Worcester High School at Farmers Union Hall 1908 – 1911
Valley Forge Road, Center Point, Worcester, PA
County Superintendent Landis, the Directors and some of the teachers of the township met at Bean’s Hotel Tuesday evening to consider this matter on establishing a township high school. The school will be established during the next school year. It has been suggested that the lower room in the Farmers’ Hall be rented and fitted up as temporary quarters for the school and the suggestion seems to meet with favor. 20 Mar 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The School Directors and teachers of the township met at Center Point on Monday and adopted the text books to be used in the township high school which will be established this fall. Principal Allebach and the corps of teachers were all present, and also Prof Harvey Gottshall, of Lansdale, who came over to give the meeting the benefit of his experience. The Board has purchased for use in the high school single desks and separate chair seats and both desks and seats are adjustable to fit the pupil. The Board made no changes in the textbooks in use in the schools and added a primary speller. 7 Aug 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The schools will open August 31. The board has ordered the floors of each schoolhouse to be oiled. As already announced the High School will be opened in the club room in Farmers’ Hall. Several pupils from Skippack Township and one from Norriton are expected. 21 Aug 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
Schools opened Monday with very good attendance. The desks not having arrived the High School could not be opened no time as been set for its opening. 4 Sep 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
1908-1909 Harvey G Allebach
The High School opened Wednesday morning with 40 pupils four more will come. This is away above the expectation of the Board, and every available inch of space in the room in which the school was organized had to be utilized to accommodate the young students. Everybody connected with the school was highly pleased with the auspicious opening. 11 Sep 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The High School is overcrowded. It has 44 pupils and that is more than the room will seat with comfort. There are entirely too many to be in such a small room. 18 Sep 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The High School needs a school library for its 44 ambitious pupils and with that in view they will hold a cake and candy sale in Farmers’ Hall on the evening of December 5th. Patrons of the school and others are invited to come and help the good cause. 20 Nov 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The cake and candy sale held by the High School on Saturday evening was a splendid success. The receipts amounted to 81 dollars. 11 Dec 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
The pupils of the High School have organized a Literary Society. Meetings are held every two weeks and much interest are held every two weeks and much interest is manifested. Both the teacher and pupils would be pleased to have patrons visit the school while the society is in session. 18 Dec 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
Because the Trooper-Souderton Trolley Company will not accede to the request of children attending high school, as desired by the School Board, the Supervisors have forbidden the trolley company the privilege of carrying freight through the township of Worcester after January 1, 1909. 25 Dec 1908 – Montgomery Transcript
1909-1910 Harvey G Allebach
1910-1911 Harvey G Allebach
1911-1912 Harvey G Allebach
A 60 foot flag pole has been planted on the High School ground and a flag presented by the local Brotherhood Lodge, will float from the pole.” 22 Dec 1911-Montgomery Transcript
Principal H G Allebach’s Strong Reasons Why Worcester Township Should Erect Suitable Structure
Sooner or later the township will have it anyway. This is self-evident, even to any opponent, if there be such. Everyone agrees that the present back office in which the High School has been housed for the past four years is but a temporary makeshift.
In a very few years the High School Alumni with the present pupils will be citizens themselves and they will vote for a building. But why leave it to them?
The High School has become a permanent institution in Worcester no one would stultify himself by permitting or encouraging its lapse. That would be shameful retrogression, which in his educational age no one with any regard would stand for. By these consideration of High School Building is to come.
At the recent township Alumni Anniversary this very subject alluded to by one or two speakers was warmly received.
From private conversation with several leading Alumni, who presumably spoke for a larger number, I feel safe in believing that the bulk of the Alumni would be ready as soon as the first proposition is made.
But the prospects are brighter still. In consultation with some leading citizens I have heard my proposition endorsed and in several cases defended the greater zeal than I expected at the time. These men will be attended a citizen’s meeting when it is once announced.
The road tax is at present higher than that of the school tax. This remark is originally not my own. It was made in the late debate in the High School Literary Society when a debater pointedly asked whether the school do not derive at least as much support as the roads.
The High School pupils have their own private reasons for wanting to move to better quarters. Coming from comfortable, elegant homes, as some of them do, they are unpleasantly sensitive to the conditions in the cramped, dingy stable annex in which they are forced to be huddled.
If they want piano accompaniment to the singing they must shiver upstairs in the cold hall.
The windows have no shutters to keep out the piercing northwestern in such record breaking weather as that of a few weeks ago.
There is no room for any laboratory equipment and no fit space for the library.
There are not even front seats to seat classes.
Likewise the principal has good and sufficient reasons for mild protest. It is difficult to keep the room clean and orderly. There is no vestibule, no cloak room. Mostly when some supper or entertainment or meeting is going on in the hall above, the school room is invaded scraps of paper, peanuts shells, and other off ends litter the floor (often just swept) and advertising is freely practiced on the blackboard, sometime in obscene language.
But a more serious phase of the subject presents itself. Last summer I heard one of the two State High School Inspectors speak in severe terms of a High School in Allegheny county which was situated above a stable. I wonder what his language would be with reference to a High School next door to a stable. The reports and comments of the State High School Inspector carry great weight with the State Department of Education, from which the township receives a substantial appropriation. For obvious financial reason we would surely prefer the Inspectors’ report to be flattering.
There cannot possibly be any valid objection to a beautiful commodious, well equipped High School building. To be sure, it cost money. But we are willing to lavish money upon of homes. A school room may well be a supplement to the home in tasteful, elevating environment. The three great civilizing agencies have ever been the home, the school, and the church, and the school is inferior to neither of the others. The child spends the greater part of the year for nine or ten years consecutive years, in the school rooms. Why should the latter not be like? Surely the power for good or evil which the environment, the atmosphere of the school room expects upon the impressionable mind of a child in incalculable.
Homes are more and more becoming palatial exteriorly and exquisite interiorly. Churches have been for a long time attractive, inspiring, soul subduing by their elaborate, beautiful equipment and decoration, which do their part in kindling reverence of the house of God and the higher things of life.
But the meanest public buildings of a country district are its schools.
It is all because we forget that the best things a boy can absorb in schools are not mental but spiritual. The school is as much pledged to character building as to teaching arithmetic. The habits acquired in school are likely to be permanent while branches of study are as likely to be forgotten.
When this fundamental principal is once understood it becomes clear as day that the only adequate school building is the one closely approximating the home.
The time is now ripe for action. This communication is intended to provoke the first signal for decisive action than similar communications, for now than similar communications, for or against. Written by H G Allebach (School Teacher) 2 Feb 1912 – Montgomery Transcript