Schools of the Past: Coventry: Districts 2 and 11

In the previous yeas that first the series of “In The House of the Lord” and the current series it was written that if new historical information relevant to a previous article was written, this writer would return with yet another brief report. Such is the case with District #2 in the hamlet of Coventryville.


In the original article written August 18th the history of what is now the Coventry Museum related details relevant to the present building and the purchase of this abandoned school by the Town of Coventry as a home for the Coventry Historical Society. We will now take a look at historical facts and figures that were written in the book “The Old Log School House 1788-1888.

History gives us the facts that the first public buildings in many of the towns of Chenango County were the schoolhouses which served a dual purpose both as a school and a “meeting house” for all the early pioneers that chose to serve as leaders of government in their respective townships. The fact relevant to the first school in Coventry tell us that the original Log House was erected in 1788 and was located just west of what was O.T. Shaw’s blacksmith shop.

The first teacher engaged was Sherman Page and little information remains relevant to this log school house. In 1813 a new school house was erected on the same grounds approximately 40 rods for the original and contained the very primitive slab seats with legs hews out and driven in each end. Future teachers would include Nancy Minor, Curtis Stoddard, John Stoddard, S. Merchant and Zenus Hutchinson.

With the decision to erect the new school (1813) the decision was made to have the new building 32 feet long and 20 feet wide. Existing records when the book above was written gave us the historical information that John Twitchell was elected Chairman of the Trustees committee and other citizens of the area included not only Twitchell, but also Benjamin Jones, Jothan Parker, and Ozias Yale. There were seventeen other names on these records, but could not be identified due to the faded ink on the pages. Roswell Clark was elected Clerk, John Stoddard, O. Yale and J. Twitchell as Trustees and Levi Parker Collector. After the election it was voted by resolution that the school should be ached. Additionally the Trustees were authorized to raise a sum of money sufficient to erect said schoolhouse not to exceed $300. Finally that the annual meeting of Trustees should be the 1st Thursday In September next.

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