Smithfield High School 1885 - 1972
Compiled by John E. Borkowski, June 23, 2006
For the Smithfield Ohio Historical Society

To order a book contact Lee Mooney at P.O. Box 192, Smithfield, OH 43948 or email -

The list of students from 1885 – 1951 was compiled by Lee Mooney and was published in the 1952 SHS yearbook. John also acknowledges Ann Marie Grayzar, who was very helpful with this project.

John begins with a spreadsheet format with the class of 1885 and works through each graduating class and includes important data needed by any researcher. Near the middle of the book is an insert photocopy of the program from the 61st Annual Commencement dated, May 19, 1947.

NOTE – As I review the surnames of Smithfield High School graduates, I can see how the small rural community has changed through the years and how the old pioneers mingled with the new immigrants. The opening of the coal mines and the ushering of emigration to America during the Ellis Island time frame shows its face in this small rural area. By 1947 the following are listed as graduates. Note the old pioneer surnames amongst the late 19th and early 20th century immigrants: Esther A. Barzan, Corolla Becks, Barbara J. Beveridge, Ralph A. Boyd, Johnnie M. Brewster, Robert L. Captor, Ruth J. Cassels, Eunice E. Christian, Norma J. Clark, Eugene Clark, Marian Dennis, Henry B. Felix, Mary A. Ferrari, Stanley Folda, Ernest E. Freeman Jr., Barbara Getman, Gerald C. Hasley, Pauline M. Hajny, Milton Harris, Bertha K. Bruschak, Shirley J. James, Andrew Janoski, Ross F. Johns, Larsell Johnson, Johnnie M. Jones, Phyllis M. Klan, Virginia L. Marbais, Wm. E. Moore, Genevieve L. Morgan, Helen S. Palinchak, Charles W. Palmer, Mary Anna Paolucci, Elizabeth J. Paraska, Walter J. Ragets, Joseph L. Rodak, John Rudik Jr., Wm. Rudlosky, James Schiffner, Bernadette L. Scott, Dorothy M. Sherbetz, Irene J. Slivenski, Dolores E. Smith, Irene Toth, Ruth E. Turner, Edward Waldman, Ruth E. Watkins, Merrill H. Welday, Roberta W. Ritz, Philip L. West, and Walter L. Whitten Jr. {Article compiled by Flora L. VerStraten}
{Treasured School List – York, Smithfield Twp.}

The following was taken from the original ledger, dated January 17th, 1824 - School List at York, Jefferson County, Ohio No. 6, J. B. Brenan, & Matheny, Dv. (David)
James Francis Jas’s Leech Benj Chance
James Leeper Robert Brown Perry Chance
Ja’s Moore Eli Quaintance Sam’l Fry
Walter Francis Jn’o McCormick Jn’o Stringer
David Carson Wm Barkhurst J {illegible}
---Updegraff Illegible Wm. Barkhurst
Jn’o Johnston Jn’o Eakins Jn’o Boales
Wm Simkins Wm Braden Jn’o Belsh
John Irwin Isaac Pearce Wm Stoneman
Robt Woods Joseph Bernh Geo Gourley
R Spurrier David Matheny Daniel Honeycut

{Appeared in the Herald Star, Sunday, June 20, 1982, page 5- A and is exactly as it appears. Original article appeared May 28, 1935} The stage was beautifully decorated in the colors of the graduating class and the 50 piece school band under the direction of Howard B. Beckes played the processional…It was the 50th anniversary of the first graduating class of Smithfield High School. The history of the Smithfield schools dated back 133 years. The first school in Smithfield Township was taught in the village of Smithfield in 1802. It was taught in the old Friends’ meetinghouse by a Mr. Shackleford. Other early teachers were Miss Armilla Garretson, Joel Hutton, the shoemaker, and James Tolleston, an Irishman.

The first schoolhouse was built about 1803, a second in 1839 and a third in 1852. The grade school building was erected in 1906, when Mr. Binckley was superintendent. The high school building was finished for the fall term of 1927 and an addition was built that year.

The school received its first grade charter in 1911. In 1930 a first class standard elementary charter was received. In 1934 membership was gained in the North Central Assc. of Secondary Schools and Colleges. In 1935, a first grade six-year charter was granted.

In 1885 the first class numbering two was graduated under J.A.B. Wood. One of these graduates was Mrs. Elizabeth Foster Elliott and the other Jacob Rush. The smallest class to graduate consisted of one member in 1906. The largest class was 1935, a class of 38. In all including 541 have been graduated.

The high school had an enrollment of 30 in 1885, with one teacher. By 1906, it had reached 70, and two teachers were employed. Another teacher was added in 1912 and another in 1922 when the enrollment reached 137 with seven teachers. In 1935 with the organization of a six-year high school the numbers increased to 431 with 16 teachers. Adding the evening enrollment of students to over 500…

The first baccalaureate was held in the Friends’ Church by the class of 1895. The sermon was preached by Rev. Pringle of Mt. Pleasant. Since 1928 they have been held in the high school auditorium.

Some 1,200 people witnessed the 50th anniversary commencement exercises of Smithfield High School. Miss Lucille Fowler led the chorus of 350 pupils. The invocation was given by Rev. Byron S. Fruit. Miss Margaret Jackson, the valediction of the class, chose her topic, "Looking ahead."

Miss Louise Murphy and James Ruth, who shared the salutatory honors, spoke on "Three Hundred Years Progress in Education" and "Looking Backwards 50 years." The key was presented to the junior class by Ralph Pietrangelo, the class President. Miss Ethel Rickey, president as the junior class accepted the key.

The audience was then asked to join in the singing of the school song, "Black and Gold", and the service closed with the benediction by Rev. J.B. Smith.