Oakwood Friends School

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Oakwood Friends School
Oakwood Seminary.jpg
Coordinates 41°39′20″N 73°55′37″W / 41.6555°N 73.9269°W / 41.6555; -73.9269Coordinates: 41°39′20″N 73°55′37″W / 41.6555°N 73.9269°W / 41.6555; -73.9269
School type Boarding & Day
Founded 1796
Dean Sara Sandstrom
Principal Anna Bertucci
Head of school Chad Cianfrani (interim)
Grades 5-12
Gender Co-ed
Age range 11-18
Average class size 15
Student to teacher ratio 1:8
School color(s) Orange & Green
Mascot Lions
Accreditation New York Yearly Meeting
Newspaper Oak Leaves
Endowment $3 Million

Oakwood Friends School is a college preparatory school located at 22 Spakenkill Road in Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1796, it was the first college preparatory school in the state of New York.[1] First located in Millbrook, New York under the name of Nine Partners Boarding School.

Nine Partners School[edit]

In 1794, the New York Yearly Meeting appointed a committee of twenty-five to establish a school; their first meeting was on January 13, 1795. On May 1 of that year the New York Yearly Meeting purchased a house and ten acres from Joseph Mabbet, a Quaker from Connecticut, for 1600 pounds, a down payment of 214 pounds was made from the donors: Tripp Mosher, Isaac Thorn, William Thorn, Joseph Talcott, Shadrach Richetson and Jonathan Deuel. With plans of opening a school for the children of nearby Quaker families, it opened on December 20, 1796, and was given the name, Nine Partners School in Mechanic which is now in South Millbrook, New York.[2] By founding the school it made it the state’s first co-educational boarding and day school. The school’s first superintendent was R. Tripp Mosher and its first principal was Jonathan Talcott, a notable children’s book publisher. The school had a total of one hundred students: 70 boys and 30 girls. Children between the ages of seven and fourteen years old for girls and up to age fifteen for boys. A well-known teacher at the school was Jacob Willets [3][4] who was one of the first pupils its opening day of the school, became the head teacher in 1806 and taught until 1828. He was the author of an arithmetic, geography and an atlas, textbooks which were highly recommended and extensively used throughout the academic day. He and his wife Deborah, who was also a former pupil, and became teacher of grammar and mathematics, were head teachers together and contributed to the success during the early years of the school’s opening.[5] Another well-known teacher and former pupil, was Lucretia Coffin Mott who entered the school at age thirteen in 1806 and graduated in 1810. While there, she met teacher James Mott, son of one of the founders, whom she married in 1811. Lucretia later led abolition and women’s suffrage campaigns as well as working as a teaching assistant. Around that same era, a notable student of the school was Daniel Anthony,[6] who would one day become the father of Susan B. Anthony, another famed early pioneer of women’s suffrage.[7]

Friends Academy & Oakwood Seminary[edit]

In 1853, the school and its land was sold to a private party who kept it until 1863. In 1857 the New York Yearly Meeting was eager to open a boarding school in Union Springs which was in central New York. Later that year on September 1 a property southwest of the town of Auburn was purchased for $9,842. The first day of classes was May 11, 1858 with grades 1-12 with only four boarders and twenty day students. Changing its name that year to Friends Academy. On March 23, 1876, the school officially changed its name to Oakwood Seminary, the name was adopted after the large oak grove on the grounds. The school taught regular classes with extra class optional for an extra cost, such as commercial, literary and science courses and by 1896 a biblical course was established. Around the same time the school dropped its lower grades and offered grades 8-12 for both boarding and day students, over the age of twelve years old.

circa: 1910

In the 1890s, the school dropped the lower grades and only offered grades 8-12 for both boarders and day students; only requirement was that all students be over 12 years old. In 1915, English teacher Eliezer Pattington was acting head of school while they searched for a permanent head of school. In 1916, William J. Reagan was appointed Principal of the school consisting of sixty-one students. However his first months were not easy, on January 2, 1917, a fire damaged a small portion of the upper levels of the main building, so much so that the board needed to consider the school’s future.

