{From D.W. Thompson book titled, Richmond Community Historical Society 1815-1986.} Lot No. 7, Calvin Johnston bought this lot on Aug. 31, 1959. Dave Grimm is the present owner (1986). The old No. 3 School and lime mill was here. District No. 3 School, the old Shelly School or Old Buttermilk. Mattie Hout, born in 1871, walked to this school from the Peter Hout farm. She later taught here in 1896. The last teacher was John Harbourt in 1901. Pupils that year were: Noda Culp, Paul, John and Fred Thompson, Izetta, Jessie and Mildred Price, Tracy Watt, Emma Jackson, Cliff McDonald, Jay Hout, Emma, John and Sarah Reed. {Below - Shelly School}

Lot No. 91 and No. 92: The Classical Institute bought these lots April 23, 1845 for $60 and built the college here that same year. The Red Brick School was built in 1883 on the same foundation and was used as a school until 1952. It was destroyed by fire June 29, 1966. Present owner: M.E. Church. The out lot: Thomas Hammond donated this one half acre to the directors of the Richmond Classical Institute April 23, 1845.

Old Red Brick School, built 1883

The History of Richmond College – Reunion Times, July 27, 1889. John T. Scott read this at the College Commencementceremony in 1889.

Richmond College was established by a suggested idea, taught by Rev. J.C. Tydall in 1833. A general assembly on Jan. 22, 1835 created and called The Board of Directors of the Richmond Classical Institute. The object of the institute was to afford instructions in the liberal arts and sciences. Provisions for a school began July 31, 1843. A committee was formed to appoint a secure and suitable building and the services of a competent teacher. The basement of the old M. E. Church was secured by lease for two years. The school was divided into two sessions beginning with the first Monday in May and the first Monday in November of each year.

On October 1st Rev. John R. Dundas was chosen president and D. D. McBryar, professor of Languages and Natural Sciences and began teaching in November of 1843. Rev. Dundas resigned March 28, 1845 and the same year the board accepted D. D. McBryar’s resignation.  On April 4, 1845 E. M. Stanton was elected a member of the board. At a meeting January 6, 1845 it was found that a more spacious building was necessary. Two lots No. 91 and 92 were purchased from Joseph Talbott and his wife, Mary for $60.00 and one half-acre from Thomas Hammond. On this site where now stands the Common Red Brick School Building of Richmond, was erected a two-story brick structure, 32 feet by 45 feet which was built and used as the Richmond Classical Institute. The building was dedicated the latter part of 1845. The committee purchased a bell.

By the 25th of June that year John Comen was the Professor of Language and Moral Science and William Server that of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. D.D. McBryar was elected President of the Institution. Three more professorships were created and Rev. Wm. Lorimer, Professor of Hebrew, Evidences of Christianity, and Natural Philosophy, Rev. B. F. Sawhill, Professor of Ancient and Modern History and Political Economy, and Dr. John Cook, Professor of Chemistry, Geology and Bellesttress.

A change of name was authorized in November 15, 1847 to Richmond College and the newly elected president was J. R. W. Sloane. The degree of A. B. was conferred upon John C. Brisbin, John McGregor and James C. March on Sept. 11, 1849.

The Presbytery of Steubenville took control of the college by 1850 and Mr. Sloane resigned and Rev. Cyrus C. Biggs was chosen his successor. The graduating class of 1850 consisted of: Wm. Pyle, Lewis Weaver, Thomas McFarren, Josiah Waggoner and Aaron F. Torrence, only of whom are still living. By Oct. 15, 1851 the Prebytery surrendered control back to the old school board. Mr. Riggs resigned leaving the new president S. L. Coulter. Joseph Lindley succeeded Mr. Coulter.

In 1854 the college passed to the Pittsburgh M.E. Conference and Mr. Lindley resigned and S. Bonifield was elected May 10, 1856 followed by Rev. S. H. Nesbit. He resigned followed by J.T. Holmes who remained until the spring of 1862. The Civil War then being in progress, he raised a company of volunteers and entered the Union Army. Rev. J. H. Peacock followed by Mr. Marquis took charge of the College. Lewis Rabe succeeded him then G.W. Baker by April of 1864. In 1866 L.W. Ong received the Presidency and on Jan. 19, 1871 B. L. Crew was elected and since that time continues to hold the office of Secretary. Under L.W. Ong the school continued until 1872 when steps were taken to erect a new college and boarding hall. The Old College and grounds were sold to the Board of Education of Richmond on Nov. 1, 1872 for $1,750.00 for school purposes. Lewis Ong secured a site by the donation of one acre of ground on July 6, 1872.

