This history is from the original compilations of the late Louise B. Goodwin, vice principal of Franklin Elementary School, 1930-1959, and a longtime local historian. It was published in 1978 in the booklet "Franklin's Century of Progress 1878-1978."An additional section has also been added to update the information.
The official history of the Franklin Academy began January 10, 1820 when, by an act of the General Assembly of Maryland, John Tolly Worthington, J.T.H. Worthington, Garrett. G. Worthington, Charles Worthington, E.S. Johnson, Nimrod Cromwell, Richard Johns, Adam Shoevers and Dr. Thomas Walker were appointed trustees of the Franklin Academy with power to appoint teachers and to hold, sell, buy, or lease any property for use of the said Academy.
The original records of the Board of Trustees began May 21, 1821. A constitution was adopted and a course of instruction drawn up and immediately put into operation. Also, we find an outline of the courses offered and even the name of the textbooks with their authors.
The first teacher and principal was Dr. Francis Hunter who expected respectful behavior toward the teacher, steady attention to all duties, perfect order, and decorum as indispensable obligations on the part of every pupil. Fines were made for any defacement of the school property, and pupils were not allowed to trespass on neighboring land.
Up to 1823 the school occupied property owned by Miss Marty Richardson for which $120 was paid annually. Continued dissatisfaction with the school accommodations forced the trustees in 1824 to appoint a building committee for a new schoolhouse. Dr. Silas Larsh was a most active member of the committee. The funds for this building were raised by public subscription which amounted to more than $1200. Subscriptions ranged from one dollar to fifty dollars. Others not able to contribute money, donated their labor and building materials. Among the largest subscribers were Daniel Forney, Charles Larsh, Dr. Hall, Mr. Ducker, Samuel Harryman, [and]Samuel and Harry Reister.
The new building was completed in 1826. When it was nearly finished, a barbecue was held, at which time several candidates for office made their appearance and enlisted votes. Money was collected from them and others and their money was used to build the cupola on top of the Academy.
The hours of attendance were eight in the morning until noon and from two until five in the afternoon. In winter months it was nine until twelve in the morning, an hour for lunch and then from one until half past three.
Two vacations were given during the year, one of three weeks that started the first Monday in August, and two weeks or less that started on Christmas Day. There were only two holidays which were Good Friday and Fourth of July. Oral examinations were held twice a year, in the presence of friends and relatives.
Between 1824 and 1848 there were at least twelve men principals. The salary was meager, never exceeding $600 a year. Until 1835 every student paid for his education. 1847 marked the beginning of female teachers.
In 1848 the General Assembly of Maryland passed an act establishing public schools in Baltimore County. The first step toward making Franklin Academy a part of the newly organized school system was taken January 1849 when the Trustees rented the Academy and its premises to the County for a small annual sum. Because of unsettled conditions brought about by the Civil War, the school did not come completely under public control until 1874.
In 1874 the property was conveyed outright by the Trustees to the School Commissioners for the purpose of making it into the finest schoolhouse in the County. Now it was known as the Reisterstown High School, the first high school in Baltimore County.
The first class graduated in 1878 from the Reisterstown High School with the following boys: O.E. Weller, Edward Gies, Rozell Berryman, Charles and Alpheus Whitefords... A member of the Class of 1878 said, "There were no grades in school, we went by classes, and were called up before the teacher to recite. Corporal punishments were the rule and not the exception then."
In 1896 the name Resisterstown High School was changed by the Board of School Commissioners to Franklin High School. The average daily attendance varied from thirty-seven in the summer term to sixty in the spring term. In 1897 Franklin really became a high school with the addition of another grade.
Mr. Z.C. Ebaugh became principal in 1884. It is to his efforts that the very existence of Franklin High School is preeminently due. By this time the school had greatly increased as this was the only high school in Baltimore County, serving children from many sections of the county as well as having in attendance children from Carol County. Franklin High School moved over to the new building in 1905 which was erected on a lot across from the old Academy building, leaving the old Academy to the elementary school.
It was through the generosity of Mr. Fairfax S. Landstreet, Class of 1879, who contributed $5000 and through the efforts of Mr. Reister Russell, School Commissioner, and Mr. Frank Zouck, President of the Reisterstown Bank, who secured an appropriation of $15,000 from the Board of School Commissioners that the new school was built. One hall was named for Mr. Landstreet and another hall for Mr. Russell. Upon the death of Mr. Ebaugh in 1907, Mr. Herbert Murphy became principal.
The increased enrollment in 1914 caused the erection of another building, equal in size to the previous one and joined directly to it. It was at this time that the elementary school left the old Academy and moved to the first floor, leaving the second floor and the basement for the high school.
After Mr. Murphy left, Dr. Samuel M. North became principal. He was followed by Mr. Addison J. Beane.
1908 marks the year of the first Dial [yearbook]. This was published for the first time by the graduating class of that year.
Between 1907 and 1914 Manual Training, Domestic Science and the Commercial Department were added to the curriculum.
In 1913 the school erected the memorial tablet to Mr. Z.C. Ebaugh. It is of bronze and marble honoring the man who gave twenty-two years of his life in service to Franklin. This tablet is in the Reisterstown Room of the Reisterstown Branch of Baltimore County Public Library which is the old Franklin Academy building.
In 1915 the Tillard Memorial Free Library was moved to Franklin and people in the community went there for books.
Many of the Franklin graduates were in World War I. The plaque is in the high school listing the boys who served. It is called Franklin Honor Roll, World War I.
