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 Roberts School, 1858-1953
Roberts School in 1953

Location: Removed from the southeast corner of Carpenter and U.S. 12.

Captions: 1) Roberts School in 1953. 2) Report card from 1912/13.

See also: Pittsfield Union Sunday School: History, 1877-1898. The Sunday school met in Roberts School. Pittsfield Aid Society: History, 1886-1942. This society was formed by the Pittsfield Union Sunday School.

In 1837, the first school in District No. 6 Pittsfield Township was held in a small log cabin located along the old Plank Road (Michigan Avenue) on the property of H. L. Roberts.

In 1860, the second Roberts School was built. Originally, the new school was just a 24 x 30 foot structure with a dirt floor and a fireplace.

The first floor was laid in 1872, the porch and storm house were added in 1884, and the extra south wing was constructed about 1890. School was held for ninety-three years in this same building.

In 1953, a new "modern" Meadowview School was opened on Textile Road, which took the place of Roberts school.

Note: The following account was written by the students attending Roberts School during 1941-1942 (and deposited in the Bentley Historical Library). Several dates in the students' account differ from those given above.

The first school in Pittsfield Township District 6 was built about 1840 [1837 given above] of oak logs.

It was located on the North West corner at the corner of U.S. one hundred twelve and twenty three.

It was named Roberts School because it was located on land belonging to the Roberts. Roberts also had a tavern where stage coaches stopped.

In 1860 a deed was issued for the present school building. There is a clause in the deed which states that if the property ceases to be used for school property it returns to the property owner.

The exterior of the second school house was 24' x 30'. The front had two cloak rooms built on where the present windows are. The door was on the south side of the building.

The furniture of the school was made by a carpenter, of which was wide oak planks. All around the room was a wide board nailed to the building which was used for extra seats. The teachers desk was also home made. It stood at the back of the room on a platform.

The stove was a box stove which used 2 foot wood. The wood was furnished by the parents. The stove was on the north side of the room. It was moved to the center of the room because the south east corner would not heat.

In 1881 the present seats were bought also a new floor was laid. A new teachers desk was purchased which was a table with two drawers. It is now used for a library table. In 1878 an additional room was built on for a Sunday School. This was paid for by the Sunday School. There were eighty in regular attendance. On special days there would be more than a hundred. Sunday School was held in the afternoon at 4 o'clock.

In 1892 the first flag was purchased for the school.

In 1900 a new stove with a jacket was purchased.

In 1918 the P.T.A. purchased the present teachers desk.

In 1919 the present floor was laid.

The electric lights were put in in 1923.

In 1925 Roberts School was connected with the M.S.N.C. (Michigan State Normal College) for 3 years in which practice teaching was done.

In 1937 a new furnace was purchased for the school, also a new chimney was built.

In 1875 in the first record of pupils there were 20 students.

In 1925 there were 43 pupils the largest Roberts School ever had.

In 1837 the school year was held for three months.

In 1838 the school year was four months. The teacher was Voorheis who was paid $14.50 per month.

The terms were winter, summer and finally they had a fall term. During fall and spring the children were the same size as we are today but in the winter term the older boys, as old as twenty one came to school.

In 1880 the first report card was used here. A teacher from Wayne College taught here and she started having them. The marks were in numbers the highest ten and lowest one.

In 1890 the children were placed in grades before that they were in readers.

The beginners were not called to class. The teachers would have them make letters at their desks and ever so often the teacher would come around and ask the children what the letters were.

No school parties or entertainments were held at the school.

There was no library at the school. The library was at the Town Hall but the School didn't use it.

The games that the children played were "Long Dutch, One Old Cat, Dog and Deer, Two old Cats and Hide the Chalk."

Facts Taken from Assesor's Book, 1837-1940


  • Israel Smith, Moderator; James Roughan, Director; Wells Chamberlin, Assessor.
  • Half of the school year was taught by a man and half by a woman. There were two terms winter and summer.


