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Monday, April 9, 2018

The Second Ward School, Defiance, Ohio - 1884

From "A Backward Glance" by Lloyd Tuttle, and published in the Crescent-News on January 30, 1964.

"ONLY REAL old timers will recognize this picture of the original Second Ward School on Holgate Ave.  The site is now a playground.  The picture was brought in by Mrs. Elsa Colwell, rt. 8, Defiance, who also furnished the date.
The lot was purchased in June of 1875 from Sarah Kipler, for $1800.  It consisted of one acre of land.  The two-story building , as pictured, was completed on Oct. 15, 1875, at a cost of $5,350.

This picture was taken in 1884."

"THERE WERE two large rooms with narrow hallways running along the side.  Two teachers taught, one on each floor.  The building was heated by enormous wood burning stoves, surrounded by sheet iron.

Frequently , the plaster would fall, creating a diversion.  The rest rooms were in one story brick buildings to the rear of the main structure.  There were a number of menacing apple trees in this school yard.  Whenever a boy was to receive a switching, the teacher ordered him to go out and cut a switch from one of the trees.  The kids got wise to this and would mutilate the switch so that it would not last long.  Nearly all the second ward from Division St. west and between Harrison Ave. to the Maumee River had large apple trees, remnants of the Ike Warren nursery.

A larger and more modern building replaced the one shown in the picture.  However, while it was a handsome two story brick structure with a half dozen or more rooms and a basement, its interior was wood with long flights of wooden stairs and it would have been a veritable fire trap.

When the Slocum School was built, the Second Ward School was combined with it because the Holgate Ave. location is at the extreme northwest side of the ward with the Maumee River in the background.  Children living on Perry St. had to walk across almost an entire ward.  The site is now the only playground in the second ward."

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