Eldred School Politics, December 12, 1913

In my vast assortment of family information is a story written about Eldred school politics by my great aunt Aida Austin and takes place over several years.

Initially, the problem seemed to be that powers to be tried to enforce the building of a new $6000 schoolhouse on different property, and claimed the schoolhouse had been condemned (Aida said it was not).

The townspeople were able to set up another meeting and voted in $495 to add an addition to the school. (Under a certain amount kept the town in control.)

This following news article goes along with Aida’s story.

The village of Eldred is one of the liveliest spots in southern Sullivan. It is always somewhat of a paradox.

There is a place there called Sunshine Hall, but around its roof gathered for months the black clouds of bitterest neighborhood dissension, apparently the result of a determination to put down those in control and to pass the control to others.

Now Sunshine Hall is forgotten and for about two years, the fight has been around the school house. One faction demanded a new $6000 school house and Superintendent Lewis has been with them. They have been in the minority however, and no special meeting would vote the money.

Last spring the district decided to build an addition to the present building and voted $600 for that purpose. The addition is nearly completed and the warrant for the collection of the tax is in the hands of the collector and most of the money gathered in.

Now comes a Mr. Austin [probably Ira M. Austin] and complains of Trustee Austin [my great uncle Lon Austin] and with the aid of an affidavit from Superintendent Lewis to the effect that the addition doesn’t meet his idea of what Eldred ought to have; procures from the Vice Chancellor of the Regents an injunction order restraining the application of the tax money towards the improvements.

And while these things are going on, what sort of an idea are the children of the territory affected forming as to the solicitude of a lot of grown ups who to all appearances would sacrifice every last one of those little tots to an unholy desire to be boss.—Monticello NY Republican Watchman, December 12, 1913

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