Students Came From Near And Far To Littleton High School
Boys and girls from surrounding areas attended Littleton High School. They came from adjacent communities in Wetzel, Marshall, and Monongalia counties. They also came from Greene County, Pa.
Some students, who lived in the Hundred and Burton areas, rode the train each day to and from school. The train left Hundred at 8:15 a.m. and returned at 3:40 p.m. This transportation cost $3.30 per month. Other students boarded with families in Littleton. Bub Haines, who lived over near Camp Run in Monongalia County, commuted daily to the high school. Bub arose at 4:30 each morning and climbed a long, steep hill to a barn where the family horses were kept.
He rode a horse about five miles to Hundred where he stabled the animal and then caught the train to Littleton. In the evening, Bub made the return trip home. He made this journey throughout his entire high school career. After graduating from Littleton High School, Bub went to Fairmont State College and later earned a master’s degree from WVU. He was principal of Hundred Grade School for many years. Bub Haines was born in 1900 and passed away in 1982.
Pat Cosgray and his brother, Paul, graduated from Littleton High School. Pat graduated in 1925 and Paul in 1926. The Cosgray family lived on a farm in the Knob Fork area. While attending high school, the boys “batched” at Littleton in a rented apartment which they shared with two other students, John and Fred Grimm. These fellows were from New Freeport, Pennsylvania.
On Fridays, the Cosgray brothers would return home. They rode horses which were stabled in Littleton during the week. On Sunday evenings, the boys rode back to Littleton. Their commute was via the Windy Ridge Road, which at that time extended from near Knob Fork all the way into Littleton. On their trips to and from Littleton, the boys would race. Pat always won the races and his brother attributed Pat’s victories to the fact that he had a better mount.
Pat Cosgray graduated from Fairmont State College. He held a master’s degree from WVU and was principal of Hundred High School from 1956 until 1982. He passed away in 1991. Paul also attended Fairmont State. At the time of his retirement, Paul was Division II Superintendent for Hope Gas. He passed away in 2005.
Searoba (Cross) Stevens attended the Littleton school from the first through the 12th grade. She was a member of the last class to graduate from the high school. Other members of the class included Bob Cain, Ed Garrison, Beryl Garrison, Lucille Garrison and Myrtle Hostutler. Their teachers were F.A. Bradley, the principal, who also taught science courses, Pearl Bailey who taught Typing and Bookkeeping, Monica Beale who taught English; Agnes Wright, who also taught English; Nelle Murphy, who taught Home Economics; Bob Ott, who taught math; and Earl Ott, who taught geography and history. Searoba’s favorite teacher during her high school years was Earl Ott. According to Searoba, she and other students learned a considerable amount in his classes. The student body at the high school was a very closely knit group. After home basketball games the entire team would often go to Searoba’s house where her mother prepared dinner for the players.
The Crosses lived about a mile from the school and in cold weather, when the boys arrived at the Cross residence, their hair would be frozen because they had just finished showering at the school. Searoba has lived in Pensacola, Florida for 51 years. She has four children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Her husband, Jimmy Stevens, passed away eleven years ago.
Paul Cain, whose family resided in the Littleton area, started at the Littleton school in 1934. He had completed the 11th grade when the high school was closed. Like many other students, Paul initially refused to attend classes at Hundred. However, he later relented and graduated from Hundred High School in 1946. During the time that Paul was a student at Littleton, two different men served as principal of the school.
Ira Glover was principal until the fall of 1938 and F.A. Bradley was principal until the high school closed in 1945. Paul served in the Korean War and worked for PPG Industries for more than 40 years, retiring in 1990. He lives in the New Martinsville area.
Carl Long, his brothers, Sim and Paul, and his sister, Elaine, all attended the Littleton school through the eighth grade. Their parents graduated from Littleton High School in the early 1930’s.
When he was in the 1st grade, Carl participated in the demonstrations related to the closing of the high school. When he was in the upper grades, he was sent to the local grocery store to pick up items for the school’s hot lunch program. His reward was free lunches. Carl was also assigned the responsibility of cleaning erasers using the machine down in the school’s basement. Because of Carl’s interest in science, the principal, Russell Kimble, allowed him to explore the school’s old chemistry laboratory, which was off limits to the other students.
Carl graduated from Hundred High School in 1956. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from WVU and obtained a Ph.D. degree in the same field from the University of Illinois. Carl was employed by Dupont as an engineer for 34 years, retiring in 1999. He lives in Parkersburg.
Barbara (Hunt) Brasher taught the first and second grades at the Littleton School, from 1972 until 1978, when the school closed. Barbara’s mother, Madge Hunt, taught home economics at the old high school during the 1920’s. Her uncle, George Hunt, who later became Dean of the College at Fairmont State, was principal of the school in 1921-22.
In its latter years, the building had become extremely run down. The entire fourth floor had been condemned and was closed off. The roof leaked. The gym floor bounced up and down when children played there. After more than 70 years, the building was no longer a viable structure. Barbara was transferred to the Long Drain School in 1978. She retired in 1996 and continues to live in the northern end of Wetzel County, where she is active in many civic affairs.
There were many changes in public education over the last century, one of which was school consolidations. Some educators believe that larger schools are better because they offer broader curricula, better facilities, more varied activities and a wider variety of student services.