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Full text of "West Newton half a century ago"

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I 



THE GIFT OF 



«^ 




WEST NEWTON 
HALF A CENTURY AGO 



BY 

LUCY ELLIS ALLEN 






Capuright, 1917 
by Lucy mii8 Allen 






PJUI TH« aWAPHIC PWK««. WKWTOM jiTj 



DEDICATED 

TO 

Q^f lltuM Jadtaott (K^ajiU r* 9. JL X. 

OF West Newton 



WEST NEWTON HALF A 
CENTURY AGO 



**We watch the flights of the sun 
through space, shortening winter and 
bringing spring and summer, with 
birds, leaves and fruits, and yet it is 
not half as wonderful as the passage 
of a human soul, glowing and spark- 
ling with ten thousand effects as it 
moves through life, carrying its 
atmosphere and influence, as does 
Nature/' 

Man is indeed a force producer and 
force bearer, journeying forward and 
exhaling influences on all sides. — 
But once the good man appears, his 
power is irresistible and such was 
the case in West Newton some half 
a century ago, when there came to 
this little village such men and wo- 

[1] 



WEST NEWTON 

men as most of us have heard of, 
since childhood. 

** Their presence made sunshine 
and right living easy, their coming 
changed the climate and their influ- 
ence can never wholly die — ** 

At that period which we are con- 
sidering, the world was alive to the 
greatest interests; education, freeing 
of the slaves, temperance, and true 
government. In all these questions. 
West Newton men and women took 
a lively interest and gave the village 
the reputation of being a most pro- 
gressive community. 

Among the noble group who called 
West Newton their home, the name 
of Horace Mann stands first; a man 
who chose as his topic for considera- 
tion when graduating from college: 
"The Progressive Character of the 
Human Race. ** 

All are undoubtedly familiar with 
the spot where Horace Mann's 

[21 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

house once stood at the corner 
of Chestnut and Highland Streets, 
where now the Saffords reside. Hor- 
ace Mann was a member of the 
House of Representatives in Massa- 
chusetts and served on the State Sen- 
ate, at an earlier period; and through 
his personal exertions, Massachusetts 
established a Board of Education and 
Mr. Mann was at once placed at its 
head as Secretary. During his resi- 
dence in West Newton, in addition to 
other duties, he wrote the reports of 
the board for the people of the State. 
These reports discussed in a forcible 
manner, many new questions on edu- 
cation and they had a great influence 
in elevating the standard of public 
sentiment and of school instruction, 
not only in Massachusetts, but 
throughout the whole country and 
world, as they were published in 
many languages. His earnestness in 
advocating new methods and new 

[3] 



WEST NEWTON 

plans started the great movement in 
public school education, which is 
more strikingly American, than any 
system which we call American in 
distinction from others called 
European. 

Besides his work as Secretary of 
the Educational Board, he had gen- 
eral care and superintendence of the 
erection of three Normal School 
buildings. Mr. Mann in speaking of 
his service said: ''I labored in this 
educational cause an average of not 
less than fifteen hours each day, and 
from the beginning to the end, 
(eleven years) never took a single 
day for recreation." Some educa- 
tional errand was sure to be his ob- 
ject if he visited any friend. In 1847, 
he wrote to an old friend, of his home 
in West Newton: "I have built a 
house for myself at this place, which 
will gladden your hearts. I have 
been a wanderer for twenty years 

£4] 



HALf* A CESNTURT AGO 

and when asked where I lived, I an- 
swered: 'I do not live anywhere, I 
board.' This Arab life I could bear 
while alone, but when I had *wife 
and weans', it became intolerable* 
We have therefore put up a shelter in 
West Newton, ten miles from Boston 
and within one hundred rods of the 
West Newton Woman's Normal 
School." Here he Uved deUghtf ully 
with his family and the little ones 
whom he never could turn his badL 
upon. It is said that the only natural 
outlet for his native hilarity was his 
love of children, and this resource was 
all that saved him when the outside 
world seemed bent upon thwarting his 
educational aims. The children, too, 
on their part, thought no play was so 
charming as that in which their father 
partook. He did not know how to tell 
fairy tales, nor did he approve of 
them, but he could bring the wonders 
of Nature within the compass of their 

