Grant District Schools
Arches/Archers School- Arches School was located around four to six miles up Arche’s Fork. This two-room school was locally known as Dogtown School. Board of Education documents date its founding at 1910. Grades 1-8 attended this school in the early 1900s. The school was discontinued in the 1950s. One teacher, Bob Johnson, taught at this school for nine years. He also taught at Bane, Fallen Timber, Pricetown, Folsom and was principal at Steelton (Gravel Bottom). He was born in 1910 and a graduate of West Liberty Normal School. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
From Tara Byard: My maternal grandmother went to school at Arche’s but she did not complete the 8th grade. This was partly due to an incident which took place one day at school. She had been given an assignment (I believe it was solving math equations) and when the teacher checked it she had completed it incorrectly. The teacher told her to lay her hands out flat on the desk and proceeded to beat her hands with a ruler until she washer knuckles were bleeding. When she got home her dad asked what happened. After listening to her recount the story, he went to confront the teacher about the harsh discipline. He told the teacher he was never to lay a finger on any of his children again. My grandmother was pulled from the school and did not complete any further studies. I believe she was in the 6th grade at the time.
Bane School- The Bane School was located across from the mouth of Arches Fork up on the hill overlooking the hollow. Board of Education documents date its founding at 1888. By the early 1900s, grades 1-8 attended the school. By the 1940s grades 7th and 8th were bussed to Smithfield High School. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Barker Run School- This school was located on the hill above the junction of Barker Run Road and North Fork Road. It was a one-room schoolhouse in use during the 1920s and 1930s with grades 1-8 attended. Around thirty students were enrolled at a time. Some of the teachers included Vera Mae Snyder, Thelma Frankhouse, Mary Postlethwait, Bonnie Jean Morrison and Virginia Monger. After it was closed in 1934, Frank Postlethwait bought the school and repurposed it as a house. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Bear Wallow- This school was on Lowman Ridge but out further near Upper Run and Mockingbird Hill. I was closed in the mid to late 1920s. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/) According to deeds on record at the county office, the land for this school was sold to Grant Board of Education and the school was built in 1898.
Big Run School- Board records show this school was built in 1905. The deed states it was located at the head of Big Run but other sources say it was located across from the Post Office, which was located at the mouth of Big Run. Because of these differing accounts, one may conclude there were two separate schools on Big Run.
Later on in the 1940s, students in grades 9-12 would have been bussed to Pine Grove for high school. Some of the families enrolled in Big Run were the Potts, Lockes, Dulaneys, Willeys, Utts, Morris, Wagner, McDiffits, Shreves, Rices, Myers, Barrs, and Kirkpatricks. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Bland’s Run- When the Hog Run school was closed, students went to the Bland’s Run School, which was located around 1 mile up Bland’s Run. (Wetzel County Genealogy, page 12)
Brink School- The Brink School was located in Marion county but there were several students who lived in Wetzel on the eastern side of Lowman Ridge attending this school. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Buffalo Run- There are two deeds on record for Buffalo Run schools. The first is from 1878 and the second from 1904. There were two schools up Buffalo Run. One was located at the intersection of Buffalo and Campbell Run. Lillie Anderson, graduate of Morgantown Normal School, was a teacher there in 1916-1920. Folks who went to the Buffalo Run school in the 1930s recall having teachers Olabelle Wright and Dan King for their teachers. This school was converted into a home. The other school was located at the Hart Farm and was called the Hart School. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/ and county office records)
Burchfield- This community is located up North Fork past Kingstown. The year the first school was opened is unknown but was closed in 1953. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Coburn- At the head of North Willey Fork of North Fork of Fishing Creek. The area was settled in 1880. Around this time there was built a one-room schoolhouse. Early teachers included Paul Holbert, Dee Brookover, and Frank Smith. The School location was at the forks of Morgan Run and North Willey Fork. Later, a two-room school was built and in use until the late 1940s. (From Wetzel County Genealogy 1983 page 10)
Criswell/Creswell- The Criswell School was a one room schoolhouse located on Criswell Ridge, but is most commonly known on the Shortline area as the Hoyt. The date it was first opened is unknown but it was discontinued sometime after 1946. Some of the teachers were Lula Dulaney, Ray Hawkins, Vic Arman, Claude Derby, and Rosie Sidell. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Deadfall School- The first Deadfall School was first built in 1877 according to district documents. One of the teachers at this first school was named “Cap Freeland.” It is known that another school was built in the 1930s. That school was located beyond Pricetown. Some teachers from the later school included Gypsy Scott, Ida Wyatt, Florence Edgell, Bob Reppard, Leo Ash, Donna Talkington and Russell Fisher. Grades 1-6 attended there. It was discontinued in the early 1950s. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Earnshaw- The first school was a log structure. Later, the Methodist Church was built on its foundation. A two-story frame schoolhouse was built between the Methodist Church and Church of Christ. Later, another frame two-room schoolhouse was built one hundred yards further up the road. As of 1983, the last school was still standing. Some of the Earnshaw School teachers were Frank Fiess, Earl Anderson, Grace Mathews, Lillian Smith, Elizabeth Rex, Lucille Stutler, Edgar Earnshaw, Everett Rush, Harry Rush, Eva Moran, Maude Himelrich, Fonda Cole, Thelma Henderson, Vivian Snider, Orley Haines, Bus Schultz, Paul Teagarden, Freda Hamilton Hunt, Bertha Milliken, Ada Simms, Eunice Roberts, Mary Argabrite Teagarden, Mildred Haines, and Archie Lurch.
