Webster School History
- From "A Collection About Ohio County Public Schools," Bonar, Levering C., 1978, pg. 24-25.
The Sixth Ward Public School was first built in 1866 and contained six classrooms. Previously, pupils of this area may have attended Centre and Ritchie; both had older schools. Mr. O. N. McCoy relates the last Webster School was built, the first half in 1892, and the last in 1893. An [sic] historian of the school said it was "one of the finest and largest schools in West Virginia at the time it was built." It cost $65,000. The basement was built of large sandstones and the remainder of native red brick. It was always beautiful. Wheeling High School had a fire in 1913 which required another location while rebuilding. They used Webster in half day sessions.
Mr. McCoy tells that the remodeling in 1951 changed two rooms at the north end of the first floor into an auditorium and the two rooms directly above on the second floor were made into a gymnasium. Blocks of tile were used to cover all floors except the gymnasium where hard wood was used. The ceilings were lowered and fluorescent lights installed all through the school. Three classrooms were remodeled and refinished in the basement. In 1962 all stairways and halls were enclosed with firewalls and doors to meet State Safety requirements.
This school has been important to the community in other than educational center. In 1936, when there was a 55.5 foot Ohio River flood, and in 1937 where there was a flood stage of 49.5 feet, Webster School basement was used for storing flooded homes' furniture and some of the refugees were quartered there for several days. Mr. McCoy was a volunteer at that time.
After eighty-eight years of use, the State Highway Department is paying the Ohio County Board of Education $1,586,074, and transferring the ownership of a tract of land adjacent to Ritchie School for a building site to the Ritchie School for an addition. The amount was determined by the Highway Department for the old school on a formula per-student-cost amounting to $3,350 to $3,994 per student. The construction of the New Junior High School in South Wheeling is estimated at $2,500,000. Ritchie will serve grades K-1-6 in South Wheeling.
Webster School was demolished in 1977.
▶ 1907 History of Webster
▶ Opening of "new" Webster School, Nov 21, 1895 [Wheeling Daily Intelligencer Article]
▶ View a list of Webster School Principals
▶ East Side of Eoff from 26th to 27th Street (demolished)
▶ Vertical File: Webster School, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ Vertical File: Wheeling Schools A-Z, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ "Wheeling Rediscovered: a bicentennial project of Ohio County's public, private and parochial school : essays, sketches and photographs on Wheeling's past, present and future," 1976. Call #: 975.415 W52wr
▶ A Collection About Ohio County Public Schools, Bonar, Levering C., 1978. Call #: Wheeling 379.75414 B64c, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ Educational survey of Wheeling, West Virginia: a report of a survey of the public schools of the Independent School District of Wheeling, West Virginia, made at the request of the Board of School Commissioners, under the direction of the United States Commissioner of Education," 1921, Call #: Wheeling 371.010975414 Ed83 1921, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ 1927 and 1928 Yearbooks, Call # Wheeling 371.805 G563, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.