[6] 



WEST NEWTON 

admiring little souls. To cultivate the 
religious character of his children, 
irrespective of dogma, for he was a 
most progressive and liberal thinker, 
was his aim; and it was the happiest 
of thoughts to him that his children 
could make God a sharer of their joys 
and an object of personal affection and 
confidence, as the loving heavenly 
parent, who made father, mother, and 
the butterfly alike. 

A charming group of literary friends 
shared the home of Mr. Mann. Mrs. 
Mann herself was a most cultured and 
refined woman, a daughter of Dr. Pea- 
body of Salem, an authoress of some 
distinction, while always sharing and 
assisting in her husband's educational 
duties. Mrs. Mann had with her a 
sister. Miss Elizabeth Peabody, the 
pioneer and interpreter of Froebel to 
the Americans. Altho ' opposed on all 
sides and ridiculed in her early work, 
she persevered to the end and lived to 

[6] 



HALS' A CENTURY AGO 

enjoy the distinction of tiie greatest 
woman, not only in Boston but Amer- 
ica, in enforcing the Kindergarten 
movement, which today we are all so 
familiar with. The famous Elizabeth 
Peabody School in Boston is only one 
preservative of her persistent and 
triumphant work. Miss Katharine 
Beecher, the sister of Harriet Beecher 
Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher lived 
also at the home of Mr. Mann, and 
Miss Rebecca Pennell, a remarkable 
teacher of Mathematics in the Normal 
School and later professor at Antioch 
College. Mr. and Mrs. Conant, too, 
added their influence and inspiration 
to the household, during the time that 
Mr. Conant assisted Mr. Chesboro, 
who is spoken of later in his engineer- 
ing work in bringing water from Co- 
chituate to Boston. 

Suddenly owing to the death of John 
Quincy Adams, came the demand for 
Mr. Mann's services as representative 

[7] 



WB6T NEWTON 

to the National Congress. It was an 
important crisis in the cause of liberty, 
for slavery was then to be stemmed or 
allowed to extend itself indefinitely, 
for a champion as fearless and per- 
sistent as Mr. Mann was needed. Mr. 
Mann at first felt that he could not 
leave Massachusetts, but upon reflec- 
tion, he saw that the new office had 
bearings upon the great cause of free- 
dom, and he allowed himself to be 
persuaded. His friends were glad to 
have him leave his educational labors 
for a time, for his plans were so vast, 
that no man could live under such 
pressure. 

Some few years after Mr. Mann left 
West Newton, his home was occupied 
by his brother-in-law Nathaniel Haw- 
thorne, for Mr. Mann's wife and Eliza- 
beth Peabody, were the sisters of Mrs. 
Hawthorne. Mr. Hawthorne had just 
come from the famous Brook Farm 
Community in West Roxbury, so 

[8] 



HAIiF A CSNTURT AGO 

similar in idea to the Wordsworth, 
Coleridge and Southey Pantisocracy, 
in the beautiful English Lakes about 
Grasmere and Keswick. While in 
West Newton, Hawthorne penned his 
** Blithedale Romance,'* it is said, and 
altho ' the author does not deny that 
he had the Brook Farm Community in 
mind and occasionally availed himself 
of actual reminiscence, he claims that 
he had no pretence to illustrate a 
theory or elicit a conclusion in respect 
to a Socialistic scheme. Surely we 
find no Ripley in the ^'Blithedale Ro- 
mance," with whom rests the **honor- 
able paternity of the institution,** no 
Dana, Channing, Parker and others 
among his characters. Still are we 
not satisfied that one book even was 
written in our little village before 
Hawthorne went to his Concord home 
or the Old Manse? His was ever a life 
of retirement and so like ** the young 
champions of mediaeval timed, on the 

