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pupils in Ohio was in Cincinnati, between 1836 and 1840, by virtue of a special law, dividing the city into districts and providing for a building in each district. In each building the pupils were separated into two grades, studying different subjects and grades of work. This was followed in a few years by the establishment of a central high school. In Cleveland the first free school was established in 1834, and in 1840 the schools were graded.
The school system of the state may be briefly explained as follows: Cities and incorporated villages are independent of
ynship and county control, in the management of schools having boards of education and examiners of their own. Some of them are organized for school purposes, under special acts. Each township has a board of education, composed of one member from each subdistrict. The township clerk is clerk of this board, but has no vote. Each subdistrict has a local board of trustees, which manages its school affairs, subject to the advice and control of the township board. These officers are elected on the first Monday in April, and hold their offices three years. An enumeration of all the youth between the ages of five and twenty-one is made yearly. All public schools are required to be in session at least twenty-four weeks each year. The township clerk reports annually such facts concerning school affairs as the law requires, to the county auditor, who in turn reports to the state commissioner, who collects these reports in a general report to the Legislature each year.
A board of examiners is appointed in each county by the probate judge. This board has power to grant certificates for a term not exceeding two years, and good only in the county in which they are executed; they may be revoked on sufficient cause. In 1864, a state board of examiners was created, with power to issue life certificates, valid in all parts of the state.
THE CHURCHES OF UPPER SANDUSKY
The First Presbyterian church was organized with seven members, at a meeting held in the old Mission church, in 1845, by the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, of Bucyrus. Prior to that time, however, a Mr. McCain had preached in the same church edifice at irregular intervals. The congregation built a small
frame house of worship in 1847, which was occupied for a number of years. In 1866 they built a brick structure at a cost of $12,000. Later they erected a larger and handsomer edifice. This church is located on the corner of Seventh and Johnston streets. Membership 160. Membership of the Sunday school, 200. The elders of the church are: Frank Beidler, Charles Colmery, Prof. Kiefer, Samuel Black and Philip Weimer. Rev. Clarence B. Wible, pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal church of Upper Sandusky was organized in the autumn of 1845, with the following members as the first board of trustees: Andrew M. Anderson, Guy C. Worth, James B. Allen, Joseph Cover, Alexander Voluntine and William Myers. At a meeting of the board of trustees in June, 1846, it was decided to build a church edifice, and a lot on the northeast corner of Seventh and Johnston streets was purchased, and a house of worship was erected in 1847. This frame house of worship was used until 1859, when a new one was erected at a cost of $4,500. The present handsome stone church edifice was built in 1898, at a cost of $20,000, upon the site of the former ones. Although the Methodists had no church organization until 1845, yet its founding in Upper Sandusky dates back to the Indian mission, 1816, with John Stewart, first missionary, with meetings in the old Mission church. The present pastor is the Rev. J. W. Holland. Sunday school superintendent, A. B. Whitney.
The First English Evangelical Lutheran church was organized by Rev. Jacob Schąner, at a meeting held at the house of George C. Wolford, February 5, 1849. Prior to that time, however, or on the 29th of January, 1849, a meeting of the members of this denomination had been held at the "old Indian council house,” when and where Rev. J. Schaner and D. Harbaugh officiated.
Fourteen members originally signed the church constitution, which number were soon increased to thirty-five, among whom were Michael Miller and wife, George C. Wolford and wife, Samuel Smith and wife, Benjamin Taylor and wife, John Furlinger and wife, Daniel Sterner and wife, and their children-Julia, Michael and Emanuel Sterner-Samuel, Josiah and Ephraim Miller, and Mrs. Dr. Watson.
This first church edifice, a brick structure, size 35x50, was built in 1851. It stood upon the northwest corner of Finley and Fifth streets, and cost $1,400. A new church was built in 1879, upon the northeast corner of Eighth street and Wyandot avenue. It was constructed of brick and trimmed with sandstone. A handsome church edifice now occupies the same site. The denomination is without a pastor at present, but services are conducted by the Rev. Dr. J. W. Byers.
Trinity Evangelical church was organized with fifteen members, by the Rev. John Hannecker, in August, 1860. Prior to that time, however, meetings had been held at the home of Christian Rief in the fall of 1858, and at the Methodist church in 1859, by Revs. Freck, Lambert, Freese and Downey. Only two members of this denomination lived in the town in 1858, four in 1859, and fifteen in 1860. In that year they built a church edifice at a cost, including the lot, of $2,000. It was built of brick, size 35x50 feet, and stood upon lot No. 219. In 1884 the membership numbered fifty-two, with a prosperous Sunday school. The membership now numbers 160, with a Sunday school of 331. At present they have a beautiful new stone church, costing about $20,000. It was dedicated January 21, 1912, by Bishop S. P. Spreng, D. D. This church is located on the corner of West Wyandot avenue and Seventh street, one block from the public square. Rev. A. F. Beery is pastor of the church, and E. F. Stephan, superintendent of the Sunday school. This church has a fine Young People's Society, a Young People's Alliance, a Woman's Missionary Society and a Ladies' Aid Society. The following are members of the official board: Class leader, William Guthrie; assistant, J. Heldenbrand; trustees, Samuel Althouse, John F. Kuenzli, Frank Paessler.
