Schools of the Past: Coventry – The Beginning

In the succeeding weeks, this series will relate the history of the schoolhouses that dotted the township of Coventry. But first, a look at the history of the town as it was first settled.

The township of Coventry being formed from Greene February 7,1806 and derives its name from Coventry in Connecticut. The first settlers came from that township and it assumed that they had in turn emigrated from Coventry, England. Parts of Greene and Oxford were annexed to the township in 1843.

With the growth of the town, as was the scenario over the years, the need for education of the young was an important factor in the establishment of assorted school districts. However, before we continue with the beginning history of the school districts, this writer will quote verbatim a portion of a written documentation that was in the possession of Alton A. Dalton of Coventry in 1953 to give all an understanding of what community life was like in an earlier time in the settlement of the town.

“In the spring of 1847,1 moved with my family into the village, bought the house and lot of C. D. Phillips, moved the old house and built the house where John Kelly now owns and occupies. I lived there with my family till the winter of 1865, sold it to Samuel A. Martin. I was married to Betsey J. Parker and went to live with her at Levi Parker homestead. There was a plank road from the village of Coventry to Deposit, a station on the Erie Railroad, a distance of 30 miles.”

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