THE EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS
By Capt. Franklin Ellis319
The Educational Interests of the town, so far as their history is recorded, date from Sept. 12, 1795. On that day the school commissioners, composed of James Savage, Martin Krum, Hosea Bebee, Abraham Hogeboom, Samuel Wilbor, Peter Van Alstyne, and James Bartholomew, met at the house of Gaylord Hawkins, and after appointing James Palmer clerk, Resolved, That the clerk write twelve advertisements reciting part of the act for the encouragement of schools, and notify the time of the next meeting. This was held at the house of William Vosburgh, but no record of its transaction has been preserved.
The office of town superintendent of schools was first held in 1844, by Oliver J. Peck. The position was subsequently filled by Amos Boright, Hugh W. McClellan, Isaac M. Pitts, Horatio N. Wright, and Nathaniel Mosher.
There are at present nineteen districts in the town, having ten hundred and eighty-nine children of school age, from which an attendance of four hundred and forty pupils is secured. The schools are supported at an expense of about five thousand dollars per year.
In the Chatham village, a Miss King is credited with having taught the first school in a small building near the railroad bridge. The public school at present occupies a large building, having rooms for four departments, and accommodating two hundred and fifty pupils.
On the hill in the eastern part of the village is
THE CHATHAM ACADEMY
building, erected in 1871, at a cost of three thousand dollars. In 1873 this became the property of John Cadman, J. D. Shufelt, and D. F. Lovejoy, who now conduct the school as a private enterprise. Abraham Macy was the first principal, a position which was subsequently filled by L. C. Hitchcock George F. Cole, Edward Weatherby, and Miss E. French, who is the present teacher. An attendance of fifty students per term is maintained.
Other private schools are taught in the village, but no data as to their condition can be given.
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