The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Years ago when Margie Barber and I were discussing early history of this township, she gave me this history of the area-commemoration of the town of Media's 125th birthday, these articles written by Faree Mathers are being shared.--Virginia Ross
In the summer of 1889 Mr. Nathan Wever built the Wever Academy in the oats field of E.S.Mathers. Mr. Mathers had rented this land from Mr. Wever for the summer. The first professor of the Academy was Given Thompson. This building was destroyed by fire on March 26, 1929. Jasper Shoemaker and I (Faree Mathers) were teaching at the Grade School. About 11 o'clock we were told the Academy was on fire. We let the children go up to the corner and watch the fire. We saw books, papers, and magazines being thrown from the upstairs windows. They covered the yard. The building burned to the ground. Mrs. Mildred Beall rescued the picture of Nathan Wever which hung near the office door and it now hangs in the new school building.
A new building was erected the following year, 1930 known as the Media-Wever Community High School. The Ag Room was built on the east side of the building in 1941 and a new gymnasium and several class rooms were added in 1958. The Academy faced the south, but the new high school was built to face the north.
The First Grade school building was a frame one built in 1892 on the land belonging to Nathan Wever for $2,500; this was the price of the land and the building. It was a frame building having one class room and hall. It was located in the west part of town. Soon the classroom became too crowded and the building was sold and moved up town. It is still standing and is now a grocery store and post office. In this building the following persons taught: Mary Morgan, Blanche Pogue, William Campbell, Mae Hunter and Minnie Stanley.
In 1898 a two story brick building was erected south of where the old building stood. The bricks were made in the brickyard which was located south of the Wever Lakes. Anna Hillier was the first Upper Grade Teacher and Mrs. Bowersmith, the Art Teacher, Kathryn C. Ray was the Primary Teacher. Mr. Gaston taught Penmanship in both rooms.
There were many big boys in school. One day when Mr. Gaston finished with the writing lesson, he went to get his hat. It was a stiff derby. He couldn't find it. The boys had mashed in the top and threw it in the closet under the stairs. When he tried to straighten it out, the top came out. This joke wasn't funny very long for the boys.
The next teachers were A.C.Keener, later Superintendent, and Myrtle Mathers. For several years Maude Alma Main of Galesburg taught music in both the Grade and High School.
In the summer of 1904 a bad wind storm blew in the north end of the building. When it was repaired, two long rods were placed through the building for support. In 1914 this building was declared unsafe by the State and torn down. Immediately, a second brick building was erected, this one being a modern building. It has four large classrooms, a basement, a large gymnasium which was added in 1958. The first schools were called Media Public School; the last one called Media Grade School.
Our County Superintendents from 1898-1964 are as follows: S.E.Mace, A.C.Keener, Della Yeomans, A.L.Beall, (Mrs. A.L. Beall was appointed on the death of her husband), Chris S. Apt, Leman Dennison and Carl Shelton.
One of the things our new school houses do not have today is the large bell that always hung in the belfry and was rung at stated times during the day. Lots of folks depended on it for the time of day. Slates and Slate pencils are no longer used in the school room. They were cleaned with a wet rang but there were always some who would spit on their slates and wipe them with their sleeves or aprons.