Who was Hannah Penn of York City middle school fame?
Hannah Penn Middle School closed early this school year because of confirmed or prospective swine flu cases. Background posts: York community leader: ‘We didn’t have equal opportunity to achieve’ and People mag features York native as a ‘Hero Among Us’ and 1967 William Penn senior class scored firsts.
Hannah Penn Middle School’s place among those York City schools closed by swine flu may cause some to ask about the woman’s name on the southeastern school’s facade.
Hannah Penn (1671-1726) was the second wife of William Penn, who loaned his name to our state.
Actually, the middle school is the second such building to bear the name of this capable woman, who handled affairs of state for her husband after illness incapacitated him.
Here’s a brief summary of York City’s middle and high school buildings, according to Jim Rudisill’s “York since 1741” and Jim Hubley’s “Off The Record:”
No. 1 – This 1870 structure was used as a high school for just a few years. The 220 S. Duke St. structure is still used as a schools – alternative education.
No. 2 – This 134 W. Philadelphia St. structure is unknown to many because it burned down. “Old High,” as it became known, burned down in 1942.
No. 3 – This structure at College Avenue and Beaver Street, sited at what is now St. Patrick’s parking lot, opened in 1899. It was replaced by the current William Penn Senior High School, operated as Hannah Penn Junior High School for years and was later demolished.
No. 4 – William Penn opened in 1927, the same year its predecessor became Hannah Penn Junior High. Interesting York Catholic opened that same year.
Edgar Fahs Smith Junior High School joined Hannah Penn as a junior high a few years later.