SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOLS/HOMES
THE ANDERSONBURG SCHOOL
According to the book,
Pennsylvania's Soldiers' Orphan Schools, Giving a Brief Account of the
Origin...; J. L. Paul; 1877
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"THIS school is located in the far-famed
Sherman's Valley, Perry county, seventeen miles west of New Bloomfield, the
county-seat, and twenty miles west of the Pennsylvania Railroad, at Newport.
A daily mail and passenger coach (except Sunday) passes this point. The
valley here is about six miles in width, being within ten miles of the upper or
west end, and is beautifully surrounded by mountains--the Conococheague
Mountains sweeping round on the north-west, and Bowers' Mountain on the
Some time in the autumn of 1865, at the suggestion of Hon. A. B. Anderson, Judge
M. Motzer communicated with Dr. Burrowes, who was then the Superintendent of
Soldiers' Orphans, relative to opening a soldiers' orphan school at Andersonburg,
in the large brick building then belonging to Mr. Anderson, and which was at
that time used as an academy. Receiving the necessary encouragement from
Superintendent Burrowes, Judge Motzer rented and moved to the building in the
spring of 1866.
In July following, Dr. Burrowes visited Andersonburg, and, after seeing the
place and surrounding mountains, he manifested himself highly pleased, saying:
"This is a beautiful location for a school; one of the best I have yet
selected. This must certainly be a very healthful locality."
The first pupils were received on the 18th and 20th of September, 1866.
The school was organized on the 16th of October following, with Professor Wm. H.
Hall as principal teacher, and a few months after Miss Laura J. Milligan was
employed as assistant teacher.
At the close of the second year the children had increased to one hundred and
seventeen; the house above mentioned was then found to be too small to
accommodate the school, and another building, thirty-five by fifty feet, three
stories high, was erected. A fine study-hall or school-room, thirty-five
by forty-three feet, was finished in this new edifice, well lighted, and
supplied with modern furniture. The school-room is on the second floor; on
the third floor are two class-rooms, besides a number of sleeping rooms.
On the 1st of December, 1872, Professor Hall became joint proprietor of the
school, but still acted as principal teacher, and Mr. B. K. Hall and Miss
Milligan were the assistants.
On the 1st of September, 1874, Judge Motzer withdrew from the school on account
of the bad health of himself and wife, and Professor Hall became sole Proprietor
and Principal, with Mr. J. R. Runyan as principal teacher, and Miss M. Coyle
assistant. Up to the present time one hundred and seventy children have
been admitted into the school.
Judge Motzer was connected with the school between eight and nine years.
The degree of health enjoyed by the children during this time was remarkable,
but four deaths having occurred. It is worthy of record that no complaints
have at any time reached the Department of Harrisburg, from others, guardians,
or children, relative to the management of this school. Many of the
children who left this institution in its early history are now useful members
of society. Many, who were honorably discharged, have returned on visits,
and said it seemed like coming home.
We give a list of employees, February 29, 1876:
Prof. W. S. Hulslander, Prof. B. F. Hollenbaugh.
Mrs. Lizzie S. Hall
Mrs. E. R. Sheaffer.
Miss Nancy Clouser, Miss Ellen Toorny.
Miss Maggie Stahl, Mrs. Maggie McGuire, Mrs. Mary Rowe, Mr. David H. Johns.
G. W. Mitchell, M.D."
The above information was extracted
from the book:
Paul, James Laughery: "Pennsylvania's SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOLS,
Giving A Brief Account of the Origin of the Late Civil War, The Rise and
Progress of the Orphan System, and Legislative Enactments Relating Thereto; With
Brief Sketches and Engravings of the Several Institutions, with Names of Pupils
Subjoined. "Andersonburg School". Harrisburg: Hart,
1877. p. 370-371.