A HISTORY OF SCHOOL NO. 2, LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, CALLED PEA RIDGE
(Written by Miss Margaret Connell)
This school was erected in 1855; it was plain and rectangular and well lighted on the east and west sides with windows. It was painted white and had two front doors. One door was for the boys' entrance, and the other entrance was for the girls. Each door opened into a large square hall leading to the study room. The halls were furnished with shelves for luncheon containers and rows of hooks for coats and other wraps. On rainy days the halls served as a gymnasium because of lack of space.
In the schoolroom the teacher's desk was in front on an elevated platform which gave the schoolmaster an advantage in watching over his charges.
Displays of colored maps, capital letters, and numbers adorned the whitewashed walls. Blackboards were made of wood of very fine texture. They were painted black, very smooth and clear.
A built-in seat formed the baseboard of three sides of the room and was the recitation bench and was used frequently at recess for seated games.
The school grounds were divided into two parts. The greater part not enclosed was the baseball grounds. The other part around the school house was enclosed by a board fence.
The most important object was at the end of a narrow lane leading down a gentle slope from the school yard. It was here that clear cool water bubbled up from a spring. Only one cup was available so it was passed from each to all. The water from the spring was partially confined by a messy cylinder made from the base of a large gum tree.
As progress and improvement are always in order, in the year 1881 the old school building was to be replaced by one more imposing in appearance with added comforts and conveniences.
The building after twenty-six years' service was sold for the sum of $30.00 and was moved from its location, where it served as a shelter house on the Joseph A. Connell farm.
The site of the new schoolhouse was selected one-fourth mile west from the old building. The new building was constructed of brick finished with sandstone.
David Leech, having taught the last day at the old school, was the first to teach in the new building. This change took place in mid-school term.