AT OLD DISTRICT NO. 2
THE STORY OF A DISTRICT SCHOOL
BY EDWARD ADAMS RICHARDSON
Mooris School. ITicJ— 11)11.
AT OLD DISTRICT NO. 2
THE STORY OF A DISTRICT SCHOOL
By Edward adams Richardson
The good old-fashioned district
school has many friends and staunch
supporters. Among them are those
who were once pupils and know from
experience the advantages and disad-
vantages of the system as compared
with the more recent method of con-
centrating all schooling in the vil-
lages, in graded schools.
However isolated and inconvenient
many of the schoolhouses were, the
association there of younger with old-
er pupils was not altogether to their
disadvantage. Those who have en-
joyed the privilege of attending a dis-
trict school, or a school in a rural
district, will readily recall how many
of the older ones felt that they were
held up as models for the younger
ones and thus renewed their efforts
in industry and good behavior.
PMucation, too, is largely a process
of assimilation and frequently the
younger pupils could equal the older
ones in knowledge contained between
the covers of text books to which
they had not yet been assigned.
The district school furnishes just
the training needed to broaden the
younger minds, to teach them that
there is something more to be acquired
besides that which is laid down in
their particular school books and their
association with older pupils leads
them to hope to know the things their
further advanced schoolmates are
learning. It is, however, admitted,
that when our district scliool children
have arrived at an advanced age it
seems desirable that they be gathered
with others into the graded schools
where undiTided attention is given
to studies arranged especially for
The associations of the rural dis-
trict school are close and intimate.
Many of the pupils are of families
who are bound together by ties of
kinship or have been friends and
neighbors for years. There is a
friendliness and tenderness in the
gathering together of these children
in the small country schoolhouses and
quite often the teacher has a kindly
interest in their moral and intellectual
welfare greater than in the village
schools where their environment is
supposed to be under the oversight of
the village authorities.
In the rural district the teacher be-
comes an intimate friend of the par-
ents of her pupils, more often living
in their homes and learns of their
hopes for their offspring and is fully
in sympathy with the sentiment as
expressed in the frontispiece of the
New England primer of 1836.
Children, like tender osiers, take the
And as they first are fashioned al-
For what we learn in youth, to that
In ages, we are by second nature
The ungraded school is an institu-
tion dating from the early days of the
settlement of this country and in the
new colonies after 1700 that institu-
tion known as a traveling school, suc-
ceeded the old dames school.
Under this arrangement the out-
lying districts were given a school-
master or mistress who went about
gathering in various farm houses a
few pupils who were taught the rudi-
ments of the three R's — Reading, 'Kit-
ing and 'Rithmetic.
Shortly after 1700, there was less
interest in educational matters than
in the Pilgrim days, especially in the
The New England primer was quite
an advance as a text book over the
school book of the Pilgrim days,
which was one book for the whole
school, the old English hornbook. This
was a single card, containing the al-
phabet and a few simple arithmetic
tables, and the whole covered with a
transparent sheet of horn to protect
it from the inquisitive fingers of as-
piring youth, who resorted to it for
instruction where it hung suspended
by a string from the wall. This is
to be compared with the present day
method when every pupil has ample
text books furnished at public ex-
In Groton, S'chools had been kept
in the various angles or squadrons of
the town for many years previous to
the promulgation of the new school
law in 1789. These schools were in
small and rough buildings, often cold
and heated in a manner by fires in
An interpretation of the history of
Groton leads us to believe that these
schools were supported wholly by the
parents of the children in the par-
ticular squadron in which the school
was maintained, until about the year
At this time, from the total amount
of money appropriated by the town
for schools, "twenty pounds was set
apart for the 'outskirts.' "
The year 1753, was the date of
the setting up of Shirley and Pep-
perell as separate districts, and in
the latter district the same method of
providing for the "outskirts" was fol-
Again in Groton in 1758, twenty
pounds was set apart for the "read-
ing and writing schools in the sev-
eral angles of the town," besides
thirty pounds for the grammar school
at the center of the town. This
amount was to be applied only for
instruction and the inhabitants of the
angles or squadrons, later called dis-
tricts, undoubtedly provided their own
rude schoolhouses on land contributed
by individuals as is shown by the
clause in many of the deeds which
provided that the land should revert
to the original owners or their heirs
or assigns, should the school cease
From the year 1789, dates the be-
ginning of Number Two school as a
district school, for which the inhabit-
ants of that part of the town were
taxed for its maintenance. It is re-
corded in 1790, that there were sixty-
six children of school age in "Major
Moors' District No. 2."
In 1792, the town voted to erect
several schoolhouses on the sites of
the old ones and undoubtedly the
present house in Major Joseph Moors'
immediate neighborhood was built in
accordance with this vote.
The law of 1789, required that towns
of fifty families should have six
months of schooling, and that reading,
writing, spelling and arithmetic be
taught in the common or English
schools, and that towns having two
hundred families should have a gram-
mar school. This last was in a man-
ner letting down the bars, for in the
ancient law of 1647, towns of one hun-
dred families were required to main-
tain a grammar school where young
men could be prepared for the minis-
try, having particular reference to
their being fitted to enter Harvard
college. This had no reference to the
education of the girls, who rarely
No. is. 'I'he Asm Sunnier (ira\e> IMiu-e.
Nil. .'). Thf t iirlis Lawrt-iitt' Farm.
No. .to. The F;iriis\v()rtli-l)(>iiiil)iif' ri:ice.
.Nil. ."(,;. I'lic -lolui -ImcIooii (ira\('s House.
wont bpyond the New Enghand primer
in tliose early days.
At tiie time of the new school law
of 1789, the requirements were that
the districts siiould be organized and
that the organization should choose
a clerk and prudential coinmittoe, who
had almost autocratic power. The
records of some of these district meet-
ings show between the lines petty
jealousies, particularly in the employ-
ment of the teacher, who might of-
ten be a member of the family of the
After 1789, the academies, which
were intended as fitting schools for
young men for college, and as semi-
naries for young ladies, became the
goal to which many youths in the
district schools were looking. It is
true that since that date, in about
1827, the district school training had
steadily advanced into geography and
grammar and other studies often
spoken of by their brothers before
them in college. A year at the acad-
emy often led them to desire some-
thing more. The summer schools of
those days were taught by the acad-
emy girls and the winter terms by
young men still in college classes,
who were permitted to take a vaca-
tion for the purpose of teaching a
district school and thus help pay their
way through college.
In the employment of male teachers
for the winter terms, the committee had
in mind their ability to master their
pupils should occasion arise. They
undoubtedly had instilled into them
from out their old New England prim-
ers: "Foolishness is bound up in the
heart of a child, but the rod of cor-
rection will drive it from him."
Happily the rod of correction is
laid on the shelf and is seldom used
in an age where love and mutual re-
spect are prevalent in the schoolroom
between teacher and pupils.
In the state library at Boston, is a
copy of the school by-laws for Gro-
ton in 180B. Article V'llI was insert-
ed as follows: "That the advantages
of the grammar s<'hool may be ex-
tended to the greatest possible num-
ber of individuals and may be en-
joyed as equally as may be, the said
school shall be kept in District No.
I four months, in No. II, III and V.
two months respectively In each
This was probably another reason
for employing college graduates large-
ly, about this time as teachers of the
winter schools. They were e.xpected
to be proficient in tiie advanced
branches which would prepare the
way for the young men for college
and the ministry.
The following from the same source,
though printed in full in Dr. Samuel
A. Green's Groton Historical Series,
Vol. I, No. IX, is so pertinent that it
will bear repeating: At a meeting of
the school committee of Groton, held
November 30, 1805, it was voted to
adopt the following: "1. The bible,
which affords the best lessons of mor-
ality and religion, must be read in
all the schools, at least a portion of
it, in the forenoon, and another, in
the afternoon, either by the instruc-
tor, or by a class of such scholars,
as can read with propriety, accord-
ing to his discretion. All those who
can read well enough to belong to the
bible class, must be required to sup-
ply themselves with bibles for their
use in schools."
In 1800, the law gave the power to
tax the inhabitants of the district for
the maintenance of the school and
even for the erection of new houses,
if required, and from this time the
district system was in full swing and
power for many years, until finally
abolished in 1882. Under such con-
ditions our little brick school at No.
2 came into existence, and like many
others was erected in a barren, unat-
tractive spot, near the fork of the
roads and as near as may be to the
center of the district.
A description of the limits of the
district is interesting as showing the
residents. In 1805, the by-laws of
Groton relative to schools gives the
limits of the various school districts
at that time. These are published by
Dr. Samuel A. Green, at length, in
Groton Historical Series. Vol. I. No.
The second description of the dis-
trict published in 1827, in a new code
of by-laws is as follows: "No. 2 ex-
tends from Russell's lane on the road
towards Harvard to the forks souther-
ly of William Hurgess'; easterly to
Snake Hill Including Curtis I^w-
rence's House: from the fork of the
roads southei y of Wm. lUncroft's
House by Levi Stone's to Harvard
Road; by Benjamin Moors to the guide
post at Lunenburg Road; and by
Charles Warren and Capt. Tlios.
Farnsworth to Pages Bridge."
Comparing tliis with the description
of 1805, we find that Russell's lane is
mentioned in both; that William Bur-
gess lives where John Fiske was, and
Curtis Lawrence has succeeded to the
estate of Joel Lawrence; I\Iajor Jo-
seph JMoors, the veteran of two wars,
has passed on and his son Benja-
man is living at the farm settled by
his ancestor, Abraham Moors, in 1716.
The William Bancroft place referred
to is the place a few years later
occupied by John Jackson Graves.
William Bancroft was a lieutenant in
the revolutionary war, and later a
sheriff and town officer.
Charles Warren, in 1827, lived near
the present Gardner estate, and Capt.
Thomas Farnsworth resided at the
old Farnsworth house on the hillside
towards the river.
In the law of 1827, it was required
that towns choose prudential com-
mittees for the several districts, which
was done by allowing the districts to
select their own and this was the
method generally throughout the
In view of our knowledge of suc-
ceeding school events in ^Massachu-
setts, we are to believe that the peri-
od immediately thereafter was rather
a degenerate one as regards educa-
tional matters, perhaps due to un-
scrupulous overseers in school affairs
and this decadence continued until
taken up by James G. Carter of Lan-
caster, who preceded and became an
able coadjutor with Horace Mann, the
secretary of the newly established
Board of Education in 1837, the date
which marks tbe revival of the school
The third description of the dis-
trict is printed in the new code of
town by-laws which is inserted with
the state laws in a record book print-
ed in 1838, and distributed by the
town to the various districts for the
use of the clerks.
The original record book of District
No. 2 school for the years 1838 to
1868, inclusive, is in existence and
has revealed much interesting mat-
ter. Extracts have been made which
may be of peculiar interest since they
show the residents of the district for
thirty years, and the number of their
children between the ages of five and
fifteen, and fifteen and twenty-one,
male and female as required by law
to be enumerated by the district
clerk on May first of each year.
In order to show the limits of the
district in 1838, it seems desirable to
also insert tbose of District No. 1.
"No. 1 is bounded beginning at the
bridge over James' Brook in the cen-
ter of the Town, on the great county
road, thence running southwesterly by
the current of said brook to the mid-
dle of broad meadow, thence south-
erly through the middle of said broad
meadow, crossing the road at "Swill
bridge," and thence by the current of
water to the road called Russell's
Lane, thence easterly by said Lane
to the road leading to Harvard, thence
northerly by the Harvard Road to a
point therein northerly of the house
of Curtis Lawrence, thence south-
easterly to Half Moon pond, thence
northwesterly to the road midway be-
tween the houses of Rufus Moors and
Joshua Davis, thence nortberly to the
great county road at the brook issu-
ing from Cady's pond, thence to the
road midway between the houses of
David Torrey and Sally Whitman,
thence to the top of Gibbet hill, thence
northwesterly to the point of begin-
"No. 2 is bounded northerly by No.
1, from Half-moon pond to the water
course in Russell's lane thence run-
ning northwesterly to the forks of the
road between the houses of John J.
Graves and Stephen Kendall, thence
due west to Nashua River, thence up
said river to Page's bridge, thence
southeasterly to the forks of the road
southerly of Oliver Blood's house,
thence easterly to the top of snake
hill, thence northerly to the place of
beginning at half-moon pond."
In the enumeration as made by the
clerk it does not follow that all were
in attendance at this school. Some of
the older ones were attending school
at Groton Center, in the earlier years
at the academy, and later at the high
school which was established in 1859.
Some were going to the grammar
school at South Groton and some
through with school and at work long
before the age limit of twenty-one.
To one familiar with the birth dates
of the sons and daughters of the old
families this enumeration is a pretty
clear index of the attending scholars
of old No. 2.
No. •_'!. Ilciiiic (.1 the .Mui.r- Kiiinih. IT Hi— ls:»it.
No. Is. Ilir ,l,.liii ll;irt\\tll II. .MM-. .M.iMcl in jstis.
(in.tuii Aciiilciin. Krectfd IT'.CJ— lUinu'd Julv 4, l.s6f^.
Lawrence Aca<leniv — Sfcoml liiiildin::. |)(ili(;itc(l .lunc -J'.i. isTl.
In the earlier days the district lines
were quite closely drawn and several
houses were never considered in the
district, though near the line, for
instance, the Arteniaa Longley home-
stead and the John J. Graves place.
In order to show where the pupils
lived, as far as is at present known,
a list of occupants of various houses
is given here. It will not show all
the names of parents of scholars, but
running back from the last known
occupants will give for the most part
the homes of the pupils. Beginning
with the old Rufus Moors place in
the eastern part of the district, the
houses are taken in succession:
Rufus Moors — house removed.
Rork, Bliss. Sivert, Lewis, Jo-
A. Tuttle, Eaton, Whittaker, Col-
ley, Race, N. Sawtell.
Willis, Joel Page, Curtis Law-
rence, Joel Lawrence.
Ranisdell, Hawkes, Harris, Hol-
brook, Drake, Kendall, Boyn-
Bowles, Dickerman, Taintor, H.
Stone, James Stone.
F. Tuttle, Turner, Gould, Dun-
ham, Samuel F. Stone.
J. Sargent, Ward Stone, Betsey
J. E. Gilson, F. E. Gilson, J. iM.
Gilson, Goodwin, Fletcher,
Ward Stone, William Chase,
R. Sargent, J. Tuttle, Benjamin
Stevens, Benjamin Stone, Car-
rig, Willard, L. Burgess.
Ilarriman, Gaut, Chase, E. Saw-
Clough, Gove, Wright, Hubbard.
Black, Thompson, Jewett, Marble,
Nimmo, Sparks, Robinson,
Lawrence H. Gilson, Asa Gil-
iSIiller, G. Tuttle, Hulen. H. Gil-
son, Ward Stone, Gallot.
A. G. Lewis, Sanborn, Hodgeman,
Joseph Graves. Hazzard. Hub-
bard~old house removed.
Jewett. Sumner Graves, T. Stone,
W. Burgess, Fiske.
T. Smith, Mason, Hills, Stewart.
J. M. Gilson, Levi Stone.
Evans — house removed.
Mandigo. Culver, Chase. Ilarri-
man. Mason, Moors.
22. James Culver.
23. Collins, Delano, Wood, Wheeler,
George Brown, Reuben Hart-
24. Weber, McCarthy, Lyons, Bond,
Ellen Brown, Kemp.
25. Wood, Russell. Abraham Stone.
26. Rand. Dickson, Donlon, Abraliam
27. H. Farnsworth, N. Hartwell, Abel
29. Berquist, Grimes, Cutts, R. Hart-
30. Taylor, Page, Harkinson, Pate,
Keegan, Donahue, T. Pollard,
Whittemore, J. Farnsworth.
31. Monroe, Wyeth — house removed.
32. Taylor, Messer, L. Farnsworth.
33. W. Davis, Achorn, N. Davis, A.
34. Keating, J. Pollard, David Davis.
35. Dickinson, Richardson, Moody,
36. Huebner, Swan, Newman, Gush-
37. Berquist, Daffy, Leathes, Denahy.
39. Rynn, Parker — house removed.
40. Smith, Fitz — house removed.
41. Jefferson, Watson, Root, Fuller,
Daggett, Pollard, Chase, Hall,
Stanley — house burned.
42. Gilson, Dutton — house removed.
43. G. Culver, T. Goding, Dibble,
Hamlet, Livingston, Messer,
Newton, Ferrin, Richardson,
Leighton — house removed.
44. Benjamin Hartwell — house re-
45. Whitney, Jewett, Richardson,
Torrey, Marcy, Keyes, Otis.
46. Butler, Kendall, Billings, Rich-
ardson — house removed.
47. Powell, Hannis. J. Goodwin —
48. Waitt, J. Hartwell, Shattuck,
Kendall, Hopkins — house re-
49. Harris, Moulton, Corey, Frost,
50. Palmer, Chlsholm, Keegan, Sha-
bono, Messer. Twitchell. Rear-
don, Robblns, Bishop, Carruth,
Torrey, G. Culver, Higgins,
Needham. Otis. Brennan, Foye,
Frost. Hopkins. J. McGilson.
