(The following was transcribed from the files of Thelma Rogers Genealogical & Historical Society at Dyke Street Museum. It is noted that prior to 1930 no teacher had taught more than 2 or 3 years at the Voorhees Hill School District #7, Andover. Thelma Rogers had the honor of teaching 11 consecutive years from 1931 to 1942.)
A LITTLE HISTORY OF VOORHEES HILL
As Recalled & Researched by Ina Church
The community called Voorhees Hill comprises the greater part of what became known for many years as Rural School District # 7 Joint Andover & Wellsville, about evenly divided between the two towns. It is traversed by County Road # 30 (Trapping Brook Road) nearly paralleling Route 17 ( now 417).
Since Robert and Augusta Higgins Voorhees, their family and his parents, Luke and Mary Voorhees are generally conceded to have been the first permanent settlers, the Hill was named in their honor. Descendents claim they came from Howard, N.Y. and the date of their deed to 100 acres of land fixes the time about June 16,1848. Here they built a home and cleared a farm and lived for about thirty years.
Prior to this date the land was in the hands of "Land Agents" for the Phelps and Gorman Purchase in the Eastern end , and for the Willing and Francis Tract to the West. Some was sold to Lumbering Interests (the Bundy's of Andover) and others as early deeds show. Some were "speculators" naturally. The area was all in the Town of Andover until Wellsville was "set off" about 1855 Or 56 and became a township. The original Voorhees Farm forms the dividing line (North & South) between the two towns, in this particular notch.
First and foremost in the minds of these early settlers was a place to educate their children and secure the services of a teacher.
A log shack was erected about on the line (west) of the Voorhees home but claimed to be on the adjoining "farm" which seems to have been occupied for a time by the Roswell Gowdy Family, who did not become permanent settlers although one daughter married in to the Voorhees Family later. Some of the pupils of this school lived to be very aged (one, in fact nearly 102) and recalled having gone there to school.
The next permanent settler was probably Simon Burrell Adams. He purchased a part of his farm from Charles Rowley (east part of Lot 102 -T 2; R 1) containing 50 acres on Sept.18,1850.
On June 3,1858, Mr. Adams bought the west 50 acres of James A. Stewart and Margaret, his wife with the following reservation,"Excepting seventeen Rods reserved as a school house site where the school house now stands as long as it shall be used for that purpose, after which it is hereby conveyed with the above mentioned premises". It reverted to the Adams Farm on June 30th 1948 when the Voorhees Hill District consolidated with the Wellsville Central School District.
VOORHEES HILL SCHOOLS
It is a known fact that the first school was a Log Shack on Lot 86, Willing and Francis Tract later known as the Crandall Farm.
There is not enough information to prove that one existed somewhere in 1850. Most of the names of the pupils are early Voorhees Hill residents so the following Record is here copied:
It is possible that the number of the Voorhees Hill District was changed from #6 to #7 (Such was the case in several districts in Wellsville and adjacent areas according to "The History of Wellsville" 1963 by Martha Howe) Until there is more data, this will remain a “Mystery School".
Some older residents claim the School sessions were held for a time in a small two-story building on the "Mead Farm" now owned by Francis Harrington.
It is still standing but the covered stairway on the east side has been removed. The date and names of Teacher or Teachers are not known nor is the length of time it was used, but there was a school on the permanent site before June 3rd,1858 when Simon Burrell Adams bought the farm on which it was standing. About 1906 or 07 the grounds were enlarged and the buildings moved back from the highway to the east corner, on drier ground.
The first frame schoolhouse in District # 7, as it was known until 1948, was built by Robert Voorhees. It was constructed of native lumber, with partially split boards for lath then chinked with plaster. This building served until about 1875 when upwards of seventy pupils were just too many to crowd into the small one-room school. It was still doing service as a wood shed until the close of the era of District Rural Schools.
Abram Slocum and son Ezra erected a new and larger schoolhouse in 1871-1875. When the land reverted back to the Adams Farm this building was moved to Williams Avenue in Wellsville and remodeled into a dwelling.
(In picture shown here, building to the right is the first frame school; c.1930. Picture below is c.1940)
Teachers in the Log Schoolhouse were named by Addie Adams Church, from memory in her later years as, Sephronia Peck, Sarah Lowell, Miss Burk and Flora Wilson.
About 1879-1880 Mrs. Church taught in the "New" building and enrolled were 56 pupils. She listed some as follows: Jennie Stetzel (West) Anna Stetzel(Lee) Intie (Valencia) Sherwood(Slocum), William and Charles Sherwood, Walter & Nora Carnes, Addie & Ernest Ripenbark, Blida Parker(Covel), Irena Parker, George Simkin, Mary Simkin(Allen), Nora Perkins(Mingus), Cora Perkins(Crittenden), Maude Perkins, Burritt Perkins, Fred, Ben & Chester Fanton, Mary Sullivan, Gretta Arnold, Dennis? Connell, Herbert Adams, Guy Wood, Henry Knox, Hattie Thompson (Beach),Mary Thompson (Slocum), Fannie(Frances) Mead, Judson Mead, Linda Mead (Woodard), Pupils (continued)
Frank, Clarissa and Maud? Rider, George Lasher,Mary Lasher (Brown) Laura Lasher (Brown), Mable Lasher (Hanneman), Ola Lasher(Lewis), Hattie Lasher(Hungerford).
