We can all do better - some of us can do A WHOLE LOT better...

After increasing population and increasing demands from the State Board of Education (Sound familiar?), the citizens united for the common good and in 1932, all of the one-room schoolhouses and the high school were closed and the entire school district was moved into the new centralized school now known as Main Elementary.

1932 was also the first year for buses to pick up students and also the first in-school cafeteria.  The class of 1933 graduated with twenty-five members.  In 1951 a fourteen-room building was built to the immediate west, with another seven rooms added in 1953.  This building housed grades one through four and was later known as West Main Primary School.  The two buildings were connected in the latter twentieth century.

The last class to graduate from the centralized 'Beavercreek School' was the class of 1954 with sixty-two graduates.

This photo, we've not seen anywhere else, was found rolled into a small tube.  Upon smoothing, scanning and editing you can clearly see into the auditorium.

On January 3, 1964, the fuselage of a RB-57D Canberra twin jet reconnaissance plane crashed in a parking lot of the school that has since been developed into a portion of the building.  Over 2,000 students, teachers and workers were in the school at the time!  The plane spun through the air for over 15 miles after the wings had ripped off at 50,000 feet.

No one was injured and little damage was done, largely because there was no explosion due to the fuel having been contained in the wings.  The pilot parachuted to safety.  The engines landed miles away in a field on Shakertown Road and the wings were found near Fairground Road.

The wooded area on either side of Dayton-Xenia Road is the 44.439 acre Ferguson Land Laboratory.  The Fergusons were prominent farmers since the settling of Beavercreek and by the 1940’s were the largest growers of potatoes in the area.  They donated this land to the Board of Education with the stipulation that it remain forever untouched woodland.

Completed in 1954, the present Beavercreek High School was built adjacently upon 33 acres of Ferguson land that was purchased by the Board of Education and the Ferguson Hall Campus behind sits on another sixteen acres that was donated by brother and sister Edwin and Lida Ferguson.

Please turn right at the stoplight onto Dayton-Xenia Road.    In 1887, Beavercreek High School opened, the second high school in the state.  Twenty pupils enrolled and classes were held on the second level of the old Stage Coach Inn while the new building was under construction.

Upon completion in late 1888, the students marched their tables, chairs, and books up the street to the new building.  This new school gave the students a lot more room.  Instead of a whole 'grade level' being at one table, there were only four students to a table.

The south room was used for Freshmen and Sophomores, the north for Juniors and Seniors.  Upstairs, smaller rooms were used for smaller classes.  In 1914, two more rooms, one for science and one for home economics, were added to the west end of the building to accommodate the increasing population.  The first class to graduate from Beavercreek High School was in 1891 with eleven students.

Just to the southeast of the school, pictured below c.1930, is the vocational and agricultural classroom which also served as a horse barn and farrier shop.

In 1915, two more rooms were added.  The school was eventually outgrown and moved a bit west.

If you’re able, pause for a moment at the stop sign at Beaver Valley Road.  If you look across the fields before you, was once a 153 acre tract designated as Ohio School Lands.  The school there was once presided over by Amos Quinn – an amiable man not to be crossed by any rebelliousness of his pupils.  It was customary during Christmas time for students to bar the school’s door, keeping the teacher out until they could compel a “treat” out of him.

Once, the boys barred Quinn from the building, after exhaustive attempts to enter doors and windows, he climbed to the roof and began tearing clapboards from the schoolhouse.  The noise attracted the attention on the locals, who gathered to watch.  Upon dropping to the floor, he was seized and securely bound until he was glad to surrender the apples and cider he had procured from a neighbor for his pupils.  The temporarily suspended course of education was then allowed to resume as intended!

At the stop sign, turn left onto Beaver Valley Road and then immediately turn right onto Lantz Road.  Several parcels up on the south side of the road is a blue residence at 2469 Lantz Road.  This was another schoolhouse, Lantz School #5.  This school was unique in that it was frame construction and not the traditional red brick.  The upper level housed the secondary school and the main level, the primary.  There was a small, steam-operated sawmill nearby as well.  

