The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Media Township History

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


The first school ever held in this district was taught by John Sampy.  He is described as a wiry little man with keen eyes and wore an expression on his fact that frowned down all would-be disturbers of the school room’s quiet. 

It was said that several rods always stood in a corner.  There were powerful argument in favor of obedience and were frequently used on very small pretexts. 

It has been said that once an irate parent threatened to thrash the schoolmaster if he ever again beat his boy until the blood ran down his back. It seems that in those days knowledge getting was frequently accompanied by force.

School was held for several years in any building in the vicinity that they could get.  Miss Mary Pogue taught the school and boarded round with the pupils. 

Miss Mary Campbell taught here and later went as a missionary to Pakistan & India.  One of the first buildings used was one erected by Aleck Rankin, Great-Grandfather of Mrs. Buela Rankin Cavlins.  He had used it as a dwelling for a time. 

It was a log house built by laying together logs fitted at the ends.  The floor was made of linn-wood hewn smooth on one side. 

The room was seated with slabs in which holes had been bored and wooden pins were driven in for legs.  The backs of the seats were supplied by the children who brought them to school in the morning and took them back to their homes in the evenings.

For a time school was held in an old church that stood just west of the present cemetery and between it and the old Ellison United Presbyterian Church. 

Moses McElhinney who lived north of the cemetery furnished the school room, taught the school, and boarded himself for $14 a month. 

This was the last place where school was held before the stone school house was built in 1868. 

The stone was quarried on the Old Kirkpatrick place now the Media-Wever High School land.  This stone house was built west of Wever Lakes near the Sampy Creek. 

The school children carried water in buckets from the springs at the Wever Lakes and drank from a dipper.  They loved their surroundings.  They enjoyed swinging from the old vines in the trees, picking hazel nuts from the bushes and playing in the creek.  Many of the scholars walked a mile and a half to school.

The first term of school was taught in this building in the fall of 1858 and Moses McElhinney was the teacher.  Sarah McElhinney was the last teacher.  School was held here regularly until the fall of 1892.

Teachers who taught there were: 

Moses McElhinney, J. O. Randall, W. H. Russell, Marion Michey, John A. Brooks, C. E. Cooper, Mary Pressly, Anna Sampey, Mr. Hunter, Fanny McQuown, Anna McArthur, Robert Allen, David Thompson, Hugh Marshall, Dorothy Choats, Willis Thompson, Ebenezer Wallace, Clara Spears, Maria and Clara Allison, Mr. Harwood, Silas Hopper, Ella Grahm, Charles VanBuren, Sara McElhinney, and an Irishman by the name of Sullivan who was celebrated for his much drinking.