[•1 



WESST NEWTON 

eve of Knighthood, he was shut up 
alone, to watch and pray beside his 
armor." This man turned human 
beings into philosophy and philojsophy 
into human beings, awakening, as it is 
said, a new birth of literature in 
America, of which we are justly proud. 
Mrs. Lydla Maria Childs became a 
resident of West Newton too, living 
with her husband David Lee Childs at 
the corner of Chestnut and Fuller 
Streets, after leaving New York, where 
she had been editor of the "Anti- 
Slavery Standard", while in New 
York, she had lived at the honie of the 
genial philanthropist, Isaac T. Hopper, 
whose biography she wrote in West 
Newton and which is one of the most 
readable pieces of biography in Eng- 
lish literatiu'e. Here, too, she wrote 
and worked on the " Progress of Re- 
ligious Ideas ", which is an attempt to 
represent in a candid, unprejudiced 
manner, the rise and progress of the 

[10] 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

great religions of the world and their 
ethical relations to each other. She 
must not be regarded only from a lit- 
erary point of view, for she was so 
wise in counsel that men like Charles 
Sumner, Henry Wilson and Governor 
John Andrew, as well as the destitute, 
availed themselves of her foresight 
and sound judgment. As Lowell says 
of her : — 

" There comes Philothea, her face all 
aglow. 

She has just been dividing some 
poor creature's woe. 

No doubt against many deep griefs 
she prevails. 

For her ear is the refuge of destitute 
tales; 

She knows well that silence is sor- 
row's best food. 

And that talking draws off from the 
heart its black blood." 

From West Newton, Mrs. Childs also 

[11] 



WBST NI2WT0N 

wrote a criticism of **Uncle Tom's 
Cabin/* which Mrs. Harriet B. Stowe 
had been roused to write after the 
passage of the Fugitive Slave law and 
of which Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning wrote : ** I, as a woman and 
human being, rejoice in its success. 
If a woman has no business to write of 
such questions, she had better subside 
into slavery herself and take no rank 
among thinkers and reformers.*' Cer- 
tainly "Uncle Tom's Cabin*' was a 
sign of the times and Mrs. Childs from 
the first had taken active interest in 
Slave matters, as had Horace Mann 
and others in West Newton. Mr. 
Nathaniel Allen*s house on Webster 
Street was one of the ** Underground 
Stations*' in Massachusetts and Mr. 
Allen stood ready to act as one of Wil- 
liam Lloyd Garrison's body guard in 
Boston or take the slave to Bedford, 
the next underground station to that 
in West Newton. 

[12] 



HAliF A CEINTURT AGO 

The Normal School which Mr. Mann 
spoke of as living within one hundred 
rods from in West Newton had been 
started in 1845. The subject of Normal 
Schools had become the most impor- 
tant one of Mr. Mann's life, at an 
earlier date, and when he finally suc- 
ceeded in starting that at Lexington 
five years previously, he wrote : " To- 
morrow we go to Lexington to launch 
the first Normal School for Women 
on this side of the Atlantic. I cannot 
indulge in an expression of the train 
of thoughts which the contemplation 
of this event awakens in my mind. 
Much must come of it, either of good 
or of ill, I am sanguine in my faith 
that it will be the former. The good 
will not come itself, — ^that is the re- 
ward of effort, of toil, of wisdom.'' 

The Normal School at Lexington 
was about to be closed after five years 
and the project, ** ridiculed and 
opposed," was likely to be discon- 

[13] 



WEST NEWTON 

tinued, for even in Boston, the so- 
called Athens of America, the wealth- 
ier class, with few exceptions of 
course, cared not for any reforms 
or interests toward promoting popu- 
lar education. Mr. Mann was not to 
be baffled, and called at the office of 
Mr. Josiah Quincy, Jr., as a last re- 
source and in his striking manner 
said: "If you know any man who 
wishes the highest seat in the kingdom 
of heaven, it is to be had for $1500.," 
by that he meant the purchase of the 
West Newton Fuller Academy, which 
building was till a few years ago, 
located on the corner of Washington 
and Highland Streets, where now the 
Unitarian Church stands. Mr. Quincy 
before rising from his desk, drew his 
check for the amount, and so the Nor- 
mal School for Women was started in 
West Newton. 

