Newcomerstown Alumni 2006 Scholarship Essay
Newcomerstown School System has changed drastically from its
establishment. The district began in a two-room cabin with all
grade levels learning together. It now consists of four
different schools with different grade levels in each. The
schools have changed in a lot of ways and the district has come
a long way from when it began.
J. Miller taught the first classes held in the Newcomerstown
area. The classes were held in a two-room cabin, which was
located in the vicinity of what we know today as Pilling Street.
Lessons included the 3-R’s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
Mr. Miller taught these because they were the three subjects
considered the most important. He taught these lessons to
pioneer children as early as 1818.
first village schoolhouse was a one-room log house. It was
located on State Street, which then, was called State Road. In
1856, the Akron School Law was voted for adopting a school
system and a school district. Our school district was organized
in 1856. It encompassed all of Oxford Township north of the
River and The Nugent Farm, which was 600 acres. Newcomerstown’s
school district was very large. When the Akron School Law was
adopted, there were two small school buildings within the
Newcomerstown Corporation Limits. One of the buildings was
located on State Street. The other school building was on a lot
west of the Methodist Episcopal Church. These buildings housed
all the children in the Newcomerstown District. From 1856 to
1857, the two-story frame building was erected. This was called
Union School. It was very near the site of where the East School
is located today. The Union School was located more to the rear
of the lot compared to where it is today. This two-story school
building had a bell tower topping it.
1873, the number of children wanting to attend school was
rapidly increasing. The Newcomerstown School District realized
that another school was desperately needed. A small building was
built about two miles northeast of Newcomerstown. This school
was still located in the district. Having this school made it
much easier for children in this area to attend school. It was
much closer for the kids to walk to school in bad weather.
1880, the Newcomerstown School District expanded once again. Two
classrooms were added to the Union School. Also in 1880, the
first class of students graduated and received diplomas. This
class was small in number, only consisting of five students.
These students received diplomas upon graduating for completion
of a three-year teacher’s course. As of 1880, there was no
auditorium in Newcomerstown, so graduation ceremonies took place
at the Presbyterian Church. The first five graduates of
Newcomerstown Schools graduated on June 2, 1882. Two more
graduations took place in the Presbyterian Church. The classes
of 1883 and 1884 both had their Commencements in the
Presbyterian Church. In 1885, graduation ceremonies finally
moved to the Opera House, which had recently been built.
1900 came along, and the district once again recognized that the
school facilities that they had were not sufficient for the
needs of the growing town. The district decided to build two
identically designed school buildings. Both buildings would be
two stories and the attic of one building would be a gymnasium.
The East building was the building chosen to house the
gymnasium. The district now had to decide on the sites of these
two new schools. One would be built where the Union School sat
on College Street. It would be known as the East Building. It
would house high school students. It would also include a
gymnasium, which would be used for sporting events. The second
building would be constructed on the corner of State and River
Street. It would be known as Maplewood, or West School. This
building would house students grades first through eighth. In
1924, the Newcomerstown Schools enlarged again. A high school
was built. It consisted of three floors and an auditorium. The
high school also included a multi-purpose room that would be
used as a gymnasium for basketball, an area for school plays,
and a place to hold graduations. The next expansion of the
Newcomerstown Schools occurred in 1936 when and annex was added
on to the high school. There were classrooms, a laboratory for
chemistry and physics classes, lockers, dressing rooms, and
facilities for home economics classes.
March 11, 1955, devastation occurred to the Newcomerstown School
District. A terrible tornado came through the town, wiping out
one of the schools. The East building was severely damaged. The
tornado’s winds completely took out a fifth grade classroom.
Luckily, the tornado struck early in the morning before children
were in class. This saved the children from injuries and even
death. Now, a new school building was a necessity.
Maplewood, or West School building was condemned during the
interim between 1955 and 1957. The Newcomerstown School District
decided to build two completely new one-story buildings. While
these buildings were being constructed, classes were held in
various other buildings throughout the town. They were held in
spots such as The Masonic Temple, The CIO Union Hall, and The
Trinity Methodist, Nazarene, and Presbyterian Churches. Since
the school buildings were unusable, the town saw the completion
of two new buildings in 1957. One building was one story and had
seven rooms. This was very different compared to the previous
two-story structure. Instead of the two elementary buildings
being the same size as before, the new buildings were two
different sizes. The East School had seven rooms and the West
School consisted of seventeen rooms. The new West School was
located on Beaver Street instead of its previous location. The
new building was built on thirty-two acres of land purchased by
the Newcomerstown Board of Education. The West School included a
cafeteria. The students attending East School were bused to West
School in order to eat lunch. The West School also had a flat
floor auditorium with a stage. Now, the two elementary schools
had a place to hold their Christmas programs.
was issued and passed in 1965 for a new high school building.
The new building became a reality in 1965 and by December,
children occupied it. The old high school became the Middle
School and housed students in grades six, seven, and eight. The
new high school had a multi-purpose room, which consisted of a
flat floor and bleacher seats around the outside. This complex
was used for sports, but not for the Thespian Musical
Productions, which were still done in the Middle School
1966, a local couple donated a large sum of money to the
Newcomerstown Board of Education to buy a tract of eleven acres.
These eleven acres were to be used to build a new athletic
stadium. A modern stadium was erected and dedicated in 1967. It
was called Lee Stadium. It had an eight-lane track, a softball,
band, and football practice field, baseball diamond, pole vault,
shot put, and high jump areas. It was also well lit and used
during the Fourth of July for fireworks productions. A brick
concession stand and ticket booth was purchased by the Lee
family and added to the complex in 1969.
Newcomerstown Schools have come a long way from when they began.
The System overcame hardships to get where it is today. The
history of Newcomerstown Schools is very important and is
something that every student attending should recognize and be