welcome to Riggtown logo

Miscellaneous Notes on the History of
Education in Chester County

---   Go to Riggtown Home or the HIS480 Syllabus   ---

This file contains assorted facts from Chester County history collected by students in the HIS480 "Computer methods of historical research" class at West Chester University. Each fact consists of specific information, a reference note to its source, and a date. The "facts" are organized in chronological order.

This file has not been completely proofread, nor have the sources been verified, so use this material with caution.

Collected by Jim Jones, David Flogaus, Kelly Kulp-Bosler, Mike Wolford and Bob Gialanella (Spring 1995). Additional information collected by Jim Jones, Christopher Waychunas and John Morrison (Spring 1996). Last edited by Chris Waychunas (April 29, 1996).

Return to the Riggtown Home Page.

1793 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926), 98.

     A Roman Catholic congregation was established in West
     Chester in 1793.

-----------------------------------------
1800s     Source: Frazier, E. Franklin,  BLACK BOURGEOISIE: THE
          RISE OF A NEW MIDDLE CLASS  (New York: The Free Press,
          1957), 20.

     Negro upper class consisted mostly of northernly educated
     former slaves that benefited from northern philanthropy. 
     This Negro upper class contained a few teachers, doctors,
     ministers, and small businessmen.

-----------------------------------------
1800 Source: W. W. Thompson, editor, County Pennsylvania and its
     People (Chicago and New York: The Union History Company,
     1898), 374.

     The Friends School of West Chester was founded in 1800.

-----------------------------------------
1800s/early    Source: W. W. Thompson, editor, County
               Pennsylvania and its People (Chicago and New York:
               The Union History Company, 1898), 376.

     Joshua Hoopes (12-2): "at one time principal of a boarding
     school at West Chester, and a distinguished authority on
     botanical subjects."  He was educated at the Friends School
     of West Chester.

p385 Joshua Hoopes opened the "Downingtown Boarding School For
     Boys" in 1817, moved it to West Chester in 1834 and closed
     it in 1862 when he became too old to operate it.

-----------------------------------------
1830 Source: William Darlington, DIRECTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST
     CHESTER, FOR 1857: CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
     BOROUGH FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME.. .
     (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James,
     printer, 1857, 37

     The plans to build the West Chester Railroad led to the
     construction of Price's Boarding School for young ladies in
     1830.  By 1857, it was flourishing under Misses Evans.  It 

-----------------------------------------
1832 Source: William Darlington, DIRECTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST
     CHESTER, FOR 1857: CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
     BOROUGH FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME.. .
     (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James,
     printer, 1857, 37

     The plans to build the West Chester Railroad also stimulated
     the construction of the spacious Hotel, or Mansion House in
     1832 by Wm. Everhart, Esq, at the southeast corner of Market
     & Church Streets.

-----------------------------------------
1834 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     106.

     The Act of 1834 authorized the construction of public
     schools so that the sons of poor men would obtain
     preparation for college.

-----------------------------------------
1834 Source: William Darlington, DIRECTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST
     CHESTER, FOR 1857: CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
     BOROUGH FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME.. .
     (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James,
     printer, 1857, 39.

     The veteran teacher Joshua Hoopes opened the Boarding and
     Day School in West Chester in 1834.

-----------------------------------------
1850s     Source: Found on the Internet (THE HACHER FAMILY
          LEDGER, MMS 340)

     Medical schools were expensive and varied widely in the
     quality of instruction.  The frontier medical student often
     studied with a practicing physician, accompanying him on
     cases, mixing the medications, and reading his books.

-----------------------------------------
1850s     Source: "Profile Piece On Sharpless M. Paxson" in
          "Daily Local News," (West Chester: August 13, 1927)

     Paxson's father was a dealer in meats and provisions, as
     well as the owner of a slaughterhouse.  Young Sharpless
     worked there during after school hours.  He also worked as a
     newsboy.

     From his experience in the slaughterhouse, he was able to
     learn the trades of buying livestock, and selling "dressed"
     meat.

-----------------------------------------
1851 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     103.

     Ercildoun Seminary was founded in 1851 by Smedley Darlington
     as a boy's school, but it soon changed to an all-girls
     school.  

-----------------------------------------
1854 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     106.

