Jamestown Post School Series
40 school photos published in the Jamestown Post 1939-1940
Transcribed & Submitted by Jay Priest, 2006
to Main Page
Busti District 3
Grace Fosberg, whose grandfather, Councilman J. William Sanbury, and
mother, Mrs. Earl Hamilton, both taught in the same building, is
teaching eight pupils at the Busti District No. 3 schoolhouse, John
Lawson and Sherman's Bay-Sugar Grove Roads.
The eight studens are shown at the top of the above picture, standing
around the teacher and her desk. The schoolhouse appears below.
The pupils, left to right: Dorothy Botka, Blanche Olson, Morris
Brown, Mary Olson, Donald Williams, Jean Lawson, Alice Ann Johnson and
Busti District 5
The school is located on the corner of Shadyside and John Lawson
Roads. The above picture shows the boys enjoying a game of ball
during recess. The school building is shown in the
background. The inset shows the students and their teacher.
Front row, left to right are Elowyn Nutt, Doris Lawson, Gifford Echer,
and Lauren Blood; second row: Howard Echer, Beatrice Pedersen, Carl
Thornblad, Jr., Richard Nutt, Helen Green, Allen Nutt, Lucille Lawson
and Nelson Nutt. In rear: May Holmstrom, teacher, John Thornblad,
Dorothea Thornblad, Nelson McMillon, Bessie Green, John Ecker and
Busti District 7
Pupils of District
No. 7 of the Town of Busti attend this school on the Garfield Road and
are taught sujects of the first eight grades. The pupils and their
teachers are shown.
The upper classes from fifth through the eighth grades are shown, left to right:
Kneeling: Warren Johnson, Gordon Swanson, Gustaf Beckman, and
Gilbert Olson. Standing: Beverly Thoren, Gladys Sandquist,
Doris Erickson, Hassis Eccles, Walter Eccles, Alen Pillsbury, Donald
Colburn and Barbara Berg, Mrs. Cecil Johnson, teacher of the upper
Busti District 8
This is Busti District School No. 8. It is located just outside
of Busti on the junction of Pine Ridge Road and Creek Road near the
grist mill. The forks of the road make a nice playground for the
seventeen children who attend the school. The swings, trapeze bar
and rings shown to the left of the school are put to good use when the
"old" recess bell rings. The children and their teacher are shown
in the insert.
Seated, left to right are: James Bush, Sue Carandall, James
Palmer, Marjory Anderson, Herman Sanbury, Dee Lydell, Charles Larson,
and Norman Perkins.
Standing, left to right are: Martha Sanbury, Arthur Sanbury,
Richard Thor, Doris Thor, Shirley Thor, James Larson, Barbara Perkins,
Paul Larson, Louis Hanstrom and Mrs. Mneatha Hendershot, teacher.
Busti District 9
The above picture shows the persent class room with its pupils and
teacher, the inset above shows the school building located on the
Barton Road. The site was at one time part of the Barton estate.
The school was built about a hundred years ago, according to accounts
related by local residents. About seventy years ago the original
building was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and Miss Josephine
Wellman became the first teacher in the school.
DeWitt Eddy, principal of the R.R. Rogers School of Jamestown, received his first teaching experience there.
Many of the pupils who learned their three R's at Barton Hill later
went into the teaching field, among those where Mrs. Cornell, Edna
Johnson, Blanche and Beulah Barton and Clarence Johnson.
In 1934 a playroom was added to the building where on rainy days the
children have a chance to relieve the monotony of staying
in. On special occasions the playroom becomes the scene of
parties and jolly neighborhood gatherings.
The present pupils and their teachers are: Seated first row left
fron to rear: Alex Knapp and Leonard Olson. Second row, Kenneth
Olson, Martin Nedreberg, Maynard Sweeney, Janice Burkland and Miss Mary
M. Lucariello, teacher. Third row, Roy Nedreberg, Leon Lindstrom,
Charles Lindstrom, Frank Lindstrom and William Sweeney. Fourth
row, Joan Lindstrom, Bernice Johnson, Jacquiline Hanson, Rolf Hanson,
Ronald Hanson and Robert Sweeney.
Carroll District 1
Carroll District School No. 1 is located on the Frewsburg-Warren Road about a half a mile north of Fentonville.
The present building was built in 1877, however two other school houses
preceded the one now in use. The first was a log cabin. No
records or history of the first two schools are available.
Some of the early teachers in the present school were Richard Wyman,
Reuben Priest, Mrs. B. Richardson. All are still living and now
reside in North Warren, Pa.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bennett, still living in Fentonville, attended
school here. Mrs. Bennett later taught for one Summer term.
In the early days of the school it was the custom of this school to
have a man for the teacher in the Winter time and a woman teacher in
the Summer and among those that attended school here and later taught
are Bertha Haskins, Elmer Haskins and Herbert Cowan.
In looking over the school records it was found that there has always
been some member of the Witlsie family enrolled in the school, many
later became trustees for the school.
At the present time there are twelve children representing three Wiltsie families.
The schools in the town of Carroll are not centralized with any other
school, however pupils in the seventh and eighth grades attend school
in Frewsburg. The school at the present time has an enrollment of
27 children. Twenty-one are shown in the picture above.
They are: Left to right front row: Josephine Lupica, Cleora
Bennett, Dorothy Wiltsie, Ernest Wiltsie, Dorothy Wiltsie and Russell
Second row, left to right: Miss Ruth Isaacson, teacher; Reed
Peters, Olive Martin, Helen Wiltsie, Romayne Wiltsie, Mary Adams, Jane
Blackmer, Ray Wiltsie and Clarence Wiltsie.
Third Row, left to right: Nina Lupica, Yetive Burch, Arlene
Wiltsie, Carmella Lupica, Theodore Wiltsie, Everett Burch and Robert
The pupils absent at the time the picture was taken are Ruth, Lois, Mary Anne, and Phyllis Wiltsie, Harley and Duwayne Bartow.
Carroll District 3
Carroll District School No. 2 or sometimes known as the lower Frew Run
School, is located on the Frew Run Road about a mile and a half
southeast of Frewsburg. The school and the road derived their
names from the small creek that parallels the road.
One December 8, 1876, a special meeting was called in the district to
decide on building a new school house to replace the one then in
use. The decision was put to a vote and it was decided to build
on the same location. The old school house was torn down and the
new one erected in its place and was ready for use in September, 1877,
and has been used ever since. Many improvements and several
additions to the original structure have been added to keep the school
up to the times.
At the present time the school has ten pupils ranging from the first to
the sixth grade. None of the Carroll schools are centralized with
a central school, however, pupils in the seventh and eighth grades
attend school in Frewsburg. The children as they appear in the
picture are, left to right: Front row, Maurice Sisson, Rober
Nelson, Barbara Larson, Charles Anderson and Conrad Newman.
Second row, left to right: Donald Sisson, Jack Davis, Francis Johnson,
Judith Newman, Mavis Sisson and their teacher, Miss Althra Bremmer.
Many former pupils of the school are still living in the district and in Frewsburg.
