Tag Archives: Cedardale School

James and Jessie Panton

James Hoyes Panton was born on May 7th, 1847 in Cupar, Fife, Scotland. He was the son of Agnes (nee Wilkie) Panton and James H. Panton. When James was but one year old, he and his five siblings came to Canada with their parents. They sailed across the Atlantic in May of 1848, a voyage that took two months!

Hardship continued to plague the Panton family throughout their lives. Only six years after arriving in Toronto, James Panton Sr. had fallen victim to cholera. He passed away in July of 1854 leaving his wife and children essentially destitute. Soon after the death of their husband and father a friend living east of Toronto extended an invitation for the family to come live with them.

The family arrived at the Oshawa harbour on November 29, 1855 and traveled 9 miles north to the village of Columbus. James got used to living in the country and began assisting local farmers transport cattle and sheep to Toronto; he developed an interest in prayer at a young age and began attending the local school. In his memoir James notes that “nothing of striking interest occurred in school life.”[1] But something must have become clear to James through these years as he spent the remainder of his life teaching and working in education.

Late in 1886 the family moved closer to Oshawa and things began looking up for the family. They lived in their house rent free, had a number of animals that James cared for and the children continued with their studies in the country school. Though they only stayed there for a year, James was promoted to the fourth book. By December of 1887 the family had yet again moved closer to town, with the school only being one mile away. “At this early age [10 years], the writer began to show signs of being a good scholar, and by the time he was twelve he had reached the proud position of the best if not the first student in the school. At twelve he had learned six books of Euclid’s elements and had a good knowledge of all the subjects taught in a rural school.”[2]

James and his younger sister Jessie continued to excel in their studies. He notes that they “usually carried off all the 1st and 2nd prizes”[3] after examinations. By 1864 James Hoyes Panton had “succeeded in getting a First Class A[4] unlimited”[5] teaching certificate. He was only 17 years old.

Mr. Panton took several teaching jobs throughout the surrounding areas during the course of his career. His first job was at S.S. No. 2 Reach, near Manchester. He was paid $220 per year but had the expense of his own board. At the end of one year, he received a raise of $60 per year. James taught at S.S. No. 2 Reach for two years before his family finally moved to Oshawa in 1866. It was at this time that he was hired as a teacher at another S.S. No. 2, this time in the village of Cedardale with an annual salary of $320. James noted that many of his students were of American descent and quite clever. In 1868 his sister Jessie was appointed his assistant teacher. Olive French notes that Jessie Panton acted as a substitute teacher for her brother when he had to be absent and that she was just a young girl then.[6]

Jessie was born in 1850 in Cupar, Fife, Scotland and had a similar upbringing to her brother, James. After her time assisting her brother at S.S. No. 2, Cedardale School, she taught at one of the Ward Schools, Mary Street. Jessie was the principal, but on officially recognized because of a “board ruling that the headmasters of the ward schools should be male teachers. Her salary was $500 per year.”[7]

By 1885, Miss Panton had become the science teacher at the Centre Street School, though she was paid $100 less. In 1890, Miss Panton had been teaching ‘natural science’, similar to her brother, for five years. Although she briefly considered leaving, the Oshawa Board raised her salary by $100 per year to keep her in the position.

Jessie Panton continued on as the science teacher at Centre Street School until 1905 when she retired. Jessie remained active in her church, St. Andrew’s United; she never married or had any children. Jessie lived at 84 Division Street, which is currently occupied by the Durham Region Courthouse.

James Hoyes Panton died in Woolwich, ON, on February 2, 1898. Woolwich is near the University of Guelph where he was a Professor of Chemistry. Jessie Panton died in Newcastle, ON, on September 6, 1932.


[1] Autobiography. James Hoyes Panton. P.7

[2] Ibid. P.12

[3] Ibid. P. 13

[4] According to Olive French, a Class A certificate meant that you could teach anywhere in the country but had to have at least five years experience. Class A standing also meant that you obtained higher marks than someone with a Class B or Class C standing.

[5] Ibid. P. 13

[6] Jessie Panton would have been approximately 18 years old.

[7] Ross, Douglas. Education in Oshawa. Alger Press. Oshawa. P.64

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The Oshawa Public Schools: 1923 – 1967

In 1923 Centre Street (E.A. Lovell) was constructed.  The total cost was just under $220, 000. These together with the new wing on the high school made up the total of four schools.  In 1930, two rooms were added to Cedardale School.  Cedardale was annexed by Oshawa in 1923.  Some of the school sections, there, did not enter the corporation at the time of annexation.  Oshawa taught the pupils of those sections free of charge for four years.  However in 1930, the school board decided that this would have to be discontinued.

