Compiled in June, 1985
by Millie Cole, Marilyn Harrer, Betty Eckstein, Kathryn Easterday, Helen Guthrie
Edited by Edna Pettit, Esther Smith

TIRO HIGH SCHOOL 1896-1960

Education and schools in the Tiro community have undergone change and revision several times since the first annual Tiro Commencement held on May 1, 1896 at the Lutheran Church.  The graduates in that first class were Gertrude Burroughs, Floy Michener, Thomas Sawyer, and Leon Davis.  The Board of Education members were T.S. Melchior, A.W. Kauffman, R.W. Daugherty, and F.F. Shilling was Superintendent.

A souvenir from the 1896-1897 school years lists the Superintendent as F.F. Shilling; Board of Directors A.W. Kauffman, R.W. Daugherty, and B.F. Allen.  The pupils were Wm. F. Clawson, Benjamin Cornell, Searl B. Daugherty, Charles Grau, George L. Grau, Pearl Lautsbaugh, Fred R. McNutt, Wilbur B. Mitchell, Vernie Michener, Vinton C. Melchoir, Alan R. McClelland, Webster Miller, Clarence Rex, Frank L. Straub, Charles L. Sawyer, Clifford Smith, John Quig, Verill Cahill, Charles Hanna, Hazel Burget, Grace M. Champion, Edith Hilborn, Nora Hart, Kittie Jones, Mamie Johnston, Myrtle Miller, Elva Quig, Eva Raudabaugh, Rillie Raudabaugh, Jennie Carothers, Fannie Swaney, Graci Hanna.

The 1900 school souvenir of the Auburn Twp. Public School listed Benj. D. Cornell as teacher; School Board F.E. Will, W. Hanna, and R.C. Bevier.  The pupils were Belle Bevier, Minnie Bender, Ione Bender, Florence Crum, Buela Crum, Nellie Hanne, Edith Hanna, Angie Lybarger, Ethel Morrow, Ralph Bevier, Dannie Crum, Clyde Erler, Guy Erler, Winnie Hanna, Roman Hartz, Scott Hartz, Tommy Hartz, Clarence Hartz, Ralph Morrow, Meade Morrow, Leonard Noecker, Charlie Noecker, Howard Noecker, Huron Sawyer, Porter Sawyer, Kenneth Sawyer, Marcus Tomlinson, Iven Will, and Sherman Will.  The Auburn Center School was moved to the “New Road” and converted into a dwelling.

The souvenir for the school year Nov. 11, 1901 to June 27, 1902 listed Tiro, Ohio as the address but the following students’ names are those of the DeKalb School:  Vearl Bender, Moody Bender, Ralph Bender, Raymond Bloom, Virtue Cleland, Chas. Cleland, Robt. Carrothers, Allen Cahill, John Cahill, John Cooper, Calvin Cooper, Ernest Cooper, Elzy Cooper, Frank Eckstein, Gusta Galehr, Otto Galehr, Hershel Johnson, Guerney Johnson, Milton Johnson, Ralph Johnson, Chas. May, Elmer May, Harry Robinson, Louie Resler, Roy Resler, Glen Traxler, Lester Weaver, Boyd Weaver, William Garbeth, Elzy Sheldon, Clarence Meek, Glen Meek, Luella Brown, Florence Brown, Romain Bender, Olive Bender, Anna Bender, Carrie Bender, Emma Eckstein, Minnie Eckstein, Myrtle Fox, Gertrude Galehr, Pearl Galehr, Minnie Galehr, Pearl Weaver, Dot Weaver, Ivy Garbeth, Clare Garbeth, Ethel Johnston, May McManis, Lucile Resler, Jennie Resler, Ruth Weidemyre, Nina Seizer, Nancy Sheldon, Clarissa Meek, Orpha McDonald, Alice Nickler, Nannie Johnson, and William Bender.  R.L. Todd was teacher and W.J. Cleland was Local Director.

The class of 1905 held their Baccalaureate on May 14 and Commencement on May 17 both held at the First Presbyterian Church.  The graduates were Helen Kathryn Van Tilburg, Hazelle Beatrice Kauffman, and Lucy White Daugherty.  The Board of Education members were W.S. Hanna, President; Dr. C.O. Blair, Treasurer; A. Emmons, A.W. Kauffman, W.F. McConnell, and G.C. Wiles was Superintendent.

A 1907 Commencement invitation in the souvenirs listed two graduates: James Winfred Hanna and Ralph Caleb Bevier.  F.C. Nydegger was Superintendent.  Written on this invitation was the record that Marie Galehr Cahill taught 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at the Tiro School in 1903-1905.

The 1909 Commencement invitation listed Edna A. Brown, Minnie C. Galehr, Franklin H. McNutt, and Alonzo F. Crouse as graduating with the following school officers Dr. G.O. Glair, Dr. W.H. Guiss, S.W. Hanna, C. Lash, P. Bender with J.W. McNutt as Superintendent.

