James M. G. Plummer.
The superintendents of the Bible School are recorded as follows:—
Robert L. Ells.
Thomas P. Smith.
James M. Sanford.
Charles A. Elliott.
Charles L. Callender.
Alonzo E. Tainter.
George M. Ritchie.
William H. Breed.
Thomas R. Clough.
Charles A. NewcA. Cobb.
In the early history of the Bible School it is recorded that on the morning of the first Sunday of April, 1853, in the home of the superintendent, Mr. Thomas P. Smith, there lay in the cold embrace of death the little son, a beautiful boy of seven years—the family circle broken for the first time.
When the morning of theresented, it would include, besides those we have mentioned, many well-known and highly-esteemed in Medford and in the regions beyond.
Brightly shine the names of Smith, Ells, Stetson, Gardner, Breed, Pierce, Babbitt, Curtis, Porter, Tufts, Cummings, Cushing, Newcomb, Brown, Hooker—these in the early, many more in the later histor<
sleep on a Bed of Roses or feathers—for 6 months in the Year his Uncle sleeps on a fine mat or Carpet—( The heat is so intolerable.)
Cape town 31st May 1797.
A Ship being bound for New York I couldn't omit the Opp'ty of acquainting You of my coming here from Bengal—as I found my health declining so fast in India I saw no other remedy but to leave it for a cooler climate.
Cape town 31st Jan 1800
. . . When you see Aunt Brooks
Mercy, daughter of Dr. Simon Tufts, Sr., and Abigail (Smith), born Oct. 19, 1742; married Thomas Brooks, son of Samuel and Mary (Boutwell), Dec. 29, 1762. pray let her know that I receiv'd her kind letter and would have answered it, but the time is so short. . . . In the meantime present her with 50 Sp Doll'rs on the Account of it as from me and charge it to your acct against me . . . .
If an opportunity offers send me as below
1 or 2 Small Kegs of Mackerel for private use. Weymouth or Rh Island Cheese for private use. Bottled Cyder if the co<
g to locate a grave his curiosity suddenly cooled.
Later I formed a closer acquaintance with him. You of a later generation know him as Nat Bishop, who later, as a man, brought honor upon himself and his native town as an explorer and naturalist.
His home at that time was on Salem street, and very near this spot.
I recall his taking me there once or twice, and of meeting his mother, who impressed me as a superior woman.
A vague and altogether uncertain memory connects the Bishops with T. P. Smith.
Both were property holders on the street, and I think their estates joined.
It was now one o'clock. I had eaten nothing since seven that morning, and became suddenly conscious of an appetite.
As a result I began to look about for the means of satisfying it. Walking back to the square I began hunting for a restaurant.
I soon found that my search was labor lost.
There was no restaurant, but a man whom I asked furnished the information that I could get a good dinner at Betsy Baker's
There was a large estate in West Medford at that time occupied by the family of Thomas P. Smith, the residence being on High street near the station.
During the life of Mr. Smith, there Mr. Smith, there was erected, upon the land adjoining his garden, a building the lower story of which was finished for a store, with rooms for a dwelling in the rear.
The upper story consisted of a large hall used f that the seminary took its name from the hall rather than from the river.
After the death of Mr. Smith, the widow decided in 1854 to open a day and boarding school, or young ladies' seminary.
At tinations were represented, save the Roman Catholic, and I have not the slightest doubt that if Mrs. Smith had started her school fifty years later, Cardinal Gibbons would have appeared on the board, fre useful but not less dignified position in society.
The high character of the principal, Mrs. T. P. Smith, is a guarantee forthe unexceptional government of the school.
To her pupils, Mrs. Smith
and High street. The tract was referred to in the records of the Proprietors of Middlesex Canal(which traversed it) as Brooklands.
Its agent or promoter was Thomas P. Smith, who built Mystic Hall, near his residence, in the same year.
Possibly there was some rivalry between this enterprise and the earlier one of Hastings and Teel.
Upon theirs the new schoolhouse had been built, and by the private enterprise of citizens another story, containing a village hall, was added.
Mr. Smith did not live to realize his hopes, and the new section he planned lay dormant for sixteen years. But the Lyceum and Library Association that found quarters in Mystic Hall was ocial force.
Mystic Hall became the social center of West Medford, even before the removal of the Young Ladies' Seminary there housed.
On March 3, 1870, this Smith estate passed into the new ownership of several men, Dr. Abram B. Story of Manchester, N. H., holding the record title.
