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Powell School

Powell School c. 1900

Powell School c. 1900; Photo courtesy of a visitor to our 2002 "Fall Get-Together"

18th & Upland

Principals | Faculty | Staff | Sports | Classes | School History | Recollections

Caroline S. Lord (c. 1928, 1929)

Faculty: Some Teachers:

Mrs. Forbes - 1st & 2nd grades - 1

Miss Rearick - (1st Grade)

Katherine Smith - (1st Grade, 1954) - 2



Sports: Some Coaches/Athletic Directors:


School History: (Closed early 1930's) - Thanks to Kay Hutchinson, bkhutch@dmv.com

The following sketch on the naming of the school is from the Manual of the Public Schools of the City of Chester, PA, compiled from "standard authorities" and with the assistance of Henry Graham Ashmead, Esq.:

"Henry Lemuel Powell, whose name is borne by the Powell School, was born in Odessa, Delaware, November 5, 1809 - the birth-year of Gladstone, Darwin and Lincoln. He died at his residence in Philadelphia on New Year's Day, 1897. He came to Chester at the age of nine, in 1818. At this date, ninety years ago, Chester had a population of six hundred. Nine years later, In April, 1827, Rev. John F. Watson, of Philadelphia, visited Chester, "to view the remains of that once distinguished town"

"Mr. Powell, however, was one of those who helped to resuscitate the "remains." He was a manufacturer of boots and shoes, a builder and renter of homes, and an owner and operator of extensive quarries.

"Mr. Powell was an earnest advocate of the public school law of 1834, and is said to have been a member of the first Board of Directors ever chosen in Chester, soon after the passage of the above act. In 1853 the records show he was elected Chief Burgess of the Borough of Chester.

He was a director in North Chester Borough School District from 1873 to 1875, from 1877 to 1879, and from 1882 to 1887. From 1873 to 1875, and again from 1883 to 1887, he served as President of the Board.

"A crayon portrait of Mr. Powell hangs in the Principal's room at the school."

Recollections: "The Powell school was at 18th and Upland. I started first grade in 1954 at Powell and the teacher was Katherine Smith a very refined lady. We were on the first floor and the Medical dept for Smedley was next door and on the second floor was the Art Dept for Smedley. I lived at 15th and Shaw Terrace so that was our local school. From Powell we went to Martin for 2nd grade and again had Mrs. Smith. Part way through the year at Martin we were transferred to Stester which was brand new in 1955. Starting at Smedley I had English in the same room as had first grade. Powell school was demolished in 62-63 to make room for Smedley new expansion."

- Bruce Montag, bmontag@ppco.com 

"Before Martin [School] there was a school on Smedley property called Powell School, I think it only had 3 grades. Then you went to Martin if you lived in second ward.  1st and 2nd grade were in one classroom.  Mrs. Forbes was the teacher."


Many thanks to the following for providing information for this page:

1 - Thanks to C21JMB@aol.com  

2 - Bruce Montag, bmontag@ppco.com 







If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about this school, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2001, 2002 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 10/18/05