total cost of $1,952,539. In June, 1963, the class of 1963 was honored at the first Commencement program."'

In 1962-1963, Frank A. Meredith headed the schools as supervising principal. Michael Arbutina was named principal of the junior-senior high school with thirty secondary teachers on his staff. Elementary principal was Donald E. Bradshaw, overseeing thirty-one teachers in the Fairview, Industry, Snyder, and Logan schools. By 1966-1967 total enrollment in the schools was 1,826.

In 1966, Mr. Meredith was named superintendent of the district schools. In a few years the Western Beaver School District had developed a comprehensive educational program for grades one through twelve, housed in a modern juniorsenior high school and in three well-equipped elementary schools. The administrative staff included high school principal, Michael Arbutina; assistant high school principal, Carlisle McPherson; and elementary principal, Roland E. Delaney.

Albert Troiano was elected superintendent of the Western Beaver County School District in 1972. Principal of the junior-senior high school at present is Michael Arbutina and assistant principal of the secondary school is Ronald Young. Roland E. Delaney serves as elementary principal.

The June 4, 1987, graduation exercises marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the junior-senior high school. The honor students represented the many extracurricular activities, clubs and interests, and sports programs in the district.