Commencement was held May 10, 1910 at the Town Hall when the following received diplomas: Carl Resolve Daugherty, Muriel Mae Guiss, Carrie May Bender, Guy Victor Crouse, Hazel May Dickson, and Netta Marie Ledman.  Board of Education members were Dr. W.H. Guiss, President; C.D. Shilling, Clerk; John Libby; Marion Bender; and J.M. VanTilburg;  F.E. Marvin, Superintendent.  Mabel Easterday Stephan taught Grammar Grades and Flora Heibertshausen taught the Primary Grades.

There were nine of the traditional one-room schools in the Tiro community which later were included, at least in part, in the Tiro Consolidated School District.  They were Auburn Center, DeKalb, Liberty Corners, Maple Grove, Oakland, Rex, Shaffer (Grosser), Sandusky Township, and Tiro Village.  The October 5, 1916 Report of Attendance showed Auburn Center had 13 pupils; DeKalb, 24; Liberty Corners, 20; Maple Grove, 28; Oakland was closed August 15, 1916; Rex, 11; Shaffer (Gosser), 12; and Tiro Village, 97.

In the later years at DeKalb, drinking water was obtained at noon and recess by strolling through Wagner’s grove to cool, clear spring water.  A dwelling now sits on the site of the DeKalb School.  The 1909-10 school year souvenir booklet lists J. Winfred Hanna, teacher; School Officers Ira O. Hillborn, Lewis May, John Cahill, Philip Feik and Paul Galehr.  The pupils were Esta May, Irma May, Pearl Feik, Lulu Feik, Lois Bender, Emma Eckstein, Oletha Glower, Lois Weaver, Clarence Esterline, Eugene Weaver, Oliver Bender, Otis Bender, Daniel Sheldon, Johnnie Sheldon, George Feik, Merrill Hilborn, John Cahill, Elmer May, Gurney Johnston, Rena Kimmel, and Viola Kimmel.

After sitting vacant for over 50 years, Liberty Corners was converted to a dwelling now occupied by the Campbell Family.  Maple Grove has no record given to the committee.  Oakland School was sold on December 12, 1919 to C.M. Ross for $210.  A notice was published to sell the Rex School.  The land went back to the owner.  Edgewood Grange bid $200.  (No record of the sale has been found.)  No record of the disposal of the Shaffer (Gosser) School was given to the committee.  August 13, 1919 a notice was published to sell the Shaffer School and land.  Sandusky Center School is now used as Sandusky Township Hall.  Tiro Village School in addition to grades 1-8 offered classes for two years of high school.  This building was moved and was a part of the Hatchery.  The 11th and 12th grades were completed by going to New Washington High School or Shelby High School.

From Board of Education records, the following teachers were hired to teach in 1916 and 1917.  Several who were hired were not assigned.  Julia L. Lea, Maple Grove; Alice Wiley, Tiro Primary; Isabel Curran, Shaffer (Gosser); Mildred Long, Tiro Grammar; Dora Jones, Liberty Corners; Edna Keller, DeKalb;  Emerson Laughbaum, Rex; Ruth A. Hopkins, Auburn Center; Zola Carrick, DeKalb; Margaret Beller, Auburn Center; and Allen W. Cahill.

In 1916 E.J. Wagner was hired to drive “Kid Wagon” and furnish the team of horses.  He was paid $2.50 per day.  Rules for school wagon drivers also stated that Mr. Wagner shall give bond in the sum of $500 for the faithful performance of his duties.

Teachers hired for the 1917-18 school year were:  Margaret W. Baker, Music and Drawing; Frances Wiley, DeKalb; Grace M. Trimmer, Rex; Nina M. Frazee, Shaffer; Mamie Richer, Maple Grove; Blanche Scheerer, Auburn Center; Marie Heinlen; and Mrs. F.P. Ludin.

Teachers hired for the 1918-19 school year were:  Cleta Swartz; Dimmie Scott; Florence Cover, Liberty Corners; Lilian Burns; Winona Morrison; Ethel Lyon; and Helen Lash.

Teachers hired for the 1919-20 school year were:  Lester Ritz, Prin. Tiro District; Ruth Barton, Maple Grove; Mr. Snyder; Treva N. Leathers, Liberty Corners; Hazel Coffee, Auburn Center; Ruth Bartow; Vera Purkey, Maple Grove; Izetta Lyons, Liberty Corners; and Elizabeth Hawkins, DeKalb.

Teachers hired for the 1920-21 school year were:  Anna Kessler, Auburn Center; Lillian Burns; Miss Wekking; H.E. Michael, Prin. Tiro High School; Myrtle Caris, DeKalb; Gladys Blair, Liberty Corners; Alice Stewart, Tiro 4 and 5; Edna Ulmer, Maple Grove; Calvin Miller, Principal Tiro; Grace Park, Primary Tiro; Lester E. Neff, Tiro; Emma High, Maple Grove; and J.C. Miller, High School.

Teachers were paid extra to do janitor work.  In 1917 the extra janitor pay was $8.00 per month.  Otto Ulmer was hired in 1917 as school enumerator for $8.00.

In 1918 the teachers at the school commonly known as the “school on the hill” were Helen Lash, Mendel Lash, and Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Michael.  In addition to paying teachers to perform janitor duty, the following received $40 per month for janitor work:  Kenneth Shilling, E.F. Buskirk, C.E. Swartz, and Mr. & Mr. H.E. Michael.

