Centre School (5th Ward) History
-from "A Collection About Ohio County Public Schools," Levering C. Bonar, 1978.
The location of Centre School was on Chapline Street between Second (23rd) and Third (22nd) Streets. School records say the site was purchased from the North Western Bank of Virginia, from Joseph Britt, Jr., and Louis William Edward and Adelaide Metznar.
The first two lots cost $2,000 and the first building $6,000. It was erected in 1846. The first principal of the second school was James H. McMechman. The eight teachers were: Rebecca Watterson, Ester Dyas, Josephine Powell, Hannah J. Alexander, Laura L. Weicks, Sarah Gorrell, Robertina Dyas and Helen Whitaker.
Information about this school in 1859: Number of males registered- 278, Number of females registered- 302 for a total of 580. Average Daily Attendance was 350.
Number of inhabitants in the Fifth Ward was 4,311; the number of males between 6 and 16- 478; the number of females between 6 and 16- 460, for a total population between the ages of 6 and 16 of 938.
The last Centre School was built in 1883. It contained 13 classrooms, broad hallways, high ceilings and oak floors. The toilet rooms and the heating system were in the basement. The foundation was of huge sandstones, and the outside walls were of homemade red bricks. It was three stories tall.
The building was condemned in 1958 and unoccupied until sold to Herman S. Leavine on June 12, 1962. The 1963 West Virginia Legislature officially recognized the importance of West Liberty State College’s Down-Town Division by voting funds permitting the College to purchase Centre School for college classrooms. The building has been razed.
▶ List of Fifth Ward/Centre School Principals
▶ East side of Chapline St., between Lane 19 and 23rd St. (where Luau Manor now sits)
▶ Vertical File: Wheeling Schools A-Z, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ Vertical File: Centre School, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ A Collection About Ohio County Schools, Bonar, Levering. Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk. CALL #: Wheeling 379.75414 B64c
▶ The 9th Annual Report of the Public Schools of Wheeling, West Virginia, 1908. Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk. CALL #: Wheeling 379.75145 W57a 1908