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Brush College #1 History
Jefferson Township

Jefferson Township Schools, Warren County Historical Library

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(Information derived from Mrs. Homer Lockwood, Mrs. Ethel Smith, and others)

      The school was located 2 ˝ miles west of Spring Hill near the Powers farm. It burned once, was rebuilt, and upon reorganization to form the Spring Hill Consolidated School was moved to the Frank Woods Farm.

      For years or as long as the Spring Hill High School continued, the Brush College record books were kept in the library there. The teachers used to look them over and marvel at how well records were kept in those early days and how those early teachers excelled in penmanship. (I was one of the Spring Hill teachers and regretted it so much when the janitor had a housecleaning spree and burned "the old books that nobody used." B.D.)

      Teachers included Anna Beverly (Mrs. Jim Lundy), Doris Snyder, Belva Perkins, Bertha Higgens Foust, William Stephens, Esther Lockwood, and Carl Millslagle.

      Families in the district included the Powers, Anderson, Geo. Martens, Pratt, Frank Wild, Lockridge, and Boss.

      In the Advocate Tribune for February 23, 1885 appeared this item under the heading of Prole items: " Brush College schoolhouse burned down last Tuesday morning. In planning for a new building the best methods of sanitation should be given due preference regardless of… cost."

      The same bit of news was given in a more nostalgic manner in the Linn Grove items.

      " Brush College , built in 1865, burned down in 1885. J. W. Porter was the first teacher to give instruction within its walls, and Dora Snyder would have closed the last term in four more days. Having lived in sight of the hallowed place, upon which now molder the ruins of that antiquated building. Years before Brush College became famous as an institution of learning we are in a position to know something of her history and of the sacrifices made by many pioneers who have long since passed to their reward. There is a vast multitude of men and women who finished their education at Brush College, and so far as our recollections serve us, we only remember one or two of that number who went to the bad, the rest all making useful and honored citizens being now located in different parts of the country. Brush College received its name from surroundings of almost impenetrable undergrowth of brush vines, and many times has the writer been deputized by the teacher to choose from among those vines and bushes a rod of correction with instructions to gauge the size of the rod in proportion to the gravity of the offense committed, and the instructions were usually carried out… "

      (The writer goes on to tell of the many types of instructional and entertaining functions that were held at the school and finishes like this:)

      " …we are somewhat relieved in the thought a more commodious and imposing structure will soon adorn the ruins, so now we are compelled to take our long last farewell."

      In March, 1905, the district decided to submit a proposition to vote bonds of $800 to rebuild the schoolhouse. It passed and the bonds were sold to local residents.

      The history of Warren County , 1879, says that the school was first organized in 1855, be that as it may, the important thing was that it was active until it reorganized with Spring Hill in April, 1915.

      In the Indianola Record, January 11, 1901, the correspondent writes: "Miss Ethel Adams of Summerset who finished her first term of school here this week has given complete satisfaction. The school was orderly, the scholars took great interest and therefore learned much."

      Another item says that Brush College has purchased the old church organ from Lyn Grove church.

      Item from paper: "James, 7, and Alice, 6, Wood were neither absent or tardy in four months."

      Additional teachers in the school were: (gleanings from papers)

1878  Annie Crawford

1885  Mr. Coe; Cora Vance

1889 Miss McDaniel

1890  Emma Tresham

1896 Sally Mason

1897 Mrs. Walter Chiles

1899 Blanche Andrew

1900  Verda Shaw; Iamar; Ethel Adams

1901 Mr. Elliott

1902 Effie Haynes

1903  Martha Perkins

1904  Mary Stephens

1911  William Stephens

1912 Hallene Haworth; Miss Jenks

1913 Carl Millslagle

            1914-16  Esther Hansell

Transcribed by Juanita Ott

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