The following information is taken from a packet that was distributed to local teachers when school groups would attend the Bowers School for a day-long field trip. It is unknown who prepared this information:
Very little information was uncovered concerning the very early history of the school. It is recorded that Isaac Bowers, from Berks County, and Abraham Grubb from Bucks County, came to this valley in the early part of 1800. The former purchased a farm from John Free, and the latter from the Hartsock property, on which was located Fort Hartsock, famous in the history of Woodcock Valley in Indian times. It could therefore be logically assumed that the name of the one-room brick school was probably originated from this Bowers family, who may have then yet owned the land on wich the structure was built. No specific date was located when the school was erected or first used.
It is believed that this educational facility was preceeded by an earlier log school which was apparently situated approximately 1/4 mile to the North of the Bowers location, and which was called the Garner School. Africa's History of Huntingdon County indicates that the first Lutheran Congregation in what is now Penn Township was organized as early as 1804 by Rev. Frederick Haas, a licentiate of Pennsylvania Synod, at Garner's School house, and this same history further indicates that in 1881 Penn Township had eight schools running for five months (out of the year) with a total attendance of 309. However, no locations were named for the eight schools.
The Old Stone Church located adjacent to the Bowers School was erected about 1838. Other bits of information pieced together by the Committee leads us to believe the school was probably built sometime after 1883, and did, in fact, replace the log Garner School.
Several of our older citizens who were at the Bowers School have been able to recall some of the teachers who taught prior to 1900, but were unable to place them in any chronological order. From 1900, we are reasonably sure of the tenures as the educational leaders of their ________.
Copies of attendance lists from 1923/24 and later years were found available from the records of the Huntingdon Area School District. No particular information could be gleaned from the records at the Huntingdon County Court House regarding deeds or early history.
Everyone who attended Bowers School has fond memories of their school days, and most of us retain some particular memories about our experiences when we attended school - whether it is the deep snows, sled riding on the hill nearby, those softball games at recess, falling in the creek nearby, carrying water from Grubb's or Weller's Spring for the school water jug, getting the annual Christmas tree and trimming it, the Christmas programs, picnics on the last day of school - whatever it may be...AND, just about everyone remembers playing or eating lunch under the tree near the road which had an unusual exposed root formation - a good place to hide when you played Hide & Seek or Cowboys and Indians. And how about those COLD SEATS in the outhouse? But that big wood paddle with the holes in it could warm your sitter if you got into trouble. MANY, MANY are the memories which we may recall and share with our friends on this memorable occassion.
According to the record, the school was closed in the year 1950, and thereafter Penn Township children rode the busses to the newly renovated Woodcock Valley Elementary School at McConnellstown.
The Bowers School structure as it stands today is truly an historic monument of memories to all of us who attended there and received all or part of our elementary education.
It would be hoped that sufficient interest will prevail to preserve this structure as part of the heritage and history of the Woodcock Valley.
It is presently owned and maintained by the Old Stone Church Cemetery Association.
The information below is taken from the same document as the one mentioned above:
Prior to 1900 (Alphabetically):
It is possible there were others unknown to the Committee.
|Harriet & Lorenzie Norris||1911-1912|
|Miss McElwain (substitute)||1913-1914|
|Edythe Horton Grubb||1918-1919|
|Mary Garner Hunter||1919-1920|
|A. Isabel Bigelow||1937-1939|
|J. Allen Isett||1939-1943|
|CLOSED - STUDENTS BUSSED TO GRANTSVILLE||1945-1946|
Chloe Garner taught four years at the Bowers School.
This photo was taken in 1931, when she was teaching
at the Upper Corner School.