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Window to the Past - Jefferson Middle School is 100 years old PDF Print E-mail
Monday, May 21, 2012 9:18 AM

Since the work on the beautiful and substantial structure, the Jefferson School is nearing the end and will, after all, lie incomplete, a resume of its history, and the reasons for not finishing it, will prove interesting to the people.
The Herald has obtained some facts and figures from the Secretary of the Board.
When it was first determined that a more modern, beautiful and sanitary school was urgently needed, many representative citizens were consulted before determining the amount of money to be asked for.

One hundred thousand dollars was voted for this purpose, and it is a matter of history that in order to have one good school, the board must erect two.
The members of the board expended their own money and much valuable time, visiting schools in various parts of the country. After a great deal of thought, and many estimates, a certain plan was adapted which would give Delphos a school second to none in appointments, and at the same time devoid of expensive frills. Everything was planned for the comfort and health of the children, and it was to be erected for the years to come, to take care of the youth of a growing Delphos.
It was planned to draw from the outlying districts and from other towns as well as Boxwell graduates, and pupils, thus adding a source of revenue which could not be solicited under existing conditions. The Board very wisely decided that it would be folly to build for present needs alone, for this would mean the necessity of additions to the building in the near future, and would mar its beauty, as well as adding greatly to the cost. The Board was obliged to build the Lincoln School first. (More on this later. R.H.)
Next the Board took up the matter of wrecking the old Jefferson School, and received over $500 more out of the sale of materials than the highest bid. At this time the plans for the high school are complete, and from numerous supposedly expert sources came the information that this school could be erected with the money left on hand. Bids were therefore called for and when the figures were all in, the Board realized that a serious problem confronted them. To wait for a new set of plans, have them meet the stringent rules of the state inspector’s office and thereby lost much valuable time, besides the additional expense of new plans and advertising and in the end have a building unsuited for even present needs, seemed almost out of the question.
After much deliberation, revision of figures and omissions, in the various contracts, it was made possible to let the contract for the work within and slightly under the amount of money still on hand. With these changes, part of the building at least could be made habitable, and agreements were drawn up accordingly. Depending on a slightly increased tax levy for a year or two, it was determined that practically all the things left out of this time, could be added and the building be made complete when construction had reached that point. Then came the Smith 1 per cent tax law and its restrictions, and with it the most bitter disappointment.
The auditorium, so much needed in Delphos, must remain a rough looking void. The glass conservatory, the gymnasium, the domestic science and manual training departments, a number of class rooms, the chemical lab, the swimming pool and numerous other things which make it a pleasure instead of a drag for children to go to school, must remain an eyesore — perhaps for years.
The contracts for the Jefferson School were let:
General contract, first bid $75,981.00, Deductions and omissions $6,240.00
Contract let for - $67,787.50
Heating contract, first bid, $18,546.00, Deductions and omissions $4,720.30
Contract let for $11,815.00
Plumbing contract, first bid $4,087.00, Deductions and omissions $2,000.
Contract let for $2,087.00
Wiring contract, first bid $1,125.00, Deductions and omissions $284.00
Contract let for $941.00
The total contract obligations at the time of letting amounted to $82,581.20. The $31,000 left after the Lincoln School was completed, with the other funds on hand, allowed the Board to legally go ahead with the work in hand and anticipate relief in the end from increased tax revenue.
When the excavating was well under way, the extras began to appear. It was found that under the entire proposed south wall, was a rotten wood sewer. In order to be safe, it was determined to build the footing 12 inches deeper all around. This cost $600 extra to start with. Then came other extras which you who have erected any kind of building are familiar with. The state inspector’s order must be complied with, extra sewers must be laid, a cistern installed, fire doors put on, draining and ventilating the chemical laboratory was imperative at a cost of $404. Fixtures in the Banking room, laboratories, etc., added $1,050.
Mixing dampers and other heating work must go in the unfinished rooms at once or necessitate tearing down later and building up again. One after another came the urgent pleas of contractors and architects and many were the meetings of the Board to inquire why this and that had been left out of the original plans. The extras were something fierce, and the only consolation for the Board was the fact that this same condition exists in building everywhere.
