My grandfather, John Nelson Stiles is probably the one person that has most inspired and encouraged me to follow in his footsteps in Genealogy and History. He kept many things and one of the publications, that I believe to very interesting, I found in his old trunk. It is the Catalogue of Harrison County Free Schools for the school year of 1896-97. This is the year he met my grandmother, Lora May Robinson, in “Long Run School” and married her a year later. The catalogue contains all of the faculty and students of Harrison County, WV. I will attempt to republish all 250 pages. I hope that you may find some of your relatives listed.

CATALOGUE
of
THE FREE SCHOOLS
of
HARRISON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
for the
SCHOOL YEAR 1896-97
J. E. LAW
County Superintendent

TO THE PATRONS OF THE FREE SCHOOLS OF HARRISON COUNTY:

     I present this report of the Schools of Harrison County, in compliance with what, in my opinion, the best interest of the schools demands.

     I visited nearly all the schools of the county during the term and noted, closely, the work done by the teachers and the pupils and where it was practicable the interest manifested by the patrons. My observation is that the teachers, generally, are doing good work and with few exceptions are aggressive and awake to the interest of the schools. There are some communities (as the reports of the teachers will show) that do not take the interest in the work that is essential to the success of the schools.

     A live community is as essential as a live teacher. A teacher, who teaches successfully, will have his patrons aroused to the interest of the school and awake to the efforts of the pupils. He encourages in the pupil a desire to do and to be, which desire is more to be valued than facts taught from the text-book.



SCHOOL HOUSES AND GROUNDS

     Great care should be taken in the location and construction of school houses and to keep them in repair. Some of our buildings are badly located, standing on lands not owned by the State and under a contract that the grounds on which they are built shall not be fenced.

     I would advise the boards of education, where there is no agreement to the contrary, to consider the propriety of fencing the school property. I am of the opinion that it would afford, in the pupils a higher regard for the buildings and furniture and encourage a local pride in beautifying the grounds.

SCHOOL APPARATUS

     A great deal of money has been invested during the last year in school apparatus, including maps, charts, globes, arithmetical blocks, etc.

     Great care should be taken in the selection of such apparatus and boards of education should inform themselves before purchasing and see that they are getting an article that will save time to the teacher and pupils.

     Uniform charts and apparatus for the County in my opinion, would save much in time and money to our schools.

     I insist that the teacher should study the apparatus or the objects by which he teaches as he would the text-book and be able to give to the pupil something fresh, new, and inspiring.

WAGES

     The wages paid in the districts is treated in connection with the reports of the districts. I believe that more competent teachers could be secured and more efficient services would be rendered, if higher wages were paid in the districts.

PUBLIC SCHOOL LIBARARIES

     By the efforts of the teachers and the communities a number of libraries, of seventy-five to one hundred volumes, have been established in the county during the term. This certainly is an advanced movement and is to be commended.

     There should be a library in every school in the county, and persons graduating from our schools should have knowledge of the standard literary works and authors. Many persons are not able to secure all the books necessary, but by a small contribution, may, through the library exchange may be able to read many books.

TEACHERS INSTITUTE

     The Teachers Institute was held in Clarksburg commencing on Monday, June 22. Profs. J. Walker Barnes, of the Fairmont Normal School and Thomas C. Miller of the University, instructors. This was the largest meeting of the kind ever held in the County and one of great interest and worth to the teachers, aside from the regular program, there was a program arranged for each evening.

     On Monday evening was held the Teachers’ Annual Social Meeting, which was a source of pleasure and afforded a pleasant evening to all who attended.

     Tuesday evening was spent in a citizens’ meeting, invitations having been sent to all the members of the Boards of Education and school officers throughout the County; there was a large number present.

     The school work was discussed from the citizens’ standpoint and a very great interest was manifested throughout.

     Wednesday evening’s session was conducted in the Traders Grand Opera, where the teachers and citizens were highly entertained by Miss Margaret T. Linton in a series of recitations which were well selected and rendered in a manner most pleasing.

