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Chester High School

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Contacting me: - Update

I have temporarily cleared a small amount of space in my email box. However, spam continues to be a problem. To be sure you get through the filters, be sure to include the name of our city somewhere either in the subject or the body of your email.
You can contact me by phone. Follow this link for phone number.  -John

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(Click on any of the images for a larger version)

Board of Education:


Charles F. Foster
Resigned as Superintendent on 7/1/1900 "after 23 years of faithful and efficient service".

(Per the Manual of the Public Schools of the City of Chester, PA, 1900)

A. Duncan Yocum, PhD
Thomas S. Cole
J. Linwood Eisenberg
Dr. Charles A. Wagner
Dr. Charles A. Wagner

Photo from the 1925 Chester High School Annual

Dr. Charles A. Wagner (July 1, 1917- November 21,1924)
Samuel C. Miller (1924-) Miller was the Assistant Superintendent at the time of Dr. Wagner's death and was appointed acting Superintendent until a replacement was hired.
Dr. Norman W. Cameron (? - 1927 - ?)

F. Herman Fritz
Photo from the 1932 Chester Times Year Book
F. Herman Fritz (? - September 1933 - June 1941 - April 1950)

[Biographical Sketch]

Addison H. Showalter; Photo courtesy of Mary Constantini Larner
Addison H. Showalter

Photo courtesy of
Mary Constantini Larner,

Addison H. Showalter (April 1950 - June 1958)

Was Assistant Superintendent 1942-1950
Was a member of the Chester School Board from 1959-1969

[Biographical Sketch]

Charles D. Long; Photo couresty of Mary Constantini Larner
Charles D. Long

Photo courtesy of
Mary Constantini Larner,

Charles D. Long [Mrs. Long taught at Wetherill School]
(June 1958 - ?)

Was Assistant Superintendent 1950-1958

John J. Vaul; Photo couresty of Mary Constantini Larner
John J. Vaul

Photo courtesy of
Mary Constantini Larner,

John J. Vaul (? - 1974-75 - ?)
Harold Tilghman Smith; Photo courtesy of Bob Vaughan
Harold Tilghman Smith

Photo courtesy of
Bob Vaughan

Harold Tilghman Smith (1982 - 1991)

Board Members:

List of Officers of the Chester School Board, 1865-1907

John Butterworth, President 1918
Horace Witsel (1900)
George Mitchell, President 1924

December 1936: - 1

Frank Andrews
George Carney
Ray Diament
Harry Hynes
Lewis Hunt
Charles Larkin, Jr.
Archie Levy
Hiram Turner
Estella Von Hagen

December 1939: - 1

Frank Andrews
George Carney
Rocco DiProphetis
Harry Holcroft
Samuel L. Hooven
Harry Hynes
Lewis Hunt
Archie Levy
Estella VonHagen

Administrative Personnel:
Veronica O'Rourke, Director of Elementary Education & Curriculum c. 1950

The entire Administrative Staff in 1950:
(Thanks to Bob Vaughan, bbvaughan@aol.com, for this information.)

Superintendent: Addison H. Showalter
Assistant Superintendent: Charles D. Long
Director of Elementary Ed: Veronica O'Rourke
School Psychologist: Ruth Trevorrow
Director of Homemaking: Alice Ewing
Director of Phisical Ed: Thom Cockill
Director of Music: Robert Vaughan
Director of Vocational Ed: Charles Zinn


Addison H. Showalter, 1959-1969

School Administration Building & Board Meeting Room
18th & Melrose Ave.
(Pictures courtesy of Mr. Jack Swerman, AIA)

Public Schools:
Booker T. Washington Junior High School
7th & Central Ave.

Casimir Pulaski Junior High School

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Clayton School
7th & Thurlow

(see Pulaski Junior High School)

Columbus Elementary
10th & Fulton St.

John Driggins (? - 1974-75 - ?)

Thanks to Bob Vaughan, bbvaughan@aol.com, for this information.

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Dewey Mann School
3rd St. between Jeffrey & Yarnell

Some recollections from Bob Kertis, kert@bellatlantic.net:

