Students mark Founder’s Day that students helped found

Students at St. Joseph School celebrated the 219-year history of the City of Warren on Monday with a special recognition of the students and teacher behind the day named for the man who founded the city.

Two years ago, students in Judy Williams’ third-grade class sent a letter to Dr. Howard Ferguson, St. Joseph principal and city councilman, petitioning for a Founders Day.

“In social studies class recently, we read about other communities that celebrate Founders Day,” the students wrote in the June 2012 letter. “We wondered why our community doesn’t celebrate such an occasion.”

After narrowing the date of the founding of the city to April 18, 1795, the students, in their letter, explained, “Our class discussed how nice it would be to celebrate Founders Day in Warren each year on April 18. We think our community should honor General Joseph Warren. We also think the residents of this county should remember the oil and lumber industries that brought people to this area.”

Council then proclaimed Founders Day as April 18. Founders Day falls on Good Friday this year, so students celebrated on Monday.

On Monday, Williams and her former students, now in the fifth grade, learned about the tools used to lay out the county with a presentation by Jude Harter, education curator from the Warren County Historical Society, and a special thanks from City of Warren Mayor Maurice Cashman.

“I thank you and applaud you, the fifth-graders and Mrs. Williams especially for what you’ve done here,” Cashman said. “Founder’s Day opened a window to history that a lot of people not just here in the school, but in Warren County, could peer through.”

Cashman provided each fifth-grade student and Williams with a letter of the City of Warren for their work. Students also watched the clip from WPSU’s Our Town Warren where the students sang about Founders Day.

“We’re proud of these guys,” Ferguson said. “What a great group of students.”