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Feature Article on Jimtown School. Topic: EDUCATION & DOWNTOWN/BUILDINGS
By Martha Thompson and Gene Eggleston in January, 2000

JIMTOWN:  FIRST PTA IN SHELBY COUNTY, OHIO -- DOES BUSINESS IN SIDNEY

Jimtown School is long gone, replaced in 1930 by Parkwood elementary, as we learned in the last issue of Historical Highlights.

But, the school, located outside Sidney’s city limits at that time on the Wapakoneta Avenue and Russell Road intersection, retains the distinction of having started the first Parent-Teachers Association, the P.T.A., in Shelby County.

Ethel Price Sharp, teaching at Jimtown, started the organization and Florence McClure was its first president as noted in the 1924 Ohio state PTA association yearbook (see illustration).

Good meetings are the mark of a PTA and two essential ingredients of good meetings are a comfortable place to sit and good refreshments. Evidence of both are shown in the receipts pictured here. They bring back memories of businesses long faded from the Sidney scene.

We are indebted to Society member Martha Thompson who saved these receipts, some dating back to 1920, for the historical record. Thompson’s mother, Mrs. J.E. (Brieta) Thompson, was once treasurer of the Jimtown PTA.

Jimtown PTA

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"The Novelty Sells it for Less" was the motto of the store with the "Big Red Sign" on the east side of the square. Jimtown paid 30 cents for soup bowls
and 2 baskets, seemingly a good deal.

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Peanuts, gum, and candy from the Olympia Candy Company and vanilla ice cream and peanuts from H. M. Wright Confectioner ("Our Goods 100 Per Cent. Pure") promise good times for the Jimtown PTA. Wright was on the south side of the square. Another invoice, dated Oct. 28, 1920, to the Jimtown group from Wright totaled $13.45 for ice cream, apples, peanuts, and spoons.




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"Jimtown School’s PTA must have been a very active group at raising funds. Not only did they bring electricity to the school, but they paid the monthly electric bill which ran 75 cents a month most of the time." — Martha Thompson.  Ms. Thompson’s mother, Jimtown PTA treasurer, signed this Feb. 7, 1925, Citizens National Bank counter check to the Miami Electric Company.



[ Back to Education Index 

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Mrs. Milton Bennett, buying 10 dozen buns for $1.00 for the Jimtown PTA, knew where to get baked goods in Sidney — Sexauers.  Chairs and tables for the PTA meeting? Rent them from the funeral parlor.  The Arcade Grocery, Orphal’s (for oysters), and E.J. Stiefel’s grocery are gone, but Kroger remains in Sidney. The Stiefel grocery took a return of buns, franks, onions, crackers, and coffee for $2.24 to cut the total bill to $6.07. Fourteen pounds of franks for $2.80! Three pounds of coffee, $1.41.

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