Hanover School on the steps of St. George’s, 1902

This picture was obtained from the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center and was taken in front of St. George’s, May 3, 1902. It shows the Hanover School toward the end of the school year. This is probably the oldest picture of the “big red doors” and also the first picture of the exterior of the church since the Civil War. In another year, a similar picture was taken at the Presbyterian Church.

For comparison here is a current picture of the steps:

Approximately 50 people are in this picture including about 5 adults which may provide some idea of how many students were enrolled. The two boys listed will be the subject of future articles, Douglas H. Knox, Jr. age 6 in the first row and older brother Thomas F. Knox age 14 toward the back. The picture is in Douglas H. Knox, Jr collection at the Heritage Center. Other St. Georgian families who attended this school include members of the Carmichaels who lived on Hanover Street.

Others identified in the Hanover School clip file in the library include some on the bottom row – Howard Masters (3rd from the left), Lucille Rawlings (5th), Mrs. Johnson a teacher, Frances Tompkins, Gloria Bradford. Eliza Fitzhugh is behind Lucille Rawlings. 4th row includes Flossie Rawlings and Mary Ambler (white blouse) who was a teacher. Top row includes Coco Rowe (white blouse) and Miss. Willie Schooler.

Their father Douglas H Knox (1847-1914) was a grocer at 405 William Street (originally the Planters Hotel) and the son of Thomas F. Knox, Sr. Douglas older brother Robert had offices for “R. T. Knox and Bro” , a producer of the extract from the Sumac Tree. Robert Knox, James. S. Knox (“Bro”), and Douglas were all Civil War veterans.

Like his father, Douglas served on the Vestry and various offices. His term began in 1884 and soon became the treasurer at St. George’s. He married Loula Slater Brockenbrough Knox had three children Lucy B. Knox, Douglas F. Knox Jr. and Thomas F. Knox Jr, the two boys in this picture. The boys went to St. George’s and Thomas joined the Junior Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, 1905-1907.

Mary E. Schooler (1833-1903) began the Hanover School in 1892, immediately behind the Masonic Lodge. Located at 209 Hanover Street, the school was known as the Schooler School or the Hanover School. Here is the location today:

Upon her death in 1903, Mary Schooler willed her home to her 2 children, daughter Willie F. and son George Schooler. Willie retained ownership of the home until 1913 which led to the demise of the school. Her obituary said “by the sweetness and gentleness of her character and her faithful and conscientious instructions, left an enduring impress upon hundreds of the youth of the town.”

It was considered a preparatory school which was in session between Sept and June. An 1898 advertisement stated that “Latin, French and German taught in addition to the usual English Branches. ” A later ad in 1911 added “higher mathematics and science. ” At that point Mrs. Schooler and two other teachers were noted – Sallie Montgomery and Bessie L. Broun. besides Miss Willie Schooler.

The closing ceremonies were written in local papers. In 1900, Rev. W. D. Smith, rector of St. George’s, presided and opened the event with a prayer. Medals were presented to the children for Punctuality, Most Improvement in Writing, Making Most Marked Improvement in Writing, and All Around Excellence.

The one in 1903 mentioned both songs and recitations and in particular those students who received awards of distinction. Neither of the Knox brothers were listed.