When in Lexington, Mr. Mann had 
secluded as principal of the Normal 

[14] 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

School, Mr. Cyrus Pierce, a graduate 
of Harvard, native of Waltham, once 
Unitarian minister in Reading and a 
very successful teacher in Nantucket. 
Mr. Mann considered Mr. Pierce the 
man of all teachers in Massachusetts, 
who was fitted to carry on the Normal 
School, for he lived the life of intel- 
lectual work, of uplifted thought and 
noble, generous feeling. A man who 
was such an indefatigable and pains- 
taking worker that he slept at most 
only five hours, working the rest of 
the twenty-f oiu", for he not only acted 
as principal, but he was his own 
janitor. He it was who came to West 
Newton as principal of the Normal 
School for Women. He not only knew 
how to teach with precision, but he 
evoked from his pupils, such a force 
of conscience as insured thorough 
study and assimilation of whatever 
was taught. Mr. Pierce's students, by 
their mental habits, which were con- 

[15] 



WBST NEWTON 

acientious, exact, reliable, were said 
to be known wherever they were met. 
His whole meaning in life was em- 
braced in the motto with which he 
daily closed his school : *' Live to the 
truth, my children *\ 

Many young ladies from the first 
families and best society of Boston 
and the State were attracted to this 
school and up to within a few years 
ago, we had in our midst, the woman 
who became " Father Pierce's ** assist- 
ant and co-worker, Mrs. E. N. L. 
Walton, who later came here to live 
with her husband, Mr. George Walton, 
who was on the State Board of Educa- 
tion, and an educator always. 

If to Mr. Mann the conception was 
due, Mr. Pierce settled the problem of 
the Normal School system against all 
and every kind of opposition. Here, 
too, the ''Model School,*' under Mr. 
Nathaniel T. Allen, gave the normal 
pupils practical lessons in teaching the 

[i«l 



HAU* A CBNTURT AGO 

children of the community and here 
Mr. Pierce acquired the name " Father 
Pierce," for his face was said to be 
similar to the great Froebel and later 
in life it was said to be a benediction 
to look upon his face» so benign and 
beautiful was it 

In 1854 the Normal School was 
moved to Framingham and the build- 
ing in West Newton was purchased for 
a private school by Mr. Nathaniel T. 
Allen and he associated with him 
"Father Pierce". Mr. Horace Mann 
took especial interest in the develop- 
ment of this private school for Mr. 
Allen had lived with Mr. Mann at an 
earlier time. 

The building became quite historic 
in the eyes of the oldest citizens, first 
as an academy, given the town by 
Judge Fuller; second, as the first Nor- 
mal School building for Women in the 
World and the model school con- 
nected with it, as it was termed the 

[17] 



WEST NEWTON 

most distinguished model school in the 
country; and third, for a private 
school of jGif ty years' standing, unique 
in having but one man, Nathaniel T. 
Allen, at the head all those years. 

It was distinctly an Allen School in 
name, for Mr. Allen connected with 
him an uncle, three brothers, George, 
James, Joseph, at different times; sev- 
eral cousins, nephews, nieces and 
daughters. Many of these men and 
women have held very high positions 
in the educational world in colleges 
and schools, have edited and written 
books on education, religion, history 
and politics. 

