Okee School

Old school records show that District No. 1, Town of West Point was formed in 1851 by the Town Superintendent of Schools, Aaron Burlingame. At that time, school was taught in a room of the Reuben Ring home with Miss Eunice Kirk as the first teacher. Later school was held at the Wm. Mathers house and he received the sum of $2.00 for the use of one room for the summer term.On December 15, 1852, a special meeting was called to consider the building of a schoolhouse. At another special meeting held in January 1863, it was decided to purchase a lot from Wm. Mather for the schoolhouse site and a tax of $300 was voted to build the schoolhouse.

To quote from the annual report of September 1, 1853. . . A schoolhouse was built of wood, stone, nails, glass, and shingles€”unfinished; site less than an acre, no blackboards, no outline maps, no closets, new cupboards, no entry. Lots of bushes and the broad blue shy above.

Catherine Bell taught that first term. Some of the books used were McGuffeys Reader, Browns Grammar, and Wells Speller.

One of the interesting things in the minutes was that meetings were called at early candlelight instead of at a certain time by the clock. Also, annual meetings were held in September instead of July as they are at the present time.

In the early days, each family furnished 1/4 cord of wood prepared for the stove for each child enrolled in school. The following year the district began to purchase the wood used, giving the contract to the lowest bidder.

In 1855, the district was called Joint District No. 6 of Lodi and West Point.

In 1858, there were 64 children between the ages of four and twenty residing in the district.

In 1859, blackboards were installed, and the yard was fenced on three sides.

In 1866, a three-foot antechamber was added.

In 1871, George Yule and Wm Summers were appointed as the first committee to audit the treasurers book report.

By 1875, there were 82 children between four and twenty years of age in the district and several school meetings were held to discuss building an addition to the school, building a new schoolhouse, or dividing the district. Finally in 1882, the original building was raised ten inches, an eight-foot addition was added to the north end and a new wall was put on top of the old foundation. The chimney was raised two feet, roof reshingled, new floor laid, wainscoting put around the room up to the windows and a paint job done.