Nether Providence Township.
house was torn down and the present school-house was built. In 1881 an addition was made to it. One of the early teachers was Caleb Peirce, a noted pedagogue, who taught there in 1821.
In 1812, the Friends near what is now the borough of Media built a school-house on their land. School was continued there until Aug. 29, 1840, when a lot was purchased of Abel Green and a school-house erected, which is still standing, but is now in the borough of Media. When the schools were organized in Media, in 1856, this house was used jointly for a short time, and finally came into possession of the borough, by whom it was sold to William F. Green, who converted it into a dwelling-house. On the 25th of July, 1857, the township, being without a school in that section, purchased the present fifty-five square perches of land of James C. Haswell, a part of the Henry Forrest property, and the present brick house was erected at Briggsville.
On Aug. 31, 1839, the residents in the lower part of the township petitioned for a school-house to be located in that section. The request was acceded to and the present school-house was erected. Dec. 17, 1840, a lot was purchased of Henry Sharpless at Pleasant Hill, on which a stone house was built and used until 1870, when a half-acre of land adjoining was purchased and the present stone school-house erected, at a cost of three thousand one hundred dollars. In addition to the school-house mentioned is the one at Todmorton. After the property now known as Todmorton passed to the possession of William T. Crook, the number of persons employed there made it necessary that a school should be located in that neighborhood. The directors, however, refused to establish one, thereupon application was made to the Legislature, and the result was the act of April 9, 1849, which erected certain territory in Chester and Nether Providence township into a separate district by the title of Crookville School District. William T. Crook had erected a Presbyterian Church at his mills and fitted a room in the lower story of the church as a school-room. A school has been maintained there until the present time. After the mills came into possession of Samuel Bancroft the name of the district was changed to Todmorden.
During the first years this act went into effect the school directors of Nether Providence refused to recognize it as valid, and still demanded payment to them of school taxes by the residents of Crookville. William T. Crook refused to pay, and five of his cows were destrained by the constable on a warrant issued by the directors of the township. A public meeting of the people of Crookville was held on Feb. 25, 1850, and a series of resolutions were adopted setting forth the facts, together with sarcastic resolutions, in which they announced their determination to bring suit against the school directors of Nether Providence for the "outrage," and finally declared that they "would not willingly let die to fame" those "illustrious friends of education, the school directors of Nether Providence," and they therefore attached the names of the then directors. Finally, after legal proceeding, both criminal and civil, had been resorted to, the tempest wasted itself, but Crookville School District had come to stay.
After Simeon Lord rented the Avondale Mills, about 1847, the employés petitioned for a school-house at that locality. A stone building one story high was erected, and was used until after 1861, when it was abandoned, and is now in ruins. It is on the road in the hollow below the old paper- and snuff-mills on Ridley Creek.
About 1824, Isaac L. Weaver was a teacher at the Friends' school-house. William L. Green and Davis Garrett were pupils there. Mr. Green says his first recollection of the school is that on his first day he fell asleep, and rolled off the seat to the floor. Davis Garrett, on going home from his first day, told his people he was not going there any more, the teacher had no milk and did not keep a cow.
The township elected trustees under the act of 1804 for many years. The only record, however, occurs March 18, 1825, when John Richards, Abel Green, and Henry Sharpless were elected. After the enactment of the public school law, in 1834, the court appointed as school inspectors Eli D. Peirce and Charles M. Leiper to act until the school directors were chosen at the election in September of that year. The first meeting of the board of directors after the election took place on the 27th day of September, 1834.
A meeting of citizens of Nether Providence was held Eleventh month 20, 1834, at the house of Isaac Hall, to vote on the question of raising funds in addition to that appropriated by the school delegate at the county meeting. The money received that year by the township from the State and county appropriations amounted to $767.39. The public schools in Nether Providence were not opened until 1836, the board of directors, at a meeting held Sixth month 4, 1836, deciding that the schools should begin on the "2nd day, the 13th of the present month." The first teacher employed to preside over the Union School was William Ogden, his salary being seventy-five dollars per quarter. On Fourth month 29, 1837, the board of directors agree that Richard Worrall should continue to teach at the Upper School (Green's), and Lydia Burchell at the Union School. The latter, however, in about a month resigned, and Samuel Erskine was appointed in her stead.
The following is a list of school directors since 1840, as obtained from the records at Media:
1840, Cyrus Lewis, James Riddle; 1842, Jacob Byre, Sr., Alvin H. Parker; 1843, George W. Rigby, James Dicks; 1844, Jonathan Vernon, Henry Sharpless; 1845, James Riddle, Jacob Byre; 1846, Eli Rigby, Robert Watkins; 1847, Jonathan Vernon, Henry Sharpless; 1848, Seth C. Thomas, William G. Vernon; 1849, Jonathan Vernon, Thomas T. Williams; 1850, C. R. Williamson, Eli D. Pierce; 1851, Washington James, Ezekiel Loveland; 1842, John Eves, George G. Fell; 1853, William H. Lane, George Sharpless; 1854, W. H. Lane, Elton