Wooster City School District

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  • Wooster City School District
Educational Services
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Public School, School District
  • Date unknown
Key Persons
Key Persons
    • 144 N. Market St., Wooster, 44691, Ohio

Formal education began in Wooster in 1812 when parents of about a dozen children expressed their willingness to pay tuition to support a school and a teacher to give their children an education.

The first school was held in a block house, built a few years prior to 1812 on high ground where the Zion Lutheran Church stands. The first teacher was a young lawyer from New Haven, Connecticut named Carlos Mather who had been educated at Yale. He took the position of school teacher because there was no work for him as a lawyer in the fledgling community of Wooster.

Upon the adoption of new school laws by the General Assembly of the state of Ohio during 1853-1854, Wooster built four ward schools:

  • Ward 1 - School house No. 1 on S. Buckeye St., some people might remember as the old Memorial Hall.
  • Ward 2 - School house No. 2 at the corner of North and Bever streets, about where the center part of the old Collier Printing Company was located.
  • Ward 3 - School house No. 3 located at the southwest corner of Larwill and N. Walnut streets.
  • Ward 4 - School house No. 4 located on S. Walnut the present site of the Wayne Center for the Arts, or old Walnut St. School.

All these schools were independent of each other until 1870 when John Brinkerhoff became the superintendent of Wooster schools.

Prior to 1870, high school was held in the third ward school house No. 3 on the SW corner of Larwill and N. Walnut streets. The first high school class graduated in 1866 and consisted of three girls that had completed a four-year course of study.

In 1870, the first dedicated high school building was completed at the cost of $113,000 and reported to be "the finest in Ohio." It was a 3-story structure, with a clock tower, on the site of the present Cornerstone Elementary School. On the first floor were the fifth and sixth grades; on the second floor the seventh and eighth grades; on the third floor the 4-year high school operated. In 1871, there were two female graduates.

In 1908, a north wing was added to the building at a cost of $40,000. This wing was saved when the older part of the building was demolished to build the present school building in 1925 and was occupied by the seventh and eighth grades until September of 1956. The building, now known as Cornerstone Elementary School was formally opened February 13, 1925 and was erected at a cost of $525,000 and equipped at an additional cost of $50,000.

Beginning in 1891, the ward school buildings began to be replaced. In that year the Pittsburgh Avenue School (also known as Lincoln Way Elementary School) was opened; in 1901, the Beall Avenue school was opened; in 1902, the Walnut Street school house was opened.[1]

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  1. Wooster Daily Record, 1957-FEB-12, Progress of Education Schools Largest Single Activity of U.S.; First In Wayne County Launched in 1812
  2. Wooster Daily Republican 25 Jan 1917 p. 1
  3. Wooster Daily News 1 Oct 1917 p. 2
  4. Wooster Daily News 16 Mar 1918 p. 1
  5. Wooster Daily News 16 Mar 1918 p. 1
  6. Wooster Daily Republican 16 Jan 1920 p. 3