TUSCOLA COUNTY HISTORY
On the 11th day of October, 1858, the board of school inspectors of the township of Indian Fields, consisting of D. D. Dopking, D. H. Andrews, and J. K. Heartt, met and formed School District No. 3. Said district was bounded as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of section , thence running east on the town line to the northeast corner of section 1 thence south on the town line to the quarter stake on section 13, thence west on the quarter line through sections 13, 14 and 15 to the quarter stake between sections 15 and 16, thence north to quarter stake between sections 9 and 10, thence west to quarter stake between sections 8 and 9, thence north on sections line to the place of beginning.
On the 1st of October 1862, the boundary lines of the district were so changed as to embrace the northeast one-fourth of section 16 and the southeast one-fourth of section 9. This territory was set off from District No. 3, October 3, 1863, thus restoring the original boundary.
On the 25th of October, 1871, the boundary lines were again altered so as to include the southeast one-fourth of section 15, south one half of sections 13 and 14, east one half of section 22, sections 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35 and 36,
April 22, 1881, the southeast one-fourth of section 22, the south one-half of sections 23 and 24, sections 25, 26, 27, 34, 35 and 36 were set off District No. 3.
On the 6th of July, 1882, the boundary was again changed so to exclude sections 11, 12, 13, 14, east one-half of section 15, northeast one-fourth of section 22 and north one-half of sections 23 and 24 so that now, August 1, 1883, District No. 3 embraces sections 1, 2, 3, 4, north one-half of section 9, section 10, and the northwest one-fourth of section 15. There is no record to show that section 33 has ever been set off.
Some time in 1857 Peter D. Bush built a small house on State Street west, a few rods southwest of what is now known as “Wilsey’s Mill,” and allowed the settlers to use it for school purposes.
This house was burned in the spring of 1858. The first house built by the district was not completed until the 17th of December, 1863. William E. Sherman was the contractor and received for the building when completed the sum of $284.
The house then built is the southwest part of the house in which Job Haskins now lives. In the fall of 1867, after the organization of the Union School District, the house now owned by Mrs. H. G. Chapin just west of her residence on Sheran Street, was built for a primary department.
The Union School building was completed September 8, 1868, at a cost of $4,160.
In the fall of 1878 it was necessary to procure additional school rooms, consequently a new building was ordered erected on the Union School grounds north of the main building. This building was completed September 2, 1879, at a cost of $885. In 1882 the school had again outgrown its accommodations and the building south of the main building was procured at a cost of about $100.
GRADING OF SCHOOLS.
Although the Caro Union School District was organized in 1867, there was wisely no attempt made to introduce a course of study until January, 1871, when the school seemed to demand a more careful grading and a course of study to correspond with similar schools in the State. Accordingly, A. C. Brower, who was principal of the school at the time, was authorized to prepare a course of study. After conferring with the different educators of the State he laid before the board of trustees a ten year’s course, which being duly adopted was introduced about the 1st of February, 1871. This remained the established course of study with but few alterations, such as the school under Principal Austin Barber demanded until 1879, when, under the direction of the board of trustees, A. C. Brower, who was again in charge of the schools, prepared an eleven years’ course, embracing such work as is usually done in graded schools.
GROWTH OF SCHOOLS.
In 1859 there were 12 pupils; in 1868, 125; in 1869, 147; in 1870, 151; in 1880, 391; in 1881, 418; in 1882, 423; in 1883, 464.
The first school in Caro (then Centerville) was taught by Miss Ruth Sherman, in the winter of 1857-’58, in the house built by P. D. Bush, mentioned above. After which there was no school in the district until 1861, when Miss Sherman again taught a six months’ term in a house built by S. P. Sherman for religious purposes. This house is a part of what is now known as Hobson’s saloon.
In 1862, Miss Caroline Hitchcock; 1863-’64, Miss Agnes Ellis; 1864, Miss Caroline Hitchcock; 1865, Mr. Frank Rogers; 1865, Mrs. S. Marr; 1865, Miss Isabel McPhail; 1865, Miss Ruth Delling; 1866, Mr. W. H. Marvin; 1866, Miss Alma Pratt; 1866-’67, Mr. Ethan Gustin.
Charles Lewis was principal from 1866 to his death in October, 1870. He was succeeded by A. C. Brower, a student of the East Saginaw High School, who consented to teach until the board could procure a principal. He was continued until the present time, 1883.
On the 5th of October, 1862, the electors of School District No. 3, met at the house of Thomas Foster and elected William E. Sherman, director; Peter D. Bush, assessor, and Samuel P. Sherman, moderator; hence the first officers of the district. At this meeting it was voted to raise $10 for contingent expenses, for the coming year, and to have three months school by an inspected female teacher. This teacher “boarded herself” and taught for $2 per week.
The first school after the organization of the Union School District, was begun on the 1st of December, 1867, with Charles Lewis as principal, and Miss Helen Gibbs, assistant; the former teaching in the Job Haskins house, and the latter in the house now owned by Mrs. Chapin, on Sherman Street.
There is, in connection with the school, a society known as the Caro Union School Lyceum, now in the sixteenth term of its existence, which affords an excellent opportunity for practice in speaking and debating, and for acquiring a knowledge of parliamentary rules and usages.
In addition to Professor Brower’s sketch, we add the following: Charles Lewis, of whom mention has been made, was particularly successful as a teacher, and during his brief career endeared himself to both pupils and the public generally. His death was deeply lamented, and his memory is still cherished by those who knew him.
A. C. Brower has given the schools of Caro many years of valuable service. He was born I Medina, Mich., in 1848. The circumstances of his coming here have already been stated. His work has been thorough and very successful. The work of grading and re-grading has been done by him, and through his efforts the schools have come to occupy high rank, and his labors are appreciated by the people of Caro.