On the west side of Danbury Road, opposite the junction with Westport Road, stood Wilton\u2019s 6th District schoolhouse \u2014\u00a0the Kent School. The Greek Revival-style schoolhouse, also known as the South Wilton School, was built in 1843 and closed in 1929, but it was not the district\u2019s first school. According to a document written by the late Wiltonian F. C. Ogden, \u201ctradition says that the first school built stood on the triangle where Sharp Hill Road enters Route 7\u201d and \u201cthe second school stood not far from there.\u201d At a school meeting on Feb. 11, 1802, the 6th District school committee voted to sell the first schoolhouse at auction once the new one was completed, according to Wilton Library History Room documents. Land records are sketchy and it wasn\u2019t until 1843 that Charles A. and Sally L. Davenport sold land to the 6th School District for the purpose of \u201cerecting, maintaining and keeping in repair\u201d the new Kent schoolhouse. School days One of Wilton\u2019s most notable teachers, Angeline M. Post, was once a student at Kent School. From 1883 to 1892, she walked a full mile to the little one-room school with her older siblings each morning from their Grumman Hill Road home, according to Wilton Library History Room documents. \u201cThis school was situated very near the roadside on Danbury Road,\u201d Post wrote. \u201cI trudged along trying to keep up with the others and [was] so glad when my goal was sighted by the little brook by the wayside.\u201d School started at 9 in the morning and ended at 4 in the afternoon. Post recalled her first teacher being a \u201cbeautiful\u201d and kind lady, whose classes consisted of first through eighth graders. When Post was a student at the school, she said, approximately 30 pupils were in attendance. The interior of the school was \u201cvery unattractive,\u201d according to Post. \u201cThe little old stove, coal or wood, stood in the middle of the room and sent out the welcomed heat, which I will never forget,\u201d she wrote. \u201cThere were four rows of old double desks and seats which were shared by two children.\u201d The teacher\u2019s desk and \u201cheavy old-fashioned chair\u201d sat on a raised platform in the back of the classroom, and \u201ca long bench on which stood a wooden water pail and one dipper\u201d was located at the west side of the room. \u201cThe only water available had to be carried from a neighbor\u2019s well a short distance from the school,\u201d according to Post. \u201cHere the boys walked back and forth through the day bringing a fresh drink to the thirsty children.\u201d When Ogden was a student, a \u201ccommon tin dipper\u201d was used by everyone and a wooden water pail was filled twice a day from a well at Mrs. Bradley Sturges\u2019s house across the brook. Post said students had to purchase their own books and used ink bottles, slates, slate pencils, and sometimes soapstone pencils in class. During recess, the only place for the children to play was in the \u201cdusty street,\u201d where \u201chorses and wagons only passed once in a while,\u201d according to Post. \u201cSome children played close to the schoolhouse, especially the little children. Some of the games we played were \u2018A Tisket-A-Tasket,\u2019 \u2018Farmer in the Dell,\u2019 \u2018London Bridges,\u2019 Tag, and \u2018Hide and Seek,\u2019\u201d recalled Post. \u201cOthers jumped the bars leading to the fields nearby.\u201d Punishment Kent School\u2019s teachers were very strict, according to Ogden, who said some of them \u201cemulated the Van Higginbottoms, a race of schoolmasters so humorously described by Washington Irving as being armed with ferrules and birchen rods and who first discovered the marvelous sympathy between the seat of honor and the seat of intellect and that the shortest way to get knowledge into the head was to hammer it into the bottom.\u201d Ogden\u2019s father also attended Kent School, and he told him about a teacher named Joseph Hyatt, \u201cwho couldn\u2019t enjoy his lunch unless he had administered corporal punishment to my worthy sire during the morning.\u201d \u201cThose were the days when the teacher was always right, and a licking in school brought another one when the culprit got home,\u201d wrote Ogden, who \u201cfortunately never got licked in school.\u201d Although her first teacher was kind, Post recalled, other teachers were so strict that \u201csome children were afraid to go to school.\u201d \u201cMen teachers were hired as well as women, but sometimes a man was needed to discipline the older, unruly boys,\u201d wrote Post. \u201cThese teachers were really cruel. Today, these teachers would not be able to qualify in any school.\u201d Ogden said male teachers weren\u2019t the only ones \u201chandy with the switch.