Crozer | Ridley | Thomas Leiper | Grace | Holland | Leiperville | Kedron | Norwood

Eddystone | Ridley Park/Tome | Prospect | Woodlyn | Folsom | Ridley Township: 1938, 1941
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1A. The first known mention of a school in Ridley Township was in the August 22, 1778 issue of the Pennsylvania Packet Newspaper. That paper advertises for a single man to be a school teacher in Ridley Township on Tinicum Island, Chester County. The two men requesting the teacher are Nicholas Diehl and Sketchley Morton. This school site is unknown but was probably in a private home. No deeds relating to schools in Tinicum Township have been found before the 1840's.

Note: Ridley Township School Board Records only go back to 1878


This print is from the biography of John P. Crozer. Crozer went to this school, were his father was a trustee.

#1) The first mention of a school in Ridley Township was actually a joint venture with Springfield Twp. The school was in Springfield, just over the border from Ridley. On September 1, 1792 William & Lydia Pennock sold{A-536} 48 Square Perches of land for five shillings to four trustees; two, Peter Hill & Caleb Bennett were from Ridley Township. This one room stone school was used until 1857 when the Oakdale School was built on Baltimore Pike. No records of this school are known to exist but John Crozer went to this school and a picture of the school is in his biography. The school stood empty for many years and was occasionally used for meetings and as a polling place. This school was torn down prior to 1900. The school stood on the west side of Swarthmore Ave. about were todays Avondale Lane is, just south of Yale Ave. The small stream just south of the school site is mentioned in the deed giving the school permission to use it for water.


First School in Ridley Township built in 1800, this photo is from about 1880 and shows then owner Ann Stowe. It is now a private home

#2) This one room stone school house still stands at 313 West Chester Pike in Ridley Park Boro. Ground of 42 square perches was sold{E-269} for five shillings by Caleb Davis for a school on July 25, 1800. This school was a subscription school and was turned over to the Ridley Township School District in 1836. The school was used until 1871 when the Leiperville school was built. The Stowe Family took over the property and their descendants sold the property about 15 years ago. This school is one of the few Subscription schools that is documented. Ashmeads History of Delaware County has the history of this school. Today the school is a private home.


#3) On August 20, 1800, Lewis Morey sold{E-447 Deed Book and Page} 37 and a half perches for five shillings "use and benefit of building a school house" for to trustees Aaron Morton & William Boon. This one room school stood on the west side of Lincoln Ave. at 13th Ave. {probably on the northwest corner} in today's Prospect Park. This school was used until 1877 when the Norwood School was built. The school was sold{U4-54 Deed Book and Page} to William Tranor on August 19, 1878 and torn down soon afterward; the stone being used for the foundation of the Prospect Park Methodist Church. No photo or records are known to exist of this school.


This school stood just north of the Leiper Church at 900 Fairview Road. The wall just left of the school is the church cemetery

#4) In 1819{tradition} Thomas Leiper built a school in what is now the 900 block of Fairview Rd. in today's Woodlyn. The school stood on the east side of Fairview Rd. just north of the Leiper Presbyterian Church. Probably built by Leiper for children of his quarry workers and local children. Only one photo but no records of this school are in existence. This school closed in 1849 when another school was built across the street.


#5) On July 30, 1849 the school district purchased{Y-400} twenty square perches for $50.00 at what is today 901 Fairview Rd. Woodlyn. This school took the place of the Leiper School across the street. More property was purchased from John Grace in 1880 for $200.00 and the old school was torn down and rebuilt to "look like Kedron School" according to School Board Minutes. On July 12, 1880 ground was broken for the new school which was completed by September. The contractor was Jacob Buchanan. This school was used until 1912 when the Woodlyn Elementary was built. The school was sold{S13-436} on April 15, 1912 to Antonio Pergerioe & is today a private home.

April 14, 1914 Chester Times


The old Leiper school situated on the Fairview road, opposite Leiper's church about three-quarters of a mile from Leiperville was destroyed by fire of mysterious origin at 11 o'clock last night. The building was abandoned as a school by the Leiperville district when the new school was occupied a year or two ago. The old building was then sold to Antonio Pergerioe, who liven there with his wife and three children. Shortly before 11 o'clock last night Mrs. Pergerioe was awakened by an odor of smoke and she quickly awakened her husband. The family escaped from the building just before the upper story fell in. All their household goods were destroyed. An investigation showed that the flames originated in the attic, but the cause is a mystery. The building consisted of a first story of brick containing four rooms and the frame upper structure. It was covered by insurance.


