DHS History

Source:  Dearborn High School 2008 Alumni Directory

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The above photo is remarkable in that it captures the first Dearborn High building (known as the "Old Brick School", built in 1893 and razed in 1925), the Garrison School (later renamed Harry A Salisbury Elementary School, erected in 1917 and still standing), and also Dearborn High School (later renamed Ray H Adams Junior High School, built in 1925 and still standing). Since (1) the photo appears to be taken in winter, (2) the Old Brick School was razed in 1925, (3) Dearborn High School was built in 1925, and (4) both buildings are seen standing in this picture, it was most likely taken circa winter of 1925. .........In addition to the Mason Library (later renamed the Bryant Library) and the Calvin Theater complex (under construction), one can also make out the First United Methodist Church of Dearborn across the street from what was then Dearborn High (and later Adams Junior High).

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Among memorabilia of old Dearborn High School is this picture of the graduating class of June 1922. In the center of the second row from the bottom are C.V. Millard, Principal, and Ray H. Adams, Superintendent of Schools. Old Dearborn High, located on Mason Street between Morley and Garrison, became Ray Adams Junior High when a new high school was built on Outer Drive. Because of declining enrollments, Adams closed in June 1982. By zooming in on this picture, we can determine that F. McGuigan was the DHS '22 class President, M. Sprague was the class Vice President, W. Scott was the class Treasurer, and L. Fisher was the class Secretary. This class picture appears to have been prepared by White Studio at 1924 Woodward, Detroit. Assuming the entire class is included in the picture, the size of Dearborn High School's graduating Class of June 1922 was 20 (excluding the Principle and Superintendent). The largest graduating class of Dearborn High School was the Class of 1971.....with a graduating class size of 640 (635 June and 5 August graduates). [Photograph courtesy Bill Gemmell]

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The school band representing Dearborn High around 1928.  One can just make out the bottom of the letters, "DHS" - at the top of the stage in this picture.  (Photograph courtesy Dearborn Historical Museum)

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The following historical information concerning our Dearborn public schools (wherein many of us spent a lot of our childhood days) can be found in Chapter 5 of Images of America - Dearborn, Michigan by Craig Hutchison and Kimberly Rising, Dearborn Historical Museum, City of Dearborn, published by Arcadia Publishing, copyright 2003.

                                                                                                                 Stan

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The following article was published by The American Local History Network - Michigan.  Its author and date are unknown but it must have been written before the early 1970s because it makes reference to Garrison School as "now Salisbury"......but Harry A Salisbury Elementary School ceased to operate as a Dearborn public school in the early 1970s.  One unusual aspect of the article is that is does not make any reference to Ora Lynn Smith junior high school (where many DHS '71 classmates went to school).  The article's emphasis seems to be more on the founders and construction of various schools than on their enrollment or operations as learning centers.  Since this article concerns Dearborn public schools (as do the above articles), no mention is made of well known Dearborn parochial schools such as Sacred Heart, Divine Child, or St. Anselm.

                                                                                                                     Stan Guinn

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The 27 Public Schools of Dearborn
Wayne County, Michigan
 
 
Adams Junior High School
 
This school was originally built in 1926 as Dearborn High School, however after the opening of the present Dearborn High School in 1957, the school underwent remodeling and was reopened in 1961 and was dedicated as the Ray H. Adams Junior High School.
The name was chosen in honor of the former Superintendent of Schools, Ray. H. Adams. In 1917, Adams, came to the Detroit area to seek a teaching position, having had already taught in several other small school districts. He applied and received a reply from Samuel Long, that a vacancy would be available in Dearborn for Superintendent. Adams, had not considered such a position, nor had any interest in the opening. After passing through Dearborn on the train, he had second thoughts. After he arrived in Ypsilanti, Adams came back to Dearborn and was hired as Superintendent. Among the highlights of Adams' career in Dearborn were: the building of six new school buildings, introduction of music and kindergarten to the schools, the establishment of domestic science and printing in the high school, and establishment of art. Ray H. Adams retired in 1958, having served as Superintendent of District Number 7, Acting Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent of the Dearborn Public Schools and head of the Personnel Department for the schools.
The school building was opened as a facility for grades 6 through 12, and gradually was reduced to a four-year and then a three-year school. The June 1957 class was the last Dearborn High class to graduate from the building. The following September, the school was opened to grades 7th, 8th, and 9th.
 
Clara Bryant Junior High School
 
On October 12, 1949, the Dearborn Board of Education employed an architectural firm to start plans for a new Junior High school building to be located North of Cherry Hill and West of Telegraph. A year later, the plans drawn, suggestion offered, and details revamped, brought about its opening in September 1951.
Dedicated to Clara Bryant Ford (1866-1951), the wife of Henry Ford the building opened with 771 students in grades 5 through 8.
Clara Bryant, for whom the school was named, was born in 1866 in Greenfield Township, Michigan. She was the oldest of 10 children, being 18 years old when she met, Henry Ford at a New Year's Eve party. Clara was quiet and demure and Henry was serious-minded and shy. They were married at the Bryant home on April 11, 1888. They began their lives as parents, and simple farming people but on September 25, 1891, the Fords moved to Detroit, into a house on John R Street. Their only son, Edsel was born in Detroit in 1893. At first, Henry was employed by the Edison Illuminating Company. However, he was soon interested with a gasoline engine in a brick shed behind his house. This interest, led to working on a new-fangled machine, called the automobile. The rest of Ford's life became history.
Clara remained interested in the social life of the Dearborn community and was the one that started the Garden Club in 1915. She also played a major role in the Dearborn Public Library, located on Mason Street. When her husband, Henry became interested in reviving old-fashioned square dances, Clara could not have been happier.
The school was dedicated only days before her death, and has become a living memorial to a vital member of the Dearborn community.
 
