: The focus of this photograph is a statue of William Woodward (1768-1833), who together with his wife, Abigail, donated a parcel of land that would become the site of Woodward High School, Cincinnati, Ohio. This statue was located on the grounds of that institution, the first public high school west of the Alleghenies.
In 1826 William and Abigail (Cutter) Woodward donated the land on which a school would be built. A year later they established a trust to fund a free school that would educate poor children in the area. It was one of the first public schools in the country. However, within a few years the growth of public schools for elementary education caused Woodward to change his plans for the school and to make it a high school. A two-story building was constructed to house the new Woodward High School, which opened in October 1831. A collegiate department was added in 1836, and the school's name was changed to Woodward College of Cincinnati. In 1855 a new building replaced the original structure. The school became part of Cincinnati's public school system, the older school and college having ceased operation because the Woodward Trust was out of money.
In 1860 the remains of William and Abigail Woodward were moved from their original burial place to the school property. The statue of William Woodward was dedicated on October 24, 1878. In 1907 this building was razed to make way for a new five-story school, the one pictured in this photograph. During the early 1950s, the high school moved to a new site, and this building was renamed "Abigail Cutter Junior High School." From 1973 to 2010 it was the site of the School for the Performing and Creative Arts.
From 1856-1863, the home of Levi and Catherine Coffin was also located on this site. Both were legendary abolitionists who helped enslaved people escape to freedom in Canada. Levi is often referred to as the "President of the Underground Railroad." View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06174 Subjects
: Woodward High School (Cincinnati, Ohio); Education--Ohio; Cincinnati Public Schools; Statues--Ohio; Coffin, Levi, 1798-1877; Underground Railroad--Ohio Places
: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)