New York School, First was Log Building in 1869
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, November 15, 1952.

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by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune

District North of Wheeling Now is Part of Reorganized R-IV

The early history of the New York School, located five miles north of Wheeling, was obtained for the most. from old school records. It is unusual and noteworthy that some of the earliest records were preserved by the school’s patrons with meticulous care down through the years. Lawrence Lawler, the school’s last clerk, turned these records over to the Wheeling school board recently, when New York school became a part of Reorganized District No. R-IV. He started to New York School in 1893 at the age of six years. He now lives a short distance south of the school’s site.

These old records could prove valuable as documentary evidence in establishing proof of age, which is often necessary when obtaining certain legal papers, especially birth certificates, because some of them extend as far back as the year of 1874, many years before births were recorded in the county. As time goes on, they should become increasingly interesting as Americana.

The first school building in this district was erected on the farm of the late Joseph Dooley. It was a log structure built in 1869 and known as “The Log Schoolhouse.” The first teacher was Prof. Edmonds.

A clear spring about a fourth mile from the schoolhouse furnished the water supply. It was carried by the pupils in a cedar bucket to the schoolhouse. All the scholars drank from the same tin cup.

Seats were long pine benches and desks were built in the wall the length of the room with slanted. hinged covers, which when lowered served as writing desks.

Minutes of the first school board meeting which have been preserved are those of November 16, 1871. They read as follows: “Motion made for three months school during the coming winter. Also that eight cords of stove wood be furnished, oak or hickory cut in two foot lengths, at $1.55 per cord; that the directors repair or cause to be repaired the schoolhouse, and charge to the district. Signed: Watson Turner, clerk of the Sub-district.

As early as May 5, 1872 minutes record that a different site for a new building was voted upon. It was to be built east of the old site on Wheeling Ridge. Some think the decision to move the school site was because the old location was not conveniently located for some of the pupils since a few had to walk three and f our miles to school. Then too, the new location had a better road leading to the school house.

In these minutes it records that “the voters proceeded to ballot first the tax to be rescinded to one per cent. Size of house to be 22x32x10 feet in the clear. Seats to be made by the man who builds the schoolhouse. Location of house. S. E. corner of E˝ N. E. Section 8, township 58, range 22. Size of lot. One square acre. Old house to be sold to the highest bidder on six months time without interest; the district to be the loser if the house is destroyed.” Later minutes record that the old house was sold to G. M. Brassfield for the sum of $13.35. The minutes conclude with recording that “Votes taken by raising up.” Signed C. M. Morrison. secretary, Adam Bathgate chairman, and C. W. Turner, clerk of the subdistrict. The minutes of April 12,1873 state that the new school house would be known as Pleasant Ridge. No location could be found in any of the records of when and why the name of the school was finally changed to New York; however, Mrs. NellieTimmons, who still lives in the district a short distance from the school site, and who started to school there in 1895, thinks the name of New York was given the school by some early patrons who formerly resided in New York state.

Some kind of controversy arose, which is not fully explained in the minutes, in regard to the cost of the new schoolhouse, and subsequent minutes state that no more than $750.00 in orders was to be paid out of the building fund for the new structure.

Miss Maggie Hanna taught the first term of school in the new building the spring of 1875. Her salary was $20.00 per month. The school term year ended on July, 10th. The next teacher was Joseph Watson who received a salary, of $30.00 per month. The winter term that year began Dec. 10th and ended in February.

Other early teachers were Samuel Burch, Vina Smith, Minnie Stewart and Julia Real. Miss Dora Patton taught New York School for several terms beginning in the year of 1884. She later married the late J. S. Littrell and lived in Wheeling until her death in 1948. Their daughter, Mrs. Ed Bright, resides in Wheeling.

Some of the entries in ledgers, and other records were made with painstaking care, often displaying shaded letters. and in some instances they were written with India ink in a beautiful flowing hand.

The first enumeration record of pupils found is the one made in April 1874. The names of the boys were listed on the left hand side of the page, and the girls names on the right. There were twenty boys listed, from the age of five years up to nineteen years of age. Twenty-eight girls were listed varying in ages from five to twenty years of age. The enumeration follows:

BOYS

George Boland, 19; John Boland, 11; John Bush, 5; George Crawford, 13; Alfred Crawford, 5; T. B. England, 5; Alby Fell, 16; George Hanna, 16; David Hanna, 14; Joseph Hanna, 12 ; Dyke Heaton, 20; Frank Heaton, 14, Lawrence Kinsella, 11; Patrick Kinsella, 6; B. Thompson, 7; Lewis Hessenflow, 17; Frederick Snook, 15; Charles Wolfe, 8; Thomas Kinsella, no age listed.

