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Our pioneer forefathers arranged early for education for their young scholars.  Many schools were held in homes, but some built schools on their property before land was actually transferred for that purpose.  One of the earliest mentioned in Amanda Township was Royalton by Thomas Cole in 1810 before an actual transfer by the Allens in 1815.  These first schools were subscription schools and were financed by those who actually sent their children.  They were held, for the most part, between fall harvest and spring planting.  Often the schools shared facilities with religious services on Sunday.  The only days off during the term was for a funeral held in the schoolhouse. The scholars walked two miles or more in all weather, dried coats beside a pot-bellied stove, and drank water from the nearby spring.

Prior to 1852, when schools were organized by township school boards, each school had its own three directors, who hired the teacher and selected books.  The teacher often served as the janitor.  The early one-room schools taught those from 5-21, to read, write and cipher.   If you wanted to continue your education, you entered one of the academies scattered throughout a county.

After 1852 all districts within a township were replaced by a township board of education, and many more schools were opened.  The Clearport School, now a community house, was for a short time a two-year high school, the only one ever in Madison Township. The state encouraged all one-room schools to close and Madison Township did close all schools by 1930-31 with the exception of Clearport School, which remained open until 1934-35.  Between 1914 and 1928 most were taken into Amanda and Clearcreek areas.  Hocking Township had seven one room schools as late as 1935 and finally closed all in 1937, the last in Fairfield County.  Part of Hocking came into the Amanda district.

Mr. Solomon Grover held classes in the upper story of his home as early as 1817.  His two room, two story, log house is situated on what would become Lot #7 of Amanda Village in 1819.  This structure is still there, although it has been altered and remodeled for modern day use.  Its present location is on the south side of High Street across from the library parking lot.  Mr. Grover probably continued to teach there until after 1827- when lease agreements for schools changed.  He may have moved, died or for whatever reason, the property was sold to George Morrison in 1835.

The next site used for school purposes was just east on the same street, at lot #4.  This lot was owned by Samuel Williams in 1827 and there is no transfer recorded to the Board of Education in the county record.  Prior to 1852, there were no boards of education, so the one room frame building may have been built by Mr. Williams, his heirs or the Amanda Township Trustees per lease or transfer agreement.  Records would be at the State Auditor’s Office or in the Ohio Archives.  On May 11, 1855, Margaret Ann Griffith deeded 1 acre of the N.W. quarter of section 36 for $1.00 for school purposes.  The Board of Education sold Lot #4 to Joseph Nye for $137.00 in June, 1855.  The one room frame building and its later one room addition may still be there.  The property was deeded to Adam Nye in 1879.  According to Virginia Nye Harpst, the old school was being used as the kitchen for the residence in the 1950’s.  This home, too, has been remodeled, the porch in the rear (facing east) was originally the porch or entry for the school.  There were 2 outhouses - one for boys and one for girls, at the back of the property on the alley; benches on the porch held pans and water for handwashing.  This property sits on the south side of High Street on the alley corner across from the present Lutheran Church.

The first “brick and mortar” building on the present day school grounds was probably a 2 room, 2 story vestibule.  It sat directly east of the “Pump”.  Heated by wood and coal, it caught fire (sometime between 1865 and 1880).  It was likely between 1872 to 1880 because the Methodist Church deed is for 1872 (present day Lutheran Church) and Debbie Lutz purchased the next lot to the west in 1876 (this is the little red brick home) where classes were held in private rooms and the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches while the school was rebuilt and a 4 room, 2 story addition was put on.  There is no mention of classes held at the Lutheran Church because it was still at Dutch Hollow until 1884.  By 1898, the school became an accredited 10 year institution as opposed to the prior 8 year program.

The first school within the village of Stoutsville was near the east edge of the community at the junction of the Stoutsville and Fosnaugh School Roads.  The land for the first Stoutsville school was granted by John and Mary Stout in 1869, a few years after Stoutsville was laid out in 1854.  This was the same year the boundaries of the township were laid out, as it had been much bigger at one time.  The early schools were laid out in a very orderly fashion and none were more than 1 ½ miles from the pupils and always near springs and small streams, so many were not near modern roads.  Land was set aside for a school as early as 1848 in Oakland.  By 1850 the township had 9 school districts and each had a brick building.  Oakland and Stoutsville each built new facilities in the 1870’s and started to incorporate other township districts.  Stoutsville constructed a two-story brick, purported to be the first in the county, at a cost of $4,000.  All one room schools closed by 1922.  By 1900 a high school was established in Stoutsville, upsetting Oakland who had transportation problems.  The problem was improved by the purchase of the first bus in Fairfield County to transport High School students from Oakland to Stoutsville.  The first graduation class was in 1903 with one member.

First Graduating Class

The Amanda-Clearcreek Local School District held its first board meeting on January 4, 1960. Present were board members Carl Azbell, Wayne Beck, Herbert Ruff, and Cecil Warner. Ernest Francis was sworn in as president of the board. Phyllis Harmon was appointed as clerk-treasurer and Robert Schmidt was names acting local executive. Hubert Cole was names assistant local executive.


Text taken from "100 Years of Education (1898 - 1998) Amanda-Clearcreek High School".