Union Schools

By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

Meetings were held and in October, 1867, the Union School was completed in the area known as the "old swail." The three-story brick structure cost $25,000. Bonds were issued for that amount, and the last was redeemed February 1, 1880. It was located on City Road on the site of the Junior High School.

On Macomb Street (Brewery Road) was a building on the Berger farm, which served as the Berger District School. Manchester village, in the early years also boasted a "select" school which was held in the basement of the present M. E. Church. This was taught by Mrs. Barnes and later by Miss Case. When the high school opened this school was discontinued.

Prof. E. C. Olney was the superintendent of the Union School and he remained for two years.

In the fall of 1876 the graduates met to form an alumni association and the first meeting was June 29, 1877. with E. M. Conklin the first president; C. F. Field, vice president; William Doty, secretary; and Willis Watkins, treasurer.

In 1879, the Board of Education began publication of the annual catalog and lists the board of trustees as follows: Dr. W. S. Stowell, S. H. Perkins, Hon. J. D. Corey, G. 0. Van De Grift, J. D. Van Duyn and M. D. Case.

Three courses were offered: classical, modern language, and full English. The classical was similar to academic; modern language was designed for those going to college; and full English course prepared students for "business or teaching in the district schools."

Students had to pass an examination in "math, spelling, geography, English grammer and reading" before entering high school. Tuition was $15 a year. There were 3 terms: Sept. 1 to Dec. 19; Jan. 5 to March 26; and April 5 to June 25. Room and board was offered by residents and the cost was $2 to $3 a week and rooms from 50¢ to 75¢ a week.