Sterling Elementary School opened in 1959 and was renamed Browning Elementary in 1993. W. B. Browning served on the school board from 1974 through 1995, including 12 years as president. Mr. Browning was vice-president of the Browning Steamship Company and vice president and general manager of the Bob-Lo Island Company. Over the years Mr. Browning served on many civic and cultural committees. Mr. Browning passed away in 2018 but his dedication and contributions to our school community will live forever!
The first schoolhouse was open for two to three months in the winter of 1818-1819 and served 15 students. This primitive school employed a man named Ada Hadsell as the first teacher who was paid $10 per month. It is reported he had to “study to keep in advance of his pupils.” There is no record of the location of this school or why it did not reopen the following year.
The earliest school in Utica was organized when approximately 50 people settled in an area that was about six square miles. Many students attended only during the most pleasant time of year, and when they were no needed to assist with agricultural chores at home.
A permanent school was erected in Cass Ave. in 1820 near current Eppler Junior High. By 1828, it was reported that a second log school was in business near the settlement’s western flank.
Higher educational opportunities began to improve in 1850 with the opening of the Disco Academy. The Academy began as a private preparatory school for future teaches with very high academic standards. The building was also used for community meetings. Disco (from the Latin word “to learn”) had 18 pupils its first term. In 1983, the school district enrollment was declining and Disco Elementary was sold to the Shelby Township. Shelby Township renovated the building and it became the Shelby Township Library sire and the offices of the 41st District Court. The building is located on VanDyke between 23 and 24 Mile Roads.
More information can be found at http://shelbyhistory.tripod.com