|The history of education in Littlestown dates
back to 1747 when a Reformed minister, Rev. Michael Schlatter,
sent here by the Synod of Amsterdam, established the first
known school in Adams County. Two days after his arrival, on
May 4, he baptized the child of the schoolmaster, John Henry
Kreutz. The main subject taught was German. During the pastorate
of Rev. Jacob Wiestling, which began in 1813, the school was
housed in a building on church property and the school remained
in existence for approximately one hundred years.
The Free School Act of 1834 caused much debate and opposition
in this area. Many people sincerely believed that free schools
would engender indolence, increase crime, oppress the taxpayers
and destroy individual liberty. As a result of such thinking,
a joint convention was held at Gettysburg College November 4,
1834, by the County Commissioners. A. LeFevre, delegate from
here, voted thumbs down, along with others, on the proposal.
Finally, at the third and final convention on May 2, 1836, the
townships acquiesced. A County Convention was held in Littlestown,
November 21 to 23, 1866, by the office of the County Superintendent
of Schools, created by State law in 1854.
In 1836, public school machinery was set up in Littlestown.
There were two schools established, one a log structure on East
King Street, taught by John McSherry and Francis X. Deneckere
established the first Catholic parochial school with Miss Mary
Wilson as first teacher.
Public education so progressed in Littlestown
that in 1871 a two story brick building consisting of three
classrooms and one recreation room was built. The first
principal was Hanson Harner. One year later, in 1872, a
famous Littlestown School teacher, Miss Lizzie Nicks, was
elected as teacher of the primary grades and remained in
this capacity for 31 years. It is a know fact that as soon
as pupils could recite the A, B, C's Miss Nicks rewarded
them with a penny. Teachers salaries were $18.00 a month
and the average school term was 4 months and 5 days.
There was not much improvement in 1898, when the salary
was $24.00 a month. Summer schools were also held in
the public school building around this time.One such
school was conducted by Amos Parr. As many as a hundred
students from all over the county came to Littlestown
for the summer or 'trade' schools. Principal Harner was
succeeded by Ezra E. Taylor. (Pictured below - 2
In 1880 Dr. E. Krebs founded the Edge Hill Academy, a Preparatory
school which lasted for approximately 20 years. Dr. Krebs' son,
Stanley Krebs, was the husband of Marjorie Main. The Academy
property is now the Benjamin and Anna Ulrich LeFevre property
at 356 East King Street.
The building constructed in 1871 was razed thirty years later
to give way to the grade school building on East King Street,
converted into Community Center in 1963. The new building was
constructed by John Eline, who was The Builder in those days,
at a cost of $10,000 and boasted a hot water furnace and spacious
rooms and halls. It was first occupied December 1, 1901. The
first class was graduated from Littlestown High School, May 1,
1902. W.A. Burgoon was the first high school principal. Three
years later L.H.S. was recognized as a second class school with
a three year course by the state. In 1915 the school had grown
so that it necessitated an addition to the building and in 1916
it was recognized as a first class school.
To trace the growth - in 1901 there was a faculty of one and
a student body of 17; in 1912 there was a faculty of six and
a student body of 134.
On January 7, 1932, it was decided to construct a new building
as a result of the congestion being experienced on East King
Street, and this was to be located on a site north of the playground
on Maple Avenue, at that time Long Alley.
Bids were received April 14 and contracts awarded amounting
to approximately $50,000 on May 13. The architect was Bernard
Starr, an alumnus of the school, class of 1911, and the building
was completed in time for the class of 1933 to hold their Commence
exercises. William Eline was the contractor, son of the man who
built the East King Street School; Stanley B. Stover did the
electrical work and B.F. Redding the Plumbing.
The Board of Education consisted of Dr. Harry S. Crouse, Samuel
E. Renneer, John A. Mayers, Emory H. Snyder, and Henry S. Stover.
The High School Faculty included Paul E. King, Principal; Lloyd
L. Stavely, Harold R. Shriver, Golda O. Hook, Josephine Stetser
and Kathryn Snyder.
In 1938, the school added two new departments to its curriculum,
Industrial Arts and Home Economics. In 1944, Littlestown High
School had medical service for the first time with Mrs. Brenda
Badders Walker as school Nurse.
Mt. Pleasant township, Littlestown Borough, Mt. Joy, Union and
Germany townships formed the Littlestown Joint School System on
July 1, 1948. As a result the schools were changed from the 8-4
to the 6-6 plan. This caused an influx of Junior high pupils from
the rural schools which in turn brought about a new $54,000 addition
to the Maple Avenue School, to include 4 classrooms, a cafeteria,
and an office and storage room. Work began on Sept. 16, 1948 and
was completed by the end of the school year. Also, about this time
the new athletic field was put to use. All first grade pupils of
the Jointure were invited to come to Littlestown where two first
grades were established.
In the summer of 1950 extensive renovations were made in the
Maple Avenue structure to accommodate an enlarged Industrial
Arts program and to provide space for a music room and laboratory.
There were 972 pupils in the entire school system,; 433 enrolled
in the Junior-Senior High School. The East King Street building
accommodated grades one through six with a total of 547 pupils.
On February 11, 1952, the Joint Board of Education was advised
of the increase in enrollments of the elementary schools and
the lack of physical facilities. On April 8 it was agreed to
take an option on the proposal of Lloyd and Alma Crouse for twelve
lots on East Myrtle Street and consider the gift of lands adjoining
thereto as owned by I.H. Crouse & Sons. Bids were opened
for a new school on December 9, 1952, and contracts awarded.
Allen F. Feeser, Taneytown, Md. was general contractor. The name "Rolling
Acres Elementary School" was selected by the Board; dedication
of the new school, built at a cost of approximately $500,000
was held on Friday, January 29, 1954.
The present Littlestown High School was dedicated on September
3, 1961. It was built at an approximate cost of $1,500,000. The
School bell that was preserved in a special niche here is the
same bell used on the first private school established on East
King Street and later at the public school which is now the community
center. This bell now is on display in the foyer of the new gymnasium
at the high school.