Conrad Ten Eyck School
 
The Conrad Ten Eyck School was built as a five room schoolhouse for a subdivision between Oakwood Blvd and Outer Drive in 1945. With houses located in west Dearborn, growing quickly after postwar years, a school was in great demand. By 1949, Ten Eyck School had an additional kindergarten wing built at the south end of the school. As the neighborhood continued to grow, by 1956, more classroom space was necessary. An addition was added and enlarged the school from 6 to 16 classrooms, with a library, science workroom, kitchen, gymnasium, and multipurpose room. This enlargement increased an enrollment of 240 to over 500 students in grades kindergarten through 6th. The school continued to serve as an elementary school until 1976 when due to a decline in enrollment, it was closed. The building itself was used by the Board of Education as the Ten Eyck Resource Center, and later as administrative offices, classrooms, and workshops for teachers and students.
Conrad Ten Eyck came to Detroit from New York in 1802. He was ambitious and by 1814 owned a general store in Detroit, was a land agent and had become a prominent Michigan political figure. Ten Eyck moved to Dearborn in 1823, long before the first wave of settlers and built the Ten Eyck Tavern in 1826 along old Chicago Road. The tavern was often filled to capacity and thousands of westward bound travelers boarded here. When the first railroad came through Dearborn in 1837, the amount of travel by wagon and stage decreased rapidly, and the tavern closed. A fire in 1885 burned the building which was then used for the storage of grain.
Ten Eyck died on August 23, 1847, at the age of 65 years. His sons inherited his large land holdings and these were later sold to Henry Ford and later formed the base area of the Fair Lane Estates.
 
William H. Clark School
 
The William H. Clark School was named after an early Dearborn District #7 school board member. Clark was born in Wayne, Michigan in 1830 and moved to Dearborn after the Civil War. He began working as a brakeman on the Michigan Central Railroad and was gradually promoted to Depot Master at the 3rd Street Depot, in Detroit.
Clark became well known in Dearborn when he advocated the construction of a new brick schoolhouse on the corners of Garrison and Monroe Streets. The land, was at that time, part of the Detroit Arsenal tract, and was given as a grant in 1891. The school housed all of the district’s students from 1st grade through high school, in seven rooms starting in 1893. William Clark became so prominent in local affairs that he was selected as the first Village President in 1893.
In the late 1940s, during the expansion of schools in West Dearborn, many pioneering families were discussed for the naming of a new school. The William H. Clark School was selected and a new school building was located on Silvery Lane and Lawrence Streets that began in March 1950. The school was to be five rooms, with a completion date of September 1950. The school was designed to resemble a one-story ranch house, quite unusual, for any school design in the communities past. Clark opened to 225 students in grade kindergarten through 3rd, in January 1951, to relieve the overcrowded, Haigh School, nearby. In the summer of 1954, four more classrooms were added, and it was operated by the same principal as Haigh.
Due to a decline in enrollment, Clark closed in June 1976, and the building was not used for any other purpose.
 
DuVall School
 
The development of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, brought many changes to the community. New neighborhoods sprung up quickly with men and their families who had come here searching for employment with Fords. In 1921 Southwestern School, at Beech and Francis Streets, was built to relieve overcrowding at the Garrison School (now, Salisbury). In 1928, there were 320 children in grades kindergarten through six. In 1931, after the Edison School was opened, Southwestern became only grades kindergarten through the fourth. During World War II, there were 12 teachers, and each class averaged about 55 students.
In 1958, Southwestern was remodeled as well as renamed. The PTA suggested it be named in honor of the principal of the school, who had held this position since 1928, named, Leo DuVall. They added a gymnasium and two new classrooms, as well as expanding the kindergarten and adding a library.
Leo DuVall came to Dearborn from Deckerville, Michigan in 1928 to become the school's principal (then named, Southwestern). In those days a principal was more than just the manager of a school building. He had to be the Child Accountant during the Depression years, and was responsible for the location of children during the school year. He was also in charge of transportation for the Dearborn Schools. With large and scattered districts, many students were bussed-in, and DuVall was responsible for the placement at each school. In addition, he served as the system's purchasing agent, and submitted a budget and list of materials needed to run each school, at the lowest prices as possible. In June, 1959, DuVall retired as principal, having served over 30 years.
 