     The position of County Superintendent of Schools was created
     in 1854 against the opposition of many school masters, and
     the first man to hold the position was Robert Agnew Futhey
     of Parkesburg.  (JJ: J. Smith Futhey wrote a book indexing
     biographies of Chester County citizens.  It is in the
     library.) ...
p107 ... Other superintendents were: Franklin Taylor (1857-1860),
     W. W. Woodruff (1860-1869), George L. Maris (1869-1872),
     Hiram F. Pierce (1872- 1876, 11 December), Jacob W. Harvey
     (1877-1887), Joseph S. Walton (1877-1896 September), Frank
     P. Bye (1896-1900), George W. Moore (1900-1914), Thomas A.
     Bock (1914-1920 December), and Clyde T. Saylor (1920-).

-----------------------------------------
1857 Source: Darlington, William, DIRECTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF
     WEST CHESTER, FOR 1857: CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
     BOROUGH FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME ...
     (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James,
     printer, 1857), 102.

     Under the heading of libraries, Daniel Nields was listed as
     vice-president of the Working Men's Institute.

-----------------------------------------
1857 Source: William Darlington, DIRECTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF WEST
     CHESTER, FOR 1857: CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
     BOROUGH FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME.. .
     (West Chester, PA: Wood & James, Publishers, E.F. James,
     printer, 1857, 39.

     The author expressed the fear that Philadelphia might soon
     engulf West Chester as a result of railroad construction.

-----------------------------------------
     Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     103.

     Smedley Darlington's younger brother, Richard Darlington,
     bought the Ercildoun Seminary in 1861 and operated it
     successfully until it was destroyed by a tornado in 1877.

-----------------------------------------
1870s?    Source: "Obituary of Sharpless M. Paxson" in "Daily
          Local News," (West Chester: May 5, 1930)

     Sharpless M. Paxson was a member of West Chester Rifle Team,
     and a good shot.

-----------------------------------------
1871 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     105.

     The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary founded the
     Villa Maria Academy in West Chester in 1871.  

-----------------------------------------
1871/09/25     Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF
               CHESTER COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA:
               Horace F. Temple, 1926), 104.

     The State Normal School opened on 25 September 1871 under
     Dr. E. H. Cook (1871-1872), Dr. W. A. Chandler (1872-1873),
     ...
p105 ... Professor G. L. Maris (1873-1881), Dr. George Morris
     Philips (1881-1920), and Dr. Thomas Andrew Smith (1920-? ).

-----------------------------------------
1877 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     104.

     In the summer of 1877, after the school was destroyed by a
     tornado that struck its original site, Richard Darlington
     moved the Ercildoun Seminary to a location just outside of
     West Chester and renamed it the Darlington Seminary.  

-----------------------------------------
1879 Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News"
     (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     E.L. McKinstry attended the Chester Springs Soldiers Orphan
     School of Chester County when he was twelve years old.

-----------------------------------------
1880s     Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily Local
          News" (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     E.L. McKinstry attended the Friends Central High School in
     Philadelphia for one year.

-----------------------------------------
1881 Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News"
     (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     At the age of 14, E.L. McKinstry entered the newspaper
     office at Newtown, Bucks County and began to learn the
     printing trade.

-----------------------------------------
1884 Source: Shirley Macauley, "W. Chester's squares failed as
     rectangles" in "Daily Local News" (November 13, 1972), 84. 
     NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ1 of 5 by the Daily Local News

     In 1884, the West Chester Women's Christian Temperance Union
     was founded, the first such group in Chesco.  They met at
     the First Baptist Church.  Sixty women attended the first
     annual meeting.

-----------------------------------------
1887-1890 Source: "Obituary of Sharpless M. Paxson" in "Daily
          Local News," (West Chester: May 5, 1930).

     In tribute form: they said of Sharpless M. Paxson,
     "filled with credit the office of Recorder of Deeds of
     Chester County" particularly his excellent penmanship.  He
     was a "paragon of neatness and accuracy."

-----------------------------------------
1890 Source: "Obituary for L.S. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News"
     (West Chester, March 13, 1940).

     L.S. McKinstry attended Unionville Academy High School.  In
     1890, she graduated from West Chester State Normal School
     (WCU).  She first taught in Bucks county, and then in West
     Coatesville and then Valley Twshp.