Carroll District 4
of Carroll district school No. 4, otherwise known as the Oak Hill
School have been lost and very little of the school's early history
could be learned. Fred Thompson, teacher of the Oak Hill school
in 1885, was able to supply some information. The school was
built some time before 1840 and has seen many changes in the past
years. An entrance was built onto the building, and some time
later a well was dug to supply the children with good drinking
water. In more recent years a library was started. Many of
the schools improvements were due to the untiring efforts and
leardership of Mrs. Hilm Vanderwort, as president of the Mothers Club.
The school in past years has had a much larger attendance than at
present. Previous years have seen attendance of 25 to 30 children
compared to the eleven who now attend. Classes are conducted in
the first to the seventh grades inclusive. Pupils beyond the
seventh grade attend school in Frewsburg as the
schools are centralized with a central school. The pupils and
their teacher are shown above: Left to right front rows seated:
Rex Marsh, Elmer Daniels, Earl Daniels, Sherwood Marsh and Carol
Johnson. Second row, left to right: Maurice Swanson, Roger
Swanson, Bonnie Marsh and Richard Johnson. Third row, left to
right, standing: Fred Kocur, Miss Helen Johnson, teacher; and John
Carroll District 5
The Carroll District Schol No. 5 was at one time District school No. 4
and known as the Bain District School. The school gets its name
from three brothers who live in the district. They are Abram,
Henry and John Bain.
Mrs. Alvina Hazzard, 89 years old is the oldest living pupil in the
district. Mrs. Hazzard attended the original school which stood
on the present school site. Mrs. Hazzard is at the present time
living in Frewsburg, her husband, the late Brownell Hazzard, was the
first trustee of the present school at the time it was built in
1885. Andrew Kleber, father of Leonard Kleber, Frewsburg built
the school for the district which was then known as district number
Many alterations and improvements have been made in recent years.
Electricity was one of the more recent improvements. At the
present time William Watts is the trustee for the school. This
school as other Carroll
schools is not centralized with a central school. Howver, pupils beyond the
seventh grade attend school in Frewsburg.
has at the present time 12 pupils and are shown in the picture above,
they are left to right, front row kneeling: Ronald Waite, Richard
Engstrom: second row, left to right: James Rowley, Allen Rowley,
Clede Bush, Alberta Rowley and Donald Mars. In rear: Gerald
Mars, Dorothy Rowley, Donald Bush, Doris Howley, Carles Engstrom and
Mrs. Edyth White, their teacher.
Carroll District 6
Carroll District School No. 6 is located about six miles from Frewsburg
on Robbin's Hill near the county boundary line. The school is in
a joint district with South Valley, Cattaraugus County and was built in
1873. The land was cleared and the foundation of the school was
laid by James Cole who at the present time is living in Jamestown.
The first teacher in the school was Miss Mary VanOrsdale. Two of
the older known former pupils who attended school here are Henry
Robbins and Almond Cole. They are still living within the
vicinity of the school.
This school as all other Carroll schools is not centralized with a
central school district. The first seven grades are taught here
and pupils in the advanced grades attending in Frewsburg. There
are at the present time eleven pupils who are shown in the picture
above, as they prepare now for next Winter by filling the woodshed with
freshly cut wood. They are left to right: Miss Elthel Haley,
teacher; Mable Robbins, Beulah Burt, Bette Jones, Herbert Robbins,
George Robbins, Herbert Burch, George Anderson, Jack Jones, and Ward
Mrs. Kenneth Jones is trustee for the school.
Carroll District 7
The Ivory School or Carroll District School No. 7 is located in the hamlet of Ivory about two and a half miles from Frewsburg.
The present school was built in 1870 on a parcel of land procured from
G.W. Fenton. On the schools completion Nettie Love Ward was appointed
as the first teacher in the new schoolhouse and several of her first
pupils are still living in this vicinity. They are Mrs. Kate Bunce,
Frewsburg, Mrs. Joel Harrington, Ivory, and Mrs. Flora Crick, Jamestown.
For a great many years the schoolhouse also served the community as a
place of worship. Church services were held on Sunday in the school
room until the year 1897 when the present church was built.
The school, as all other Carroll
schools, is not centralized with a central school district. The first six grades are taught here, pupils in the
seventh and eighth grades attending school in Frewsburg.
The school at the present time has sixteen pupils shown in the picture
above left to right front row: John Cheney, Elaine Warn, Evelyn
Becker, Roy Rosen, George Littlefield, Allen Minser and Doris
Littlefield. Second row, left to right: Ruth Mae Stanton, Lawrence
Seekings, Lois Littlefield, Walter Becker, Paul Rosen, Wallace Becker,
Frank Becker, Jean Littlefield, and Marven Cheney. To the left at the
rear is Miss Esther Williams, teacher.
Carroll District 8
Joint District school, Carroll and South Valley No. 8 had its first
beginning in a little log cabin sometime before 1869. In
that year, previous to the regular meeting of the school trustees, the
families living in the district gathered at the school house for the
purpose of discussing plans for a new school building. Plans
progessed, and it was decided to purchase one half acre of land from
Jacob Sternberg located on the rise of ground just east of the swamp on
John Barnes property.
On March 19, 1870 another meeting was held at the home of Peter Casort,
at which time it was decided to build a woodshed in order to hold a
Summer term of school.
Frank Casort and John Ingleson were chosen as a committee to clear the
land of trees. Plans were also made to build the school during
the Summer so that it would be ready in November for the Fall and
Mrs. Betty Morrell, 81 years old and at the present time living in
Frewsburg, attended the new school in its first year of
existence. She is the oldest known pupil of the school, of which,
seven other persons live in or near the vicinity of the district.
The oldest teacher for the school is Mrs. Jennie Marsh Johnson who is
at present living in Falconer. Mrs. Johnson taught at Carroll No.
8 during the years 1887 and 1888. The following year Miss Mary
Townsend, of Frewsburg took over duties as teacher.
The school is set in a little nook alongside of the road, surrounded on
three sides by maple trees, many of which were planted by Gust Carlson
who is now 94 years old and lives with his son, Andrew Carlson in
The school at the present time has fourteen pupils who are shown in the
picture above as they raise the American flag at the beginning of the
Left to right raising the flag are: Fred and Marion
Anderson. First row left to right; Bert Eklund, Wesley Anderson,
Alberta Rowley, Allan Rowley, James Rowley and Alice Coolidge.
In back left to right; Mrs. Ellen A. Moore, teacher; Viola Cooledge,
Otto Gustafson, Dorothy Rowley, Irene Cooledge, Verna Cooledge Rowley
and Alice Cooledge.
Albert Eklund is at the present time trustee for the school. This
school as all other Carroll schools is not in a centralized district,
however pupils in the advanced grades continue their studies at the
school in Frewsburg.
Clymer District 2
This is the eleventh in The Post's series of district rural schoolhouses in this area.
Eighteen years after the Town of Clymer was set off from the Town of
Chautauqua, which was in 1821, the records show that a meeting was
called at the home of Jesse D. Brownell on March 10, 1839. Among
those present at that meeting were Harry E. Brownell, Lyman Brown and
S. Marsh. At that time the first business of the town was
transacted and recorded. An adjournment was taken untill the
following Saturday, April 6 to meet at the same place. At this
meeting it was decided to procure a school site. It was also
voted to build a school house... 18 feet by 20 feet by 8 feet.
