Charleston Township Schools

General Information and Sources


The following sketch is from History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, by Samuel W. Durant, published in Philadelphia by Everts & Abbott, 1880.

“It is uncertain who taught the first school in this township, nor have we learned that any was in existence prior to 1837.

The first board of school inspectors met April 10, 1838, and organized seven school districts. It is quite certain that during the same summer log school-houses were erected in at least four of the districts mentioned.

In October, 1838, reports were received from the directors of districts 2, 3, 6, and 7, but the statistics regarding the same have not been preserved.

Mr. William McClary is of the opinion that a small log school-house was built near Dr. James Harris’ residence in 1837, where Mr. Rogers, now of Galesburg, was one of the early teachers, and that the old fiame school-house now standing near the line between sections 18 and 19 was built in 1838, Miss Tuttle teaching the first school in the same.

In 1840* reports were received from districts 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7, as follows:

No. 1.—C. M. Nichols, director; scholars, 42.

No. 2.—Joseph Whitford, director; scholars, 29; attending school, 45; time school has been taught, 6 months; amount raised, $59.50.

No. 5.—Alpha Tubbs, director; scholars, 25.

No. 6.—Potter Eldred, director; scholars, 48; attending school, 63; time school has been taught, 4 months; amount raised, $78.

No. 7.—Ebenezer G. Flanders, director; scholars, 38; attending school, 44; time school has been taught, 3 months; amount raised, $47.45.

The school books named as then in use were Parley’s, Olney’s, and Smith’s Geographies, Murray’s and Kirkham’s Grammar, Daboll’s Arithmetic, The Rhetorical Reader, The Old and New English Reader, the New Testament, and Webster’s Elementary Spelling-Book.

The following year (1841) reports were received from seven school districts, and, as will be shown, the aggregate of children of school age then residing in the township was greater than at the present time:

District No. 1, C. M. Nichols, director, 40 scholars. No. 2, Joseph Whitford, director, 29 scholars. No. 3, James Harris, director, 30 scholars. No. 4, Henry Clinton, director, 16 scholars. No. 5, Alpha Tubbs, director, 24 scholars. No. 6, L. Capron, director, 42 scholars. No. 7, Worden Wells, director, 43 scholars.

The amount received from the public school fund for the same period was $71, represented by $46 in State scrip, $20 in State bonds, and $5 in Eastern funds.

The names of persons receiving teachers’ certificates are not mentioned until 1843. Those licensed during the latter year were Jane Lee, Nancy Hopkins, Mary J. West, Celestia C. Tuttle, Emma J. Whitford, Franklin Whittlesey, and Sylvanus Owen. In 1844, Sophronia Beckwith, Marriette Livings, Henry D. Rogers, — Brinckerhoff, Cornelia McClary, P. H. Whitford, Harvey Bush. In 1845, C. S. Mason, Sophronia Beckwith, Elizabeth Penfield, Emma J. Whitford, Miranda Weed, Marriette Livings, Ebenezer G. Flanders, and Laura Beach.

The following statistics from the annual report of the township board of education for the year ending Sept. 1, 1879, show the present condition of schools:

Number of whole districts………………………… 6
Number of children of school age in township…. 213
Number of children attending school during year. 180
Number of frame school-houses……………………. 6
Seating capacity of school-houses………………… 301
Value of school property…………………………. $3600
Male teachers employed during year……………. 4
Female teachers employed during year…………. 9
Months taught by male teachers…………………. 17
Months taught by female teachers………………. 31
Paid male teachers……………………………….. $519
Paid female teachers…………………………….  $465.50
Total resources………………………………………  $1706.75

 

* Squire Giddings taught the scholars from districts I and 2, during the winter of 1839 and ‘40, in an old log house standing about forty rods west of “Cock’s Corners.”

Sources

Books

History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan…, 1880

Durant, Samuel W.
Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1976
H 977.417 H67u (oversize), page 299


Manuscripts

List of one-room schools still standing in Kalamazoo County in 1982

Hultmark, Sarah
Manuscript, Local History Collection, Kalamazoo Public Library


Maps and Atlases

Map of Kalamazoo County, Michigan

Geil & Harley, Philadelphia. 1861
History Room atlas case, left shelf #2

Atlas of Kalamazoo County, Michigan from Recent and Actual Surveys and Records

F. W. Beers & Co., New York. 1873
Library of Congress

Illustrated atlas of Kalamazoo County [Michigan] with early and present history of Kalamazoo County

Sauer, William C.
Wm. C. Sauer, Detroit. 1890
History Room atlas case, left shelf #1

Standard atlas of Kalamazoo County, Michigan

Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1910
History Room atlas case, left shelf #1

USGS topographic maps for Kalamazoo County, 1918 (Galesburg Quadrangle)

History Room map case, left drawer #1


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