previous next
[42] Philemon Russell were empowered to lay a floor, make seats, and lay a hearth at the school which we are now considering, but which was designated in that one instance ‘the Russells' School.’ Very appropriate would it have been if this name, thus unofficially reported, had been retained. Had such been the case, we might to-day be proud in having one school, at least, with a name perpetuating memories of an earlier time. As it is, none of our school buildings has a name which antedates the incorporation of Somerville in 1842.

May 10, 1802, we read that the schoolhouse near Alewife Bridge is to be repaired at an expense not exceeding $100. At that time, or later, we conclude that this building, less than twenty years old, had been considerably damaged by fire, for the trustees are given discretion to repair or build anew. May 3, 1803 (1805?), the reported expense for rebuilding, in addition to $100 previously voted, was $400.

Some time after 1801, but before 1812—the school records for that period are lost—this school was known as No. 4. The change was necessitated by the creation of a new district at the Neck. For the year last mentioned No. 4 had an attendance of thirty-four scholars, a number which did not vary materially from that time to the very end of its existence, although in 1814 we read of a membership of fifty-eight, at which time we have the first recorded name of a teacher there, that of Jacob Pierce, or ‘Master Pierce,’ as he was called. The next winter we find him teaching this same school, when he received $123.75 for his services. The two brothers, Philemon R., Jr., and Levi Russell, were pupils of Master Pierce, a very good teacher, but tradition says that he used to fortify himself for his daily duties in the schoolroom by carrying a little ‘black strap’ in his boot-leg! He was a fine penman, and made all his pupils ‘good writers.’

April 3, 1818, the trustees examined School No. 4, when about forty scholars were present out of a total of fifty-two. J. Underwood was the teacher. This was without doubt James Underwood, afterwards one of the trustees, who died in office March 4, 1840.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Underwood (2)
Philemon Russell (1)
Levi Russell (1)
Jacob Pierce (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1842 AD (1)
March 4th, 1840 AD (1)
April 3rd, 1818 AD (1)
1814 AD (1)
1812 AD (1)
1805 AD (1)
May 3rd, 1803 AD (1)
May 10th, 1802 AD (1)
1801 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: