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 Little Home Histories, Part 36 -- Some Historical Sketches of Friends at the Ridge.

by Doudna, Joseph W.

See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 35 -- Friends Boarding School: 'Olney'.

Having written the following account for Ridge School Literary in 1917, without thinking it would attract the attention of others so much as to request me to have it published, which after repeated importuning to do so I offered it with just a little addition for publication in the Barnesville Enterprise, if the editor is willing to do so.

-- Joseph W. Doudna

In the early days of Friends Society at Ridge. Joseph Patterson, a member of Friends Society, and an early settler there, entered the Southeast quarter of section 13 in 1808 for his future home. Friends soon became so numerous there that the need of a meeting for worship was felt and also a place of learning for their children.

Accordingly a request for a meeting was granted and it was set up on the 26th day of the 11th month 1811. A log meeting house and a log school house had been built on the lands of Joseph Patterson, where the present meeting and school house now stand. The first school house had greased paper windows and both it and the meeting house had open fireplaces.

In the year 1812, a school was taught by John S. Williams, and the writer of this has understood that when the spelling class stood up to spell it was so large that it reached nearly all around the inside walls of the school house. The next school in 1813 was taught by Joseph Garretson for a term of six months at one dollar and fifty cents per quarter for each scholar, and to be paid for if the subscribers so wished, in wheat, corn or buckwheat, delivered in Carson Thomas' mill for the first of the term and the second half to be paid in cash at the expiration of the school.

A meeting for worship and a school being now established, Joseph Patterson in 1816, sold to his friends four acres on which the buildings stood for $32.00. It was one of his last acts in leaving this goodly heritage to his friends.

The time was now drawing nigh when he was to be taken from works to rewards, which took place in the year 1816, and he was the first person to be buried in the graveyard at Ridge, being buried there at his request, he with others of his friends believing that a monthly meeting would soon be established to take care of the interests of the society at that place. This was done about the year 1820.

Joseph Patterson was buried in the open ground without any enclosure, so his friends put a rail pen around his grave until it could be enclosed with more ground for a burial place. Now after a lapse of 100 years, can you who are young scholars going to school (1917) in this nice comfortable room, with its nice large glass windows, realize how much better off you are than our ancestors were going to school in the first school house with its slab benches to sit upon, without any back to lean against when tired, or glass windows to let in the light.

The writer of this used to sit upon the above described benches, when a scholar here during the winter of 1860-61, and from their appearance looked old and substantial enough to have served in all the schools at Ridge from the beginning down to that time.

Our teacher that winter was Mary Crew from Columbiana County, Ohio, who took such a deep interest in our studies, and so much concern in directing our steps in the straight and narrow way that those rude benches did not seem hard to sit upon under such pleasant circumstances.

But now the time was drawing near when the good old school house (not the first one) and its long remembered benches which did not detract from the happiness of the pleasant school hours that winter at Ridge, had to share the fate of all things here below that finds here an end, no matter how good and useful they have been, and give place to the one which you now occupy.

This one was built out of brick and other material as far as they would go which had been first used to build Friends Meeting House at Somerton, that was left vacant after the meeting had been laid down there.

In 1863 Friends took this meeting house down and hauled enough of the suitable material up here to help build this house, which was completed about the beginning of the year 1864. Thompson Frame taught the first school in this house in the forepart of that year. After this, schools were conducted here pretty regularly, until about the year 1896 when school children became so few and far removed in this neighborhood that school teaching at Ridge was abandoned until the present school commenced with a new teacher and a new generation of children in a newly repaired school room, which had become very desolate and forlorn for want of scholars and teachers to keep the good work going, which we hope may now be kept on for another hundred years under the same good management which characterized the Society of Friends at the beginning.

Source: Contributed by: Elma Doudna Bailey.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 37 -- Otho French Home History.

For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.

This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.

CO-AUTHOR: Bailey, Elma Doudna.

DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2002 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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