A Letter from Joan Hess Mullen

I am much interested in the research being done on schools in the town of Gilboa, and loved reading Kristen Wyckoff’s article. My mother taught at Owlsville, and it was quite a hike from where she lived in Flat Creek. Before I go any further, perhaps I should identify myself.

I am the daughter of Franklin Hess and Muriel Gordon Hess. When he was a child, my father lived in Broome Center and Franklinton, while my mother lived in the house now owned by Vernon Pickett in Flat Creek. My father was postmaster in Gilboa at the time the dam was being built. He and my mother bought the Raymond Brown farm in Broome Center, and I spent the first 13 years of my life there. When I was a teenager, we moved to the house opposite the Waterfall House. I have so many wonderful memories of Gilboa and Broome Center, and still have a variety of fourth cousins living in the area . . . including Bee Mattice, Bill Thorpe, Betty O’Hara, LaVerne Hubbard, and several others. It will always be “Home” to me.

Back to the subject of schools. You are welcome to keep and use all the items in the package I’m sending. . . . One more thing I just remembered: my mother substitute taught up on Doc Leonard’s Mountain several times. I went along and remember so well the old building, with its water bucket, lunch pails, and pot-belly stove. I believe this was the Rowe District. I remember there being only a few pupils. Mother once said when she taught in the winter, she had to arrive early in order to start the wood stove before the kids got there. How things have changed.

The attachments Joan mentioned in her letter were a lode of goodies, including the test items from the state for grades 5–7 in 1910. These are available as a PDF download. Some of her other attachments follow.

Test items from the state for grades 5-7 in 1910

Test items from the state for grades 5-7 in 1910


Graduation card (outside) given by Grace Cook (Kingsley) in 1914, photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen

Graduation card (outside) given by Grace Cook (Kingsley) in 1914,
photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen


Graduation card (inside) given by Grace Cook (Kingsley) in 1914, photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen

Graduation card (inside) given by Grace Cook (Kingsley) in 1914,
photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen


Gilboa-Conesville Central School

Gilboa-Conesville Central School, photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen


Teachers at the new Gilboa-Conesville Central School

Teachers at the new Gilboa-Conesville Central School,
photo courtesy of Joan Hess Mullen


The Franklinton graduates

The Franklinton graduates, photo courtesy Joan Hess Mullen


Gilboa School Trip to Stamford's Rexmere Hotel (now the Cyr Center)

Gilboa School Trip to Stamford’s Rexmere Hotel (now the Cyr Center): left to right, Mildred Case King, Inabelle Hubbard, Marjorie DeWitt, Esther Richtmyer Tompkins, Prof. Hagadorn, Evelyn Young Haskin, Pauline Faulkner, Maude Bailey Haskin, Hilda Osborn, Evelyn Hubbard Taylor, and (possibly) Otto Vroman.
Photo courtesy of Shirley Kutzscher


Joan Hess Mullen, Class of 1945, 518-747-7234 or e-mail coojoa@aol.com