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Re: Hygienic School

From George F. Nagle, February 12, 2005  In reply to John W. Scott's letter of February 11, 2005.

I don't have comprehensive lists of Steelton School Board members, just a list of three years, from the publication Report of the Public Schools of Steelton, Penn'a, 1885-6, 1886-7, 1887-8. That book gives the following information about the school board:
"I. Board Meetings, Term, Tuition, etc.
1. The regular meeting of the board shall be held on the first Friday evening of each month at 8 o'clock, in the High School building.
2. The length of term shall be 9 months, beginning September 3, for term of '88 and '89.
3. Non-resident pupils shall pay the following rates of tuition:
High School, ...$2.50 per month,
Other Schools, ...1.00 per month." (page 43)

The only board members listed in the book are from 1885-1888. They are as follows:
"Sixth Board. Organized June, 1885.
Major L. S. Bent, President, Samuel F. Dunkle, Secretary, Dr. D. B. Traver, Treasurer, Edgar C. Felton, Dr. W. L. Zeigler, John Rider.

"Seventh Board. Organized June, 1886.
Major L. S. Bent, President, C. A. Reehling, Secretary, E. C. Felton, Treasurer, Dr. D. B. Traver, Dr. W. L. Zeigler, John Rider.

"Eight Board. Organized June, 1887.
Major L. S. Bent, President, C. A. Reehling, Secretary, E. C. Felton, Treasurer, Dr. D. B. Traver, Dr. W. L. Zeigler, W. A. Atticks.

"Present Board. Organized June, 1888.
Major L. S. Bent, President, C. A. Reehling, Secretary, E. C. Felton, Treasurer, Dr. D. B. Traver, W. A. Attick, Dr. W. L. Zeigler, Jas. F. Newlin, Wm. D. Smith, Wilson G. Smith, Samuel F. Dunkle." (pages 12-13)

You will see that, beginning with the Ninth Board, 1888, the number of directors was increased from six to ten. I would like to find more lists of board members. This book also contains some interesting information on the teachers for these years. All teachers were listed under department headings as follows: High School Department, Grammar Department, Intermediate Department, Secondary Department, Primary Department and Colored Department. Rates of pay for the 1885-86 term are also listed. The only person listed under "Colored Department" is George H. Imes, about whom we know a good bit of information.

All teachers were paid by the month, for a period of nine months. In 1885-86, George H. Imes earned $50 per month, or $450 for the entire nine-month term. Two other teachers and the Assistant Principal earned the same rate of pay as Imes. Only the Principal, L. E. McGinnis, earned more, at $100 per month, or $900 for the full term. All of the other teachers earned $45 per month, or $405 per term. I think this shows the respect and value that the school board placed on Imes' position in the Colored Department.

In 1886-87, we find that the "Colored Department" has been divided into Secondary Grade and Primary Grade. George H. Imes is teacher for the Secondary Grade and Charles F. Howard makes his appearance as teacher for the Primary Grade, at a rate of pay of $45 per month. All of the other rates of pay remained the same for this school year, with the exception of the positions of Principal, which increased to $111.11 per month ($1,000 per term) and Assistant Principal, which increased to $60 per month ($540 per term). Charles Howard had graduated from Steelton High School in 1885. Steelton histories record that he was the first principal of the Hygienic School, being appointed in 1886. At this point, the school was still in the basement of the Monumental A.M.E. church and was not yet known as the Hygienic School. That name would be applied when the school moved from the church basement into the Hygienic Hill School, about 1890.

Imes and Howard are listed at the same positions and rates of pay for the 1887-88 term. The only raises this year went to two of the Grammar Department teachers, who went from $50 per month to $55 per month. The other 17 teachers remained at $45 per month. All of this information is on pages 13-15 in the book.
Engraving of Steelton High School, from the back cover. Source:  McGinnes, L. E., Principal. Report of the Public Schools of Steelton, Penn'a, 1885-6, 1886-7, 1887-8.  Steelton, Pennsylvania:  Reporter Steam Power Print, 1888.

George F. Nagle

Right:  "Steelton High School Building. Erected by the Pennsylvania Steel Company."  Engraving on the back cover of the 1888 Public School report. (click the picture for a larger image)

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This page was updated February 12, 2005.