Schools of the Past: Town of Norwich, Joint District #16

By Patricia F. Scott

Registered Historian

“Smith’s History of Chenango County – 1784-1879” gives us the facts that in the Town of Norwich there were sixteen common and one Union Free School districts, each having a school building within the boundaries of the township. 1877 gives the fact that there were 31 licensed teachers and the number of children residing in the districts was 1,574. Within the boundaries of the township there were twenty-one framed schoolhouses with the total land in acreage of five acres 3 ˝ rods at a total value of $8, 310.

Other financial historical information gives us teachers wages $10, 761.94, libraries $2.57, school apparatus $3.00, houses, sites, fences, outhouses, repairs, furniture $660.72 and incidental expenses $1,740.80.

Of interest Bardeen District School of Chenango County 1874 School Bulletin Publication maps show the following district numbers, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 19. The 1863 Chenango County Map lists 12 districts and the 1875 lists 16 districts, though with different district numbers. With merging of districts, the numbers were changed and the dates of these changes remain unknown. There are few trustees’ minute books that have survived the ravages of time, and at times the district number changes are recorded, but this is a rare event.

The History Room of Guernsey Memorial Library is fortunate to have the trustees’ minute book covering the years 1888-1902. This is a wealth of information and since the historical information [relative to expenses] is documented, this writer will share these expenses in this article and in future articles.

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