51. Giddings; new home burned.
52. French. Wing, Richardson— Yeast
Houses outside the district:
— 5 —
53. Stewart, Williams, Blood, J. J.
55. Scanlon, Dodge.
56. Magoon, O'Neil, Kilbourn.
57. Thomas McGovern, Hall, Benja-
The district school meetings were
all conducted in a similar manner,
and the record of one is here given
for the purpose of showing the pro-
At a legal meeting of the legal
voters in District No. 2, held March
1. Chose Alva Wriglit, moderator.
2. Chose Luke Farnsworth, clerk.
3. Chose John M. Gilson, pruden-
4. Voted that the wood be broughte
to the school house before the first
of June cut four feet long and cut
twice and split fit for the stove and
put into the wood shed.
5. Voted to get too cords of oak
one cord of pine wood Alva Right
bid of the wood at $6.63 cents per
cord. Voted that the summer school
begin June Monday first and the win-
ter school the first Monday after
6. Voted to desolve the meeting
attest Luke Farnsworth, Clerk.
Then follows a table of the enum-
eration of children, fifty-six under
fifteen and twelve over fifteen years
of age and the residents in the dis-
trict given, who were: Luke Farns-
'worth, Thomas Pollard, Reuben Hart-
well, Abel Page, Oliver Blood, Na-
thaniel Davis, Jacob Pollard, Rebec-
ca Green, Walter Keyes, Joseph A.
Gushing, Senieth Pierce, Benjamin
Hall, Rodolphus Parker, Joseph Rich-
ards, Henry Moody, Reuben M. Leigh-
ton, Benjamin Hartwell, Lucy M.
Richardson, John H. Hartwell, Benja-
min Needham, Isaac Harriman, jr.,
Isaac Harriman, Phillip Gross, Abra-
ham Stone, Ellen Brown, John M.
Gilson, Asa Gilson, Asa S. Graves,
John Hodgman, William Chase, Ephra-
im Sawtell, Stedman Willard, Cur-
tis Lawrence, Sumner Boynton, Sam-
uel Stone, Betsey Stone, Alva Wright,
Merritt Hale, Mrs. Pierce, Horace
Patten, Nathaniel Sawtell* George
The enumerator evidently took the
names in the order in which they
occurred to him as they lived along
the roads. Perhaps he made an ac-
tual house to house canvass — most of
them are in that order except at the
end of the list where omissions were
added. This list is selected as show-
ing the names of many of the old
families before the departure of the
community people for the west.
As one follows the record year by
year, the changes are noticeable. Here
the head of the family drops out by
death or removal and a new owner of
the estate takes his place with chil-
dren as reported.
These by-laws of 1838, like those
of 1805 and 1827, defined the district
limits, determined the date of the
district meetings for the first week
in March; that a clerk and prudential
committee should be chosen; that
clerk should take census of families
and children; apportionment of town
school money and duties of pruden-
tial committee. Under these by-laws
the district must also make ordinary
repairs to the schoolhouses. Article
VII of the school by-laws of 1838,
read as follows: "The ordinary re-
pairs of schoolhouses and all other
incidental expenses of the schools
shall be made and defrayed by the
the prudential committee from the
monies apportioned to their districts;
but the rebuilding and more extensive
repairs may by vote of the town, be
paid from other monies raised."
Under the district system the old
schoolhouse had been permitted to go
without repairs probably because the
burden fell on the inhabitants of the
district. A new building or an ad-
dition would be erected at the ex-
pense of the town at large, and so in
the district meeting held on March
5, 1856, it was voted: "To choose a
committee to get an article in the
warrant for the April meeting to see
if the town will repair our school-
house and furnish a new stove. Chose
Nathan Gallott that committee."
This was allowed by vote of the
town and the bills for repairs appear
in the town report of February 1857,
showing that a new roof was placed
upon it and new seats within it.
It is without doubt then that the
Nil. 7. .Iiiino StDiii' l'l:u-f
N(i. i:!. Al\:i W riu'lil II. .11-
I»iiniel Xeeilliam. Isii-J — Is'j.l
old hipped-roof was removed and the
present style adopted, for there ap-
pears an item for several thousand
brick, which the new ends would re-
quire and an examination of the
house shows tho difference in the
brick laying. About $400 was ex-
pended at this time.
The town of Groton has been favor-
ed in having men and women on tho
school board, who always had an in-
tense interest in the advancement of
learning. Among them may be men-
tioned: Caleb Butler, Daniel Butler,
Daniel Needham, George S. Doutwcll,
Clarissa Butler, Willard Torrey, Wal-
ter Shattuck, Samuel W. Rowe, David
Fosdick, jr., Crawford Nightingale, J.
Bigelow, Artemas Longley, Curtis
Lawrence, William A. Lawrence, Jo-
siah K. Bennett, Charles Jacobs, Reu-
ben Lewis, and for the south part of
the town, Edmund Dana Bancroft, Dr.
John Q. A. .McCollester and John E.
Hills. These and many others served
the town long and faithfully.
In the annual school reports, the
committee sometimes give a tribute
of appreciation to some successful
This school was under the particu-
lar care of some one member of the
committee and for years Artemas
Longley, who had been a teacher here,
became its guide, councillor and
friend, then Josiah K. Bennett, and
more recently the late Charles Jacobs.
Mr. Jacobs was a graduate of Har-
vard college, class of 1853. He was
a fine scholar, but as the pupils no-
ticed, somewhat diffident in the pres-
ence of ladies. He was never mar-
ried and the scholars wrongly as-
sumed that his visits to the school
"were more for the teacher than to
them. One innocent little girl made
bold to say to him one day: "I love
my teacher, don't you?" Mr. Jacobs
was nonplused and murmured some
reply, neither understood by the pu-
pil or the teacher.
One of the old scholars contributes
the following as an incident in the
school at this time: "Ipon the visit
of a member of the committee one
day, the class in spelling was called
up. He gave out the word 'metemi)-
sychosis." It was too formidable for
us, and after repeated failures, my
sister called out, 'You spell it.' He
complied witli her re<|U('st in a way
which impressed us all with his su-
Mr. Jacobs was always expected In
the first week of school, and as one
scholar has stated, always commenced
his little speecli with: "Scholars, I
congratulate you upon commencing
the term under sucli favorable cir-
The auditors always looked for this
preliminary speech and considered it
as a compliment to the teacher. On
one occasion, in particular, Mr. Ja-
cobs, as chairman of the board, show-
ed his grave responsibility by hia
nervous introduction of Miss Clarissa
Butler, a fellow member of the board,
when her presence added dignity to
the closing day of school.
In 1854, George S. Boutwell, then
secretary of the State Board of Edu-
cation, was serving as chairman of
the school committee of Groton, and
makes the report for the committee.
In the report he says: "We believe
females could be employed all the
year around to advantage."
In the report of 1860-61, reference
is made to the exodus of many at
the "community" for Wisconsin as fol-
lows: "Owing to the removal of sev-
eral families from the district, the
number of scholars was considerably
less than in former years."
In the report for 1872-3, the com-
mittee was pleased to say: "This un-
graded school is one of the largest
in town and is made up of unusually
bright and interesting children."
In the 1874-5 report they say: "The
good reputation of this scliool so nobly
earned during the years 1873-4, has
been more than sustained under the
continued management of Mrs. Ellen
M. Torrey throughout the year." They
also commented on the attention paid
to "mental, moral and physical edu-
The town reports from 1847 to 1860,
show that the wages of the male
teachers were about double that of
the lady teachers for the spring torm,
and after 1860, the lady received about
two-thirds the amount paid the man
teacher for the winter term, and then
the lady sought to keep the winter
school, and in 1870, a lady teacher,
the year around, was an established
custom, except In two instances, and
tlien the continuance of a male teacli-
or did not seem to be warranted.
In 1874, at the town meeting in
March, a committee appointed in the
previous year, reported a list of
names to be given to the old district
schools. That committee consisted of
Rev. Henry Dix, John Gilson and J.
Nelson Hoar, and when their report
was finally accepted, District No. 2
school became known as Moors school
from the Moors family which had
liv^ed for generations just below the
schoolhouse on the "Junction" road.
In some towns the spirit of the
law of 1837, was closely observed as
regards the school census which re-
quired the taking of the number, but
not the names of children of school
age, and some went so far as to pre-
pare registers of the names of schol-
ars. The Acts of 1838, however, made
it compulsory under Chapter 105:
"Sect. 6. The board of education shall
prescribe a blank form of register, to
be kept in all the towns and dis-
trict schools of the commonwealth,
and the secretary of state shall for-
ward a sufficient number of copies of
the same to the school committees of
the respective towns; and said com-
mittees shall cause registers to be
faithfully kept in all said schools ac-
cording to the form prescribed. Act
to take effect from and after its pass-
ing, April 13, 1838."
However compulsory the law may
have been intended, it was followed
the more "in the breach than in the
observance" in Groton, and even if
the teachers did keep the register
faithfully, it seems that some one af-
ter them kept the register so secure-
ly that many of them are not to be
found at the present time, and none
have been found giving the record of
school attendance previous to the
From these registers it is possible
to complete a fairly accurate list of
pupils except for a few missing years
coming at the beginning or ending of
a pupil's attendance.
The canvass of names shows that an
entire new set of scholars will be
found every nine years, which indi-
cates that at about the age of fifteen,
the older ones pass on to higher
schools, or have left school, or moved
The list of earlier pupils has been
secured from a knowledge of the
families living in the district, and
from many interesting letters receiv-
ed from representatives of such fam-
ilies. This portion of the list of pu-
pils is by no means complete. It
shows only some of the pupils previ-
ous to 1851. That part beginning
with 1851, is fairly complete and gives
the earliest and latest known dates of
school attendance. The initials, G.
A., L. A. and H. S., followed by a
date, signify a scholar's first enroll-
ment at the academy or high school
at Groton, In the earlier years many
appear as beginning at three, four
and five years of age, and a very
few as in school when they were of
age, the latter mostly in the winter
It must be borne in mind that
many of the boys had to work every
spring and summer, and they let no
opportunity pass for recovering the
lost ground. It is possible that the
names of some who attended in the
years in which the registers are miss-
ing, may not appear at all.
For the first portion of the list of
scholars, the years of enrollment giv-
en is based on a probable attendance
at the age of five years.
Partial list of pupils previous to
1851, is as follows:
Bartemus, Anna, 1849-51.
Baldwin, Charles B., 1836.
Brennan, Walter, 1849-51.
Burgess, Louisa, 1815.
Chase, William A., 1836.
Culver, Nathan F., 1844-45.
Cushing, Susan, 1848.
Cushing. Harriet, 1844.
Davis, Betsey, 1798, G. A. 1804.
Davis, Lucy, 1798, G. A. 1803.
Dickson, Philip D., 1838-43, G. A. 1839.
Diclison, Henry A., 1842.
Dickson, Walter E., 1838-43.
Dickson, Almira A., 1838-43, G. A. 1841.
Dickson, Mary E., 1838-43, G. A. 1841.
Dickson, Caroline S., 1850, L. A. 1864.
Doltd, Mary Ann, 1838-42.
Doltd, John Carroll, 1838-42.
Dunn, Mary Jane, 1849-51.
Parnsworth, Elizabeth, 1797, G. A. 1804.
Farnsworth, Claudius B., 1820, G. A.
Parnsworth, Luke, 1790, G. A. 1795.
Parnsworth, Mary, 1835-45, G. A. 1845.
Parnsworth, Amos, 1797, G. A. 1800.
Farnsworth, Ralph, 1800, G. A. 1805,
H. U. 1821, Dart. M. S. 1826.
Frost, Ebenezer H., 1830, G. A. 1839.
Frost. Samuel Bailey, 1835.
Frost, Solomon Gilman, 1836, G. A. 1843.
Frost, Sarah Young, 1839, L. A. 1846.
Evans, Harrison D., 1844.
Evans, Eugene, 1844.
Hazen. Hattie. 1849-51.
Hazen, Eveline, 1849-51.
Haven, Albert. 1849-51.
Hildreth, Francis, 1838.
Hildreth, John P., 1841-51.
Ciili'l) Hiitli'r. 17T<l-ls:.4.
l»r. .1. <,>. A. ,M.( olk-t.r. ivii i!tll.
>;n. 1(1. ii(i<igiiiim riiicf,
No. 33. Amos Fiiniswdrtli Jlonie.
Hildreth. Wllllain, 1842.
Hopkins, Ebenezer, 1804. G. A. 1808.
Hopkins. Jeduthan S.. 1805. G. A. 1809.
Hopkins, Dorcas. ISIO. G. A. 1815.
Hod^man, Nancy W., 1845, L. A. 1849.
Hodg'nian, John K.. 1845.
Hubbard, lOllza, 1836. G. A. 1837.
llubUard, Calvin Patterson. 1836, G. A.
Hazen, Martha A., 1845.
Hazen. Elizabeth, 1841.
Hazon, Benjamin F., 1843. L. A. 1859.
Hazen, William H., 1845.
Gallot. Sarah E., 1S30.
.lones, Mary, 1849-51.
Keycs. William L., 1851.
Liund, Emma, 1849-51.
Lawrence, Curtis, 1804, L. A. 1813.
Lawrence, Edward A., 1818. G. A. 1836.
Lawrence, Eliza, 1806, G. A. 1813.
Lawrence, Lucy, 1801.
Lawrence, Lucy Maria, 1830. G. A. 1837.
Lawrence, Mary W.. 1839. G. A. 184U.
Lawrence, Susan P., 1833, G. A. 1840.
Lawrence. Susan, 1799, G. A. 1812.
Lawrence, Thomas, 1797.
Mason, Martha E.. 1850. L. A. 1851.
Moors, James, 1788.
Moors. Benjamin, 1790, G. A. 1800.
Moors, John F., 1825. G. A. 1830.
Moors, Joseph B.. 1833, G. A. 1842.
Newell. Albert, 1841.
Oliver, Nancy, 1849-51.
Pollard. Alfred, 1836, G. A. 1837.
Pollard. Luther, 1836.
Pollard, Thomas, 1833, G. A. 1837.
Pollard. Walter. 1836, G. A. 1837.
Pollard, Lucy, 1830.
Pollard, Mary J., 1833, G. A. 1839.
Pollard, Sarah A., 1839, G. A. 1845.
Pollard. Asnes B., 1840, L. A. 1847.
Pollard, Lousia F., 1835, G. A. 1840.
Pollard, Bet.sey D., 1820, G. A. 1827.
Pollard. Luther, 1849-51.
Page. Nelson, 1836.
F'aKe. Mary Jane. 1838.
Shattuck, M. Adelaide. 1846.
Stone. Sophia, 1820.
Stone, Emily, 1820.
Stone. Abel, 1820.
Stone, Sherman, 1820.
Stone, Sallv, 1780.
Stone, Lydia, 1783.
Stone, Lucy, 1787.
Stone, Levi, 1789.
Stone, Betsey, 1791.
Stone, James F., 1793, G. A. 1809.
Stone, John, 1797.
Stone, Samuel, 1802.
Stone, James Franklin. 1823.
Stone, Harriot E., 1824. G. A. 1837.
Stone. Anna Maria. 1827, G. A. 1838.
Stone. John W^, 1829.
Stone. James Franklin, 1831, G. A. 1840.
Stone, I.,evi Augustus. 1834.
Stone, Henry L.. 1836, L. A. 1850.
Stone. Valancourt. 1834, G. A. 1843.
Stone. Maria. 1849-51.
Sawtell, Nathaniel, 1803. G. A. 1813.
Sawtoll, Ephraim. 1803, G, A. 1813.
Tucker. Josephine. 1849-51.
Wallace. William. 1849-51.
Wlllard, Alfred, 1845-51.
Wlllard. M. Almeda, 1S45, G. A. 1845.
Wlllard. Almn, 1845, G. A. 1845.
One branch of the Farnswortli fam-
ily in the early history of Grotoii lived
on the east road Iroiu Groton to
Ayer and as oarly as 1«J70, it Is re-
corded that .Matthias Farnswortli lived
there just south of James brcjok. In
18:'.G, a Mathias Faiiiswortli sold his
farm to Nathaniel and lOphraiui Saw-
tell and they deeded it in the next
year to John HodRman of Hedford.
While this is not exactly school his-
tory, it is interesting as showing
when the Hodginan family came to
Reuben Ilartwell once told Asa Bur-
gess tiiat .Matthias Farnsworth went
to Michigan and took with him a
whole barrel of boots of .Mr. Hart-
Major Amos Farnsworth lived at
the present Joy farm during the rev-
olutionary period and marched to
Concord and Lexington. He died on
October 29, 1847, aged ninety-three.
His sons and daughters were pupils
at old No. 2 school. There was Dr.