The Earnshaw school was closed in 1957 when it still had thirteen students enrolled. The most remembered to be enrolled was 70. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 10)
Elm Grove School- This school was located where Richwood Run meets North Fork Road, about half way between Mobley and Kingstown. County records indicate that the deed for this school lot was made in 1899. It closed sometime around the mid 1920s when Mobley School was built. (Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Fairview School- Board records indicate this school was established around 1908. It is located on the road connecting Fallen Timber with Richwood near Shuman Hill. The community of Fairview was located there and that is how the school got its name. Mr. Morgan was the teacher around the turn of the century. (Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Fallen Timber- Fallen Timber had two schools. There are two deeds on file at the district office, one from 1906 and another from 1912. Both schools held grades 1-8. According to the Shortline Schools website, the first was located near the Frank Ice home and the second located near the Newt Fisher home and was open through the 1950s. Some of the teachers at the second school included Billy Eastham, Dan King, Russ Fisher, Thelma Swartz, Max Edgell, Gilbert Moore, Red Snodgrass, Robert Johnston, Madeline Shreve, Florence Starkey and Don Dennison. (Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Firebreak- This school was located on the western side of Lowman Ridge past Bear Wallow School. It got its name because a house close by had caught on fire and locals cleared out a firebreak around the school to stop the spread of the fire and save it. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Folsom- The first school was a log building located on Trader Run. Later, a two-story frame schoolhouse was built. In 1922, a brick school was completed and it contained all grades plus three years of high school work. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 27) “Red” Snodgrass, who taught at Fallen Timber, also taught at the earlier Folsom school. It closed in 1921 because the new school was being built. The new Folsom school taught grades 1-11 for some time but around the mid 1940s 7-8 moved to Smithfield. The Folsom school was closed after the 1962-63 school year. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Four Mile- This school was located up North Fork at the mouth of Four Mile Run. According to deeds on record at the county office there were two deeds for the Four Mile school. The first was made in 1870 and the second in 1917. The school was open into the 1950s. Some of the teachers of this school include Claude Derby, Harvey Haught, Tincey Haught, Dick Holman, Doris Holman and Etta Haught. The latter building was a two room building and grades 1-8 attended. Just in the past few years the building was torn down to put in a natural gas pipeline. (Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Gilbert School- Down Bear Run a few miles from Hickory Knob school stood Gilbert School. The land for this school was donated by Charles and Mary Gilbert in 1911. Some of the teachers of Gilbert School were Bernice Cozart, Bob Reppard and Maxine Showalter. (https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/features/historical,class,school,scfips,54103.cfm , Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Hickory Knob- This school was located close to the intersection of Fallen Timber, Bear Run and Richwood. County records indicate the deed was made in 1887. Grades 1-8 attended. Russell Fisher was a teacher at Hickory Knob in the late thirties and in the mid forties. (https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/features/historical,class,school,scfips,54103.cfm , Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Hart School- This school was located up Buffalo Run on the Hart Family farm. (Refer to Buffalo Run School)
Hastings- was a one-room school built by Hope Natural Gas Company. The first employee houses were built in 1914 and the school was built a few years afterwards. These buildings were powered by gas lights and had indoor plumbing. By 1928, electricity was provided by Hope Natural Gas Company. Grades 1-4 eventually attended this school, while upper grades went to Pine Grove for classes. Some of the teachers included Beryl Robinson, Hazel Swartz, Pauline Clark, Ada Van Camp, and Vera Mae Snyder. The school was heated by a large gas stove in the center of the building. It even had an indoor bathroom, which must have seemed luxurious for a one-room school at the time. The school was closed in 1950 and students were bussed to Pine Grove. The School was torn down when the company houses were demolished. ( Wetzel County Genealogy page 12, https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/features/historical,class,school,scfips,54103.cfm , Wetzel County Board of Education records and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Hog Run- also known as Hall’s Mills, this was along route 7, 15 miles east of New Martinsville and two miles west of Wileyville. The one room schoolhouse was located about one mile up Hog Run. The school was closed in 1912 and students were sent to Bland’s Run School, about half a mile west on Route 7 from Hog’s Run.