     On Thursday evening Prof. William P. Wiley of the University, delivered his famous lecture, “A Woman in It” to a large and appreciative audience.

     This lecture closed the evening sessions and Friday afternoon the Institute adjourned.

     (See Institute Register, Appendix D.)




APPENDIX D.
Institute Register of Harrison County, West Virginia

JUNE, 1896

Ash, David, Clarksburg Ashburn, F.E., Sardis Ashcraft, Casher, Wyatt Ayers, B., Sardis Ayers, Buena, Jarvisville Barnes, J.W., Wallace Barnett, D. C., Jarvisville Barnett, Ira C., Jarvisville Bartlett, Ida, Farnum Bassell, Guy C., Lost Creek Bates, Clarence, Clarksburg Bates, Sardis, Clarksburg Bation, John, Lost Creek Bennett, Howard, Brown Boggess, Bertha, Lumberport Boyles, Fannie, Adamston Bumgardner, Nora, Salem Burnside, S. M., Benson Burnside, S.E.W., Goodhope Cheuvront, John R., Manninton Cheuvront, Julia, Shelbyville Clark, A.H., Shinnston Cobun, J. M. Peora Coffindaffer, A. B. Craigmoor Coffman, C. G., Dola Coffman, Wade, Cherry Camp Conley, Geo.W., Craigmoor Cook, W.L. Clarksburg Cookman, Allie, Rockford Corpening, Hattie, Bridgeport Cost, Ollie, Clarksburg Criss, May, Adamston Cunningham, H.L., Peora Dana, Bessie, Shinnston Davidson, Alex Davis Ila, Clarksburg Davis, C. W., Johnstown Davis, Claud, Grassland Davis, J. F., Wallace Davis, Maleta, Jane Lew Davis, W.H. Grandville Davison, Floris, Lost Creek Davison, Issabella, Clarksburg Dawson, Lewis, Dayton Dean, Charles, Wallace Dean, F.C., Wallace Deane, Berda, Wallace Denham, Effie, Lumberport Denham, Marion, Lumberport Dew, Lillie, Salem Douglass, E.L., Grassland Douglass, W.H., Lost Creek Dunn, Annie, Clarksburg Epperson, Florence, (col,) Clarksburg Findley, E.L., Lumberbport Findley, F.C., Mineral Flanigan, J.W., Adamston Fleming, Alice, Shinnston Fleming, Mabel, Shinnston Flowers, Noami, Sardis Flowers, Virginia, Sardis Fortney, A. Q. Sturm’s Mills Fortney, C. P., Lumberport Freeman, Emma, Clarksburg Frum, Floyd N., Bridgeport Garrett, C. D., Wallace Goodwin, Alice, Clarksburg Goodwin, E.F., Bridgeport Goodwin, H.A., Cherry Camp Goodwin, J.E., Bridgeport Grapes, Mollie, Farnum Hamlton, Amos, Mannington Hannah, Anna, Sardis Harbert, W.F., Wallace Hardesty, E.B., Lumberport Hardesty, T.S., Wyatt Harmer, Abbey, Shinnston Hawker, Lelie, Wyatt Hawker, Leslie, Wyatt Hearld, James, Wallace Hickman, L.A. West Milford Hickman, Paul, West Milford Highland, J.W., West Milford Holden, G.N., Craigmoor Holmes, Ella, West Milford Horner, Geo. D., Dayton Horner, Lizzie, Clarksburg Janes, Clara B., Shinnston Johnson, Ransel L., Clarksburg Keesy, Amie, Cherry Camp Kemper, T.F., Salem Kennedy, Eunice, Lost Creek Kidd, Lydia, Adamston Kyle, A.T., Adamston Ladwig, O.T. West Milford Lambert, W.H. Wallace Lang, Carrie, Bridgeport Lang, T.L., Bridgeport Law, A.S., Morgantown Lawson, E. E. Tyconnell Lawson, J.G., Grassland Lawson, S.B., Tyrconnell Lee, Kromer, Adamsville Lee, Lina, West Milford Leedom, Effie, Clarksburg Leply, Lillian, Clarksburg Lewis, E.D., Johnstown Lowe, J.W., Shinnston Lowe, Minnie, Shinnston Lowe, Rhoda, Shinnston Lowther, Beatrice, Salem

