This is a continuation of an article on the history of the early local schools that appeared previously in this paper.
In June of 1856, plans were made to build a new schoolhouse, 80 feet by 25 feet of brick and stone on Washington Street. This building would be nearly 160 years old now. The next month they sold the old wood school building to John Westerman for $27. The new brick school would cost about $900.
In 1863, it was voted to raise a tax of $100 to pay for the school lot bought from John Cole in 1854. It was a half acre. At one time, according to their records, they must have had the grounds all fenced in. The main reason would be the laying of the railroad tracks in 1853.
In 1891, the brick schoolhouse needed repairing so they voted to spend $200 on it. At that time, they installed a brand new floor and bought new school furniture. The seats in the desks were all replaced during the 1890s, and a flagpole was erected. There was a large bookcase in the school with 70 or 75 books. This was the school library. In 1893, they voted to levy a tax of $20 per child to install a district library.
In July 1898, the people of the new village decided to build a $8,000 brick schoolhouse on what is now East Avenue. The old school and site was sold to the Vanderbilt Improvement Co. for $1,000. Possibly a sort of trade for they paid $1,000 for the site of the new red brick building on East Avenue.
The Vanderbilt Improvement Co. also agreed to donate a bell for the new school. It was told that Mr. Rayfurth, the janitor for many years, had the bell placed on top of the school. It rang in the morning, at noon and in mid-afternoon.
Mr. Lewis O’Bourn, superintendent of schools at the time, had the bell safely stored in one of the new school buildings after the original school was demolished in 1936.
This bell is now mounted on top of one of the monuments in Edmund Lyon Park.