Ralph Farnsworth born in 179.'), who
graduated at Harvard in the class of
1821, and at Dartmouth medical
school in 182G, lived for many years
in Norwich, Conn., and died tiiere on
July 16, 1875. Another son, Dr. Amos
Farnsworth, was born in 178S. attend-
ed school here and at Groton acad-
emy, served as surgeon in the F'ourth
Massachusetts infantry in the war of
1812. He practised his profession in
Boston, and after 1832, in Groton. and
died in Roxbury in 1861. Elizabeth
Farnsworth, a daughter, was born on
October 19, 1792, and died in Groton
Center on February 2, 1884.
Like her brother, she attended the
district school and academy. She
was a woman of great mental capaci-
ty and of rare personality.
I^uke Farnsworth. born In October,
1785, a brother of the preceding, lived
on the old homestead from youth up,
except for a brief period spent in
Canada. He lived to be over ninety. His
sons and daughters wore scholars at the
district school. Hon. Claudius lUichan-
an Farnsworth, who lived for many
years at Pawtucket, R. I., was the
eldest son of Luke and Sarah (Hart-
well) Farnsworth, and was born in
Canada, January 8, 1815. His boy-
hood days were passed on the farm
in Groton, and he attended the town
schools until he was fourteen. He
fitted for college at New Ipswich and
Groton academies, and graduated at
Harvard college in the class of 1841.
He afterwards engaged in the prac-
tice of the law and later in manufac-
George H. Farnsworth, a pupil in
1851, was another son of Luke, and
enlisted for the war of the rebellion
in Company B, Massachusetts Sixth
Regiment, and died several years ago.
There were several Farnsworth girls
who attended school in the years af-
The Pollard family was one of the
largest in the district and the boys
and girls all attended school here.
Jacob Pollard was born in Goffstown,
N. H., and early in life came to
Groton. He married. May 7, 1812,
Betsey Davis, who was born in Gro-
ton, the daughter of David Davis. They
lived on the farm of Mrs. Pollard's
parents, and members of the Pollard
family resided here for more than
fifty years after 1828, when one-half
interest in the farm was deeded to
Solomon Frost, who lived at the
top of the long hill above the school
had married Dorcas Hopkins, and
there were three boys and a girl,
pupils in the early period— Samuel
Bailey, Solomon Gilman, Ebenezer Hop-
kins and Sarah Young. Samuel died
when twenty, Solomon Gilman remov-
ed to Fitchburg, Sarah was the fourth
of the five wives of Dr. Norman Smith.
Ebenezer Hopkins Frost had the dis-
tinction when living in Boston of be-
ing the first patient of Dr. Morton,
the discoverer of ether, to be etherized
for a surgical operation. All these,
as children, attended the district
school and Groton academy.
There was a kinship between the
Stanley, Hopkins and Frost families
all living on the hill in the early
part of the last century. Jeduthan
and Dorcas Stanley had a daughter
Dorcas, who married Ebenezer Hop-
kins, and Ebenezer and Dorcas Hop-
kins had a daughter Dorcas, who mar-
ried Solomon Frost, and they were
the parents of the children above
The widow Hopkins died in 1840,
and the place was sold in February,
1843, by Mr. and Mrs. Frost to Jo-
seph Foye. Mr. Frost died in March
of the same year and the widow and
children went to live with Aunt Nab-
by Stanley in the next house towards
Groton, from which home Sarah was
married. After the death of Aunt
Nabby, February 22, 1863, the place
was sold in April, by Mrs. Dorcas
Frost, then living at Fitchburg, where
she died in 1881.
The Levi Hildreth family came into
the district about 1840, and at about
this time there were several Hildreth
children in the school.
One of these, John P. Hildreth, of
Townsend, states that when he first
attended school here, his family lived
at a place called "The Dale," which
is another place name to be edded to
the localities in Ayer. It applies to
that part of the James Brook valley
which lies now in Ayer, just below the
old Reuben Hartwell farm, where the
Hildreths lived. The term savors of
old England and may have been given
it by some settler who wished to per-
petuate the name in some beautiful
locality in America.
List of names of pupils at District
No. 2 school, taken with few excep-
tions from the registers:
Achorn, Lizzie B., 1865-69.
Achorn, Minnie L., 1865-77'.
Acliorn, Albert W., 1868-75.
Achorn, Robert E., 1865-70.
Adams, Martlia J., 1851.
Adams, Thomas E., 1851.
Adams, Almond, 1851.
Adams, Luther, 1851.
Ames, Amos L., 1868-72.
Andrew, Jessie M., 1894-96.
Barry, Edward, 1860.
Barry, James, 1859-60.
Bartemus, George H., 1857.
Barry, Mary, 1854.
Berquist, Lawrence, 1904-10.
Berquist, Irene, 1905-07.
Berquist, Grant T., 1908-10.
Berquist, Oscar W., 1890-93.
Berquist, George W., 1890-94.
Bessant, Luther, 1866.
Bessant, Margaret, 1857-61.
Beard, Charles, 1862.
Bigelow, Marjorie, 1900-01.
Bibby. William T., 1884-86.
Black, Donald D., 1884.
Bliss, Charles P., 1880-81.
Bishop, Flora E., 1880-81, L. A. 1886.
Bishop, Athella, 1877, L. A. 1879.
Bishop, Nellie, 1880-81.
Bishop, Sylvia, 1880-81.
Blood, George D., 1852.
Blood, Andrew, 1853-59.
I'>lood, John, 1853-59.
Blood. Roxanna, 1853-57.
Blood, Charles, 1853-59.
Blood, Nancy M., 1853.
Blood, Frank, 1854-59.
Blood, Olive, 1853-55.
Blood, Maria M., 1855.
Blood, Henry, 1859-60.
Blood, Eliza. 1856.
N... :'.t. r.)ll,inl llniiM'
No. .".0. lloiiM' .>( tllf I5i^; i;."'l.
N<i. 41. The Heiijaniin Hall I'lace. lUinied Ffli. lo. isiil.
.\... i;.. (;aii(.t iioiix'
Blood, Charles N.. 1904-06. Dickinson. Joseph n.. 1868-75. L. A.
Billings, Henry A., 1855. 1879.
Billings, lOllzabeth L.. 1856. DlcklnHon. Helon S.. 1S6S-76, L. A. 1880.
Bowles, Howard J., 1902-OG. I )|fkltiaon. Mabol C. 1896-04.
Bowels, Dorothy L., 1902-05. DIckerman, Doris G.. 1909-10.
Hond, Alice, 1860-64. Dlck-son, Katy M.. 1873-74.
Bond. Ella V.. 1860-68. Dibble. Jo<'. 1869-70.
Urown. Daniel, 1851-56. Donahue, Daniel, 1869-73.
Brown. William, 1851-57. Dunaluic, Nellie, 1868-76.
Brown, .Jane, 1851-54. Donahue, MarKaret, 1868-70.
Brown, Catherine, 1851-57. Donahue, Thomas. 1872-75.
Brown, George, 1851. Donahue, Alice, 1880-80.
Brown, John, 1851. Donahue, James, 1881-84.
Burgess, Ellen M.. 1852-53. Donahue, John, 1874-82,
Burgess, Hattle, 1876. Donahue, Su.sle, 1882-90.
Butler, Ella G., 1861. Donl.in. Michael, 1851-53.
Brennan, Francis M., 1854. Donlon, Patrick, 1851-53.
iioothboy, Fannie, 1877. Drake. Alden W., 1887.
Carruth, -Mberta, 1876. Dragon, Olive, 1888.
Carrig, John, 1S6S. Dorrily. Patrick, 1853.
Carrlg, Lizzie, 1868. Dulton. Julius C, 1855.
Carrig, Margaret, 1868. Dot ton, George. 1855.
Careton, George S., 1884. Dutlon, f)rniand N., 1855.
Chase. George S., 1853-64. Dulton. Mary E., 1855.
Chase, Walter, 1863-68, L. A. 1876. DulTy, John C, 1886.
Chase. Maria F., 1859-68, L. A. 1871. Duffv, Annie H., 1886.
Chase. Fannie S., 1863. Duren, Mary J.. 1851-52.
Chase, Mary E., 1853-64. Duren, George B., 1852.
(^hase, Sarah F., 1857-61. Duren, Charles, 1852-60.
Carney, Mary A.. 1857-59. Dyboll, Edward, 1910.
Carney, Katherlne. 1857-59. Dyboll, Albert. 1910.
trhisholm. Flora E., 1910. Dunham, Etta, 1868-70.
Clapp, Austin W., 1891. Doroughty, Willie. 1872-73.
Clough, Warren A., 1889-95. T.. A. 1897'. l^.aton, Walter. 1886-87.
Clough. Marion D., 1891-99. L. A. 1897. Eaton, Lamont R., 1886-87.
Chesborough. Charles C, 1894. Farnsworth, I-^lizaheth H.. 1851-60.
Chosborough, Samuel, 1887. Farnsworth, Sarah A.. 1851-63.
Chesborough, Walter A.. 1887-94. Farnsworth, George H., 1S51-63, D. A.
Campbell. Katherine, 1852. 1861.
Campbell, Harriet, 1852. Farnsworth, Ellis, 1851-55.
Corey, John H.. 1852-53. Farnsworth, Mary J.. 1853-64.
Condon. C, 1856. Farnsworth, Sarah E., 185.1-57.
Condon, J., 1856. Farnsworth, Anna, 1853.
Condon. W., 1856. Farnsworth, John, 1855.
Corey, Lucy, 1862. Farnsworth. Isabelle. 1856.
Culoon, Frank. 1855. Farnsworth, Elizabeth, 1861-63.
Culoon. Edward L.. 1855. Farnsworth, George W., 1903-08.
(^uloon, Susanna, 1855. Farnsworth, Lydia G.. 1903-09.
Croney. James, 1851-51. Farnsworth. Edith H.. 1904-09.
("ulver, James F.. 1868-69. Farnsworth, Mildred E., 1909-10.
(^ulver, George. 1869-70. Felch, Ell, 1854.
Culver. Charlotte F.. 1868-76, L. A. 1877. Ferrln. Abbie, 1863-64.
Culver, Alice I., 1870-72, L. A. 1880. Ferrln, Mary, 1863-64.
Culver, Grace A., 1875-81, L. A. 1883. Ferrln, Edward C. 1863-64.
Culver, Herbert G., 1883-89. Ferrln, B. J., 1864.
Culver, Walter J., 1882-90. FItts. George B.. 1857.
Culver. Addle E., 1885-89. Fitts, Eugenia, 1860.
Culver, Ethel E., 1885-86. Felch, Edward P., 1887.
Culver, Ralph F.. 1886-91. Fitzgerald, Florence, 1895.
Culver, John H., 1891-00. Folklns, Florence J., 1899-07.
Culver, Pauline M., 1889-96. Fox, Halburton, 1883-84.
Culver, Roy A., 1896-07. Ford, George. 1860. L. A. 1864.
Cashing, Joseph M., 1857. French, Samuel P., 1870-72.
Cushing, Anna H.. 1857-69. Fuller. Hattle W.. 1881-83.
Cutts, Florence, 1870-72. Fuller, Frank, 1864.
Cutts, WInfleld, 1870-73. Gaut, Nellie A., 1869-73. L. A. 1871.
Collins. Nellie M., 1875-76. Gaut. Franklin S.. 1S69-73. L. A. 1876.
Davis. Ruth, 1900-07. Gllson, Fannie E.. 1861-66.
Davl.s, Carrie F., 1900-07. Gllson. William B., 1861-57.
Davis. Harry E., 1906-10. Gllson, Lucv E., 1861-61.
Davis, Alice M., 1909-10. Gllson. Mary E., 1861-60.
Delano. Ida May, 1900. Gllson. Henry A.. 1S51-67.
Delano. Ada F., 1900. Gllson. (Jeorge H., 1851-fi2.
Denahy, Michael J., 1894-05. Gllson. Franklin E.. lsn:-C9. L. A. 1870.
Denahy, Jerry L., 1894-95. Gllson, 1,111a A., IS.ig-np.
Denahy, Catherine, 1895. Gllson, Sumner. 1863-64.
DIrkinson. Henrietta, 1869-70. Gllson, Henry H., 1870-81.
Dickinson. Robert C. 1859-63, L. A. 186G. Gllson. Susie. 1886.
Dickinson, Edward D., 1859-64, L. A. Gllson, Earl W.. 1891-99.
1860-63. Gllson, Charlotte V., 1899-00.
— 11 —
Gllson. Mildred E., 1901-05.
Gilson, Cyril W. B., 1903-10.
Gllson. Robina, 1905.
Goding, John W., 1874-78. A. H. S. 1883.
Goding-, T. Edgar, 1884-88.
Goding, T. Arthur, 1874-76.
Gill. William H., 1857-59.
Gill. Jane E., 1857.
Gilson. William M.. 1851-55.
Graves. Joseph, 1856-64, L. A. 1865.
Graves, Benjamin F., 1857, L. A. 1862.
Graves, Samuel L., 1857, L. A. 1860.
Graves, Henry G., 1857, L. A. 1863.
Graves, Ellen, 1862-70.
Graves, Susie, 1870-80.
Graves, Fred, 1875-82, A. H. S. 1886.
Graves, Lizzie, 1874-82.
Graves, Mabel, 1881-90.
Gove, Everett (Everhard), 1881.
Gove, Clarence, 1881.
Gove, Henry, 1881.
Goodwin, Mabel E., 1884-86.
Goodwin, Harry P., 1884.
Giddings. Eugene, 1889.
Giddings, Isabella A., 1895-96.
Grimes, Delia B., 1890-91.
Grimes, Andrew J., 1890-91.
Gerry, Cyril, 1906-08.
Gray, Katie 1862-69.
Gould, John, 1862.
Gould, Opphia J.. 1851, L. A. 1852.
Hackett, Mary A., 1860-64.
Hackett, Ellen, 1860-64.
Hackett, Michael, 1860.
Hackett, John, 1861-69.
Hackett, Willie. 1862-74.
Hackett, Kate, 1862-72.
Hackett, James. 1869-75, L. A. 1879.
Hackett. Mary A., 1882-84.
Hart. James, 1859.
Hart, John, 1859.
Hartwell, John S., 1851-55.
Hartwell, Nathaniel C, 1851-55.
Hartwell. Harris C, 1859, L. A. 1863.
Hartwell, Benjamin H., 1859, L. A. 1863,
Hartwell. Samuel N., 1859-60.
Hartwell, Lottie E., 1859-64, L. A. 1865.
Hazen, Thomas L., 1853.
Hazen, Caroline B., 1862.
Hazen, Louisa C. 1859-62.
Hazen. Emily P., 1859-62.
Haley, Henry, 1861.
Haley, Jeremiah, 1856.
Hart, Lizzie, 1862.
Hennigan, Mary, 1870-76.
Hennigan, Kate, 1870-76, L. A. 1881.
Hennigan, Ellen, 1870-80.
Hennigan, John T., 1872-80, L. A. 1883.
Hamlet. William, 1872.
Hamlet, Fred, 1872.
Hamlet, Eddie, 1872.
Harris, Elinor, 1884.
Harris, Lizzie, 1884.
Harris, George C, 1884.
Harris, Benjamin. 1884.
Harris, Elmer L., 1904.
Harris, Everett E., 1904.
Harris, Viola K., 1909-10.
Harriman, Elizabeth, 1856-57.
Harriman, Augustus B., 1903-10.
Harriman, Gordon F., 1908.
Hart, John, 1900-07.
Hannis, Annie M., 1880, L. A. 1880.
Higgins, Albertina, 1865-70.
Hills, Minerva C. 1870-75.
Hills, Mary A., 1870-75.
Hodgman, Nancy Hannah, 1851-53.
Hodgman, George H., 1851-59.
Hodgman, Harriet W., 1851.
Hodgman, Lucilla H., 1852-53, L. A. 1854.
Hodgman, George E.. 1851-54.
Houghton, Charles, 1851.
Harlow, Esteane, 1889.
Holbrook, Eunice, 1900-01.
Huebner, Thekla V.. 1896-04.
Huebner, Leonita, 1899-07.
Huebner, Reginald, S.. 1902-08.
Huebner, Herman E., 1894-01, L. A.
Huebnor, Nimie, 1894-99.
Hulen, George, 1894-95.
Hulen, Bertrand, 1894-95.
Hurley, Mary, 1902.
Haskins. Araminta, 1872.
Jones, John H., 1884.
Jewett, Fred R., 1888-90.
Jewett, Annie M., 1888-91.
Jewett, Mabel M., 1890.
Jewett, Maud A., 1905-07.
Jewett, Harold E., 1905-07.
John.-^on. Charles K., 1901.
Kane, John, 1854-55.
Kendall, Eliza A.. 1861-62.
Kendall, George. 1861.
Keyes, L. Lizzie, 1864-69, L. A. 1871.
Keating, Susie E., 1880-84, A. H. S.
1SS9, Bridgewater Normal.
Keating, Mary J., 1880-90, G. H. S.,
Keating, Charles D., 1880-89.
Keating. John F., 1880-86.
Keating, George H., 1880-84.
Keating, Lillie, 1884-90.
Keating, Helen L., 1886-95, G. H. S.
ICeating, Charlotte, 1891-99, G. H. S.
Keegan, Nancy. 1905-09.
Keegan, Catherine I., 1905-09.
Keegan, Joseph O., 1905-09.