#6) In September 1854, Abraham Pattern sold{B2-721} 527 square yards for $150.00 at the southwest corner of today's Fairview Rd. and Holland St. Crum Lynne to the school district. Although the deed mentions a building on the property, bids were put out by the school district to build a two story stone school. This stone school still stands at 301 South Fairview Rd. and is now a business, Jay's Market. More property was added to this site in 1865 from David Harper and the school was used until the Leiperville school was built in 1871. This property was sold{C3-67} to John B. Holland on May 1,1871.


#7) On October 27, 1870 the school district purchased{A3-513} 133 perches at what is now 1124 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne. The property was obtained from the Philadelphia Press Brick Co. for $550.00. Originally a two story brick building, it was added onto twice; the first addition was a rear two story brick and frame addition done in 1873. This addition was done to accommodate Norwood and Ridley Park students. The second addition was in 1913 and last was about 1950. This school took the place of the first school at 313 Chester Pike and the #301 Fairview Rd. Schools. This school was used until 1974 when it was closed it was then sold three years later and is now a Mental Health Center.

March 3, 1913 Chester Times


An effort is being made by the members of the Board of Education of Ridley Township to have a new school, open this week, as the building is about ready. Only two rooms will be opened however, as the members feel that it will not be necessary to make changes in the higher grades, which are not so crowded as the lower ones. Then, too, it is getting well along toward the close of the school year, and it would be an added expense in the taxpayers to make the other changers. The change in the lower graded is badly needed, however, as the teachers in the Leiperville and Folsom schools are finding it absolutely impossible to give each pupil the attention he should receive. At the Leiperville school there are 215 pupils in four rooms, or an average of almost 84 to a teacher. This is about double the number that should be in a room, and the pupils necessarily suffer. The same condition exists in Folsom. There will necessarily be some little confusion result from the changes this week, but this will be a mater of only a few days.


#8) On July 26, 1875 a school property of 38 and a half perches was purchased{Z3-585 & 589} for $100.00 at what is now #714 Amosland Rd. Morton. The property was purchased from George Caldwell, a farmer, and Thomas T. Tasker wealthy land owner and local preacher. Tasker sold his property on May 7, 1875 for $300.00. 128 and a half perches. The name of the school "Kedron" comes from a brook in the Holy Land and probably came from Tasker.

July 12, 1894 Morton Chronicle newspaper

"The Kedron public school building, in Ridley, near Morton, is undergoing alterations and long desired improvements, thanks to the earnest work of Directors H. B. Whittaker and Harry H. Huquenele."

Originally a one story brick building it was rebuilt in 1900 when a second story was added. The school was added onto in 1909 and 1919. This school closed in 1980 and was sold and is now the Calvary Baptist Church and school. The original one room brick school outline can still be seen on the front of the current building.


#9) On July 25, 1878 property was purchased{R4-60} from J. Frank Black for $825.00. The Chester Times of January 18,1878 states the school is almost complete. This two story brick school still stands on the south side at # 652 Chester Pike, in today's Norwood Boro. Built on the west end of the new town of Norwood it originally accommodated students from both Norwood and Prospect Park. A second addition was added in 1890 and this school was given to Norwood Boro when it became incorporated and left sold{357-474} to Ridley Township in 1893. The school was used till 1912 when it was replaced. The building stands today and is used as a business. Norwood School District sold{357-474} the building to Evan L. Moore on September 29, 1915 for $3,500.00.


#10) The first school in Eddystone opened on the first floor of a three story brick home on the northwest corner of Second and Lexington Streets in September of 1876. The school opened with 22 students and could seat 40. This school was opened by the Ridley Township School District and the first teacher was Miss Florence P. Carter.{Rep.10-06-1876}

William Simpson of Eddystone sold{H4-277} the school district land to build a school on May 26, 1877. for $800.00. This two story brick school was built to accommodate workers children at Simpson's new business the Eddystone Print Works. Named the Thomas Simpson School for a deceased son of William, this school was given to Eddystone Boro when it became incorporated in 1888 and formed it's own school district. The school was officially given to Eddystone Boro on December 21, 1889 after being enlarged and remodeled. The school burned on January 2, 1898 causing about $2,000.00 worth of damage. A one story brick addition was added in the spring of 1911 at a cost of $7800.00. This rear addition was built by Horace Jackson of Chester.