  • James E. Smith, Moderator; Maron H. Warren, Director; Wells Chamberlin, Assessor.
  • A vote that the officers receive one dollar a day.
  • A vote to raise sixty dollars for the support of the school the next year.


  • John Gray, Moderator; Israel Smith, Director; Wells Chamberlin, Assessor.
  • A vote that they raise nin[e]ty dollars.
  • A vote that school be kepted,[sic] three months.
  • A vote to have one cord of wood furnished by the scholars.
  • A vote that one half of the wood be furnished when the scolar came to school.
  • A vote that the director shall collect ten shillings per person from every one that neglects or refuses to fetch his wood.
  • There was a special meeting called to purchase a new stove. The stove was not purchased.
  • Nancy Gray was teacher at $1.75 per week. The school was only kept 16 weeks that year.


  • John Thay, Moderator; Fain Thompson, Director.
  • A vote that there be no school.
  • A vote that we have three months of school the following year.


  • Pratt, Moderator; Hay, Director.
  • There was a vote to have three months summer school and three months winter school.
  • For each scholar one cord of wood was furnished.


  • Alva Pratt, Moderator; John Hay, Director; William Dix, Assessor.
  • It was voted that the District officer get 25 cents a day.
  • It was voted that there would be three months winter school and six months summer school.


  • Alva Pratt, Moderator; John Hay, Director; William Dix, Assessor.
  • It was voted that half a cord of two feet wood from the scholar.


  • Owen Welch, Moderator; Joel C. Pratt, Director; James Smith, Secretary.
  • A vote to have three months of school.
  • A vote to have a half a cord wood per scholar.


  • Alva Pratt, Moderator; James Smith, Director.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and three months summer school.
  • They obtained a piece of land which they were going to build a schoolhouse on the following year.


  • Alva Pratt, Moderator; K. Wallace, Director; Chosar, Assessor.
  • The size of the schoolhouse was to be twenty four feet by thirty feet. The location of the new school was on land owned by Charles Lagcny lying East from Havards lawn North of the Chicago Road provides the cite[sic] can be obtained of the said party.


  • John Hay, Moderator; K. Wallace, Director; James Rirow, Assessor.
  • A vote to have four months summer school with a man teacher.


  • John Hay, Moderator; Roswill Preston, Director; George Stuck, Assessor.,
  • A vote to have four months winter school and three months summer school taught by a man teacher.


  • Owen Welch, Moderator; K. Wallace, Director; George Stuck, Assessor.


  • John Hay, Moderator; Alva Pratt, Director; Henry Stuck, Assessor.
  • A vote to have four months winter school and six months summer school.


  • Joel Pratt, Moderator; Peter Etchells, Director; Edwin Crane, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and four months summer school.


  • Joel Pratt, Moderator; William Roberts, Director; Mickel Rowan, Assessor.


  • Alva Pratt, Moderator, Henry Stuck, Director; George Day, Assessor.
  • At the meeting a committee of three was appointed to find a cite for the schoolhouse.
  • Special meeting was called to order on October 24, 1853. The present cite of the schoolhouse to be established at the N. E. corner of the W. half of the S.W. quarter of section 24 the said cite is to run back ten rods and eight rods fronting on the road. They then said that they were to raise three hundred dollars. Thirty of it going to William Wilson and the rest to pay to build the new school house.


  • Trumbot Monroe, Moderator; Roswell Preston, Director; William Roberts, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months summer school and three months winter school.
  • A vote that the director fix the school house and charge the sum to the district.
  • A vote that two thirds of the public money be appropriated to the winter school.


  • Wilson, Director; George Day, Moderator; Edwin Crane, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and four months summer school.
  • In August Hariet Turner received $26.00 for teaching eleven months and three days.


  • M. W. Wilson, Moderator; Harry Kipp, Director; Edwin Crane, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and four months summer school.


  • W. H. Kipp, Moderator; Michael Towers, Director; W. H. Roberts, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and four months summer school.
  • They obtained one of Websters unabri[d]ged dictionary.


