A BRIEF HISTORY
By Preston N. Woodbury, '76

In responding to the request that I
write a brief history of the schools
of Union City I do so with mingled
feelings of pleasure and regret; plea-
sure in recalling school day associa-
tions; in reviewing the years that
bridge the gap between the present
and the past that bring to mind pleasant
reminiscences of the long ago made
mellow by the magic touch of time; re-
gret because of departed school days
than can never return; of old school
fellows long separated by the force of
circumstances and scattered hither and
thither by the whims of fortune never,
perhaps, to meet again on this earth.
I see them now as I look across the
slumbering years with the flush of
youth on their cheeks and high hopes
for the future in their breasts, and a
mist gathers over my eyes as one after
another of their faces come into view.
Many, very many have been borne to
their last resting place. Oh! Let the
dew fall gently and the stars shine
softly where they lie; and when the
last trumpet blows may the gates of
Heaven swing wide open to them all!

The village of Union City had
scarcely emerged from the wilderness
state when in 1855 the first public
school was opened in a building which
stood on the present site of the old
Branham restaurant,

"There in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school."

And, it was a "little school" for it
could boast of an enrollment of but sev-
en pupils. The "village master" in
this case was George W. Brainard, who
was ably assisted by his wife, Mrs.

Emily H. Brainard, who, happily, is
still living in Indianapolis and enjoy-
ing good health at the ripe old age of
ninety years. May the Fates be kind
to her and may her remaining years be
years of peace and happiness!

In 1857 this building, together with
all books and equipment, was destroyed
by fire. In 1858 the first public school
building was erected on the site of the
present large and commodious struc-
ture. It was built of brick and con-
sisted of two stories and three rooms.
The building, both exterior and in-
terior, was severely plain and the
equipment of the simplest design. It
was constructed under the supervision
of the trustees, who were Dr. J. N. Con-
verse, Nathan Cadwallader and Dr. J.
M. Janes, three men who subsequently
rose to distinction in the business and
professional world. The growth of
the young town soon made it necessary
to supply additional room, which need
was met in 1868 by an addition con-
sisting of two stories and two rooms.
A further increase in population made
it necessary to build a second addition
in 1875. This addition was built of
wood and consisted of two stories and
two rooms. Later, a third addition,
also of wood, of two stories and four
rooms, was built. The building as then
constructed consisted of eight large
school rooms, an office, a pump room
and stairway but with little hall space.
A teacher, standing at the top of the
stairway, could oversee almost the en-
tire ingress and egress of the puplis of
all the rooms through the entries up
and down the stairway and through the
outer door of the building. There were
few, if any, accommodations, and none
of the so-called modern improvements.

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