Having grown up in the Dewey School neighborhood, I have a few recollections. I attended there from 1941 to 1949. At that time it was two schools, Horace Mann, grade 1-6 and Dewey grades 7 & 8. The school was located on 3rd St. between Jeffrey and Yarnell Sts. in what was called the West end of Chester. The area was a mix of residences, retail stores and manufacturing ind. The people who lived there were mostly 1st and 2nd generation Europeans with some minorities. The school is no longer there, and I would call that part of town a depressed area.
          Addison Showalter was the principal when I started school, he either moved on or retired shortly afterwards. After he left John J. Vaul was the principal. He was drafted into the Army and Nathaniel Plafker was the interim principal. Upon Vauls return, Plafker went on to teach at Chester High School.
          Some of the teachers I recall were "Dutch" Boyer who was the boys P.E. instructor, later to go on to C.H.S. There was a 6th grade teacher named Morton who was a decendent of a signer of  Declaration of Independence, John Morton. Also there was Mrs. Hutchinson,  4th grade, who's son was in the Merchant Marines, on a Liberty ship that was torpedoed and broke in half. During the war years there was a scrap metal drive and everyone brought something and put it on a pile next to the school. After the scrap metal was removed a small Tank was put on display in front of the school.
          Across the street from the school was the Felton Fire House. They had a sounding horn that would notify the volunteers of the location of the fire. It was similar to the Morse code. On the other side of Yarnell was a bank that occasionally gave out fly swatters or yardsticks with their name on it. I believe it was D.C.N.B. On the second floor above the bank was a Dentists office. Dr. Smith was his name and he had been around for a long time. The patients would sit around the room waiting there turn, not unlike a Barber shop. I still think of the syringe with three finger holes being refilled from a vile
and being purged  of air.
          Other recollections of the area were Lord's Bicycle repair on 3rd near Townsend. Eros's Bakery on Palmer St. who made great rolls. And at 2nd and Palmer was the Chester Brewery with the aroma of the spent Hops on the sidewalk outside of the building awaiting removal. Of course everyone remembers Andy's Bar & Grill at 3rd and Palmer with its all male review.
          A few other things that aren't there anymore, Levy's furniture store, the Strand and Lyric theaters and Buddy's sandwich shop. Also the Chester-Bridgeport Ferry that handled the traffic before the Whitman, Memorial and Barry bridges were built.

Eyre School
322 West 7th St.

The Eyre School was located in the Eyre home on the same property where the Chester High Vocational Building was erected in 1941.

In October of 1928 there were 143 students enrolled.

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Franklin School
Concord Ave. between 3rd & 4th St.

Frederick Douglass Junior High School
7th & Central Ave.

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Gartside School
2nd & Franklin St.

Some Teachers:
Miss Mary E. Burke

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Graham School
11th & Madison St.

Harrison Public School
Townsend St., below Second

Erected spring of 1873 and named Townsend Street School

Harvey School
5th & Welsh St.

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Horace Mann School



Hoskins School
5th & Welsh

Howell School
3rd & Lamokin

Jefferis School
12th & Melrose Ave.

George Jones School
17th & Walnut

Built 1902

Langston Public School
4th & Edwards St.

(When erected in 1889, this school was named Lincoln School)

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Larkin Grammar School
9th & Crosby St.


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Lincoln School
8th & Lincoln St.

(Langston Public School was also formerly known as Lincoln School)

Main Street School
704 Main St.

Pasquale DiGiacomo (? - 1974-75 - ?)

Thanks to Bob Vaughan, bbvaughan@aol.com, for this information.

Martin School
15th & Walnut

McCay School
11th & Edwards

Morton School
7th & Morton Ave.

Oak Grove School
(later the first John Wetherill School)
24th St.

Omma School
3rd & Kerlin (1900)

Some former Teachers:
Miss Hansel (1900)

Patterson School
Penn & Patterson

Perry Wright School
Powell School
18th & Upland

Pulaski Junior High School
(formerly Clayton School)
7th & Harwick

Wesley Rhoades (1974-75)
Frank Hashorva (vice principal 1974)

Showalter Junior High; Photo courtesy of Mary Constantini Larner

Showalter Jr. High School
9th & Lloyd

1958 - Present

smedley.jpg (35564 bytes)

Photo courtesy of
Jane Unger, enchantments@hootowlhollow.com

Smedley Jr. High School
17th & Upland



Stetser Elementary School
17th & Melrose Ave.

Sun Village School
12th & Melrose Ave

Townsend Street School

(See Harrison Public School)

Thurlow Grammar School
2nd & Thurlow

(Later became the Ukranian Social Club)

Toby Farms Elementary School
Trimble Boulevard & Bridgewater Rd.

Constructed 1963, addition in 1966

Joseph Ferrara (? - 1974-75 - ?)
     Thanks to Bob Vaughan, bbvaughan@aol.com, for this information.
Joyce A. Wells (1998-present)
Robert Crawford (1991-1998)
William Jones

"Regarding Toby Farms School. It was constructed in 1963, with an addition in 1966. It currently is grades K to 5 with 741 students.

Since 1998 the Principal is Joyce A. Wells. Prior to Mrs. Wells the principal was Robert Crawford (1991-1998).  Before Mr. Crawford the principal was William Jones.

The school and community of Toby Farms was built on farmland owned by John P. Crozer. At the time that Crozer owned the land it was called Sheperd's Plain. A clock tower stood on the property and was torn down in 1971.  The clock tower can be seen on the shoulder patch of any member of the Chester Township police force. Crozer renamed his farm in 1916. He dropped the name Sheperd's Plain and replaced it with Toby's Farm. Toby was a horse owned by Crozer and a particular favorite of his. Over time the possessive "Toby's Farm" has become the plural Toby Farms."

John Costello, Vice Principal Toby Farms School, costello50@hotmail.com

Watts School
4th & Edwards

Wetherill School
24th & Potter

Original John Wetherill (formerly Oak Grove) School

William Penn Elementary School
Highland Ave. & Township Line Rd.