Lyon, A.L., Lumberport
Lyon, Minnie M., Clarksburg
Marsh, W.A., Wilsonburg
Martin, C.C., Worthington
Martin, D.E., Wallace
Martin, G.E., Wyatt
Martin, G.W., Enterprise
Martin, Gertrude, McAlpine
Martin, U.E., Pinebluff
Martin, Viola, Heldreth
McCan, Icie, Bridgeport
McMillan, Homer, Good Hope
Michael, G. L., Shinnston
Miller, C.R., Upton
Millis, Susie, Wolf’s Summit
Moffett, Daisy, West Milford
Moffett, Iva, West Milford
Moffett, Myrtle, V., West Milford
Monroe, E. F., Granville
Moore, Ella, Wyatt
Morris, W.E., Sardis
Morris, Z. W., Benson
Morrison, Estella, Adamston
Newlon, N. B., Salem
Nutter, W.L., Worthington
Nuzum, J.H., McAlpine
Ogden, Bessie, Shinnston
Ogden, C.R. Salem
Ogden, L.W., Salem
Ogden, M.W., Prospect Valley
Ogden, Nettle, Shinnston
Orr, Sarah, Wallace
Oyster, L.C., Bridgeport
Parish, A.S., Enterprise
Payne, Etta C., Clarksburg
Payne, Truman, Jarvisville
Peck, Minnie, Clarksburg
Pepper, Claude, Cherry Camp
Phillips, Lery, Clarksburg
Pigott, M.E., Shinnston
Pigott, W.E., Farmington
Post, Howard, Jarvisville
Post, Nellie R., Clarksburg
Primm, Orpha, Clarksburg
Randolph, Anna, Salem
Randolph, Iva, Salem
Rector, Lewis, Boothsville
Reed, W.D. Mineral
Reid, Mary, Romines Mills
Ridenour, Dora, Clarksburg
Riffee, Edna S., Shinnston
Righter, E. E., Adamsville
Righter, Ella, Adamsville
Riley, O.B., McAlpine
Riley, Ora D., McAlpine
Rittenhouse, A. C., Brown
Rittenhouse, S.F., Brown
Ritter, Ed, Marshville
Ritter, S. H., Cherry Camp
Robinson, C.E., Prospect Valley
Robinson, E. N., Prespect Valley
Robinson, H.C. Craigmoor
Robinson, Howard, Dola
Robinson, Hurshel, Dola
Robinson, Mary, Cherry Camp
Robinson, May Shinnston
Robinson, Rosetta, Wyatt
Roby, G.N., Lumberport
Romine, A.P., Johnstown
Rosier, Jos., Salem
Samples, H.S., Cherry Camp
Samples, M.A., Cherry Camp
Sharp, Sella M., enterprise
Shinn, Isola, Clarksburg
Showalter, Birtha, Lumberport
Smith, E.B., Dayton
Smitt, Lela, Dayton
Stonestreet, B., Wolf’s Summit
Stonestreet, J. E. Wolfs Summit
Stout, W.F., Bridgeport
Sturms, C.N., West Milford
Swiger, G.W., Buckhannon
Swiger, J.E., Lumberport
Swiger, J.P., Dola
Swiger, R. B., Sardis
Swisher, Maud, Rockford
Teter, M.D., Oral
Thompson, Annie E., Monogah
VanHorn, M.H., Salem
Vincent, U.A., Shinnston
Wadsworth, Silas, Farminton
Wadsworth, Vesta, Clarksburg
Wagner, A.F., Clarksburg
Ward, Nancy, West Milford
Waters, Iris, Clarksburg
Watsin, W.C., Frisco
West, C.W., Rockford
West, Orlandos, Lost Creek
Wetzel, A.L., Lost Creek
Wetzel, E.T., Salem
Wetzel, Maggie, Lost Creek
White, H. J., Rockford
Williams, Ice, West Milford
Williams, Jennie, Marshville
Williams, W.H., Brown
Willis, F.T., McAlpine
Willis, J.J., McAlpine
Wilson, Anna M., Shinnston
Wilson, Metta, Salem
Winter, Laura, Bridgeport



Part One
THE CATALOGE

     It is with the deepest interest in the school work of our county and with the greatest appreciation of what our schools should accomplish that I present this catalogue of the Free Schools of Harrison County.

