Monday, July 27, 2009

District #11 - Crawford's Corners

District #11 - Crawford's Corners

This school was considered to be one of the poorest buildings in this town.
However, it was one where hot lunches were served to its pupils in the early

District #10 - Little Canada

District #10 - Little Canada

The latest school building was erected in Little Canada in 1879 to replace
the former red schoolhouse. This area was also known as Bennetts.

District #9 - East Bethany

District #9 - East Bethany

The first school at this site was an old red schoolhouse, which was taken
down, sold for $13 and replaced with a two-room building, built in 1890, at
a cost of $1,000.

Records indicated that this school received $1 in sale of apples from the
school property. One dollar was paid for housecleaning the school each
year. Wood for heating cost $2 per cord.

The children enjoyed sharing the duty to ring the bell in the cupola,
indicating the start of a school day.

Sophia Page was a student in this little schoolhouse; she went on to study
medicine and practiced her profession in East Bethany for many years.

District #8 - Pearson

District # 8 - Pearson

Located at the Four Corners of the old Telephone Road and the Transit Road; this school was built in 1847. It was one of the smaller school buildings in the town not being required to house as many pupils as some others.
The George Pearson family was a prominent family in this district.

District #7 - Linden

Linden, located in a most picturesque setting on the banks of the Little Tonawanda Creek, was the first village of importance in the town of one time, it had wagon shops, three stores, and a blacksmith shop. It also had a cider mill, an ashery, and a postoffice. It also supported a resident medical doctor, but sad to say, it never had church privileges. District School No. 7, on the eastern outskirts of the hamlet, was erected in 1876. The taxes, paid by the Erie Railroad for its property through the district, helped to ease the tax burden of the patrons of the district. The school enrollment was never large in this Linden district, but things progressed peacefully until 1924 when the terrifying triple Linden murder occurred. The terrible fears of the residents took a real toll on the pupils of District 7. Some of the relatives of the murdered people attended the school. Parents denied the children parties, suspended music lessons, and generally the children were to be pitied for several years.
In this school district were two of the Genesee county's famous tree-trimming twins, Willis and William Kimbal by name. They attended No. 7 in the middle 1800's.

District #6 - Bethany Center

District # 6 - Bethany Center

Located in the center of town, this frame structure with white clapboards
and having a cupola, was built in 1878, and was situated at the south end of
a row of buildings - which included the Town Hall and the Baptist Church.

Harry Woolf, merchant of the General Store here, served as School Director
for several years. This school was noted for its dramatic activities,
holding the Regents exams for the entire town of Bethany, and literary tests
for new voters were held at this building at the convenience of the teacher
during school hours.


April 18-1931.
Daily News, Batavia NY.

Bethany Center Pupils Entertained 50 Guests.

Bethany Center, April 18. - Mrs Egbert Ford and her pupils in district No. 6, Bethany Center, entertained about fifty guests Wednesday evening at a spring party. The school house was prettily decorated with pictures and crepe paper. A program of songs, recitations and short plays was given by the pupils, a black face sketch by Dorothy Platek, and playing school with Flora Wozniak as teacher were very amusing features.
There were remarks by several visitors, who had formerly attended school in the district. Mrs Ford urged the parents to visit the school to see what the pupils were doing in their school work.

District #5 - Mayne District

Receipt for School Teacher Mary Budd at School District #5:
$82.50 ~ for Nov. 1876 through March 1877


District # 5

Mayne District

Located on the Bethany Center Road, north of Bethany Center, early records
from 1853-1854 reported that two cords of wood cost $2.91, two and one-half
lbs of chalk were 11 cents, and postage on the district report was 3 cents.
The wages for the teacher, from November to March, amounted to $147.76.

This district had a lower tax rate due to the large assessment of the DL&W
Railroad, during the hard times of the 1930s.
Due to abundant funds, taxpayers voted to furnish free textbooks for its
pupils, as well as art supplies and paper. With its wiring for electricity,
modern movable-type desks, and purchases of library books it became one of
the best equipped schools in the area in the late 1920s, while having the
smallest building in size, about 18 feet square.

