1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Page 532

The first school taught in Havana that is remembered by any of the old residents, was by a man named Price, in 1836-37, and was taught in a little building located near where the Taylor House now stands. One of the early teachers, probably the next after Price, had a taste of the experience of Eggleston's Hoosier schoolmaster. Some of the mischievous young men, or boys, one morning set a tub of water over the door, and so poised it
"That an infants touch could urge
Its headlong passage down the verge."

Thus, when the teacher came in, the opening of the door disturbed its equilibrium, bringing down the foaming Niagara upon his devoted head. The finale of the matter we are unable to chronicle, but doubt not that it was in strict accordance with the prevailing custom practiced in the early schools, and a free use of the birch was brought into play upon the unregenerate perpetrators.

The first regular schoolhouse was built about 1837-38, on a part of the present public square. This house was used for a number of years, when a large brick was erected on the site of the present school building. Previously, however, the basement of the old Methodist Church was used as a schoolroom for several years. The present magnificent school building was put up in 1875 and cost $30,000. It is well arranged for school purposes, and furnished with all the modern improvements in the way of school furniture. In addition to this building, there are primary schools taught both in the north and the south ends of the city. The teachers for the year just commencing are as follows: Prof. T. W. Catlin, Principal, assisted by Miss E. M. Bean, Miss Margaret Hurst, Miss Theressa Bernell, Miss Nellie Wickizer, Miss Kate Paul, Miss Jennie Crane, Mrs. Sallie Heninger, Miss Effie Pierce and Miss Fannie Walker. The present is Prof. Catlin's fourth year as Principal. The schools of Havana have kept pace with the other institutions of this vicinity, and the citizens have good reason to feel proud of their excellence. Besides the graded system at the large brick schoolhouse, the city maintains primary schools in other portions of it, as stated above.

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