(The following was written by Faye and Harold Morland, and is reprinted from “The Epoch of the Park Street School 1853-1964 and Grove City, Ohio”. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
The first teacher in this first school house in Grove City was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Canfield. II was Miss “Teeny” Yates, who taught one summer. The third was Mrs. Young, maiden name Viets, who in the autumn of 1853 though but a girl of 18 traveled from Oberlin to Grove City to teach our school. She began teaching November 22, 1853. Eight pupils entered, her average daily attendance was 60 pupils. Other teachers in this early school where Professors Hannam, Stonestreet and William Sibray.
Among those who took a prominent part in securing the school were William Foster Breck, Hugh Grant, Jr., George Weygandt, Daniel Smith, Jonathan Gantz, and Joseph Pense.
it is interesting to note here the Grove City Road (also known as Dutch Pike) extended northeastwardly and in alignment with and connecting with County Road, now known as Stringtown Road. This extended connecting road was discontinued when the plat of 78 lots was laid out. Moreover, it laid diagonally in the direction where the schoolhouse was later built.
Other lots were purchased for log homes. Grove City was growing. It got its name from the large remaining groves of trees that settlers left standing as they cleared the surrounding land for crops. The log cabin village grew. Some of the stores were constructed of brick. Tile was necessary to drain the fertile but flat land.
William Foster Breck was a very enterprising man. He influenced many men and owned large farm acreage, after having cleared the land. Besides crops that he raised, he established the usual basic businesses for the time in Grove City.
His death occurred August 8th, 1864, under most unusual circumstances. Older residents relate that he was loading oats in a field near where 71 West Park Street is now located. Suddenly one of the farmers in the community rode by on horseback from Columbus and informed Mr. Breck that Abraham Lincoln had again been nominated for president. Mr. Breck being a staunch Republican, shouted for joy whereupon his team of horses became frightened and lunged forward, toppling Mr. Breck from the top of his load of oats to the ground. His neck was broken by the fall. He died almost instantly and was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, August 11, 1864.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry.)