Starr School (The "Old" Chester High School)
5th & Welsh St.

Chester High.jpg (311031 bytes)

(Picture from before the addition was built in 1919)

Chester High School
Located in the block formed by 8th & 9th, Parker & Fulton Streets.



"New" Chester High School
9th St. between Penn & Barclay Sts.

This school was constructed on the site of the original Chester Hospital.

South Chester High School
Eddystone High School
Eddystone, PA

Private & Parochial
Archmere Academy
Claymont, DE

Chester Academy / Gilbert's Academy
9th & Potter St.

Many of Chester's prominent citizens received their education at this academy directed by Mr. & Mrs. George Gilbert.

Some Students:
Alice Edwards (later principal at Thurlow and Horace Mann Schools)

The following appeared on 11/16/1999 in the Delaware County Daily Times "Other Times" column by Len Casterline:

"100 Years Ago: School life at the Chester Academy is pleasant, profitable and productive.  Students can study business, shorthand and typewriting.  The school takes special pains with backward, delicate or peculiar pupils.  Scholars range from 9 to 25 years of age.  Books are free and distant students are given six months car fare.  The school is at Broad [9th] and Potter Sts."



Chester Day Nursery

E. 5th St. near Madison

Operated or supervised by Mrs. Walter Buckley

Dougherty Sisters Dancing School (see Businesses: Music & Dance)

Providence Ave.

Holy Ghost School
3rd & Booth Streets

Immaculate Heart of Mary School
Norris & Mary Streets

In June of 1992 Immaculate Heart of Mary and Resurrection of Our Lord parish schools were closed.  Students were transferred to St. Robert's parish school.

Notre Dame Catholic Girls High School
Moylan, PA

(While it wasn't in Chester, it was the Catholic high school that Chester Girls attended.)

A picture from the mid to late 1940's of Notre Dame school bus driver M. P. Maitland and two Notre Dame students in the doorway of the bus.

Resurrection School
10th & Highland Ave.

Shiloh Development Academy, Inc.
703 Central Ave.



St. Anthony's School

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St. Hedwig's School


St. James' c. 1950
Photo courtesy of John T. Meli

St. James High School
Near 20th & Providence Ave.

Rev. John J. O'Connor (1950)
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Adolph J. Baum, Principal (1955)

Some of the Coaches of St. James High School:
Jack Ramsay, (Basketball, 1949)

Student Council Officers (October 1949):
Samuel L. Porcelli, Traffic Lieutenant
Thomas F. Fannon, Chief justice
Herman J. Sweeney, President
Lawrence J. Pierce, Lunch marshal
Joseph H. Ridgik, Gym captain

1954 Varsity Championship Football Team & Coaches
(Photos courtesy of Vince Casciato)

Contact the St. James' Alumni Association at:

St.James Alumni Association
P.O. Box 383
Ridley Park, Pa.  19078

or visit their website: www.stjbulldogs.org

St. Katharine Drexel School

1901 Potter Street
Chester, PA 19013
(610) 872-7358

Administration: Sisters of St. Joseph
Staff: Sisters of St. Joseph
Sisters: Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Lay Faculty

5/21/2007: "Saint Katharine Drexel School (1901 Potter Street, Chester) will close its doors on June 13, 2007. A new school will continue under the name "Drexel Neuman Academy" This is a joint effort with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, St. Katharien Drexel Church, Neumann college and the Sister of St. Francis. When I get additional info I will forward."

Thanks to
Ed Larkin, Business Manger
St. Katharine Drexel Church

St. Michael's School
7th St.

[Class of 1956 Reunion]

St. Roberts' Elementary School
Near 20th & Providence Ave.

In June of 1992 Immaculate Heart of Mary and Resurrection of Our Lord parish schools were closed.   Students were transferred to St. Robert's parish school.

St. Rose of Lima School
Colleges / Universities:
Chester Commercial College

8th & Sproul St.

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Crozer Theological Seminary
Upland Avenue, Upland, PA


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PMC_Stadium.jpg (35962 bytes)

Pennsylvania Military Academy (PMA)

"My husband's great-grandfather, John Shedwick, was the builder of the original Pennsylvania Military College building, still "Old Main" at Widener. The old files of the Delaware Co. Republican newspaper at the Del. Co. Hist. Soc. tell the whole story."
Kay Hutchinson, bkhutch@dmv.com

Pennsylvania Military College (PMC)

Widener University

Visit Widener University's Web Site

Visit the Widener University Archives

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Sleeper's College

Neighboring Communities: Eddystone

Eddystone High School


Media High School


Parkside Elementary School

Ridley Park

Ridley Park High School

Ridley Township

Ridley Township (pre 1966) / Ridley High School


Trainer Elementary School

1 - Thanks to A. Harold Showalter, hshowalter@pa.net, son of Addison H. Showalter, for this information from the "Dewey-Horace Mann School Season's Greetings from the Principal", December 1936 and December 1939.


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If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about the history of any of these schools, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 John A. Bullock III.

This page last updated 09/07/10

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