History Series: Our District's Rich History Began In Mid-1800s
by Linda Dillman
Hamilton Township Alumni Association
The Hamilton Local School District has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s when the earliest schools were held in private cabins and supported by subscriptions paid by parents.
The first school was located in an unoccupied log cabin on a farm owned by Thomas Johnson. In 1842, it was situated at what is now the intersection of Obetz Road and Parsons Avenue. The first township school house specifically built for educating students was erected circa 1856 just south of the intersection of present day Groveport Road and Parsons Avenue.
In Lockbourne, the first school was located in a log structure at the upper end of the town, opposite the residence of William Monypenny—who was a prominent businessman. School was first taught in Shadeville in a cabin near the present day bridge at the intersection of Pike and Canal Streets.
According to an 1858 history of Franklin County, Hamilton Township’s population was 1,485 in 1850. There were 13 separate township school sub-districts in 1853 with a student population of 560 girls and boys ages five to 21. After 1873, two districts became part of Madison Township and three others consolidated with surrounding districts.
In 1880, the number 10 sub-district was formed and later known as the Hartman Farm School. Although abandoned, the brick structure is still located at the intersection of Rathmell Road and High Street (Route 23).
Aside from the Hartman School, just a few of the structures from the remaining nine districts are still standing.
The district number nine Riley School cabin, located on the corner of Parsons Avenue and Obetz Road, was covered over and incorporated into a private residence. The number five Rathmell School, built of brick and situated at the corner of route 317 and Lockbourne Road, is relatively unchanged from its initial construction.
A large one-story brick schoolhouse (number four) was erected in Shadeville in 1886 and a second floor added around 1900. It is now a private residence.
(Information courtesy of "Early History of Hamilton Township Schools, Franklin County, Ohio" published 1998)