Keegan, Jeremiah F., 1905-09.
Lunt. Emily W., 1851.
Long, M. A., 1856.
Long, James, 1856.
Long. Mary E., 1888.
Long, Michael, 1888-89.
Lamont. Mary A., 1888-91.
Levers, Stenie J., 1868-69.
Leighton, Mary A., 1859.
Leighton, Calvin D., 1859.
Lawrence, Billie, 1864.
Lawrence, Horace, 1864.
Livingston, Anna, 1867-69.
Livingston, Joseph W., 1864-69.
Livingston. Charles. 1867-69.
Legnard, Grace, 1880-82.
Lcathe. Emma T., 1880.
Lewis, Joseph, D., 1882-91, L. A. 1891.
Lewis, Alfred G., 1888-94.
Lund, Evangeline, 1905-07.
Lyons, Daniel, 1872-73.
Lyons, John, 1872-73.
Magoon, Oscar L., 1871-72.
Mandigo, Jessie H., 1902.
Mandigo, Henry J., 1902.
Marcy, Arline, 1875.
Mason, Jo.seph C. 1851, L. A. 1854.
Mason, Alfred D.. 1875-76, L. A. 1877.
Mason, Clara C, 1875-76.
Mayo, Merle R., 1887-89.
May. Edith H.. 1881.
May, Alonzo F., 1880-84.
May. Edward H., 1880.
Marble, Carrie E., 1883-84.
Maxwell. William T., 1880.
McConlouge, Francis, 1863.
McConlouge, Mary, 1863.
McConlouge, Thomas, 1863.
McCarthy. John, 1S75-76.
McDermott, George, 1863.
McDonald, Thomas, 1874.
McGovern, Thomas W., 1907-09.
McGovern, Nellie M.. 1907-09.
McGovern. T.izzle C, 1907-09.
Messer, Walter. 1854.
Messer, Kmnia. 1S61-64, I.,. A. 1865.
Messer, Georfro Fred, 1861-64.
Messer, Abbott M., 1862.
Messer, Maud, lSSO-82.
Messer, Mary C. 1882.
McDonald. Thomas F., 1883.
Messer, Jane, 1905.
Messer, Genevieve, 1905.
Miller, Henry W., 1908-10.
Miller. Delvina, 1908-10.
Miller, Lewis E., 1908-10.
Miller, Rowell. 1908-10.
Miller, Irene, 1909-10.
McNerny, Thomas, 1886.
McNerny. Kate, 1886.
Moors, Mary F.. 1S51-55, I.. A. 1853.
Moors, Klizabeth A.. 1851-59.
Moors, Fanny F., 1852-56.
Moors. Lucy, 1854-55.
Monroe. Charles L., 1854.
ilonroe, Peter F., 1854.
Morrison, Christine, M.. 1899.
Moulton, Adelia, 1862-68.
Moulton, Harry E., 1875.
Moulton, Wilson N., 1861-64.
Munster. William. 1908.
Murray, James, 1854.
Needham, Elmer. 1S59.
Newman. Charles, 1860-63. L. A. 1866.
Newton, IJzzie M.. 1S64.
Newton. William H., 1864.
Nimmo, I'hilip, 1890-91.
Nimmo. Donald C, 1902-04.
Northrup. Hertha. 1902-03.
Nowill, Herbert, 1910.
O'Day. Michael. 1851.
Ober, Jessie, 1880-81.
Ober, J. Frank, 1880-82.
O'Brien. Nellie, S.. 1880-81.
O'Connell. Josephine C, 1908-10.
Oliver, Rachel M.. 1S56.
O'Veil, Michael, 1857-61.
O-Neill. Thomas. 1870-72.
O-Neil, Edward, 1870-72.
Otis, George A., 1855.
Otis. Lucy R., 1855.
Otis, Samuel, 1855.
Otis. Harrison G.. 1855.
Page, Abel Dexter, 1851-52.
Page, Luther. 1851-55.
Parker. Josephine M., 1851-52.
T'age. Edward C. 1881-89, L. A. 1894.
Parker, Luther L., 1854.
Parker, Augustus P.. 1854.
Parker. Svbil D., 1858-59.
Pate, Mary A.. 1864.
Pate. James, 1907-08.
Patten. Francis. 1859.
Patten, Simon. 1858.
Palmer, Ernest R., 1910.
Palmer. Randolph. 1910.
Palmer. Lloyd, 1910.
rvarson. Stephen C. 1853.
Pike. Willie. 1868.
Pollard, Mary J., 1851-62.
Pollnrd. Florence M., 1S53-6L
Pollard. Franklin H.. 1857-62.
Powell. Mary C, 1895-01.
Powell. Charles A.. 1895-01.
Powell, George E.. 1895-01.
Powell, John B., 1896-01.
Proctor, Anna M.. 1855-57.
Proctor, Sanford P., 1855-62.
Renders, Nellie, 1877-78.
Uand. William. 1869-70.
Rand, Winnie, 1869-70.
Rand. Albert W., 1871.
Raymond, Albert C. S.. 1891.
Richardson, Joseph H., 1853.
Richardson, Mary E.. 1856-59, L. A.
Richardson, Rufua B., 1856--59. L. A.
186.-'., Yale 1869.
Richardson, Alfred A., 1856-59.
Richardson. Charles H.. 1864. L. A. 1876,
Andover 1875, Yale 1880.
Richardson, Edward A.. 1864-75, L. A.
Richardson, Edith H„ 1880-84. A. H. S.
Richardson, Arthur B., 1877-84. L. A.
Richardson, Francis J., 1877-84, A. H.
Richardson, Bertha C, 1882-86.
Richardson, Florence J.. 1877-78.
Richards, L J., 1864.
Rice. Stella R., 1890-91.
Reardon. John D.. 1891-96.
Roblnsqn, Luther A., 1869-70.
Robinson, Mary F., 1874.
Robinson, Ida F., 1873-75.
Robinson, CJeorge H., 1871-75.
Robbins. Eflle M., 1891-94.
Robbins, Charles E., 1891-94.
Robbins, Frances J., 1891-94.
Robbins, Leon R.. 1891-94.
Robbins, Louisa L... 1894.
Roots, Nelson H., 1871-74.
Roots, Alice E.. 1874.
Roots. Annie M., 1872-74.
Russell. Artemas, 1873.
Russell, George C. 1884-90, A. H. S.
Reardon. (^hristopher P., 1895.
Rynn, Thomas, 1864-76.
Rynn. William. 1864-76.
Rynn, Nellie M., 1868-76.
Rynn. Annie T. 1876-81.
Rowell. Almond, 1868.
Sargent, Harold H., 1902-07, G. H. S.
Sargent. Arollne H., 1905-09.
Sargent. David P.. 1907-10.
Sargent. Ralph. 1907-10.
Sargent, Esther, 1909.
Sargent. Stella C. 1910.
Sargent, Joseph H^, 1887-98.
Sawtell, Mary F., 1851-60.
Scanlon, Susan, 1870-72.
Scanlon. Charlotte F.. 1870-76.
Scanlon. Thomas. 1871-76.
Scanlon, John, 1872.
Saunders. Ansel, 1861-64.
Searles. Emma, 1868-70.
Sawyer, Alice E.. 1882-84.
Scott. Blanche A.. 1898-99.
Scott. Eva M.. 1898-03.
Scott. Bertha R.. 1898-01.
Scott, George W., 1898-03.
Scott. Bernard A.. 1900-05.
Scott, <\irrle B.. 1902-08.
Scott, Raymond E.. 1904-OS.
Scott. Stephen A.. 1905-07.
Scott. Everett W.. 190S.
Singer, Blanche. 1906.
SIvret, Helen T.. 1S99.
SIvret. Marion E.. 1S99-0O.
SIvret. Harold F.. 1900
Shnrbono. Fred. 1906-OS.
Sharbono, Perley W.. 1908.
Scanlon. Joseph H.. 1900.
Smale, Oswald, 1900.
— 13 —
Smith, Charles, 1868-69.
Smith, Albert C, 1887-88.
Smith, Georg-e Gilman, 1887-91, G. H. S.
Smith, Lawrence B., 1887-91, G. H. S.
Smith. Edward C., 1887-91, L. A. 1897.
Smith, Francis W., 1889-96, L. A. 1900.
Smith, Theophilus G., 1894-99, L. A.
Smith, Franklin O., 1899.
Sparks, Klla E., 1868-69.
Sparks, Hattie H., 1868-69.
Sparks. Levi, 1868.
Sparks, Malcolm C, 1868-69.
Stewart, Carrie, 1869-70.
Stewart, Luella, 1869-70.
Stewart, Flora, 1869.
Stewart, Hiram, 1869, L. A. 1871.
Stone, Loui.sa E., 18.51-59.
Stone, George H.. 1851-61.
Stone, William H., 1851-64.
Stone. Mary A., 1851-53.
Stone, Martha E., 1851-53.
Stone, Ward L., 1851-53.
Stone, Albert, 1851.
Stone, Emma L., 1852-64.
Stone, J. F., 1856-57.
Stone, Mary F., 1870-81.
Stone, Jennie C, 1867-78.
Stone, Fannie E.. 1870-83.
Stone, Clara L., 1875-82.
Stone, H. Austin, 1874-80.
Stone, Abbie H., 1883-91.
Swan, Emory C, 1884.
Taylor, Fannie E., 1886-94.
Taylor, Herbert W^.. 1886-94.
Thatcher, Michael, 1856.
Tibbetts, Georgianna, 1874-75.
Tibbetts, .Jennie, 1874-75.
Torrey, Linnie W., 1874-76, L. A. 1882.
Tuttle, Lena, 1869-80, L. A. ISSO.
Tuttle, Arthur C, 1869-78.
Tuttle, Cora F., 1874-83.
Tuttle, Frank F., 1883-87.
Tuttle, I-ouisa E., 1873-76.
Tuttle, Clarence A., 1890-99, L. A. 1900.
Tuttle, Howard G., 1892-00.
Tuttle. Lillian G., 1900-08. G. H. S.
Turner, Helen M., 1872-75.
Twitchell, Mabel A., 1900-01.
Twitchell, Harry A., 1900-01.
Waitt, Ellsworth, 1864.
Waitt, Lizzie E., 1860-64, G. H. S.
Waitt. Charles H., 1869-78, L. A. 1879.
Waitt, Georg-e E., 1872-80.
Watson, Charles H., 1879, L. A. 1880.
Watson, Mary A., 1880-82, L. A. 1882.
Watson, Sarah L., 1880-83.
Watson, Edwin F., 1884.
Weber, Eleanor May, 1897-00, A. H. S.
Weber, Marion L., 1897-03.
Walden, William H., 1851.
Wheeler, Sarah A.. 1852.
Wheeler, Eva R., 1898-00.
Wheeler, Hazel, 1899-00.
Whalen, Margaret, 1899.
Whittaker, Laura A., 1880-82.
Whittaker, Minnie. 1882.
Whitney, Alvin G.. 1888-91, L. A. 1902.
Williams. William J.. 1896.
AVilliams, Annie T., 1901-03.
Wing, Frank H.. 1875-76.
Wing, Fred, 1875-76.
Wonson, Asa M., 1900-01.
Wonson. Jennie M., 1900.
Wood, Edward Addison. 1857. L. A.
Wood. William Curtis, 1857, L. A. 1858.
Wood, Vesta, 1894-96.
Wood, Wilma, 1894-02.
Wood, Henry, 1894-03.
Wood, George E., 1901-05.
Wood, Sarah E., 1901-04.
Wood. Elmer J., 1902-10.
Woods, Laura J., 1903-08.
Wood, Herbert B.. 1905-07.
Woods. Hattie, 1908.
Wood, Vernon F., 1908-09.
Wilis, Benedict J., 1908-09.
Workman, Ruth E., 1902-09.
Workman, Horace W., 1902.
Workman, Edith M., 1909-10.
Willard, Stedman A.. 1853-55.
Willard, Lydia S.. 1843-56, L. A. 1851.
Williams, Lucy A., 1870.
Wright, Maria C, 1851-59, L. A. 1854.
Wright. Sarah J., 1851-64, L. A. 1866.
Wright, Fannie E., 1851-64, L. A. 1860.
Wveth, Adaline D., 1854.
Wveth, Warren, 1854-55.
Wyeth, Augusta E., 1854.
The John M. Gilson family lived for
many years in the district and Mr. Gil-
son was prudential committee at
times. His home was Just below the
school and has been a favorite board-
ing place for the teachers. We can
imagine the young men found it
pleasant in the company of Mr. Gil-
son's interesting daughters. His sons
and daughters all attended here and
some of his grandchildren are now
Mr. Gilson built a new house after
his purchase of the farm in 1849, of
the Levi Stone heirs and the old house
which stood deserted across the road
southerly of the present one was a
favorite playhouse for the scholars
of those days until sold to a Mr. Fitz
and moved away.
Valancourt Stone was the only son
of Abraham Stone and attended school
here for several years. He was born
in 1829, and died on December 15, 1906,
aged 77 yrs. 2 mos. 10 days, at Cam-
bridge, Mass., where he had resided
for several years after leaving the
town of Ayer. His house in the last-
named town, was opposite the en-
trance to the town park at the reser-
The Harriman family was living
at the well-known Moors farm in 1857,
and had representatives in the school.
In 1894, Isaac Harriman, jr., return-
ed to the district and purchased the
Ephraim Sawtell or Gaut place,
where he now resides, with his son
.John and Benjamin Hartwell both
settled in this district at about the
same time, in 1846. John bought the
No. ]!•. 'rill' .l.ihii M. (.iUoli II. .MM'. I'.iiih ill I-
No. I'J. lii'lirnim -.iwliil lloim-,
Hiifiis U. Itifhurdsoii. I'll. D. I?(>rii Aiiril is, 1,S4J.
George M. Shattuck place and Ren-
jainin built a now house on i)art of
the Benjamin Ilall farm. They wore
sons of Doacon Samuel and Caroline
Matilda Wright Hartwell of Groton.
Samuel Noah Hartwell was the only
one of John's children who altondod
the school. He is now living at Ger-
mania, Wis., and is town clerk, librari-
an and a general business man at
The sons of Benjamin, Benjamin H.
and Harris C, became distinguisiied
in the councils of the state, both being
members of the legislature and the
latter a member of the state senate
and its president.
The services of Benjamin H. Hart-
well in this vicinity as teacher, physi-
cian, school committee and the pro-
moter of all work for the public good,
will never be forgotten. Harris was
a lawyer in Fitciiburg and both died
in the very midst of their useful ca-
reers much lamented.
Emma C. Hartwell was a daughter
of Benjamin and a brief account of
her is given among the list of teach-
In a pamphlet heretofore published,
entitled "The Community at Groton,"
is an extended account of the Walter
Dickson family. The names of the
sons and daughters will be found
among the early iiupila. They attend-
ed school here between 1838 and 1843,
and three of these — Henry, Almira
and Mary, with the younger one Caro-
line, accompanied their parents to
Palestine on their mission of humanity
and suffered greatly in a brutal as-
sault made by brigands in that coun-
Rufus B. Richardson was born in
Westford, Mass., April 18, 1845, son of
Joseph and Lucy M. Richardson, at-
tended this school 1856-59, graduated
at Lawrence academy in 1865, after
his return from the war, and Yale
college in 1869. He studied for the
ministry at Yale Divinity school and
was licensed to preach. After a brief
period of preaching, he was appointed
a tutor at Yale, followed by an ap-
pointment as professor in Greek lan-
guages at Indiana State university,
and later at Dartmouth college. He
was at the head of the American
School of Archeology and Research at
Athens, Greece, for eleven years and
made important discoveries In the ex-
cavations at Corinth. He is a cloar
tliinkor and writer, and a lerturor
upon subjects of archeologica! inter-
est. He married Alice E., daughter
of the late Henry C. Bowen of Brook-
lyn, N. Y., and Woodstock, Conn., and
resides at Woodstock.
One old pupil in 1855-62, Sanford P.
Proctor, says: "After leaving Mr.
Wright I enlisted in the navy and at
tiie close of the war, was sent to Europe
for two years; then sent to India,
China and Japan for four years; then
to South America, one year. Was
married here in Waterbury, Conn., in
1878, and have lived here ever sinco.
We have two daughters living in Now
Haven. My wife and I are passing
the evening of our lives here in Wa-
terbury, and talking over the past."
George Ford was the son of Rev.
George Ford, a missionary to southern
India in November. 1846. The son
George boarded in the family of Ephra-
im Sawtell while liis father was doing
missionary work in various places in
the United States.
Benjamin F., Samuel L. and Henry
G. Graves, residents of District No.
3 in 1857, when that school was tem-
porarily closed, attended this school.
Samuel L. Graves graduated at Am-
herst college in 1870, is a successful
lawyer in Fitchburg and in 1891, was
elected mayor of that city.
Franklin Earland Gilson was born
on September 7, 1852, son of John M.