The building was built of planks and lined with inch boards, lighted
with six windows. The cost of materials and labor was $50.
This was the first school in the town, the site decided on was situated
on the Todd Farm, now known as the Loule Groter's Farm. The first
teacher was William Rice. Up until 1850 each pupil was required
to bring a certain portion of wood to help pay for their tuition.
In 1850 it was voted to raise $6 to purchase 11 and 1/2 cords of wood
and $32 for school expense. The following year the town raised
$48 to pay the teacher.
During the late Fall of 1852 this school and all its contents were
destroyed by fire. The teacher at that time was Angelina Brown.
On January 2, 1853 a special meeting was called at the ome of Jesse
Brown where it was decided to build another school. However a different
site was chosen, and the school was built on the northwest corner of
the Brown farm, where it now stands. The new site cost $20, the
school building $248 and $41 to furnish it. In 1881 the school
house was thoroughly overhauled and repaired. From 1888 to 1891
the collector bonds increased from $200 to $500.
The first flag was purchased in 1895. In 1919 a school reunion
was started and carried on for several years but has been discontinued
in recent years.
The school is now part of the Clymer Central School District, teaching
grades from first to sixth. The twelve pupils and their teacher
are: (left to right), front row, Miss Hazel Tenbuckle, teacher, Joyce
Hewes, Barbara Hewes, Rachel Raush, Bruce Wollett, Thelma Tenhulsen,
John Roush, and Lester Groters. In back, left to right, Evelyn
Groters, Ralph Roush, Carol Hewes, Bobby Beckrink and Paul Tenhulsen.
Clymer District 8
The Clymer District School No. 8, sometimes called the Town Line
School, on which road it is located between the towns of Harmony and
Clymer, has had three different names since it first was built.
The first generation of its pupils would refer to it as the Harmony
School No. 14, the next generation as Harmony No. 7, and the present
generation as Clymer No. 8. The reason for this was that the
original school was located across the road from the present site on
the town line road between Kings Corners and Bear Lake. The
present schoold house was built about seven years ago on the Clymer
side to replace the out-moded school house on the Harmony side thus the
name was changed to its present one.
In the changing times, a comparison of the cost of the expense of
operating the school is shown in its records. During the year
1898-1899 the total school expense was $221.14, during the school year
of 1938-1939 the total school expense was $2193.57, or approximately
then times as much.
Raynor Vander Koil, an active man in his eighties, tells many
interesting tales of his school days in this district where he still
resides with his son Ray Vander Koil. Other former pupils now
living in its vicinity are Walter Newhouse and Jesse Manwaring
merchants in Bear Lake, Pa. Ernie Brown, present principal of the
Lottsville, Pa., High School, at one time taught here.
A great deal of the school's early history is not available due to the fact that the old records were destroyed.
The school at the present time is now organized with the Central School
District of Panama. Its present pupils number twelve and are,
standing left to righ: Elizabeth Brightman, Mary Feild, Delores
Beardman, Delbert Brightman, and the teacher, E. Lloyd Powell.
Seated left to right they appear: Stephen Worowicz, Shirley
Boardman, Harry Boardman, Shirley Brightman, Anna Woxowley, Ruth Bemis,
Phyllis Field and Eugene Stoddard.
Ellery District 2
Ellery District School No. 2 or better known as the Waterman's Corners
School is located about four miles southeast of Dewittville on the
county highway that runs from Dewittville to Jones corners. The
school is at present centralized with the Bemus Point Central Schools,
and has at the present time only four pupils all from the same
family. They are shown above left to right: Mrs. Mary Kock,
teacher; and Mildred, George, Robert and Clifford Rhinehart.
George consented to pose for the picture in the school's "Dunce" cap to
recall to the minds of former pupils of a decade ago when they used the
Dunce Cap as a form of punishment for pupils who didn't have their
Ellery District 5
The Belleview District School No. 5 is situated on Route 17, at
Belleview. The present school was built in the year 1846 at the
total cost of $250. The property on which it is situated was
leased from John Griffith for the sum of $15 the year before. At
that time the clerk was John Smiley, moderator, Samuel Griffith and
Calvin Cheney, trustee.
The records show that Catherine Griffith was the first teacher and for
her services she received $1.50 a week and board at home. The
school term began on May 4 and ended August 28 with 22 pupils in
The building is in good shape as the picutre shows above. Various
improvements have been made to meet the trend of the times.
The record book shows that such pioneers names as Smiley, Bly,
Phillips, Rappole, Griffith, Cheney, Hale, Wilcox, Gifford, Sherman,
and Cowden of the town of Ellery have attended school here.
Four of the children and one grandchild of the first teacher, Catherine
Griffith (Cheney) have taught there and at the present time there are
two of her great grandchildren attending school there.
The pupils are shown in the picture above as they were busy doing
arithmitic. Mrs. Catherine Hallberg, the teacher, shown above
helping one of the pupils, was subsititing for the regular teacher,
Helen Kelly, who was absent the day the picutre was taken. The
pupils left to right, front row, across: Morella Cheney, Kenneth
Eckstrom, Howard Eckstrom and Billy Swanson, reading. Second
row: Martha Erickson, Duane Danielson, and Darrell Johnson.
Third row: Nils Hoyle, Murry Johnson and Sally Erickson and their
teacher, Mrs. Catherine Hallberg.
Ellery District 6
The present site of the Ellery District School No. 6 is north of the
original site of the old red school house that served the farmers prior
to 1866 when the school district voted to erect a new school. It was
adopted on May 5, 1866, that the new school should be 26 feet by 36
feet and twelve feet high with a sixteen foot wood house. It was
also decided that the school should be built along the lines of the
Fluvanna school house at that time.
On October 8, 1867, at a meeting of the district it was decided to have
a board of trustees consisting of three men with a staggering term of
one to three years so that one trustee would be elected every year.
J.R. Russell was at that time the supervisor from the town.
In the year 1906 the school drilled its own well, and in 1911 the
district decided to furnish the pupils with free text books. In
1928 the district voted to provide transportation for the children to
Bemus Point in order that they could continue their studies in the high
school grades. A bus was purchased by the district for this
purpose. In 1932 the attendance was large enough to require two
teachers. The following year the Slide school was discontinued
and the pupils transferred to Ellery No. 6. In 1934 the district
started a discussion concerning installing electric lights in the
school and it was not until 1939 that at the request of the Ellery
Mothers Club that the lights were installed by the Bemus Point Central
School with which they were centralized in 1938.
The school at the present has twelve pupils and teaches the first six
grades. The children are (shown above) left to right: Seated as
they enjoy their noon day lunch; Andrew Gibbens, Donald Kesby, Martha
Kesby and Florence Lawson. Seated in rear: Janice Hallberg, Flora
Gibbens, Opal Edson, Lorraine Carlson, Willard Carlson, Elmer Hallberg
and their teacher, Mrs. Esther Pelton. Two other pupils of the
school who were absent and are not shown in the picture are Elmer and
Ellery District 7
Ellery District School No. 7, located on the Dutch Hollow Road, about a
mile and a half south of Ellery Center, is perhaps better known as the
Maple Grove School. The name was given to the school and that
particular part of the town because of the large grove of maple trees
that is located on the original part of the farm from which the school
property was acquired. The sugar bush consisting of about three
hundred trees and the farm are the property of E.J. Parker, who was the
last trustee of the Maple Grove School before it became centralized
with the Bemus Point Schools.
