‘Schools Of The Past’ Preston, District #7 - Stafford
Published: February 16th, 2017
By: Patricia F. Scott

By Patricia F. Scott

Independent Registered Historian

Again the documentation of the scant history known of the Town of Preston, this writer has to give credit to Peter Mason, Town Historian for researching the minute books for this township.

Research, at times, will reveal the name of the school district, not so with #7 which I have taken the liberty of naming Stafford district due to the location which was located on the Stafford Road, leading from State Route #220 at the top of the hill north till it swings around and again to #220 and located very near the district #7 line. If anyone would like a spring ride after the roads are passable, a good time to explore the area.

June 9, 1918 the Commissioners of Common Schools, Washington Fenton, Gorsham Noyes, and Allan Park agreed to take off the lot that Washington Fenton lived on from District #8 and annex to District #6 [Turner Street] and further take off Elder Jabez Below farm from Dist. #8 and annex it to Dist. #7.

Story Continues Below Adverts

Also written in the minute books backtracking in time to May 31, 1813, John Noyes and Sylvanus Moor, school committee overseer’s was written the following: “District No. 7 beginning at the Bela Richards southwest corner, thence east to the east line of Butler Range, thence north to the southwest corner of Elder Davis Rogers farm’ thence east to the northeast corner of Elder Rogers farm; thence south to the west corner of Elder J. Beebe’s and, thence east to District No. one being the east line of lot number seventy-eight, thence south to the south line of Preston, thence west to the southeast corner of [this was blank] of ownership, thence north to the first mentioned border.

Research at the Chenango County Clerk’s office of the volume of deeds found the following deed recorded in Liber #108 at page #484 which is quoted, in part below.

“Indenture made the seventh day of April, 1860 between Cyrus A. Bacon of Oxford, party of the first part, and G. S. Norton, trustee of Dist. #7 in the town of Preston, party of the second part.

Witnesseth: that the party of the first part in consideration of the sum of $45.00 sold to the said party of the second part the following: All that tract or parcel of land situate in the Town of Preston, being a part of lot number 82 in the township number 14 [Preston] bounded and described as follows:

“Beginning at a stake and stone at the southeast corner of land owned [February 6, 1846] by Silas Barrows thence; north along said Barrows east line to the west side of the highway thence; a southwest direction along west side of highway as far south as the first mentioned bound; thence; west to the place of beginning supposed to contain half an acre of land be the same more or less; and being the same land conveyed to Almeda R. Furman by Willette Vincent and Maria his wife by deed bearing date January 1846 and recorded in the Clerk’s office of said County of Chenango, January 9, 1846 in Book of Deeds No. 71, and also the same piece of land conveyed to the said Cyrus A. Bacon by George W. Furman and Almida R. his wife together with a certain other piece of land by their deed bearing date April 14, 1854 and recorded in the said Clerk’s office April 19, 1854 in Liber 94 of deeds at page 181.

The usual legal wording continued in this sale of land, prepared by Wm. W. Hyde, presented to the subscriber D. Brown [Justice of the Peace} and a true copy of the original recorded April 9, 1860 by A. Shepardson, Clerk.

Researching the numerous deeds at the Clerk’s office, details of the proceedings have proven to be of great assistance in the documentation of Preston’s deeds and also at numerous times with other townships. At times, the boundary lines have proven interesting, especially when “to a stake and stone” or to a “large maple tree” or bounds of certain waterways. The handwriting, is at times, difficult to decipher, but with patience may be read.

At some point in time, it is the intent to return to the Township of Preston and pay tribute to the numerous teachers, trustees, and clerks who served this township during the course of history, but do not expect this for quite a while. There is one more district for Preston, plus perhaps to the Preston Center District #4, however, time will dictate this decision.

Paying tribute to the many residents of District #7 are the names of parents who provided an education for their children in the years 1870-1908 as follows: James & Jerome Beckwith – Henry S. Bowens – Henry Christian – Morton Church – Frank Clumb – Alfred Corbin – Ethan Curtis – Alexander & Sam Diamond, Michael Dunne – Fred A. & Mary Eccleston – Mike & Thomas Fennell – Arthur Field or Fields – Gould Francisco – Michael C. & Patrick Griffin – Henry Hill – Amos Hinman – Edward Hogan – Albert & John A. & Orange Ingraham – Chas. S. Kinyon or Kenyon – James H. & John H. McEneny – Alfred Norton – R. W. Osgood – George Preston – M.W. Quinn – Daniel & M. Roach – Luke M. & Rose Robinson – Geo. H. Rogers – Andrew Root – Elnora & Job Stafford – Mrs. George Tew – Lyman & Will VanTassle – L. Wade – John D. Welch – Calvin & Morris Westover – Wm. Widger and Alex Wright. During this time period a total of 502 scholars attended this district school, difficult to believe, but statistics are given proof.

Two interesting notes were listed in the following trustee’ reports; 1875 following families had servants in their families of children over five and under 20, dated Sept. of the above year – E. Stafford [2], Michael Griffin [1] and William Widger [1]. The date of March 1, 1906 related that the Francisco, Church and Christian families had moved into district after October 1, 1905 about the 1906 date.

In closing, if anyone has additional information relevant to this above district, do not hesitate to contact the town historian, Peter Mason and finally “to be continued.”