In 1920 the Founding Centennial year was celebrated by a pageant, parade and homecoming. Miss Marguerite Zouck, vice principal, worked very hard in making this a success.
In 1927, one of Franklin's own boys from the class of 1917, Raymond S. Hyson, became principal.
The fall of 1929 saw the Franklin High making another move. This time the new home was the 1930 building. By this change the elementary school had all of the 1905 and 1914 buildings which they really needed as consolidation of several of the nearby elementary schools had swelled the enrollment so that in the two schools the enrollment was eleven hundred or more. This big increase in pupils caused many changes.
The old Academy building had been used as a garage to house the school buses, but now it was remodeled and became the home for the Agriculture Department of the high school.
The new 1930 building, costing $265,000, was Baltimore County's most modern and best equipped educational plant.
This new building was formally dedicated November 21, 1930.
The large structure contained the widest variety of educational equipment ever seen in this section, making it possible for the school to offer courses of instruction in practically every phases of academic, cultural, commercial and industrial secondary education.
Construction of the school was one of the most rapid pieces of work ever seen in this section. Ground was broken in March, leaving only five months for the work before the opening of school in September. About a month was lost for construction work when it was found that a slippery mica soil condition, almost resembling quicksand, required the driving of piles to obtain a solid foundation for the building. Even with this unexpected delay the building was so far advanced by September that the high school was able to occupy part of it when the term began.
Executives of the Consolidated Engineering Company, general contractors for the new building, were complimented on the exceptionally fast work done in getting the new building ready for occupancy.
The new building housed high school pupils only. The old building, which was renovated and fire-proofed, housed the elementary grades. The two buildings formed a consolidated center for various communities of the Fourth and Fifth Districts.
Enrollment in the consolidated school, as well as in the high school, was the largest in the history of the institution. The high school enrollment especially was expected to grow rapidly because of the diversified courses of instruction offered, particularly in vocational agriculture and in industrial arts.
Former teachers of the smaller schools consolidated at Franklin were brought in to continue their work in the consolidated school. Several new instructors were also added to the high school staff.
One of the most interesting phases of the dedication ceremonies was the opportunity offered visitors to inspect the new building. The rapid strides made in educational methods and equipment during the previous decade were strikingly illustrated when a glimpse was obtained of the amazing variety of laboratories, shops and classrooms grouped at Franklin.
The Franklin High of 1930 continued in this building until 1956 when another change took place.
In 1956 the Franklin Elementary moved into their new school on Cockneys Mill Road next to the old Academy building.
The junior high moved from the 1930 building into the one just vacated by the elementary school. Now the 1930 building became known as the senior high.
Principals in the 1930 building following Mr. Hyson were: Reade W. Core 1937, Horace W. Wheeler 1937 to 1945, Alfred G. Helwig 1945 to 1949 and L. Lee Lindley who came in 1949 and was still principal when the school moved to Reisterstown Road in 1960.
Mrs. Mollie Saffell Eykler was vice principal of Franklin High from 1928 to 1936, [and] Mrs. Helen Tovell Reese from 1936 to 1964, being the vice principal when the school moved in 1960.
The high school principal had been principal of both the high and elementary schools until 1955 when each school had their own principal. Mrs. Louise Bland Goodwin was vice principal of the elementary school from 1930 until her retirement in 1959.
The following continuation of the history of Franklin High School was adapted in part from Franklin Alumni Association Past President C. Robert Beach's history in the Community Times on October 18, 1995.
Franklin Junior High started using both buildings in 1960 with Hammond D. Cantwell as principal. In 1965 the old elementary buildings of 1905 and 1914 were demolished and a new addition was built. Interestingly, the multi-million dollar addition was constructed by the Henry H. Lewish Contracting Co., headed by Henry Lewis, a 1947 Franklin graduate. In 1978 Frank N. Treuchet came as principal of the junior high. He followed Virginia Wagstaff who served from 1970 to 1977. In 1983 during Treuchet's service, the junior high was reorganized to become Franklin Middle School.
The origin of Franklin Senior High School began when it became apparent in the early 1950s that the area was growing rapidly and additional school buildings would be required. The first relief was in 1956 when the new Franklin Elementary School on Cockeys Mill Road next to the old academy building opened. Even so, classroom space grew to a premium in the 1930 building with the combined junior-senior high school.
In 1960 the new, modern senior high opened with expanded facilities and equipment - except for the absence of an auditorium. This was added four years later, probably hastened because of considerable community and faculty pressure put on the board of education. This too was built by '47 Franklin graduate Henry H. Lewis' company.
Principals at the senior high included L. Lee Lindley, '60-'64; Dr. D.B. Wheeler, '64-'66; Dr. James P. Hackman, '66-'70; Dr. Robert J. Krabbe, '70-'73; Dr. James Kennedy, '73-'78; Kenneth Flickinger, '78-'91; Evelyn Cogswell, '91-'96; Dean Terry, 1996-2007. Kathy Schmidt, 2007-2011. The present principal is Patrick McCusker.
A new school had arrived in the second half of the 20th century to continue serving our community and its children, retaining much of the fine tradition and unique heritage that belongs only to Franklin High of Reisterstown.
Current Library at Franklin - South Building, 2013
In the late 1990's, Franklin became the most crowded school in Baltimore County; but then in January 2000 a new, 600-seat, $11.25 million addition opened at Franklin, housing 20 classrooms, 2 chemistry labs, an art room with photography lab, a health suite, a state-of-the-art library media center, an activities room, a weight room, and several office areas - enabling Franklin to carry on its tradition of excellence well into the twenty-first century.