#11) Ridley Park or Tome Street School was built by Ridley Township to accommodate students in the then new town of Ridley Park. On June 5, 1885 the School Board purchased{W5-494} several lots from the Ridley Park Association. A two story stone and brick schoolhouse was built by J. R. Shirley at a cost of $7,800.00. The second floor of the school was paid for by eleven local residents at a cost of $2,000.00 and was known as "Ridley Park Hall". The hall was leased from the school board and rented out for parties etc. When the hall was needed for school rooms the school board had to pay the investors $2,000.00 but no interest and opened in the fall of 1886. In 1887 a full four year course was added making it one of the first high schools in the area. In 1895 the large circular tower was added to accommodate the town library till 1912 when the current library building was built.

October 3, 1888 Chester Times.


"The demand for room in the Ridley Park schools is so great that the directors have decided to occupy the portion of the new building heretofore used as a hall. When the schoolhouse was erected it was designed to be entirely used for school purposes as soon as the increase in attendance made it necessary."

August 24, 1896 Chester Times


The addition made to the Ridley Park public school house is a sign of prosperity and the cost will be well invested. The increase in the attendance of scholars has been steady and it has for some time been a settled fact that additional accommodations must be provided. The Norwood school house has also been enlarged to a considerable degree, also made necessary by the rapid increase in the attendance. Thus the schools along the Darby and Chester Pike are growing rapidly and the indications are that others will fall for enlargement in the near future.


#12) The first school built in what is now Prospect Park Boro opened on January 2, 1889. The school property was purchased{S6-240} from George Shirley and the Prospect Park Land Association{O6-572} both on September 8, 1888. Ground for the school was broken in mid August of 1888. The school opened on January 2, 1889.. Originally a two story brick school was built by B. Harvey and Son, but a third story was added in the summer of 1895 to accommodate more students and take care of a leaky roof problem.

July 11, 1885 Morton Chronicle.

"Jacob Buchanan has received the contract to build another story to the Prospect public school house, his bid being $1785."

November 13, 1893 Chester Times


The question of adequate accommodation for the pupils of Prospect public school is now agitating the citizens of Prospect Park. It has been brought before the Ridley School Board on more than one occasion, but no remedial steps have as yet been taken, the danger being that the questions would resolve itself is - to a more factional fight between members of the board. It has reached such a point, moreover, and with the increase in attendance at the Prospect school, the lack of accommodation has become so great that some twenty or more of the pupils have lately attended the Norwood school. The two most crowed schools are the primary, taught by Miss A. Fenstermacher, having an attendance of 56, and the secondary, taught by Miss Margaret S. Custer, with an attendance of. 64.

In 1900 a two story rear addition was made to the school and a high school program began that lasted about ten years. This school stood on the northwest corner of Eighth and Lincoln Aves. in Prospect Park. The school was given to the boro of Prospect Park when it became incorporated and left Ridley Township in 1894. The school was used until 1943 when students were transferred to the Washington Ave. School. The school was sold to the Methodist Church in 1949, and torn down. The site of the old school is now the church parking lot.

September 7, 1910 Chester Times


The citizens of Ridley Park Heights better know as Milmont, are about to present to the School Board of Ridley township a petition, asking for school authorities to build a school house in Ridley Park Heights. There are several reasons why the citizens of that growing community are petitioning for such a building. One is because the children of Ridley Park Heights are compelled to walk to Folsom to receive their education, which is a considerable distance from their homes, and another is that the roads to a from the Folsom public school are without sidewalks.


The Woodlyn School was built by John Maggs and opened on November 21, 1912. The school was built to replace the Grace School in the 900 block of Fairview Road and to give the new town of Milmont a school for their children.  The above picture is from about 1913.

March 6, 1912 Chester Times


As the meeting of the board of education of Ridley township held Monday evening in the Leiperville school, a delegation of the citizens of Milmont were present with a petition asking that a school house be r\erected in that place. The delegation stated that there are sixty children now, attending school from Milmont, and that these are scattered in the various schools in the township, some attending the Thomas Leiper school some the Leiperville school and some the Folsom school. They stated that the village is growing rapidly and that the need of a school is steadily increasing. It is not known just what action the board will take in the matter, which was placed in the ands of the a committee, as it would be out of the question to place a graded school at that place, and only the younger pupils could be accommodated in the building with a single room. The board is hampered by a lack of funds, and however much the members might favor the project, they would find it impossible to do anything this term. That a school will be absolutely needed in Milmont within a few years is apparent to all residents.


The Folsom School was built in 1890, and this view is from 1915. The School still stands at 6th and Swarthmore Aves. in Folsom. This school was built to accommodate students from Folsom which was established in 1886. The school is now the Senior Citizens Center.


The original Ridley Township High School in 1938. This aerial picture shows how open the area still was in the late 1930's. This view is looking west. The first street at the bottom of the picture is Broomall St.


Ridley Township High School in 1941, in aerial view looking east. This picture shows the rear of the High School.

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