-----------------------------------------
1890 Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News"
     (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     E.L. McKinstry graduated from West Chester Normal School in
     1890 (now WCU).  He was chosen historian of his class.

-----------------------------------------
1890 Source: "W. Chester is biggest district" in "Daily Local
     News" (November 15, 1972), 60.  NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ3
     of 5 by the Daily Local News
     The first black graduate of a West Chester school was
     William Moore in 1890.  "Moore wasn't able to gain
     apprenticeship in any of the trades in West Chester, and
     went on to Howard University.  He later became a teacher and
     principal of an all-black school in Cape May, N.J."

-----------------------------------------
1890?-1892?    Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily
               Local News" (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     E.L. McKinstry taught school for 2 years.  He served for one
     year at Newportville and one year at Rockville, Bucks
     County.

-----------------------------------------
1890s     Source: Gerald R. Fuller, June Markus Hoopes & Lillian
          Fredsall Webster, compilers and editors, THE HOOPES
          FAMILY RECORD, Vol. I, The First Six Generations
          (Houston, Texas: The Hoopes Family Organization, Inc.,
          1979), 574.

     Josiah was a trustee of the West Chester State Normal
     School.  He was listed in "Who's Who, 1897-1942.  He was the
     author of BOOK OF EVERGREENS (New York: Orange Judd Co.,
     1868).

-----------------------------------------
1891/09/17     Source: Source: County Historical Society,
               Clipping File.

     R. E. Monaghan was a Trustee of West Chester State Normal
     School.

-----------------------------------------
1893/01/16.fam.educ.     Source: County Historical Society,
                         Clipping File.

     Jonathan J. Monaghan (the brother of R. Jones Monaghan)
     attended Lafayette.

-----------------------------------------
1894 Source: "W. Chester is biggest district" in "Daily Local
     News" (November 15, 1972), 60.  NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ3
     of 5 by the Daily Local News
     The Gay Street School (later Fugett School) was built in
     1894 for $25,000.  It had seven teachers and a principal.  
     It was renovated in 1910 and rebuilt in 1956.

-----------------------------------------
1894/08/20     Source: Daily Local News (August 20, 1894)

     The workers at the PRR station made preparations for "the
     handling of trunks next Monday when the Normalites return." 
     (Normalites were the students and faculty at the West
     Chester Normal School.)

-----------------------------------------
1894/06/29     Source: notes, not dated, not signed

     Robert E. Monaghan born 1822/07/24  died 1894.06/29.  He was
     the uncle of R. Jones Monaghan and son of James Monaghan by
his
     second wife, Catherine Streeper.  Robert E. Monaghan was
born 
     in West Fallowfield.  His father was from County Fermagh and
came
     to America about 1799.  R. E. Monaghan taught school,
represented 
     Chester County in state legislature, and was one of the
original 
     promoters of Public School System.  He also ran for US
Congress 
     in 1868, but lost to Washington Townsend.  Finally, R. E.
Monaghan
     Invented a machine called the "Vox Populi."

-----------------------------------------
1898 Source: "W. Chester is biggest district" in "Daily Local
     News" (November 15, 1972), 60.  NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ3 
     of 5 by the Daily Local News

     The Model school (later the "Demonstration School") opened
     on the West Chester Normal School campus in 1898.

-----------------------------------------
1901 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
104.

     Richard Darlington he sold the Darlington Seminary (former
     Ercildoun Seminary) to Frank P. Bye, one-time Superintendent
     of Schools in Chester County, who continued to operate the
     school up to the time of publication of this book.

-----------------------------------------
1905/11/23     Source: Daily Local News, in Chester County
               Historical Society

     J. Preston Thomas died of illness.  During his lifetime, he 
     was elected to the Directors of the Poor in 1887.  He was
also

     a graduate of Haverford College, and in 1870, he was elected 
     director of National Bank of Chester County.  He became the
vice
     president of the bank on 1895/01/11, and on 1901/11/01 he
became 
     president of the bank.  He served on the Board of Trustees
of
the
     West Chester Normal School, helped found the Chester County
Hospital, 
     served on their Board of Managers, and was a member of the 
     Downingtown Friends Meeting.  

