Set in a small community of Springfield Township, Finneytown Local Schools is a tight-nit, heavily supported community of its own. A bedroom community of 4.8 square miles; we have a story.
Finneytown’s settlement began at a meeting of three ministers on June 18, 1795 in Columbia, OH. They were: Reverend John Smith, first preacher in Columbia, aged and ailing Reverend Ebenezer Ward, and Reverend David Barrows, a visitor in Columbia on his way from Virginia to Greenville for the signing of a treaty with the Indians. Mr. Barrows, a guest of Benjamin Sites, had called on Mr. Smith and found 87-year-old Rev. Ward in poor health. He helped Rev. Ward write his last will and testament. The will included a section of land Rev. Ward had purchased in April, 1795 from John Cleves Symmes and his wife Susan for the sum of $426.23. This section, Section 24, Township 3, Fractional Range 2, 640 acres, was bequeathed to Ebenezer Ward Finney, grandson of Rev. Ward, who was a Revolutionary War soldier and lived in Rensselaer County, NY. Ebenezer Ward Finney came to take over his land in January, 1798. After registering himself as the representative of this land, he returned to New York for his family and interested a group of relatives in settling on his land.
On Saturday, September 4, 2004, Joseph Prell, of Symmes Township, organized a patriotic dedication honoring both Ebenezer Ward Finney and Finney’s son-in-law, David Sprong. Prell, whose fifth great-grandfather was Ebenezer Ward Finney, one of the original settlers of the Finneytown community, replaced the headstones of Finney and Sprong and donated the originals to the Finneytown Local School District.
Daily life at Finneytown has a refreshing simplicity and sincerity – staff members not only know students’ names but also their interests, strengths, siblings and parents – balanced by an academic and intellectual depth that shows itself in 12 Advanced Placement course offerings, and programming as diverse as a Rock and Roll Academy, principles of engineering design, and artisanal crafts. (This year 25 Finneytown students were named AP Scholars.)