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Board of School Examiners


On February 5, 1825, the Ohio General Assembly passed the first general school law.  The Court of Common Pleas in each county was authorized to appoint annually “three suitable persons to be called Examiners of Common Schools,” whose duties it was to examine teachers for qualification and grant teaching certificates, also to visit and examine the schools throughout the county.  In 1829, the official term on examiners was designated as two years, and their number to be not less than five in each county, nor more than one in each township, later amended to “nor more than two in each township.” 

Up to that time women were not eligible as school teachers, but in late 1831 a law was passed allowing School Directors to employ female teachers.  However, the Directors had to signify in writing to the School Examiners that it was the desire of the inhabitants of the said district to employ “a female teacher…”  It was enacted by the law of 1838 that the County Auditor was endowed with the position of Superintendent of Schools throughout the county.  The numbers of School Examiners was reduced to three members for each county, who were appointed by the Court of Common Pleas.  This served as the organization of the School Examiners until the passage of the new State constitution in 1851, which resulted in the reorganization of the school laws. 

Allen Township School District Number 2 - c1890s

The school law of 1853, among many other changes, readdressed the subject of the School Examiners.  The law established a three person Board of School Examiners appointed by the Probate Judge with a three year term.  The law provided that “it shall be the duty of the Examiners to fix upon the time of holding the meetings for the examination of teachers, in such places in their respective counties as will, in their opinion, best accommodate the greatest number of candidates for examination, notice of all such meetings being published in some newspaper of general circulation in their respective counties, and at such meetings any two of said board shall be competent to examine applicants and grant certificates; and as a condition of examination, each applicant for a certificate shall pay the Board of Examiners a fee of 50 cents.”  The applicants were required to be examined in “orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and English grammar.” 

  Union County School Examiners  

 John Gabriel   (1826-1844)  George Lincoln   (1854-1857) 
 Reuben P. Mann   (1826-1829)  Hylas Sabin   (1855-1862) 
 Silas G. Strong   (1826-1829)  John B. Coats   (1857-1869) 
 Robert Andrew   (1829-1831)  John L. Porter   (1861-1862) 
 Otway Curry   (1829-1831)  A.W. Wood   (1862-1864) 
 Mathew Gooding   (1829-1834)  A.E. Thompson   (1862-1865) 
 Stephen McLain   (1829-1836)  J.W. Smith   (1864-1869) 
 Levi Phelps   (1829-1836)  A. James Sterling   (1865-1867) 
 Reuben P. Mann   (1831-1834)  James H. Wall   (1867-1872) 
 Silas G. Strong   (1831-1834)  Leonidas Piper   (1869-1873) 
 Otway Curry   (1834-1836)  John Van Pearse   (1869-1873) 
 William C. Lawrence   (1834-1836)  Robert L. Woodburn   (1872-1894) 
 Abner Chapman   (1836-1838)  William G. March   (1873-1881) 
 James Martin   (1836-1838)  Oliver Kennedy   (1873-1874) 
 John W. Robinson   (1836-1838)  George O. Hamilton   (1874-1877) 
 Amos A. Williams   (1836-1838)  James D. Herd   (1877-1888) 
 Luther Wood   (1836-1838)  S.W. Vanwinkle   (1881-1883) 
 James H. Gill   (1837-1841)  P.R. Mills   (1883-1884) 
 Mathew Gooding   (1837-1838)  R.L. Plotner   (1884-1890) 
 Reuben P. Mann   (1837-1838)  William H. Sidebottom   (1888-1898) 
 William C. Lawrence   (1838-1841)  William C. Thomas   (1890-1905) 
 John P. Brookins   (1841-1847)  Louis B. Demorest   (1894-1915) 
 Benjamin F. Kelsey   (1841-1844)  Frank Z. Ballinger   (1898-1904) 
 William M. Galbreath   (1844-1849)  Otto J. Dodge   (1904-1907) 
 Levi Lyon   (1844-1847)  Forrest B. Bryant   (1905-1907) 
 Isaac N. Langhead   (1847-1847)  Joseph A. Yealey   (1907-1914) 
 James McCrea Jr.   (1847-1847)  Joseph B. Hughes   (1907-1922) 
 Jackson C. Daughty   (1847-1851)  D.H. Sellers   (1914-1921) 
 James A. Stirrat   (1847-1851)  C.M. Boord   (1915-1923) 
 Thomas Brown   (1849-1853)  Joseph A. Yealey   (1921-1935) 
 William H. Ferguson   (1851-1854)  Cletus Tossey   (1922-1934) 
 James W. Robinson   (1851-1855)  J.B. Barker   (1923-1925) 
 David W. Henderson   (1853-1853)  William E. Beeman   (1925-1935) 
 John Barbour   (1853-1861)  Mabel E. Smith   (1934-1935) 

The laws affecting the Board of School Examiners were amended and changed various times throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but the overall functions and principles remained the same as established in the 1853 legislation.  In 1935, the Board of School Examiners was abolished and was replaced with a law providing for the examination and certification of teachers by a state board of examiners, which had already existed, but was considerably modified and expanded. 


  Minutes    (1913-1920) 
  School Examiners Record      (1870-1935)