Schools of the Past: The German District Schools

With the beginning of the above series of articles, the requests were forwarded to each of the town historians to share any and all informational history and photos that they might have relevant to the district schools of their township. The response to this request has been extremely helpful, part of the townships have provided information, others have not and the three resources available here in the city (County Historian’s office, Guernsey Memorial Library, Smith’s History of Chenango County) have been scoured and this has been the basis for the articles, plus personal conversations with individuals for these “schools of the past” history.

The township of German, one of the smallest townships in the county is basically an agricultural township which has not changed over the years since it was formed. The research information that the former historian Gladys Huntly found is the fact that in 1865 there were nine school districts operating in the township with 231 pupils attending. Total combined budgets for that year were #2,003.68.

However, and we assume due to lack of pupils by 1878 there were only eight common school districts each having a framed schoolhouse within its district. Smith’s History gives the facts that by Sept. 30, 1878 there were five mate and eleven female teachers, eight of which had been licensed. By the above date there were 201 children residing in the township, there were 525 volumes in the libraries having a value of $75. Returning to the school buildings and the sites upon which they were situated, each was valued at $270 embracing a total of two acres and 28 rods (all 8) and the total value of all eight was $2,920. Total receipts and disbursements for that time (1878) was $1,361.15 which included $1, 229.31 for teachers salaries, $1.37 for libraries, $36.35 for school houses, sites, outhouse, repairs, furniture, etc. and other incidental expenses of $50.03. Quite a difference from the costs of education today!

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