A Portrait of A Teacher:  Winfield Morse- Maplewood School District #6


Winfield Morse is the grandfather of our team member, Judy Morse Wolkoff, who is also a volunteer at the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville NY.     Judy has been able to acquire quite a bit of information about her grandfather who taught in the Maplewood One Room School, just west of Monticello, located on the former Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike, the present NY State Route 17B.    He is the only teacher that we have such a wealth of information, which is why we are sharing it with our readers.

Winfield Morse (1873 – 1954) was married to Phyla Van Keuren.   They had but one child, Levi.

The elder Mr. Morse probably began teaching at the Maplewood school in 1901 as evidenced by the
“Teacher’s Certificate of the Second Grade” issued by the State of New York Department of Public Instruction.   Please note that Mr. Morse’s grades from each subject are posted at the lower left corner of his certificate.    This was certainly a valuable piece of information to prospective employers.

Judy also acquired a copy of one of her grandfather’s teaching contracts with the Maplewood School District issued in 1908.   Note the salary of that day on the contract!

In addition, we have a copy of a “Certificate of Character and Loyalty” that was issued in January 1922 by the State Education Department.

A search through back issues of the former “Republican Watchman,” a newspaper based in Monticello for decades, revealed an article stating that Mr. Morse was also elected “School Director” for the Town of Thompson in January 1926.  He was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mrs. Stecher, the previous director.

It appears that School house #6 was also known in the community as “The Winfield Morse School House” as it was described as such in the context of a legal notice that was published in that same newspaper on October 12, 1929, regarding the “posting of a piece of property owned by Mr and Mrs. Joseph Mur” as private property and stating that trespassing on the same is forbidden.

It goes without saying that Mr. Winfield Morse was a gentleman of fine standing in his profession and his community.   His final year of teaching was the 1932- 33 school year.

He was laid to rest in 1954 in the Union Cemetery in Mongaup Valley, just down the Turnpike a few miles.