Jacksonburg Schools- Anderson Public School was located on Lydle Martin’s farm next to the cemetery and creek in Jacksonburg. Once it was closed the building was relocated and used as part of a barn. This old school was built prior to 1901 because McEldowny mentions it in his History of Wetzel County, published that same year. The new school was built in 1918 and was designated as a Junior High School. Students who wanted to continue their education had to do so at Pine Grove High School. The school was built on property donated by the Lantz family with a reversion clause built into the deed. The last year that students attended the 9th-11th grades was 1936-37. After that, students attended Pine Grove to complete those grades. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/, Gilmore, Wetzel County Board of Education documents)
Kendall School- Also known as the Kendal Gate School, it was located about halfway out from Fairview and where Lowman Ridge meets Richwood. Kerns Cemetery is located near the site of the old school. The owners of the land the school was built upon, Jeremiah Kendall and Belinda Jane Hayes are buried in that cemetery. This school was small, and served younger grades for the larger school on Fallen Timber. It probably only held grades 1-4 and was believed to be shut down when the Mobley school opened in the 1920s. The building was converted to a church, but later moved several times, once to a location on North Fork Road, then into the Elm Grove School, and then finally to the Lowman Baptist church. Kendall School was demolished around 1962. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents, Christine Mitchell http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Lower Run School- The deed for Lower Run was made in 1908. JP and Martha D Lowe as well as Ora Long are signatories of the deed. It is believed to have been located near the mouth of Lower Run. (Board of Education documents)
Lowman School- The Lowman Ridge School site was at the top of Lowman Ridge near where Richwood intersects Lowman. The school operated into the 1940s. Some of the teachers included Alton Jolliffe, Raymond Hawkins, Opal Willey Brookover, Claude Derby, Russell Fisher. Encil Willey was the last teacher before the school closed. Grades 1-8 attended. The building was torn down and rebuilt on Middle Island Creek in Tyler County. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Merrifield School- Merrifield school was located nearly due south of Coburn and due north of Hazel. It was at the head of Wiley Fork, where the last fork of Wiley Fork splits. (https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1717701,n,merrifield%20school.cfm)
Mobley- Mobley School was built in 1925. It still stands today. It is a brick two-story structure. This school had the first band in the county, one year prior to the founding of Magnolia High School band. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 28) This occurred in 1925. The principal, J.L Roberts played the trombone and baritone, Jenny Wood played the tuba, Cleveland Wood played the bass drum, Goldie Cain was on the cymbals, Kathryn Allen kept rhythm with the snare, Louise Snodgrass played Trombone and Margaret Snodgrass was on the French horn. There were three cornet players: Red Snodgrass, Lewis Allen, and Evalene Snodgrass. At first, grades 1-8 attended this school but it was later reduced to just 1-6. Some of the teachers at the Mobley School House included Bill Higgins, Bob Merrifield, Ethel Poe, and Herman Bradley. The school closed in 1963 and students were bussed to Pine Grove. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Mountain Tea- Between Pine Grove and Route 7. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 11)
Oak Grove School- My paternal grandfather, Allen S. Byard, and his siblings went to this school. They lived up Rock Camp Run off of Willey Fork of the North Fork of Fishing Creek. When I was a little girl, maybe around age ten, my grandpa took me on a hike up to the old schoolhouse. It was located on the ridge between Big Run and Rockcamp Run, known as Anderson Ridge. I remember there were still daffodils growing near the old foundation of the school. (Personal account, Tara Byard) Some of the teachers were Bryan “Dutch” Brookover, Herman Bradley, Ella Gump, Havey Haught, Tincey Haught, and A. Milton Rice. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Picken Paw School- Also known as the Pricetown school, this school was located on Pickenpaw Road in Pricetown. It was a two-room structure. Margaret Reppard was the principal in the 1920s. By the 1950s, the school taught only grades 1-6 while higher grades went to Smithfield. According to district documents, the deed was made for the school in 1903 and was signed by James and Eliza Snodgrass.
