• History of Maple Point Middle School


    The following except from “County Public Schools” sheds light on the beginning history about how the current day Maple Point Middle School came into being:


    As part of this paper said photo-static copy is herewith included.


    Maple Point School


    A sale of the schoolhouse at Maple Point on June 5, 1937, to Mr. E. Stocker of Farnkford by the directors of the Middletown Township School Board has prompted the undersigned to attempt a brief history of the school, and thus preserve for posterity a record of local interest.


    A visit to George Row, father of Mrs. Amos Satterthwaite, September 25, 1937, proved a rich source for many a hint of personal recollection.   Here is an attractive house dating previous to 1837, (the point of time appears carved in a stone gate post at the homestead entrance), Mr. Row narrated from carefully prepared notes exact details of the school’s past.  Favored, indeed, is one to listen to such an able commentator.  His own story told in the first person lends additional charm to a tale that now borders on memory.


    “To whom may be ascribed first the designation of the school, I do not know.  Its location at a junction of roads, (formerly Wildman’s Corners), and the presence of maple trees on the grounds form an easy basis of conjecture for dwellers of the neighborhood to name the spot where children gathered to learn.


    “My first term was in the Eight Square”.  This octagonal shaped structure was placed on a small point of land taken from the Wildman farm.  There was not enough space about the building for children to pursue their games, and boys found it necessary to play “corner ball” in the adjacent highway.  Strange that people gave land so sparingly in those days.


    “My father Washington Row was a school director and supervised the building of the present house in 1862 or ‘63.  In this office he gave service to the public for twenty-seven years.  The stone used in the octagonal structure was carried back from the point and used in making the house now found upon the spot.”


    As already intimated the original land came from the Wildman farm.  A parenthetical reference in the deed made Fourth month first, 1853, state (It being the same lot which James Wildman and wife conveyed to John Watson, Thomas Jenks, Joshua Blakey, Jr., Joseph Suber, (all deceased), and the above mentioned James Moon in fee for the use of a school by Deed bearing date the 1th  of 9th month., A.D., 1804, recorded at Bucks in Deed Book No. 34, page 560 &c…).


    Concerning the date just mentioned a word of comment is appropriate.  There is an erasure in the original deed which, with subsequent insertion, would indicate that 1822 had been made over into 1804, and the “th” for the month had not been changed to “st”.


    When the transfer was made in 1852 James Moon, surviving trustee, is mentioned as conveying the land for fifty cents to another board of directors.  Upon this land a School House had been erected.  It is quite likely, therefore, that the original Maple Point school building had been placed previous to the Public School Act of 1834.


    The later contracting School Board embraced the names of Joseph Rich, James Wildman, Joseph Watson, Thomas Jenks, Isaac Eyre and James H. Moon.


    Additional space was purchased from Mary Newbold September 27, 1862.  In this later deed the “Directors of Common Schools of Middletown township” are listed as Paxson Blakey, David L. Watson, Jesse Cabe, Washington Row, Samuel M. Gillam and Pierson Mitchell.  The tract described as the Newbold farm is now owned by William D. Rowe.


    Both the original deed and the one for later purchase are herewith tendered to the keeping of the Bucks County Historical Society.


    Mr. George Row’s remarks continue as follows:


    “Of the teachers the Blakely sisters, Marianna and Sarah, were the first remembered.  I think they taught in both the old and present buildings.  Mary Roberts of Dolington taught on term.  Sarah Gillam whose farm home was at Glen Lake was an early teacher.  Her brothers, Jonathan and William, came with her by horse and wagon.  The school was very large that winter, over sixty pupils being enrolled.  Susanna Rich was another teacher, but how long she served I do not know (the information concerning this teacher has been supplemented through a communication received from Elizabeth R. Kirk, West Chester, Pa.  It reads:  “My aunt Susanna Rich taught at Maple Point for a number of years.  I do not know the dates exactly, but as near as I can remember, I think the period of service was about 1872 to 1892.  My cousin Mrs. Nathan Worrall, also a niece of Susanna Rich, was a pupil at Maple Point.”)


    “Cassie Rice, an outstanding person in some ways, also gave of her time. She and her sister Maggie later taught in the Friends’ School, at Langhorne. The plain Language, or the “thee and thou of the Quakers’ was used at the time, probably influenced by the Friendly expression of the neighborhood at that time.