District #4 - Co. Home District

District # 4

District 4 was known as the "County Home District" due to its proximity to
the Poor House - later called the Old County Home at the nearby
intersection. Two buildings had been built, due to a fire destroying the
first one, built in 1834; the second one, built in 1915.

In the mid-to latter 1800s, the John Erwin family lived next to this school; their daughter, Olive Erwin, taught here.

After electricity was installed, evening programs and a few civic meetings
were enjoyed here.

During the 1920-1930s, this particular district had many families who had
immigrated to the area. These people often could neither understand or
speak English. The school's help and encouragement assisted the younger
generation interpret for the parents. Often in legal business transactions,
a family's oldest child would be excused from classes to talk for and with
mother and father.

District #3 - East Road

District #3 - East Road

This school building was one of the hardest to get to through roadways in
winter in the town of Bethany.

District #2 - Torrey

This district is on the far northeast corner of the Town of Bethany. Attendance peaked at thirty students in the early days of the school. In the late 1930s enrollment had declined and it was decided to consolidate with District #9.
In 1907 the teacher's salary was $8.50 per week.
In 1910, discussion was held whether to build new outhouses or to install inside chemical toilets.
One of the first families in this district was pioneer John Torrey and his wife and children, who came here from Connecticut in 1803.

Friday, July 24, 2009

District #1 - S. Transit

Bethany, August 31, 1887.
The annual school meeting called to order, Philip Burks appointed chairman
Grove[sic] W. Dauchy clerk
Trustees report accepted
Collectors report accepted
Daniel M Plucker Trustee
Wakefield Burks Collector
James Biggert[sic] Librarian
G.W. Dauchy

4 Corners of Transit, Shepard, Dublin Roads
"Dauchy" District #1

As the number indicates, it was the first school built. The building was erected in 1834 at the four corners formed by the Transit, Shepard, and Dublin Roads. Three of the early trustees were Metcalf Holden, Joseph Gillett, and Samuel Smith.

The Dauchy family, Smith Dauchy and his wife Sarah, came from Connecticut in 1833. They ventured to Bethany just over the Pavilion town line. They had two children, a son, Grover, and a daughter, Nellie.


Bethany, N.Y. August 7, 1889.

It is resolved that the district buy 10 cords of dry beech or maple wood,
to be delivered at the school house
by the 1st of Nov. 1889.

Bought wood of James Baker
consideration $1.65 per. cord.

W.E. Hurst, Clerk

Early Schools

The heritage which the early schools of Bethany have left to their successors is a most admirable example for which to carry on the torch of learning.

The textbooks in the year 1808, when Miss Matilda Wedge is supposed to have taught the first school in Bethany, were most inadequate. They would be as much of a wonder to the present pupils and parents in our Central schools as the old-fashioned flax-break.

These early pioneers, who came mostly from Vermont and Connecticut, traveled by ox cart or on foot. Others came by sailboat from England, Germany, Ireland, and some other countries. All showed the perseverance and determination of purpose with which the town of Bethany was founded. Back as far as 1803, settlers bearing the family names of Kelly, Kingsley, Lathrop, Pearson, Shepard, Scott, and Torrey ventured to the rolling, well-watered locality of Bethany which was formed into a township in 1812, being taken from the township of Batavia.

Many families as the Hardings, Lincolns, Buells, Bennetts, Putnams, Judds, Morgans, Browns, Waites, Marshes, Rumseys, Smeads, Lounsburys, Pages, Nortons, and scores of others, who with their descendants, have contributed much to the honor and growth of the township. Many of these received their education in the schools of Bethany.

Of the 150 school districts in Genesee County, 13 were in the town of Bethany (two being combined with districts of other towns.) Land value being less than $20.00 per acre in 1839 made it impossible to raise much money by taxation.
-Through the Years in Bethany Schools, M. Ford, 1960, c. 2009