The history of the Maple Grove School and the Parker family are
interwoven back for several generations. The farm was bought by
Aaron Parker, grandfather of E.J. and Claude Parker, who is now
teaching in the Washington Junior High School, from Franklin Griffith,
one of Ellery's pioneer settlers.
In the year 1871, Aaron Parker donated one acre of land to the district
on which to build a school house to replace the red school which was
old and inadequate (a history of the original school could not be
obtained owing to the lack of records.) The school was built the
following year by the late Burton Manly. Several years later the
school district voted to pay Mr. Parker for the property, on which the
Quincy Parker, son of Aaron, attended school here and later was a
trustee. Mr. and Mrs. Quincy Parker had twelve children, eleven
attended school here. Several of them are living within the
vicinity of the district and Jamestown. Claude Parker, at present
teacher at the Washington Junior High School, E.J. Parker, who is
operating the farm, the late Ernest Parker taught here and later he
became a mailman at Bemus Point. Others who learned to dot their
i's and cross their t's here are Mrs. W.A. DeGoede, who later taught in
the school; Rudolph Johnson, who later was a trustee, and Warner S.
Rexford, former judge of the Surrogate Court.
The school now has nine pupils who are shown above as they pledge their
allegiance to the flag. Left to right they are: Front row, Allen
Johnson, Robert Parker, Janet Stein, Carolyn Carlson, Joyce Mae
Warner. In the rear, left to right: Marjorie Carlson, Miss
Eleanor Peterson, teacher, Doris Parker, Carol Bly and Alvin Hallberg.
Ellery District 9
The Lennox District School No. 9 which is now centralized with the
Bemus Point Schools, received its original land site from the Holland
Land Company according to John W. Boak, who now owns the farm that
ajoins the school property. In a deed that Mr. Boak holds dated
April 10 1837, a parcel of land was awarded to the school district
located on the intersection of the Town line road and the Kimball
Stand-Ellery Center road. The deed also shows that the balance of
the land was deeded to Sylvanna Goodenough consisting of 65 acres.
Much of the school's early history can not be obtained, but in 1873 the
district was enlarged, and a new schoolhouse built, and is still in
use. One of the schools earliest teachers was Miss Oresta
Booty. In this school room several Jamestown people received
their early training., including: Wilson Heath, 812 North Main
Street, Edward R. Lennox, retired mail carrier, Crawford N. Bargar,
Miss Mary A. Bargar, principal of the Falconer Street School; John W.
Boak, who has been trustee for the school from 1921 to 1935, and Miss
Hattie Boak, who is teaching in Jamestown High School received her
first teaching experience here, later transfering to the North Main
Street school and then to the Senior High. Mrs. Margaret (Boak)
Lawson, also returned to her first school to teach. Ruth
(Shelmadine) Halley attended school here and in later years taught, she
is at present living in the district.
The school was centralized with Bemus Point in 1928, and teaches only the first to the sixth grades.
The pupils are shown in the picture above as they go through several
bars of music under the dirction of their teacher, Mrs. Angeline Patti,
(right); the children are front row, left to right, Archie Martinson,
Joyce Johnson, Joe Vitanzo, Evelyn Martinson. In rear, left to
right: Donald Boardman, William Brewer and Betty Meade.
Ellery District 12
The Ellery District School No. 12 or better known as the Pickard Street
School to the residents of the district is located between Red Bird and
Jones Corners. The records of the first school are not available,
but the present school was bilt in 1875, and aquired its name from the
Pickard family, because nearly every farm on the hill surrounding the
school was owned by a Pickard.
Two of the school's earliest known teachers were Miss Jennie Paige and
Miss Alice Towne. Many of the schools former pupils are still
living in the district and some have children attending school at the
present time. Mrs. Alfred Ferguson, Mrs. Orville Seekings, Mrs.
Earl Seekings, Hazel Becker, George Becker and Ben Joslyn all attended
school in the days when there were no school buses and the only way to
go was on foot, regardless of the weather. Both Mrs. Ferguson and
Mrs. Seekings children are attending this school which is now
centralized with the Cassadaga Valley Central School.
In 1926 a district school located at Jones Corners was destroyed by
fire. The school was never replaced. The district was
divided and part of the children were transferred to the Ellery School
The present school is well equipped, due to the interest of the
community and the parents. Hot lunches are served every noon to
the children, through the co-operation of the mothers and the teachers.
The present children and their teacher are shown above as they gather
around the old pump that still furnishes them with water during the
The children are left to right: Laura Seekings, Grace Nollward,
Jane Vollantine, Henry Seekings, Shearl Persons, working the pump
handle: Howard Culver, Ruth Seekings, Thelma Seekings, Mrs. Marion
Fellows, teacher, June Premer, Martha Seekings, Edith Ferguson, and
Barbara Vollantine as she holds a cup for the water.
Ellicott District 1
Ellicott District School No. 1, or perhaps better known as the Ross
Mills School is one of the few schools that is not centralized with any
other school. The location of the school puts it just out side of
the Cassadaga Valley District. The first six grades are taught
here while the seventh and eighth grade pupils attend school in
Falconer. A district bus conveys the children back and forth to
Ross Mills school was first built on the corner of the Levant-Gerry
Road and the cross road that is now the east branch of the road leading
to the school. The present site was orginally bought from the
Holland Land Co. by a Mr. Chamberlain who in turn sold the plot of land
to the school district. The school got its name from the lumber
mill located nearby, that was operated by the grandfather of Clara,
Warren and Winfield Ross, of Jamestown. Clara Ross was at one
time a teacher in this school, she later taught in Jamestown but has
William Hall is the oldest person now living in the district who
attended school here. Some of the school's former teachers were
Mrs. Chetie Hall, Mrs. Eva Terry Montague and Miss Elsie E. Leet, a
former Jamestown High Schol teacher, who died last Wednesday.
The school at the present time has 22 pupils who are shown in the
picture, left to right, seated: Marian Peterson, Sherwood Michael, Jane
Anderstrom, Donna Peterson, Donald Abers, Richard Nelson, Robert Stone,
Theodore Stone, and Alice Holmquist; standing, left to right, Harold
Dowd, Mary Jane Nelson, Lois Peterson, Robert Wiltsie, Hollis Peterson,
Dewey Nelson, Emory Holmquist, Ailene Forsmark, Alberta VanTilburg,
Jane Barrett, Richard Abers, and the teacher Evea Girts. Two
pupils were absent.
Ellicott District 2
West Oak Hill School, Ellicott District No. 2 is now centralized
with the Central Schools of Bemus Point. The building shown in
the picture above is the second to occupy the same site. The
original school was built some time prior to 1850. The exact time
can not be ascertained due to the lack of records of the history of
The present school was built in 1899. The district voted $550 to
erect the school The old building was sold for $15. The
land upon which the school stands was at one time part of the Almond
Moore farm. It is located on the four corners of Moon Road and
the West Oak Hill Road. According to the records, Lucile Clark
was the first teacher, and the trustees were Alvin Strunk, Francis
Turner and Wallace Moon.