The same plan of action mentioned by Mr. B
e Caleb (the first resident of the Brooks name), successive generations have there had their homes until the recent sale of the estate (including the mansion built by Peter C. Brooks in 1802) to a real estate trust.
During the century gradual disposals have been made, but the latest will produce the change most marked.
In 1803 the Middlesex canal, and in 1835 the Lowell railroad, were opened for travel through it. Early in the fifties the southern portion came into the possession of Thomas P. Smith. Oak Grove Cemetery is in the northern border, and also enlarged from this estate.
Next, the Playstead took a portion along Whitmore brook, and the residential section near the Gleason school followed.
In more recent years the Mystic Valley Parkway has bordered the lake, and the Mystic hickories that were sizable trees when Paul Revere rode by, overlook its winding way.
In the years before the Revolution the home of another Thomas Brooks, the marrying justice, was at the right of G
he present) almshouse, this house, with its land, was sold for $3,690.10. Thomas P. Smith was the purchaser, and he had also acquired all the territory in Medford lthe Middlesex canal, but this had been discontinued in the preceding year.
Mr. Smith was a man of much public spirit and enterprise, and had planned here a suburbhe second floor, and the first in one large room.
Mention has been made of Mr. Smith's residence and of Mystic Hall.
When the reconstruction of the almshouse was complete, Mrs. Smith, on February 5, 1855, opened in these three buildings her boarding school for young ladies, the somewhat famous Mystic Hall Seminary.
An examinpapers printed flattering notices of the school that read strangely today.
Mrs. Smith's plan of study embraced four departments: Physical, Moral, Mental and Gracefnstructors coming from Harvard, and the French language only, used at table.
Mrs. Smith herself taught in general literature and science, working out her elaborate p
his purpose, and these writers include some of the most distinguished in the land. ... The editor has interspersed some trifles of her own, which she hopes may be leniently regarded.
The volume is intended as an agreeable and instructive Miscellany, for presentation, free from all sectarian prejudices, and such an one as may contribute to the moral and intellectual progress of Young America.
The title of the book is The Little Republic Original Articles by Various Hands, edited by Mrs. T. P. Smith, from the press of Wiley & Putnam, New York, and is dedicated, on a special page, to her father.
The initial article is an ode of one hundred and twenty lines, entitled Justice, by John Quincy Adams, former President of the United States. Mrs. Sigourney, Ex-Governor Briggs, Bayard Taylor, Elihu Burritt, and eminent clergymen (including Dr. S. F. Smith, author of America), are among the twenty-one contributors.
The trifles mentioned number thirteen, the first being fifteen pages of pro
page is bordered with wavy ruled lines, and each of the articles begins with ornamental capitals and have head and tail pieces of intricate geometrical design.
The author and editor was the daughter of Ebenezer Smith, and became the wife of Thomas P. Smith, who in 1852 erected the Mystic Hall building at West Medford, and whose death soon after was a loss to Medford.
Mr. Smith contributed two articles, one A Word to Mothers, to the book. For her educative work in Medford, the reader is refeMr. Smith contributed two articles, one A Word to Mothers, to the book. For her educative work in Medford, the reader is referred to Regis-Ter, Vol.
XI, p. 49. In Literary Medford, Register, Vol.
XV, p. 4, is a mention of the seminary and studies, but the name of its preceptress does not there appear, nor direct mention of her as an author, nor is this book under consideration in Medford's Public Library, which has a special case for Medford authors.
Well worthy of perusal in the present days, it is a recent accession to the library of the Medford Historical Society.
Playstead road is self-evident, as it borders the playground.
Chandler road, because of Frank E. Chandler's ownership, and Woods Edge road is on the edge of the wooded hill.
Laurel and Vernon are probably fanciful, as also Boylston terrace.
Smith's and Hastings' lane and Whittle road were proprietary.
Rock hill is also very truly named, and High street reaches its highest point near by.
At the West End one looks in vain for Gorham and Lake parks as shown on Walling's map of Medford, lege hill (not now),, as it was from Grove street near by. Mr. Brooks planted a grove in the Delta in 1820; from this may have come the name given the old Cambridge road to Woburn, now Grove street. Bower (not Bowers) street was so called by Thomas P. Smith, land owner, for a Bower street where he had formerly lived, and which similarly got the name from a grove or bower of trees.
Harvard avenue was the West Medford way to the college, as was Harvard street before mentioned from South Medford