Look Back: Education important from the start in Parkersburg

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society

Photo provided by Jeff Little Situated on Ann Street, just above 13th, Nash School was completed c. 1902-03. Originally named for early Parkersburg educator John C. Nash, for a period of time the name of the school was changed to Willard. In 1909 it again became Nash School.

Editor’s note: The last item in this edition of Lookback contains language that, while common at the time, would be considered offensive today. Because this is a column about history, we have chosen to leave the item as it was printed, to give an accurate picture of the reporting of the time.


Parkersburg male and female school

The subscribers design to open a school with a male and a female department in Parkersburg, to meet, as they hope, the wants of the community generally. They have both had experience in teaching; and design their school to be permanent if the community shall approve it; and therefore the plan which they have devised, when it is filled out, will comprise a complete education for a young lady; and the advancement of a boy so far, that he can enter the Senior class in the Colleges of the country.

TERMS — For English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic and History. $6, per session.

For the Sciences and higher English branches, $8 per session.

Latin, Greek and French languages and higher Mathematics, $12 per session.

Miss Jane Sedwick will teach in the female department with the aid of the subscribers; and another Female Instructress is to be provided as soon as requisite to meet the wants of the School.

The Session will commence on Monday 24th Nov. and continue till 24th April 1846, with a vacation of a few days at the Christmas Holidays, at the tenement formerly occupied by Mr. Hayly, more recently by Rev. M. Brown. Signed, Geo. C. Sedwick & John H. Docock

References — Wm. F. Coffer, Esq., P.G. Van Winkle, Esq., M.J. Littleboy, D.R. Neal, Rob. S. Smith, and B. Smith, Parkersburg, Va.

The Parkersburg Gazette

Dec. 4, 1845


School examination

Mr. Nash’s school underwent a general examination on Thursday last. Chancing to drop in, during the exercises, we were highly pleased to see a goodly number of ladies and gentlemen in attendance, testifying their interest in the cause of education. We are sure this throng of visitors, in common with ourself, were gratified with the proceedings. Classes were subjected to rigid examination on various branches of learning, wherein the pupils evinced a readiness and proficiency seldom attained by young scholars. Mr. Nash enjoys an enviable reputation as instructor in languages and mathematics, and possesses the requisites of an efficient teacher in an eminent degree–not the least among the merits of his school, being the rigid discipline he maintains and which is apparent to all,

The Parkersburg Gazette

March 27, 1852


School burned

Last Sunday about noon, the building, nearly under the railroad bridge, just below Ann Street, formerly used by the colored people as a school house and church, was discovered to be on fire in the roof. In less than thirty minutes the entire building was consumed. It is said to have caught fire from an engine passing over the bridge.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

July 22, 1876


Bob Enoch is the president of the Wood County Historical Society. The group meets at 7p.m. on the last Monday of each month in the Summers Auditorium at the Wood County Public Library on Emerson Avenue. They do not meet in December. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102