Some of the pupils who attended this chool and received their early
training there and who are still living in this vicinity are:
Mrs. Betva Johnson, Mrs. Albert Cederquist, Mrs. Grace Travis, all
living in the district. Mrs. Cederquist has a granddaughter and Mrs.
Travis has a son attending the school at the present time. Some
of the other former pupils are Albert, William, and Frank Cederquist,
Bert Strunk, Anna Eggleston, Minnie Wimmermark, Frank Marvin Clark,
Jamestown druggist and Miss Amanda Nelson, present principal of the
Willard Street School also learned their A, B, C's there.
The present pupils and their teacher are shown above left to
right: Front row: Raymond Thorpe, Elaine Cederquist, Carrol
Love and Dale Bottomley; second row: Mrs. Francis Harris,
teacher; Elisabeth Bottomley, Charles gunthee, Francis Travis and Diane
Ellicott District 4
The Red Brick School now located at the intersection of North Main
Street Extension and Moon Road is the fourth shcool house for this
district. The original school was a log house that occupied a
site where the present riding stables are now located. The second
building was located almost directly opposite the present structure on
the dirt road on top of the bank on a piece of property owned by Daniel
Hollenbeck, grandfather of Mrs. Betsy Blanchard, 95 years old, who
resides at 919 North Main Street. The third school house was a
large white structure, and stood on the same site occupied by the
present school. This school was called the Blanchard
School. The plot of land was part of the James Gilbert farm.
Mrs. Betsy Blancherd went to this school as well as Aimel Mattson, 70
years old, now living on the Mattson Road. Other former pupils
were William Melqusit, Fred and Peter Berg, Mrs. Lynn Davis and Mrs.
Rhodes, the latter two now have grandchildren attending the Red Brick
School. At one time the Blanchard School accommodated 54 pupils,
all under one teacher, Arvid Mattson, son of Aimel Mattson, was janitor
of this school for a good many years.
The present brick building was built in 1915 and occupies the same site
as the Blanchard school. Several pieces of land adjoining the
original site have been acquired in recent years. The playground
on the left of the school was purchased in 1929 from Ned Hoard, who at
present drives the school bus. In 1936 the baseball diamond in
the rear of the school was added to the school property.
The two teachers that taught in the present school in its first year
were Minnie Wilson and Hattie Boak, who is at present teaching in the
Jamestown Senior High School. Mrs. Ruth Ayling, now princiapal of
the Gerry school, at one time also taught here. In 1939 the
school suffered two losses. Both the trustee, Walter Nordland,
and the school janitor, Fritz Melquist, died.
The present school has two class rooms, 43 pupils and three
teachers. They are shown in the picture above. First row,
left to right: Herbert Sundean, Fred Obert, Duane Stockton,
Marilyn Rhodes, Earl Stockton, David Miller, Beverly Obert, Marion
Smith and John Van Norman.
Second row: Alvin Rhodes, Lyle Brown, James Lawson, Arthur
Stockton, Bert Bergman, James Davis, Doris Carlson and Lois Ann Marts.
Third row, left to right: Marjorie Smith, Alice Reeves, Joseph
Overend, Lynn Davis, Donald Cederquist, Rudy Miller, Jean Melquist,
Nancy Lawson, Joyce Melquist, Margrete Carlson, and Beverly Brown.
Fourth row: June Hoaglund, Leanor OVerend, Edward Mattson, Helen
Barrown, Janey Lawson, Melba Hoard, Nina Davis, Lewis Davis, Gerald
Harrington and Forrest Lee Smith. Four pupils who were absent
when the picture was taken and do not appear are: Gilden Van
Norman, Richard Reading, Elliott Smith, and Robert Davidson. The
three teachers in the rear are, left to right: Albertha
Greenlund, Rosalind Jacobson and Lois Sorenson.
French Creek District 1
District School No. 1 is situated on the old Conway Road about two
miles from French Creek. To the residents the school is perhaps better
known as the Golden School. Its name was derived from the Golden
Brother who owned the property that bordered on three sides of the
school. The original structure was built in 1828 and was a one room
log cabin, which occupied a site across the road from the present one,
near a spring which is still in use. Remains of the old school were
ploughed up in 1901 by Warren Whitney.
Among the pioneers of the district who remember the old school are the
Golden family, the Mary family, the Borden family, the Taft family and
the Jones family.
The present school is shown in the background and is well kept and up
to date, with movable seats and various improvements. The school
property is fenced in and supplies the pupils with ample space for a
playground. The present pupils are shown in the foreground with their
teacher. Left to right, they are: Lester Marback, Peter Moore,
Walford Moore, Jr., Marlon Nakoski. In back: Elmer Horey, teacher,
Barbara Frazer, holding the trapeeze bar, George Boozell, and Malcom
and Thomas Boozell, Irene Worblewski who does not appear in the
picutre, is also a pupil at the Golden School. She was absent when the
picture was taken.
French Creek District 2
Above are pupils of French Creek District School No. 2, and their
schoolhouse. Front row left to right: George Davis, Mildred
Palmer, Harold Davis, Dorothy Davis, Joyce Warren, Grace Maleski,
Roberta Emory and Charles Palmer.
Center row left to right: George Maleski, Burton Emory, Edward
Warren, Janet Emory, Betty King, Norman Hinz, Marilyn Davis, Donald
Belknapp, Robert Davis and Virgil Emory.
Third row left to right: Flora Maleski, Helen Sweet, Evelyn
Sweet, Hazel Foster, Frank Maleski, Glenn Malcaki, and Mrs. Geneva
In 1868 the residents of District No. 2 of French Creek, decided that a
new schoolhouse was needed to fill the needs of the community, and so a
substantial brick building was erected. It was the pride and joy
of the entire countryside, that wonderful brick building.
The furniture was sturdy if not handsome or comfortable. It
consisted of wooden benches in which two could sit and the desks had a
shelf beneath the top board on which books and slates could be
laid. A long wooden bench ran the whole length of the room on
three sides which was used when all the seats were full.
A large raised platform was built in front of the room to be used for
the stage for the entertainments which were an important part of the
community's social life, and which were presented by the pupils in the
school, the young people who had finished school, and the elders of the
district who had real dramatic ability. And the plays, and
concerts given after a session of singing schools were a credit to the
players and community.
It was not unusual to have from thrity to sixty names on the
school rol, especially after the Fall work was done and the older boys
and girls came for a few months of "schoolin'." One teacher
dispensed the instruction necessary: sometimes the older girls were the
"teacher" and two or three recitations were going on in different parts
of the room at the same time. The curriculum consisted mostly of
reading, 'ritting, and 'rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hickory
stick 'if necessary'. However, some very worthwhile fundamental
instruction was given, that of being able to help oneself, and to know
how to obtain the knowledge one desired.
The same building still stands, now in an attractive grove of beautiful
maple trees which have been planted over a period of years.
The wooden benches have been replaced with varnished, movable,
adjustable desks, so that they may be raised or lowered to the proper
height to accomodate the indvidual pupil. The stage has been
removed, the side benches are gone, the painted wood blackboards have
been replaced with slate ones, dustless chalk is used, a large basement
has been dug under the entire building, a modern heating system keeps
the room comforable all the time, a flush system of sanitation has been
installed, an electric water pump supplies fresh water, electric lights
furnish adequate light to study by no matter how dark or stormy or
short the day, school buses transport the academic students to the
Central School at Clymer, where advanced subjects may be studied.