Gilson, attended Lawrence academy
after leaving No. 2, and studied den-
tistry with the Colton Dental associ-
ation in Boston. Began practice in
Groton in 1880, and at present Is one
of the most successful dentists in
the state, being located in Aver. ]io
is a successful fruit grower, owning
one of the largest apple orchards in
Groton, in which town he resides. His
interest In Moors school is deeply
rooted, continued from his boyhood
days, when he was a pupil, to the pres-
ent time, and is further shown by
the attendance of three of his childron
there, though he resides nearer to the
village schools. To Dr. Gilson. the
writer wishes to extend appreciation
for assistance rondored in the securing
of much information from the older
pupils who are now living.
— 15 —
Everhard, Clarence and Henry Gove
were sons of Edward H. Gove, once
secretary of the state of Maine, who
bought and lived for about a year at
the Alva Wright farm.
James Hackett is an officer at the
truant school for boys at North
Charles, Frank and Henry Blood
were for many years employed on the
old Fitchburg railroad, all at one time
on one train as engineer, conductor
and brakeman. The engineer, Charles,
is still employed as such on the same
division and the other two have died.
In the year 1857, after the breaking
up of the "community," as a religious
sect, the private school previously held
in the "Old shop," was not maintained,
and from out the west came advise to
the remaining families to have their
boys and girls attend the town
schools. As one of them remarks he
felt like a "fish out of water," but
they had good friends in the teacher
of 1858, Mr. Bancroft and in Nathaniel
Sawtell, the prudential committee for
1858-59-60, who had to come over and
talk pretty strongly to some of the
older boys who were inclined to make
life at school miserable for them.
Samuel N. Hartwell of Wisconsin,
v.rites: "We all read two verses in
the Testament each morning, and then
Mr. Bancroft offered prayer, standing
behind his desk. Mr. Bancroft was
always very kind to the community
children and gave us much credit for
being good and studious. I have al-
ways had pleasant memories of my
going to school at school No. 2 in
The following is a sketch of a form-
er pupil who like his father, .Joseph
H. Richardson, attended school here
for a short period. This was publish-
ed in Turner's Public Spirit shortly
after his death, which occurred on
July 1, 1894:
"Charles H. Richardson was born in
Groton, in 1857, being the eldest of a
family of nine children. His boyhood
years were spent with his parents on
a small farm in that part of the town
known as "the community" and near
where is now located the Groton
School; afterward working somewhat
with his father at the carpenter's
trade. Becoming at an early age fa-
miliar with all the branches taught
in the common schools in the vicinity
of his home, he attended the Ayer
high school, graduating with its earli-
est class. He attended the academy
and later Phillips academy, from
which he graduated. He then enter-
ed Yale college, graduating with hon-
or in the class of '80. Immediately
upon leaving Yale, before returning
to his home, he took a civil service ex-
amination, passing successfully, near
the head of the list. On August 16,
1880, he was appointed to a clerkship
in the patent office at Washington.
There he was from time to time pro-
moted upon his merits as shown by
competitive examination, from a $1200
position to that of first assistant ex-
aminer at a salary of $1800 a year.
When taken down with his last sick-
ness he was acting principal examiner,
with prospect of an early promotion
to the position of principal."
His wife was Anna Bancroft, daugh-
ter of the late Edmund Dana Bancroft
of Ayer, and she taught Moors school
Edward Adams Richardson, a pupil
in 1864 and again from 1870 to 1875,
was born in Groton Junction, Novem-
ber 24, 1859. After leaving this school
and the excellent methods of instruc-
tion of Mrs. Torrey, he attended Law-
rence academy, graduating in the class
of 1879. He entered Yale in the class
of 1883, and left college in his junior
year to take up a business life. Has
served the towns of Shirley and Ayer
in public positions and now resides
in Ayer. His name is also found
among the list of pupils who have
taught school after leaving No. 2. He
is a son of Joseph H. and Mary Hart-
well Richardson, and is of a family
which has furnished several scholars
at this school.
Amos L. Ames, pupil 1868-72, was
elected a selectman of Groton in the
Henry A. Billings, 1885, became a
noted turfman at Chicago, where hia
father was a wealthy gas manufac-
The Brown children of 1851, are liv-
ing in New York and Pennsylvania at
the present time, and were brothers
and sisters of the late Michael Brown
of Ayer, an older son of Mrs. Ellen
Brown, a widow, who lived at the
"pink house" south of James brook.
.\(i. It. I'.(ii.i:iiiiiii ll:irt\vcll Iloii-f. Uiiilt IMT— Mi>\f.| 1!HI4.
No. i:.. i;i.li;ir.l-.m llniin'. Ituilt Is.M.
K. I);m:i r.Murrolt. Is-Jl— is'.Ki
George B. Duren is a successful
comiuission merchant in dry goods in
New Yorlt city. He was a member
of Company B, 26tli Massachusetts
Regiment in the war of the rebellion.
His parents, Robert and Betsey Duren,
died, the one July 25, 1886, aged 82
years and 8 months, the other on July
7, 1886, aged 82 years and 8 months.
John Willard Coding was born at
Waterville. Me., April 5, 1866, the son
of T. Madison Coding, who came into
the district in 1874. John and his
brothers attended Moors school and
when the family removed to Ayer he
entered the high school there, where
he graduated in the class of 1883. Dur-
ing his school days in Ayer he assisted
Ceorge H. Hill as a druggist clerk,
and in 1884, entered West Point mili-
tary academy, where he ranked high
in his studies.
He was a favorite in all the schools
he attended and a young man of great
promise. He died suddenly at West
Point at the age of nineteen, appar-
ently up to that time in perfect health,
after running up stairs to his room.
Alline E. Marcy will be remembered
by a few of the past pupils as having
attended the school for a short time
while her aunt, Mrs. Ellen M. Torrey,
taught and with whom she lived at the
time. Miss Marcy is the daughter of
Dwight and Alline Williams Marcy,
and was born at Tolland, Conn., in
February, 1868. Her mother was one
of the Williams family of Chicopee
row, a family which furnished men and
women as teachers for the schools of
Groton for many years. Miss .Marcy
is a graduate of Boston Law school
and is a practicing lawyer in Boston
and was among the first young ladies
to graduate from that institution.
Ralph Farnsworth Culver, son of
James and Mary Holland Culver, was
born on August 1, 1881, in Groton,
graduated at the Lowell TeJctile school
and as a chemist was employed at
Littleton, Providence and Pawtucket,
and then was head dyer for the Ar-
nold Print Works, North Adams. He
is now superintendent of the Hollis-
ton mill at Norwood. IMass., and is
quite a successful man along the lines
of his chosen work. He has been a
director and trustee of the institution
in Ix)well at which he secured his
The five sons of Theophilu.s Ciiinan
Smith, who resides on the old Levi
Stone and John .M. Cilson farm, have
all extended the education received
here by attending the high school and
Lawrence academy at Groton. Fran-
cis went to Tufts college, bocame a
civil engineer and was employed by
the Inited States government in the
Phillipine Islands. lOdward went to
Williams college, Lawrence took a
course at the Massachusetts Agricul-
tural college and Theophilus, jr., at-
tended the Lowell Textile school.
George attended the Groton high
school and all the brothers have ex-
It may be interesting to state that
Nathan F. Culver once told his oldest
daughter, Mary Elizabeth, that li<« and
her mother often ploughed their way
across the very farm they afterwards
owned when they were pupils togeth-
er at No. 2, one winter. They then
lived at the Amos Farnsworth farm
and the boy led the way to school,
breaking the path through the deep
snow for his future wife.
When public spelling matclies were
the rage in the New England towns,
the schoolhouse was opened on several
occasions in the evenings for a neigh-
borhood contest and lamps were
brought in and a generally social time
was had. The presence of the fixed
seats probably was all that prevented
a country dance to wind up the meet-
So in the earlier days, spirit lamps
were brought by every pupil to the
writing schools given by some peripa-
tetic teacher. The evening prayer
meeting held here In the revival peri-
od of 1871, gives another tJirn to our
interest in the old schoolhouse and
was intended to bring into the fold
those in the district who were, per-
haps, not afRliated with any particu-
lar church. These meetings were af-
terwards conducted at the "Yeast
house," up on the hill, and later in a
tent by evangelists from Boston.
Some of the more recent pupils have
expressed their pleasant recollections
of the ride to school with the teacher,
Miss Lonpley. as she drove from the
neighborhood of the "other road," and
recall the great alarm and constant
solicitude they had for her and Clar-
ence Tuttle when they were injured
at the railroad crossing on Decem-
ber 23, 1891.
One of the "school girls" who lived
quite near the school Avrites: "I re-
member with peculiar pleasure my
five years of school life at the little
brick schoolhouse on the hill. Time
has brought many changes, but the
fragrance of the memory of my child-
hood days in Groton lingers very near
Many of the teachers at this school
afterwards continued their labors as
educators in other places and some
became famous as the heads of class-
ical and technical schools.
The following list of teachers will
be found interesting for reference:
1802-3. John Farrar.
1817. Joshua Green.
1832. Curtis Lawrence.
1833. Elizabeth Jacobs.
1834. Maria Nutting.
1836. Clifford Belcher.
1840. Charles Dickson.
1841. Mary Brigham.
1842. Cynthia Jacobs.
1842-3. Samuel C. Wheeler.
1846. Curtis Lawrence.
1847. Harriet B. Harwood; Curtis
1848-9. Artemas Longley.
1849. Susan F. Lawrence; J. Otis
1850. Agnes B. Pollard; Hollis Carr.
1851. Agnes B. Pollard; John P.
1852. Alma Willard; Alden Ladd.
1853. Agnes B. Pollard; Alden Ladd.
1854. Mary E. Andrews; Mary P.
1855. Frances O. Peabody; Charles
1856. Jane E. Davis; Solomon Flagg.
1857. Amanda Parsons; Earl Web-
1858. Elizabeth Graham; Cecil F. P.
1859. Susan F. Bancroft; Cecil F. P.
1860. Susan F. Bancroft; Rufus Liv-
1861. Susan F. Bancroft; George A.
1862. Julia M. Page; Charles E.
1863. Emma C. Hartwell; Emma C.
J864. Emma C. Hartwell; Benjamin
1865. Lizzie S. Jaquith; Maria C.
1866. Fannie E. Wright; James C. C.
1867. Fannie E. Wright; Jennie
1868. Cynthia A. Goodnow; Andrew
1869. Arabella Prescott; Andrew P.
1870. Genie A. Hunt; Jennie Wright,
1871. Jennie Wright, three terms.
1872. Jennie Wright; Lucy Hill; El-
len M. Torrey.
1873-4-5-6. Ellen M. Torrey.
1877. Ellen M. Torrey Mason, thir-
teen terms in all.
1877. Clara F. Woods, three terms.
1878. Clara F. Woods; Abby D. Pen-
niman; J. H. Warren.
1879. Anna Bancroft, two terms;
Sarah F. Longley, one term.
1880-1891. Sarah F. Longley, thirty-
1892. Dora L. Bailey taught in winter.
1892-3. Nannette J. May, three terms.
1893. M. Leola Wright, one term.
1893. Sarah F. Longley, one term.
1894-1907. Sarah F. Longley, forty-
1908. Mary H. Kimball, two terms.
1908-1911. Sarah F. Longley, ten
John Farrar, who taught In the
winter of 1802-3, was born in Lincoln,
Mass., July 1, 1779, and graduated at
Harvard college in the class of 1803.
From 1805 to 1836, he was connected
with the college as tutor and instruc-
tor in Greek in the early years and
later held the chair of Hollis profes-
sor of mathematics and natural phil-
osophy. He also published a text
book on the elements of algebra. He
died on May 8, 1853. The following
is taken from a notice in the Chris-
tian Examiner for July 1853:
"Like other students of limited
means he kept school in some coun-
try town during the winter vaca-
tions; once at Groton, where he form-
ed a friendship with the elder member
of the family of Lawrence, which
lasted through their lives."
The following letter contributed to
this article by Dr. Samuel A. Green,
the historian of Groton and librarian
of the Massachusetts Historical soci-
ety, from his files, is so peculiarly
of interest locally that It is inserted
here in complete form. It is acMress-
od to Deacon Samuel Farrar of Lin-
coln, and that person was undoubt-
edly iiis father, as is shown by tlie
customary respectful tone of letters
in those days to parents.
There were evidently other stu-
dent teachers in the party. The farm
referred to was the one known in
recent years as the Culver place, then
owned and occupied by Major Joseph
Moors, a soldier of the colonial and
revolutionary wars, who was born on
May 30, 1738. He was at the siege
of Louisburg in 17.^8, and commanded
a company under Col. William Pres-
cott at the battle of Bunker Hill. He
died on July 25, 1820. His son Ben-
jamin was born in 1793, and died at
Groton Center, August 16, 1853, after
ho sold the farm to Aaron Mason.
The Farrar letter Is as follows:
Groton, January 1, ISO.''..
Dear Sir: After leaving you at Con-
cord we proceeded on our journey as
fast as the badness of the road would
permit us to travel and arrived at
Groton about 6 In the evening:. We
tarried at Mr. Hall's tavern near the
meeting house over night and the next
morning were conducted to our re-
spective districts. On the friday fol-
lowing I opened my school with about
twenty schollars. The number has
been increasing since so that now I
have about fifty. With respect to my
boarding place I have such an one as
I could wish. I live with one of the
first farmers in the County of Middle-
sex. Maj. Moors the gentleman's
name, keeps about forty head of cattle
besides sheep, horses, turkeys, hog.s.
etc., etc. He sometimes raises seven
or eight hundred bushels of rye, near-
ly as much corn and between ten
and fifteen thousand weight of hops.
His hops this last season brought him
in upwards of one thousand dollars,
but they cost him more labor to pre-
pare them for the market than to got
his hay. Last year they wero cut off
together with large fit-Ids of rye and
nnples in all probability for one hun-
drpd and fifty beryls of cyder, by a
most remarkable hall storm near the
first of .Tune. The hall stones were
many of them as large as partridge
eggs and fell In such quantities and
with such violence as to break all
the glass of the buildings faceing the
wind, and to cover the floors of houses
with soot and black hnll stones. The
Rtohm happened on Monday, when it
was very warm, and, altho' It lasted
but onTel hour and an half, the hall
stones were knee deep In a certain
tray fashion place near here on the
Friday following. Parson Write
fUev. rblneas Wright] of Boulton,
preaching hero the succeeding Sunday.
picked up hall stones In the road and
carried homo for a show. Orrhards
were so stripped and briilsod that they
havo borne but little since and large
dints In the buildings about here still
remain as monuments of this tremen-
I live, sir, with a very hospitable
and benevolent people. My accoinoda-
tlons are very good. I live about one
quarter of a mile from school and
about two miles from meeting.
Wo have today, sir, experienced a
very pleasant and agreeable com-
mencement of a new year. While it
reminds of the benevolence and the
contlnu<>d mercy of Providence, ought
It not to lead us to rellect on the
quick sticcesslon of years, on the short-
ness and the value of life, to consider
and to correct the errors of the past
year, and to fortify our minds with
such principles of virtue and piety,
as shall preserve us In the pleasant
and peaceful paths of wisdom. You,
sir. and the rest of the family wheth-
er at home or absent T mfost] cordial-
ly wish a happy new year, and many
yet to come. I acknowledge the debt
of gratitude. I feel a tender attach-
ment in the family. Every new scene
of life leads me to value more and
more highly those habits and prin-
ciples Imbibed in early youth, for
which I am Indebted to kind and
obliging Parents. I wish, sir. to hear
from home, particularly of the acci-
dent which .Tames lately met with, of
his health, of Samuel's, what doing,
etc., etc. My health, sir. God bo
praised, is good, and think not, sir,
that I am unconslous of the Important
One of the early teachers was
.Tosliua Green, the father of Hon.
Samuel A. Green, the historian of
Groton and the present librarian
of the Massachusetts Historical Gene-
alogical society, born on March Ti,
1830. Dr. Green the elder, was
born In Wendell, Mass., October 8,
1707. He attended the academies at
New Salem, Westfield and Milton, and
f::raduated at Harvard in the class of
1818, and took his M. D. degree at
the Harvard Medical school In 1821.
It was during his Harrard course
that he taught the school here for
one winter and boarded on Farmers'
row, in the family of Major Samuel
Lawrence, whose daughter Eliza, ho
married in January F>. 1824.
He began the practise of his profes-
sion In Sunderland in March 1823,
but returned to Groton In the spring
of 182.^^, whrro he continued in his
Iirnfession for many years. He rep-
resented the town In the legislature
in 1S36 and 1837, was a trustee of the
academy from 1831 to 1867. He had
a fondness for genealogical research,
which his son has inherited to a
marked degree. In 1849, he was
chosen a corresponding member of
the New England Historical and
Genealogical society. After the death
of his wife he went to live with his
daughter in Morristown, N. J., where
he died on June 5, 1875.
