Greenville Academy

Greenville Academy


Extracted from J.B. Beers' History of Greene County, published in 1884
Retyped by Arlene Goodwin

Photo taken by Sylvia Hasenkopf in 2008

The Greenville Academy was incorporated by the Regents of the University of the State of New York on the 27th day of February 1816. The act of incorporation was signed by Daniel D. Tompkins, chancellor of the University of the State of New York, and by Gideon Hawley, secretary of State. The corporators were: Jonathan Sherrill, Rev. Beriah Hotchkin, Dr. Amos Botsford, Augustine Prevost, Eliakim Reed, Aaron Hall, Stoddard Smith, Levi Callender, Abijah Reed, Truman Sanford, Alexander Calhoun, Reuben Rundle jr., Francis Hickok, Daniel Miller, Joseph Bishop, Daniel Hitchcock, Josiah Rundle, Obediah King, and Eli Knowles.

Among its preceptors have been such men as Sylvester Eaton, Daniel Parker, Huntington Hyde, Spencer Wheeler, Ely Caldwell, A. V. D. Ayres, Philip Philips, A. Reynolds, and many others. The witnesses of its usefulness are in every part of the land, for it has sent out such men as the Van Burens, The Sanfords, and the Woodbridges, Rev. Henry White, Rev. Philo Calhoun, Rev. Charles J. Knowles, A. J. Parker, Lyman Tremain, Dr. Gideon Botsford, Charles Callender, and many others, whose power for good has been felt in every department of life.

It is at present under the able direction of W. F. Albrecht, principal, and is patronized by a large number of non-resident students. The courses of study are three in number: preparatory, business, and normal. 

Greenville Academy Circular 1854

Courtesy of Burt Wright, whose great-grandfather, O.H. Wright, was a principal of the school


Courtesy of Burt Wright, whose great-grandfather, O.H. Wright, was a principal of the school
Upon leaving the school as principal, the students presented O.H. Wright with a copy of The Works of William Shakespeare, published in 1854 and inscribed their names inside.



 Will Mr. Wright please accept this as a Parting Gift from the following students of Greenville Academy
April 6, 1855

Mary E. Scofield, Clara J. Calhoun, Augusta Hallock, Phebe Ette Vincent, Emeline Cobb, Mary E. Chapman, Ester Boyd, Catharine Eaton,
Alice J. Hickok, Louisa Botsford, Libbie Watson

Edward Wakely, Wheeler Stevens, Theoren Ramsdell, Elisha P. Smith, Albert Wilbur, Reynolds J. Welch, John Carpenter, Chas. Miller, Daniel Stevens, Theodore Coonley, Henry Coonley, Joseph Ingalls, Edward Buckbee, Chas. M. Lawpaugh, George W. Knowles, James A. Calhoun, Truman M. Sanford, Leonard Huyck, David Cobb, Willie Miller, Andrew Fancher, Reed Sherill, Perry Roe, George Corcklin

A gift though small
Yet let it be
A token of respect
To thee

Courtesy of Burt Wright, whose great-grandfather was the principal of the Greenville Academy in the 1850's. This letter describes activities by the Know Nothing Party and the Greenville Academy. According to Wikipedia the Know Nothing Party is described as follows:

The Know Nothing movement was a Nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s.  It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts were met with little success. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery. Most ended up joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 Presidential election.

The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to other states as the Native American Party and became a national party in 1845. In 1855 it renamed itself the American Party. The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he or she was supposed to reply, "I know nothing."


Greenville Nov 11/(18)54 

Dear Br: 

Under the silent inspiration of a Sabbath afternoon I sit me down to write you. Nevertheless, if my memory is not treacherous Im not in your debt, correspondently speaking, & tis not probable I ever shall be, if you remain as inert as it regards letter writing, as the past has found you to be. Living this slight castigation, I proceed to business. In the first my health is pretty good & my school flourishes as or even better than I expected. Ive had some reverses lately caused by the infatuated Know Nothings, The most vile, polluted, degraded & God neglected tribe that has been since the builders of the Tower of Babel. They stole into my Academy in the darkness of night (a time most fit for the transactions of such business as theirs) with a false key left my rooms in the most gosmandizing & hoggish condition.

I accordingly made a fuss about it & come ascertain the true state of things, some of the Trustees were the leading men. I accordingly sent in my resignation. The majority of the Trustees were very anxious for me to go on with my school, saying I ought not to treat them illy for the bad conduct of a few others & my school was filling up & Id just engaged two other Teachers as the circular will show, & upon the whole I concluded to go ahead sink or swim. I could have gone direct to Freehold & they would have arranged their old church into an Acad (They built a new one there this sum.) one of the most splendid ones there is in the country. And I could have taken the most of my scholars tight along with me, & broke there school here into irregular fragments. If you have Know Nothings there I hope youll let the political nuisance alone. It is one of the greatest humbugs of the age. Id like to debate upon them but space forbids.

Ive learned recently that Caroline is again united to a Man or in more simple terms shes married again. Hope shes got clear of the Wrights.

Tell Ansel that his brother Albert D. is dead in Perrysburgh, Ohio where he lived at the time. He died with the cholera. The papers do him reverence, & mourn his loss, much.

The other friends are well as far as my knowledge goes. There is strong talk of building a large Academy & boarding house here, having been put agoing by the man I have wish me & myself. (as written) We shall sent it for 5 years if it goes, & if it dont go, I go from here in the spring probably to studying law some where.

Give my love to Mrs. W.W. Wright, Esq. & all, whose recollections of me are pleasant.

Yours in Brotherly love,

O.H. Wright

(In margin) Wright soon is always the finalle.

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