The school register in district No. 2 contains the names of 21 pupils
from grade one through the eighth. Grades--never were in the old
days! One knew, or else he didn't, that when school began it was
the beginning of "fraction or denominate numbers" for the older ones,
and "summin' up" for the younger ones!
Mrs. Genva Lookinghouse Cherry is the teacher this year and her
schoolroom is surely a busy place, with many projects being carried out
to more firmly implant the knowledge of certain subjects.
French Creek District 4
District School No. 4 situated in the town of French Creek, was first
started in the year 1836. It was then a crude building placed on
the side of a hill, on a site that is now known as John Malinoski's
meadow. At that time Thomas Russell was the trustee. Some
time later, the exact time could not be ascertained because of the lack
of records, David Ray, presented the school district a plot of land
where it could build a better school by the side of the road, which is
situated west of Cutting on the Wattsburg road. The school is now
called the Ray School in Mr. Ray's honor.
Very little of this school's early history is available.
Apparently there were a great many years that there were no records
kept. There are only two of the school's former pupils living in
the district at the present time, they are Mrs. Maurice Belknap and
Will Bayle. Fourty-eight years ago Maurice Belknap was the
trustee and Minnie Tyler the teacher. Miss Tyler's name is now
Mrs. Winona Palmeter and she lives at clear Lake, Iowa.
The "Ray School" now is centralized with the Clymer Central School and only the first six grades are taught there.
The present pupils and their teacher are shown in the picture
above. The insert shows the Little White School by the side of
In rear at blackboard are, left to right: Carlton Teed, Eugene
Green, Clara Yalko, and Joyce Kause. In front left to
right: Billy Bayle, Sheldon Teed, Arlene Boyle, Miss Myrtle
Hoisington, teacher, William Yalko, Ruth Rouse and Sally Yalko.
French Creek District 6
The original school in French Creek District No. 6 was a log cabin
built some time before 1833. A house now owned by Nina More now
stands on the orginal site. French Creek was then part of
Clymer. In 1835 French Creek was set apart as a separate town and
in April of that year the residents of the newly formed town held their
first board meeting, to elect two trustees, in the little log school
house. The trustees elected were I.F. Gleason and A.
Boalls. It was also decided to build a new school house on the
corner of what was then known as the Judd Hubbard Farm.
Horace Greeley's youngest sister, Margaret, who was then only 15 years
old, taught the three "R's" in this first school. She had to walk
six miles to school every morning, teach the children during the day,
retrace her stepes home in the evening, and for this she received the
sum of $2.00 a week.
The school was used until March 1922, when it was destroyed by fire. Norman Burton was at that time one of the trustees.
During the Summer of 1923 the present school house was built, and ready
in the Fall for the new term. The plans of the school were drawn
up by Mrs. Connely and Earl Stiver and were accepted by the
state. The school was built by Will Hawley and Earl Stiver.
The school is located just west of Cutting on the brow of a hill on the
Wattsburg road. There are twelve pupils in this school and are
shown above with their teacher, Florence Winkelman. The children
are left to right, front row: Leona Garfield, Carl Marsh, Grace
McIntosh, Rita Crist, Ruth Wright and Rachael Wright. In rear,
left to right: Eloulse Marsh, Helen Wright, Jean Garfield, Russell
Bemis, Bernice Jean Boyle and in front of the teacher, Lucile Bemis.
French Creek District 7
French Creek District School No. 7 on the State Line Road is also known
as the Martz School. Mrs. Lillian Johnson, right is teacher of
the schoo.. Pupils, left to right are: Rose Bayle, John
Buetkofer, Merton Bayle, Marjorie Bayle, Robert Selfridge and Sally
French Creek District 7a
The little white school, located on the New York side of Mertz corners,
about three miles south of Cutting, in the Town of French Creek has for
many years numbered among its pupils children from both Pennsylvania
and New York. The original school was built in the Summer of 1868
by the two states and for many years operated jointly for the children
of the various families living within its districts. The boundary
line for the states runs directly down the center of the road on which
this school is located. Eventually Pennsylvania relinquished her
claims on the school to New York. However children of both states
still attend the school, with Pennsylvania paying tuition for the
children she send to the New York State school.
At one time taxes were raised for the school, but in recent years it
has not been necessary to collect taxes as the school is practically
self supporting, due to the large amount of taxes raised years before.
The school is deep in tradition and has had many pupils attend as their
fathers and their grand-fathers have before them. At the present
time the Humphrey family is now represented by the third generation as
is the Wallace and Petengill families. Many of the people who
went to school here have moved away, but occasionally when they come
back for a visit come around and look the "Old School" over.
In recent years the school has under gone many changes, and
improvements electric lights were added some years ago, as well as
slate blackboards. Of the more recent improvements were moveable
seats for the children. The first eight grades are taught here
and for the last four years the children have gone to the Central
School at Clymer to continue their education, under which the school is
The children and their teacher are shown above gathered around their
old time sheet metal, wood burning stove, that one very seldom sees
today. The children to the left of the stove are first row (left
to right): Hope Bemis and Hazel Humphray; second row, Marion Wallace
and Charlotte Humphray; third row, Mary Alice Humphrey and Virginia
Pettengill; Frederick Bemis is shown putting a log in the stove.
On the right are (front ro left to right); Eleanor Wallace and Carlyle
Cooper: second row, Wayne Kinney, Wilford Wallace and in back Miss Lou
Ella Peterson, their teacher.
Gerry District 2
The present district school No. 2, in the township of Gerry was
formerly known as District School No. 6. The district was formed
on August 16, 1821, when parts of Districts 5 and 7 werre set apart to
form the new district. The first annual meeting of this district
was held, September 24, 1821 at the home of Isaiah Fisher. At
that meeting it was voted to raise $50 for the purpose of building a
school house 22 feet square. The building was completed Novermber
15, 1821. The first term consisted of three months starting the
first Monday in December of that year, in the new school house.
Before and during the building of the school house, classes were held
in the home of Richard Love.
The school generally had two terms, the summer term beginning in May
and the fall term in November or December. Each term lasted from
three to six months.
In October 1830 the school district was changed from the sixth to the
present one, which is District No. 2. In that year the school
held a record attenance with one hundred children attending
school. 71 of the pupils between the ages of 5 and 15 years.
In 1939 the district raised a tax of $13.95 for the purpose of puchasing a library.
In April, 1879, the district voted to build a new schoolhouse.
Ralph Fessenden and Wallace Olmstead were appointed to visit the Oregon
and various other schools to determine the type of schoolhouse that
would best meet their requirements. At a special meeting later,
it was voted to build the school house 26 feet wide and forty feet
deep, with eight in the rear to be made into a wood shed. The
cost of such a building not to exceed $550. The old school house
was sold for $34 and the necessary balance of $511 was raised by
taxes. The schoolhouse is the one that is in use today.
Wallace Olmstead was the first trustee of the school and his son Howard
Olmstead was the last before the school became centralized with the
Cassadaga Valley Schools.
