Pick up your ration book at the schoolhouse
Numerous former one-room schoolhouses still dot the countryside. Many have been converted to residences, some so modified that it is hard to detect their original use. A few have been restored and even furnished as they would have been when students attended, with blackboard, desks and pot-bellied stove. These are occasionally open to the public, such as the Wills School near Yorkana. Others just sit there in various stages of repair.
During their active lives, these school buildings served other purposes in the community. As my recent York Sunday News column (see below) shows, the schools were utilized to distribute ration books during World War II.
Remembering York County schools during World War Two
An October 16, 1943 Gazette and Daily article entitled “Registration Places Listed to Receive Ration Books No. 4” told local citizens where they should report on October 27, 28 and 29 with their No. 3 ration books to obtain new books for themselves and family members. Officials would be at the sites from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each of the three days.
Some of you remember World War II rationing to save commodities needed for the war effort, and also to cut down on fuel used to transport food. Items rationed included gasoline as well as some food items, including sugar, coffee, meat, canned goods and cooking oil.
This particular article, taking up nearly a whole newspaper page, caught my eye because it seems to list a majority of the schools, mostly one-room, in the county as it directs the residents to which school they should go for the ration books. For example, 16 schools are listed for Chanceford Township; inhabitants covered by nine of these schools are to report to the Brogue school and the other seven to Conrad’s. Although the list isn’t quite comprehensive, as some of the townships do not have enough schools listed to allow for one within walking distance for all students, the article does give us a good idea of the multitude of schools throughout the county in 1943. The schools are listed below by the township in which they are located.
Carroll Township: O’Hail’s, Dailey’s, Beavertown and Stony Run. Chanceford Township: Brogue, Clearview, Trinity, Thompson’s, Guinston, Shaw’s, St. James, Battle Hill, Collinsville, Conrad’s, Bethel, Weiser’s, Gipe’s, Shenk’s Ferry, Dellinger’s, and Glen Allen. Codorus Township: Codorus High, Sticks, Miller’s, Baltzley’s, Fair’s, Roser’s, Shaffer’s, Seitzville, Brodbeck’s, Keeney’s, Sterner’s, Kreb’s and Bortner’s. Conewago Township: Strinestown, Bower’s, Smith’s, Fink’s, Neiman’s, Drawbaugh’s, Bear’s (Zion’s View), Gross’s, Rudy’s, Green Springs and Shettel’s. Dover Township: Dover High, Julius’s, Emig’s, Davidsburg, March’s, Stough’s, Rupert’s, Harmony Grove, Hoover’s, Mt. Royal, Rohler’s, Weiglestown, Lenhart’s, Ramer’s and Trimmer’s.
East Hopewell Township: Hyson’s, Glessick’s, Wallace’s, Trout’s, Collin’s and Bose’s. East Manchester Township: Starview, Jerusalem, Brillinger’s, Sipe’s, Strayer’s, Beshore’s, River Hill and Saginaw. Fairview Township: New Market, Eichinger’s, Cross Roads, Pleasant View, Nauvoo, Brick, Hickory Grove, Cedar Grove, South Point, and Pinetown. Fawn Township: Fawn Township High, New Park, Gatchelville, Bald Eagle, Hyson’s, Walnut Grove, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Grove and Fairmount. Franklin Township: Central, Locust Grove, Northern, Chestnut Hill, Western, Locust Grove and Glenwood. Heidelberg Township: Iron Ridge, Mt. Carmel, Danner’s, Menges Mills, Hohf’s, Bair’s and Penn Grove.
Hellam Township: Kreutz Creek, Musser’s, Tracey’s, Highmount, Hauser’s, Rudy’s, Druck Valley, Levergood’s, Kinard’s and Strickler’s. Hopewell Township: Zion, Bowman’s, Waltemyer, Leib’s, Kurtz’s, Althouse’s and Ebaugh’s. Jackson Township: Thomasville, Moul’s, Picking’s, Nashville, Roth’s, J. Mummert’s, M. Mummert’s, Hoke’s and Rearick’s. Lower Chanceford Township: Lower Chanceford High, Airville, Chanceford, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Hill, Center, Oak Grove, Cedar Grove and Sunnyburn. Lower Windsor Township: Neiman’s, Furnace, Kline’s, Craley, Long Level, Martinsville, Pleasant Hill, Snyder’s, Bittersville, Snavely’s, Brenneman’s, Will’s, Canadochly and Winter’s.