Add to these unlooked-for extras, the original deductions of $13,282.80, and one can at least approximate what amount of money is needed to finish the building as originally intended. Then the equipment is another matter. The latter, however, could be added from time to time as needed, and does not cause the Board so much concern.
To offset the gloom occasioned by these figures, the School Board and the public need but visit and examine the new temple of learning. The building is there, strong, durable and a monument to progressive Delphos.
The Board is proud of the new school, and justly so. And they feel keenly their inability to complete it with the means on hand. It would be a shame to leave it thus — with only one floor completely finished.
As can be seen it will require more than $15,000 to complete the building according to the original plans and at the same time take care of numerous extras. To further equip the building with interior fixtures and furnishings will run the total to about $20,000.
Taking into consideration the close proximity to the new Public Library, the educational facilities of Delphos would be second to none and one of the greatest assets and advertisements the city has ever had.
If the building is completed now, it will save about $2,000, and since it will not be possible to use the school this term, it would be proper to finish it at once, if possible.
Let us think it over and see if we can afford to leave the school unfinished for one cigar or a package of gum on a hundred dollars worth of our property once a year, for ten years. If you are fortunate enough to have property valued at $1,000, it will cost you 50 cents a year for ten years.
Delphos Herald,
Jan. 12, 1912
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New Jefferson School
The rough plastering in the basement of the new school is nearing completion and workers will commence placing the white coat soon. All the plastering has been completed on the first floor and carpenters will start laying the floors in the various rooms on Friday morning.
Delphos Herald, May 16, 1912
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The same of reserved seats for the commencement exercises of the Class of 1912, will open at Wagner’s Wednesday morning. The commencement will be held in the new auditorium of the Jefferson school.
Delphos Herald, May 21, 1912
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More Jefferson School news
Prof. Mendenhall, the retiring superintendent, tendered an acceptable gift to the school: a glass case with 50 stuffed birds, which have been used in the school for nature work. This collection is valued at more than $50 and was secured by Prof. Mendenhall from Ernest Seton, the noted natured writer of Wyndyghoul, Conn.
Four bids were received for five cars of coal for the  schools. The bid of Chas. Dienstberger for Pochontas run of mine at $3.05 per ton was accepted.
Clerk Brundage was authorized to sell the stoves in the German Department school building.
Delphos Herald, May 30, 1912
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Will Look For
New School Furniture
David Jettinghoff, Dr. W.E. Brundage, members of the Delphos school board, and Prof. L.E. Matteson, went to Chicago, where they will inspect high school furniture with a plan to purchase seats and other furniture for the various high school rooms.
The work at the new school is nearing completion. All the walls on the first and second floors have been tinted and present a handsome appearance. The white coat of plastering is now being placed on the walls in the basement. These will not be tinted. The woodwork is about all completed and when the plastering white coat in the basement is finished, there will be little work left save the varnishing of the woodwork, placing of the electric lights in the basement, the hanging of some of the blackboards, etc. The concrete floors in the basement were completed last week. Practically all that will be left to do after this week will be the finishing touches.
The auditorium of the new school now presents a more handsome appearance than ever, the tinting of the ornamental plastering at the stage and dressing rooms and varnishing of the wood work having been completed last week.
Delphos Herald,
June 18, 1912
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Some extensive repairs will be necessary at the Franklin street building before opening of school this fall. A committee was appointed to have the power to act in making the necessary improvements. Brundage, Steinle and Jettinghoff will look after the work.
Delphos Herald,
June 20, 1912
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New Era In Education
With the opening of the present term of school, Monday morning is recorded in the pages of history of Delphos, a new era in education, a forward movement in the cause of learning.
As a result of approval of an overwhelming majority of the voters of Delphos at two bond issues, a monument to the present generation now stands at Jefferson and Third streets.
The new Jefferson school was, Monday morning, dedicated to learning, when the doors were opened and teachers and pupils assembled to begin their year of labor in this handsome new structure.
The new Jefferson School is one of the most complete buildings in this part of the state, large, substantially built and conveniently arranged.
