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.THE SCHOOLS OF ANTIS TOWNSHIP
(The following information on the early, one-room schools of Antis Township was contributed by Mary Brunner. All of the schools where closed by 1930.)

There were approximately eighteen schoolhouses located throughout the township from the period of 1803-6, when the Cross Roads School is believed to have been established, until the year 1930, when the schools were consolidated into the Bellwood-Antis School District.

The Beech Grove School was located at the Bellwood Intersection of Routes 220 and 865. The one-room school is now a tavern, which goes by the name of the Little Red School House.

The Cross Roads School was a one-room school. It was located at Tipton where the road turns off to go to Grazierville from Tipton. After it’s closing, the building was converted into a private home. Some of the teachers at the school were Mrs. Briggs, Mrs. Myers, Miss Burket, Anna Charleston and Blanche McDivitt.

The Fuoss School was located at Fuoss’ Mills, formerly known as Beyers Mills. The one-room school was later used by the Missionary And Christian Alliance Church.

The Charlottesville School was located to the south of Fuoss’ Mills and about one quarter mile north of Tipton. Since one building is believed to have been used for both a church and school, the school was probably located in the vicinity of the Charlottesville Cemetery along old Route 220.

The Davidsburg School was located on the road from Davidsburg, or Hensheytown, to Fostoria, past the Watts farm. It appears on the 1859 Geil and Freed Map of Blair County as standing to the east of the Samuel Henshey house.

The Taylor School was a one-room schoolhouse, which sat along the Tipton Road where the upper Johnson Development is today, about one and one-quarter miles from the railroad tracks. The building was bought by Mr. Gwin and moved to the Gwin farm, used as an implement shed and then made into a home by his son, Harry Gwin. Records state that the two loads of coal, costing 75 a load, were hauled to the Taylor School on February 2nd, 1869. Mrs. Florence (Kaugh) Cherry taught school there. She was the wife of Alfred Cherry. The property is owned today by Frances and Lorna (Cherry) Hirchag.

The McKnights School was located near the Antis and Riggles Gap Road. It was a one-room school. In a newspaper article from 1958 Paul Kurtz, Assistant County Superintendent of Schools, stated there was at least one school in Antis Township before 1800—McKnights.

The Sabbath Rest School, also a one-room school, was located near Pinecroft in a field on the road from Route 220 to Pinecroft. The structure was made into a home and is used as such now. This school was also known as the Elizabeth Furnace School. The schoolhouse is shown on the 1859 Geil and Freed Map of Blair County along the south side of the road.

The Mulhollen School was a one-room school that was located on the road known as the ‘back road from Tipton to Bellwood’ at the corner of Danbeck Road. Miss Mounty was a teacher at this school.

The Pennyroyal School was located on the Pennyroyal Farm on the road from Fostoria to Second Street in Bellwood. The property has since become the Kephart Farm, the Oswald Farm and, more recently, the Carr Farm.

The Pinecroft School was a two-story brick structure located near the village of Pinecroft. Teachers at the school were Margaret Kephart and Mary Wiley.

The Pines School was a one-room school that was located at the intersection of Routes 220 and 825 where Mid-State Bank is today. The school was used for a home, then a garage, and then torn down for the bank. One of the teachers was Belle Johnson Diggings.

The Riggles School was located on the Riggles Gap Road about two-and-one-half miles from the intersection with the old Sixth Avenue Road. After the one-room school closed in 1930 the structure was made into a summer home. The school is shown on the 1859 Geil and Freed Map of Blair County. The land on which the school stood and the log structure of the school were donated by Henry Riggle, who settled in the gap that bears his name circa 1830.

The Roots School was a two-room schoolhouse. The Roots School was actually comprised of two school buildings. The first structure to be built at the site was a small building. The larger, two-story schoolhouse was built nearby. The small building still exists and was made into a home. The Roots School was located northwest of Bellwood at the intersection of the back road going from Bellwood to Tipton. An article prepared by Mr. Paul Kurtz in 1958 states that the Root family granted land for the school. Teachers at this school included Mrs. Elda O’Brien, Mrs. Geneva (Irvin) Penrose, Miss Marian Fox, Mrs. Vera (Sullivan) Keith, Mrs. Lacy Raugh Myers and Mrs. Bell (Irvin) McCune. Two hundred former students and teachers of the Roots one-room school attended a reunion in 1958.

