Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
School Memorabilia of the Tri-Counties
Potterville School, Orwell Township, Bradford County PA

See Also More Potterville School Lists
Tri-County Genealogy & History Sites Home Page
How to Use This Site
Warning & Disclaimer
Souvenir School Booklets
Orwell Township Page
No Unauthorized Commercial Use
Say Hello to Joyce
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the 700 pages of School Records on the site  by using the Schools button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page?  You can narrow your search by entering a township name and a surname and using the Find All Words option

Potterville School House

By: Sarah Edsell - May 2002

Interviews with: Helen Ross Chaffee, Emmett "Steve" Manchester, Irene Cron Russell, Paul W. Edsell, Maxine Corbin Jones

Copies of pictures, etc. from: Maxine Jones, Paul Edsell, Sarah Edsell

On June 11, 1883, Zeri and Elizabeth Cook sold 60 perches of land to the School Directors of Orwell Township for $30. This deed was recorded on Feb. 21, 1891, at the office of Charles M. Hall, Bradford County Recorder. A fee of $1.75 was charged.

An early Teacher monthly record book shows Lillie Eastman as teacher with the term commencing August 30, 1897, and ending April 2, 1898. Students were Arthur Lyons age 15, Floyd VanWinkle 15, Ernest Dunn 12, Fay Chaffee 10, Gay Chaffee 10, Clarence Davis 9, Paul Cook 8, William Williams 8, Clyde Davis 7, Raymond Pierce 7, Raymond Arnold 6, Philip Williams 6, Winifred Corbin 13, Ethel Morgan 11, Fannie Morgan 11, Leone Cook 8, Bessie Pierce 9, Cecil Wheaton 7 and Florence Davis 6.

Subjects taught were Alphabet, Orthography, Reading, Writing, Written Arithmetic, Geography, Language, Physiology and Hygiene. Books used were Franklin’s Fourth Reader, Third Reader, Second Reader, First Reader and Primer; Milne’s Arithmetic; Modern Speller; Swinton’s Geography; Smith’s Physiology; Maxwell’s Language; Language & Composition and Spencerian Copy Book.

Lillie Eastman also taught the August 29, 1898 to March 29, 1899 year. Lottie Russell taught from September 3, 1900 to April 4, 1901 and Clara B. Allyn from September 2, 1901 to March 30, 1903.

Alice C. Evans taught from September 7, 1903 to April 17, 1905 and Lillian R. Taylor from August 28, 1905 to March 27, 1906. These names and dates are listed in the Teachers Monthly reports for the Potterville Primary School No. 6 in Orwell District.

In September of 1904 Alice C. Evans recorded that her students were Marion Arnold age 7, Charlotte Barton 7, Maude Chaffee, Mable Conklin 9, Pauline Cook 7, Florence Foulke 8, Bernice Manchester 8, Florence Manchester 7, Maisie Manchester 5, Marguerite Newell 8, Eva O’Conner 8, Helen Ross 5, Caroline Sibley 6, Clifford Chaffee 8, Keith Cook 5, Harvey LeTourneau 7, Howard LeTourneau 6, Edwin Lung 7, Cecil Van Winkle 7, Leigh Wheaton 9, Bannatyne Williams 5, Jenkin Williams 7. Aaron Sebring started in December.

Helen Ross remembers that some students may not have liked Miss Evans because she was all business and not much fun. Helen thought Alice was a very good teacher.

Alice Catherine Evans who was born in Neath in 1881 attained a B. S. Degree in Bacteriology from Cornell University and a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin. Because she was a woman and did not have a Doctorate Degree, she spent years trying to convince public health officials that pasteurization was necessary to kill disease in milk. Finally, she succeeded and in the 1930’s pasteurization became mandatory. While doing research for the Public Health Department, she identified undulant fever but contracted the disease. Progressive disability forced her to retire and she died September 5, 1974 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Helen Ross did grade school at Potterville then went to Orwell for high school. She went to teacher preparatory courses at Towanda instead of going to Mansfield College, which was too costly. She became a teacher and taught at Potterville School for three years and then married Levi Chaffee. "After a girl married, it was not considered proper for her to work," Helen said.

Emmet "Steve" Manchester went to Potterville School in 1910 at age 5. He remembers the boys going to the gristmill to play in the pile of buckwheat hulls. One day, the mill manager, Charles Werkheiser, came out and the boys thought they were going to get scolded. Instead, he said, "I don’t care how much you play in the hulls, but your MOTHERS don’t like finding them in your clothes." Steve said, "That warning didn’t stop them as long as it was okay with Charley."