Not many years ago, a vote was taken on the question of issuing bonds in the sum of $25,000 to erect a new ward building in Delphos, but this failed. Only a few years later a $100,000 bond issue for a new high school and a ward school in Second ward, carried by a large majority and a second issue of $20,000 to complete the Jefferson building also received a hearty approval, showing a change of heart.
With the recent improvements made in Delphos schools, this city has shown to be a progressive community in the line of learning. With the new Jefferson school, the Lincoln school, the just extensively improved Franklin school and the South Delphos school, this city is well equipped with educational buildings for years to come.
Besides the advancement made in the public schools, another most important addition to the educational system is underway. The new St. John’s parochial school now being erected, when completed, will be without a doubt, the most handsome and substantial parochial school in northwestern Ohio. Constructed, as it is, with walls of heavy masonry and a frame of steel, it will stand for centuries and proclaim for those who by their untiring efforts and private subscriptions are making possible its erection.
In the public schools just opened for the year, many branches have been added to the high school course and the pupils will have their option and may select the course best suited to their future vocations.
Delphos Herald,
Sept. 12, 1912
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St. John’s Closing
Exercises Will Be
Held at New Jefferson
Auditorium
Pupils of the grades and the high school are practicing for the closing exercises which will be held at the auditorium in the new Jefferson school, Wednesday evening.
Delphos Herald,
June 18, 1912
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School Board
Obliged to Build
Lincoln School First
The site for the Lincoln School cost $1200. The general contract was let for $12,800 after deductions of $1,194 were made to cut down the expenses. The heating contract was let for $1,148 and the Board furnished the boiler from the Franklin School at an additional cost. The plumbing contract was let for $1,425, and later, necessary changes added $230 more to this.
The wiring contract was let for $145. The architects’ fees amounted to $787.62. Extra plastering, originally omitted, added $200 more, making a total of $17,935.62. Added to this were numerous extras which must be figured in all building operations, such as laying tile to drain the lot, leveling and grading the ground, planting trees, building sidewalks, etc., and the total cost of this improvement foots up about $10,000, already a big slice-cut from the $100,000 fund. Next the Board took up the matter of wrecking the old Jefferson School, and realized over $500 more out of the sale of materials than the highest bid made when it was offered for sale. At this time the plans for the high school were complete, and when the figures were all in, the Board realized that a serious problem confronted them.
Delphos Herald,
Jan. 13, 1912
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Delphos Hit By
Canal Drainage
The machinery in the Delphos Paper Mill was closed down Saturday night and will remain idle for several days or until the water is again turned into the canal. This will probably be about next Thursday or Friday, according to Wm. Dauch, who has been in communication with state officials.
The draining of the canal and subsequent closing of the paper mill resulted from the destruction of a wooden culvert under the canal between Deep Cut and Kossuth.
The Auglaize Power company is dredging the canal at this point and one of the big steam shovels bit out a section of the wooden culvert, thus letting the waters in the canal drain off into the adjacent fields, some of which were totally flooded.
Canal Superintendent James Kuhn, Monday, went to Kossuth to investigate the matter and will make every effort to facilitate the repair of the Culvert so that the water can again be sent through the channel and business along the stream resumed.
In the meantime, the employes of the paper mill will not lose any time as the Hinde & Dauch Company has arranged to keep them all at some kind of labor until the wheels begin to turn again.
Delphos Herald,
June 26, 1912
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Remains of Prisoner
Will be Buried
in St. John’s
Potter’s Field
The remains of the stranger who died in the city prison here one week ago Wednesday evening, and who gave the name of Frank Johnson, will be interred in the potter’s field in St. John’s cemetery, Saturday.
The remains have been held at the B.L. Jauman & Co. morgue in the hope of locating his relatives, but investigation by the police and Mr. Jauman and following of a number of clues that it was thought might lead to his identity, have failed.
Although the man gave his name of Frank Johnson, it is the opinion that this name was fictitious and as nothing on his person that might lead to his real identity, little could be done to learn the whereabouts of his relatives. The tattoo mark with the letters, “T.T.” on his arm was the only other means of identification and it is thought by some that these letters were the initials of his name.
Delphos Herald,
Sept. 6, 1912
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