The school is located about a mile south of Sinclairville on Route
60. At the present time it has nine pupils ranging from the first
to the fifth grade. The pupils and their teacher are shown
above: Front row left to right; Erva Ellen Harper, Howard Hanson,
Mrs. Elizabeth Tompsett, teacher; Fern Hall and Norman Peterson; In
rear, left to right: Stanley Anderson, Ada May Haskell, Margaret
Harmon, Charles Harmon and Francis LeBarron.
Harmony District 9
The above picutre shows the present students and their teacher with the
school itself in the inset below, the former Cherry Hill School No. 9,
now known as the Harmony School No. 1 which is centralized with the
The school was first built about one hundred years ago, and is thought
to be one of the oldest in this part of the county. The first
school was built directly across the road from the present structure
and was made entirely of cherry logs, hence the name Cherry
School. This served the district requirements until about 75
years ago when the present structure was built. Various additions
and improvements as the years have gone by, resulted in the present
structure, which is used for the first six grades of school.
A number of years ago the school was also used for religious services,
both Sunday school and church. Evangelistic meetings have also
been held within its walls.
The present studens and their teacher are, left to right: Seated
Joyce Eggleston, Fred James, Junior Williams, Susa Bella James, Billy
Williams and Howard Lewis. Second row: Richard Sweeney, Ronald
Ransom, Donald Sweeney, Eva Whitford, Harold Whitford, Francis Lewis,
and Lois Harrington. Third row: Ida C. Ballard, teacher and
correspondent of The Post, Charles Lewis, Richard Sheldon, Fred
Eggleston, Norris Whitford, Alice Comstock and Robert Harrington.
Kiantone District 1
The Prendergast School was organized in the town of Kiantone on July
25, 1854, just five months after the first town meeting, held at the
home of E. Fissel. At that time Francis M. Alford was elected the
first superintendant of schools for the town.
Alexander T. Predergast, son of James Prendergast, after whom Jamestown
is names, built the school on a portion of his farm which consisted of
1200 acres. His father, James Predergast purchased the property
in 1841. At that time the farm was part of the town of
Carroll. For five years James Prendergast lived there and
conducted a model farm, and on his death, November 15, 1846, his
son Alexander inherited the estate and continues to farm the
property. Alexander Prendergast had two children, James and
Katherine who were among the first pupils to attend this school.
Portions of the minutes from the schol records shows how cost and
maintenance were met by the inhabitants of the district. One
part, in the school records in 1859 reads; "Moved that the inhabitants
of the district sending children to the school shall furnish one half
cord of 28 in wood per pupil, one-half to be split and piled in the
woodshed before November first and the other half before January
first." In the same year it was also moved to raise the teacher's
salary from $3 to $3.50 a week and board around. Board around
meant that the teacher would receive his room and board from the
various farmers living with each for a certain periods.
Amond the minutes of October 11, 1866 it was voted that the school
should be repaired and the cost be charged to the inhabitants sending
children to the school.
The present school house was built in 1882 at a contract price of $795
by L.E. Foster on a plot of land purchased from Cheney farms.
Chancy E. Woodworth was the school's first teacher, with forty pupils in attendance.
The school at the present time has 21 pupils who are shown in the
picture above, Left to Right front row; Marcile Bernhardt, Donna
Gesaman, Patricia Hawkins, Dorothy Schoover, Clarina Bernhardt and
Carolyn Johnson. Second row left to right; Gladys Hanson, Florene
Watte, Deloris Harrison, Elsie Stanton, Betty Gesaman, Leona Johnson
and Julia MacKenzie. Third row left to right, Wilas Seminuk,
Allen Eckman, Frederick Coons, Albert Eckman, Robert Coons, Flora
Waite, Margaret Hanson, Nick Seminuk and Herman P. Hawkins, their
Kiantone District 2
Kiantone No. 2 is located about five miles from Jamestown on the Kiantone Road.
At the pump, left to right are: Fred Dennison and Albert Griffin,
pumping. First row, left to right: Barbara Jane Payne, Erwin O.
Carlson, Lewis Shaver, and Eldred Griffin. In the rear, left to
right Mrs. Ruth Dailey, teacher; Doris Dickerson, Dois Emley and
Kiantone District 4
There are seventeen pupils enrolled at Kiantone District School No. 4,
located on Jamestown-Busti highway. It is known as the Kent
School and is near the old Kent farm. Mark Townsend is the
Shown in the above photograph is the schoolhouse and the pupils inside the structure.
Standing, left to right, are Delores Berg, Irene Abers and Florence Abers.
Seated, first row to the left, Thomas Coe, Ronald Durnell, Floyd
Durnell, Norman Durnell and Marlon Swanson; second row, Richard Berg
Norma Anderson, Roaldn DeForest and James Hallquist; third row, Jack
Abers, Julia Abers, Jerald Weber, Darlene DeForest and Janet Berg.
Panama District 1
This is the tenth in The Post's series of pictures of rural district schoolhouses of this area.
The Panama District School No. 1 is located in the Hamlet of Niobe, it
was formerly known as the Harmony School No. 9, but is now part of the
Centralized district of Panama.
The first school of Niobe was an old log schoolhouse which was then
built on the ground known as the Tracy Price Place. Some time
later, the exact time was not available, there were two schools, but
due to the fact that the terms of the schools in that district were so
short, a private school was formed in 1880 for those who wanted a more
complete education. Victoria Fowler, 87 years old, and at present
still residing in Niobe, taught in that private school. About
1883, a two room schoolhouse was built on the present location.
This school served the requirements of the district until 1918 when the
present structure was built. It is now used for the first six
grades only. The present pupils and their theachers are:
First row left, front to rear: Alberta Hints, Charles Holter and
Eleanor Johnson. Second row front to rear: Daniel Clancy
and Carl Johnson. Third row front to rear, Harold Davis, Robert
Davis, Michael Emules, Jr., and their teacher, Miss Louise Swanson.
Panama District 4
This is the twelfth in the series of pictures of rural distric schools of this area published by The Jamestown Post.
Panama District School No. 4, better known as the Ransom School, is
located three miles north-west of Niobe on the Panama-Bear Lake
Road. The original school still stands. It was built, as
near as can be determined, about 1870, on a half acres of ground leased
to the school district by Samuel Ransom, after whom the school was
named. A stipulation in the lease was made, that should the
school ever be discontinued the land would automatically revert to the
Ransom family's heirs. The present heir is Loren Smith, father of
the school's only pupils, the four boys shown above. At one time
the school boasted of a larger attendance, but like a lot of other
district schools they have felt the decreased attendance due to the
centralizing of the rural districts.
The boys shown above (left to right) Earl, Leon, Arthur and Willard
Smith have started a special project depicting a Belgium village in
which they were so interested that they didn't stop working long enough
to thave their picture taken. Ross Gugino, their teacher, looks
on and lends a helping hand when needed.
Stockton District 1
The Stockton-Ellery District School number 1 is located at Denton's
Corners on the Hartfield-Sinclairville road. To the natives of
the district it is more apt to be referred to as the Denton's Corner
At the present time the school has three pupils, (shown above) as they
study the globe and point out the location of Chautauqua county, in
which they are glad they live, considering the world affairs today.
