Wildcat School No. 9, Mercer County, Ohio

School is back in session and summer vacation is over for students and teachers. The school schedule is so ingrained in me that I always have to remind myself that there is still a lot of summer left even though school has started.

I grew up on Wildcat Corner, where a one-room brick school once stood. Wildcat School was located on the corner of what is now State Route 49 and 707, a mile north of Chatt. Below are the few photos I have of Wildcat School.

A few of the students’ names are written on the photos but those names are very difficult to read.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone that can identify more of the students in the photos or correct any who are not identified correctly. I will add additions or corrections to this blog post.

The oldest photo I have of Wildcat School, 1897-98:

Wild Cat School, Mercer County, Ohio. Undated photo.

1897-98 Wild Cat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Back row, tallest girl in plaid dress, left of the shutter: Christena Rosena (Byer) Gappa. [Thanks to Andy Gappa for providing this information. Since this photo was passed down in the Miller family, I wonder if one of my Miller ancestors was also one of the students.]

Wildcat School, 1911:

1911 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

1911 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

None of these students are identified in the 1911 photo, but the girl standing at the far left in back row sure looks like my great-aunt Clara (Miller) Reef.

Wildcat School, 1925:

1925 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

1925 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Front: Frank Leistner; Becher?; Eugene Caffee; ? Becker; Lawrence Witter ?; ?; Bollenbacher.

Row 2: B Pfifer;?; ?; Ruth Miller; Fern Caffee; Ruth ?; ?; Vernon Caffee.

Row 3: Not identified.

Wildcat School, 1926:

1926 Wildcat school

1926 Wildcat School, Mercer County, Ohio.

Row 1: ?; ?; ?; Eugene Caffee; ?; Bollenbacher; ?; Paul Leistner?.

Row 2: ?; Fern Caffee; ?; ?; ?; ?; Ruth Miller; Eileen/Jolene Oakley; Ruth Leistner?.

Row 3 & 4: Not identified.

My Aunt Ruth, the oldest sibling in my dad’s family, is in both the 1925 and 1926 photos and will be 97 years old this year.



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    • Andy Gappa on August 26, 2016 at 8:29 am
    • Reply

    This response is cobbled together from earlier posts on the same photo at the top that you posted a few years ago. I have the exact same photo of the Wild Cat School and its pupils. It dates from the 1897-1898 school year. In fact, my great grandmother Christena Rosena Byer Gappa is standing in the back row on the right. She is the tallest girl there wearing a plaid dress to the left of the shutter. I would think Christena’s younger brother by 2 years Jacob Frederick Byer is in the photo, too, but I just haven’t figured out which one he is yet.

    1. Thanks, Andy! I have noted the information in the post. I bet one of my Miller ancestors is in the photo, too. But which one? I will have to compare dates and ages.

  1. Britian65@aol.com
    Thank you for your description of a Huckster on Facebook. Jim Midlam, Lesley’s father, grew up in Chat and his parents Laverne and Inez Midlam had a grocery store in Chat. Jim was their Huskster in a school bus they had. We all loved visiting Grandma Midlam in Chat and enjoying the wonderful small area of Chat. Great memories.

    Bernice Midlam

    1. I remember Midlam’s store in Chatt. Thank you for the additional information about the Midlam family and the huckster connection. Thanks for writing!

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