Ilion School Superintendent

Mr. George Purple

1954 - 1964
Ilion Superintendent - Mr. George Purple


Mr. George Purple was born January 16, 1906 in South Columbia, New York. He attended and graduated from Richfield Springs High School in 1923. He graduated from the Teachers Training Class at Richfield Springs, in 1925. He subsequently taught in Monticello for three years. Mr. Purple then entered and graduated from Colgate University in 1931. He earned his Master's Degree at Albany State Teachers College. He returned to teaching at Schuyler Lake, where he was named supervising principal of Schuyler Lake for three years. He was principal of Edmenston Central School for twelve years. Later, he went on to Beaver Falls for one year, and then on to Richfield Springs Central Schools. He was named supervising principal of Richfield Springs Central School on July 1, 1948.

Mr. George Purple was selected, from a field of 20 candidates, to fill the position of Superintendent of Ilion Central Schools. Mr. Purple succeeded, Dr. Earl P. Watkin, who died on February 17, 1954. Mr. Purple began his duties on July 1, 1954. Under his leadership, the district expanded the facilities and hired James Jordan, as the architect, for a new large wing, with a gymnasium, a cafeteria, technology rooms and a complete grade school; known as Weber Avenue Elementary School. The addition was finished in 1957. Mr. Purple was Superintendent when the district suffered the tragic 1963 High School Fire.

He served as past-president of the Otsego County Tuberculosis and Public Health Association and was chairman of the association's annual Christmas Seal sale. Mr. Purple served as president of Section III of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. He was also a member of the State Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Education Association and the American Childhood Education Association.

The Purple family moved to Ilion. Mr. Purple's daughter, Lee Ellen (Purple) Bent, graduated from Ilion High School in 1957, as Salutatorian. In 1964, Mr. Purple accepted a position as administrative assistant to Harold C. Tyson, district superintendent of schools of the 2nd supervisory district of Otsego County. His family remained in Ilion for the next school year.

Mr. George Purple last resided in Hamilton, NY and died on March 01, 1977.


Binghamton NY Press
Cooperstown Otsego Farmer
Richfield Springs NY Mercury
Richfield Springs NY Mercury 1953-1954 - 0821.pdf


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