July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

York Twp. School is gone, but students remain

York Township School closed in 1953, but its graduates keep the school’s memories alive. They’ve been holding annual reunions since 1907.

Members from nine classes were at Friday’s 106th gathering in Liverpool Township, including 94-year-old Beulah Scott of Montville, who represented the 19 members of the class of 1935.

Beulah Scott, 94, of Montville, represents the York School graduating class of 1935 at the annual reunion of that school’s remaining graduates. York closed in 1953 as part of the consolidation of rural schools into the Buckeye Local School District. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY DAN POMPILI)

Scott remembers that after graduation she worked as a housekeeper for the family who lived in the house that is now the Corkscrew Saloon. Her wage was $2.50 a week.

In 1940, she married Don Scott, who operated a farm on Station Road.

John Riley, class of 1956, sat at the table with Scott and reminded her that he was the farmhand for the Scotts who couldn’t keep the tractor running.

This year’s reunion, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1377 Lester Road, drew 79 graduates, said William Schultz, president of the alumni association.

Some came from as far away as Arizona, the Carolinas, Florida, Michigan, Montana, New York and Utah, he said.

Schultz said the first York School was a one-room wooden structure, built about 1897.

The school’s first high school class — four students — graduated in 1900.

A brick school was build in 1922 and operated until the 1953 consolidation of rural schools into the Buckeye Local Schools.

Over five decades, York graduated a total of 440 students, Schultz said.

Schultz, 81, is a member of the class of 1950. His wife is a member of the class of 1952. They still live York Township.

The alumni at this year’s reunion had a dinner of steak and chicken, catered by St. Paul parishioners Mark and Sandy Andrukat.

They looked over copies of the school’s “Yorkey” yearbooks and other school publications and photos of the days when York was a one-room school house.

Other photos commemorated March 17, 1922 — the day students moved to the “new brick building.”

The graduates discussed changing the date of the annual reunion to avoid a conflict with Memorial Day. Schultz said many people have family obligations on that holiday weekend.

Age and infirmity prevented some from attending, including Lloyd Naragon, the former principal and superintendent who recently turned 103.

Those who attended say they intend to keep the tradition going as long as possible to remember what it meant to wear the purple and gold of the York Generals.

Schultz said the alumni are a tight-knit group and include 20 couples married.

“I really enjoyed being a part of York School. It was a lot of fun, and that’s why I come back every year from Michigan to join all of you in this alumni banquet,” said Betty Lou Moehle, of the class of 1950.

Moehle said that for several years when she couldn’t come because her husband was ill, she still sent the money for a spot at the table and paid her membership dues.

She said she wanted to do her part to keep everyone getting together.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.