Schools in the County
The very first school in Somerset County was probably located on the farm of Harmon Husband in 1777. James KENNEDY was the first school master. Kennedy was an indentured servant of Husband's and was given the position of school master after he was dismissed from serving in the Husband household. Kennedy, an Irish Catholic, had ran away from home in Ireland and sold himself as an indentured servant to pay passage to America.
It is believed that Kennedy served two months as school master and was then released from thge position when it was found out that he was illiterate.
Most of the early schools in the county were organized by the local church body.
The common school law was passed in 1834 and provided a general system of education. This new law established a new era in education but it was opposed by many who felt that their taxes should not have to help pay for the education of their neighbors children. Many townships refused to accept the school appropriation and hoped that the law would be repealed..
Addison Township had was the first to accept an appropriation for schools in 1834. Milford and then Turkeyfoot followed a year later in 1835.
Three institutions of higher education were founded in the county.
Somerset High School is considered to be the first high school in the county - Meyersdale High School was also established around the same time.
(excerpted from Somerset Past, Vol VII, No. 2, pp. 14)
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Last Revised: March 30, 2008