On a beautiful mound on these grounds, the building is where the school stands and the boarding hall a few feet from the college. Rev. Sloane, Dickey, Marvin and Watkins delivered addresses on the occasion. The bell, which was purchased for the old college in 1845 was transferred to the new college and was dedicated on Aug. 28, 1873,

In 1877 Rev. W. J. Brugh was elected upon the death of Professor Ong. Mr. Brugh was succeeded by S. S. Simpson in Sept. 6, 1878 and remained until Nov. 17, 1881 when Rev. M. Stahl purchased it. In July 19, 1884 his seat was considered vacant.  The college stood idle until Aug. 3, 1886 when Rev. S.C. Faris opened the school again and continued two years until the purchase was made by Dr. George W. MacMillan on June 30, 1888.

May the same old bell continue to peal forth its chimes of old and stir up the hearts of the young and rising generation…and may this be but the dawning of a brighter day for the History of Richmond College.


Taken at the Richmond College in 1928. Left to Right: Carrie Swickard, Bob Stephenson, Lizzie Talbott Burchfield, Jim Elliott, Matilda Rawlings McClain, Jay McClain, Carrie Scott Purviance, Walter Purviance.


Richmond College

Interesting tidbits about the Richmond College and humorous writings - Let us append some more important rules, which are few: Girls must keep their feet under the table and boys are not allowed to lick their plates, when granted use of one.

Some of the last students to attend were, Paul Thompson, Bill Kilgore, Della Simpson and Grace Hohl of Quarryville, Pa. Other family names mentioned in the college catalog from 1848 on are as follows: Beebout, Cunningham, Cavitt, Crew, Crawford, Stevenson, Douglass, Ford, Hanlin, Hobson, Rothacker, Irvine, Gorsuch, Harbout, Kirk, Rinehart, McKinley, Hout, Donaldson, Frederick, Graham, Moores, Patterson, Probert, Shull, Swickard, Winters, and many, many more.

What became of the old college, the old books, and the old bell? The bell was cracked ringing the good news of WWI victory and it was donated for scrap in WWII. The  ruble of old books on the floor is keenly remembered, some authored by Dr. MacMillian. The Junior K.K.K. cleaned out the old building in the summer of 1923 and burned everything. There were a few pictures taken by Mr. J. Sheldon Scott in the summer of 1923, which show desks and blackboards, and some remember the old grand piano, which would not play. The building was destroyed by wind in March of 1929. At that time the Specht Lumber Co. owned it, having acquired it from the KluKluxKlan. The Klan had repaired the building. It is thought that the Klan acquired it from the MacMillian heirs. It is said that the MacMillan heirs sold the ground unlawfully in the first place because it was intended for only school purposes. The village did purchase the grounds on Aug. 22, 1936 for $5,500. The cornerstone from the college was used in the shelter house, which was constructed in July 1938, where later a shelter house was built and is still standing today.

The college continued until about 1903-1904. It had no endowment and its way was that of many small town colleges. The big state supported universities swallowed them. While they lasted they sent out men of fine moral character into all channels of life where they were influential in moulding fine public sentiment.

{Taken from the original program} The Graduating Class of 1888 Richmond Schools, Fourth Annual Commencement was held at the M.E. Church, Friday Evening, June 1, 1888.

  • Louis Miller                                            
  • Lulu McGowan
  • ennie Cavitt                                         
  • Annie Cole
  • Blanche Douglas

Programme - 1888

Invocation – Rev. S.C. Faris

Oration – Count Eberhart’s Last Foray, Louis Miller

Essay – Honor waits at Labor’s Gate, Lulu M’Gowan

Oration – What shall I do? Jennie Cavitt

Essay – All Monuments not Marble, Annie Cole

Oration – Margery Gray, Blanche Douglas

Address – Rev. Jos. Buchanan

Presentation of Diplomas – O.M. Ong

Benediction – Rev. S.C. Faris

{Taken from D.W. Thompson’s book, Richmond Community Historical Society)Obituary of Dr. Jessie F. Shane, 1914 – Jessie Fremont Shane, M.D., entered into rest at her home in the McKee Flats on Adams St. Sat. at 10:25p.m…Born September 10, 1850 at the Shane homestead in Ross Township, she was the daughter of John and Susan. Educated in the school of that township, she later taught there for 14 years, leaving the impress of her kindly character and talents on the pupils in her charge. She finished her education at Richmond, Hopedale and Scio Colleges and after ceasing to teach, went to Cleveland Medical College from which she graduated in 1896. She practiced medicine in East Springfield, Richmond and for the past nine years in Steubenville…She had been a member of the Presbyterian Church since childhood…Remains will be taken to the home of C.R. Shane of Island Creek for service and interment will be made at center Chapel.