Going back to the year 1910, after Mr. L.C. Smith and the secondary students left Centre Street School; Miss Mary (Maimie) Luke then took over as principal in the school which was now for primary students.  Miss Luke was a member of the Luke family who were among the early settlers here.  She was followed by Miss Elise Matheorn.

Miss E. Holmes who is residing in Oshawa at present, was the next principal in Centre Street School. [She was there] from 1919 – 1924.  It was during this period that the present E.A. Lovell School was built.  It took about two years to erect this structure and the children with their teachers went to various places for classes.  Simcoe Street United Church Sunday School took care of some of them.  One room was finished in Ritson School and Miss E. Holmes with Grade VIII pupils were there for the latter part of the time.  Mrs. (Currie) Barton was in a portable in Albert Street and Miss A. Found was in a hall on Court Street.  Some of the children attended King Street School.

Mr. Graham was the next principal; the first one in the new school, for one year only, 1924 – 1925.

Mr. A.W. Jacklin took over as principal in 1925 and remained there until his death in 1953.  He was about to sign a contract for the year 1953 – 1954 but passed away suddenly on July 11th, 1953.  Mr. Jacklin had the school well organized and was a good disciplinarian.

There was a large gong on the west wall outside of the building for calling school.  A loud speaker was also on the same wall outside and gramophone records were played to induce orderly marching.  A piano in the downstairs hall was tried at first but it was not loud enough to be heard above the shuffling feet.  The sound system has since been removed.

During WWII, Albert Street School was closed for about two years, owing to shortage of fuel and electricity.  The pupils were then sent to King Street, Centre Street and South Simcoe Schools.

In 1927, Canada’s Jubilee year, the principals of the Oshawa public schools were as follows:

                        A.W. Jacklin B.A. – Centre St. School

                        Miss Jean Garrow – North Simcoe School

                        Miss Etta Holmes – King Street School

                        Miss Helen Keddie – Mary Street School

                        Miss Leah C. Smith – Cedardale School

                        Miss G. Annand – South Simcoe Street School

                        Mr. Harvey Knight – Ritson Rd. School

                        Miss Tillie Patton – Albert Street School

Judging from the above list, the Board of Education must have had many second thoughts about hiring women for principals. Of the above names mentioned, only one person is living today, Miss Etta Holmes[1] who is residing in the city. Mr. A.E. O’Neill was principal of the O.C.V.I. at that time. He is now retired and is also living in Oshawa[2].

During World War II, Albert Street School was closed for about two years owing to the shortage of fuel and electricity. The pupils were sent to King Street, South Simcoe and Centre Street Schools.

In the years that followed other branches of study have been added to the curriculum; music in the schools and Kindergarten is being discussed in later chapters.


[1] Miss Holmes has most certainly passed away since this document was originally written in 1967.  However, we are unsure of the date of her death.

[2] Ibid.

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Cedardale School No. 2: 1921 – 1967

The following article was printed in the Reformer in June 1927, the Jubilee year. “It should be remembered that Cedardale School which will soon be enlarged was a suburban school and stands precisely as it was before being taken into the civic corporation. The building is creditable to the city to which it now serves, and as a former district school, it stood for the highest ideals of rural education. At the time of printing, two rooms are being added to the Cedardale School, taken in to the city school system when Cedardale was annexed in January, 1923. At this latter school, the city for some three years taught free of charge, pupils from sections of old Cedardale, which had not entered the corporation at the time of annexation. Just a few weeks ago the Board of Education decided that those pupils must be excluded, each one costing Oshawa tax payer’s money from which there was no return.”

Another addition was constructed in 1960. At the present time annexes have to be used to accommodate the growing number of students in attendance.

The late Mr. Albert E. Webster[1], who was a lifelong resident at Thornton’s Corners, was principal of the school.

The family names of some of the first settlers in Cedardale, and whose children attended the school are: Stone, Smith, Dunbar, Rodgers, Mothersill, Welsh, Henry, Annand, Whiting, Robinson, Guy and Woods.


[1] Previously one of the first teachers at the Harmony School. It is unknown for how  long he was the Principal of the Cedardale School.

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