1895:  The Smethport Public School Looking Northeast from 300 block of King Street

1898 photo taken by Smethport photographer R.C. Gleason

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



Huge Teachers Institute Held in Smethport
McKean County Miner  Oct. 18, 1895
The McKean county teacher's institute commenced at the courthouse last Monday.  There are 209  teachers in attendance who have received instruction from the following well known educators:  Prof. C. E. Rugh, of the Clarion State Normal School, instructor in geography; Prof. S. D. Fess, of Ada, Ohio, talks on physiology, and Prof. Geo. E. Little in the art of drawing.  Prof. Fess is a fluent speaker and handles his subject in a masterly manner.   He is always greeted by the teachers.  The other two gentlemen are to well known to the teachers to need any special mention, this being their second visit to the McKean county institute.  Suffice it to say that they met with a hearty welcome from the teachers. 

County Sup't Eckels opened the institute as usual by requesting the teachers to strive to derive as much good as possible from the sessions of the institute.  Prof. Eckles is deeply interested in the schools of this county and spares no pains to bring the standard to the highest possible pitch.  He has been superintendent of schools of McKean county for nearly nine years and we have only to reflect to see the steady growth and yearly improvement of the school system while in his charge.  He is a man possessed of a great deal of executive ability, which  when combined with his literary attainments and long experience in school work makes him a strong factor in the promotion of the educational interests of the county and a proper person to fill the important position which he now so ably fills. 

After devotional exercises, which were conducted by Rev. J.W. Sanborn, Prof. Fugh was introduced and gave a lesson in Teaching Geography.  The Professor spoke to some extent upon the influence of the study of geography upon man.  Prof. Fess was then introduced and occupied the next period with a talk in physiology, after which Prof. Little gave a lesson in drawing in the evening the Hon. Wallace Bruce, of Brooklyn.  lectured upon "The Women in Shakespeare."  Mr. Bruce is an orator of note and held the attention of the audience in a manner that showed his ability. 

The informal meeting was open Tuesday morning with Principal T. F. Driscoll in the chair.  A paper was read by Principal Nolph, of Derrick City, entitled " Our Present System of Examination Opposed to True Education" The merits of the paper were discussed by Messrs.  Jamieson, Driscoll, Horton, Marsh and Sup't Eckels.  After the close of this discussion in the Rev. McCandless, of the Episcopal church, conducted the devotional exercises.  The roll was next called after which the instructors followed with the regular
         work of the institute.

         Principal Vera, of Custer City, presided over the informal meeting in the afternoon, and Principal Bayle, of Sawyer City, read a paper on "Cranks and Fads."  Messrs. Driscoll and
         Mitchell dipped into the discussion of this paper.  The question of examinations was again taken up and exhausted by the following teachers: Smith, Sup't Eckels, Miss Eva
         Wilmoth and another lady teacher whose name we could not learn.  The ladies take so little part in these discussions that we are sorry that  we are unable to give the name.  Prof.
         Rugh occupied the first period of the regular session on geography, and Prof. Fess the next on physiology. Prof. Little gave the time alloted to him to the Hon. Wallace Bruce, who
         addressed the teachers on "Walter Scott, and How to read him."  The teachers were much pleased with the talk. In the evening Mr. Bruce delivered his lecture on "Wit and

         The informal meeting Wednesday morning was called to order by Principal Thomas, of Rew City, who introduced Principal J. T. Jamieson, of Mt. Jewett, who presented a paper
         captioned "Morals in the Public School."  His paper showed a great deal of though and study, and if followed out, must be of great value to the school.  This paper brought out
         considerable debate, Messrs.  Mitchell, Driscoll, Shadman, Knight and Sup't Eckels taking part.  The regular work was then taken up, after which was a special roll call for the
         benefit of the teachers who found the ante room more interesting than the court room. 

         Prof. Horton, of Kane, was found in the chair during the afternoon in formal meeting.  Prof. Thomas, of Rew City, read a paper on the "Compulsory Education Law," which told
         of the good to be derived from such a law.  Mr. Thomas' paper brought out many questions pertaining to this law, all of which were promptly answered by Sup't Eckels.  The next
         period of the informal meeting was occupied by Prof. Kelley, superintendent of the Port Allegany schools, with a talk captioned "Leaves from the Diary of a Pedagogue," which,
         while filled with humor and witty sayings, contrasted the work of the untrained non-professional teacher with the work of the active, progressive professional teacher.  Prof. Kelly
         is fluent and easy speaker, an enthusiastic worker and stands among the best educators in the county.  Prof. Barbour entertained the teachers and others Wednesday evening with
         selections from the best English and American authors, with each illustrated on the screen,  All seemed pleased with the entertainment and pronounced it excellent. 
         Thursday morning session opened with Principal Marsh as chairman.  A paper was read by Principal Vera, of Custer City.  As we go to press the institute is still in session and
         promises to be the best and most beneficial held in the county.  Much credit is due Sup't Eckels for the management.