  • W. H. Wilson, Moderator; Roswell Preston, Director; W. Stuck, Assessor.
  • There wasn't any school that year.
  • A vote that they purchase half acre of land for a schoolhouse cite owned by Mr. Yan on the S.W.corner of the N.W. quarter of section 24 in case Mr. Yan objects to sell for $24.41. That they take a half acre of land from W. Wilson on the N.W. corner of the S. half quarter of Section 24.
  • A vote that we elect a committee of three to act as building Schoolhouse committee and also to purchase cite.
  • A vote to sell the old schoolhouse to the highest bidder. George Stuck purchased it at eight dollars.
  • A vote to enlarge the cite five rods further East than due N. to the center of the Chicago Road quarter section just between section 23 and 24 beginning east twenty rods. The district was to pay for the five rods to Mr. Yan for eight dollars.
  • The schoolhouse was to be built in a good and substantial workmanship of wood and wet plaster with lime morter and well painted finished by the first of May. The schoolhouse was finished May (There were five meetings that year)


  • William Wilson, Moderator, for three years, William Yaw, Director, for two years; Grove Sanders, Assessor.
  • A vote to have four months winter school and three months summer school.
  • A vote to raise $291.50 on the taxable property.
  • The director moved so they had a special meeting and appointed Harvey Burnson.
  • They paid Miss Champian nine dollars for teaching 3 months of summer school.


  • Mickel Rowan was appointed to fill vacancy for one year as Director. Edwin Crane, Assessor, for three years.
  • The job of carrying water was given to the lowest bidder of the boys.
  • A vote that all scholars out of the district be excluded.
  • Twenty five dollars a month was paid to Mr. Knox the winter school teacher.
  • Two dollars per week was paid to Emily Rowan the summer school teacher.


  • Roberts, Director.
  • Twenty six dollars a month was paid to Mr. Knox for teaching four months.


  • Roswell Preston, Moderator.
  • A vote to have three months of winter school.


  • M. H. Rowan, Assessor.
  • A vote to have three months winter school and four months summer school.


  • E. Crane, Director.
  • They paid the winter teacher $78.25 also paid Miss Hays $30.00 as teacher.


  • H. L. Roberts, Moderator.
  • Paid $71.27 for winter school teaching and $13.03 for teaching summer school.


  • Mr. Base, Assessor


  • F. Rathfan, Director
  • Miss L. Molhr was paid $88.00 for teaching and Miss Cheney was paid $22.88 for teaching.


  • William Crane, Moderator.
  • The dog tax of $7.15 was given to the school board.
  • Miss Alice Herr was paid $7.50 per week for 16 weeks for teaching winter school.


  • Henry Preston, Assessor.


  • W.H.S. Roberts, Director


  • William Crane, Moderator.
  • The schoolhouse was painted and a fence was put around the schoolyard.
  • The money was raised by taxes.


  • W. Cease, Assessor.
  • Mary Preston was paid $48.00 for teaching.
  • The vote was canceled to build the schoolyard fence.


  • M. K. Begole, Director
  • Mr. Case was $1.50 per day for 75 days of teaching.


  • H. H. Preston, Moderator.
  • A vote not to have school if not more than two pupils came.


  • B. Day, Assessor.
  • A vote to have eight months school
  • All non-resident children under 7 would come to school free and all over 7 would have to pay $1.50 per term in advance.
  • A. Lancy was paid $18.00 per month and there were twenty children coming to school and Flora Preston was paid $16.00 per month for teaching and there was 20 children coming.


  • Grove Sanders, Director
  • A vote to have nine months school that year with three teachers who are Flora Preston was paid $78 per month and there were 20 children going to school, Frank Rathfon was paid $103.60 with 31 children going to school and Mary Preston was paid $16 per month with 19 children going to school


  • Joseph White, Moderator.
  • A vote to have eight months of school.


  • Frank Rathfon, Treasurer, for three years.
  • The tuition was a $1.50 for the winter term and $.75 for spring and fall.


