{The following story is taken from, The Era of Elegance, A History of Toronto, Ohio, by Walter M. Kestner, published in 1969 and begins on page 7.} – The destruction of the Toronto Tribune files in the holocaust that laid waste to the publishing plant not too many years ago, swept away forever a link that bridged the gap between the past and the present in our community. The files of the Tribune contained an account of people and events that was not recorded anywhere else in the city and, therefore, cannot be duplicated except in the memories of our elder citizens. In order to preserve, at least, a small portion of our environment we are attempting to memorialize a segment of the period that began with the turn of the century and ended with the beginning of WWI in Europe about circa 1914.

From pg. 86 – Before the erection of the Central Building, school was kept by a Miss McFadden in the cottage on Main Street that stood between the Stokes manse house and the Brady Hotel. Mrs. Wilson was certain that this was the first educational institution in the village, or that portion that we now regard as the center of town.

Memories – Pictured above are members of one of the early classes who learned their “Three R’s” under the watchful eye of Miss Coffey. Shown are: front row, 1 –r: James Devlin, Edward Moreland, Charles Woodruff, John Gooch, Wm. Peckens, James Coulter, James Winger and Paul Newbold. Second row: Florence Bruce, Mildred Egger, Carrie Cook, Evelyn Wood, Rose Pinkerton, Mildred Koehnlein, and Pauline Newbold. Third row: Thelma Rainey, Anna Chettle, Alvin Egger, and Hanlin Littlecott. Back row: Wilbur Weidger, Albert Michaels, Ray Henry, Clarence Jackman, Charles Thompson, Joe Knight and Wilbur Murphy. Photo courtesey of Mrs. Freda Morrow.

This book is available at the Schiappa Public Library as well as on the digital shoebox website at

Early in the winter of 1905 our family moved from Pittsburgh to a small country village in eastern Ohio where my father had accepted employment in a newly constructed chimney glass plant… The summer, however, soon passed and the inevitable day arrived when the school bells pealed out their invitation and we dutifully presented ourselves to our instructors.

Much to my surprise, I enjoyed school for we had been placed under the tutelage of an excellent but somewhat stern teacher, who soon had us writing on our slates and reading from our primers. Although I enjoyed the reading and writing, my greatest pleasure was derived from the ‘exercises’ or programs that proceeded each holiday.

In the seventh grade my classmates were Harold Smith and Ralph Garee where we attended at the Central Building. Henry Yingst was a familiar figure to the children of the New High School Building as he lived on Loretta Street just east of the school. His daughter Nora taught the second grade for several years beginning in 1907 when I was privileged to attend her classes. Robert Hood, who was custodian at the high school, resided on Henry Street just below the Myers home. During my third year in school, Mr. Hood employed me in the month of December, to empty the waste baskets and to carry the contents to a huge sewer pipe at the rear of the building…I received two dimes for this chore which I purchased a piggy bank…

The older generation, of the Era of Elegance, found pleasure in a Sabbath peregrination up Croxtons Run, perhaps to Frog Valley where the stone foundation of the old Frog Valley School could still be observed… And that is the way it was in Toronto when the Sabbath day meant that we attend Sunday school and church in the morning and Christian Endeavor in the afternoon with another session of church in the evening.

{The Era of Elegance pg. 69} The Fosterville School Building, a two room establishment, was capably served by Miss Jennie Kitcart in the upper room and Miss May Bickerstaff in the lower room.

{The following is a note and photo sent to the editor from chapter member, Juanita J. Lowe of 3019 Pindo Palm Pl., Ellenton, FL, 34222.} Enclosed is the picture of my mother at the Fosterville School in Toronto. I am not sure where the school was in located in Fosterville, which was located in the north-end of Toronto. I don’t know any of the students in the photo and doubt if any of them are still living. Mother was born May 30, 1908. We believe the students to be 9 or 10 years old. {Juanita would like contact from anyone that has more history on Toronto and especially Fosterville.} 
{Photo courtesy of Juanita J. Lowe}


The entrance, classrooms corridors,
I entered them once more.
They had not changed, they looked the same.
As in the days of yore.

Up in the belfry high I climbed
Where once the dear old bell
Sent out its call, in mellow voice,
We learned to love so well.

Alas! The bell had been removed,
Its voice forever still.
No more we heard its gentle call
Reecho from the hill.

If you could ring once more, dear bell,
And just as freely swing.
You could not call my classmates back,
However loud your ring.

For some like you our dear old bell,
In far off homes are found.
And some, their earthly tasks complete,
Now rest beneath the ground.