EDSEL FORD High School
 
Completed in 1956, Edsel Ford High School, was named after Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford. In 1951, a 40 acre site at Rotunda and Pelham, had been donated by the Ford Motor Company to be designated as Edsel Ford High School. The School Naming Committee chose to honor Edsel Ford because of his many contributions to education through the Ford Foundation.
Edsel became working on the development of the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant in 1912, which in turn led to the expansion of the growth within the city of Dearborn. As a pioneer in the field of airplane manufacture, Ford supported the development of the Ford Tri-Motor Company which was active in the administration of the bomber plant at Willow Run. Following his untimely death in 1943, it was fitting that a modern, school be named in his honor.
Edsel Ford High School is a unique school, in the planning had begun 5 years before the actual construction. A planning committee was named, Edsel Ford Staff Planning Committee to meet with architect from 1951 through 1953 planning layouts of the building.
The Fund for the Advancement of Education, a division of the Ford Foundation, provided a six month study program for 27 teachers at the University of Chicago as well as an additional two years of follow-up to develop a new curriculum. Following World War II, educators changed the direction of curriculum from a vocational one, to a more general attitude. They placed more emphasis on the Humanities and college preparatory courses, and many of the programs pioneered at Edsel Ford High School are now a standard part of the curriculum of high schools across the United States.
The building was constructed in 1955, for 1,440 students with additional space added in 1960. The school is still open and has active enrollment today.
 
EDISON School
 
When Thomas Alva Edison lit the first fire light at the Clinton Inn in a recreation of the incandescent light bulb for a Golden Light Jubilee in 1929, Edison School was already under construction. Harry Vicary, a Dearborn architect, drew up preliminary plans for the building , 2 stories high, 220 feet long, and 30 feet deep, with 10 classrooms, a kindergarten room, library, auditorium, and gymnasium.
Edison School opened on January 26, 1931, with an enrollment of 289 students and principal, Raymond Good. It was formally dedicated on February 11, 1932, the 85th anniversary of Thomas Edison's birth. Attending were, Mrs. Edison and their son, Charles, as special guests.
By 1940, eight classrooms were added as were grades 7th, 8th, and 9th. In 1952, Edison became a Junior High school and 36 classrooms were added, including a new gymnasium, cafeteria, a home economic room, an art room, a new auditorium, expanded library, a band and choral room, and an audio-visual room. In 1953, they added a swimming pool. By 1976, the elementary portion of the school closed and by 1978, the Junior High was closed as well.
 
FAIRLANE Middle School
 
Built in 1951, the Fairlane Middle School was built at Ann Arbor Trail and Outer Drive, on the original location of the Coonville School. Coonville, named after the Valentine Coon family, was a small settlement on the Rouge River, with a general store and a blacksmith shop. This first school building was built in 1841 and burned in 1896. A replacement was built on the same site in 1899, however in 1944, a portion of the Coonville district was annexed by the school district of Dearborn, and an agreement between the Dearborn and Coonville districts allowed high school students to attend, Fordson High School, at a reduced tax rate.
After World War II, the population of this area expanded, and in 1949, a bond issued by the Coonville district along with a millage increase from construction of a new school was passed. The property on which the previous schools had stood, was now the intersection of Ann Arbor Trail and Outer Drive, as the new school was built on the northwest corner of that intersection. This school was named in honor of Clara Bryant Ford and in 1950, the name of the Coonville District #2, was changed to the Fairlane School District, again in honor of the Ford family, who owned land in the area. By 1952, the district had grown and an additional seven new classrooms, were added, as well as a junior high, renamed, in 1956 to Fairlane Middle School.
By March 1971, Fairlane ceased to be an independent school district and was used as a 6th through 9th grade facility by the Dearborn Public Schools, until June of 1977. This was later remodeled and reopened as a branch of the Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn Heights Center, in September 1978.
 
FORDSON High School
 
Fordson High School has an extensive and proud history. Groundbreaking ceremonies for this school were held on April 19, 1926, with the original building costing a whopping $1,946,0443 ! The architect, H.J. Keough, of Detroit was inspired by the Memorial Quadrangle in Yale University, the Lawyers' Club at the University of Michigan, as well as the Rushton and Apethorpe Halls in Northamptonshire, England.
The rapid growing community of Fordson, encouraged the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant to build the school on a 15 acre plot of ground in the center of the city. Prior to the building of Fordson High School all children grades kindergarten through the 12th for Fordson and Springwells areas, were attending Miller School, located on Lois Street, which was built in 1918.
The official dedication of Fordson High School took place the week of March 19th through March 23rd, 1928. 2,000 Junior and Senior High School students occupied the school during its first years. The school administrative offices were eventually moved to Miller School in 1967.
Among the major changes over the past 75 years, the addition of music rooms and the enlargement of its gymnasium facilities have cost 8.5 million dollars, and have caused the most controversy in its entire history.
Fordson High School remains in its serene and calm setting on Ford Road in the City of Dearborn and was recently established as a historical landmark.