The teacher and her pupils are left to right: Mrs. Dora Hall,
teacher; Donald Gage, pointing to the globe; June Hall and Maxine
The schoold is now centralized with the Bemus Point scools which gives
pupils on completion of their grammar shcool work, the opportunity to
continue studies through the high school grades.
Stockton District 5
The Stockton-Ellery District School No. 5, which is now centralized
with the Cassadaga Valley Central School, is located on the improved
highway running between Sinclairville and Mayville, about one half
miles west of Centralia, from which it gets its name.
The original school in this district was a little red building of which
very little is known. The school is said to have been old a the
time the township of Stockton was organzied, which was in 1821.
Many of the meetings of the organizing committee were in the school
house where plans were discussed for the new township.
In 1845 the district voted to build a new school house two years later,
in 1847, the present land site was bought from Henry Rhinehart.
For the next thirty years the school matter could never be brought to a
vote. The school board consisted of two factions one wanted a new
school, the other didn't. In 1876 the school board voted to build
a new schoolhouse the following year. However the school wasn't
ready until 1878. The old schoolhouse was then sold to G.W.
Barnes for $10.10. He used it for many more years as a horse barn.
The first teacher of this new school was Flora Brunson, who later
became Mrs. William Benedict. Frank Fenner was the school trustee
at that time.
Some of the early minutes show that the parents furnished one-fourth of
a cord of wood for each pupil to partly defray the expense of heating
the school. At the school board meeting a member would be voted
as measurer and inspector of the wood.
The terms of the school were usually three months in the Winter time
starting late in November or early in December and the Summer term
consisted of two or three months, the time designated by the board.
Among the school's early pupils there are included several teachers and
one assemblyman. Professor C.J. Fenner of Buffalo; Professor
Bugbee of Williamsport, Pa.; Professor Lee Hess Barnes, of Titusville,
Pa., and Professor Maurice Brevoort of Virginia, all received their
early training in the common branches, consisting of reading, writing,
spelling, arithmetic and geography. These subjects were voted by
the school board to complete the school's curriculum.
Assemblyman Loyd J. Babcock also spent many of his school days studying in this rural school.
Other people who attended school here and are still living in the
district are F.O. Waite and his childen, Mrs. Earl Brevoort and
children. At the present time the two families have the third
generation now in attendance. Other families are Ben C.
Brevoort's and May Clark's. Marguerite Handron, teacher in the
Fletcher School and Mrs. Rachel Olson now teaching in Falconer learned
their A B C's here. Other people living in Jamestown who went to
school in Centralia are: Lawrence Love, Anna Sherman, Lottie
The first postoffice in the town was near the present school and was
called Oregon. However, through the efforts of the Late Delos
Putnam the name was changed to Centralia, because the town was situated
in the center of the county.
The present pupils apparently all expect to be carpenters. All
take pleasure in manual training which is taught to the whole school by
their teacher. They have made many useful things, such as tie
racks, birdhouses, and cut out wooden dolls with a jig saw. The
pupils are left to right front row: Peggy Olsen, Virginia Carlson,
Donna Brevoort, Joan Adela Griffey, Alma Jean Griffey, and Richard
Snow. In rear, left to right: Marjorie Niles, Ronald
Crandall, Kenneth Niles, Beverly Brevoort, Charles Carlson, Don Snow,
Walter Waite and Miss Eleanor Bloomer, teacher.
Stockton District 8
The earliest history available of the South Stockton district school
No. 8 is in 1858. Jerry Crandall was then a trustee of the
school. It is thought by some of the old time residents that the
present school was built prior to 1859, There had been another school
located on the Lee Crandall farm, before the present school was built.
The present school site was donated by Oliver Brunson and is valued at
approximately $200. The records show that in 1874 Mr. Brunson was
elected trustee for the school. In 1881 the school underwent extensive
repairs and improvements. Other men to serve on the board of
trustees were: Henry White, Nathan Bargar, D. Williams, James
Robinson and Frank Harvey.
There have been eight families living in the district that have had
three generations attend school here, they are: The Crandall, Trude,
Kibbe, Fenner, Burns, Faulkner, Link and the Wakeman families.
F.M. Wakeman's granddaughter, Helen Hale Scott also taught here in
1935, and Henry Link was trustee at the time when the school was
centralized with the Cassadaga Valley Central School District.
Harvey Fenner, at present a member of the faculty at the Falconer High
School attended school here as did Mary Benedict who now is teaching in
The records show that Jennie VanWert was the teacher in 1890 for the
school year of 32 weeks and in the following year Victor E.
Putman. The same year the schol board voted that the teacher's
salary should not exceed $300 per year which was paid by drafts from
the supervisor, collections of taxes on the school property and cost of
board for the teacher during the school term, which amounted in 1891 to
The school has been repaired and improved as the need presented itself
and is modern and up-to-date with a large enclosed playground for the
children, where at this time of year they enjoy a good snow ball battle
at recess time as shown in the picture above.
The present pupils are shown above as they play an old favorite game
called, "Hot Potato" and are: Starting with boy in black shirt
(clockwise) Ezra Southwick, Martha Adams, Luella Southwick, Enos
Southwick, Shirley Curtis, thowing the "Potato"; Dorothy Hager, Frances
Faulkner, Roy Adams, Billy Starr, Irene Link, Barbara Olson, and in the
center the "It" girl is Clarabelle Link. The teacher is Mrs.
Aldene Fox, who is shown on the porch of the school as she presides as
referee for the snowball battle.
Stockton District 14
The Pleasantville District School No. 14 is in the joint district of
Chautauqua and Stockton. It is located two miles north of
Dewittville on the Hartfield-South Stockton county highway.
The original school was a log house that was built by the members of
the district. The land site for the school was obtained on
January 28, 1833 from John Miles. The locatoin was about a mile
and a half west of the present one, on top of a hill and consisted of
one-third of an acre of ground. School was conducted here until
1861 when the present school house was built.
Cecelia Young was one of the original school's first teachers. Her pay
was 75¢ a week in addition she was entitles to "board around"
going from one family to another free of charge.
The present school was built in 1861. The names of the trustees at that time were not recorded on the deed.
Some years ago an organization was formed consisting of the pupils and
teachers of Pleasantville School who attended or taught there prior to
1900. This organization continues. An annual picnic is held
in August of each year at the schoolhouse. About thirty members
Former pupils of the school include Frank Stowell, present County
Commissioner of Public Welfare, George R. Raynor, principal of
Chautauqua High School, his wife, Grace Kirkland Raynor, Mrs. Hattie
Briggs Dye, postmistress at Cassadaga, Glenn Raynor, realtor,
Jamestown, Ward Cadwell, Dewittville and Harry M. Young of
Mayville. Cecelia Young, one of the early teachers and John Miles
from whom the land was obtained are Mr. Young's aunt and great
The school is now centralized with the Mayville central schools and has
fourteen pupils who are left to right, front row: Rosalie
Blanchard, Lois Nellis, Gilbert Hayward, Bobby Jean Weaver, Alfred
Nellis, Donald McClellan, Robert Webster and James Blanchard.
In rear, left to right: Miss Elizabeth Dedrick, teacher; Betty
Webster, Esther Smith, Esther Blanchard, George Meadows, Ellicott Long
and Paul Weise.
SOURCE: Jay Priest,