The 8+ acre Virgallito Park is ahead on your left.

Very carefully turn left onto Fairgrounds Road.  Once through the sweeping left curve, much of the land on the left is actually Beavercreek Township park land known as Fairgrounds Park.  The creek at the bottom of the hill is known as Ludlow Run and will tend to rise above its banks after the heaviest rainfalls.

The northeastern quarter of the township was primarily larger tracts of land without close proximity to the towns previously described.  Prominent land owners in the area in the 1870’s were the Harner, Holland, LaFong and Koogler families.

Ludlow School #8 was located nearby on the north side of the road adjacent to Ludlow Run creek midway between Linebaugh and Trebein Roads.

Continue up the hill and through the stoplight at Trebein Road.  Many of the nearby homes and barns are in excess of 100 years old and are not only well preserved, but very much still in use today!

Return west on Dayton-Xenia Road, turn north Trebein Road, across the Little Miami River.  Proceed straight through the intersection at Dayton-Xenia Road.  On your right, the residence at 942 Trebein Road was the former Trebein School.

The Old Beaver Grade School - An Appreciation

By Bertha Trebein Flynn (c.1953)

The exact date of the erection of the Old Beaver School has grown dim with the passing of more than a half century (sic)since, long before its wrecking, it became a mute reminder of the past.

It stood not far from the Dayton Pike on a hill-slope just northwest of Beaver Church and, between 1850 and 1880 was a school of outstanding reputation in Greene County, attracting pupils from all parts of the County, including the county-seat.

It followed in imposing dignity two earlier structures, - the first, a log cabin much closer to "the pike," inadequately heated by a large fire-place at one end and provided in lieu of desks, with some crude boards, supported by heavy, sloping, wooden wall-pegs, before which pupils took turns in standing for written work.  The second school building was a one-room brick structure, with a stove in the center, and with long, rough, backless benches facing rude boards fixed to the wall for holding slates, books and pencils.

Old Beaver's equipment, by comparison with its two predecessors, was comfortable and luxurious.  It had individual seats at single or double desks with a space inside for books and possessions.  Light fellin amply through the windows on bright days.  Its original one-room was of necessity reserved after the first year or two for "the grades" and an "advanced room" was then added at the west with a front vestibule between, and an enclosed rear passage-way surmounted by a bell-tower with a bell of far-reaching resonance.

A remarkable curriculum was offered here for those aspiring to college: algebra, trigonometry, geometry, Greene's Analysis of the English Language, Latin, Greek, physics and - for the young men - the inevitable surveying.  The head teacher was Mr. John W. Miller (father of the late Miss Louie Miller), who combined university training with a profound love of knowledge.  So thorough was his work and that of his assistants that the students who completed the course at "Old Beaver" were able to enter the Sophomore Class at Miami University.  Preparation for college grew in popularity.

For the grades there were the usual "practical" and mental arithmetic, geography, grammar, essays, spelling - now somewhat outmoded - "speeches," and the McGuffey Readers.  Both Anna Snyder Perrin and Kate Snyder ("Miss Kate") gave real zest to their work, adding to it a generous use of nature's laboratory for the study of flowers and birds,  - hours remembered with loving appreciation by some near-octogenarians today. (sic)

Two highly esteemed mentors of the "advanced" school's later years, who opened a new world to their pupils through their presentatin of poetry, biography, or history, were W. W. Donham and a Mr. Bonner whose initals elude memory and avalable records.  One H. A. Nelson had distinguished himself and the school somewhat earlier through the staging of William Tell, for which suits of mail, sword, spears and other paraphernalia of ancient warfare were procured at what was for those times a considerable expense.

The school gave a good quota to the service in the Civil War.  Five of the number achieved early captaincy: David Steele (father of the late J. D. Steele), William Glotfelter, Henry Herring, a Guthrie, and a Kirby.

"Old Beaver" closed its doors in 1882, when the march of sacrificial progress opened the local district schools of the Township.

Its years of activity remain an honored chapter in Greene County history.

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