Mt. Summit School Quilt

Owner Jo Ella McLear Michael from her mother who attended One Room School House

This beautiful quilt photo was posted on Franklin-Monroe’s Alumni page by quilt owner, Jo Ella Michael. Jo Ella was asking questions about the location of this school house and after a lengthy discussion between many posters, we gathered the following information about the school, names on the quilt and the once student-owner of this lovely heirloom.

Mt. Summit one room school house was known as District #5. This piece of the puzzle was on the quilt. From the old plat map of 1910 we see where #5 is located: It’s west of Gordan-Landis Road but before Albright Road. It once stood on the small rise in the road and field on the south side of the road on the Black farm. Glenn Eley, who also attended here, told me several years ago it was named “Mt. Summit”.

Jo Ella Michael’s mother, Luella Yohe McLear, attended Mt. Summit, too. The quilt date is 1930’s. Luella lived back the long lane on the same side as the school. When AWTHS interviewed her several years ago, she mentioned the teacher, Miss Iva Oldham, also living with them. We are not sure of the dates when the school was first built but this quilt was done in the 1930’s so the school was operational during those years. It is possible it was open longer as some of the schools in Gordon, Ithaca and Delisle were open until the 1950’s.

Luella’s father, Harry, first attended here. We learned that the parents took turns bringing in hot soup for the lunches during the winter and Luella rode her bike to school. During the winter her father brought her to school on their horse.

The school was in Twin Township and grades 1-8th was attended by students who lived close by. After 8th grade graduation those students who wished to attend high school would enroll at the school of their choice or which ever location was convenient or in their district. We know some students attended Monroe such as Luella, and some attended Arcanum, such as Glenn.

In reading about these student-teacher quilts in the “Miami Valley Album Quilts” we find reference in early periods of the students making a quilt square with their name and presenting them to the teacher. In this case Louella acquired the quilt from the teacher and it was passed to on Jo Ella.

Here is a list of the names of the students on the quilt:

Catherine Smith                                               Elden Yohe

Ula Anne Bright                                               Iva Oldham

Dale Eley                                                          Emerson Smith

Donald Eley                                                      Emma Tissel

Luella Yohe McLear                                         Helen Blemenstock

Lloyd Eley                                                         Betty M. (Mehaffie)

Alice H                                                              Glenn Eley

Vernie Brown                                                   Earl H

Helen Porter                                                     Chester H.

Thank you to Jo Ella for displaying her Mt. Summitt school quilt for our viewers. Photos of each square are on the Franklin-Monroe Alumni FB page. Area family also include Peggy Didier, whose mother Betty Mehaffie, was a student also and Betty and Glenn Eley did ciphering matches together in competition.

AWTHS member Annette Stewart did a program on old school houses back 2016-17 and we have lots of records on the old school houses in Southern Darke County in AWTHS reference library which includes photos, souvenir programs and notes from Twin Township minutes courtesy of Jerry Snyder. Thru newspaper articles, personal stories and documents we have compiled a binder and file on the old school houses and those who attended.

As always, we welcome your information and photos of Mt Summit school or any school in Southern Darke County which includes Twin, Butler, Monroe, Franklin and Van Buren Townships.

Our next blog will be about another area family’s quilts. If you have a quilt, school or family story please share them with our readers and AWTHS. If your family’s name is on this quilt please share with AWTHS.

Please see AWTHS copyright for this blog and contents. #oldschoolhouses #NationalHistoricalPreservation #quilts

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