The Subscription Schoolhouse, located behind the Blackman-Bosworth building, is owned by the Randolph County Historical Society. This building was moved in 1993 from the Bell’s Farm, near Becky’s Creek in Randolph County to its current location in Beverly. This project was made possible with the aid of the Randolph County Retired School Personnel.
The school was built in the 1870s and was originally called the Haddan Mill Run School. This subscription schoolhouse is the last of its kind in Randolph County and possibly the last in West Virginia.
Before there was a universal public education system was in place, Donald Rice explains that “subscription schoolhouses were created to fill the void in education in the relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas of the county and state,” especially after the Civil War (History of the Subscription School, 50). Parents living in the same area would work together to hire a teacher to run a small schoolhouse, which is very different from today’s free public education system. The basis of this type of schooling was to make sure the children could read, write, and understand basic math that would aid them in daily life.
When John L. Bosworth was a child he was fortunate enough to attend the Hadden Mill Run Subscription School. He was born in 1857 and lived near the school with his parents, George W. and Mary Currence Bosworth, in the old Currence homestead property. When John attended the subscription school, which were typically small buildings, there were up to nine children who went to this school. “John L. Bosworth would later attend Flemington College and the Fairmont Normal School, before graduating from the college of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore in 1889. He then worked as a physician in Beverly and Huttonsville for several years” (Rice, 51).
There’s a collection of one room schoolhouse artifacts on display in the Subscription Schoolhouse that can be viewed when the Randolph County Museum is open or by appointment.
Rice, Donald. “History of the Subscription School.” School Memories. N.p.: Randolph County Board of Education, 1996. 50-51. Print.