Ross 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.

The year 1835 witnessed the building of the first schoolhouse in the township. As Yorkville was the earliest settled portion of Ross, it was natural that within its precincts should be manifested an early interest in education. The building was erected by the district, and among those who were actively interested in the matter were Messrs. Lake, Barnes, and Griffin, of Yorkville. In 1865 the building was removed from its original site and remodeled. It is still doing duty as a school-house, and has enjoyed the reputation of sheltering one of the largest and best-disciplined schools in the township. Charles Doolittle is the present teacher. A school-house was erected in the Hamilton settlement in 1839, and presided over by Miss Jane Hopkins as its first preceptor.

The following year a school building was erected at Howlandsburg, and Miss A. M. Howland was installed as the earliest instructor. After this date school-houses followed each other in quick succession, most of them very substantial frame structures, until the whole township is amply supplied with good buildings.

The number of children attending school in the township during the year 1879 was 417; the number of male teachers employed, 8; the number of female teachers employed, 9; amount paid in salaries, $2338.87; value of school property, $4100; amount of primary-school fund, $255.84; total resources, $3756.54. The township is divided into three whole and five fractional disticts; the directors are A. R. Day, Mark C. Alger, John Kershaw, D. D. Henion, Alfred Carr, Thomas Anderton, F. B. Hall, C. W. Cadwalader.

School Inspectors

1840, Lyman Ford, George Torrey; 1841, De Witt C. King, George Torrey; 1842, Salmon King, L. W. Howland, Seaman Bristol; 1843, Salmon King, L. W. Howland; 1844, L. W. Howland; 1845, Henry White, Jr., Salmon King; 1846, John D. Batchelder; 1847, Willard Caryl; 1848, John D. Batchelder; 1849, Reuben S. Hawley; 1850, Chauncey P. King; 1851, Seth Pratt; 1852, Justus II. Parks; 1853-54, B. B. Tucker; 1855, Daniel Woodward; 1856, William Campbell; 1857, Justus II. Parks; 1858, Joseph G. Beadle; 1859, Justus H. Parks; 1860, Joseph G. Beadle; 1861, John E. Kenyon; 1862, Joseph G. Beadle; 1863, Justus 11. Parks; 1864, William S. Beadle; 1865, H. A. Johnson; 1866, Charles Andrews; 1867, Almon M. Pierce; 1868, Charles Andrews; 1869, A. M. Pierce; 1870, Wm. W. Hampton; 1871, Harvey Hamilton; 1872, Wm. W. Hamilton; 1873, Harvey Hamilton; 1874-76, Wm. W. Hampton; 1877, Charles Palmiter; 1878-79, Wm. W. Hampton.

Superintendent of Schools

1875-77, H. H. Van Anken; 1878-79, Franklin B. Hall.

Village of Augusta

In the year 1838 the residents of Augusta determined that with the advancing business enterprise of the village its educational interests should keep pace, and, having selected a convenient site, they erected a school-house of logs, at the northeast side of the village, on land now owned by Mrs. Bovee. The first instructor who exercised a very necessary discipline over the youth was Salmon C. Hall. His efforts met the approval of the learned board of school inspectors, and on his retirement the responsible duties fell upon Miss Harriet Aldrich.

Later the log school building was discarded for a more spacious and imposing one built of planks, the location also having been changed to the site of the present building on Fulton Street. This was occupied for a period of years, when an effort was made to build a Congregational church, and the society were aided to the extent of several hundred dollars by the district, with the understanding that a portion of the edifice should be devoted to the use of the public school. During this period the teachers were Mary Woodard (now Mrs. R. Gregory), Daniel Woodard, and Joseph Beadle. The church building proving not altogether convenient, and the need of a structure better adapted to the wants of the school being apparent, it was determined to erect the school building at present occupied, which was constructed for the district by Casey McKay. On its completion Daniel Woodard assumed charge of the school, and was succeeded by James Brainard. From this time until 1868 there is no information procurable regarding the progress of the school or the succession of teachers. In the latter year there were two departments, presided over by Miss Sarah A. Wood and Ella King. Miss Carrie Dean superintended one of the departments in 1869, and the following year Herman A. Hibbard was placed in charge, assisted by Misses Beacher and Dean. Rev. J.W. Parkhurst next became principal, and was succeeded by Mr. Bartholomew. Mr. Smith, formerly county superintendent of schools, followed, and at the expiration of his term of service Mrs. M.J. Sprague was chosen principal, assisted by Misses Dorrance and Headley. In 1875, H. Daniels, Jr., assumed charge, and still continues in the position. He is assisted by John Lawler, Miss Florence Roraback, and Miss Jennie Webster. The graded system has been in use for a number of years.

The present school board comprises the following gentlemen: Dr. J.H. Fischer, Moderator; C.W. Andrews, Assessor; H.L. Parmeele, J.H. Kent, E.D. Coddington, F.B. HAll, Trustees.





History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan…, 1880

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


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 map for Kalamazoo County, 1918 (Galesburg Quadrangle)

History Room map case, left drawer #1

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