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Sharon Twp., Richland Co., School District # 1
Photo ca. 1918
Originally built in 1882/1883 - Used as a schoolhouse until 1952
Now being used as a school again!!
Visit out new website:
Morton One Room School Historical Museum
Photos - Fall 2000 (Before restoration)
March, 2002 developments!
photo courtesy of Carol Stauffer Pritchett
Morton One Room School Reunion - August 24, 2002
The 2002 annual reunion of students from the Morton, Will, and Gamble,
One Room Schools was held at the newly restored Morton Schoolhouse.
The schoolhouse was inspected inside and out by former students,
classmates, and spouses. School pictures, class room artifacts, and
memorabilia were displayed and initiated much discussion.
After a delicious carry in meal, the former students related their one
room school experiences and how well these schools prepared them
for their life's adventures.
Plans are being made for this year's 2003 reunion which will be
held on August 23, 2003.
Morton One Room School Historical Museum - December, 2002
The Current Morton School House
In the late summer of 1882, Abraham Bushey began the construction of a new
brick schoolhouse in Sharon Township District # 1. He would complete
the Morton schoolhouse by early 1883 at a cost of $1503.00.
School seats and desk were supplied by Broadrup & Huffman for $211.00
J. E. Sweaney provided some extra black boards for a cost of $6.50.
The school bell, bell rope, stove, stove pipe, wire and hooks, were
purchased from C. W. Mann for $19.05. Mc Knight and Peters
supplied the lamps and fixtures for $4.25.
In 1883, John W. Sheeley and D. W. Radebaugh acquired the lumber for
the new Morton School fence at a cost of $29.24. Radebaugh constructed
the fence for $9.00. John Sheeley built the school privies for $45.00.
The new Morton School was now ready for operation.
School Location and Early Neighboring Landowners
Location: North-West Corner of
State Routes 39/96 & Funk Road
The Morton School name was derived from the family of Norman S. Morton.
Norman S. Morton, was born in the town of Amhurst, Massachusetts on
August 12, 1808 to
John and Rebecca (Moody) Morton. Norman's mother was
an educated and religious woman
who taught Norman how to read his way
through the Bible when he was eight. When he was nine, Norman and his family
left Amhurst and moved to Gorham, New York (Ontario County). At 17 Norman
left New York for Ohio. On December 2, 1830 he registered land with the
land grant office in Wooster, Ohio arriving in the New London area out side
of Shelby, Ohio onNew Year's day 1830. On June 19, 1839 Norman sold the
original land grant property to Jacob Clark and purchased the land
where the Morton School now stands.
After arriving in the Shelby, Norman married Elizabeth Ann Gamble, a child of
Judge Hugh Gamble's (born 1789 and died 1880) second marriage (to Mary Unknown).
This marriage which took place sometime prior to 1815 and brought forth two known children:
Elizabeth Ann and Hugh Gamble II. Mary died prior to 1823 and Hugh in 1823 married a third
time to Mary Disbro and they had a family of seven children: Delia, Lucy, Sarah Amanda,
John Henry, Mary, Adelaide, and Katherine.
Norman and Elizabeth Ann Gamble Morton were to have a family of six:
Linus Eugene, John H., Norman, Salma, Caroline, Moses Lewis and William B.
Elizabeth Ann died September 6th 1841. On November 22nd, 1841
Norman married his second wife, Ann Elizabeth Duling. To this second
marriage were born 2 sons and 6 daughters: Orrilla "Rillie", Linus Eugene,
Louisa, Matilda Angeline, Sarah Jane "Jennie", Harriet, and Charles.
It was on the 16th day of November 1883 (according to documents on file
in the Tax Department of Richland County, Mansfield, Ohio) that Norman and
Ann Elizabeth Morton leased the land where the present day school is located
to the Board of Education, Sharon Township, Richland County, Ohio.
The School Board at that time was comprised of Samuel F. Ekis, William H.
Smith, Eugene Cattey, E.D. Beckingham, Jacob Molder and John Wirtz.
Norman Morton died January 30, 1891. He was described by his friends,
neighbors and fellow citizens as honest, upright and kind. People said to have
found him obliging and the kind of father who taught his children the same
pioneer morals that had been instilled in him by his own parents. Norman
left 39 grandchildren and 20 great Grand Children the decedents of which
still populate the surrounding area and counties.
Morton School Early History
Records regarding the daily operation of the Morton School as well as records
from the other schools in the township are scattered. Due in part to the fact the
original school records were intertwined with the records of the Township Trustees.
(The Clerk for the Trustees also acted as the Clerk of schools). And because, as each
individual school closed, the records from that school were simply set aside without
much concern for their future value causing them to be lost or destroyed.
Fortunately, some of the forgotten records are now being rediscovered. In a
book recently loaned to the Morton School project by Ira and Donna Clabaugh, the
following details regarding the operation of the Morton School have become known.
On April 16, 1855 Norman S. Morton was appointed the Librarian for District 1.
The Morton School District. The duties of the Librarian were, to give out books
belonging to the common school library on the first Saturday of the month and
recollect them monthly.
According to records found in the Clabaugh book, the following books were on
the shelves of the District #1 library at the beginning of May in 1857.
They were: "Buckeyes Abroad, The Life of Sir Walter Scott,
Sunshine on Daily Paths, Beech nut, Tip Top,
and, The Poor Rich Man."
The "enumeration" or, children in attendance for District #1 as of September 1,
1857 was 78 students. Recording 41 boys and 37 girls. (It is interesting to note
that often times the balance of male to female students in a one room school was
determined by the closeness of the schools to the actual farms. For the most
part it had to be a short and safe walk in order for a girl to attend).
It was also in September of 1857 that it was resolved that McGuffies's series
of "readers" and "spellers" alone be used in all the common schools of the districts.
The above Norman S. Morton Family & Morton School history was supplied by
Mr. Kim Butler Histed -
More Morton Material
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