    “Flo (Linton) Ivins and Maggie (Wright) Pidcock were later teachers.  Agnes Cunningham followed, and Effie Watson, too, was there for a longer time than some of the others.


    “In the days to which reference has been made the matter of boarding the teacher was a problem that confronted the director then in office.  No one cared to share the requisites of a home with the temporary resident of the district.  Father being a director, the teacher found the necessary food and shelter under his roof.  He lived then in the house about a mile from the school on the road to Yardley.  This property until recently was owned by the Heacock Nurseries.


    “The purchase of the Wildman home by William and Mary Watson furnished the needed relief to Mother who had a large family for which provision must be made.  The Watsons saw their way clear to entertain the teachers as they came along and thus help in the solution of a community obligation.’


    (George row assigns credit for a part of the foregoing to Anna Watson, who died recently in the Friends’ Home at Trenton, New Jersey.)


    Through the kindness of Mrs. Peter Leichliter whose home is at Maple Point, supplemented by a search of the minutes of the Middletown Township School Board, the writer has learned of others who taught in this school.  The list of names has been arranged in chronological order as closely as memory serves.

              Edith Darlington

              Eva M. Frankenfield, 1904

              Violet S. Evans (?)

    Mary Grace Reber, resigned Dec. 1906, later became the wife                              of Judge Calvin Boyer.

    Jennie S. Wildman (transferred from Frosty Hollow)

    Edna Suber, 1907

    Helen T. Yerkes Row, 1908

    Hazel E. Reburn

    Edith Rich Cutler

    Florence M. Reeder

    Edith H. Black (Substitute, Dec 17-24, 1918)

    Helen Hays, 1919

    Sarah C. VanArtsdalen

    Anna Scarborough

    Mrs. M.P. Hammond

    Josie Kimble (last to serve).


    It is recorded in the minutes of the Board that on April 7, 1927, it was unanimously resolved to close the Maple Point School at the end of the school year.  It was further decided to send all the pupils of grades 1,2, and 3 to Edge Hill, and all grades above the third from both Maple Point and Edge Hill are to be sent to Langhorne.


    The closing of Maple Point School was not accomplished without protest.  A petition of 190 names including those of taxpayers, parents, and voters of Middletown Township expressed an unwillingness for the discontinuance of a school in this section.  To such a formal objection must be accorded respect and consideration, for both sentiment and neighborhood pride factor in communal projects.


    The Board on July 2, 1927, gave consideration to this petition but felt that since the closing of Wildman’s Corner School (so designated in the petition) had been carefully weighed in all its details, no action should be taken rescinding the decision reached at a previous meeting to close the school.


    In the meantime, on June 2, 1927, the Board already had resolved that immediate steps should be initiated for disposal by sale of the building and property.  To that end the President and Secretary were authorized to execute and deliver a proper deed for said premises to the purchaser thereof.


    School sessions were ended at Maple Point June, 1927.  Now modern busses carry the primary children to the one-room school at Edge Hill, and those of the higher grades find their place of learning in the Langhorne-Middletown Township combined system of schools.


    A waiting system not far from the building, now used as a dwelling, affords protection in inclement weather to pupils awaiting the arrival of the bus.


    The present Board of Directors of Middletown Township is composed of Mrs. Hannah G. C. Pickering, President, Woodbourne; Edmund Cocks, Vice-president, George School; Walter S. Miller, Secretary, Parkland; Samuel H. Everitt, Treasurer, Bristol R. D; and Christian V. Tomlinson, Langhorne.


    Other directors are noted as follows, sources of information being the deeds to which reference already has been made and minute books of the Board.


    Several appointments were due to death or resignation of predecessors.  Some of the directors resumed office after an interim from another term.  In general, the time element is the determining factor in the arrangement of names.


    John Watson

    Thomas Jenks                Maple Point

    Joshua Blakey               Original Purchase

    Joseph Suber                (9/1/1804, or 1822)

    James Moon


    Joseph Rich

    James Wildman

    Joseph Watson               Maple Point

    Thomas Jenks                Transfer

    Isaac Eyre                       (4/1/1852)

    James H. Moon

    Paxson Blakey

    David L. Watson

    Jesse Cabe                     Maple Point

    Washington Row            Second Purchase

    Samuel M. Gillam           (9/27/1862)

    Pierson Mitchell