Ruth C. Templer
Ruth Coover Templer was born October 4, 1896 in Mansfield, Ohio. Ruth moved to Greenwich, Ohio in 1900 a the age of four, and in 1902, she and her family moved into the home at 21 Townsend Street in Greenwich where Ruth lived until her death on August 16, 1998 a the age of 101 years old.
Ruth graduated from high school in 1914, in a graduating class of nine boys and nine girls. During her school years, Ruth worked at the local soda fountain washing glasses for 10 cents a week. Ruth was able to save enough money in a baking powder can to pay her summer tuition at Kent State University, a total of $5.00! Her goal was to get her teaching certificate. At that time, teachers were certified if they could pass an examination after six weeks of instruction. Ruth was successful in completing her summer session at Kent and passing the certification examination so that she became certified to teach school at the age of eighteen years.
Ruth began her teaching career at Whitehall School in Richland Count, Ohio, just five miles from Greenwich. Ruth would walk to school on Monday mornings, stay with the parents of a pupil during the week, and walk back home to Greenwich on Friday night. Each day she would walk from the home where she was staying to the school house and back, a distance of one and three-fourths miles each way. The school was a one room school house, with Ruth the only teacher for the eight grades. The “facilities” were outhouses, and drinking water was carried from a spring. Water was placed in a stone crock and each student had their own drinking cup. The Superintendent of schools would visit Ruth’s school house each week to critique her. Ruth recollected him commenting on a few things she had done well, but many things he felt she had done incorrectly. The single criticism she most remembered was her posture. Ruth recalled that after long days in front of her students, she at times would lean on the organ while delivering lessons. The Superintendent was very critical of this, insisting that she stand straight or sit erect the entire day, in order to set a good example for the children. Ruth’s salary was $50.00 per month for eight months, or $400.00 per year.
Ruth left Whitehall after two years to take a teaching job at Fitchville. This too was a one room school house where she taught all eight grades, as Ruth remembered, of wall-to-wall children. Ruth now earned $45.00 per month for eight months. After teaching two years at Fitchville, Ruth took a similar teaching position at Ripley school where she earned $90.00 per month.
In 1920, Ruth married Kent Templer. They made their home in Greenwich, in the same home in which Ruth was raised. That same year she accepted a teaching job in Greenwich, just one-half block from her home, teaching the seventh and eighth grades. After a few years, Ruth took a leave of absence and attended Kent State University for two years. She received her life teaching certificate, and returned to her Greenwich job where she earned the sum of $125.00 per month. During the next several years, she attended Ashland College during the summer, and graduated with a teaching degree. Ruth taught the seventh and eighth graders of Greenwich for thirty-eight years.
Ruth’s love for her students and their education, and her dedication to her own education are evidence of her commitment to learning -- a commitment that lasted the entire 101 years of her life. But even 101 years wasn’t enough for Ruth. She wanted to continue to help the students of South Central even after she was gone. It was her hope that her gift would benefit those students of South Central who like Ruth had a love for and dedication to learning. May each student who benefits from Ruth’s generosity remember this remarkable educator who so loved her students and her community.