Trinity Reformed church of Upper Sandusky was organized in 1852. This church has quite a history. Rev. August Winter was the first Reformed minister here, who stood in regular connection with the Synod of the Reformed church of the United States, but the exact date when he came is not known. How long he labored or when he left, the records also fail to show. After him came Rev. J. J. Brecht, who remained but a brief period. When Mr. Brecht withdrew, Rev. Peter Joeris was elected pastor of the charge, consisting of Upper Sandusky and the Emanuel's congregations, and commenced his work here about the year 1852. In that year, he effected the first permanent organization of Trinity Reformed church of Upper Sandusky. Pastor Joeris remained until about the year 1858 or 1859. After he left, the charge was vacant until the year 1862, when Rev. J. Klingler came as a supply from Ada, continuing so for four years. Finally, in 1865, the church was reorganized, and in 1866 the first church-an unpretending brick edifice, 26x50 feet—was built on North Fifth street, at a cost of $2,500. Mr. Klingler continued, in the main successful, service until 1875, a period of about fourteen years. During his ministerial labors also, the old-time “Mud Church,” in Pitt township, was replaced by a neat brick building. These two congregations were always served by the same pastor.
Rev. C. Wisner succeeded Mr. Klingler, and was shepherd of the flock for about five years. During this period, he placed the finances of the Upper Sandusky congregation on a firm basis, paid an old church debt and procured a parsonage. Rev. E. D. Miller succeeded Mr. Wisner, April 1, 1881. In the spirit of his predecessors, he carried the work successfully forward, and under his charge the church edifice was rebuilt and enlarged in the summer of 1883. The remodeled building was rededicated December 9, 1883, which event was noticed in the columns of the Weekly Chief as follows:
“On last Sabbath forenoon the exercises of rededicating the Reformed church on Fifth street took place. At the allotted hour, people began gathering in, and after the house was filled to its fullest capacity, the exercises began with an anthem by the choir. The opening address, in English, was made by the former pastor, Rev. J. Klingler, giving the rise and progress of the congregation. Then followed rededicatory services in the German by the pastor, Rev. E. D. Miller, and a rededicatory sermon by Rev. Dr. Rust, of Tiffin.
The church membership at the present time is 236; Sunday school membership, 335; Christian Endeavor membership, 43; Ladies' Aid and Missionary Society, 87. Rev. B. E. Lenkaemper is the present pastor.
Emanuel Reformed church in Pitt township, which is served by the same pastor, is situated five and one-half miles southeast of Upper Sandusky, and has a membership of 142; Sunday school, 175.
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. In the latter fifties a number of Lutheran families in and about Upper Sandusky organized a Sunday school and Bible class and met at the homes of the various members for Bible study and edification. After some months arrange
ments were made to hold regular meetings in the old church building on Walker street which afterwards was the meeting house of the A. M. E. church. In this building the small band of Lutherans had the privilege of organizing a congregation which was served from time to time by travelling missionaries. About 1861 Rev. Allard came to the congregation as regular stationed pastor and served the congregation for three years. He was succeeded in office by Rev. J. Schladermundt, whose term of office was two years and whose successor, V. Klein, also remained that length of time. In 1867 Rev. C. Wernle was called as pastor and served this congregation in connection with the Lutheran church at Carey. Under his leadership the church enjoyed a healthy growth. The church on the corner of Bigelow and Main streets was then erected. The Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio at that time was seeking a location for an orphanage of which Rev. Werņle was chief champion, and Upper Sandusky lacked but one vote of being the place selected. When the home was founded at Richmond, Indiana, Rev. Wernle was called as Father. Rev. W. F. Helle was his successor, coming here in 1873. His term of office lasted twenty-three years. His work was a blessing to the church and community. Many are the hearts that are yet thankful for his beneficent ministrations. The church was remodeled during the pastorate of Rev. P. Langendorff. The English language from this time on became more and more the medium of worship. After Rev. Langendorff accepted a call to Woodville in 1904 Rev. Jos. Sittler took charge of the work and left a record of good things accomplished. His successor, Rev. C. F. Betz, came to the congregation in November, 1909. Since his pastorate the Sunday school has greatly increased its enrollment, many non-resident members have been placed with Lutheran churches at their new homes, a goodly number of adults have been received into the church. Last year the congregation purchased an organ costing two thousand dollars. The congregation of a small number of devoted worshippers has increased to a membership of 350 despite the fact that many members have gone to the cities. Among the early records are the names of August Biebigheiser, Philip Tracht, Caspar Veith, C. F. Veith, John Kraus, John Naas, Christian Engel, Herman Paesler, Louis Glosser, Jacob Hehr, Fred Ritter, William Marbraff, August Mueller and others. Mrs. Nicholas Halbedel is one of the oldest members.