Knox Schools

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Map showing location of one room schools in Knox; based on 1866 Beers map of Knox courtesy of Jeremy Rue

Public education in Knox began when the town was created in 1795, thanks to the new state legislator that appropriated $20,000 for a common school fund, of which Albany Counties share was $3,975. By 1812 there were 21 school districts in the Town of Berne (which included Knox), each with its own school. Knox become a separate town until 1822. There are many reasons the schools were inexpensive to run:

  • schools were cheaply constructed
  • residents donated the wood to heat the stoves
  • teachers were boarded in the homes of local families
  • older students acted as janitors
  • texts consisted of weekly newspapers, catechism, the New Testament, and loaned books.

By the middle of the 19th Century Knox was included in the 2nd District of Albany. New one-room schools were built throughout the town at locations to minimize the miles the students had to walk. The buildings were an improvement over the earlier ones, being built with clapboard siding and widows on two sides to improve ventilation and light. Usually the boys were seated on one side and the girls on the other. In 1930 the Central School District was created and a new building built in 1932 to house the students from 15 local districts. It was not until 1956 all of the present area was included in the centralized district.

Current School

One-Room Schools - All of the schools before 1932 were one-room schools.