The colored picture was taken July, 2006 by Jane Pinney; The Vorhees School house building relocated on Williams Avenue.
Other Teachers were:
Sarah Ann Mingus(Greggs?), Minerva Elliot, Nancy Todd (1868), Rosa Empson (1870), Lydia Adams (1850?), Annabell Waffle, Mina Parker, Sarah Partello, Helen Parker, Julia Brown (Magner 1875/6), Shadrack Austin (1874/5?), Dan Harnett, Nora Harnett, Ina Livermore (Foster), William E. Adams, Bridget Shaughnessy (Bannister), Prof. Ira Sayles, Mary Greenan (Donaldson), Kate Chapin, Kate Lindsay, Cassia Cunningham, Alma Rowley, Minnie Hall, Mary Roche, Mary Rauber, Joseph Magner 1897-98, EstelleBrowning(Perkins)1898-1900, Teressa Magner,(MacDonald) 1905-06, Gladys Livermore (Baker), Maurice Magner 1911-13, Edith Simkin Knapp, Grace Rockwell(Bessetti) 1915-16, Agnes Edwards Green 1918-19, Harriet Tuttle (Watson), Alma Fitzgerald (Griffith) 1924-25-26, Helen Wightman 1927-28, Koneta Perkins(Coats), Lillian Bird 1942-43, Lucinda Post, Amelia Withey, Marvin Austin , Frank Jones, Emma Dayton (Crofoot), Emily Voorhees , Valeria Adams, Jeanette Ripenbark (Walden), James Crandall, Libbie Gifford, Marcia Wells, Mary Wells, Clementine Fulmer(Parker), Alice Briggs (Clark), Carrie Darling, Abyram Adams, Elida Parker(Covel)1890, Maggie Sullivan, George Simkin, Nettie Hadley (Adams) 1883, Mary Sullivan (Coyle?), Mary Cunningham, Margaret Donovan, Margaret McCarthy, Ella Dugan, James Brown, Myrtle Collins, Nellie Driscoll 1904-05, Teressa Harrington 1906-07, WM. Francisco, 1910-11, Flora Livermore, Hope Church (Brown) 1916-17, Agusta Lewis Baker 1919-20, Hilda Smith, 1922-23-resigned & term finished by Ruth Bartlett Critzer, Madeline Colbert, Mildred Church, Rebea Corwin (Dare) 1928-29
List of Names of Pupils attending Voorhees Hill School
Teacher, Alice Briggs (Mrs. Orville) Clark
Mary SHERWOOD(THOMAS), Viola SHERWOOD, Jim SHERWOOD, Altha WOOD(STOUT), Ardell WOOD (PARKER), Jay WOOD, Julia AHERN (MARONEY) (O’HERRIN), Maggie AHERN, Johnny AHERN, Willie AHERN, Susan HALSEY, Annie SHEEHAN, Johnnie SHEEHAN, Lawrie SHEEHAN, Dannie SHEEHAN, Adie Belona NOBLES (RITENBARK), Carrie KNOX (McCARTY), Eddie LAMPHIRE (Lanphere?), Hattie CRANDALL (MASON), Lucy HALLADAY, Silvia HALLADAY, Carrie Bell TOWNSEND (HALLADAY), Willie ADAMS, Byra ADAMS (ABYRAM), Addie ADAMS (CHURCH), Meda GRAVES, Emma BALDWIN (SHERWOOD, Patsy GEARY, Mikie GEARY, Orris PARKER, Louie VOORHEES, Johnnie BROWN; Eddie MARSHALL, Frank RIDER & Dell RIDER.
Joseph Magner, Teacher
Earl, Burrell & Ruth ADAMS; Grace, Ray, Robert, Fred, Rose & Nettie CHURCH; Minnie CONKLIN; Nellie & Maggie DRISCOLL; Chas. DAVENPORT; Thomas DONOVAN; Catherine, May & Maurice GEARY; John GILLISPPI; Wm., Chas., Mary & Minnie HALLADAY; Stephen JONES; Teresa, Loretto, Philip, Maurice & James MAGNER; Libbie & Maggie MARSHALL; Lurana McLEASE; Paul MATERNEY; Jessie, Nettie & Ettie PERKINS, Leigh RAYMER, Gretha & Erich ROESKE; Lottie STUDER; Grace THOMPSON; Orpha & Inez(Ina) SHERWOOD.
CENSUS OF PUPILS IN DISTRICT 1905:
Rose, Nettie, Ethel & Alice CHURCH; Edith, Ava, Mary, Clara & Julia SIMKIN; Maurice, James & David Brown MAGNER; Minnie, Florence & Clayton HALLADAY; Lue & Willie WHITE; Ina SHERWOOD; Alta, Orlo & Furman RIDER (Ryder); Kate, Patsy, Mary & Nellie HIGGINS.
“In the next few years the number continued to decrease gradually.”
“Academic students were transported to Wellsville High School by bus. Mr. Raymond Church was the driver with his wife as substitute from 1935 – 1948. Sometimes it necessitated two trips to carry all who wished to ride. Some were included by special arrangement from the South Hill District #2. (Previously it was called #10 and changed to #9 and finally to #2). Mack Shea was the current Trustee when that District was included in Wellsville Central.”
If you have additional information on this school that you will share in this space, please email: Ron Taylor