Three Generations Continued: Teaching in the 1920s

Kane's grandfather, Merle J. Davis, was among the first members of NYSTRS when it was launched in 1921.

Merle J. Davis began teaching in Tilden Hill School, a one-room schoolhouse, in Verona after receiving a teaching certificate from Oneonta Normal School in 1919. He later earned a degree in English and history from Syracuse University and did graduate work at Harvard University. He taught at two other one-room schoolhouses, Willow Valley School and V & V Corners School, and several other schools before retiring in 1971.

His wife (and Kane's grandmother) Esther W. Davis was a teacher as well and another original member of NYSTRS. She did most of her teaching in grades three and four in Verona after receiving degrees from Stetson University in Florida and SUNY Cortland. She also retired in 1971.

Merle and Esther were able to do some traveling and spend half the year in upstate New York and half the year in their winter home in Florida, thanks to the security provided by their NYSTRS pensions.

The couple’s son (and Kane's father) David W. Davis taught in Verona public schools from 1965 to 1997, after earning degrees from Salem College and Utica College of Syracuse University. After retiring, he had a second career as an editor with the postage stamp dealer, Mystic Stamp Company, in Camden for 22 years.

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