 
HENRY FORD School
 
Henry Ford School has the most unusual background of all those present in Dearborn. Until its consolidation with Fordson School District in 1942, the Henry Ford School, was of its own district. Dearborn District #5, was formed in 1837, in the east half of Dearborn Township. Its first school, was a one-room brick building known as the Dort School, and was located on the bank of the Rouge Rivers, just south of the Michigan Central Railroad. In 1912, this building was closed and Henry Ford began purchasing land for his Rouge Plant. He traded the old school site for 5 acres on old Reckner Road (now Southfield Road) and gave the funds to build a new frame schoolhouse. This district became known as the Henry Ford School district, and encompassed Henry Ford's estate. It was one of the smallest and richest school districts in the United States.
In 1926, the white frame school had become too small to accommodate the growing community and a new brick building containing 5 classrooms, a boiler room, two offices, and an auditorium, were constructed on Driscoll Avenue. By 1929, the school had expanded to 16 classrooms, shop facilities, a kindergarten, a music room, swimming pool, library, gymnasium, cooking and sewing rooms, and science laboratories. It was accommodating grades kindergarten through Junior High, and had an enrollment of 515 students.
Henry Ford also provided land for garden plots and its earlier frame school was converted during World War II into a canning factory to process food raised in the garden. He also had students take dancing lessons as well as hired a nurse, doctor, and a dentist for the school.
In 1942 the Henry Ford School District consolidated with Fordson School District and in 1954, it became part of the Dearborn Public Schools. Today the school serves grades kindergarten through the 6th grade.
 
HENRY A. HAIGH School
 
A five-room school house appeared at the intersection of Silvery Land and Coburn, in 1946. Part of the post-war growth, the school was soon named the, Henry A. Haigh School. The original intention was that Haigh and Howard Schools would handle any overflow students from the Lindbergh Elementary School, under the same principal, Harold Myler. The neighborhood grew so quickly, however, that the Haigh School required a principal of its own, and Pat Fordell was named in 1949. Despite many additions to the school, its conditions remained crowded and the William Clark School had to be built in 1951. During the decline of enrollment, in the 1970's, Clark School was closed, and the Haigh School remained open.
Henry A. Haigh was born in Dearborn in 1854. The son of Richard and Lucy Haigh, he remained one of the community's favorite citizens until his death in 1942. He was educated at the Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, and was a well known farmer, financier, promoter, speaker, lawyer, and writer. As a businessman, he was interested in the railroad industry and founded lines from Detroit to Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as local lines from Detroit to Ypsilanti. He was also known as a local historian and formed the Dearborn Historical Commission, which led to the establishment of the Dearborn Historical Museum. Haigh kept a diary, of each day from his enrollment to the Michigan Agricultural College in 1875 until his death in 1942. This diary has become one of Dearborn's most outstanding historical contributions from this time frame.
 
JOSHUA HOWARD School
 
Originally opened as York School in 1946, on North York Street, this five room school handled grades kindergarten through 3rd. The streets around the school at this time were unpaved and the neighborhood was only just developing. In February 1948, 4 additional classrooms were added and by the fall of 1948, plans were made to expand the school to a full elementary, covering kindergarten through grade 6. In September of 1949, after its expansion the school was reopened and named, Joshua Howard Elementary with a total of 521 students. The school prospered through the 1950's and 1960's, with an additional 6 classrooms, a teacher's room, and supply room added in 1953.
The renaming of York School to Joshua Howard in 1949, was part of the expansion of the Dearborn Public Schools. During this prosperous time in Dearborn's history a total of 14 new schools had been built in the area, and the school naming committee was busy submitting names from the recesses of Dearborn’s pioneers. Colonel Joshua Howard was sent to Dearborn as a supervisor of construction for the Detroit Arsenal at Dearborn Ville in 1832. Howard quickly became involved in the growing community and built one of the finest homes in Dearborn in 1834. The house was located on Old Chicago Road (now Michigan Avenue) where the Dearborn Towers now stand today. In addition to his duties as an officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Howard served as a United States Marshal.
 
LOUIS W. HOWE School
 
One of the last phases to face the Dearborn Public School system, in the post-war era was the building of the Louis W. Howe School on Oakwood Boulevard in September 1955. Designed by Jahr-Anderson Associates of Detroit, the building featured a walk-through classroom system instead of long corridors or hallways. It was intended to relieve overcrowding in Snow School as well as Ten Eyck School, around which, the Oakwood Hospital was beginning to be built. With the declining enrollment of the 1970's the Superintendent, Anthony Witham became involved in the selection of schools to be closed. Howe was one suggested first, however, after a school board meeting, it was left open. By 1978, however, the enrollment had declined to the point of its closure. The building is now used as a facility for the mild-mentally disabled by the Dearborn Public Schools.
Howe was named in honor of Louis W. Howe, one of Dearborn's pioneers. Louis Howe, was the son of Elba Howe, a station agent for the Michigan Central Railroad in Dearbornville, and the community’s first undertaker. Born in 1873, in Dearborn, he served as township clerk and treasurer and then village clerk and treasurer after the incorporation of the Village. He was personally responsible for conducting the 1900 census in Dearborn and served on the school board from 1918 to 1924, was a charter member of the Dearborn Rotary Club and served as a Master of the Masonic Lodge. Howe followed his father, serving as a volunteer fire chief, an insurance salesman, and a funeral director. His wife, Jennie Clark, was the daughter of William Clark, by whom the Clark School was named.
 
