History of the Walton-Verona Schools



As early as 1880 there were two schools in Verona, one the public, or grade school, operated by the county and the other a private school, grade and high school, known as the "League Institute," started y Miss Nannie Hamilton.  As one would say "you went to school until you were tired," but most of the education was through the eighth grade.

More is known of the "League Institute" than the public school in Verona.  There was a tuition fee of $50.00 per year for each student.  In connection with the school, a boarding house was maintained and cottages furnished to take care of many boys and girls from communities several miles away, who wanted higher education, since the League Institute was one of the few schools in Northern Kentucky to offer a four year high school course. 

Two courses were offered: the Scientific, which covered subjects as Algebra, Sciences, History, English, and the like; and the Classical course, which stressed foreign languages as Latin, German and the cultural subjects of Music, Art and Public Speaking. 

The private school was started by Miss Nannie Hamilton and it continued a private school until around 1910.  By this time it had consolidated with the other public school.  Then in 1914 the present building at Verona was built.  This high school lasted until the fall of 1935, when it became consolidated with Walton. 

Miss Nannie Hamilton taught until well up in her eighties.  Other teachers about the turn of the century in the League Institute were: Miss Madelyn Pfieffer, Miss Lula Forward, a Miss Culbertson, and a Miss Moore.  Some of these came from the conservatory of Music and the Schuster Martin School in Cincinnati to hold their classes in some of the classical subjects.  Names as Jim Craven, Lizzie Roberts and Lillie Rouse were some teachers in the Public School.


As early as 1880, there was a public school, or Grade School on the site of the old school, and this was operated by the County, this was a graded school only.  The first school in Walton to offer High School subjects was a private school.  This private school was started by Mrs. Clara Myers, who came to Kentucky from Vermont and had attended Georgetown College.  

Henry Newton was recognized in an Atlas published in 1883 as a "Teacher of the Select School, offering all branches of Mathematics and a regular course of thorough instruction."  This private school lasted until 1902, when it became a public school.  It was located at the site better known as the Ryle property, two doors north of the Walton Christian Church [today, part of the church's parking lot - see Walton Residential page].  Three living graduates of the last class to graduate from the Myers Private School were: Mrs. Julia Rouse, Walton; Mr. Walton Herndon, Lexington, Ky; and Mrs. Edna Ransler Metcalfe, Greensville, Ohio.  

It seems that a Mr. Dickey was the first principal of the public school, we refer to the one built in 1901, on the same location as the public school referred to in the Atlas of 1883.  This building consisted of six class rooms and an auditorium.  There were four graduates in the first graduating class, of which two of them are still living: Miss Mattie Hudson, Walton, and Gertrude Curley Jackson, of Tampa, Florida.  There were no graduates in 1903, but there has been a graduating class every year since. 

Here are some of the courses taught: 4 years English, 4 years Latin, German, Geometry, Trigonometry, Ancient History, Astronomy, Botany, Composition, and Penmanship. 

During the 58 years of the Walton-Verona School, there is but one family that has had three generations to graduate from this school.  Mrs. Viola Roberts graduated in the class of 1908, her son Dan J. Roberts in the class of '30 and both of Dan's sons, Charles and Gayle are more recent graduates.  

Besides Mr. Dickey, the first principal who left after three years to teach at Harvard College, there have been a number of principals of this grand old school, some will be familiar, others were here before many of us were of school age.  

Mr. Waldrup followed Mr. Dickey, and he is still living in Pennsylvania, retired.  Mr. H. C. Wayman also served as principal before 1910.  C. O. Morgan was principal in 1910 and a Mr. Kenneth Collins, a graduate of the State University ion Lexington was his assistant.  Mr. A. A. Kennett was an assistant under Mr. Wayman.  These names may not be in exact order, but this is an almost complete list of principals and/or superintendents, who have served the Walton school:  Jaylea Chambers, J. C. Gordon, Lorenzo Rhoades, a Mr. Champion, L. E. McCart, a Mr. Collins, a Mr. Price, Raymond Beverly, (probably the most loved and most remembered of those deceased), Walter Coop, Hubert Baker, J. O. Ward, Robert Ison, and Eugene Robinson.

Since the consolidation of the Walton and Verona Schools, they have been referred to as Superintendents, Mr. Beverly being the first, Mr. Coop was the principal and became superintendent following Mr. Beverly's death in 1937.  

Mr. William Ransler seems to have helped get the Walton Public School started.  This school was the first public high school in the county.  It was well known as a high school.  People moved in fro all over so their children could go to school here, or [they] boarded their children with friends and relatives.  

In the fall of 1935 the Walton and Verona Schools consolidated into one school district, a grade school maintained at Verona and the grade and high school at Walton, and became known as the Walton-Verona School.  Then, in 1954 the present building was completed. 

In basketball there have been three teams to participate in the state tournaments, the teams of 1930, 1933 and 1942. 

The Walton-Verona School has always maintained a High Standard Scholastically and with the exception of during the war years and right after, has always maintained an “A” rating.


A note on this document:  We have no idea who wrote it, but can tell you it was in the Walton Advertiser of May 26, 1960. Out copy was a typescript with this added note:

“The attached copy of the History of the Walton-Verona Schools is a gift to you from the Business Education Department of the Walton-Verona High School.”

“If you know of corrections that should be made in this copy or you have some thoughts or facts that you would like to see in a larger or better history of our schools please use this sheet of paper for such notes.  After you have made your contribution to be added to the history, detach this sheet and hand it to [Superintendent] Eugene Robinson or the president of your alumni association.  If you are unable to do so tonight, it would be appreciated if you could return it by mail in the near future.”