The first school established in Athens was in 1801, and was taught by John Goldthwaite. The school house (a log one) was situated on Joseph Higgins’s place, about three miles south of Athens. Henry Bartlett taught in this house several quarters, between 1802 and 1806. Michael Higgins, now seventy-four years old, attended Esquire Bartlett’s school, and relates that, on one occasion, when the scholars undertook, according to a custom then prevalent, to bar the master out, on a certain day, and had made all very fast, Mr. Bartlett procured a roll of brimstone from the nearest house, climbed to the top of the school house, and dropped the brimstone down the open chimney into the fire; then placing something over the chimney, he soon smoked the boys into an unconditional surrender.
The first school house on the town plat was a small brick building, which stood about where Grosvenor & Dana’s law office now is just east of the Presbyterian church. This has long since disappeared. It was built about 1806 or ‘7. Capt. David Pratt taught here for several years. Some of the best remembered among his successors are Mrs. Sarah Foster (“Grandma Foster”), Miss Sallie Jewett, the Rev. James McAboy, the Rev. Mr. McDill, Mrs. Burton, Prof. Andrews, L. D. Shepherd, Mr. Sears, Mr. Blake, the Rev. Joseph Marvin, the Rev. Charles Townsend, Samuel Marsh, Miss Haft, and James D. Johnson. About twelve years ago, the union school system, so successful every where, was adopted in Athens, since when the public school has taken a respectable rank. About eight thousand dollars was raised by taxation, and a convenient and spacious school building erected. The site is a commanding one; the building, of brick, is sixty-five feet front by seventy-one deep, and three stories in height; the first and second stories each thirteen feet high, and the third story eighteen feet. The ground and second floor are each divided into four class rooms, two twenty-two by twenty-eight feet, and two twenty-seven by twenty-eight feet, and the third floor furnishes a hall sixty-two by fifty-six feet. Mr. L. R. Jarvis superintended the stone work, Mr. J. B. Paul, the brick work, and Mr. William Shaffer, the wood work. Mr. Cyrus Grant was the first superintendent of this school, and was succeeded by Mr. J. K. Mower, and Miss Eunice Rice. The Rev. Mr. Travis followed, then Mr. Doan, the Rev. John Pratt, the Rev. W. H. Scott, Captain Charles Barker, and Mr. Goodspeed, the present superintendent. The institution is well sustained and growing in usefulness.
Back to: Athens, Athens County, Ohio History
Back to: Athens County, Ohio