|HISTORY OF ILION'S SCHOOLS|
VILLAGE OF ILION
HERKIMER COUNTY, NY
The following is taken from "Ilion 1852-1952." We thank the Mayor and other officials of Ilion for granting us permission to provide this information to our visitors.
History of Ilion's Schools
The pioneers who settled the hills of Herkimer County and reclaimed some of
the surrounding wilderness did not forget to plant the seeds of those
educational institutions in the midst of which they had been reared. In
1805 the first district school was built where now stands the Best Garage.
Later it moved to where one of the Remington Arms Buildings is located and
later still, opposite the Rasbach bridge, on what is now known as Arlington
Avenue. It was a small wooden structure, one story high, and the school was
conducted by one teacher.
In 1848, a two story stone building was erected on Morgan St. During the
Civil War Ilion grew and there was again the need for better educational
facilities. In 1865, a commodious, three story building with three
departments was built on the lawn in front of the Stone School House known
as "The Most Imposing School House" in this part of the Mohawk Valley. At
the time it cost $23,000. In 1872 the school was chartered by the Regents
of the University of the State of New York and in 1873 the first class of
six girls was graduated with diplomas. Mrs. P. N. Hamlin, the former Miss
Agnes Morgan, was a teacher there and later became principal for many
There was a training class in Ilion between the years 1893 and 1905. An
addition to the Stone School House was made in 1884. In 1900 one was made
to the Morgan Street school building. In 1927 the Morgan Street school
property was sold to the village for $20,000. Upon the site of the old
school now stands the Municipal Building.
April 30, 1897 saw the dedication of a splendid six room building, known as
the West Hill School. It was enlarged to 14 rooms with a gymnasium in 1925.
Mrs. William Lavigne succeeded Miss Mary Hickok as principal.
The North Street six room school was built in 1906, enlarged to 14 rooms in
1916 and a third story unfinished room was floored and finished in 1927 for
a gymnasium and auditorium. In 1951 a new gymnasium and cafeteria were
added to the school. Miss Ethel Campbell has been principal since 1923.
In 1925 the School of Annunciation, in West Street, was erected complete
with kindergarten, eight class rooms, library and auditorium. Sister Mary
Cornelia is the present principal.
The original unit of the High School building, was built in 1914, enlarged
by two wings in 1925, and by the gymnasium in 1927. In 1951 ten rooms were
added including a music room and cafeteria and the back stage was
remodeled. The present athletic field and tennis courts in back of the High
School building were obtained from the Ilion Cemetery Association on April
29, 1933. Miss Loretta Douglas was the first principal followed by Mr. John
Guy Prindle. Mr. Joseph A. Baker succeeded Mr. Prindle.
The present enrollment in the schools including the Parochial school is
In this Centennial year it seems appropriate to pay tribute to those
educators who have given so many years of their time and devotion to help
make the educational system of Ilion what it is today, Miss Cora Potter and
Miss Mary Hickok, principals of West Hill School. Mr. John Guy Prindle,
principal of Ilion High School, and Rev. J. B. Gilloon, the first principal
of the School of Annunciation. Supervising the work of Principals and
teachers and furthering education in our village by developing its schools
from 1868 to the present have been 10 School Superintendents from Virgil A.
Curtis to Dr. Earl P. Watkin.
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