Oakwood School[edit]

In 1918, the board decided that with the damage of the fire and the declining population of Quakers in the Union Springs area, they were to relocate the school. The final graduating class was in 1920, and that September the school moved to the 75-acre Coleman Farm in Poughkeepsie, New York. Its first day of operation was on September 28, 1920, with a total of one hundred and twelve students from grades 1-12, in total about 58 were Quaker. Although proper buildings were not ready on its opening day, the school made due and quickly reorganized to comply with the regulations of New York State.[8]


Sport Level Season Gender
Soccer V, JV, MS Fall Boys, Girls
Volleyball V, JV Fall Girls
Walking Club Fall Co-ed
Cross-Country V Fall Co-ed
Basketball V, JV, MS Winter Boys, Girls
Yoga Winter Co-ed
Fitness Program Winter Co-ed
Tai-Chi Winter Co-ed
Baseball V Spring Boys
Softball V Spring Girls
Ultimate Frisbee V, JV Spring Co-ed
Tennis V Spring Boys, Girl

Distinguished alumni[edit]

Notable former faculty members[edit]

List of headmasters[edit]

  • Joseph Talcott, 1796-1806
  • Jacob Willets, 1806-1828
  • Benjamin and Mary Griffin, 1828-1844
  • Jarvis and Lydia Congdon, 1844-1858
  • Ezra and Jane Willets, 1858-1859
  • Fowell B. Hill, 1859-1860
  • William J. Beal, 1860-1862
  • Egbert and Martha Carey, 1862-1863
  • Thomas and Mary Burgess, 1863-1864
  • Frank S. Hall, 1864-1866
  • Henry K. Pinkham, 1866-1867
  • George Sisson, 1867-1868
  • Jacob and Lucy Vining, 1868-1869
  • Elijah Cook, 1869-1889
  • Charles H. Jones, 1889-1894
  • Isaac Sutton, 1894-1897
  • Elijah Cook, 1897-1898
  • Jonathan Dickinson, 1898-1899
  • Leslie A. Bailey, 1899-1900
  • Thomas H. Chase, 1900-1901
  • Francis N. Maxfield, 1901-1903
  • Samuel H. Hodgin, 1903-1905
  • Walter Hallock Wood, 1905-1915
  • Eliezer Partington, 1915-1916
  • William J. Reagan, 1916-1948
  • Joesph B. Shane, 1948-1950
  • William W. Clark, 1950-1956
  • Charles W. Hutton, 1956-1962
  • Thomas Purdy, 1962-1968
  • John J. Jennings, 1968-1973
  • David L. Bourns, 1973-1979
  • Theodore Lehmann, 1979-1980
  • Clark McK. Simms, 1980-1988
  • Robert R. Coombs, 1988-1991
  • Stephen Waters, 1991-1993
  • Lila A. Gordon, 1993-2000
  • Peter F. Bailey, 2000-2015
  • Chad Cianfrani, 2015-


  1. ^ http://www.oakwoodfriends.org/
  2. ^ "Dutchess County Historical and Genealogical Record Chapter 1". genealogytrails.com. 
  3. ^ "Key to Willetts' Mental and Practical Arithmetic: Solely Designed for the Use of Teachers". Internet Archive. 
  4. ^ "Home of Jacob and Deborah Willetts". New York Historic. 
  5. ^ "History of Washington, NY". rays-place.com. 
  6. ^ "The Underground Railroad in the New York Hudson Valley «  Fergus Bordewich: The Imperfect Union". fergusbordewich.com. 
  7. ^ "Lucretia Mott's Heresy - Carol Faulkner". upenn.edu. 
  8. ^ http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/41947332?uid=3739832&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21106461350453
  9. ^ Keith Bunin, "From the Writers’ Picket Lines: ‘I Hate That I’m on Strike", Beliefnet, November 15, 2007.
  10. ^ "Clark V. Poling". Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation. 
  11. ^ "Americana Awards: Levon Helm celebrated; Bonnie Raitt honored for lifetime achievement", Poughkeepsie Journal, September 13, 2012.
  12. ^ Associated Press (30 November 2014). "Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand dies at 80". The Poughkeepsie Journal. 
  13. ^ "Jonathan Talbot: Reference Points—An Artistic Chronology in Progress: 1955-57 - Oakwood Friends School" (accessed 2014-01-22).
  14. ^ "Oakwood Friends School Welcomes Juan Williams ‘72" (accessed 2014-01-22).
  15. ^ "emosher - Staff Memoir Project". umich.edu. 
  16. ^ "Wanda Campbell - Hidden Rooms - Confederation Poets - Canadian Poetry". canadianpoetry.ca. 
  17. ^ Carol Faulkner, Lucretia Mott's Heresy Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America (2011).
  18. ^ Thomas C. Cornell, "Adam and Anne Mott, Their Ancestors and their Descendants" (1890).
  19. ^ http://www.anniefinch.com/
  20. ^ http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/archives/uga97-099.html
  21. ^ "Guide, George Aaron Barton Papers (UPT 50 B293), University Archives, University of Pennsylvania". upenn.edu. 
  22. ^ "Holdings: Biographical dictionary of American educators /". yorku.ca. 
  23. ^ "Lindley M. Moore House, Rochester New York". Historic Structures. 
  24. ^ "ACCCC: Bio > Jones, Rufus Matthew". yale.edu. 
  25. ^ "Abstract". agronomy.org. 

External links[edit]