The Maple Grove School was built in 1909. It was located in Reightown near the McClellan home. The school was a large building. It was moved to the vicinity of the Mary and Miles Smith property and rebuilt. It was also called the Noel School House. B. R. West was the teacher.

The Mary Ann Forge School was located on the tract of land the Logan Valley Cemetery occupies today on Cemetery Road from Route 220 to Bellwood’s Main Street. The school building was used by the Methodist and the Baptist congregations when they first formed in the 1840’s.

The Glen Emery School was located in the small village of Glen Emery, also called the Tipton Mines, to the west of Tipton where the Tipton Reservoir is today. The school building was also used as a church during the late 1800s.

The Tipton Seminary, also known as the Tipton Academy, was opened at Tipton in September 1867. It was located along the railroad tracks where the Bruce Bowers’ garage is now. Secondary education was first carried on in private academies. The Tipton Academy offered pre-professional training for medicine, law and the ministry.

A huge building, consisting of three stories and a basement, was originally built by William P. Dysart to serve as a hotel. It was later decided to be used for the academy. A row of out buildings were constructed in the back and a pump on top of a well provided water for the school. Miss Florence Dysart was the first assistant principal when the school opened in September 1867. The Tipton Academy was a boarding school for both boys and girls. In the early 1900s the school closed and the building was made into apartments. The structure was torn down in the early 1940s.

The Bell’s Mills Academy for young men occupied the building that was known for many years as the Bell Hotel. The academy was operated between 1869 and 1874. The building later became the Lauver Apartments.

The Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed in the year 1887 noted that there were twelve schools then in use in Antis Township. The average school term was six months. There were three hundred and thirty-two students at that time. In 1890 the report filed by the Superintendent noted that by that year there were ten schools in the township and six in Bellwood Borough. Only three years later the number of schools had increased by one in the township and two in the borough.

The Bellwood Borough School board was established in 1888 and held its first meeting on 04 June of that year. The Board set about making changes to increase the quality of education in the region. The South Side School building, a large two-and-a-half-story, red brick structure was built in 1892 to replace a four-room frame building on the southeast corner of the intersection of the borough. The North Side School building, a large three-story, light brick structure was built on the southwest corner of the intersection of Antis and Third Streets in the west side of the borough. The North Side School, consisting of six rooms, was completed in 1914. Both of these structures are currently in use for certain of the elementary grades.*

The Bellwood High School was opened to students on 21 November 1892. J. T. Whitaker was the school’s principal and only teacher. The Bellwood High School was the second high school in the county, following Roaring Spring’s lead, to be established. The first class to graduate, for the school term ending in 1893, consisted of six pupils.

In 1907 a four-room building was constructed near the site of the Mary Ann Forge School. That building was constructed to serve as Antis Township High School. Leo Zerbe of Tyrone served as the school’s principal and only teacher.

A first for the county occurred in the year 1930 when all the private schools in Antis Township were consolidated together to form the Antis Township School District. Norman Miller was chosen to serve as the new district’s supervising principal. In 1932 Paul Kurtz took over that position. He held it until 1938 when another jointure of schools was effected. A new two-story, brick structure containing sixteen rooms was constructed about two hundred yards away from the four-room high school building. The building was erected on a tract of thirteen acres the school board had procured. The new school was formally dedicated on 12 October 1930.

In 1938 the Bellwood Schools and the Antis Township School District joined to form the Bellwood-Antis School District. The jointure was the first one in Blair County to include all twelve grades within its scope. In that year the Bellwood High School was opened along Martin Street. In the late 1980s a major renovation project was undertaken on the high school building, which cost an approximate $12 million.

*Webmaster Note: Since this article was written in 1937, neither building is being used in the school system. South Side School was razed in 1992 and Bellwood’s Excelsior Fire Dept. No. 1 firehall stands on the site. North Side School was converted into apartments in the early 1990’s and is still in use.

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