First Grade School and Academy in Smethport
1874 - 1893

See an Attempt at This View in 2005

Timeline of Smethport Schools


First Smethport School



First Smethport Academy



Second Smethport Academy



New Brick School



Second Brick School



Addition of the Elementary School



Additions put on the 1900 School



New High School built across town on Brennan Hill



The Family Medical Center, located in the area of the old school


Joseph Oviatt

William Mccoy

Medbury Residence

B D Hamlin House

he Smethport Academy was the first grade school built in Smethport.  Here it is shown on the school block facing the then Episcopal Church which later would become Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1874 a school building was erected on the present site at a cost of $8,000 and in 1888 the increased population necessitated the erection of a wing on the east side at a cost of $2,000.  The building was totally destroyed by fire on Tuesday morning, Jan. 31,1893.  In April of the same year a contract was awarded to W.D. Moore of Olean to erect a more modern structure.
McKean County Miner
Smethport, Pa.,  Oct. 16, 1891
Page 3

Smethport Academy Assistant Principal Resigns

Rev. W. F. Shero Having accepted the rectorship of the Episcopal church at Angelica, N. Y., on Friday last tendered his resignation as assistant in the Smethport grade school and academy.  During Mr. Shero's connection with our school as principal and assistant he has done much to place it where it is, in the front rank of educational institutions of this part of the country, and the entire community will regret his retirement from a position he has filled with so much credit.

McKean County Miner
Smethport, PA., June 6, 1890
Smethport Schools

Our schools closed for the summer vacation yesterday, and as this also brings to an end the present school year and will mark the retirement of Prof. W. F. Shero as principal a short report will not be out of place.  That the school, under the efficient management of Mr. Shero, has been a success, all fair-minded people must acknowledge and is fully proven by the following figures.  During his first year the average attendance was but 156, while during the present year the average attendance has been 205, of which quite a number were non-resident pupils.  Total number enrolled the present year 279; average percentage of attendance 93; a very good showing indeed.  Higher grades of studies have been introduced by Mr. Shero, with flattering results. 

Three pupils, Lucy Backus, Helen M. Choate and William Herzog graduated in the English and Latin courses and one, Fred D. Gallup in the college preparatory course.

As a further mark of success of Mr. Shero's work it may be mentioned that several of his pupils taught school in this county with success the past term.  We but echo the sentiments of many of our best citizens when we say we regret his determination of withdrawing from the school and wish him an abundant success in his future undertakings.


McKean County Democrat
November 3rd, 1859

The fifth annual session of the McKean County Teachers’ Institute, just closed, was characterized by a degree of interest, intelligence and application, equal if not superior to any former session.
The attendance was large, comprising of nearly all the teachers of the county, excepting a few who were absent attending school at Alfred and other places, showing that the minds of the teschers of McKean are fixed upon progression and improvement, and determined to become not only “school keepers” but able, industrious, and exalted members of the Teacher’s noble profession.
During the week instruction was givben in all of the branches taught in the Common School, with special reference to the methods of teaching them to children.
The County Suyperintendent, Prof. Allen, of Alfred University, J.F. Cone, S.O. Tenney, Miss Olive Irons and others, assisted in conducting the exercises. A lecture was delivered on Wednesday evening by Prof. Allen, on Thursday by L. R. Wisner, Co. Superintendent, and on Friday by Warren Cowles, Esq. They were all able and interesting productions and were listened to Academy, by Rev. Cornforth- subject the Bible in the Common Schools.
The following is the list of teachers present. It is hoped that Directors in making selections for their winter schools will give them the preference, as it is believed that they are better prepared to discharge the duties of the duties of the school room than those who do not feel interest enough in the cause to spend one week in the year in learning how best to impart instruction to those under their care.

P.S. Allen
R. Williamson
Imelda Younge
S. D. White
Julia McCoy
E. E. Bellows
Ama Bishop
Hannah McElva
Charles Rice
Ellen McCoy
E.A. Winsor
Olive Irons

M.E. Bee
Annie Kinney
M.A. Lackay

M. Chevalier

Harriet Shaw
Garphilia Maxson
Kate McMann
A.E. Morris
E. Young

Port Allegany
E.C. Barnaby
I.H. Coon
Ama Lillibridge
Sallie Vosburgh
E.A. Grigsby
J.F. Cone

Truman Hammond
E.N. Howard
E. Drake
Mary Holmes
Phebe Strong
Abbey Edson
Mary Fisher
Olive Fisher

C.N. Tenney
S.O. Tenney

Sharon Centre, PA
C.M. Starkweather

C.C. Freeman
E.A. Taggart
J.F. Chadwick

Farmer’s Valley
Ellen Otto
A.A. Barrett
Erina Pelton
Lucy Beers
W.R. Barrett
H.B. Barrett
Sarah Strong

H.A. Colegrove
Kate S. Wright
Phebe A. Davis



To 1895 Virtual Fulton Street
To 1895 Virtual Main Street
To 1890 Panorama View off of Town Hill

Two pictures taken to represent the Church and Academy View in 2005

photo credit: Dave Vandermark Collection

The 2005 view is obstructed by a row of Pine trees that are used as a property line.

Back to 1874 View