Sarvay School; District 7
The Sarvay Schoolhouse is located in the northeast corner formed by the junction of the Hogsback or Ridge Road (Natural Bridge) and the Avery Road Fargo-North Croghan). This junction is a short distance east of Devois Corners, where West Street meets the Avery Road and another crossroad leads northerly to Route 3. A small tributary of Black Creek crosses the Avery Road below and east of the schoolhouse. Perched on a steep-sided knoll (a retaining wall is used on the east side of the lot) the school is crowed closely upon the little Fulton Cemetery. The school building is parallel with the Avery Road with its entrance facing westerly, twin lilac bushes frame the entrance to the faded white building.
Sarvay is an old, familiar name about District No. 7. The Sarvays were among the early settlers of the vicinity, and at one time there were several "Sarvay farms" located near the school. Another early family name in this area is that of Fulton, for whom the little cemetery is named. The ancestor of this branch of the Fulton family was Caleb Fulton, who moved from Massachusetts to Wilna about 1810. Devois Corners was named for the Devois family, of French descent. John James Devois emigrated from Paris, France to Beaver River in 1797 and died there in 1803. His wife and son Francis moved to Wilna about 1808 and they and their descendents, by their long residence at the corners, permanently connected the family home with this location.
In April 5, 1869, District No. 7, represented by Trustee Alonzo Smith, purchased a quarter acre of land from Elisha Fulton. The deed is recorded in Book of Deeds 182, page 77. It is not known when the stone schoolhouse mentioned in the deed was abandoned and the present school built. Drinking water for the school was procured from a neighbor's well, even as it is now. Ninety years ago the Sarvay School was equipped with long seats or benches, made of basswood.
District No. 7 made extensive use of its school as a community center also. The Sarvay School was one of the longest operating of the one-room schools in the Carthage area. 1957-58 was the 120th year that a school has offered instruction near Devois Corners. Seven pupils attended that year.
Teachers prior to 1908: Lena Redmond, Madda Crowner, Lucy Chaffee, Anna Jacobs, Rachel Salter, Jennie Hubbard, Jean Chatelain, Clara Trayner and Jane Fulton.
Teachers beginning in 1908: Anna Harvey*, 1908-11; Stella Kring, 1911-12; Nellie Snyder, 1912-13; Grace Pierce, 1913-15; Edith Shaffrey, 1915-17; Vada Carncross, 1917-18. Florence McCullem, 1919-21, Eliza Blanchard, 1921-23; Sara Hutchins, 1923-25, Sara Trembly, 1925-26; Ruth Gates, 1926-27; Mildred Lumley, 1927-29; Josephine Crowner, 1929-31. Lettie B. Tharrett, 1931-34; Phyllis Wicks, 1934-37; Lottie B. Tharrett, 1937-38; Inez Rowley, 1938-45; Laura McKinney, 1945-46; Margaret Blanchard, 1946-48; Marion Redmond, 1948-50; Anna Farley*, 1950-58.
In 1934 Miss Aileen Vrooman began teaching vocal music in 20 one-room schools of the towns of Champion and Wilna. She was followed by Mrs. Katherine McKinney, Mrs. Marleah Hobkirk, Mrs. Ellen Mayo, Miss Eleanor Taylor, Mrs. Frances Vorce, Mrs. Kathryn McCormican Rich, Miss Elizabeth Miller and Mrs. Gladys Grunert. They taught in one-teacher, two-teacher, three-teacher and higher elementary schools.
In 1942 physical education was also inaugurated for the rural schools of this area, and this was taught by Kenneth Babcock.
CRT, September 11, 1958
* Anna Harvey and Anna Farley were the same person. Her niece, Elizabeth Neville Samson, contributed this information and will try to locate pictures.
Location of Sarvay School (Note cemetery on left) February 2004
Today it is the home of Mr.Richard Grau, who can remember his father driving schoolbus for the area schools; a REO bus first, then a nine passenger stationwagon. After Centralization, the bus service was contracted out.