DAVID P. LAPHAM School
 
In 1951, a new primary school at Westwood and Union Streets was purposed, with post-war families bringing thousands of students into the early elementary grades in Dearborn. Two of the schools affected by overcrowding were, Long and Oxford, for which Lapham School was built, to house kindergarten through the 3rd grade. A six-classroom and all-purpose room building was drawn by the Jahr-Anderson Associates architects, and built within the same designs as the William Clark School. Lapham and Long shared the same principal, however the declining enrollment of the 1970's closed Lapham in June 1972. The building was leased to the Dearborn Association for Retarded Citizens.
David P. Lapham was born in Dearborn in 1851. The Lapham family owned a 100 acre farm on what is currently the site of Military and Monroe Streets. David established the first bank in Dearborn in 1896 and sold it to Henry Ford in 1916. The family operated a general store and butcher shop, and David served on Dearborn's Board of Education, when the first high school was built. Lapham died in 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama, having been injured by falling lumber in an accident in Pensacola, Florida.
 
CHARLES A. LINDBERGH School
 
This school was named in honor of famous aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, and is located on the southeast corner of Telegraph Road and Cherry Hill. A local real estate developer offered the Dearborn Board of Education a piece of land for school purposes and the Board approved the building of a four-room schoolhouse. Superintendent, Ray Adams, however fore-saw a growing community here, and pushed for the building of an eight-room school building, which was eventually approved in 1928. It was designed to house grades 1st through 8th, with the areas High School students to attend, Dearborn High School.
Dedication for the school building was held inside the building itself in the library, however Colonel Lindbergh was not present, his mother did attend as guest of honor. Despite the depression years, the area around the school did continue to grow and additions were proposed for the school in 1938. The school was expanded to 16 classrooms as well as an auditorium and gymnasium. In 1948 additional property was also purchased to enlarge the playground area. In 1954, the last addition was made on the structure, and the school continues to educate the areas Elementary and Junior High students.
 
HARVEY H. LOWREY School
 
The Lowrey School has served its community since in 1927 and was built to relieve overcrowding at Thayer and Miller Schools. The 1920's saw a large growth in the Springwells Township Unit School District with the coming of Ford Motor Company's, Rouge Plant. As the number of students increased the areas school system had to adjust.
Designed by H.J. Keough, the architect who also designed Fordson High School, used a Gothic Collegiate style, and made the building large enough to accommodate grades kindergarten through 9th. The school also housed a complete library , cafeteria, and fully equipped orthopedic department, which was designed for all students including the handicapped. Additions were made in 1949, and the school was incorporated into a High School as well as its Elementary and Junior High. From 1949 to 1969, the school was used for all three grade levels, however today it is used only for grades kindergarten through 9th.
Harvey H. Lowrey was hired as Superintendent of the Springwells Township School District in February 1922, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1946. He was also a teacher for over 50 years, having started that career in 1896 at Berlin Center, near Ionia, Michigan. He also served as principal of Saranac High School, Superintendent of Pewamo High School and Commissioner of the Ionia County Schools. Lowrey then became Registrar and a teacher at Mt Pleasant Normal College. (now Central Michigan University). He resigned to complete his doctoral degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 1922, he came to the Springwells School District as Superintendent. Here he served on the Charter Commission in 1924 and again in 1942. He retired and left the Dearborn area, and passed away in 1961 at the age of 82.
 
FRED E. MAPLES School
 
The Fred E. Maples School was the 11th school to be built in the Fordson Public School District during the 1920's. It was designed by architect, H.J. Keough, and began in 1929 with resident, Walter Iams starting the groundbreaking. The Iams family was responsible for starting the petition which asked for additional school facilities in their neighborhood. The decision to name Maples School came on August 19, 1929. Fred Maples was a member of the Fordson Board of Education at that time, and his family had pioneered the Springwells-Fordson area. Although the enrollment later decreased dramatically, Maples still serves the community and houses grades kindergarten through 9th.
Fred Maples was born on May 16, 1873, in the family home located in the area of what is now, Schaefer and Rotunda. His grandfather came to the Springwells area in 1829 and settled in a log cabin on the banks of the Rouge River. They had been farmers, but they also kept a tavern on Ann Arbor Road (now the location of the Rouge Plant). Fred Maples married in 1897 to Catherine Campbell and settled in the village of Springwells. He soon became involved in both commercial and residential real estate. He served on the Fordson Board of Education, and was well known of his work with charities. Maples died suddenly on June 5, 1931.
 
WILLIAM NOWLIN School
 
This school was built in 1946 and was originally known as the Penn School. It has grown from a 5 room schoolhouse to 16 classrooms, and activity room, health room, gymnasium, teachers' room, and library. This school had originally been built to accommodate the overcrowding at Oxford and Whitmore-Bolles Schools, and was used for grades kindergarten through third, for its first 6 years. In 1949, additions were made to expand the kindergarten, add a junior primary room, offices, and lavatories. 8 additional classrooms were added the following year and in 1951, the name of the school was changed to William Nowlin, and by 1952 expanded to kindergarten through grade 6th.
William Nowlin was one of Dearborn's first pioneers. They came to Dearborn in 1834 when William was 13 years old. The Nowlin farm was located in what is today both Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, but at that time, was Dearborn Township. William Nowlin authored the book, The Bark Covered House, a firsthand account of Dearborn's pioneer life , written in 1876. Nowlin married twice; first to a neighbor, Adelia Travis, and following her death in 1882, he married Anna Crandell. He had three sons, however, none of them were interested in farming, and sold the Nowlin farm. There is
also a Nowlin Cemetery located on what was a portion of the same farm, now on Van Born Road, with Nowlin family members buried there.
 