-----------------------------------------
1911 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     106.

     In 1911, Dr. George M. Philips of the State Normal School
     played a large part in drawing up the School Code to
     standardize public education in the county.  

-----------------------------------------
1914 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     105.

     In 1914, the Villa Maria Academy moved from West Chester to
     its present location at Immaculata and was chartered by the
     state of Pennsylvania in 1921.

-----------------------------------------
1918 Source: Shirley Macauley, "W. Chester's squares failed as
     rectangles" in "Daily Local News" (November 13, 1972), 84. 
     NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ1 of 5 by the Daily Local News

     The Boy Scouts were chartered in Chester County.  Their
     headquarters was located in the Farmers and Mechanics
     Building in West Chester.

-----------------------------------------
1920s     Source: Gerald R. Fuller, June Markus Hoopes & Lillian
          Fredsall Webster, compilers and editors, THE HOOPES
          FAMILY RECORD, Vol. II, The Seventh and Eighth
          Generations (Houston, Texas: The Hoopes Family
          Organization, Inc., 1979), 250.

     Josiah Morgan Hoopes, son of Joshua Hoopes, graduated from
     St.
     Agnes High School in West Chester and attended Villanova
     University.  He became a landscape architect and the West
     Chester borough Tree Commissioner.

-----------------------------------------
1921 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     105.

     The Villa Maria Academy at Immaculata was chartered by the
     state of Pennsylvania in 1921.

-----------------------------------------
1926 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     104.

     The Darlington Seminary operated in West Chester under
     Superintendent Frank B. Bye, since 1901.

-----------------------------------------
1926 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926),
     105.

     The State Normal School originally possessed ten acres of
     land, but by 1926 it had about sixty acres.  Construction
     costs of the buildings was around $1,000,000.

-----------------------------------------
1926 Source: Charles William Heathcote, HISTORY OF CHESTER COUNTY
     PENNSYLVANIA (West Chester, PA: Horace F. Temple, 1926), 31.

     There is an excellent public school system, one of the best
     in the state.  The Friends maintain well-organized schools. 
     There is also a fine parochial school system organized from
     the grades to the high school inclusive.  One of the best
     State Normal Schools in the United States is located here,
     having a student body of twelve hundred.  

-----------------------------------------
1927 Source: Shirley Macauley, "W. Chester's squares failed as
     rectangles" in "Daily Local News" (November 13, 1972), 84. 
     NOTE: Centennial issue nÝ1 of 5 by the Daily Local News

     The Girl Scouts were chartered in Chester County at the
     suggestion of Mrs. Herbert Hoover following a "tea" held at
     the home (named "Greystone") of Mrs. P. M. Sharples.

-----------------------------------------
1927/05/20     Source: "Eightieth Birthday piece on Justice
               Paxson" in "Daily Local News,"(West Chester: May
               20, 1927)

     Paxson enjoyed fishing, even in his old age.  However, he
     thought that the Brandywine River had become polluted since
     he was a boy.  "When I was a kid, let me tell you there were
     some whoppers taken from it".

-----------------------------------------
1927/08/13     Source: "Profile Piece On Sharpless M. Paxson" in
               "Daily Local News," (West Chester: August 13,
               1927)

     Sharpless M. Paxson considered the money given to him by his
     father (when he worked in the meat shop) as more of a gift
     than compensation for the work performed.  The newspaper
     business, he said, was different.  He was working for his
     own wage, and came to understand the value of his labors.  
     The Philadelphia papers he distributed were the Bulletin, 
     and the "Press."

-----------------------------------------
1940 Source: "Obituary for L.S. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News"
     (West Chester, March 13, 1940).

     Loraine Stone McKinstry's son was Hugh Exton McKinstry.  He
     was an alumnus of West Chester High School, Haverford
     College, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute
of
     Technology.

-----------------------------------------
1951 Source: "Obituary of E.L. McKinstry" in "Daily Local News,"
     (West Chester, March 30, 1951).

     E.L. McKinstry's son was Dr.  Hugh Exton McKinstry.  In
     1951, he was a geologist and member of faculty of Harvard
     University.

-----------------------------------------

---   Go to the top of this page, Riggtown Home or the HIS480 Syllabus   ---

Copyright 2010 by Dr. James A. Jones