The Cron family lived on a farm next to the Darling Cemetery. In 1912 little five year old Irene had to walk through the woods to attend school at Potterville. Each year or two, there was another little girl to accompany Irene and her older brother. Of course, they could think of all the "wild animals" and other scary things that could happen to them as they ran through the woods.

The belfry came alive each morning as the bell pealed forth to announce the beginning of the school day. After putting their lunch pails along the wall, the students took their seats. Some teachers had another small bell they rang for the students to come to order. The Bible was read. After prayer, the pledge was said. The teacher may have a special program for the kids, then the lessons would start. First grade class would come up and sit on the recitation bench to say their lessons. Then the other grades as they were called. Sometimes the other students would learn from listening to the other classes.

There was no running water, no electricity and no indoor plumbing. The outhouse toilet was on the right side of the school for the boys and on the left side behind the woodshed for the girls. A fresh pail of water was supplied daily. The same dipper was used by all. The teacher tended the fire in the stove but the boys carried in the wood. Nearby neighbors kept the wood supplied throughout the year without being recompensed.

After completing 8th Grade, there was an examination to get into 9th Grade. This exam was standardized by Bradford County and all must pass it to advance. If it was failed, the grade had to be repeated. Sometimes, over the summer months, tutoring was done and the student could take the test again before high school started.

Irene Cron also remembers both school rooms being used: Primary had grades 1-4 and Intermediate had grades 5-8. She liked going to school and didn’t miss too much time. After she graduated Orwell High School, she went to Normal School at Mansfield College. She attained her Teacher’s Certificate and taught school at South Hill but also substituted at Potterville a few times. Then she married Cleveland Russell.

When Paul Edsell went to Potterville School in 1928, only one room was used as a classroom, the other as a basketball court. Some of the teachers around this time were Emily Russell, Margaret Inman Wheaton, Lucille Davis, Adelaide Bently, Alberta Phillips Hennip, Dorothy Brown Eighmey, Helen Ross Chaffee, and Doris Antisdel.

Paul remembers getting sick while at school. The teacher asked if he was nauseated. He said yes and the teacher sent him home. Paul didn’t know what that word meant until his mother told him after he got home. He said, "I guessed right that time."

Maxine Corbin Jones remembers holding up a picture and whispered to Paul, "isn’t it pretty!" The teacher made her stay after school. Maxine also says they had to learn a poem a month. Speaking contests were held and those who won went to other programs and then presented them to the community.

The school closed in 1938. No one could say exactly when this school building was erected but all seemed to remember when it closed. On January 24th 1956, Paul Edsell purchased the Potterville school house and property. The deed was recorded April 8th 1958.

Today the 117 year old (approximated) wood frame building remains remarkably similar to early pictures. The shingled roof was replaced by Dimock roofing. Some windows had to be replaced but the others are originals. The directional vane survives on top but some of the bricks on the two chimneys have crumbled off. The stone foundation is firm.

The vestibule still contains the built-in supply cupboard on the left and on the other side are residual marks of books where the children hung their coats. Pristine wainscoating encloses the entrance way. Painted tongue and grove boards finish the foyer.

Both classrooms have intact brick chimneys, hardwood flooring with some buckling and tongue and groove siding. An old first aid cabinet can be seen in the back corner. The chalktray and one section of the slate chalkboard endures. Paper chalkboards are present and before them, the wall was painted black for usage. Carved initials are visible on the doorposts.

The right classroom is used for storage and the left as a machine shop. A large sliding door was placed on the left side of the schoolhouse to allow machinery access. Wire window guards remain on the windows from when that room was used as a basketball court.

There is no sign of deterioration in the attic and the belfry is accessible. Inscriptions on the bell say P.L. Weimer, PAT July 23, 1867, Eagle Bell, Lebanon, PA. Smaller than usual, the bell can still emit melodious tones, which make everyone stop and listen and reminisce.

The education received in this school was thorough and valuable. The students enhanced our county and our nation.