ROULO School
 
Peter Roulo gave one lot to the City of Detroit in 1906 for a new school to be built in the Springwells Township area. This lot was on the border of Detroit and Springwells, and with additional land purchased by the Detroit Public School system, a two room school house was built. The Roulo School was intended to accommodate the overflow of primary school students at the Bennett School. In 1920, following the establishment of Springwells Township Schools, Roulo became a part of the new school system. It housed grades kindergarten through the 5th grade, however after only one year, the school was again used for grades kindergarten and 1st only, while all other grades were to attend Salina School. As the community developed and grew, the City of Springwells needed a bigger school, and purchased more land adjacent to the original Roulo School location. They then began excavation for a 12 room schoolhouse, which was officially dedicated in 1926. For a short time, between 1926 and March of 1927 students for Roulo and Salina attended the Roulo School, until some structural problems could be rectified at Salina School.
Between the 1930 and 1960 Roulo served the community but by 1961 it was closed. The City of Dearborn purchased the property in 1962 and it was leased to the Ambassador Baptist Church. In 1972 a fire damaged the building which was torn down in 1979, after years of vacancy.
 
SALINA School
 
The present day Salina School is an expansion of Springwells District #2 school, called "Rouge School." The first building was a four room school at Miller Road and Dix, which was purchased by Henry Ford sometime before 1917. In 1917, a new school was built on Mulkey (now Wyoming Avenue), with an enrollment of 25 students and 1 teacher, Anna Henn, who taught all grades. The Rouge Plant offered a quick increase in student enrollment and the two room building was only until 1922. A new building had begun to be built in 1921 to accommodate the new student enrollment, located on Salina Street, for which the school was later named. By 1922 this 12 classroom school with auditorium, gymnasium, and boiler room, served grades kindergarten through the 8th grade. An addition in 1925 increased the school to 37 classrooms and a swimming pool, however in September 1926, during this expansion, a portion of the wall collapsed causing the school to temporarily close, and those students attended nearby Roulo School. In September 1927, with an enrollment of 904 students and 60 teachers, the school re-opened, and housed all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Despite the depression of the 1930's enrollment did continue in the area, however Salina was then only needed for grades kindergarten through 9th. Additions were made in 1951 and 1958, and Project Head Start, a program to prepare kindergarteners of school, was started here in 1965. The school continues to serve the community as an Elementary and Junior High School.
 
SCOTCH SETTLEMENT School
 
The first school in the Dearborn area, was built in the "Scotch Settlement" in 1938, on a corner of the Richard Gardner farm. It was a one story frame building with benches and desks along the outside walls of the room. In 1860, the building was destroyed by a fire and a new school was built of brick. This building was located on the north side of what is now Warren Avenue, near Southfield Road. The land of the new school was donated by Francis J. Whitsey, and this was the school Henry Ford attended. Among the names of teachers at this school were: Richard Haigh, Mahala Gardner, M. Lathers, L. Ruddiman, Mary Ruddiman, and William Stevenson. Many of them were also students of at this same school. The number of students enrolled at the Scotch Settlement School varied , but averaged between 30 and 45 a year. This area, known as the "Scotch Settlement" although large in land area, was composed primarily of large farms, and did not have a large population.
The Scotch Settlement School was the school for Dearborn Township District #1, which included what are today portions of Dearborn and Detroit. The name, "Scotch Settlement" was a local term for an area bounded by Joy Road on the north, Ford Road on the south, the Rouge River on the west and Roulo Creek on the east. The first settler here was Richard Gardner, in 1828, followed by the Kirks, Leslies, Ruddimans and Stevensons all from Scotland. The community remains farmland until Henry Ford began to change the nation’s ideas of industry and transportation. In 1923, Henry Ford purchased the Scotch Settlement School and moved it to the Edison Institute (now the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village).
The school was incorporated into the Village of Dearborn School System, and was used as a school from 1929 to 1969, when the system closed. The most notable teacher during its "Village period" was, E. Lucile Webster.
It now serves as an educational resource for the area, known as the
"one-room schoolhouse."
 
EDWARD S. SNOW School
 
The Edward S. Snow School was built in 1951 to relieve overcrowding at the Whitmore-Bolles School. A twenty-four acre wooded site was selected on Culver and Snow Streets and the building was designed by Jahr-Anderson Associates. The first students enrolled here in February 1952 housing grades kindergarten through 6th. As the neighborhood grew, 7th and 8th grade students were added, however with renovations in the Edison Junior High School, the school converted back to an Elementary school in 1954. Today the Snow School continues to serve the community as an Elementary School
Edward S. Snow was born in 1820, in Austinburg, Ohio. He was one of eight children and he attended the local "common" school. In 1838, Snow enrolled at the Grand River Institute in Austinburg where he took a course in surveying. Before he could accept a position by the government as surveyor in the Northwest Territory, a close friend became ill, and Snow stayed behind to care for him. This experience interested him in medicine and in 1847 he graduated from the medical department at Western Reserve College in Cleveland, Ohio. He married in 1851 to Elizabeth Austin and he was requested to fill in for Dr. Markham in Plymouth, Michigan temporarily. When Snow arrived in Dearborn, he and his wife settled in the Dearborn Hotel. He served as physician and surgeon at the Detroit Arsenal in Dearbornville until it closed in 1875. He was also a surgeon for the Michigan Central Railroad for 43 years. The Snows were one of Dearborn's first citizens and members of the Christ Episcopal Church. He served as school inspector for Dearborn Township and his name is honored by Snow Street, Snow Hill Apartments, and Snow Woods , as well as Snow School.
 