\u201d There were several female teachers who \u201cfrequently beat the dust out of the fresh or obstreperous youngsters.\u201d Teachers Kent School had many different teachers, who usually taught for short terms, and\u00a0most of whom were men. John Gaylord Davenport, who attended Kent School until he was about 11 years old, lived across the street from the little red schoolhouse, and male teachers would frequently board with his family through the winter. In his autobiography, Davenport recalled \u201cbut two women teachers\u201d in the course of his seven or eight years at the school. According to documented 19th-Century school committee proceedings, approximately 70% of the teachers hired in the district were men. Angeline Sturges, Mary A. Randle, Catharine Sturges, Sarah Keeler, Henrietta Carley, Mrs. Eunice Dudley, Sarah Jane Fayerweather, Julia Banks, Alice St. John, Anna Hyatt, and a Miss Benedict were some of the women hired to teach at Kent School between 1845 and 1878. Kent School\u2019s early 20th-Century teachers included Mabel L. Post (1912-1927), Winifred Little (1927-1928) and Mr. Sassman (1928-1929), according to a 1911-1929 teachers list. Students Children from the Comstock, Godfrey, Orem, and Morehouse families were among those who received an education at the Kent School, and Cpl. James Bennett Whipple \u2014 the first Wiltonian killed in action during World War I and for whom the American Legion post is named \u2014 was a Kent School student, too. With 28 students \u2014 six first graders, two second graders, three third graders, four fourth graders, five fifth graders, six sixth graders, and two eighth graders \u2014 Kent had the highest enrollment of Wilton\u2019s nine district schools in 1913-14. In March 1849, the school district prohibited out-of-district children from attending Kent School \u201cunless by the consent of the majority of the legal voters\u201d in the 6th School District. In September 1862, the district voted to exclude Chestnut Hill \u2014\u00a0with which it had voted to share its public money the year before \u2014 \u201cunless they pay their bills.\u201d \u201cIf a child from another district attended school,\u201d according to Ogden, \u201chis parent or guardian paid the district for his schooling.\u201d However, there seem to have been exceptions. According to documented school district proceedings, Bennajah Gilbert was hired to teach at Kent School in the summer of 1855 for $1 a day with the privilege of having his two sons attend for free. Activities In spring 1924, Kent School beat Chestnut Hill School, 15-11, in a baseball game at Orem Field. In 1927, the school started The Jolly Readers of Kent School club. The club officers were John Dennin as president, Roxane Wright as vice president, Frederick Dotson as secretary, Dorothy Tolles as assistant secretary, and Harold Remsen as treasurer. In November of that year, the school voted to name its school paper \u201cThe Kent School Monthly.\u201d The paper\u2019s student officers were Chester Godfrey as manager, Arthur Javes as editor, and Anita Peterson, John Dennin and Robert Wilson as staff members. Kent students also helped the American Legion sell tickets for a dance and Thanksgiving basket, and the pupils presented their teacher, Edith Richdale \u2014 who later served as Wilton\u2019s town clerk \u2014 with a floor lamp as a Thanksgiving gift. In December 1927, Georgiana Comstock gave a nature lesson on birds and Mary Comstock gave one on seeds, both of which, according to The Bridgeport Telegram, were \u201cvery interesting and instructive.\u201d The school also had a Christmas party that month. Post-closing Wilton started consolidating its schools in the 1920s and Kent School closed its doors once the new Center School opened in town. After its closing, the Kent schoolhouse was used by the Kent Pioneer Club of the Fairfield County YMCA for meetings in 1939. The building also has served as a meeting place for Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts, and at one point became Wilton\u2019s one and only rural YMCA \u2014 a branch of the Norwalk YMCA. In the 1950s, the schoolhouse was used as the Wilton Athletic Club headquarters. In 1971, the school was due to be razed to make way for Route 7, but arrangements were made with the state to move it and set it on a new foundation provided by the Wilton Historical Society \u2014 Lambert Corner on Danbury Road. Before the schoolhouse was used for all these things \u2014 including its current use as a State Farm insurance office\u00a0\u2014 \u201cmany men and women, now living or dead, received their first, and in some cases their only, schooling,\u201d said Ogden. Click here to learn about Wilton\u2019s other district schoolhouses.