The Beginning of Garfield School
One chilly October night, a hundred and sixty eight years ago, a band of white men and Indians beached their canoes on a sandy shore along the Ohio River. There in a forest, inhabited only by wild animals and fowls, these adventurers made their camp. Their leader was a young Virginian, George Washington, and the site of their camp was on the eastern boundary of what is now the East End of East Liverpool, Ohio.
In the years following the Civil War a small community was founded near the location of Washington's camp and became known as Ohio City. The children of this settlement attended school at the Dry Run School, now known as the Neville Institute. After a time Ohio City became a part of East Liverpool and the children were assigned to the downtown schools. The parents objected. The means of transportation were either to ride the trains or walk the railroad tracks. About the year 1880 the citizens of Ohio City, in return for their taxes, were given city water and a one-room school building, erected west of Mulberry Street. This was the first Garfield School, a single room, housing all grades and heated by a coal stove in the center of the room. The first teacher in this new building was Miss Kate Harker. The first janitor was Mrs. Julia McKinnon, mother of "Ed" McKinnon, who received seven dollars a month for her work. Following Miss Harker as teachers of this school were Miss Laura Vincent adn Miss Anna Brooks. In 1886 the conditions in the single room became crowded and the city added a second building. The grades were divided and Miss Nell Manley was appointed teacher of the new room.
Miss Manley lived downtown and came to East End each morning on the train, getting off at the station on Mulberry Street. When school was dismissed in the afternoon she had to walk home because the express train going through about that time did not stop in East End. Day ina nd day out she repeated this routine, rain, snow or sunshine and her salary was approximately thirty dollars a month! One year it rained twenty-nine consecutive days and she had to wear rubber boots to get home in the evening.
East End, with the erection of the Anderson Sewer Pipe factory, began to grow. The two small wooden buildings would no longer accomodate the children assigned to them. In 1888 a four-room brick building was erected at the cost of $10,000. John Downard of First Avenue was one of the workmen who helped in the erection. The superintendent of schools was J. A. Vance. Later, some thirty-five years ago, the remainder of the buiding was added.
Three rooms were furnished and the first teachers in the new building were Miss Anna Brooks, Miss Nell Manley adn Miss Anna Austin.
In 1889 Miss Nettie Thompson, now Mrs. F. B. Chambers, was transferred from Grant Street School and given first and second grades to teach. On opening day she had eighty pupils. No one woman could handle that many children and the fourth room was furnished.
The principals of Garfield School During its fifty years of existence have been Anna Brooks, Maude Fisher McMurray, Carrie Gaver, Emma Fowler Weeks, Margaret McConnell Allison, Raymond S. Beard, Frank L. Dulaney and the present principal, Anna M. Martin.
Fifteen thousand children have studied in the various rooms of this building, carved their initials on the surfaces of the desks, learned a lot of things not found in books and have countless memories of Garfield School.
Lucille Thomas Cox,
Former Garfield student.