Editorial Comment.In our Vol. III, No. 1, may be found ‘The Development of the Public School in Medford,’ prepared by Superintendent Charles H. Morss. Thus early in its time did the Historical Society deal with this essential part of Medford history, Mr. Morss making careful search of records. His work fills forty-one pages, the clearest historical statement we have of our schools as a whole. A few years earlier, and before the Historical Society's forming, the graduates of the High School formed an association and held reunions which were of great interest. In 1892 a brochure was issued, entitled
History of the Medford High School by Charles Cummings. From Press of Samuel Usher of Boston.Certainly no one was better qualified for this than he who had been its principal for thirty years. Ten of its closing pages give the names of graduates from 1847 to 1892, but are preceded thus,
No list of graduates prior to 1847 has been preserved.Space forbids their reproduction here, but those pages are an interesting study. In 1852 and 1859 no class [p. 4] was graduated, and in 1858 and 1863 but three in each, the latter girls, and during the Civil War but six boys. The forty-three graduating classes totaled six hundred and twenty-two, the largest number being thirty-one in 1888. The first name on the list (in 1847) is Samuel C. Lawrence, and in 1848 is John H. Hooper. Each, in his own way, a worthy and honored citizen of Medford the rest of his life. The one was the first mayor of the city and a public benefactor; the other a capable moderator and town officer, second president of our Historical Society, and painstaking and careful historian. That in the all too brief space of eighty-four pages allotted him he could tell so much of Medford history proves him such; while his abstract of Medford land titles (now in the society's library), with his contributions to the register's pages are sources of information certainly reliable. Fortunately, the electrotype plates of Mr. Cummings' work were preserved, and now, after thirty-two years, in our columns, to our readers,
He being dead yet speaketh.It is a pleasure to hear, also, though briefly, from the living, from one of the teaching staff of the High School of today. We quote the following from Zion's Herald of last June, a paper whose clientage is all New England—and more:—
[p. 5] note.—The picture of Mr. Charles Cummings in this work is a reproduction of an original photograph. The electrotypes from which are printed the ‘Primer Title-page’ and the ‘High Schoolhouse of 1866’ are loaned to the Association by the heirs of our late fellow-member, Hon. James M. Usher. The article ‘History of the Medford High School’ is also reprinted from plates made in 1892.