To this school came nearly five thou- 
sand pupils from every state and terri- 
tory of the Union, all countries of 
North and South America, the islands 
off the coast; many of the European 
countries and even from Asia. For 
the first .Japanese, Cubans and Porto 
Ricans it is supposed, who came for 

[18] 






HAU* A CBNTURT AGO 

educational purposes to the United 
States attended the Allen School. In 
connection with it as a private school. 
Dr. Dio Lewis and Mr. William A. 
Alcott were invited by Mr. Allen to 
give their lectures on physical culture 
and physiology. So intense was the 
enthusiasm that not only the young 
people of the school, but men and 
women from all parts of Newton 
joined in the exercises and the so 
called ** Town Hall '' had to be resorted 
to as a gymnasium, prior to that built 
in connection with the Allen School, 
which had the distinction of being one 
of the first gymnasiums in the country, 
built in connection with a preparatory 
school. Here, too, the first roller 
skates were tested by the inventor, Mr. 
James L. Plimpton, a cousin of the 
Aliens, which form of exercise has al- 
ways been so popular in all cities 
and towns. 
In 1863, through the influence of 

[19] 



WBSST NEWTON 

Baroness Marenholtz von Bulow, the 
pupil and interpreter of Froebel» Mrs. 
Louise Pollock was secured from Ger- 
many by Mr. James Allen to open the 
first kindergarten in the United States, 
and so the Allen School had children 
of all ages connected with it and the 
nature studies and sciences held such 
an important place in the curriculum 
of the school, that there have ema- 
nated from the school many of our 
distinguished scientific men. Mr. 
Mann amusingly said to Mr. Allen, who 
had been a pupil of Louis Agassiz, that 
he should charge him freightage on his 
son's trunks, when he moved to Ohio; 
they were so loaded down with speci- 
mens of minerals ! 

The building was always used for all 
meetings of reform in the village, such 
as Anti Slavery and Free Soil meet- 
ings, and one of the first Civil Service 
Clubs in Massachusetts was here 
organized. 

[201 



HAIP A CBNTURT AGO 

Besides Horace Mann, Cyrus Pierce, 
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Maria 
Childs, West Newton had many others 
who were closely connected and inter- 
ested In all that tended toward reform 
and the uplifting of the community, 

Mr. William B. Fowle was one, a 
most distinguished educator and 
author, who might have been the prin- 
cipal too of the Normal School. 

Rev. Joseph Clark another, who be- 
came Secretary of the Home Mission 
Society and whose son, educated in 
West Newton, has been secretary of 
the same society in New York. 

Mr. John Dix, editor of the Boston 
Journal, was an able thinker and co- 
worker on all subjects before the 
world; while Mr. J. W. Plimpton, al- 
ways generous and noble, stood ready 
to assist by word, deed or open purse, 
every good object and cause, as did 
Mr. John Ayers, Mr. David Howland 
and others who were attracted to West 

[21] I 



WBSST NEWTON 

Newton around this time, all Theodore 
Parkerites, progressive and liberal. 

A charming woman too» lived on 
Waltham Street, after the death of her 
husband, Mr. Whitwell, a lawyer of 
Boston, and her father, the man who 
owned all that portion of Boston called 
Scollay Square. This was Mrs. Lucy 
ScoUay Whitwell, whose interest in 
life was healthful and wise, because of 
the purity and beauty of her spirit. Her 
daughter, who had been an assistant 
to Mr. George B. Emerson in his fam- 
ous school in Boston, married a man of 
marked ability Mr. William Parker, 
who, with Mr. Mann, Mr. Nathaniel 
Allen and others did so much in start- 
ing the Unitarian Church in West 
Newton. Mr. Parker, when a resident 
here, was superintendent of the Bos- 
ton and Worcester Railroad, later he 
became superintendent of the Boston 
and Lowell and again of the Baltimore 
and Ohio. Many anecdotes are con- 