Maria H. Nutting, or as she was
christened in Groton, Hannah Maria
Nutting, was an early teacher here
in about the year 1834. She was the
daughter of Joseph Danforth and Lu-
cinda Keep Nutting, and was born on
January 17, 1814. Entered Groton
academy in 1832, and after teaching
a few years in this vicinity, went to
Hudson, Ohio, where her uncle, Rufus
Nutting, of Groton, was one of the
first professors in Western Reserve
college, then located there and which
she attended. In 1839, she returned
east and was married on March 4, in
that year, to Rev. Nathan Stone Ben-
ham of Byron, N. Y., a missionary of
the A. B. C. F. M. As intending mis-
sionaries they were married at a pub-
lic service in the church at Groton by
Rev. Dudley Phelps, and sailed from
Boston in the ship Arno, July 6, 1839,
with other missionaries, for Singa-
pore, where they arrived on October
2:^ and located at Bangkok, Siam, on
March 1, 1840.
Mr. Benham was not long engaged
in the work before he was drowned
by the upsetting of a boat in April,
1840, and his widow returned to the
United States in May, 1840. She mar-
ried again in Dummerston, Vt., Dr.
Isaac Newton Knapp, November 17,
1845, and died at Clear Lake, Minne-
sota, on January 18, 1884.
Her brother. Rev. John W. Nutting,
of Auburndale, Fla., says of her:
"Her life was a checkered one, but
was wholly spent in humble service
to others. She was the good angel
for all the sick or destitute wherever
she lived. Through long assisting her
husband, in attending upon the sick,
she became so much of a physician
that her usefulness in the new
regions of her later life was very
Clifford Belcher was born in Farm-
inc,ton, Me., March 31, 1819, and died
at Homeopathic hospital in Boston,
December 24, 1879. He was the son
of Clifford and Deborah Allen Belcher,
the father being of Stoughton and his
mother of Princeton. He taught this
school in 1836, and was one of those
student teachers for he was a gradu-
ate of Harvard college in the class
In the "Memorials of the Class of
1837, of Harvard University," is an
extended notice. He studied law and
began the practice of his profession
in New York city. Went to New Or-
leans about 1846, and is said to have
accumulated a large property which
was swept away at the time of the
civil war. He served one year as
major in the Confederate army. Judge
Holmes (who saw him in St. Louis,
about 1875) says: "His success in
his profession would seem to argue
ability, character, and knowledge of
the law, and I have no doubt he pos-
sessed all these in an eminent degree.
The civil law and practice of Louisi-
ana are quite different from the juris-
prudence of the other states, and re-
quire familiarity with the system
and much comprehensive learning,
and he appears to have been a com-
petent master of it."
Charles Dickson was a son of Wal-
ter Dickson 2nd, and was born at
the Groton homestead near No. 3
school on August 8, 1809. He fitted
for college at Groton academy and
went to Yale where he graduated in
the class of 1835. in the winter of
1840, he taught the school in District
In the spring of 1855, he moved with
his family to Kansas and was one of
those earnest eastern men who
sought to save Kansas for the group
of free states. His daughter Louisa,
afterwards married William Liver-
more and they were living about five
and one-half miles south of Lawrence
at the time of Quantrell's raid, during
the civil war, and Mr. Dickson's house
was burned. The Livermore house on
an adjoining claim was not burned.
After the destruction of Lawrence
the guerrillas returned to Missouri by
the road that passed the Livermore
farm and Mrs. Livermore, who is now
living in Shirley, tells how the fam-
ilies hid in the sugar cane and watch-
ed their destructive passage. Mr.
Dickson died at Quenemo, Osage
County, Kansas, July 5, 1881.
Kuril ;il (.ruloii. Mil".. Mr. .nili.T 2s. IMT. I'i.-.l I •.■.■.iiil-tT :•. IM'I.
Curtis Ltiwrence. lT!)!t— 1SS8.
No. 4. Nathiin Sawtell House.
Mary Loring Brigham, daughter of
George Brigham, of Groton, was born
in that town on November 2, IS^li.
She was a half-sister of tlie late
George Dexter Brigham, for many
years the town clerk. She attended
Groton academy, entering in IbuG, and
in the spring of 1841, taught No. 2
school. She married Mr. Gardner
.Morse of New Haven, Conn., in De-
cember, 1843, and died on February
Elizabeth Jacobs was born in 1813,
and taught in 1835. She died in Gro-
ton in the year 1899.
Cynthia S. Jacobs probably taught
in 1842. She was the daughter of
Sylvester and Cynthia Jacobs of Gro-
ton. and was born on the homestead
in 1815, and died In the year of 1842.
She was a sister of Elizabeth, who
also taught here, and Charles Jacobs,
who had particular charge of this
school as committee-man for years.
In the spring of 1847, Miss Harriet
Byron Harwood was the teacher. She
was the daughter of Nahum and So-
phia (Kimball) Harwood, and was
born in Littleton, Mass., October 6,
1822. She entered Groton academy
in 1840, and there prepared for teach-
ing. She also taught in Lancaster,
Mass., in 1848, and was married on
January 1, 1850, to John W. Mulliken
of Boxborough, and died in Charles-
town, Mass., June 5, 1853. She was
one of five brothers and sisters of
the family, of which Joseph A. Har-
wood of Littleton, and Nahum Har-
wood of Leominster, were members.
The records show that Deacon Cur-
tis Lawrence taught this school in
1847 and since his daughter went to
school to him at her first attendance
here we then have a verbal record of
an earlier charge over this school.
Mr. Lawrence in 1847 was a veteran
teacher in the schools of Groton dur-
ing the winter terms.
He was born in Groton April 26,
1799, at the old homestead on the
east road in the district and his sons
and daughters were pupils here and
some of them went on througli llie
academy and college.
His administration was marked by
great interest and improvement. The
school committee remarked in their
report that "Love and respect for
teacher were everywhere manifest."
•Mr. Lawrence also taught what was
called the grammar school at No. 12,
CJroton Junction, which some of the
larger boys of District No. 2 attended
winters. He was a remarkably tall
nian and kindliness lurked in the
eyes overshadowed by his long shag-
gy eyebrows. He was long a notice-
able person in tills vicinity and died
ill Groton February 23, 1888. His
lirst wife was Lucy Merriam, the
mother of his children and she died
November 18, 1846.
Susan Frances Lawrence, daughter
of Deacon Curtis Lawrence, is now
living in Groton in the home of her
son. She married Reuben Lewis on
November 8, 18G6, and has one son,
Frank D. I^ewis, and one daughter,
Susie E., wife of George S. Knapp.
Mrs. Lewis was born in Groton on
November 30, 1828, and is probably
both the oldest living pupil and
teacher of this school.
As a pupil in 1833 Mrs. Lewis re-
members the old fireplace which was
supposed to sulhciently heat the
building. After leaving the school as
a pupil she attended Groton Academy
and Appleton academy in New Ips-
wich, and one year at Mt. Holyoke
seminary and returned as a teacher
in the summer of 1849 and taught
several years elsewhere.
The following description of the
schoolroom in 1833, may interest some
of the present day scholars. Mrs.
"I remember the schoolroom as it
was in those early days. The large
fire-place was in the middle of the
side opposite tlie door at which one
entered. The teacher's desk was in
the corner of the same side. On the
other sides were the seats for the
scholars with desks in front of them;
the boys on one side, the girls on the
other. There was a large space be-
tween them, where the scholars wont
out and stood in a line to read, spell,
"The word given out to spell, if
not spelled correctly by the one to
whom given, was passed on, the one
who spelled it right going above the
others. The one who was at the
head of the class wore a nitMial home
at night, in tlie morning returning
it and taking a place at the foot of
the class. The medal was a twenty-
five cent piece with a hole in it."
— 21 —
This system of spelling down, or
spelling up, was quite in vogue about
forty years ago, and the description
given us by Mrs. Lewis shows that
it had continued from a much earlier
date. In those days the teacher must
have been considered when the desk
was located in the corner, comforta-
bly near the fire-place.
Lucy Maria Lawrence, a sister, was
a pupil here previous to her attend-
ance at Groton Academy in 1837. She
married Rev. William Wood on July
11, 1847, and they sailed in the same
month for Bombay as missionaries at
Satara mission in India. Two sons
were born there and after the death
of their mother in India they were
sent to Groton to their grandfather,
Deacon Curtis Lawrence and were
pupils at the district school in 1857.
One was William Curtis Wood, who
went to li'ale and died in New Haven
in 1875, the other was Edward Ad-
dison Wood, who graduated at Har-
vard Medical school in 1869 and be-
came a successful physician and di d
July 18, 1886.
Edward Addison Lawrence, oldest
son of Curtis Lawrence, was a pupil
here before 1837, when he attended
Lawrence Academy. He was born
February 25, 1823, graduated at Dart-
mouth in 1843 and was a teacher for
many years. He was principal of Ap-
pleton academy at New Ipswich, N.
H., for a period of seven years, after-
wards a high school teacher, and he
also taught a select school for boys
at Wyoming, Pa., for several years.
He died in Orange, N. J., February
6, 1911, aged eighty-eight years.
The interest of the Curtis Lawrence
family has continued for over a cen-
tury in this school, through the fath-
er and son and daughters, and Mrs.
Lewis's husband, the late Reuben
Lewis, was one of the school com-
mittee for several years.
Samuel Cragln Wheeler, a son of
Artemas and Esther (Cragin) Wheel-
er, was born in Temple, N. H., April
27, 1820. After 1834, he was living
with his parents in Groton on the
road to the soapstone quarry at a
farm just northerly of the farm of
Deacon Isaiah Cragin, whose daugh-
ter Asenath he married, September
29, 1852. He entered a student at
Groton academy in 1838, and it was
probably at the close of his course
here that he taught the school at
District No. 2. John P. Hildreth of
Townsend sat under his instruction
for two terms after 1841, and without
much doubt he taught in the winters
of 1842 and 1843. He died In Gro-
ton on January 3, 1857.
Artemas Longley of Shirley was
the winter school master for the term
of 1848-49. He was born in Shirley
October 19, 1815, and married May
18, 1845, Elizabeth Barrett of Shirley.
Mr. Longley was a teacher of exper-
ience and a strict master of discipline
in the school. One old scholar re-
members how one daj' he called up an
unruly boy, took him and threw him
out of the window into a large snow
bank, saying "When you think you
can behave yourself you come in and
do so." He had no further trouble
with that boy.
Mr. Longley purchased a farm in
Groton, on the cross road, in 1852,
where his family now reside, and his
daughters have all been most suc-
cessful teachers, one of whom Sarah
H. is the present teacher. He died
at Groton, February 26, 1876.
Agnes Bancroft Pollard was em-
ployed as teacher for the spring terms
of 1850-51-53. She was a most ener-
getic teacher and in full control of
her school. She was born in Groton
on November 8, 1833, the youngest
child of Jacob and Betsey (Davis)
Pollard. She married, April 25, 1854,
Asa Stillman Lawrence of Groton, and
died on March 15, 1861. A son of
this union, William Asa Lawrence, is
a resident of Groton and one who
has always manifested a deep inter-
est in the public schools of his na-
Hollis Carr was born in Stow, Mass.,
June 12, 1825, and this school in Gro-
ton in 1850, was one of the early ones
taught by him. He also taught the
Ballard Hill school in Lancaster,
Mass., and in New Jersey and Phila-
In 1862, he married Annie Parker
of Pepperell, who died several years
ago. Mr. Carr died on December 17,
1910, in Harvard, where he had been a
resident many years. A notice of him
appeared in Turner's Public Spirit
under date of December 24, from
which the following extract is taken:
"Mr. Carr was a man of unusual
education for his times, and during
— 22 —
his younger days gained a reputation
as a succesBful" teacher in the sur-
rounding towns. He was of an ex-
ceedingly Itlndly disposition and was
universally liked by young and old."
Alden Ladd presided over the
s<;hool during the winter terms of
1852 and 1853. He was born at John-
son, Vt., in 1830, and came to Law-
rence academy in 1849, as a student.
His parents were Avery S. and Sally
(Cole) Ladd. He spent some time at
Windsor Hill, attending lectures in
the theological seminary, preparing
for the ministry. He became a preach-
er of the Congregational faith and
was pastor at Waterville, sixteen
years in Roxbury and six years in
Berlin and West Berlin, all in Ver-
mont. He married first Sarah Ed-
wards and secondly Mary Prentiss,
both of Roxbury. The last years of
his life were passed at West Ran-
dolph, Vt., where he died .July 1, 15^87.
At the close of Mr. Ladd's services
in Groton, Mr. Boutwell, for the
school committee, reported that they
believed female teachers could be em-
ployed all the year around to advant-
age in some cases. Some of the par-
ents had complained of the over strict
discipline and the harshness of his
Miss Alma H. Willard was a lady
of fine scholarship. She was born in
1828, the daughter of Stedman and.
Mary Howard Willard, who lived on
the more recent John W. Tuttle farm.
The family came from Lancaster to
Groton in 1844, so that her attendance
here as a pupil was quite brief before
she went to the academy in 1845. After
leaving the academy she taught at
school No. 4 in Westford, and at No.
10 and 11 in Groton, and at this school
in 1852. She was much loved and
respected as a teacher on account of
her thoroughness and ability to con-
trol the children under her care. Her
two sisters, Almeda and Lydia, were
also fine teachers. She married
George Kendall of Ashby in 1864,
who died on April 18, 1893. She was
nearly blind In her later life and
died in March, 1904.
Miss Mary Elizabeth Andrews taught
the school in 1854, and boarded in the
family of John Hodgman. She was
In the next year a student at Law-
rence academy and had attended Ap-
pleton academy in New Ipswich, N.
H.. before teaching. The school at
No. 2 was her first experience as a
teacher and was followed by engage-
ments at the Harris Crossing school
in Shirley, called the southeast dis-
trict; tlnn at Shlrlfy village, and at
Groton Junction, where she labored
successfully for several years. She
was the daughter of Peter and Sarah
(.Miirston) Andrews of Shirley, and
was born on September 30, 1833, on
tlie farm where her brother Charles
now lives. She married In 1871, Al-
pheus A. Adams, a merchant of Ches-
ter, Vt., and died there In 1899.
In 1855, Mary P. Baker came from
Lowell, Mass., to teach this school.
She was the daughter of Stephen and
Sarah Curtis Baker, and was born
at Tunbridge, Vt.. .March 6, 182C. Her
mother died while the child was In
infancy, and at the age of thirteen,
she was deprived by death of her
father. She was always bright and
precocious as a child and could read
in tlie new testament at the age of
three years, and at the age of seven
was the last to remain standing at
a union spelling school. Her excel-
lent education was secured in Lowell
and she taught school in Tunbrldge,
Groton and Pepperell. She married
Joseph Whitney in Pepperell on No-
vember 20, 1856, and is now living
in Wells River, Vt.. and Is an invalid.
Frances O. Peabody, a daughter of
John and Abigail (Spaulding) Pea-
body, was born in Groton. Mass., Feb-
ruary 21, 1825. The home of her par-
ents was the present Bigelow place on
Main street, from which her brother
William moved to the farm on the
Ayer road, where he died on June
19, 1910. Frances, called Fannie in
those days, was one of a family of
six daughters and two sons, and of
the sons, William only grew to man-
hood. The daughters were Frances,
Elizabeth. Sarah, Mary Jane, Susan
and Abigail. The first four became
school teachers and taught In Gro-
ton and the surrounding towns. Their
early education was supplemented by
an attendance at Groton academy, and
Francos taught at No. 2 In the spring
of 1S55, and at other times at school
No. 3, Farmers' row, and at No. 9
in the Brown Ixiaf Hill district
Miss Peabody for several years was
matron in Dr. Brown's institution for
feeble minded children and youth at
Barre, Mass., and filled the position
with marked success. She was never
married and died in Groton, March 19,
Charles O. Thompson, during the
winter of 1855-56, came from Dart-
mouth college and taught the school,
as others have done, resuming the
college work in the spring. Mr.
Thompson afterwards was president
of the school now known as the Wor-
cester Polytechnic institute at Wor-
cester, Mass., and became one of the
foremost educators of his time. The
older pupils at No. 2 will remember
the valuable instruction he gave them.
The following extract is taken from
a memorial to Charles O. Thompson,
prepared by a committee of the Terre
Haute Literary club, of which he was
"Charles Oliver Thompson, A. M.,
Ph. D., was born September 25, 1835,
in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut,
where his father, William Thompson,
D. D., was then professor in the Con-
necticut Theological Seminary since
removed to Hartford in the same
state. He prepared for college under
Paul A. Chadbourne, and entered
Dartmouth in 1854. He was gradua-
ted in 1858, and received his degree
of Master of Arts in 1861. His own
college bestowed upon him the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy in 1879, and
Williams in 1880. Prom September,
1858, till November, 1864, he was prin-
cipal of Peacham academy in Ver-
mont. From 1864, till the opening
months of 1868, he was principal of
the Cotting high school of Arlington,
Mass. In February, 1868, he was
elected principal of the Worcester
Free Institute of Industrial Science.
After spending eight months in Eu-
rope, he assisted at the opening of
that school in November of the same
year. In April, 1882, he accepted the
presidency of the Rose Polytechnic
institute at Terre Haute. Beginning
with the following July, he spent an-
other eight months in Europe. March
7, 1883, he delivered his inaugural ad-
dress at the Rose Polytechnic, and
held the presidency of that institution
till his death, March 17, 1885. May 14,
1862, he married Miss Maria Goodrich,
daughter of Horace Goodrich, M. D.,
at East Windsor Hill, Connecticut.
