HISTORY OF MT. STERLING PUBLIC SCHOOLS
(Taken from La Voix Yearbook of 1914)
The first school house in this part of the country was erected in the Alkire neighborhood on Deer Creek in 1812. The school was taught by Adam Alkire. The building was made of logs after the primitive type, with puncheon floors and windows made by sawing out a portion of a log and covering the opening with greased paper. The room was heated by a large fire place. The wood for fuel was hauled to the school house by parents of the pupils and sometimes by the pupils themselves. The fire was kept by the scholars and they also carried the water from a distant spring. Instead of the modern tin-cups, they used gourds. The time was told by means of the sun shining on a pewter plate fastened on the top of a post about 4 feet high. The second school house was situated where Mr. Tull Alkire's barn now stands.
School was next kept in Mr. Isaac Alkire's kitchen where the late Cynthia Bostwick resided. Horatio Keys was the teacher. School continued to be kept in people's homes for a number of years. Students were required to go at sun-rise and stay until sun-set. The books used were English reader, spelling book, arithmetic and the Bible. The teacher in that day received from one dollar to one and one half dollars as his monthly pay. The old Robison school house was next used during one winter. Then for a number of years, school was kept in cabins scattered over the district.
In 1832, the district was divided and a school house was erected where Thomas H. Carpenter's barn now sits. The different teachers about this time were Mr. Flood, Mr. Hazzard, J.D. Kauffelt and Miss Mary Thomas. After that, school was kept in the home of Mrs. Lake while a school building was being erected on the present site of Alvin Loofbourrow's residence. Some of the teachers were Mrs. Cussins, Mrs. Lake and Mr. and Mrs. Putnam.
Next a lot 4 rods square was purchased of Abraham Alkire for school purposes where the power house now stands. Mr. Alkire was paid a sum of $10.00 and the people of the district erected a small frame building which continued to be used for a school house until about 1850. Then an addition was erected to it which again served the district until 1862. The old building was sold for $150.00.
Smiley Hughs, acting for the district, purchased from William Riddle 4/5ths of an acre of ground where the present school house is now located, upon which was erected a frame house
48x24 feet, composed of 2 rooms with a hall between them, at a cost of $1100.00. Then it was established as a graded school. Then sometime between 1832 and 1859, Mt. Sterling district, with some of the adjoining districts, was laid off as Mt. Sterling district #1. Then, in 1859, the town of Mt. Sterling was set off as an independent district.
In 1861, Mt. Sterling heard the first peals of "the school bell", not because there had been no school before, but because there had been no bell. In 1868, the board paid $25.00 for 5 months' rent of the Presbyterian Church and in 1869, they bought the same for $212.00 and moved it to the school lot on the site of the present 6-room building and added to the building already there. Also in this year, all the school money was stolen from D.H. Douglas, Treasurer and was replaced by a levy on the vote of the people.
The frame building, which was erected in 1862, served the town until 1876, when the old house was sold and moved away and the present brick school house, containing 6 rooms, was erected at the cost of $13,000.00. Four rooms were furnished at this time and the other two were furnished the next year.In 1870, before the railroad was built through Mt. Sterling, the board bought the first coal stove for the school. The coal cost $48.75 and the cost of hauling same from London was $36.00. The first blackboard was installed in 1871 and the first monthly reports were issued during that year. Also, the first music class was established in the same year by M.W. Schryver. In 1875, the single desks were first used and in 1876 lightning rods were first put on the building. The front school ground was given to the school board by Squire Hall. In 1877, the first gravel walks were laid from the building to the street. Also in this year the first large dictionary was purchased with the proceeds of a play given in the Odd Fellows' Hall.
In 1878, the first picket fence was built in front of the school building. In 1879, the board began to take pride in the school yard and had it cleared up and also set out the first shade trees, some of which still stand. From the records it seems that carrying a revolver was no uncommon thing. In 1879, at a board meeting it was moved and seconded that no pupil be allowed to carry concealed weapons of any kind or to use gun powder in or about the school building.
The back playground was bought of Huston Douglas about 1881 and was first rented during the summer months of 1884 for pasture. In 1886, a summer normal school was held in the school building. On February 14, 1896, the board, realizing that a suitable building would be needed for the high school, employed an architect to make an estimate on how much a new one would cost.
In 1900 the teachers were forbidden to play cards and dance. In 1904 a telephone was put into the high school building. Electric lights were installed in 1907. Fire escapes were erected in 1908. The library was fitted out in 1908. The one large room in the second floor of the high school building was divided in two in 1907. There was a fire at the boiler house in 1910. The present boiler building completed in the same year. An electric bell was placed in the high school building in 1912. In the summer of 1913, R.H. Nichols, with the help of C.O. Haskell, repainted and revarnished the interior of the school buildings.
Class of 1884 Class of 1886 Class of 1888 Class of 1893 Class of 1894 Class of 1895 Class of 1897 Class of 1898 Class of 1900 Class of 1903 Class of 1905 Class of 1907 Class of 1908 Class of 1909 Class of 1910 Class of 1911 Class of 1914 Class of 1915 Class of 1916 Class of 1917 Class of 1918 Class of 1920 Class of 1921 Class of 1922 Class of 1923 Class of 1924 Class of 1925 Class of 1926 Class of 1927 Class of 1928 Class of 1929 Class of 1930 Class of 1931 Class of 1932 Class of 1933 Class of 1934 Class of 1935 Class of 1936 Class of 1937 Class of 1938 Class of 1939 Class of 1940 Class of 1941 Class of 1942
Grade School, Junior High, High School, Sports and other activities
1915 Boys Choir 6th Grade 1920 1939 Baseball Team 1939 Boys Basketball Team 1939 Girls Basketball Team 1st Grade 1939 2nd Grade 1939 3rd Grade 1939 4th Grade 1939 5th Grade 1939 6th Grade 1939 7th Grade 1939 8th Grade 1939 9th Grade 1939 10th Grade 1939 11th Grade 1939
Genealogical Data collected and assimilated in part by Mary Lou Stiverson.