WILLIAM B. STOUT Junior High School
 
Stout Junior High School was the last school to be built in Dearborn. The Dearborn Public Schools purchased 10 acres of land, in 1958 at Oakwood Blvd and Rotunda Drive, from the Ford Motor Company and plans were made to build a new Junior High. The school was completed and opened in September of 1960, with a formal dedication on November 9, 1960.
William Bushnell Stout, was an American aviation pioneer. He was born on March 16, 1880, in Quincy, Illinois. His family relocated to St Paul, Minnesota where Stout attended Mechanical Arts High School and the University of Minnesota. He financed his education by writing articles on his mechanical toy inventions. In 1906 he married Alma Raymond and built their first home, and all of their furniture. He was made an aviation and technical editor for the Chicago Tribune in 1912 and became affiliated with the Scripps-Booth Automobile. He redesigned the Scripps-Booth car and in 1914 was transferred to Detroit, as Chief Engineer for the company. In 1919 he formed the Stout Engineering Laboratories for aeronautical engineering, and built the first American commercial monoplane, the Batwing. It was at this same time that he met, Henry Ford and learned that both, Henry and Edsel Ford were also interested in aviation. Through this affiliation, the Ford Airport on Oakwood Boulevard was developed in 1924-1925 (currently the site of the Ford Motor Company's test track). In 1926 the famous tri-motor plane, was developed and Stout made his mark in aviation history.
 
THAYER School
 
Thayer School was built in 1924 to replace the brick one room McDonald School at Warren Avenue and Wyoming. The school was named after the Thayer family, who in 1842 had leased land in Greenfield Township School District #4 to Richard McDonald for a school and church building. Nahum P. Thayer, came to Greenfield Township just outside of Detroit in 1820 at that age of 18. He cleared his land for a farm and house which was later owned by his descendants. Thayer also built the first 3 miles of Old Chicago Road (now Michigan Avenue). He was elected as a representative from Wayne County in 1837, 1838 and 1840, and held several local offices. He also served as a Colonel in the state militia.
At the time that Thayer School was built, it was considered one of the most modern buildings of its kind. Representatives from other school districts came to visit the building and study its plan for use. The original construction was 8 classrooms, a cafeteria, library and gymnasium-auditorium, and opened in September of 1924. By 1926, the school was so crowded that both its locker rooms had to be used as classrooms. This overcrowding was alleviated with the building of Lowrey Junior High. The school changed very little over the years, and closed in 1959. In 1961 the property and building were sold to the Pius Society of St. Paul.
 
WHITMORE-BOLLES School
 
The history of Whitemore-Bolles begins in 1919 with the division of the lands east of Monroe and south of Outer Drive. With the large growth in the community, a need for housing and schools was in demand. Laura Whitmore Bolles donated 3 acres of land behind the Whitmore family home, with an additional 6 acres of land purchased in 1925 by the Board of Dearborn School District #7. Dearborn architect, Harry Vicary was chosen to assist the firm of George D. Mason and Company as designers. The school officially opened in September of 1927, with a teaching staff of 4 and an enrollment of 98 students. Dedication of the school was held in honor of the Bolles family on May 14, 1928, as this was the date of birth of Laura's mother and her own wedding anniversary.
During the Depression of the 1930's the school was used as a soup kitchen and after the Second World War a new wave of growth came to Dearborn. In 1940, an additional wing was added, including 8 more classrooms and a kitchen. By 1951, enrollment reached 1,400 students. One of the unique science programs established here in the 1950's was the Horticultural Gardens.
The school name Whitemore-Bolles, honors two of Dearborn's families; J. E. Bolles, the donor of the original site and Laura Whitmore, who was also the niece of William Nowlin. When Mrs. J. Bolles donated the land she asked the school be named in honor of both her family (the Whitmores) and her husband's family (the Bolles).
 
