Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

The History of the Schools in Niles, Ohio

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Little White School House

Little White School House

Location of Leslie Avenue School

Location of Leslie Avenue School

Leslie Avenue School

A drawing of the “Little White School House” as it was referred to, was the first school house built soon after the town was plotted in 1834. It was built on the north side of what is now the Memorial grounds. It was in that school that William McKinley, the future president, received his first formal education.

One room school houses were also located on Chestnut Street, Walnut Street, and two more were reported on the South Side of Niles.

In those days, custom required that boys and girls sat on opposite sides of the room. They sat on long benches fronted with a sloping shelf that formed a desk. The teacher’s desk was a more distinctive affair, standing on a platform opposite the door. Behind the teacher’s desk was a blackboard.

Teachers boarded in the homes of pupils, bringing them in close contact with the parents, and enabling the less affluent to defray a good part of their school costs in this way. Books were scarce, highly prized, and usually well preserved, since successive members of the family were expected to use them.

In 1842 with the growing population, it became necessary to construct a second school house near the northeast corner of Leslie and Linden Avenues.

The frame building was renamed Grant Street School in 1920. It has been razed.


Central High School

Central High School

 

In 1870 a three story brick and mortar school(Union School then Central School) was built and opened in 1871 with six teachers. The school was located on State Street where the Central Apartments are presently located.

It was described as “the best in the county”. By 1890 the average teacher’s salary was $45.00 a month. Parents paid term tuition for each child of 80 cents for primary grades, $1.20 for grammar school, and $1.80 for high school.

The bell for the tower has moved from the Central School tower to a rock pedestal on the lawn of Niles School(1914), to Niles McKinley High School(1959), and finally is displayed at the new(2013) Niles McKinley High School on Dragon Drive.


The Warren Avenue Building, renamed Jackson, became the administration Building when the new Jackson School on Smith Street was dedicated in 1965.

P01.1185

Built in 1893

The Warren Avenue Building, renamed Jackson School in 1920, became the Administration Building when the new Jackson School on Smith Street was dedicated in 1965. The building has been sold.

The Warren Avenue Building, renamed Jackson, became the administration Building when the new Jackson School on Smith Street was dedicated in 1965.

The Cedar Street Building, renamed Lincoln School, was razed when the new Lincoln School on Frederick Street was opened in 1956.

Built in 1896

The Cedar Street Building, renamed Lincoln School in 1920, was later razed in 1958 after the new Lincoln School on Frederick Street was opened in 1956.

The Cedar Street Building, renamed Lincoln School, was razed when the new Lincoln School on Frederick Street was opened in 1956.

The Third Street Building, renamed Garfield School, was the oldest continuing school building until its closure in 2003.

Built in 1905

The Third Street Building, renamed Garfield School in 1920, was the oldest continuing school building until its closure in 2003.

The building was sold in 2005 and was razed(2019).

The Third Street Building, renamed Garfield School, was the oldest continuing school building until its closure in 2003.

The Bert Street School Building on Belmont Avenue, renamed Monroe School, was closed and razed in the 60s.

Built in 1905

The Bert Street School Building on Belmont Avenue, renamed Monroe School in 1920, was closed and razed in the 60s.

It had only four classes, grades 1-4 and was attended by children living in the 'Russia Field' district.

The Bert Street School Building on Belmont Avenue, renamed Monroe School, was closed and razed in the 60s.

The South Bentley Avenue Building, renamed Jefferson School, was closed in 1980 and razed.

P01.1215

Built in 1911

The South Bentley Avenue Building, renamed Jefferson School in 1920, was closed in 1980 and razed. Senior housing apartments are now built on this site.

Students living on the south side of Robbins Avenue attended grades K-6.

The South Bentley Avenue Building, renamed Jefferson School, was closed in 1980 and razed.

S11.124


The new McKinley (Edison) High School was built, on Church Street between Arlington and Chestnut Avenues

P05.52

Built in 1914

The new Niles High School was built, on Church Street between Arlington and Chestnut Avenues, because the Central School was not large enough to accommodate the growing student population. It was renamed Niles McKinley High School in 1920.

The building became Edison Jr. High School in 1958 and was razed when the Niles Middle School on Brown Street opened in 2003.

The new McKinley (Edison) High School was built, on Church Street between Arlington and Chestnut Avenues

P03.8


Madison Avenue School, renamed Roosevelt School, became an annex to the high school when S.J. Bonham School was dedicated in 1957.

P01.1192D

Built in 1919

Madison Avenue School, renamed Roosevelt School in 1920, became an annex to the high school when S.J. Bonham Elementary School was dedicated in 1957. The building was razed in the 90s.

Madison Avenue School, renamed Roosevelt School, became an annex to the high school when S.J. Bonham School was dedicated in 1957.

Harrison School, built in McKinley Heights, Route 422 closed in 1956.

P11.342

Built in 1920

Harrison School, built in McKinley Heights, Route 422 closed in 1956. The students were bussed to Washington Elementary School. New school student attendance areas were redrawn with students attending the new Lincoln Elementary School on Frederick Avenue.


Washington School on Hartzell Avenue served both as a junior high and as an elementary school.

Built in 1924

Washington School on Hartzell Avenue served both as a junior high and an elementary school.

In 1958 all junior high students attended Edison Jr. High School. After the baby boom surge, Washington again served both as a junior high and an elementary school.

It was razed in 2013 when the new Primary School and Intermediate schools were built.

Washington School on Hartzell Avenue served both as a junior high and as an elementary school.

St. Stephen's Church, Academy and school in the year 1905.

(L) St. Stephen's Church, Academy and school in the year 1905. The building in the forefront was once the Music Academy and then became the Sister's Convent. The school was razed in 1954 after a new school was built on the other side of these buildngs.

(R) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel's first school with grades K-4 opened in 1949.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel's first school with grades K-4 opened in 1949.

P01.1202


The 'new' Niles McKinley High School on Dragon Drive opened in1957.

Built in 1957

The 'new' Niles McKinley High School on Dragon Drive opened in 1957. The doors closed in April, 2003.

The view of the high school along Mosquito Creek and War Memorial Gymnasium.

The view of the high school along Mosquito Creek and War Memorial Gymnasium.

S.J. Bonham Elementary School opened in 1957 on East Margaret Street.

Built in 1956

Lincoln Elementary School was located on Frederick Street. The building was razed in 2012 and a new primary school was built on the site.

Bonham Elementary School

Built in 1957

S.J. Bonham Elementary School opened in 1957 on East Margaret Street. At that time it was the only school not named after a U.S. President.

S.J. Bonham was the Niles City Schools superintendant during the late 1930s through the early 1950s. He became the assistant superintendant to primarily focus on the passage of a school bond issue to build new schools in anticipation of the influx of the baby-boomers. The bond issue passed with a new Niles McKinley High School and two elementary schools, Lincoln Elementary and S.J. Boham Elementary were built.

It was razed and a new intermediate school for grades 3-5 opened in 2013 on the same site.

 

Jackson Elementary School was built in 1965, the first climate-controlled school in Niles on Smith Street.

Built in1965

Jackson Elementary School was built in 1965, the first climate-controlled school in Niles on Smith Street. It was razed in 2013.

 



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