Teacher: Lillie Eastman

Term: August 30, 1897 – April 2, 1898

School: Potterville Primary School No 6

Boys Girls
Arthur Lyon 15 Winifred Corbin 13
Ernest Dunn 12 Ethel Morgan 11
Fay Chaffee 10 Fannie Morgan 11
Gay Chaffee 10 Leona Cook 8
Clarence Davis 9 Bessie Pierce 9
Paul Cook 8 Cecil Wheaton 7
William Williams 8 Florence Davis 6
Clyde Davis 7  
Raymond Pierce 7  
Raymond Arnold 6  
Philip Williams 6  
Floyd Van Winkle 15  

Teacher: Lillie Eastman

Term: August 29, 1898 – March 29, 1899

School: Potterville Primary School No 6

Boys Girls
Benjamin Beardslee 14 Ethel Morgan 12
Arthur Lyon 15 Esther Matthews 10
James Elsbree 14 Leone Cook 8
Harold Brister 10 May Cole 8
Fay Chaffee 10 Ora Manchester 6
Gay Chaffee 10 Viola Ellsworth 6
Clarence Davis 9 Florence Davis 6
Paul Cook 9 Nellie Conklin 6
Floyd Dimon 12  
Leslie Dimon 8  
William Williams 8  
Philip Williams 7  
Clyde Davis 7  
Raymond Arnold 7  
Raymond Pierce 7  
Raymond Williams 6  
Floyd Arnold 5  
Earl Davis 5  
Howard Conklin 5  

Teacher: Lottie Russell

Term: Sept. 3, 1900 – April 4, 1901

School: Potterville Primary School No 6

Boys Girls
William Williams  Viola Ellsworth
Philip Williams Laura Ellsbree
Raymond Arnold  Fannie Cook
Floyd Arnold Ora Manchester
Benjamin Lyon Nellie Conklin
Raymond Pierce Nina Conklin
Raymond Williams Augusta Williams
Ray Grow  
Neil Barton  
Paul Stevens  
Walter Chaffee  
Lynn Manchester  
Howard Conklin  

Teacher: Alice C. Evans

Term: Sept. 7, 1903 – April 1, 1904

School: Potterville Primary School No 6

Boys Girls
Neil Barton 10 Charlotte Barton 6
Basil Castleberry 10 Maud Chaffee 6
Clifford Chaffee 7 Mable Conklin 8
Walter Chaffee 8 Nellie Conklin 12
Howard Conklin 11 Nina May Conklin 9
James Kelly 13 Fanny Cook 9
Edwin Lung 7 Nellie Crawn 10
Lynn Manchester 8 Bessie Dimon 7
Leigh Wheaton 7 Viola Elsworth 11
Jenkin Williams 6 Bernice Manchester 7
  Blanche Manchester 8
Added in Nov Florence Manchester 6
Harvey LeTourneau 6 Gladys Manchester 5
  Margarite Newell 7
  Augusta Williams 8
  Lulu Spalding 7
  Added in Nov
  Marion Arnold 6
  Pauline Cook


E.E. Chubbuck, Secretary

Teacher: Alice C. Evans

Term: Sept. 12, 1904 – April 17, 1905

School: Potterville Primary School No 6

Boys Girls
Clifford Chaffee 8 Marion Arnold 7
Keith Cook 5 Charlotte Barton 7
Harvey LeTourneau 7 Maude Chaffee 6
Howard LeTourneau 6 Mable Conklin 9
Edwin Lung 7 Pauline Cook 7
Cecil Van Winkle 7 Florence Foulke 8
Leigh Wheaton 9 Bernice Manchester 7
Bannatyne Williams 5 Florence Manchester 7
Jenkin Williams 7 Maisie Manchester 5
  Marguerite Newell 5
Added in Dec Eva O’Conner 8
Aaron Sevring Helen Ross 5
  Caroline Sibley 6

Alice Catherine Evans 1881 – 1975

She was the first woman scientist to have a permanent appointment in the US Dairy Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry. She was born in Neath, PA, in 1881. She attended Susquehanna Collegiate Institute of Towanda from 1898 to 1901. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in bacteriology from Cornell University and her Masters’ degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Alice spent many years trying to convince physicians, public health officials, Veterinarians and farmers that pasteurization was necessary to kill disease in milk. She was not taken seriously because she was a woman and did not have a doctorate degree. Finally she succeeded and in the 1930’s pasteurization of milk became mandatory in the dairy industry.

Evans continued to work in bacteriology and received many honors. She received honorary doctorate of science degrees from the University of Wisconsin and from Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. While she was with the Public Health Service doing research she identified undulant fever, contracting the disease. Although she suffered recurrent attacks, she continued her experiments until steadily increasing disability forced her to retire. Dr. Evans died September 5, 1975, in Alexandria, VA.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 21 APR 2006 with Permission of Sarah Edsell
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

You are the  visitor since the counter was installed on 21 APR 2006