Ilion School Principal

Mr. Virgil G. Curtis

1869 - 1873
Ilion Principal - Mr. Virgil G. Curtis

In 1868, a prominent educator, Virgil G. Curtis, with his wife and a Miss Morgan, began to teach academic subjects. Several pupils finished their work under Mr. Curtis and left the school, but they could not receive diplomas, since the school had no authority then to grant them. Every diploma bears a corporation seal in one corner; all academies, high schools and colleges in the State of New York are corporate bodies, chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Before a school could obtain a charter, certain requirements had to have been met. By 1872, the school was enabled to receive its charter, and in 1873 the first class was graduated with diplomas.

In the little village which had now grown to about 3,400 inhabitants, Mr. Curtis was receiving a salary of $2,000 per year. The most of the schools in the State did not pay more than $1,000; a few paid as high as $1,200; in the cities some men received $1,500, and a very few in larger cities received as much as $2,000. So the trustees decided to economize by reducing the salary to $1,500, which was more than the most of the schools were paying. But it so happened that the city of Corry, Pennsylvania, had been watching with interest the work Mr. Curtis had been doing in the previous five years, in transforming the Ilion School from an overgrown district school to a full fledged graded institution with an academic department; and just at this time they sent him an invitation to come to Corry at a salary of $2,500 a year. He accepted it, the local trustees selecting for his successor a young man named Mosher, of pleasing appearance. But after the remarkable work that Mr. Curtis had been doing, Mr. Mosher did not prove highly satisfactory; in the middle of the school year the trustees dismissed him and began looking for a new man.

Source - Early History of the Ilion Union School and the Alumni Association

Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First published January 16, 1999 - Modified Sept 23, 2014

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