     Our school system is the greatest financial concern in which the State engages. Harrison County alone invests more than $165,000 each year in this institution. Let us make it yield a greater dividend. A dividend in the form of character and nobler citizenship is the greatest income of which a State can boast.

     It is the purpose of this catalogue, in connection with our Graded System, to uniform and systematize the schools of the County; if it does this, or indeed if it stimulate the pupils to a greater effort and awakens in the parents a desire to see their children succeed it has accomplished much.

     We hold that Graded System is essential to the complete success of our schools; that the Graded System can not be carried out thoroughly, and the best results secured without some form of catalogue.

     We claim for the catalogue, that it is the only source of information by which a pupil residing in the County, but passing from one district to another may be reclassified in the school work; that it is the only available source of information by which a teacher may select from the various schools of the County the one which he is best adapted to teach; that by this means the parent has placed before him the classification of his child and the course of study, so outlined as to encourage him to greater efforts in the interest of his child and that the child comes to realize that he is engaged in work in which the public is interested, and he will look forward to the publication of the new Catalogue with the highest degree of pleasure and unbounded pride in the thought that his name appears higher in the grade with each publication.

     In view of these facts and n the interest of progressive school work of Harrison County, it is my earnest desire that the annual publication of this catalogue be continued; and an enterprise of this character should not be allowed to go begging.

     The cost, in effort and money, of this publication is more than teachers under the present circumstances are able to bear. Though they are earnest and enthusiastic, they will not be asked to contribute, financially, to the catalogue in the future, and whether the catalogue is continued most depend upon the action of the Boards of Education of the various districts.

     The Teachers have contributed, at my suggestion, more than $55.00. I have received for advertising about $150.00, making the total receipts of $205.00, while the cost of publication was $300.00, leaving a balance of $95.00, the payment of which I have provided for out of my own salary.

     I should be pleased, if the Boards of Education would include n their levy an amount sufficient to secure a like publication in the future and I will gladly contribute my time to the preparation and publication of the same.

Yours most obediently,
J. E. LAW,
County Superintendent of Harrison County



THE SCHOOL OFFICERS

     The Law makes it the duty of members and secretaries of Boards of Education and of Trustees and Teachers, as well, to see to it that the following Course of Study is carried out:



COURSE OF STUDY

     The aim of this course is: First, to supply a plain practical and progressive Outline, which is followed carefully, will give the pupils a thorough common school education and secure a systematic development of their intellectual powers. Second, to unify the work of teachers and superintendents throughout the State. Third, to introduce the common school branches only. Fourth, to simplify classification and regulate gradation and promotion, thereby making the work of the teacher lighter, but more systematic and effective. Fifth, to divide the entire course into definite portions, so that a record of the program and standing of each pupil may be preserved, and the confusion and loss of time usually resulting from frequent changes of teachers avoided.



OUTLINE OF THE COURSE

     By referring to the Outline of this Course it will be seen that the entire work is arranged in eight Sections, each representing six months, except the seventh and eighth, both of which require nine months, whether the said six and nine months are in the same school year, or extend to two or more years.

     The Course of Study is divided into three divisions, Vis: the Primary Grade, the Intermediate Grade, and the Upper Grade. Of these the Primary Grade includes two Sections; the Intermediate, four: and the Upper two

     It is arranged by Readers. Teachers will notice in the Out line, what Sections are assigned to each Reader. The entire plan is plainly indicated in the Outline, which should be carefully inspected and closely followed.


