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Rushford Related Articles

(From the scrapbook of Eddy C. [1857-1944] & Helen White Gilbert [1855-1929].  Clippings may not be dated and newspaper may be unknown, unless noted. Most dates supplied were handwritten and initialed by the collectors.)  In most cases, these clippings were from Rushford Spectator/The Spectator

Transcribed by Joseph Damiano

A Relic of Rushford.

In February Mr. Frank Board of this village received from Mr. A.A Abbott of Green Bay, Wisconsin, a school register. Mr.Abbott says, " I found the relic in an old green chest made by my father at odd hours before i was born". The register was handed to me with the request that I write an account of it for "The Spectator". It is homemade, quaint-looking, unruled and yellow with age. On the outside is the name Soloman S. Abbott, and on the inside of the cover are the following lines:

" Our ingress into this world was naked and bare,

Our progress through this world is trouble and care,

Our egress out of this world will be nobody knows where.

If we do well here, we shall do well there."

On the first page is written: " School commenced Nov.10 A.D, 1828. District No.1st, Tarbel Gordon, Matthew P.Cady and Joseph Young; Trustees. School closed Feb. 28th 1829. Lost 4 1/2 days and commenced again the morning of the 4th of March 1829 and is to continue sex months longer. Wages twelve dollars per month the whole time - Cash."

On the second and fourth pages is a list of thirty-eight names, patrons of the school. All but six of these names are familiar, and many of these patrons have descendants living in the township today. Following each name is a row of figures extending nearly two pages. For example: "Matthew P.Cady 2243222223," etc. Each figure represents the number of children Mr.Cady had in school on a certain day. The sum of these figures is the number of days' schooling for which he was expected to pay. Let us go back to the Rushford of about ninety years ago, the time of this school. There are almost no buildings on Main Street, the lower part of which is corduroy because of the swamp. The stores are on Upper Street, otherwise known as Commercial Street, and the two churches, Methodist and Baptist, are on West Main Street. The schoolhouse is built of logs and stands near the site of the present Methodist Church. Let us rap at the door; it is opened by Soloman Abbott, a youth of eighteen, the ruler of this little realm. We enter and are seated on a rude bench near the teacher's desk, on which is a half-burnt candle, the room having been used for a singing school the night before. What a lively lot of youngsters, in homemade garments, greet our eyes. There are William, Simon, Ely, Adaline, Myra, Elvira, Luthera, and Salome, children of Tarbel Gordon; Samuel, Jedediah, Lorenzo, Castorn and Stanbury, children of William Gordon; James, Luther and Walter, children of John Gordon: Sophia and Jerusha, children of  Wilson Gordon; and John Gordon, probably John Flecther, son of James Gordon. Among them are seven children of James McCall: Maria, Ansel, Naomi, Eliza, Newell, Katherine and Jacob. And there are Ebenezer and Eliza Lyon; Lucy, William, Daniel and Nelson Kingsbury; Persons, Esther and Harriet Young; Washington, Henry and Quincy White; Parker, William and Charles; Woodworth; Lucinda, Laura, Dollt, Aaron, Otis and Lyman Eaton; and Goings, and Boardmans, and Duttons, and Dunhams, and Swifts, and Sextons, and Elys, and Capens, and Smiths and others whose names have long since disappeared from the annals of the town. Some of the pupils are diligently conning their lessons in Cobb's Spelling Book, others are doing on their slates sums in Daboll's Arithmetic, while others are reciting their A,B,C's. Lyon on one of the desks is a small leather-bound book "Murray's English Reader," their only reading book after the spelling book. It is " designed to assist young persons to read with propriety and effect: to improve their language and sentiments; and to incu'ate some of the most important principles of piety and virtue". With the long hours, from 9 A.M to 4 P.M., and the large number of pupils, ranging from liftle ones to big boys and girls, it would not be surprising if, in accordance with the custom of the times, the birch was frequently used to make them smart. " It took a long- struggle against nature to make spelling uniform in America". An example of this lack of uniformity is found in the register in the three spellings, Woodworth, Woodruff, Woodrough, names referring to the same family, At the close of the register is the following statement: " I have now 91 different scholars who have attended my school; this being the first day of Jan. A.D 1829. School has been continued eight weeks expect two days lost time.

Helen White Gilbert

Rushford,N.Y., May 14,1918.

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