Pine Grove Schools- First settled in 1790 by John Wyatt and 1971 by James Troy. Early settlers’ last names were Morgan, Jolliffe, Stone, Long, Lantz, Allen, Stackpole, Borby, Headley, McAlister, Hayes, Willey, Holbert, Wallace, Renner, Pizarro, Brookfields, Roome, Garvy, McCuskey, Lowe
First reported school was ran by Ms. Hostutler in her father’s kitchen, year unknown. The first school was built below Wilson Run, called the Free School. A more modern school was built on/near the present location of the high school. (Wetzel County Genealogy pages 14-15)
Pine Point School- This school was located up North Fork, just beyond Betsy Run. Records on file at the district office show that CC and Amelia Long signed over a deed to Grant District Board of Education for this land to build a school in 1905. (https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1717709,n,pine%20point%20school.cfm, and Wetzel County Board of Education documents)
Price Fork School- The Price Fork School was located up Ten Mile Run going out towards Curtisville Lake. The deed on file at the county office, signed by Levi and Sarah Starkey, dates to 1870. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents, and https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1956475,n,price%20fork%20school.cfm)
Richwood Run School- This school was on the left fork of Richwood. There are two deeds on file at the county office. The first dates to 1868, where Henry and Phebe Pyle granted land for a school at the “Watters of Richwood Run a Branch of Fishing Creek.” Another deed dates to 1925. This second school was in service from 1929-1955. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents and Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Shenango- there were two schools up Shenango. The first, Allister School was across from the Post Office and store. The other, the Shenango School was located on the Mcallister farm. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 17)
Sincerity- This school was located in the community of Sincerity, north of Burchfield. It was on a list of schools in documents held at the county office. Herman Bradley, previous teacher and central office administrator had compiled this list.
Smithfield- Smithfield was settled in the 1850s by Aiden Bales. The first school was built in 1898 at the mouth of Sugar Camp Road by William Wyatt. FL Harbert was the teacher. This school burnt down in 1900. A new school was erected in 1901. By 1899 railroad surveyors had come through to plan out the route of the Short Line of the B&O Railroad. In May of 1900 construction was started on a train depot in Smithfield. February 7, 1901 was the first train to come through with supplies. Seven days later the first passenger train came through, opening up the growing town to more commerce. The town became incorporated and was named after HL Smith, owner of a store during the boom town days. (Wetzel County Genealogy page 17-18)
Stout Run Schools (I and II)- There are two deeds on file at the county office for schools on Stout Run. The first, from 1906, was signed by LF and AA Cain for land that was down along the hill up Stout Run almost to the head of the hollow. But perhaps there was an earlier school on the ridge between Deadfall and Stout Run. A second deed was signed in 1917 for land at the headwaters of Stout Run by Jasper and Rachel Price. This could have been for compensation of the earlier school that may have been in existence prior to the twentieth century. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents, Christine Mitchell http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/)
Tunnel School- The deed on file at the county office is dated to 1892 for this school. Tunnel is located on Manion Run south of Hartzel. It got its name from the railroad tunnel between Hartzel (Wetzel) and Rinehart (Harrison). This was a one-room schoolhouse that taught grades 1-8. The school closed in the mid 1940s. (Wetzel County Board of Education documents, Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/ and https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1717830,n,tunnel%20school.cfm)
Upper Richwood- This school was located further up Richwood Run from the first school, on the Mobley side of the hill.
Upper Run School- The Upper Run school was located about halfway up Upper Run.
Utt School- The Utt school was active around the turn of the century. It was near the intersection of Four Mile Road and the Hoyt. It is believed to have been open from the 1850s or 60s to the 1920s-30s. (Christine Mitchell, http://www.orgsites.com/wv/shortlineschools/ and https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1717725,n,utt%20school.cfm
Willow Grove School- This may be the historical name for the Upper Run School. According to GNIS coordinates, this school is located in the same proximity as the Upper Run School. (https://westvirginia.hometownlocator.com/maps/feature-map,ftc,3,fid,1717730,n,willow%20grove%20school.cfm)