[22] 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

nected with him which show his true 
worth and popularity as a man. When 
about to leave for Panama, where he 
was called to superintend the building 
of a railroad, he was given silver of all 
descriptions, by the employees of the 
railroads he had been connected with, 
and later after assisting the nephew of 
Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon 
III, to escape for South America, he 
was awarded by Napoleon, a ring in 
which were fifty-six diamonds, which 
is highly prized by the children and 
grandchildren, who now live in Bos- 
ton, New York and California. Not 
only did he assist the nephew to es- 
cape, but also the slaves whom he 
allowed to pass over the Baltimore 
and Ohio, to freedom in the north. 
The son of Mrs. Whitwell was a most 
eminent engineer and remarkable 
scientist. While in West Newton, he 
was appointed chief engineer of the 
Boston water works and together with 

[23] 



WE3ST NEWTON 

Mr. Chesboro, who came to live in 
West Newton at the comer of Web- 
ster and Ehn Streets, they undertook 
the then great task of bringing water 
from Cochituate to Boston. Mr. Ches- 
boro had charge from Cochituate to 
Brookline and Mr. Whitwell from 
Brookline to Boston. Mr. Chesboro 
also is remembered as having 
achieved the remarkable feat of lift- 
ing the whole city of Chicago, twelve 
to fifteen feet, and thus improving the 
sanitary condition of the city. Again 
he was employed by Boston as con- 
sulting engineer for the Sudbury 
works, which brought a greater 
supply of water for Boston. 

These men and women, and such 
families as the Bamards, Bonds, Bur- 
rages, Carters, Frosts, Pratts, Thatch- 
ers, Thurstons, Tolmans and Tiffanys, 
who came to West Newton about this 
time, were anxious for the good of the 
whole world. They did not make 

[24] 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

their motto: **Come right, come 
wrong, we shall get gain alone," they 
did not allow their professional duties 
to interfere with the cultivation of 
their minds. In other words, they did 
not deny their ears music, their minds 
culture, nor their hearts friendship, 
but connected themselves with 
Nature, Art, and Literary Classes, and 
all that was uplifting to the com- 
munity in which they lived, sensitive 
to the meaning of life, giving and re- 
ceiving alike and spreading the refin- 
ing influence. 

Attracted by such a galaxy of 
broadening men and women, Mrs. 
Caroline Dall came to West Newton 
with her husband and son. A woman 
whose life always was given to litera- 
ture and advancement. Her husband 
was a Unitarian minister of eminence 
and spent many years as a liberal 
missionary in India. The son, Mr. 
William Dall is perhaps as remark- 

[26] 



WBSST NBJWTON 

able as any who were educated in the 
Allen School, as he is known through- 
out the scientific world as a publisher 
of many scientific papers, and has 
been professor and curator bf the 
Smithsonian Institution in Washing- 
ton. 

Mrs. Caroline Seaverance was also 
attracted to our community, the 
woman who has the distinction of 
being called the "Mother" of Wo- 
men's Clubs, for she founded the first 
club of Boston, as Mrs. Nathaniel 
Allen and Mrs. Walton did the first in 
Newton. 

Half a century ago, Newtonville, or 
Hull's Comer so called, was more 
closely connected with West Newton 
than perhaps at the present time, for 
Newtonville, West Newton, and Au- 
bumdale, too, were united educa- 
tionally and religiously. On the 
Bemis side of Newton, on the banks 
of the beautiful Charles river, lived 

[26] 



HALF A CBNTURT AGO 

the charming writer, Celia Thaxter, 
who has made the scenes about the 
Isles of Shoals so fascinating and 
familiar. Mrs. Thaxter and her chil- 
dren came often to West Newton, the 
children for their schooling at 
Allen School, and all, as lovers of na- 
ture, for their walks in the woods 
near Chestnut and Prince Streets, 
where no longer are found the trailing 
arbutus, blood root and blossoms so 
beautiful. Mrs. Thaxter felt that at 
all seasons the woods afforded more 
than a shopful of toys could, for the 
education of her children, and they at 
once began to question: ** Whence 
came the color of the flowers; How 
did they draw their sweet and refresh- 
ing tint from the brown earth, ** etc., 
etc.? In a letter written to a friend 
she speaks of having a "^gulf stream 
of visitors** in that nook of Newton 
which all seemed to find so delightful, 
for excursions were taken up and 

