Rushville Republican

July 26, 2013

Raleigh School students reunite Saturday

First-ever full school reunion


Rushville Republican

---- — On Saturday, July 27, from 1 to 5 p.m. a number of former Raleigh School students will be meeting at the Raleigh Community Club located on County Road 900 North in Raleigh. This reunion is the first of its kind for this school as it is open to anyone who ever attended. The Raleigh School Reunion will bring back to Raleigh, a host of former students of various ages including former students now in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Music from the 40s, 50s and 60s will be playing as students reminisce and reacquaint themselves with former classmates and meet for the first time many others in attendance.

Raleigh School first opened as a consolidated township school in 1877. Township Trustee William S. Hall is given credit for the first consolidation of schools in the United States. There had been nine township schools before the consolidation and five were still in existence in 1877 – the central school being located in Raleigh and four others in the corners of Washington Township.

After his death in 1905, Mrs. Ida Shepler observed of William S. Hall, that he “was a remarkable man, remarkable for his stanch integrity, his firm convictions, his hatred of corruption in high places, a man of remarkable force of character and will power. He kept up his interest in life until the very last day of it, thoughtful always for the comfort of others, and fearful of giving trouble. Mr. Hall from youth to old age was strongly interested in the political and educational institutions of our land. From the day of his young manhood until past middle age, he held many positions of trust and no man was guardian for more children than himself. He was elected township trustee in 1853, which position he held with exception of the years he was in state legislature, until the year 1878. His interest in the country schools and the study of how to better them to the better educating of the youth amounted almost to a passion with him. Feeling that the country child, even to a few years back, was yet hampered as he had been in his chance for a good education, with prophetic foresight, he early dreamed of creating a township centralized school that would, without private outlay, give it an education the equal of an academy or high school in the city. He was the pioneer of the centralized country school system and holds the honor of having established the first school of that kind in the United States and at the little town of Raleigh. “(Found online from Genealogy Trails – 2006)

Raleigh School graduated high school students for the last time in 1955 when students scattered to other area schools to complete graduation requirements necessary for a high school diploma. Raleigh had eight grades until 1965 when the last eighth graders completed their junior high years. In the fall of 1968 students who had attended Raleigh began their school year as Mays Tigers and Raleigh School was no longer. The school building and its acreage were sold to the Hill family in 1970. The softball field has become a cornfield and most of the school, gym, and bus barns no longer stand. The only portion of the school still standing is the area that used to house the principal’s office and part of the front door with the words “Washington TP. Public Schools” posted at the top of the opening where the front doors had once welcomed eager school students each day.

Even though the school is nonexistent at this time, there are numerous former Raleigh School students who have fond memories of their school days. The Raleigh School Reunion to be held Saturday July 27, 2013 will provide the opportunity to make new memories and meet new friends.

For questions or to RSVP please contact Shirley Biehl at 765-645-5410 or sabiehl27@aol.com.