Knox School District No. 2

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October 2009 Eric Chamberlain
1972 photo of the building which was converted in 1966 to a fire house.

Location

Knox School District No. 2 Is on the corner of (what is now) Witter Road and Township Road (Route 146)As of 2009 it is still owned by the Knox Volunteer Fire Company.

History

In 2015 Dan Driscoll gathered information about Knox School #2.

The following is from the booklet, Booklet Knox, New York Sesquicentennial, 1822-1972:

In 1886, according to Tenney and Howell, district 2 had 59 children of school age of whom 41 actually attended school. The average daily attendance was 22. School and site were valued at $100.

An old handwritten ledger containing 100 years of school records (1849-1949), states that district 9 was consolidated with district 2 in 1866-67, and the combined district was designated as NO.2. According to the ledger, no funds were voted for the school in 1850, and in October 1851, it was voted to change the site of the school. In 1852 it was decided to locate the school at its present site. At that time the site cost $30 and the building cost $200.

In 1884, Maggie Reid was employed as teacher at a salary of $168 per year. Mrs John succeeded her. In 1887, Mrs Van Auken received $48 a month for teaching, and she was followed by E.L. Barkley who received $97.97 in 1896. Mrs.Osborne received $225 for nine months of teaching in 1897. Mrs Malory, Miss Ann Thornton, Rev George Weaver, Ruth Truax, and Mr.Culver followed consecutively.

Among the interesting items in the ledger is the first mention, in 1913 of a teachers retirement fund, and an entry of $3.58 for that fund. In 1924, a tuition payment for Anita Crommie is recorded. The first individual drinking cups were furnished in 1925.[and] Also during that year it is noted that the older children of the district were sent to Altamont High School. Again, in 1933, older children were transportedby the district, and it is noted that they were required to meet the bus on the county highway. The year 1935 was a brighter one for teachers and pupils because electric lights were installed. The minutes of 1946 record a decision to petition the Commissioner of Education to dissolve District No.2, and to transfer the district to the Berne-Knox Central School System. The transfer was accomplished, and the school remained empty until it was purchased by the Knox Fire Company

Note: In 1956 the Township one-room school house on Township Road was sold to the Fire District for $1.00. 1966 finally saw the conversion of the Township school house into Knox Fire Station 2. Repairs were made, a new concrete foundation was poured, and the school room converted into a garage. The majority of the work was done by the firemen.


KNOX FIREMEN TO DEVELOP FORMER SCHOOL PROPERTY

If you have driven by the former District No 2 schoolhouse in Township on route 146 recently, you may have noticed considerable cleanup activity. Credit for this cleanup is due the volunteers of the Knox Fire district, who are exercising the wishes of citizens, in the former Knox District No. 2 when the school was sold to the fire company for $1.00 on the basis that the building and premises would house a volunteer fire unit.

At the July meeting of the Knox Fire company it was voted by the members to spend the necessary money to make a firehouse in Township a reality. It was approximately 18 years ago when District No 1 in the village of Knox started the present fire department in much the same manner.

Today the building in Knox houses three pieces of equipment (two pumpers and a tank truck), a large meeting room and a modern kitchen. Three annual suppers are prepared in this kitchen and served in the meeting room and truck storage area.

Tentative plans of the present Board of Fire Commissioners call for a piece of equipment to be placed in Township in approximately two years, if approval of the voters of the town is obtained.

Records for the old school district go back to 1867 and show the operating budget at that time was approximately $250. The trustee’s signature of that year appears to b that of Jas. D. White. Although the teacher’s name or salary is not discernible, the entry of the library money shows $3.28,

The minutes of the budget for 1873 show the teacher’s wages for the school of 1872 was $68.15. Names mentioned during this early period show a Miss Germond as teacher, J. H. Saddlemier for wood; J. D. White, work on school; J. W. Crary, boarding teacher, Foster F. Warrick, repairs, Theodore Armstrong, board.

The following is an account of Henry A. Wilber, trustee, of the school for the year 1875.

Sept. 2, James White, $4.60; Nov 4, glass and putty, $.44; Nov. 6, sawing wood, $1.88; Nov. 12, for wood and repairs on schoolhouse, $20, Jan 1, broom, $.31; Feb 25, difference on stoves, $3; Apr. 1, for winter school wages to Slade, $12.68; Apr. 25, cleaning schoolhouse, $2; June 10, for making small bench, $1.50; order Miss Smith, $42.38; Aug. 25, order of Arthur Pitcher, $9, order winter school to Slade, $107.87; order Pitcher summer school, $6.27; order Pitcher summer school, $2.73; order Pitcher summer school, $16,20 Total for the year, $230.28.

The last annual school meeting of the District No. 2, was held on May 3, 1949. The account of the meeting is as follows:

The meeting was called to order by trustee Ernest E. Walk. The motion was made and carried that Merrill Baker be elected chairman of the meeting. The trustee read a letter from the Department of Education for information. The trustee’s report was read and approved.

The chairman called on the trustee to read the estimated budget for the school year. Before doing this the trustee read a letter from the president of the Board of Education of the Berne-Knox Central school district. The letter stated that tuition would have to be paid by this district next year, which amounted to $40 per pupil. The estimated budget was explained by the trustee, a discussion followed, and the estimated budget was approved.

Earl Sturgess and Ivan Baker were appointed tellers. The 1949-1950 budget was read and approved. The following officers were duly nominated and elected: Trustee, Earnest E. Walk; treasurer and collector, Nellie Truax; clerk, Ivan Baker.

The motion was made and carried that we vote to consolidate with the Berne-Knox Central School District and the following petition submitted: Resolved that we hereby petition the commissioner of education to issue an order dissolving District No. 2, town of Knox and annexing the same to Central District No. 1, towns of Berne-Knox, etc.

Clerk of the district at the time of the last meeting was Frank C. Sand.

On July 20, 1954, a meeting was held at the Helderberg Grange hall and the district voted to resolve as follows:

“Motion made by Ernest E. Walk, seconded by John Nesbit, to sell to the Knox Volunteer Fire Co. of Knox, N. Y., the land and the school building belonging to the former Common School District No. 2 of the town of Knox for the sum of one dollar ($1.00) and to give to the Knox Volunteer Fire Co., a quit claim deed to this property, the cost of this sale and transfer of the property and all other cost to be paid by the purchasers, the Knox Volunteer Fire Co.”

The last teacher to teach at the school was Mrs. Dorothy Norman. Mrs. Norman is now a teacher in the Guilderland Central School District.

Believed to be the oldest resident in the town to attend the school is Mrs. Della Wood. Among the oldest residents of the Township area to attend are: Julia Smith, Earl Sturgess, Victor Sturgess, Duane Truax, and Loren Clykeman. Believed to the youngest to attend the school is Peter Oliver Jr.

Caption: SCHOOL TO BECOME FIREHOUSE This is the old one-room school house of Knox Common School District No. 2 located on Route 146 at its intersection with Witter Road (east of the hamlet of Township). Sold to the Knox Fire company for $1.00, the building will be converted into an auxiliary fire house for the Knox volunteers. This will fill a long-felt need, as Township is located quite some distance from the main fire house in the village of Knox. Plans call for the placing of a piece of firefighting equipment in the renovated building within two years. Records of the old school district go back to 1867. It cost $250 to run the school district that year!

In the photo are, from left: Lloyd Quay, ex-chief; Peter Oliver Jr., Walter Coulter, and Louis Saddlemire, secretary of the Knox Volunteer Fire company. (Photo by Edward C. Brandow)

Altamont Enterprise September 30, 1966