Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Memories Along the North Branch
Memories Along the North Branch
History of Granville

(in Bradford County PA)

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Chapter X

The Schools in the Township

At one time there were many one-room "schoolhouses" in the area, namely Sayles, Bailey Corners, Block, Lecanville, Bunyan Hill, Lament, Ross and Northwoods. The Granville Center and the Windfall schools were two-room schools for many years.

These schools were heated by a pot-bellied stove in the center of the room with a stove-pipe running to the end of the building. It was the teachers job to maintain the stove. No matter how hot the fire, when the cold winds and blizzards howled, the room was cold. Many a time during the cold winter when the fire had gone out during the night, the pupils would have to huddle around the stove in the morning until the room warmed up. One teacher taught all subjects including reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, history, geography, composition and drawing. Most of these subjects were taught to every grade from the first to the ninth.

Many will recall that the drinking water for the pupils had to be carried from a neighbor’s well. A shelf usually in front of the room held the water-pail, drinking dipper, wash basin and towel. These were shared by all the pupils. It was always a privilege to be asked to go and carry the water.

The desks were in the back of the room and the recitation benches were in the front of the desks. The teacher’s desk always in the front of the room so she could keep a trusty eye on her scholars. Large blackboards adorned sides of the walls where the pupils did a good share of their lessons. The toilet facility was a very unsanitary one with the two-hole privies out back that accommodated both sexes.

These one-room schoolhouses are obsolete today, even the two-room ones, but they always filled the desire of a good education and the facilities no matter how crude they were. These conditions may have been inadequate but they gave the children of the day their basic knowledge of the three R’s and the common sense to face life and the world as it was in those days.

In the earlier years the pupils walked to school. This meant a distance of many miles to some children, especially the small ones in the lower grades in the bitter cold weather. In the later years horse-drawn carriages were used to transport the children living the furthest away. In the late twenties the mobile schoolbuses began to make the burden of getting to school earier.

Being able to get a job was very important in those days. Many young people went ot school as long as their parents’ economic resources permitted. Many dropped out of school at the eighth grade or before to work to help support himself or the family. As there was no public assistance one got a job for support or else.

The joys and memories of these one-room schools cannot be erased from our minds even though the buildings have vanished from the vast country-side.

The Sayles school located on the main highway in the village of Sayles was closed about 1920-21. The buiding is still standing but is in a dire state of deterioration. In later years the building was used as a Pentacostal Meeting House. IN 1948-49 the buiding was used in the summer month of August for Bible School for the Menonite Church of Gap, Pa.

I have been able to secure teacher at the school from 1900-1914. They are Mayme Lewis, Myrtle Manley Baxter, Lulu Bruce, Nellie Woodruff Simpson, Henry Ross, Leon Burroughs, Ezra Selleck, Maple Green Anderson, Rebecca Selleck Peters, Howard Baxter, Leota Baxter VanHorn, Anna Loomis Kunzman and Maude Morrison Pepper.

The Bailey Corners school, located on the road leading to LeRoy near the VanNoy farm, was built in 1882 with Thomas Bush and William Wright as the carpenters on land owned by B. Franklin Taylor. It was closed after the 1920-21 term. Standing idle for a number of years, the building and ground was sold to the VanNoy family. The frame of the schoolhouse exists today not on its original site but a short distance away and is used as a tool shed and garage on the VanNoy farm.

Some of the teachers in the school between 1897 and 1920 were Flora Youmans Clark, Cora Loomis, Glen Stevens, Nora Shehee, Helen Watts, Frank Baster, Blanche Benninger McMurray, Achsa Granger Baldwin, Harry Husted, Ruby Saxton Archie Baxter and Gertrude Luckey.

School was held at one time in the Timothy Bailey home at the Corners and a log schoolhouse was located on the Brigham property on the Bailey Corners and LeRoy road.

The Block school was located on the Windfall near the five corners on a portion of land from the Lettie Fleming farm. It was closed about 1921. It was removed from the site by placing on skids and hauled by several teams of horses. The land on which the school stood is now owned by the P. F. Fleming family.

A partial list of the teachers of this school were Cora Riggs Shoemaker, Sarah Crandle, Daisy Jennings, Josephine Crandall, Francis McGlenn, Hazel Case, Grace Calkins, Myron and Howard Baxter, Bessie Cole, Ruth Saxton, IdaMay Fitch Woodin and Laurence Shedden.

The Bunyan Hill School, located on the corner of the road leading to the Kenneth Shedden farm, was closed in 1927. The building was moved to the former James Shedden farm to be used as a tool-shed.

Mary Harris Ayres, Grace Mason Baxter, Blanche McMurray, Howard and Max Baxter, Lou Hawthorn Shedden, Bessie Baxter Crofut, Katharine and Grace Wright, Leota Baxter VanHorn, Pauline Watts Baldwin, Ethel Pepper Pratt, Eleanor Crammer, Maude Morrison Pepper, Lillian Fleming Porter, Harry and Dorothy Saxton Martin are some of the teachers there.

The Northwood school was located near the village of Cowley on the road leading tot he farms now owned by the Ayres families. It is now the home of the Jenkins family.