  • W.W.Crane, Moderator; A.W. Yans, Director; George Sanders, Assessor, for three years.
  • A vote to have nine months of school.
  • A vote that non-resident scholars must pay thirty five cents tuition per month.
  • A special meeting was held.
  • A vote put in new floors and seats.
  • A committee had to report about the cost of repairing the school.


  • Joel White, Moderator
  • A vote to have seven months school.
  • A vote to raise two hundred dollars to repair schoolhouse.


  • Frank Rathfon, Assessor, for three years.
  • No charge to non-resident pupils.


  • C.C.Sherwood, Director, for three years, Clarence Bofs, Treasurer, for two years.
  • A vote that non-resident pupils pay $10.00 for fo[u]r months.
  • School officers had a board meeting to select books as follows. Harpers U.S. Readers, Harpers Geographies, Harpers Arithmetics, Swintons Language Series, Lansons Copy book, Harringtons Graded Spelling Book.


  • M. H. Begole, Moderator, for three years; C.C. Sherwood, Chairman.
  • An addition to the school a porch and a storm house in front of the school.


  • S. O. Rathfon, Assessor, for three years.
  • The non-residents were charged 25 cents per month in advance.
  • A vote to have new windows put in and the old ones sold to the highest bidder. Mr. B. Day was the highest bidder and they were sold 56 cents per window.
  • A vote to have nine months school.


  • C. C. Sherwood, Director, for three years.
  • A motion that the director get $6.00 dollars per year for his services.
  • A vote to charge non-residents 25 cents per month.


  • Martor (Morton) Case, Moderator; M. Robbins, Assessor.


  • A.N. Harris, Assessor.


  • A.N. Harris, Assessor.


  • A.N. Harris, Assessor


  • A. N. Harris, Assessor


  • W. Campfield, Assessor


  • W. Campfield, Assessor


  • H.H. Preston, Treasurer


  • C. H. Roberts, Treasurer


  • Alice Roberts, Treasurer


  • E. F. Alexander,Treasurer
Roberts School from 1913


  • B. A. Begole, Treasurer


  • William Price, Moderator; Frank White, Director, George Rathfon, Treasurer.


  • F. S. Begole, Moderator; Frank White, Director, George Rathfon, Treasurer.


  • Frank White, Director, John Price, Treasurer.


  • Arthur Sherwood, Moderator; Frank White, Director; John Price, Treasurer.


  • W. E. Olds, Treasurer; Arthur Sherwood, Moderator; Earl Christner, Director.


  • Clara Roberts, Director; George Rathfon, Moderator; Fred Robbins, Treasurer.


  • Frank Sutherland, Moderator; Clara Roberts, Director; Fred Robbins, Treasurer.


  • Frank Sutherland, Moderator; Clara Roberts, Director; Otto Stabnace, Treasurer.


  • Eaton Cr[i]tten, Moderator; Clara Roberts, Director; Frank Sutherland, Treasurer.


  • Max Larkins, Director; Eaton Critten, Moderator; Frank Sutherland, Treasurer


  • Henry Lyons, Moderator; Max Larkins, Director; Frank Sutherland, Treasurer.


  • Henry Lyons, Moderator; Max Larkins, Director; Marie White, Treasurer.
  • In December 1940 Anna Buchanan was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy of Director.

