Herrings School; District 8, Town of Wilna
The school site of District No. 8 is located within the environs of the village of Herrings, beside Route 3, main street of the village. Like its larger neighbor, Deferiet, Herrings sprang up around a paper mill. Prior to the establishment of a paper mill in 1895, this area was an obscure junction of roads out in the countryside, with the familiar one-room schoolhouse nearby. A few farmhouses were scattered nearby, but their total number never exceeded half a dozen.
District No. 8 was created in 1828, one of the original districts of the town of Wilna. There seems no way to determine where the first school was located, but the earliest school site recorded was in 1846 and recorded in the Book of Deeds 83, Page 109. District 8 clerk's records begin with the year 1883. In October of that year, it was voted to buy five cords of body wood ... at $2.125 per cord". August 1886; the expenses, including teacher's wages, $129.50; water pail and broom, 30 cents each. It was also voted to build a new woodshed for $65. In 1894, a fence was built during the year by George Putman for $7.50. The old fence was cut up for fuel wood.
In August of 1897 a committee was appointed to investigate moving the school or building a new one. Later that month, it was voted to move the school. Mr. Sweet offered a site for $25 and the old site, which was accepted. He also donated the stone for a wall and Orval Howard was hired to lay the wall for $37.
Upon the growth of the village around the new mill, it was found that the schoolhouse was not centrally located on the Munns Corned road. On Nov. 17, 1897, Edwin and Sylvia Sweet sold the district one acre for this new site. The deed is recorded in the Book of Deeds 290, Page 122. The old site was deeded to Mr. Sweet. The old building was moved, with great difficulty, to the new lot. In June of 1907, it was voted to build a new schoolhouse (two rooms with single seats). The old school house was moved once more, this time onto the mill property, where it was being used as a utility room by the mill.
May of 1916 estimates were obtained for adding an extra room to the school and wiring the schoolhouse. It was voted to do this but no money was appropriated. In 1921 bonds were issued for $6,000 to build the addition. The last class to graduate from Herrings was the eight grade class of 1956. Seventh and eighth grade pupils were transported to the Deferiet school in 1957 and 1958 until the new junior-senior high school was ready.
Roll of Teachers: Teachers who taught at the Herrings school before 1900 and shortly after the date included Mamie Blake, Adelle Bossuot, Joanne Fitzpatrick, Jennie VanAntwerp, Ella Hooker, Bert Olley, Miss McGregory, Mary Slade, Ida Slade, Mr. Simpson, Fred Bogart, Hattie Connell, Lawrence Wyget, Will Olmsted and William Peck. Others in the 1892-1915 era were; Ida M. Beaman, John Cassidy, Alice Cain, Robert Hughes, Cora Wood, Grace Sheley and Leo. Garvin. Between 1915 and 1925; Leo Garvin, Helen Malady, Hilda Comstock, Julia Conroy, Frances Monighan, Walter Noblett, Nellie Snyder, Annie Sweeney, Myrtle Cassidy, James Flannelly, Marie Bintz, Arthur Peters, Mary Christman, and Gladys VanEtten. Between 1925 and 1940; Mary Christman, Gladys Van Etten, Howard Mosher, Margaret Meehan, Bernice Fitzgerald, Leo Garvin, Margaret Fortune, Edna Murphy, Genevieve Cain, Nellie Snyder, Alice Kapfer and Catherine McKinley. Between 1940 and 1959; Leo Garvin, Alice Kapfer, Edna Murphy, Nellie Snyder, Irvin Beck, Mary Jarvis, Grace Holland, Powers Hagan, Donald Myers, Mary Jarvis Haas, Irene Wetsig, Margaret Phillips, Laura Maloy and Ruth Walton.
In 1959-60, the Herrings elementary branch accommodated about 75 pupils in grades one through six. The school was closed in 1964 with the students being transported to Deferiet. Over the years, the teaching staff at Herrings was relatively stable. Nellie Snyder rolled up the longest record of service; 33 years, and Edna Murphy taught there for 30 years.
CRT, July 6, 1960