End Part One

CLASSIFICATION OF PUPILS.

     Until the schools are regularly classified, pupils may be found ahead in some branches assigned to a class and behind in others, and the teacher must judge from the age and habits of study of the pupil, whether he will be able to make up deficiencies, if assigned to a class pursuing his most advanced studies.

     By frequent reviews and by omitting for a time, the branches with which the pupil is familiar, and allowing him to give the extra time to those branches in which he is deficient, the teacher can soon bring up a full class standing the diligent student.

     Teachers should spare no effort nor labor to classify and keep classified their schools by requiring the pupils to pursue all the studies of their respective classes. Weekly reviews of the principal topics in their several studies will enable the teacher to keep up those who may be occasionally absent during the week.

     Pupils may be advanced at any time from the first to the Section Section Section of the Grade, but the best time for these promotions is in the middle of the term and at the beginning of the school year.

GRADUATION

     Any pupil completing the course of Study prescribed and sustaining a satisfactory examination on the same will receive a Diploma.

     This examination is under the supervision of the County Superintendent. Teachers who have pupils completing the course of study should notify the County superintendent who will prepare a list of questions on the several branches and designate a day on which the examination may be held. This examination will be uniform throughout the County. The examination will be conducted by the teacher who will forward the manuscripts to the County Superintendent who, in turn will grade hem and issue a Diploma to the pupil if his examination has been satisfactory and he has maintained an average of 80 per cent.

     Let it be understood that each and all pupils must be advanced as rapidly as possible. No one is to be held back or his progress stayed in any way. If this were so, a Course of Study would be worse than useless. Let the pupil go right on from Section to Section from Grade to Grade as rapidly as possible, and when he is ready, advance him, promote him or graduate him whether all of the members of the class are ready or not ready. There will be advanced classes in advance into which these hard working pupils can be put. Progress is the watch word of the Course of Study.

     Every incentive to study should be placed before the pupil, and he should be encouraged to complete the Common School Course. To do this he must pass through the scale of promotion from one Grade to another until graduation has been reached. Let there be encouragement at each step, and when the pupil has passed his examination under the Tests of Promotion which are given throughout Course of Study, give him a token in evidence of it in the form of a certificate of promotion.

     Further information regarding the Course of Study may be had by reference to the Manual prepared by the State Superintendent.

THE ADVANTAGES OF THE COUNTRY SCHOOLS

     The advantages of the Country Schools are many and great and all of them should be utilized to the fullest extent. Among these advantages are:

     First Vigorous physical manhood which is developed to a marked degree. Country life and rural industry are far more favorable to the growth of bone and muscle than are the habits and environments of city life.

     Second The habits of industry rendered necessary by the activities of country life are largely to the advantage of country pupils.

     Third The social and moral influences are also decidedly to the advantage of the country pupils

     Fourth Nature favors the country schools. Fresh air and animal and vegetable life surround the child from the cradle to an adult age.

EXPLANATORY

     In the preparation of the following pages great care has been taken that they may be as free from errors as possible. In the preparation and compilation of so many proper names, taken from the handwriting of more than one hundred and fifty persons, it is not alarming that some errors appear and we hope you may not criticize to severely.

     In giving names of members of the Board of Education, it will be noticed that where there has been an election the names of the members elected are given.

     The reports in which the names of the trustees do not appear where taken from the Teachers’ Annual Grade Sheet and not from direct reports made by the teachers.

     A few teachers did not distinguish, in their reports, between the sexes. We have attempted to do this, in some instances, by relying on the form of the name, which is not a safe guide, and the arrangement given is not without fault.

     The School Book Board Law and the compulsory attendance law, which are acts of the Legislature, session of ’97 are appended with a view that the people may become familiar with them and be able to comply with their requirements.

     Realizing the popular favor with which some of our most patriotic songs are received and appreciating the sentiment which they are calculated to teach, I append a few of the most select with the fond hope that they may be more thoroughly introduced into the schools of the County and their spirit and sentiment inculcated on the minds and hearts of the pupils.

J. E. L.


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