[27] 



WBSST NBJWTON 

down the Charles, "among lily pads 
and spikes of purple pickerel weed, 
exploring brooks and inlets and load- 
ing the boat with flowers to be ana- 
lyzed later/* 

Near the Newton High School, now 
where the Technical School is, we 
were all familiar with the beautiful 
Claflin Estate, historical as the resi- 
dence of General Hull and where Rev. 
James Freeman Clarke made fre- 
quent visits. The last half century it 
has been known as the home of Ex- 
Governor and Mrs.. Claflin, both liter- 
ary people in their tastes and there 
Mrs. Claflin wrote her charming book, 
"Under the Elms.** There, too, the 
Claflins always entertained an assem- 
bly of remarkable people, from the 
Presidents of the United States to 
poets, literary, artistic and scientific 
people: — ^Harriet B. Stowe, Whittier, 
Charles Sumner, Kate Field and 
others. 

[28] 



HALF A CBNTURT AGO 

In Newton Centre, lived Rev. Sam- 
uel F. Smith, author of " America *', 
who used frequently to come to West 
Newton to see his old teacher, Seth 
Davis, who lived to be a centenarian 
and until 92 years old, walked to 
Boston each birthday and took delight 
in casting the first vote at each city 
election. He it was who helped to 
plant and beautify our. town with its 
ehns and maples. 

Mr. Theodore Parker lived for a 
time in Aubumdale in those early 
days and married his wife from the 
old Cabot estate, where the charming 
women, the Misses Shannon have 
since lived. The latter with Mrs. Mary 
Goddard and Mrs. Eldridge in their 
cultivated, refined way spread their 
charities far and wide — ^indeed their 
generosity radiated in every direction 
and through their helpfulness came 
their great happiness. 

It is not necessary for the rich man 

[29] 



WB3T NBJWTON 

or woman alone to accomplish the re- 
sults we wish. Carlyle says that the 
greatest gospel one can have is *To 
know thy work and do it." **The 
spoken word, the written poem/* he 
says, *^ is the epitome of man, but how 
much more the accomplished work. 
Whatsoever of morality and of intelli- 
gence, what of patience, perseverance, 
faithfulness; what of method, insight, 
ingenuity and energy; in a word, 
whatsoever of strength the man had 
in him will be written in the work he 
does.'* Another writer, Hamilton 
Mabie says : **The life of a great peo- 
ple is both inward and outward, i. e. 
life of the spirit and action.** " We live 
in our ideas and we express our ideas 
by the things we do. Yet no man 
knows where he stands or what his 
life means till he knows the relative 
position of other men and what they 
have done. The larger vision comes 
by touching with influences outside of 

[30] 



HALF A CENTURY AGO 

our own, and then is added to it, 
directness, vigor and independence/' 

So the impetus given by such men 
and women as have been mentioned, 
led the residents of West Newton, to 
start the Newton Hospital, the Pom- 
roy Home for Orphan and Destitute 
Girls, the Newton Athseneum and 
Library, the scientific form of Asso- 
ciated Charity givmg, and all such 
charities as we are proud to know 
Newton has. 

And as we are all placed in the 
world to fulfill a mission, as Carlyle 
says, and altho' many die without 
seeing the fruitage of the work, others 
enter into their labors, influenced and 
encouraged by those who preceded 
them. 

Should we not be proud of 
those who made oiu* village and city 
what it is, and should we not, as a 
younger generation, follow the law of 
helpfulness, which asks each one to 

[81] 



WE3ST NBSWTON 

carry himself so as to bless and not 
blight men, to make and not mar 
them, to keep to the reputation of fifty 
years ago, of having West Newton 
distinguished as a most progressive 
and enlightened community? 



[82] 



J 



I 917.4 Allen 

A42 West TJTeTjton half a 

'. Gentury Ago 



4 



517.4 
A42