Newspaper article from 1938.
People Kept Control And
Built Community Center
One of the biggest fights that the people of Ohio and in this nation have today is to maintain local self-government. From Columbus and from Washington the politicians are reaching out to get control of what is left of local self-government. Compare the self-government the people in Fulton county enjoyed thirty years ago to what they have now and see what little is left.
Thirty years ago the people managed their public schools as they desired. Today all is changed. The public schools must now be conducted within the limits and according to the decision of some politician at Columbus. Before tax levies can be voted by the people in a school district or a new school house erected some public official outside of the school district must give his consent.
The effort in the past few years has been to centralize all authority in Columbus and at Washington. The "Little Red School House" has been the target of a certain class in Ohio. The concerted effort of certain politicians and school superintendents was to put the one-room school out of business, no matter how much that school was needed in that community or how good work it was doing.
This plea of giving the rural child the same advantages in education as the city child, was oft times used as a slogan by some superintendents when as a matter of fact, he wanted his school district enlarged because it would increase his annual salary.
Fighting Own Battle
When the Educational Department of Ohio was determined to tear up the school districts in the state and drive out the rural schools by hitching them to some village or city school district, two school districts in Fulton county fought back. Their boards of education took a lead to keep control of their own schools. Not only that but they wanted the taxes they paid to improve their own townships, to create an interest in the people in advancing their own interests and not those of a community of ten or fifteen miles away. They wanted a community center for their people where they could meet for entertainment or the public meetings they may desire.
These two school districts were Franklin township and Pike township. They were fighting on their own side to keep control of their own school, local self-government and for a community spirit.
Pike Township District
Rather than have their school district torn up and attached to other districts and the taxes the people of Pike Township School district paid go to pay for erecting beautiful school buildings in other districts and their community center destroyed, the board of education lead a campaign to issue bonds, build their school building, keep their own community center and maintain local self government. The president of that board of eduction was H. L. McGhee and the secretary of the board was W. B. Dinius.
The people of Pike Township school district took the advise of the members of the board of education and voted for the bond issue.
Beautiful School Building
The Pike Township School District now has a beautiful building. It is a real community center. It is located at Winameg. There are 159 pupils enrolled and four teachers are employed. There are four buses that bring children to and from their homes to school.
In this building is a fine auditorium. Here the pupils can all be assembled; here the schools can give programs and invite the public; here the people of the district can hold their meetings. It is the community center for the entire township and adjoining community.
The Farmers Institute was held in this auditorium and the Parent Teacher Association held their meeting there last Monday evening.
What of the Costs?
The school levy in the Pike Township school district for this year is 6.80 mills. And the levy includes paying for the new school building, busses and the expense of operation of the school. What is the school levy in the Delta School District this year? 10.60 mills. In Fulton Township school district the school levy is 7.80 mills. In the Lyons School District the school rate is 13.50 mills. What is the school rate in Wauseon? 7.00 mills. In Pettisville District the school rate is 9.0 mills. In Swanton District the school rate is 9.00 mills.
In Pike Township school district taxpayers pay $6.80 on $1000 tax valuation. In the Delta district they pay, $10.60. In Fulton they pay $7.80. In Lyons, they pay $13.50. In Swanton they pay they pay $9.00. In Wauseon they pay $7.00. Thus the school levy in Pike Township is 20 cents lower than in Wauseon; $3.80 lower than in Delta; $1, lower than in Fulton; $6.70 lower than in Lyons; $2.40 lower than in Pettisville; $1.20 cents lower than in Swanton on $1000 tax valuation.
That means that if the Pike township school district had been transferred to Delta the taxpayers in Pike would have to pay $10.60 school tax on a $1000 instead of $6.80. If it had been transferred. To Lyons they would be paying $13.50 instead of $6.80; or if to Fulton they would have paid $7.80 instead of $6.80.
By keeping control of its own schools Pike Township school district has a lower tax rate than if the district had been transferred and they have their own community center in addition.
July 8, 1981
Mert Galbraith, 71, died July 8 at his home in Delta, Ohio. Services and burial were July 12 in Delta.
Mr; Galbraith was a retired teacher and administrator. He taught four years in Adrian Public Schools and for six years was student coordinator for the Adrian Schools. He had spent more than 43 years in public education.
Surviving are his wife, Naomi; two sons, Richard and Paul, both of Delta; one brother, Harve of Wauseon; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Note: Otha Whitcomb reports that Mert Galbraith began teaching at Pike School in 1938 as a teacher and principal.