Many of the rural roads were dirt roads making the use of school buses impossible.  Horse drawn “kid wagons” were used.  The following were employed as drivers who furnished their own horses:  Fred VanHorn, M.F. Ulmer, Earl Tobin, Frank Bruce, Cantwell Lash, Elmer Davis, J.W. Wagner, Mr. Shaffer, F.B. Wiley, L.W. Howell, E.W. Blackford, and C.J. Pope.  Many students living within two miles walked, but all were responsible for their own transportation.

The following is on record that boys from the Rex School wrote this about their teacher, Oral Hilborn.  He resigned.  “O Lord above, Look down on us poor scholars, We hired a fool, To teach our school, And paid him fifty dollars.”

The Tiro Consolidated School District was legally formed October 18, 1915.  This was in compliance with the complete revision of state law pertaining to public schools in Ohio which was enacted in 1914.  A School Survey Commission had been appointed and in a special session called by Governor James Cox, the General Assembly enacted the “New School Code of Ohio” in January 1914.  The new code created the County School System and provided for the office of the County Superintendents of Schools and a five-member County Board of Education.

At a meeting held in the Whetstone Township Hall on State Route 19, the first County Board was elected:  Dr. W.H. Guiss, temporary clerk (Tiro District); A.G. Kibler, President (New Washington District); H.D. Miller, C.R. Snyder, V. President; and M.W. Winemiller.  The new County Board met in the Court House in Bucyrus on July 18, 1914 and selected Fred G. Bittikofer, County Superintendent.  He had no secretary and did his own clerical work.  He served from 1914-1925.

The list of other County Superintendents follows:  R.P. Vaughn, 1924-26; Jesse J. Dick, 1926-28 (deceased in office); P.J. Foltz, 1928-34; K.M. Whaley, 1934-37 (deceased in office);Glen C. West, 1937-43; Milton Harmon, 1943-48; S.K. Sollars, 1948-56; Wm. Ferguson, 1956-58; Edwin C. Treherne, 1958-60; Milton Harmon, 1960-66; F. Eugene Westfall, 1966-70 (deceased in office); Milton Harmon, 1970-70; Ray Holland, 1970-present.

In 1915 the County Board divided the county in three supervisory districts.  Tiro was in district #2 with J.J. Dick as District Superintendent.  Other areas in the district were schools in Auburn, Vernon, Sandusky, Liberty, and Jackson Townships along with Cranberry, Jefferson, and Whetstone.  This was repealed in 1921.  This plan was set aside in 1916-18 as the new centralized districts were being created with their own local superintendents.

In January 1915, Section 4738 of the New School Code, gave back to the people final approval of the electors for the formation of new school districts.  This privilege caused delays as the County Board considered the formation of the school districts as they were consolidated.  Almost every decision of the board was soon followed with petitions of remonstrance, and appearance of groups of residents before the board with suggestions (and demands) that changes be made in the boundaries of the newly created districts.  Some such demands became trials in the Common Pleas Court.  Leesville and Lykens districts were formed from the plan presented by the people in the district.  The eight other districts were consolidated and used the county-suggested plan for the new district.

Although the Tiro Consolidated district was originally created January 18, 1915 by the County Board, so many remonstrances came before the County Board that on January 21, 1916 the board revised their original plan and created the Tiro Consolidated School District and the North Auburn Rural School District.  The law in the 1920’s provided that at such time as the attendance at a one-room school dropped to less than 10 pupils, that school was closed and those pupils were assigned to a nearby school.  Some of the smaller schools in North Auburn district finally became parts of New Washington, Willard, and Tiro districts.

The new Board Members of the Tiro Consolidated District were:  R.C. Bevier, President; W.H. Guiss, Vice President; P.J. Hills; James Farrell; and C.R. Warner.  Wm. Davis was Clerk.  Mr. Hills died July 28, 1917 and Ira Pettit was appointed August 10, 1917.  On February 25, 1921 President R.C. Bevier resigned from the Board and on March 2, 1921 Willard Dick was appointed.

On January 4, 1916 the first levy to raise money for the new school failed by four votes (224 yeas, 228 nos).  The levy was for $40,000 to buy the site and erect the building.  The school term was for 8 months or 32 weeks.  The Tiro Board paid the New Washington Board $408 for the tuition for 15 junior and senior students attending school there as the existing “school on the hill” held classes for 9th and 10th grades only.

A special election was held July 8, 1919 to vote on the new building and site.  It passed 163-119.  W.A. Kaufman was paid $1,500 for 5 acres.  On August 10, 1920 an election was held asking for $3,500 to finish the partially built schoolhouse.  It passed 157-106.  And so after much legal debate and opposition, voters approved funds to carry out the new school legislation.

The new Tiro Consolidated High School was ready for classes in September 1921.  Among the items sealed in the cornerstone were a copy of the Tiro World, a penny, and a paper containing the signatures of all the pupils written in pencil.  In 1954 a one-story addition was added to the south end of the original building.

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