The Rothsville Central School

Rothsville Central School in 1899. Graybill Pfautz is the teacher. Photo from files of M. Xakellis

Lamon K. Koehler and his wife, Annie sold 23,265 square feet (a little more than ½ acre) of land to the Warwick School district for $355. The Deed, dated March 24, 1896, was recorded August 21, 1897 in Deed Book N, Volume 15, page 350.

Post card photo of the new Rothsville School. From private collection.

According to “Rothsville Bicentennial 1790-1990”, Rothsville Central School was located at 15 Church Street. The following was written. “Rothsville Central was the last of the wood-frame school houses and was built around 1895. As the population of Rothsville was still increasing, it was decided to build a fourth school to combine the upper grades from the three other schools in Rothsville into this building. It must be remembered that every one-room school taught all eight grades. With this new arrangement the work load of the teachers was eased and at the same time a better education could be provided. Known teachers were: Graybill Pfautz, Mr. Enk and Mr. Zimmerman.”

At the end of 1909 this school was razed to make room for the construction of the new larger school. The students were transferred to the top floor of the Carriage Works, where classes were held until the completion of the new school. One class actually graduated from there, with commencement exercises held in Jerusalem Lutheran Church.

The new Rothsville school was built in 1910 and dedicated on November 12, 1910. Now all the pupils in Rothsville were in one building. It contained a Primary Room, a Secondary Room, and a three year High School. The principal was B. Winkelbach and the three teachers were Iva Martin, Mamie Kofroth, and Joseph Mohn.

An auditorium and several rooms were added on the first floor in 1915. Basketball games were played in the auditorium until 1924 when a large addition along with a gymnasium was built to the rear. At this time the high school became a four year curriculum.

From the “Rothsville Items” column in The Lititz Record of September 4, 1924: Rothsville High School, Warwick Township, opened here on Labor Day with a total attendance of 301 pupils. This is an increase for first day attendance over last year.

Enrollment by grades in September 1924 was:

  • High School: 87 pupils Victor D. Heisey, Principal Miss Marie McPoland, Ass’t. Principal Miss Marion Biemesderfer, Assistant Chest er N. Adams, Assistant.
  • Intermediates: 65 pupils Mis s Florence Royer
  • Secondary: 67 pupils Miss Emma Zook
  • Primary: 39 pupils Miss Mary Hess
  • Grammar: 43 pupils Mrs. Helen Behmer

From the Lititz Record, Thursday Morning, November 20, 1924:

Photo of the front façade taken in 2011 by M. Xakellis
This shot shows just how large this school was after the last addition was built in 1924. Photo by M. Xakellis

Rothsville School House Nearing Completion. The two story addition to the Rothsville School house will be ready for occupancy within a month. It is built of brick, 70 x 60 feet, with a basement to be used as a Gymnasium. The present quarters are overcrowded. This addition was started in the summer.

In the late 1950’s the Rothsville School consolidated with the Lititz High School to become the Warwick Union School District. The last class to graduate from Rothsville was the class of 1956. This school was then organized as an elementary school with kindergarten through sixth grade. Eventually only three grades were taught there and the school closed for good in the Spring of 1977. The building remained empty from 1977 to 1981 when HDC converted it to low cost housing.


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