Old Church School, Champion District 4

The schoolhouse of Champion District No. 4 is located on a four corners, the junction of the east-west Felts Mills road and the north-south Pennock road.   These roads are paved except for the southwest continuation of the Pennock road, a gravel roadway that shortly crosses White creek within sight of the school.  (This creek is variously White, Deerlick and Felts Mills Creek). On the southwestern quarter of the four corners is the Old Church School, its entrance facing north,  Buildings of the Floyd Taylor farm are close to the lot which is surrounded by open farmland.  A short distance to the south you can see the tower of the WCNY-TV tower.

This school became known as the "Old Church" School because of its proximity of the old Methodist meeting-house which also stood near the four-corners.

When District No.4 was first organized the schoolhouse was located in the "V" formed by the Felts Mills and the Great Bend-Champion roads.  This site was used until 1889, when the present lot was purchased. On May 24, 1889 Nathan Francis and Almira his wife, sold a parcel containing 42 rods of land to District 4 for $59.  Plans for the erection of a new school building were immediately drawn up by a building committee composed of G. P. Francis, William Davis. C. W. Taylor, and Robert Middleson.  Josiah Drake of Rutland signed an agreement to build a building according to their specifications: the school was to be 25 by 20 feet with a woodhouse 12 by 14 feet.  Seats to accommodate 40 scholars were to be installed.  It was to be shingled and clapboarded - all for $550.

In 1870 it was "voted to raise by tax $85.70 for teachers' wages, wood and other expenses."  A motion was made and carried in 1877 to use  the following books for the school;" National Readers and Spellers; Warren's Geography; Green's Grammar; Davies' Arithmetic and Algebra; and Young's Civil Government."

At a special meeting on June 4, 1953 The Old Stone Church was closed for one year by a vote of 10 - 3.  Elementary pupils were sent to Great Bend and Augustinian Academy.  The school has remained closed.

Roll of Teachers:

1913-14  Ruth Slater; 1914-15 Julia Conroy; 1915-16  Lena Brown; 1916-17 Ruby Burnup; 1917-18 Mary L. French; 1918-19Vera Merrill Clemons; 1919-20 Ruby Burnup; 1920-22 Sadie Clark; 1922-23 Marguerite Clark; 1923-25 Alice Fiestel; 1925-26 Ruby Gooding; 1926-28 Ruth M. Hoffman; 1929-31 Hazel E. Hoffman.

1931-32 Emma Couaineau; 1932--33 Hazel Hoffman; 1933-35 Marion Scanlon; 1935-38  Mrs. E. M. House;  1938-39 Betty Vincent; 1939-40 Mrs. Bessie House; 1940-41 Helene Casselman; 1941-43 Marion Scanlon; 1949-50 Mrs. House; 1950-51 Margaret Phillips, 1951-53  Mrs. House.

CRT, August 7, 1958

In the late 1990's, Doug Clark, who owns the farm next door, bought the school and began the job of renovating it.  The chimney needed to be rebuild, the floor had collapsed and needed to be replaced, it needed a new roof and the cupola had vanished.  Mr. Clark and his family have worked together to restore the building to its former neat appearance, even to replacing the flagpole with one of the correct vintage and foundation plantings that welcome the visitor. 

Inside, a few desks and books await the scholars.  There is a flag in the corner, ready for shrill voices to trill the Pledge of Allegiance.  A chalk board, a tap bell, a paddle - all evidence of an age swiftly passing.  The Clark family will open the school for groups if arrangements are made in advance.


Old Church School, February 2004