Names of the pupils enrolled in these schools have always been and are found among the literary people of the town, thus showing an influence that has been carried down through generations. Free public schools were founded in Medford in 1670; in 1776 the people voted that ‘the master instruct girls for two hours after the boys are dismissed,’ but not until 1834 was it decreed that the ‘girls shall enjoy equal privileges therein with the boys throughout the year.’ This may have been one reason for the prevalence of private schools for girls and for boys and girls. This edict was not carried out, however, until the high school was organized in 1835, one of the first three free schools in the State for both sexes, devoted to the higher branches of learning. This school has proved an important factor in the intellectual life of Medford. Numbers of its teachers and pupils have distinguished themselves in art, science and letters. Thomas Starr King, author of ‘The White Hills; Their Legends, Landscape and Poetry,’ 1859, said to be ‘the most complete work of its kind in existence,’ a forerunner of the modern nature books, taught one of the public schools of Medford for several years. Lorin Low Dame, whose quickening power guided the high school for twenty-seven years, spent his leisure in adding to the world's knowledge of flowers and trees. ‘The Flora of Middlesex County,’ ‘Typical Elms and Other Trees of Massachusetts’ and the ‘Hand-book of the Trees of New England, with Ranges throughout the United States and Canada,’ are valuable monumentsItalian extra, three hundred dollars a year.Quoted from year book.
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