WILLIAM FORD School
 
William Ford School was the first school built in the Springwells School District, and was constructed in 1922. The site, at Chase Road and Ford Road was part of William Ford's original farm and was purchased for $1.00 from Henry Ford. The original school was built with 6 classrooms to accommodate 200 students. In 1924 two wings were added, increasing the size to 31 classrooms, a gymnasium and auditorium. By 1928 enrollment reached 1,030 students and 40 teachers. William Ford School absorbed all the elementary level school students from the private school, St. Clement's, after its closing in 1971. Today, the school serves grades kindergarten through grade 6th.
William Ford, after whom the school is named, came to the United States from Ireland in 1847 with his parents, grandmother, and six brothers and sisters. The family settled in the Scotch Settlement (today approximately the area of Ford Road, Greenfield, Joy Road, and Southfield Roads) and joined Samuel Ford, who was William's uncle. After arriving they found that Samuel had died but that his two sons had prosperous farms in the same area. The Ford's purchased land in the adjoining corners of Redford, Greenfield, Springwells, and Dearborn Townships. William helped his father on the farm as well as working for Michigan Central Railroad. When the railroad was completed, William returned and worked on the Patrick O'Hern farm. The O'Herns adopted a daughter, Margaret Litogot, who married William in 1861. In 1863, their second child and first son was born, Henry in a house they shared with the O'Hern family. William Ford served on the local school board and was a respected member of the community until his death in 1905, at that age of 79.

 
WOODWORTH School
 
The property on which the Woodworth School stands was purchased by the Fordson Board of Education in 1927, and was originally a portion of the Woodworth farm. Alfred Woodworth, was born in China, New York in 1818 and helped to shape the history of Dearborn.
As a small boy, he came with his father, Josiah, and other members of the Woodworth family to Batavia, New York in an ox-drawn wagon. At the age of 10, Alfred was bound out to work for four years, and when his four years were completed he joined his family on a move to Michigan. The Woodworth's settled in Greenfield Township and purchased 48 acres of land and built a log cabin home on the site of the present day school building. Alfred also purchased land in 1840 and continued to buy land in this vicinity until his farm totaled 245 acres. He married in 1843 to Phoebe Jane Smith and had nine children. Alfred died in 1904 and is buried at the Scotch Settlement Cemetery.
The first cornerstone for Woodworth School was laid in September of 1927 and was opened the following September as a kindergarten through 6th grade school. In 1932 the school added its Junior High school section, and in 1937 a swimming pool, larger cafeteria, music rooms and a small auditorium. In 1940, the Fordson Board of Education purchased additional property to the west for a playground. The school is still currently open and houses grades kindergarten through 8th grades.

 

Dearborn School Namesakes

(Note: Some schools were named for entire local pioneer families: Brainard, Coonville, Daly, Dort, Miller, Roulo, Thayer, Whitmore, Bolles, etc.)
Ray Adams: Longtime Dearborn school superintendent.
Lafayette Allen Sr.: Believed to be the first African American in the country to open, own and operate his own supermarket.
Iris Becker: Longtime Dearborn schoolteacher and city activist.
Oakley W. Best: Longtime District 7 superintendent.
Clara Bryant: Henry Ford’s wife.
William H. Clark: First president of the village of Dearborn 1893-95.
Leo DuVall: Longtime principal of his namesake school.
Thomas Edison: Famed inventor and close friend of Henry Ford.
Fred C. Fischer: Superintendent of Wayne County Schools 1946-54.
Edsel B. Ford: Henry Ford’s lone son.
Henry Ford: (See above.)
William Ford: Henry Ford’s father.
Clara B. Ford: Henry Ford’s wife.
Henry A. Haigh: Active early citizen and considered city’s first historian.
Col. Joshua Howard: First commander of the Detroit Arsenal. Howard is credited with suggesting the name Dearborn for this area.
Louis B. Howe: Early active citizen and politician.
David B. Lapham: Established Dearborn’s first bank in 1896, a precursor to today’s Comerica Bank.
Charles A. Lindbergh: Famed aviator and one of few schools in Dearborn or Dearborn Heights named for someone with no direct local connection.
Samuel B. Long: Longtime director of Dearborn Board of Education and early settler.
Harvey Lowrey: Longtime school superintendent 1922-46.
Fred C. Maples: Popular Fordson school board member and civic leader.
George T. Martin: Longtime Dearborn judge and valedictorian of Fordson’s first graduating class.
John B. McDonald: Member of pioneer family of east Dearborn.
Leslie J. McNair: World War II hero killed in action.
John L. Mokersky: Longtime Dearborn Township and Dearborn Heights Justice of the Peace.
William A. Nowlin: Early settler, author of “The Bark Covered House,” written for nation’s centennial in 1876 depicting early life here.
Robert Oakman: Early land developer in northeast Dearborn and west Detroit.
Hamilton J. Robichaud: Longtime superintendent of Dearborn District No. 8 (Westwood).
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Former president of the United States.
Harry A. Salisbury: Longtime teacher, principal of Dearborn High School.
Ora Lynn Smith: Longtime active Dearborn school attorney and civic leader.
Edward Snow: Early physician and civic leader.
William B. Stout: Early aviator and founder of Stout Air Services, designer of famed Ford Tri-Motor plane.
Conrad Ten Eyck: An early settler here, he operated a tavern in the early 1800s at Michigan Avenue and the Rouge River. It was a regular stop for travelers heading to and from Detroit. The state’s nickname, Wolverines, is credited with being coined at his saloon.
William Thorne: Longtime township clerk and state representative.
John H. Tomlinson: Popular Dearborn District 8 (Westwood) school board treasurer.
John Wallace: Early landowner who donated original building and land for first Wallaceville School in 1824.
Edith Wellever: Longtime teacher at Brainard School.
Albert Woodworth: Member of pioneer farmer in east Dearborn..

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