GIRLS

Alice Boland, 11; Caroline Boland, 9; Margaret Boland, 7: Amanda Brunk, 20; Lowrena Bush, 12; Isabelle Crawford, 7; C. B. England, 8: Ida Fell, 5; Sarah Hanna, 18; Clara Hanna, 8; Sarah Heaton, 18; Margaret Heaton, 16; Jane Heaton, 12; Gertrude Jones, 16; Edith Jones, 14; Mary Kinsella, 13; Catherine Kinsella; Emma Gilbert, 8; Mittie Gilbert, 5; Mary Mills, 5; Katie Moreno, 7. Mary Moreno, 5; Harriett Parks, 9; Cora Parks, 9; Anna Thompson, 11; E. Thompson, 9; Myrtle Wolfe, 6; Rachel Wasson, 8.

The next year twenty four boys and twenty girls are listed. The largest total enumerated for any of the earlier years in the district was sixty-five during the year of 1880.

The April minutes of the board of directors in the year of 1877 describe in detail the dimensions and the materials to be used in building a cistern on the school grounds.

Sealed bids were accepted for the work on it, and on June 30 of that year G. N. Kesterson was awarded the contract with a bid of $40.00.

At the April school meeting 1978 it was voted to have a three months summer term of school and five months of school in the fall and winter. It was also voted at this meeting to open the schoolhouse for the use of Sunday School, preaching, lectures and shows of an educational nature, the persons connected with events to furnish their own fuel or pay enough money to cover the expense of using the building. One entry reads as follows. May 27, 1879 --- Schoolhouse opened for a lecture on meteorology and a concert at 8 p.m. Another entry the same month states: Schoolhouse opened for use of Sunday School, Charles Stewart, superintendent.

In 1881 the schoolhouse was repaired as follows: Underpinning the house, laying new floors, removing a partition, papering the walls and ceiling and putting in a blackboard from the east end of the house to the first windows on the sides.

The school book texts adopted at a school convention held in Chillicothe January 6, 1885 are listed in one ledger by the clerk, D. R. Heaton. The name of the book, the subject, author’s name and the price of each was recorded. It also stated where the books could be obtained, namely: McGrath’s, C. M. West’s and Giltner and Co., Chillicothe. The approved list follows: Readers -- 1-2-3-4-5, Normal: Spellers -- Buckwalter’s Primary, Buckwalter’s Comprehensive; English Language – Kaub’s Lessons in English, Kaub’s Elementary and Kaub’s Complete; Penmanship, Practical Copy Books; miscellaneous, Dunglison’s School Physiology; Monteith’s Elementary Geography, comprehensive; Quackenboss’ Revised History, Shannon’s Civil Government; Maury’s Revised Physical Geography; Ray’s Algebra.

On the opposite page Miss Ella Downing listed the names of texts used in the school when she taught there in 1887 together with the number of pupils studying each. Some of the texts she has listed which do not appear in the adopted list are: Ray’s oral and Written Arithmetic, 1-2-3 and Higher; Harvey’s Elementary and Practical Grammar; Seventy Lessons In Civil Government by Townsend; Hitchcock’s Elementary Geology; Steel’s Fourteen Weeks In Physiology; Harvey’s Elementary Grammar; Corvell’s Physical Geography and Spencerian copy books, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7.

When coal stoves first began to be used, coal was sold by the bushel. One entry in 1890 states that 100 bushels of coal was to be procured for the district by J. C. Olenhouse, who was to deliver it at the schoolhouse. He was to receive $3.00 for hauling it provided he could get the coal in Wheeling; however no record could be found of the cost per bushel of coal used.

One interesting entry found told the results of voting for county supervision on April 1st, 1890 to be 16 against 1 for.  

On April 5, 1898, it was voted 21 to 4 against to build a new schoolhouse. It was stipulated the building cost was not to exceed $700.00. Sealed bids were accepted and the contract was let to Gilmer Ogan with a bid of $565.00 on Aug. 22, 1898. The old building was sold to John Gaff for $21.00. The seats were sold to different individuals from fifteen cents up to forty-five cents each. The new building was to be 24x36x12 with a rock foundation. This building still stands.

New York school continued to function until the close of the 1949-50 school term, when it was made a part of Reorganized District No. R-IV. Miss Jean Lawler was its last teacher. George Tiemeyer, Harold Timmons and Lawrence Lawler, clerk, were the members of the last school board.

The building, land and equipment were sold to Lawrence Arthaud on October 22, 1951, who has opened the building for a community center.

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