Denmark District 4
"We, the Commissioners of Common Schools for the town of Denmark, have divided and included the inhabitants of said town in School Districts." Luther Horr, Abner Townsend, Uriel Twitchell, May 11, 1815
There were seven districts organized in Denmark originally, but only No. 4 and No. 6 are included in the Carthage Central area. District four must have been established in 1815 or soon after.
The site of the Denmark School Number Four is located about midway between West Carthage and Deer River, on Route 26. An easterly-facing bluff extends along the east side of the road for a short distance there and it was on top of this rise, across from the former Bezanilla farm, that the schoolhouse stood. The Black River, slightly over a mile away and the village of Carthage, a short way to the north are clearly visible.
The building itself was probably built about 1880. The building was parallel with the road, with the entrance at the south end, facing the road. There was also a woodhouse, and the drinking water was procured from a neighbor's well.
Because of the proximity to West Carthage, transportation to the village school was an easy matter, and consequently, Number Four was not operated for long periods. There seem to have been roughly three periods in its history: (1) continuous operation until the 1890's; (2) a period of inactivity most of the time extending into the 1920's; and (3) another period of instruction until 1941, when the school was closed for the last time.
The first vehicle used to transport the pupils to West Carthage was a one-horse surrey, driven by Mrs. Richard Houghton. On at least one occasion, a lumber wagon with boards across the top for seats, was used.
From Guy Coop's diary we learn that he attended a school meeting on Aug.1, 1905, with 10 persons present. Asa D. Keiner was re-elected trustee, Elmer Pierce was re-elected collector and Carl O. Pfaff became the clerk. It was voted to send the children to West Carthage another year on the same terms - $100.
School Year 1932 - 33
Front Row: Shirley Bezanilla (Gr2), Doris Johnson (Gr1), Harold Johnson (Gr2), Letha Swan (Gr3)
Second Row: John Feranzo (Gr5), Betty Albertson (Gr6), Leonor Bezanilla (Gr6), Raymond Murtha (Gr7), Keith Cummings (Gr6)
Teacher: Dorothy Perry Murphy her first class
Fall of 1937, Denmark NY, Rural School Route 26 to Lowville, across from Gerald Clemons home
Front Row: Bessie Cronk, Buddy Brasie, Robert Williams, Geraldine Clemons, Arvilla Litwiller, Barbara Baron
Second Row: Donald Baron, Avis Lyndaker, Mary Dekin, Helen Clemons Teacher: Dorothy Perry Murphy also Sept 1936-June 1037
Donald Helen Mary George Helen Barbara Decker Barbara Decker, Donald Barron, Helen Downing, Helen Clemons Robert Buddie Brasie Jerry June D. Barbara Arvilla
The last year the school was run, 1940-1941, there were three pupils and Elizabeth Garrett (later Mrs. Donald Warren) was the teacher. There are no good records for this school, but the following have been mentioned as teacher there: Alice Perry, Dorothy Perry, Mrs. Carlton Feistel, Miss Loson, Lida Webb, Hattie Davis (?), Elizabeth Cudworth, Helen Woolworth, Agnes Monnat, Loretta Smithling, Mrs. George Garrett and Elizabeth Garrett.
About 1947, the district began renting the school building as a dwelling. On Feb. 1949 the structure caught fire from an overheated stovepipe and burned to the ground; a total loss. The district collected its insurance, which resulted in reduced taxes the following year.
CRT, July 3, 1958