Statement of Significance:
The three schools that are pictured here, provided education to over 4,100 students during their combined 148 years. The first school (Union School) was built in 1862 on the southwest corner of the property and served until 1900. It was razed and replaced by the first of the two “Central Schools” built on the northwest side of the property. The first Central school served until 1960 when it was razed and replaced by the second Central school located in the center of the property.
This site and the schools provided education to such dignitaries as:
William L. Harkness (1858-1919) born in Bellevue. William L. Harkness was the son of Daniel M Harkness, who was the half-brother of Henry M. Flagler and Stephen V. Harkness, 3 of the 5 founders of Standard Oil. Lamon V. Harkness, son of Stephen V. Harkness (1850-1915) born in Bellevue, son of Stephen V. Harkness (1818-1888) was one of the largest stockholders in Standard Oil;
John W. Greenslade (1880-1950), Vice Admiral U.S. Navy during WWII;
Arthur F. Gorham (1915-1943) 1st Commander of the 1st Paratroop Battalion which was instrumental in operation “Husky” and the invasion of Sicily in 1943;
Amos E. Northup (1889-1937) Automotive designer for Willys-Overland and the original “Jeep”;
Howard L. Vickery (1892-1946) Vice Admiral U.S. Navy and American ship builder and responsible for over 6,000 ships being built for WWII; and
Bradbury N. Robinson, Jr. (1884-1949), threw the 1st forward pass in the history of American Football.
This Central Park was the site of the three schools pictured here, providing education to over 4,100 students during their combined 148 years. Such dignitaries as William and Lamon Harkness, heirs and founders of Standard Oil (1); John Greenslade, Vice Admiral U. S. Navy during WWII (2); Howard Vickery, Vice Admiral U. S. Navy during WWII and responsible for building 6,000 ships (3); Arthur Gorham, 1st Commander of the 1st Paratroop Battalion which was in operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily (4); Amos Northup designer for Willy-Overland and the original “Jeep”(5); Bradbury Robinson, Jr., threw the 1st forward pass in the History of American Football (6).
Bibliography and Sources
- William and Lamon Harkness
- Western Reserve Historical Society Publication, issue 102 pg 26.
- John Greenslade
- Military Times Legion of Valor
- Howard Vickery
- The Wilson Company 1943
- Herman, Arthur; Freedom Forge, Random House 2012
- Arthur Gorham
- Bellevue Gazette – April 26, 1938
- Amos Northup
- Coachbuilt –Amos Northup
- Russell Industrial Center
- Bradbury Robinson
- St. Louis University Archives
- Gregorian, Vahe – 100 years of Forward Pass