The History of Ridgemont
By: Aric Overly
From 1838 until 1852, the “rough and ready” one-room school served Hale Township and Mt. Victory students. In 1852 a school was built on the south side of Marion Street.
In 1860 a school opened at the corner of Main & Taylor Streets at what is now the sight of the Henry Martin Memorial Park this two-room structure was used for 15 years, when the present site on West Taylor Street was selected.
The original building had four rooms; then it was enlarged to six rooms when the high school was formed and opened to all in the township who passed the entrance exam. As one-room schools in the area closed, more students come to Mt . Victory to attend school.
In 1912, the old brick was razed and construction of the “old part” of the present structure began. The new district became known as Mt. Victory-Dudley School. In 1938 another construction project added classrooms, gymnasium, farm shops and cafeteria.
The communities of Mt. Victory and Ridgeway were both proud of their schools in the early 1960’s. Most residents were happy with the existing school systems and the idea of joining the two schools was not popular at first. However the Ohio Board of Education threatening to revoke schools’ charters unless a minimum enrollment was met, action in that direction was inevitable. Ridgeway and Mt. Victory first considered consolidated in March of 1961. That attempt failed by vote of 476 against the proposal and 367 in favor.
At this time Mt. Victory had a student enrollment of 319 and Ridgeway had 370. Mt. Victory member of the board of education were Lloyd Dickinson, Clay Vanatta, Fannie Stough, Richard Connally and Dr. Robert Thomas. Members of the Ridgeway Board of Education were Herbert LeValley, Pual Ramsey, Woodrow Ansley, Benard Sponsler and Harrold Vance.
In April 1961, Ridgeway had agreed to consolidate with Buckeye Local School District (West Mansfeild & Rushylvania). Speculationabout the Mt. Victory entering into the new district was ended when it’s board voted 3-2 not to enter the system. Two of the negative voters however, said that they would be willing to accept the plan if the Byhalia-York Schools decided to