His widow and three children survive
Miss Jane Elizabeth Davis was born
in Newburyport, Mass., January 26,
1834, the daughter of Nathaniel and
Lydia Knapp (Hills) Davis. Her
grandfather Davis built and lived in
the old Adolphus Holden house, now
in Ayer, on the Nashua river. The
present house was built about one
hundred years ago, but the original
house stood where the barn now is,
and was built by the maternal an-
cesteors of Mr. Davis, the Stones, who
were the original settlers of the farm.
Miss Davis, the subject of this sketch,
moved up to the Amos Farnsworth
farm in 1851, when a young lady of
seventeen, at that time of its pur-
chase by her father. Miss Davis
taught the school at No. 2 in 1856, and
this was her only experience at teach-
ing. In June, 1866, she married Al-
fred Pollard, who died in August,
1871. In November, 1872, she became
the wife of Asa Stillman Lawrence,
and died in her home in Groton in
October, 1888, leaving no children. A
sister, Sarah M. (Davis) Powers, is
now living in Leominster.
Earl Webster Westgate taught here
the winter term of 1856-57. He was
born in Plainfield, N. H., August 31,
1838, son of John and Betsey Ann
Westgate. While teaching he boarded
like many other teachers in the fam-
ily of John M. Gilson, near the school.
Since leaving Groton he has been en-
gaged in teaching and farming in
Kansas and now lives in Manhattan,
Kansas. He has been master of the
state grange from 1900 to 1906, and
representative for his county in the
state legislature for the years 1909-
10. He was married on August 21,
1861, to Julia Maria Porter, and No-
vember 11, 1905, to Lousia M. Cow-
ell, and has a son Porter and daugh-
ter Julia. He is an active, energetic
man in his county and state.
In the spring of 1857, Miss Amanda
Parsons came from East Gloucester,
Mass., to teach this school and while
in Groton boarded with her cousins,
the Harrimans, who lived on the old
Moors place near the school. Miss
Parsons had attended the public
schools in her native town and taken
a course at the Salem Normal school,
and was a fine scholar. She was the
daughter of Thomas L. and Matilda C.
Parsons, and was born at East Glou-
sester, December 14, 1836. Her father
— 24 —
I'.iitlcr lliuli S,li,M,l. r.iiill 1^7(1.
N... III. .Inlin K. (,il-.in llcni-c. Itiiilt in IsTI - ISiininl in 1!h>J.
Dr. Cecil F. 1". I'.aiu roll.
was an old-time sea captain and the
homestead of her parents was her
home for years after her teaching ex-
perience at Grotou. She never mar-
ried and died at the old Parsons home
on April 19, 11)10.
Miss Mary p]lizabeth Graham was In
charge of this school In the summer
term of 1858. She was a graduate of
the State Normal school at Framing-
ham and had attended Lawrence acad-
emy. She was born in Lunenburg,
Mass., in December, 1839, the daugh-
ter of Ephraim Graham, who had been
a teacher in Fitchburg, Lunenburg
and Leominster. After leaving Gro-
ton. Miss Graham taught in East Wal-
pole, Westminster, North Leominster
and four years in Worcester. She
then married Henry L. Bates of Bos-
ton, and is living in Dorchester.
The scholars of the winter terms of
1858 and 1859, were favored in hav-
ing for their teacher, none other than
Cecil F. P. Bancroft, who here began
that profession which he made his life
work and in which he was preemi-
nently successful. Cecil Franklin
Patch Bancroft, Ph. D., Lit. D., Will-
iams; L. L. D., Yale; was born in
New Ipswich, N. H., November 25,
1839, and died at Audover, Mass., Oc-
tober 1, 1901. Mr. Bancroft was a
student at Dartmouth college and was
permitted to come to Groton to teach.
He still kept up his studies and grad-
uated at the college in the class of
1860. After graduation he was prin-
cipal of Appleton academy, Mt. Ver-
non, N. H., from 1860 to 1864; a theo-
logical student at Union Theological
seminary, Schenectady, N. Y., 1865-66,
and at Andover Theological seminary,
1865 to 1867.
He married on May 6, 1867, Miss
Frances Adelia Kittredge, a former
pupil and resident at Mt. Vernon, and
immediately they went to Chattanooga
to assume charge of "A loyal Chris-
tian New England school for i)Oor
whites," on Lookout Mountain. Here
they remained until the school was
closed in 1872. The years 1872-73,
were spent In travel and study In
Europe, and returning to America In
1873, Mr. Bancroft assumed the prln-
cipalship of Phillips academy at An-
dover, Mass. He labored here with
great success for twenty-eight years,
a beloved instructor and greatly la-
mented at his death, October 4, 1901.
Three generations of Mr. Bancroft's
ancestry lived in Groton in its early
settlement and his parents, Dtvicon
James Bancroft und his wife, Sarah
Kendall Bancroft, moved to New Ips-
wich, N. H., where the subject of lhl.s
sketch was born, p^urly in life h«
went to live with .Mr. and Mr». Patch
of Ashby, friends of his parents. They
had recently lost a little son by death
and Cecil seemed to All the aching
void in their hearts. He attended the
schools in Ashby and prepared for
college at Appleton academy In New
Ipswich. Here he formed a life-long
friendship with John Wesley Church-
ill, who was with him at Andover.
later in life, and was a noted teacher
of elocution and reader.
.Mr. Bancroft was present at the
centennial celebration of Lawrence
academy at Groton in 1893, and re-
ferred to the fact that he was "ex-
amined" by the late George S. Bout-
well, when he applied to teach dis-
trict school No. 2. One of his pupils
at this school states that she always
remembered the impressive manner in
which their teacher conducted the re-
(luired religious service at the open-
ing of school and how on the last day
of his teaching here he was greatly
surprised when presented with a bible
by his scholars.
His son, Cecil K. Bancroft, of An-
dover, informs me in writing: "I
have before me a bible, 'Presented by
liis piipils of District No. 2, In Gro-
ton, Mass., February, 1859.'"
His services here were most ef!1-
cient and brought out from the school
committee the terse and fitting en-
dorsement: "The school was in every
respect a good one."
He was a close companion at Dart-
mouth of George A. Bruce and George
A. Marden, who both came from
Mt. Vernon, N. H., and this undoubt-
edly led to his going there to teach.
Mr. Bruce afterwards taught at Dis-
trict No. 2, and George A. Marden was
for years the editorial head of the
Lowell Journal and Courier, and
treiusurer and receiver general of the
commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As principal at Appleton academy,
Mt. Vernon, Mr. Bancroft had the
able as.sistance, im j»receptes3, of his
accomplished sister, who also taught
the summer term for two years here
at No. 2.
— '2b —
The following extract as tributes
from friends are taken from an obit-
uary notice of him in the Andover
Townsman of October 1, 1901:
"His early success as a teacher
forecast his life work, although in
the meantime he made full prepara-
tion for the gospel ministry."
"Thousands of young men who have
gone out into the larger educational
fields, or into business life from the
great school, whose head. Dr. Ban-
croft so long was, will ever tell by
the influence of their lives, by the
high standards they will raise, and
through the strong characteristics
they will ever show, that the founda-
tions were laid by a master hand in
the building of young manhood."
"All those that taught with him
and a large proportion of his pupils
are grateful that they were privileged
to hear the morning petitions offered
in the school chapel. Those prayers
were gracious messages of peace and
strength, and enabled many to es-
tablish their ways against evil and
live a life that was true and service-
"But I cannot forbear adding that
the boy was father to the man, the
young teacher was the prophecy of
the mature education, for the same
genial, cheery, kindly, unselfish heart,
that won and blessed all who came
under its influence in earlier days,
is the sufficient secret of the success,
which has crowned his twenty-eight
years of tireless service in Andover,
and makes the whole town, as well
as the hosts of his scattered pupils
sincerely mourn his death."
Susan F. Bancroft was a successful
teacher here in the summer terms of
1859-60-61. She was born in New Ips-
wich, N. H., October 25, 1836, the
daughter of James and Sarah W.
Kendall Bancroft. She married Al-
bert Conant of Boston, June, 1867, and
died in Charlestown on January 28,
The following is an extract from an
obituary notice of her in 1885:
"At an early age she attended the
common schools of her town and then
entered New Ipswich Appleton acad-
emy where she pursued her studies,
attained a high rank as a scholar and
commenced the development of those
noble traits of womanly character
which became so conspicuous in her
after life. At the age of sixteen she
began to teach the "District school,"
first in the town of Nelson, and, sub-
sequently, in New Ipswich, Rindge
and Wilton. In the autumn of 1860,
she became preceptress of Appleton
academy, now McCollom institute, in
Mt. Vernon, where she remained four
years, the academy during that time
being under the charge of her brother.
Rev. Cecil F. P. Bancroft, Ph. D., now
principal of Phillips academy, An-
dover, Mass. She again taught pub-
lic schools in Mt. Vernon, Amherst,
and also in Randolph and Charles-
town, Mass. She was devoted to her
chosen profession and never seemed
to be more happy than when engaged
in imparting instruction. She was
always at ease in the schoolroom and
made it attractive for her pupils. With
them her rule was love and her word
was law which they kindly and cheer-
fully obeyed. She had a thorough
knowledge of her subjects and the
wonderful art of making her scholars
to understand them. Of her it can
be truly said, she was apt to teach."
Rufus Livermore. who taught this
school in the winter of 1860, was born
in Groton on November 1, 1839, son
of Daniel and Abigail (Trask) Liver-
more. He fitted for college at Law-
rence academy and studied for a while
at Williams college. He then attend-
ed the Albany Law school and was
admitted to the bar of New York state.
While familiarizing himself with the
Massachusetts legal code and teach-
ing, the war broke out and he was
one of the first to enlist and as a
member of (Groton) Company B, 6th
regiment, was in the bloody march
through Baltimore, April 19, 1861. He
returned to Groton and assisted in
securing further enlistments and final-
ly went again to the war in the Third
Rhode Island cavalry. On January
22, 1863, he was married to Martha
After the war he lived for a while
at the Lewis Blood place on Washing-
ton street, Groton Junction, now Ayer.
After this brief residence here, he
moved to Orange, and became closely
identified with the concern which
eventually became the Rodney Hunt
Machine Company, of which he was
secretary and director. He became
one of the most prominent and re-
spected citizens of the town. He was
Iliilii- LiMTiiiniv. ls;!!i-ls;il.
^ . "^r-^*^
N.'. ;;■'. I»i.k-<>n l>j.Uiii"'ii II. mi
Dr. r>L'iiJamiii Hull llnrtw t'll. J>oru r\'l)riiary 27, iSiJ— Died December 0, rj04.
a representative to the state legisla-
ture in 1879, and a state senator for
the years 1883 and 1SS4.
Mr. Livermore diod in Orange, July
8, 1891. after a short illness. Ho was
closely connected with many local
organizations, was an active, earnest
member of the Congregational church,
a superintendent and teacher in the
Sunday school, and active in all work
which promoted tiie welfare of the
One of his associates has fittingly
"Mr. Livermore was a man for
whom I felt the highest respect. It
was not necessary to know him a
long time and to watch his course
through a series of years in order to
be assured of his sterling character.
He was one of the few men whose
every act was impressed with inti-
mate integrity and honor."
George Anson Bruce, in the winter
of 1861, became the teacher. It is
interesting to note that Cecil F. P.
Bancroft, a former to;icher, was then
teaching at l\lt. Vernon, N. H., the
place of birth of Mr. Bruce, where
he was born on November 19, 1839.
His parents were Nathaniel and Lucy
(Butterfield) Bruce. He graduated at
Dartmouth in the class of 1861, and
after leaving school No. 2, served in
Thirteenth N. H. Volunteers in the
war of the rebellion. He was admit-
ted to the bar of Middlesex county in
Massachusetts in April, 1866. He was
a member of the New Hampshire legis-
lature, and in 1882-3-4, in the Massa-
chusetts senate, being president in
the last named year. He moved to
Somerville in 1874, and was mayor
of tliat city for three years. He mar-
ried on .January 26, 1870, Clara Moors
Hall, daughter of Joseph Fletcher and
Sarah (Longley) Hall of Groton.
Julia Maria Page was the teacher
in the spring of 1862, and was born
in Shirley on August 12. 1844. She
was the daughter of George and Abi-
gail (Gibson) Page. Slie had tlie ben-
efit of the instruction at Shirley Cen-
ter of Charles Goodrich, who taught
advanced scholars in the lower room
of the town house, whero she and her
brother Walter both attended. She
was also taught privately by Mary
Longloy, a sister of tiio late Melvln
W. Longley. This school at Groton
was her first, and she taught later
at Shirley village and Sliirlt-y Cen-
ter. She married Tliomas L. Hazea
of Shirley on November 17, 1867, and
died on September 6, 1883. Their
daugliter, Mabel G. Hazen, born on
July 27, 1872, wa« a graduate of
Fitchburg high school, Smith <-ollege,
and took a course at P.ridgewater as
preparation for teacher. Like her
mother, she has been a successful
Emma Caroline Hartwell. daugliter
of Benjamin F. and Emma Whitman
Hartwell, was born in Acton, .Mass.,
May 20, 1843, and with her brother
Benjamin came with tlieir parents to
Groton, the place of birth of the fath-
er, when quite young. She graduated
at Lawrence academy and became a
teacher. She taught this scliool in the
summer and winter of 1863. and in
the summer of 1864. She afterwards
went to Galiopolis, Ohio where she
taugiit for several y«'ars and wliere she
was married to .M. V. B. Ktnnedy. The
family afterward moved to Zanes-
ville. Ohio, where .Mr. Kennedy died.
She now resides witli her only son in
the last named city.
The school committee were pleased
to say in tiieir rei)ort for 1863-64:
"The summer and winter terms
were taught by Miss Emma C. Hart-
well of tills town, wlio possesses ad-
mirable (lualities for a teacher"; and
in the next report for 1864-65: "She is
a thorough scholar and insists upon
thoroughness on the part of her pu-
Benjamin Hall Hartwell. who taught
in the winter of 1S64. had been a pupil
with his brother Harris in the same
school. This was his first experience
in the profession which he later gave
up for that of a physician. He was
born in Acton, Mass., February 27.
1845. and came to Groton with his
parents in 1847. to the "community"
location. He graduated at I>awrence
academy and after his season of teach-
ing here, taught the school at Sandy
Iiond. now in Ayer, and then the high
scliool at Groton Center. Educational
interest lost a good teacher and the
medical profession gained an eminent-
ly successful practitioner. He be-
came a re«ld»'nt of (he present town
of Ayor In 1869, and was closely Iden-
tifit'd with Its schools and other pub-
lic institutions. He died at Ayer on
December 6, 1904, much lamented and
long to be remembered.
Miss Lizzie S. Jaquith, the teacher
for the summer of 1865, was born in
Ashby, Mass., and attended the dis-
trict schools and the high school in
that town. From the high school she
came to teach the school in this dis-
trict. After leaving Groton she taught
in Ashby, Ashburnham, New Ipswich,
Milford district schools until her
marriage in 1876, to Erastus O. Wheel-
er of Ashby. She died in 1880. A
sister resides in Fitchburg, and a
son in Pomfret, Vt.
Maria Catherine Wright, the eldest
daughter of Deacon Alva Wright,
taught in the winter of 1865. She was
born in Groton, August 18, 1842; was
a pupil at No. 2, and entered Law-
rence academy in 1854. With some
other ambitious young ladies in 1858,
she was examined at the old brick
schoolhouse opposite the academy for
a position as teacher and at that early
age of sixteen began to teach in
Groton. At various times she taught
first at No. 14, at the paper mill; at
No. 11, Sandy pond; also, in Dun-
stable and South Lancaster. She also
taught in the academy at Mt. Vernon,
N. H., taking the place there of Miss
Susan F. Bancroft, who had previous-
ly been a teacher at our school at
No. 2. In 1867, she went as a teacher
in a large school for freedmen, the
Lincoln school at Memphis, Tenn., lo-
cated in surroundings especially try-
ing for our eastern girls accustomed
to good roads, sidewalks and well-
kept grounds. In 1877, she married
Shelby H. Sawyer, whom she sur-
vives and she makes her home in
In this place it may be said that
the Wright girls had a fine reputation
for punctuality and scholarly appli-
cation, and at one of the examinations
when they were pupils, the committee
after looking over the register, wished
to see those Wright sisters.
"Where are they; let them stand
up." They had not been absent or
tardy during the long, severe winter
Fannie E. Wright, the teacher for
the spring of 1866, was one of the
three daughters of Alva and Fanny
G. (Woods) Wright, who all taught
this school at different times. She
was born in Groton, December 10,
1846, and attended this school as a
pupil and also at Lawrence academy.
She was married in 1868, to Burton
W. Potter, esq., who had also attended
the academy. She also taught in the
north and east schools of Groton.
Since her marriage she has held many
positions of usefulness in the church.
