Marshall Historical Society

The Dicksville School
By Laura Young, 1940
The Waterville Times

Miss Laura Young of Deansboro has written the following description of the old Dicksville schoolhouse. She mentions some of the "necessities" required by school authorities back in 1839 and also mentions a few of the prominent members of the Brothertown Indians. Miss Young writes:

Calling attention to the repainting of the marker for the Brothertown Indians and Samson Occum at Dicksville a word of explanation may be well. In building the county road the marker was moved and in no way implies that Samson Occum ever lived in the schoolhouse, although he may have preached at that location. Rather it marks a tract of land ten miles square owned by the Brothertown Indians.

Dicksville School They built and used the building as a church, later for a school house. It was purchased by School District No. 12 from Asa Dick for $370 in the year 1839. A very few people remember the old pulpit in the north end of the school room when they stopped using the building for a church that was removed. An old record book tells of the different meetings and plans for buying. The annual school meeting was held in October during the second week at 6 p. m. Several special meetings were called before the purchase was completed.

Each scholar was to furnish one fourth of a cord of "good hard wood two feet long." If unable to do that he must pay cash equivalent to wood at $1.00 a cord. School was held from November 1 for five months and later there was also a summer term. Many Indian children attended. The room must have been full as sometimes 70 to 80 pupils were enrolled.

The old record speaks of raising $40 for district expenses. The teachers 'boarded around.' My mother taught there for $1.00 a week in the summer of 1850. Quite early a tax was levied for the purchase of a library, and a librarian was elected with other officers of the district.

Very early the following rules were put down as "necessities" of a good school: "A competent teacher, plenty of good dry wood, a woodhouse to keep it dry, a broom to keep the floor clean, a fenced playground to keep cows out. Many other things too numerous to mention." (Written in 1849). What would the men who planned the school then think of the Waterville Central School and the things deemed necessary now? The first records I have, begun in 1834, give names of pupils and number of days each attended school. The ages ranged from 3 and 4 to 16 years. Names of teachers, school superintendents, and their visits to school are also recorded. District No. 12 of the Town of Marshall later became District No. 5.

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