Teachers, Salaries, and Number of Students, 1878-1941

  • 1878 E. Preston, 20 Children
  • 1879 Nettie Rathfon, 13 Children
  • 1880 A. M. Rathfon, 15 Children $16.00 per month
  • 1881 Annie Rathfon, 15 Children
  • 1881 F. H. Thompson, 19 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1882 Addie Preston, 19 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1883 Addie Preston, 19 Children $75.00 for a term
  • 1884 Addie Preston $25.00 per month
  • 1884 Mrs. Hausner $29.66 per month
  • 1885 Lena Fleming $25.00 per month
  • 1885 Mattie Qunk $62.50 for the term
  • 1886 Leeny Fleming $50.00 for the term
  • 1886 J. Graves $58.75 for the term
  • 1886 H. H. Preston
  • 1887 Etta F. Baker, 22 Children $75.00 for the term
  • 1887 Frank White, 18 Children $28.00 per month
  • 1888 Frank White, 25 Children $28.00 per month
  • 1888 Maggie Pease, 20 Children $23.00 per month
  • 1889 Frank White, 26 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1889 Minnie Harner, 23 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1890 Lillie Schlee, 22 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1890 Mary Chalmer, 29 Children $28.00 per month
  • 1891 Lillie Schlee, 29 Children
  • 1892 Lillie Schlee, 27 Children
  • 1892 Julie Schlee $25.00 per month
  • 1893 Earl Rhodes, 22 Children $13.77 per month
  • 1893 Julie Schlee
  • 1894 Earl Rhodes, 21 Children
  • 1895 Earl Rhodes, 16 Children
  • 1896 L. Warner, 18 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1897 Louis Warner $25.00 per month
  • 1897 Mary Hurd, 18 Children $24.40 per month
  • 1898 Lulu Valentine, 15 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1899 Lulu Valentine, 14 Children $22.00 per month
  • 1900 Alice Staly Dicus, 18 children $20.00 per month
  • 1901 Hattie Walker, 23 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1902 Hattie Walker, 23 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1903 Hattie Walker, 14 Children $25.00 per month
  • 1904 Gertrude Ball, 14 Children $23.00 per month
  • 1905 -------------, ----------- $25.00 per month
  • 1906 Laura Kaiser, 13 Children $24.00 per month
  • 1907 Laura Kaiser, 13 Children $28.00 per month
  • 1908 Reah Peu, 7 Children $30.00 per month
  • 1909 Clara Ziegler, 9 Children $35.00 per month
  • 1911 Clara Ziegler $35.00 per month
  • 1912 Alice Moor $40.00 per month
  • 1913 Irene Wilson $40.00 per month
  • 1914 Marita Braun $40.00 per month
  • 1915 Manita Braun $40.00 per month
  • 1916 Harry Miller, 19 Children $40.00 per month
  • 1817 Sylvia Alber , 19 Children $45.00 per month
  • 1918 Mrs. Fowler, 21 Children $53.00 per month
  • 1918 Mrs. Kidwell, 22 Children $60.00 per month
  • 1919 Sylvia Alber $72.50 per month
  • 1920 Ida Young , 31 Children $85.00 per month
  • 1921 Vera Gleason, 32 Children $85.00 per month
  • 1922 Vera Gleason $90.00 per month
  • 1923 Vera Gleason $90.00 per month
  • 1924 Ruth McAllister $84.00 per month
  • 1925 Gladys Jors, 43 Children $120.00 per month
  • 1926 Gladys Jors $113.00 per month
  • 1927 Donna Cady $125.00 per month
  • 1928 Donna Cady $125.00 per month
  • 1929 Mrs. Stephenson $115.00 per month
  • 1930 Mrs. Stephenson $120.00 per month
  • 1931 Mrs. Stephenson $120.00 per month
  • 1932 Mrs. Stephenson $80.00 per month
  • 1933 Miss Younglove $40.00 per month
  • 1934 Mrs. Simmons $50.00 per month
  • 1935 Miss Rabbe $55.00 per month
  • 1936 Mrs. Block $70.00 per month
  • 1937 Mrs. Block $80.00 per month
  • 1938 Mrs. Block $90.00 per month
  • 1939 Mrs. Block, 20 Children $95.00 per month
  • 1940 Mrs. Block, 6 Children $95.00 per month

Students in 1941

  • Glenis Sutherland, Second Grade
  • Carl Hanson, Third Grade
  • Ruth Kendik, Fifth Grade
  • Genelda Forsythe, Fifth Grade
  • John Hinson, Seventh Grade
  • Joseph Schmidt, Eighth Grade

Source: Pittsfield Township records, box 1, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. This entry is from a history of Washtenaw County Schools written by students in the schools and loaned to the Bentley Historical Library by Julius W. Haab, County Superintendent, August 1943. It has been edited slightly for inclusion on the Pittsfield Township Historical Society Website.

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