The Polly Prims of Franklinville, NY

In 1907, at the beginning of the fall term at Ten Broeck Academy, twelve young ladies formed an organization called the Polly Prims.  The following year, Mr. Royal S. Litchfield of Independence, Kansas, sent a gift of $50 to the group to help them organize a girls’ basketball team.  Mr. Litchfield was a former resident of Franklinville and had graduated in the Class of 1889 from Ten Broeck Academy. He had been a cashier at the Union National Bank for several years before moving out West.

The Polly Prims quickly set about forming a team and the Board of Education approved the purchase of a ball and baskets.  They made an outside court on the campus grounds.  Each girl made her own uniform from blue serge and white braid.  In honor of their benefactor, the name was changed to Royal Polly Prims.

When weather permitted, the team competed outdoors with teams from surrounding areas.  In the winter games were played indoors.  For the next two years they were quite successful but in 1910 the team disbanded for all the girls had either graduated or left school.  However, the Polly Prims will be remembered as the first girls’ basketball team for Franklinville.

On September 21, 1957 the Polly Prims had a reunion at the Globe Hotel, then known as the Lester Hotel.  They were joined by fellow classmates and friends.  They enjoyed reminiscing and renewing friendships.  Miss Grace Oakes, one of their teachers was also present.

Later, they met at the Castle Restaurant.  They continued to meet over the years until all the original members of the Polly Prims were deceased.

From information in the files of the Ischua Valley Historical Society.  Submitted by Maggie Fredrickson, Village of Franklinville Historian.

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