Early Days of Greenbush

EARLY DAYS IN GREENBUSH

The Schools of Greenfield and Greenbush
in the Early Days


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0, were you ne‘er a school-boy,
And did you never train,
And feel that swelling of the heart
You ne ‘er will feel again?”

In the early days in the township there were three schoolhouses. These houses were made of logs and did not differ much from a common log-cabin. They had a big fireplace in one end, one door and one or two small windows. The children sat on benches made by splitting logs and facing up the pieces with an ax. Holes were then bored in them in which the legs were fastened. For writing-desks, holes were bored in the wall in which were driven wooden pins or pegs on which a board was laid.

Foolscap paper was used for copy-books. The teachers would write the copy for the pupils. Some of these copies would read like this:

“Many men of many minds;”
“Command you may your mind from play;”
“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Goose quills were used to make the pens, and the teacher was expected to make them and keep them in repair. The ink was often made from indigo, oak bark or poke-berries. Webster‘s Spelling-Book was the main book in the school and was often used as a reader. Afterwards came McGuffey’s Readers; Ray’s Arithmetics; Smith’s, Kirkham‘s, Murray’s, and Clark’s Grammars; Parley’s, Olney‘s and Mitchell’s Geographies.

The school trustees in the township in 1840 were Thomas Moulton, Lauren Rose, John Sargent, John Plymate, and Abel Chase.

At that time John C. Bond was treasurer. Gustavus Hills, James F. Chambers, and E. B. Stephens were the school-teachers.

At that time there were only three school districts in the township. The north half of the west half of the township was called Greenfield district. The south half of the west half of the township was called Van Buren district. The balance of the township was in one district and was called Stringtown district.

At a meeting held July 13, 1840, it was ordered that the school-house in Van Buren district be no longer used during school-hours for public worship; also that Lauren Rose and Dr. Abel Chase should have the power to employ a teacher for the school in Greenfleld on such terms as they might think proper.

The school-teachers in 1841 were Isaac Bell, Gustavus Hills, Charles Tinker, Charles A. Williams, and Sarah Woods. The directors elected in Van Buren district were Wm. B. Bond and Harvey J. Hewett. In Greenfield district, Henson C. Martin and J. E. Heath were elected directors. Thomas Teeters, John Plymate, and Charles Plymate were elected directors in Stringtown district. Greenfield had one hundred and three persons under the age of twenty, Stringtown eighty-nine, and Van Buren ninety-five.

At a meeting held January 10, 1842, it was ordered to pay the treasurer four dollars and fifty cents for his services for the last two years. At that time all school money was loaned at twelve per cent. John Sargent was appointed school treasurer. In 1846 an election was held to determine whether the rate of interest on school money should be eight or twelve per cent. Every vote cast except two was for twelve per cent.

In 1848 the township was divided into districts by numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and fractional 4 and 5. John Wingate was then chosen treasurer.

This entry is made in the treasurer’s book:Coon Section, January 27, 1849. A very bad spell of weather, good deal of rain. Very icy and slippery, creek higher than it has been for two years. No business done by the trustees. John Wingate, Treasurer.

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