- Helbling Family Home & School, Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Part 1
- Helbling Family Home & School, Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Part 2
- Helbling Family Home & School, Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Part 3
[For the first part of this story, see “Helbling Family Home & School, Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Part 1.“]
After the loss of the eccentric “Teacher” at the Helbling school, efforts to continue the Catholic education of local children were reinforced. Father Hotz provided another teacher to board at the Helbling home as well, Mr. George Rutland.
From St. Augustine’s Parish History 1863-1938, page 13:
By this time news of the primitive school had spread and many parents applied for the admission of their children. The room, however, was too small to accommodate all who applied, hence, like the good soul he was, Mr. Helbling fitted out his unused storeroom for a school room. A goodly number of pupils attended especially children by the family name of Kalchthaler, Stein, Bischoff, Fleckenstein, Burckhardt and others. The first scholastic year might have started a little late in the fall of 1854 and had but a short interruption between the departure of the first teacher and the arrival of the second. On the third Sunday after Easter, April 29, 1855, the following announcement was made in St. Philomena’s church:
With the addition of neighboring German children, the school had outgrown the facilities that could be provided by the Helbling family. Additionally, it was too far for the short legs of younger children to travel, and had no heat, so was far too cold in the long Pennsylvania winters. The school was thus moved to “Squire Nickel’s Mansion” which was more centrally located at 4016 Butler Street. This big stone mansion had a first floor that could be used for the school, and a second floor that was used as a hall for meetings, dances, etc. The school was sometimes called “Rutland Hall” after its teacher, but then became known as “The Lawrenceville Academy.”
Mr. Rutland probably resigned in 1856.
“Rumor had it that his resignation hinged upon disappointed matrimonial aspirations to the hand of one of Mr. Helbling’s daughters.”
The school continued with a female teacher who may have been Alsatian, as she was fluent in both German and French. (The Helblings hailed from Endingen, near to the German border with France, and family lore was that they were from Alsace-Lorraine, so it is ~correct.) She did not last the year and Teacher Mertz arrived to take over her duties.
To be continued…
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) St. Augustine’s Parish History 1863-1938. Personal copy from a cousin, but the entire history may be found online at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njm1/StAugJub-TC.html. Accessed 1-22-2014. Please see this history for detailed references to specific items in the narrative.
2) Helbling Family Home & School, Part 1: http://heritageramblings.net/2014/01/24/helbling-famil…e-pennsylvania/
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