Woman's club, and patriotic organiza-
tions of Worcester, where she now
James Calvin Carter Parker came to
this school in the winter of 1866, as
a teacher, but did not make an ex-
tensive stay. This may have been a
hard school for Mr. Parker, but at any
rate he failed to arouse the interest
of his pupils. He was born in Shir-
ley on July 19, 1846, the son of Dr.
James Otis and Martha Lincoln Carter
Parker. After seven months' mili-
tary service in the Second Massachu-
setts cavalry in 1865, he attended
Lawrence academy, being enrolled in
1866. He also taught at East Shir-
ley. He was a direct descendant of
Captain James Parker, an early set-
tler of Groton, and his father was a
graduate of old Groton academy in
1820, and Amherst college in 1834, and
was a well-known physician at Shir-
ley. The son died recently, January
27, 1911, at his home in Shirley.
Miss Cynthia A. Goodnow, a teach-
er in the spring of 1868, was born in
Boston, the daughter of Asa and Cyn-
thia Hamilton Goodnow, June 27, 1849.
In her early life, with a sister, Mary
A., now wife of Leonard Stone of Rox-
bury, she came to Littleton, after the
death of their mother, to make her
home in the family of a cousin, Mrs.
Mary J. Priest, and for about ten
years Littleton was their home. Dur-
ing these years she attended Law-
rence academy at Groton, being en-
rolled at that institution with her sis-
ter in 1865, during that time taking
private lessons also of Miss Clarissa
Butler. She graduated at Salem Nor-
mal school on January 23, 1868, and
was one of the essayists. After the
period of teaching in Groton, she went
to Brookline, Mass., to make a home
for her father, and died there on Feb-
ruary 10, 1877.
The teacher for the spring term of
1869, was Miss Rebecca Arabella
Prescott of Westford, Mass. She was
the daughter of Levi and Rebecca
Fletcher Prescott, and was born in
Westford in October, 1848. Wliile
teaching this school she boarded in
the family oP John M. Gilson, as sev-
eral teachers have done. Miss Pres-
cott attended the i)ublic schools of
her native town and received private
instruction preparatory to hor taking
up the profession, which she followed
at Littleton, Westford, Sandy pond,
Granitf'ville and Bridgewater. N. II.
She died in Westford on August 13,
Miss Genio A. Hunt came from Ver-
mont to teach the school in the spring
of 1870. She was born in Fairfax,
Vt., on April 21, 1847, daughter of
Heman and Julia Safford Hunt. While
in Groton, she boarded at the Ephra-
ini Sawtelle house. Vermont had
more claims on her services and she
returned there after the term of
teaching here. Since then she has
taught in Vermont, Wisconsin, Ne-
braska, California and is now teach-
ing a course in manual arts at Brig-
ham academy at Bakersfield, Vt.
Sarah Jane Wright, better known
to her pupils as Miss Jennie Wright,
taught several terms, beginning in
1870. She was born in Groton on
October 24, 1848, the daughter of
Deacon Alva and Fanny Gilson
Wright. She was also for some years
a pupil here, beginning with Miss
Alma Willard and ending with her
own sister, Maria C. Wright, as teach-
er. Besides teaching here, she also
taught other schools in Groton, Gran-
itevllle and Worcester. Miss Wright
married on December 24, 1873, Josiah
K. Proctor, and they now live at Wyn-
cote. Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia.
She recalls many amusing incidents
as pupil and teacher. At one time a
boy was given this sentence to read:
"Why do you not take better care of
your king?" taken from a bible story.
In a halting manner the boy read:
"W-h-why d-do y-o-you n-o-t-not
tak-take a b-e-basket and c-a-r-carry
Mr. Andrews, one of the committee,
was once questioning a class in gram-
mar and called upon this same lad
who had tried "to carry a king in a
basket," and asked him to give the
plural of scissors: "Shears sir," he
replied, and of sheo]), "Sheeps sir."
A small boy failed to recognize his
own name when he began to spell it:
S-t-o-p — h-e-n, until told that It was
Miss Lucy Maria Hill was well-
known in the di.strict when she came
to teach the school in the fall of 1872.
She lived with hor parents, Hmry and
Abigail CofTin Hill, upon Farnifrs"
row, nearer Groton, and liad attended
the academy in 1864, when her sister
also attended. She also attended Ab-
bott academy in Andovor, .Mass She
was born in Bradford, -Mass., Decem-
ber 15, 1849; married Frederick
Fosdick, son of Rev. David Fos-
dick, a neighbor, April 24. 1873, and
resided in Fitchburg until her death
on December 8, 1908. Mr. Fosdick
has held many positions of trust in
that city, having been elected mayor
Mrs. Ellen M. Torrey, as a teacher
of Moors school, will always be re-
membered as one of the most suc-
cessful teachers Groton ever had,
though her work was confined to the
district schools. She is the daughter
of the late Samuel and Clarissa
(Hartwell) Williams, and was born
in Groton on Chicopee row in 1846.
She married first. Rev. Watson Wil-
lard Torrey, a son of Willard Torrey,
of the T'hicopee row neighborhood,
and secondly, Sumner R. .Mason. He
was a son of Rev. S. R. !\Iason, D. D.,
of Cambridge, Mass., who was killed
in a railroad wreck near Boston, sev-
eral years ago. The .Mason family,
after his death, came to Groton in
1875, and purchased the old Levi
Stone farm below the school. She
attended school at No. 7 in her young
days, and was enrolled at Lawrence
academy in 1857. During her years
of teaching she kept school in Con-
necticut, Iowa, Harvard, Weymouth
and four different schools in Groton,
besides giving private instructions in
Mrs. Mason says: "The motto, 'Not
how much but how well,' which I
tried to impress on the minds of my
beloved pupils of .Moors school has
in the main been my own." Her
own children have gone out into the
world earnest exponents of their
mother's belief and two have been
teachers in Groton and Pepperell.
Mrs. Mason will have the sympathy
of all her old pupils in the loss of her
husband. Sumner R. Mason, who died
on August 5, 1911.
— 29 —
The following is a tribute from a
former pupil to her old teacher:
"Mrs. Ellen M. Torrey, under whose
guidance I was fortunate enough to
be, was far above the average coun-
try school teacher. Her sunny nature
and rare womanliness made us all
love her. She developed the best in
each one and held up high ideals
which left an impression upon our
The teacher for 1877-8. was Miss
Clara F. Woods of Ayer, a graduate
of the high school there in 1876, and
the class secretary. Miss Woods was
the daughter of Moses W. and Caro-
line L. Woods, and was born in Shir-
ley, Mass., December 5, 1859. She
was a successful teacher here and
afterwards went to Wellesley college,
and then taught in Needham, Natick
and Ayer. She married in April, 1882
George H. Hill of Ayer, where she
In 1892, for two terms, Miss Nancy
Jane May of Groton, was in charge
of the school. She was the daughter
of George and Mary May, and was
born in Groton on June 14, 1873. She
taught also the Willard and Chaplin
schools in Groton, the Coolidge and
Hosmer schools in Watertown, and
was a teacher at the Elliot school in
Boston just previous to her death,
which occurred in that city on Jan-
uary 17, 1907. She was a graduate
of the Groton high school, class of
1890, and attended the State Normal
school at Framingham.
In the spring of 1893, the school
was taught by Miss Martha Leola
Wright, daughter of Henry T. and
Martha A. Wright of Groton. She was
born in Ayer, Mass., July 30, 1872,
and this was her first school, taken
up after two years at Smith college,
Northampton. She had previously
completed a four-years' course at
Vermont academy, Saxton River, Vt.
After a successful term here, she re-
turned to Smith college and completed
the course in 1895. She has since
taught in Ware, Mass., and at present
is a teacher of history in the North-
ampton high school. As a pleasant
accompaniment to the work, she trav-
eled in 1905, in France, Italy and
Miss Mary A. Kimball, a well-known
and successful teacher in Groton
Center at the present time, presided
over the school for two terms in 1908,
while Miss Longley was in California.
Miss Kimball was born in Alfred,
Me., the daughter of Alden B. and
Caroline C. Kimball. She is a gradu-
ate of the Alfred high school and the
normal school at Gorham, Me. She
taught in Maine, and in Massachu-
setts in the towns of Danvers, Bev-
erly and Lynn, and in this vicinity
in Townsend and Pepperell.
Miss Anna Bancroft, who taught in
1879, was one of the four daughters
of the late Edmund Dana and Mary
P. M. Bancroft. She was born in
Shirley, Mass., November 21, 1854,
and her home was at Ayer for many
years. She graduated at Lawrence
academy in the class of 1872, and
taught school ten years in this state
previous to her marriage to Charles
H. Richardson of Groton and Wash-
ington, D. C, October 10, 1883. Mr.
Richardson had been a pupil at this
same school nineteen years before.
As a teacher she was universally
loved by her pupils and was alto-
gether successful. Since her hus-
band's death, Mrs. Richardson has
resided at Washington, holding a po-
sition in the dead letter office.
The long continued service of Miss
Sarah H. Longley as teacher of this
school, is one that is quite noticeable
and which meets with universal ap-
probation on the part of pupils and
parents. Thirty complete school
years at one little brick schoolhouse
is a record to be proud of, and the
teacher can see her pupils grow into
useful men and women while still
keeping guard over the moral and
intellectual welfare of those who are
to follow from the same neighborhood
school. Miss Longley came to this
school well equipped with a normal
school training and is considered one
of Groton's best teachers, who are
always needed in tne rural district
A list of pupils who have taught
Evans, Harrison D.. Peterboro, Mason.
Hillsboro, Wilton and Sharon in
New Hampshire: also, in Illinois,
and in West Townsend and Chelms-
Oilson, Mary Emeline, Groton.
Hartwell, Benjamin H., No. 2-11-Gro-
Hennisan, Kate, in Groton at Trow-
bridge, Butler Intermediate and
Miniiil L. (.r:i\r-. I'.i.ni mI dr.. I. in. M:i>«., .Iiil\ l». I>t'
Xu. o.s. IlMckett House.
'riic (icrri>li Sturo. ITs;!— iss"). 'r('iii|Mir;ir\ <^)u;irliT- nl (;nitiiii Iliiih Sdmol.
Tarbcll schools; in Hohlen and at
Belmont echool, Maldon, Mass..
Kcycs, Lizzie, Acton.
Keating, Susie. Maynard and Everett.
Keating. Mary J., Croton.
Lawrence. Curtis. No. 2 and No. 12.
Lawrence. Edward Addison. Apploton
academy. New Ipswich. N. 11.
Lawrence. Susan F., No. 2.
Pollard. Agnes B., No. 2.
Richardson, Mary Kliza, Westford
Richardson, Rufus B., Yale, Now Hav-
en; Bloomlngton, Indiana; Dart-
Richardson, Charles H., Ayor.
Richarfffin. Edward A., Groton.
Stone. Emma. Westford, Shirley and
Torrey, Llnette W.. Groton.
Tuttle Lena W.. Bolton, Littleton,
Groton. Bradford. N. H.. Green-
field. N. H., Boscawen. N. H.
Willnrd, Alma H., No. 2.
Wright, Sarah J., Groton, Westford,
Wright, Maria C.. Groton, Dunstable.
Now Hampshire. Tennessee.
Wright. Fannie E.. Groton. 3 schools.
Walt. Charles H., Kansas.
Weber, Elinor May. Goshen. Mass.,
Salisbury, N. H.. Plalnfleld. Mass.
There were four pupils at No. 2 in
about the same period, who were
close neighbors and chums and kept
up the acquaintance in after years as
they went on to the high school or
academy and on to still higher edu-
Benjamin H. Hartwell took a course
of lectures at the medical school at
Dartmouth and at Jefforson Medical
college at Philadelphia, where he
graduated in tSfiS. He became a
skilled physician as has been stated
His only brother, Harris- C. Hart-
well, went to Harvard and graduated
in the class of 1Rfi!>. He located as
a lawyer in Fitchhurg. where he died
in 1S91, in the very midst of a suc-
Samuel L. Graves went to Amherst
college, where he graduated in the
class of 1870. He also located as a
lawyer in Fitchburg, where he has
filled many important positions of
Rufus B. Richardson went to Yale,
where he graduated in ISfiO. and after-
wards taught there and held profes-
sorship chairs at Indiana State uni-
versity and Dartmouth college, and
became a noted student of Grecian
The names of the one-time pupils
who have had a milit.ary service and
their enrollment Is here given:
Brown, Daniel, war of rebellion.
Brown, William, war of rebellion.
Dickson. Ihnry A.. Co. B, 6th Massa-
chusetts regiment; Co. E. 33r<l
I'ickson, Walt<r E.. Co. D. 5th Massa-
Donlon. Michael. Co. D, 20th Massachu-
setts regiment; Co. L. 2na U. S.
Donlon, Patrick. U. S. railway military
Duron. George B.. Co. B. 26th Massa-
Duren, Charles, .57th and 59th Massa-
Evans. Harrison D., 13th N. H. regi-
Farnsworth. George H.. Co. B. 6tn
Gllson. George Herman. 26th Massa-
Gllson. Sumner. Co. B. 6th Massachu-
setts regiment. „„ ^ »,
Hackott. Michael. Co. B, 33rd Massa-
Hartwell, John S., 14th N. H. regiment
Kondall. George E.. Co. B. 26th Mass-
Messer. Abbott M., Co. B, 26th Massa-
Richardson. Rufua B.. Co. B, 6th Mass-
Richardson. Alfred A.. Co. B. 6th Mass-
Proctor, Sanford. U. S. navy, eight and
Mason. Joseph, cadet at U. S. naval
Coding. John W.. cadet at IT. S. mili-
tary academy. West Point.
Bcrquist. Oscar W.. Spanish-American
To this list may be added the
Bruce, George Anson. 13th N. H. volun-
Banoroft.' Cecil F. P.. Christian com-
Llvermore. Rufus, Co. B. 6th Massachu-
Parker. James C. C. 2nd Massachusetts
Michael Hackett, one of the pupila
in 1860, just before the war, was the
son of John and Mary Hackett. and
came to America when a small boy
He died in Manchester. N. H., May 11
1911. aged sixty-eight years. It is
related that he was such a zealous
soldier boy that he went off to tht
rendezvous without informing his
pnrents and that his mother, with a
younger infant brother in her arms
went to the camp and begged for th<
return of her boy home. The recruit
ing olTlcer was more willing than th<
lioy, who was really under age. bu
tlio'boy Informed his mother that I'
was no use to take him home for h<
— 31 —
would enlist again. She finally gave
her consent and he went away to the
war in Company B, 33rd Massachu-
setts regiment and served four years,
and at the close of the rebellion en-
listed in the regular army for a three-
year service. Mr. Hackett used to say
that he had been, during his military
service, in every state In the union,
except Vermont. He was a brave
soldier and a general favorite with
officers and men. He was an active
member of Louis Bell Post No. 3, G.
A. R., at Manchester. He is survived
by a widow, one son and five daugh-
Henry A. Dickson, a pupil for a
short period in about 1842, was one
of those patriotic citizens, who in
April, 1861, responded to the first call
for troops, and marched to the de-
fence of the national capital. After
serving in Company B, "Old Sixth,"
for three months, he enlisted in Com-
pany E, 33rd Massachusetts regiment
for three years. Mr. Dickson lives in
Fitchburg and was the commander of
E. V. Sumner Post 19. G. A. R., for
the past year.
In closing this school narrative I
am aware that the subject is of more
particular interest to those families
which have had representatives in
the school as pupils or teachers, than
to the general reader. The work has
been undertaken with a purpose to
preserve the fugitive facts, less easily
obtainable as the years pass by. The
reminiscences of old pupils of school
life here bring out many almost for-
gotten facts in the home life of the
inhabitants of the district. To some
extent this account is supplementary
to "The story of a Neighborhood,"
which was published in the spring
Some of the old pupils recall their
attendance at the high school in the
upper part of the Gerrish building at
Groton Center, just before the new
high school was erected in 1870.
The present generation of scholars
will be interested to learn something
of the school life of those earlier ones,
who trudged over these same country
roads, in sunshine and in storm and
sat within the same walls to secure
the instruction which would fit them
for whatever station in life.
The old homes have undergone
transformations from time to time,
with here an addition and there an
entirely new house, but in many cases
the general form of the buildings is
the same as when erected.
The views of houses shown here-
with may be identified as the homes
of the pupils by referring to the num-
bered list of the homes of parents in
the forward part of this narrative.
At the "Community" on the hill,
fires and removals near the Groton
Episcopal school have caused many
of the old houses to disappear and
have changed the entire neighborhood,
but on the east road very few changes
have been made in the homes, and
with one exception, fire has not placed
its effacing hand in that part of the
Not to the same extent as formerly
do the families continue on at the
old homesteads, generation after gen-
eration, but the present occupants may
see in imagination the sacrifices and
hopes of former owners for the suc-
cess of the children who were brought
up beneath the old roof-trees and
were pupils at Old Number Two
Huntley S. Turner, Printer, Ayer
Die 18 m\
LIBRPRY OF CONGRESS
014 079 023