Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

The Strange Story of a School Executive and a Canal Boat


Thomas Burrows Pinkerton was a native of Northern Virginia which became West Virginia during the Civil War. He served with the 12th West Virginia Infantry during the war from August 1862 until mustered out June 28, 1865. He was captured by the Confederates in 1863 but fortunately was paroled after only 22 days. After the war Thomas studied at West Liberty Academy in West Virginia and at the Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating in 1868. He taught school at Delta, Ohio and later was hired as principal and superintendent of the Waterville school. He was both teacher and principal here for sixteen years and very popular with students and faculty and an advocate for higher education for women. A number of the women who had been in his classes would hold a reunion with him every year. He served as clerk of the village council and on the Lucas County Board of School Examiners for many years. When Thomas B. Pinkerton came to Waterville to take his position as head of the Waterville school he wanted to buy a house near the school. He happened to have a conversation with one Washington Mallory of 23 S. River Road. It so happened that Mr. Mallory had long dreamed of owning a canal boat. Mr. Mallory happily sold his house to Mr. Pinkerton and used the money to buy his canal boat. He of course named the boat The T.B.Pinkerton.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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