EDGEWOOD AND RILEY SCHOOLS
I have been staying in contact with Ted Lobdell and Barry Hix. These two fellows have been very involved in reconnecting all the former students, their families, teachers and all other staff members from the former Edgewood Grade School. They have put together a couple of wonderful school reunions in the past 10 or 12 years.
Edgewood Grade School opened in 1914. Many folks in the local community felt the building was way too large with much wasted space. Within seven years, all the space that was being used for storage was converted to classrooms and the first addition to the building was under construction.
I attended Edgewood from 1948 to 1954. My class was the very first second-grade class to attend the James Whitcomb Riley building that is also located on the Edgewood property. This was a time of lots of growth in Perry Township.
In 1948, the main building had students from all eight elementary grades. The Riley building opened in 1949 and both first and second grades were relocated in the new building. This gave the main building some breathing room. My class returned to the main building for third through sixth grades.
As my class moved up to the seventh grade, the Perry Township Junior High School opened on Banta Road. This allowed all of the grade schools in Perry Township to provide classes for students from first through sixth grades.
It is so very interesting to me when I get a chance to read through some of the school’s history. The original history of Edgewood was written for the 50th Anniversary in 1964 by Eleanor Ross Kleinhenz, a former pupil during its early years.
It is amazing to see the faculty rosters from all the years that Edgewood and Riley were open. Starting in 1923 through 1928, Calvin Leedy was principal of Edgewood Grade School and later at Southport High School when my class graduated.
Hugh Thompson followed him as principal from 1928 through 1935, and he was our junior-high principal.
Paul L. (Pete) Bailey was principal from 1939 through 1972. Catherine Sanders was the first principal for the Riley building. They were married sometime between the 1968-69 and 1969-70 school years.
The two schools closed at the end of the 1979/80 school year. The following year, the Edgewood building was demolished. The Riley building is still on the property and a few years ago, it was reopened as a school.
At one time, a dozen basketball goals were available at the Edgewood school for students to play outdoors during recess and for everyone to play at other times. Lobdell and Hix were able to place a new outside basketball goal on the property which is in place with plans for a formal dedication within a few months.
Last September, my good friend, Ron Browning and I took a small portable basketball goal up to the old Edgewood property. We took a few shots so that we could claim to have scored the last goals before the new goal was put in place.
I’ve already seen pictures of Ted shooting a basketball toward the new goal.
I’m excited about us Edgewood folks getting together again for this dedication. We will keep everyone posted.