Manchester Township: Consolidated, Emigsville and Lightner’s. Manheim Township: Nace’s, Miller’s, Snyder’s, Zumbrum’s, Hoke’s, Wolfgang’s and Black Rock. Monaghan Township: Siddonsburg, Porter’s, Andersontown and Filey’s. Newberry Township: Drawbaugh’s, Plainfield, Yocumtown, Newberry, Beshore’s, Redland, Diehl’s, Rocksbury, Pleasant Grove, Hay Run, Cassel’s, River Hill and Cly. North Codorus Township: Diehl’s, Prospect Hill, Beck’s, Boyer’s, Pleasant Grove, Heindel’s, Stoverstown, Cherry Grove, Senft’s, Beard’s, Stauffer’s, Lehman’s, Berkheimer’s and Stormy Hill. North Hopewell Township: Hoke’s, Fulton’s, Hartman’s, Myers’s, Strayer’s, Stony Brook and Miller’s. Paradise Township: Harbold’s, Miller’s, Church, Eisenhart’s, Gable’s and Maple Grove.
Peach Bottom Township: Bryansville, Valley, Pike’s Peak and Bangor. Penn Township: Krentler’s, Miller’s, Stauffer’s and Brookside. Shrewsbury Township: Seitz’s, King’s, Fissel’s, Hametown, White Oak, Barren Hill, Gerbrick’s, Bowser’s, Ruhl’s, Seitzland, Kratz’s and Kenney’s. Spring Garden Township: Mt. Rose, Elmwood, Grantley, Violet Hill and Windsor Park. Springettsbury Township: Heistand’s, Yorkshire, Stony Brook, Witmer’s Miller’s, Pleasureville, Mt. Zion, and Glades. Springfield Township: Seitz’s, Schissler’s, Springfield Consolidated, Krout’s, Shuster’s, Caslow’s and Snyder’s.
Warrington Township: Rossville, Big Rock, Elcocks, Mt. Airy, Maytown, Alpine, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Zion and Benedict’s. Washington Township: Barrens, Airy Hill, Blue Hill, Asper’s, Darr’s, Kralltown, Gochenour’s, Mine Bank, Big Dam and Kimmel’s. West Manchester Township: Shiloh, Eyster’s, Bair’s Smyser’s and Parke. West Manheim Township: Fairview, Center, Bandana, Myer’s, Nace’s, Mathias’s and Hoffacker’s. Windsor Township: Brillhart’s, Freysville, Snell’s, Cedar Hill, Gehley’s, Fairview, Miller’s, Small’s, Portner’s, Springvale, Tyson’s and Grim’s. York Township: Kohler’s, Adamsville, Raab’s, Neff’s, Ore Valley, Marks, Spry, Brenneman’s, Keener’s, Sprenkle’s, Hengst’s, Jessop’s, Gladfelter’s, Shaffer’s and Ness’s.
In addition an elementary school is listed for each borough: Dallastown, Delta, Dillsburg, Dover, East Prospect, Cross Roads, Fawn Grove, Felton, Franklintown, Glen Rock, Goldsboro, Hallam, Hanover, Jefferson, Lewisberry, Loganville, New Freedom, Manchester, Mt. Wolf, New Salem, North York, Railroad, Red Lion, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Spring Grove, Stewartstown, Wellsville, West York, Windsor, Winterstown, Wrightsville, Yoe, York Haven and Yorkana. The article also names 21 York City elementary schools: Noel, Duke Street, Smallwood, McKinley, Jackson, Central, Wilson, Lincoln, Hartley, Madison, Garfield, Princess Street, Stevens, Jefferson, Ridge Avenue, Aquilla Howard, Betsy Ross, Roosevelt, Pine Street, Arch Street and Franklin.
Note that many of the schools are named for a family in the area, perhaps original owners of the properties on which the schools were built. Some of those family names are still common in those neighborhoods; it is no surprise that there are seven Miller’s schools. Jackson Township has two named for the Mummert family, differentiated on the list as J. Mummert’s and M. Mummert’s. Others are named for their surroundings, with nine including Pleasant, 16 Grove and 13 Hill. I can understand River Hill or Chestnut Hill, but the origin of Battle Hill in Chanceford Township has always mystified me.
More information on many of the schools, including some photos, can be found at the York County Heritage Trust Library/Archives. This includes an extensive file on one-room schools and files on some of the individual schools.
Other resources found there include detailed annual reports of the York County Superintendent of Schools and a copy of Pennsylvania School Architecture: A Manual of Directions and Plans for Grading, Location, Constructing, Heating, Ventilating and Furnishing Common School Houses, edited by Thomas H. Burrowes in 1855. This publication, which I reviewed in a previous column, covers everything from siting the school to a recipe for chalk. Browsing through the newspaper microfilms turns up regular tidbits on York County schools, including the article from which these school names were extracted. I appreciate it being brought to my attention by June Grove, formerly of the Brogue and now of Dover.