HISTORY OF MEDILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The site of Medill Elementary, 12.79 acres of land, was purchased from J. Floyd & Roxy Wright at a price of $1,500 per acre in 1958. In 1959, the board officially named the new school "Governor William Medill Elementary School" before the construction began.
Medill, an eight classroom school, was built in 1960 at a cost of $220,000. It opened for students on October 24th. There was no official dedication ceremony at the time the school was built. However, an "open house" occurred on Sunday, November 6th with the beginning of American Education week.
An Additional 2.49 acres of land was purchased next to Medill in 1960 from the Church of God at a price not to exceed $7,100.
Medill housed the first grade students of East School because East was overcrowded in 1963.
in 1965, eight more classrooms, a cafeteria, and a multipurpose room were added to the Medill Facility. According to newspaper reports, four hundred people were in attendance at the first dedication on October 17, 1965, five years after the school was originally built. The guest speaker at the dedication was Mr. Morton Epstein, a local businessman.
In 1966, two more classrooms and an official/clinic area were added to Medill because of growth in the surrounding community.
Again in 1973, an additional six classroom open area was added.
A chair, donated by Mrs. Russell A. Walkey of Jackson, Mississippi and a granddaughter of Governor Medill, is currently displayed in the foyer of the school. This chair was used by William Medill when he served in the State house in Columbus.
Ginnery, P. (1987). Reflections: A historical perspective of the Lancaster City Schools. Lancaster City Schools publication, Lancaster, Ohio.
ORIGIN OF SCHOOL NAME
Medill Elementary School was named for William Medill who was born in New castle County, Delaware in 1802. He was Lancaster's representative to Ohio's Legislature and later the U.S. Congress. He was elected Governor of Ohio in 1854.
William Medill, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in Delaware, February, 1802. He was educated at the Newark Academy (now the University of Delaware) and became a lawyer. In 1830, Medill moved to Lancaster, Ohio. He spent a year working with Judge Beecher in Lancaster to establish his residency in Ohio, which allowed him to practice law in Ohio.
Medill, a Democrat, was elected as a representative to the state legislature in 1835 for four consecutive terms. Appointed 2nd assistant postmaster general by President Polk in 1845, he resigned that position to accept an appointment as commissioner of Indian affairs. In 1851, Medill became Ohio’s 1st lieutenant governor, and in 1853, was elected Governor of the State of Ohio.
After retiring from politics, Medill returned to Lancaster. William Medill devoted his life to public service and was known as a man of strict integrity and high character. He died in 1865, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Lancaster, Ohio.
Ohio Historical Society (2007). Ohio Fundamental Documents. Retrieved November 2, 2007 from http://www.ohiohistory.org/onlinedoc/ohgovernment/