The following were teachers in the school: Elona Dodge, Cora VanHorn Saxton, Dr. John Philips, Dell Clark, Myrtle Manley, Hugh Hawthorn, Carrie Hawthorn Case, Lou Hawthorn Shedden, Howard and Archie Baxter, Irene Taylor, Anna Brooks Reynolds, Grace Packard, Nettie Leonard Greenough, Maude Shoemaker Foust, Genevieve Miller, Anna Wright, Eugene Webster, Dorothy Martin, Florence Hanscom, Aletha Landon Peler, Jennie Vogt, Lorena Havens, Christine Leiby Selleck, Dora Baxter Cole and Dorothy VanHorn Wilkins. Annabel Greenough was the teacher at the time the school was closed in 1947.

Picture of Granville Center School class, cannot read names

Picture of Granville Center School

The Granville Center School, built in the middle 1800s was in the center of town. There was an earlier school on a lot between the gulf road and the Sayles Hill road directly across the road from the Ernest Clark home. This plot of land on which the early school was built was owned by the Taylor family.

Endeavoring to trace the history of the schools at the Center and the Windfall, Mrs. Claude Case and Rev. Owen Barrett were able to shed some light on the history. Mrs. Case said that her brother attended the Granville school while she was teaching in 1902, that the school was considered a "high school" but not according to the modern thinking.

After the closing of the Lament, Sayles, Ross and Bailey Corners schools the pupils were transported in horse-drawn carriages to attend this school. The lower portion of the school’s playground was enlarged at one time from a lot on which stood the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Lowe. This home was directly across the road from the Don Andrus home.

The teachers of the school were Professor Sleight, Ruby Saxton, B. A. Bower, Cora Riggs Shoemaker, Mabel Pratt, Myrtle Manley, Helen Bassett Bower, Archie and Howard Baxter, Margaret Sours, Elsie Warburton, Harold Peters, Eleanor Saxton Rider, Ruth Saxton, Marjorie Smith, Paul Selleck, Helen Vogt, Mona Case Shedden, Mabel Ferguson, Lillian Hager Saxton, Helen Ayres, Christine Selleck, Almon Baxter, Esther Baxter Rockwell, Margaret Baxter Pierce, Ellen Baxter Jennings, Lorena Havens, Albert Wrisley, Christine VanHorn Dunbar and Mary Darrow.

Mrs. Mary Schambacker and Mrs. Annabel Greenough were the teachers at the time of the closing in 1960. The furnishings of the school were sold at an auction the same day at the Windfall school. The upper floor class room has been remodeled into an apartment by Fred and Virginia Butcher Ward.

The Windfall school was located on a lot adjacent to the Methodist Church. Once an one-room schoolo, an addition was built to accommodate the pupils coming from the Bunyan Hill school when it closed. Mrs. Case said that she attended school at the Windfall in 1896. According to Mrs. Case the Windfall school went through a remodeling process at one time, then moved back to the position where it was when torn down. Rev. Barrett states that when the Old Union Church was built in 1848 that the Windfall school was in existence as an one-room school.

The furnishings of the school were sold at the auction at the same time as the Center. The building was sold to the Hawthorne family who later dismantled it and the plot of land sold to the Windfall Church as a parking lot.

LaMar Warren, Grace Packard, Lucien Rockwell, Howard and Archie Baxter, Grace Merritt, Ernie Kunsman, Florence Brooks Saxton, Maude Haflett Stone, Olive Holcomb Ferguson and Dorothy Wilkins were some of the teachers of the school.

The Lecanville school located on the Windfall on the now black-top highway leading to East Canton was named for the three townships it served…LeRoy, Canton and Granville. It was situated on a plot of land from the Niles Packard farm. It stood on the east side of the highway, directly across from the intersection of the Arden Manley road. It is said to have closed in the 1921 term. The building was removed to the former George Kittle farm to be used as a shed on the now Denkenberger farm.

To mention a few of the teachers were Della VanDyke, Helen VanFlett Spencer, Lulu Mott Stevens, Marshall Rockwell, Bessie Cole, Sullivan Rockwell, Hazel White, Lou Shedden, Anna Landon, Hazel Case, Emma Smiley, Helen Wright, Louise Watts, Lillian Porter, Mildred Stotenbur and Lawrence Case.

The Lament School was located on the gulf road leading to East Troy. This school was known to some as the Case school as the home of Sam Case was nearby. The school closed in 1921, the building was moved to the former Harold Pepper farm.

Cora VanHorn Saxton, the mother of Ernest Saxton began teaching in this school in 1891 when she was 15 years of age and taught there for many years.

The school directors in 1891 were Edgar VanHorn, Richard Ross, John Lament and James Hawthorne. The pupils attended the school in 1891 were James Case, Walter and Volney Greenough, Arthur Streeter, Clara and Ruby Saxton, John and Nellie VanBuskirk, Henry Saxton, Cora and Mabel Case and Beulah White.

The Ross school located about one mile west of the Center just off the main highway closed its doors in 1921. The building and land was later sold to the Arthur Haflett family. Sometime later, the Hafletts sold the building to be torn down to Harold Warner who used it in the construction of his new home. The new home of Dean and Harriett Shedden was built on the site of the old Ross school.

A few of the teachers were Ethel Pepper Pratt, Myrtle Manley, Encell Taylor, Maude Morrison Pepper, Pearl Freeman and Nellie Andrews Saxton.

The new elementary school for Granville township was built by the L. P. Kooken Co., New Oxford, Pa. at the cost of $179,271.00 and opened its doors to the township students on August 30, 1960.

Picture of The Ross School

Picture of Eugene Webster, The Country-Peddler
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 10/30/99
By Joyce M. Tice