An old-time Public and private School teacher of Medford, Massachusetts.

by John H. Hooper.
[Read before the Medford Historical Society, January 18, 1915.]

AARON Kimball Hathaway, born in Grafton, Mass., December 21, 1809. Married August 29, 1836, Mary Ann Hale, daughter of Deacon Daniel Hale of Byfield Parish (now South Byfield), Newbury, Mass. He was fitted for college at Dummer Academy, South Byfield, and entered Dartmouth College, where he remained one year, then went to Amherst College and graduated in the year 1836. He became principal of Warren Academy in Woburn, Mass., and remained there until the year 1842, when he went to North Carolina for his health, where he remained about one year. On his return he came to Medford and taught the West Grammar School, then located in the old brick schoolhouse on the rear of the Unitarian Church lot on High street. (The high school was also in the same building.) His connection with this school commenced in August, 1843, and terminated in the year 1846. During his term of service the school was transferred into the new high and grammar schoolhouse on High street. This house was three stories in height and stood with its gable end towards the street. The lower story was of brick and was divided by a partition from front to back. It was opened half an hour or so before school in the morning for the accommodation of the pupils; in cold weather it was heated, and was much appreciated by the pupils, especially those who came from a distance. It was used as a play-room in rainy weather and as a lunch-room by those pupils who brought their lunches. [p. 2]

The west side was for the use of the grammar school, which occupied the second story, and the east side for the use of the high school, which occupied the third story. A board fence six feet in height separated the school yard from the street. An incident occurred while Mr. Hathaway taught in the old schoolhouse that is worth relating. One of the party slogans in use during the Presidential campaign of the year 1844 was ‘No Protection.’ At that time some of the larger boys of the high school were inclined to annoy the smaller boys of the grammar school. On one occasion Mr. Hathaway interfered to protect his pupils, and informed the high school boys that in future he proposed to protect his pupils from their annoyances. The next morning there appeared over the door of the grammar school the words ‘No Protection,’ written in large letters with white chalk. That same day, at recess, one of the high school boys paraded in front of the door of the grammar school shouting ‘No Protection,’ and annoying the grammar school boys. While so engaged Mr. Hathaway sprang from the doorway of his school-room and seized the boy by the collar, and dragged him into his school-room porch and gave him a severe lecture upon his conduct. Whatever other influences were brought to bear upon the case are not known, but there was no more trouble, and Mr. Hathaway proved to the satisfaction of everybody concerned that he was both able and willing to protect his pupils.

After resigning as teacher of the West Grammar School Mr. Hathaway opened a private English and Classical School and fitted young men of his school for college. Amherst, Dartmouth, Harvard, Tufts and Williams Colleges all received students from his school. His school was first located in the second story of the Medford Branch Railway building on Main street, and was afterwards transferred to a double house on the east side of Ashland street. About the year 1850 he built a schoolhouse on the north side of Chestnut street. This house was a story and a half in height, with two entrances; [p. 3] the boys' room was on the first floor, and the girls' room on the second floor. Mr. Hathaway taught the boys, and Miss Annette Hale (his sister-in-law) the girls. Mr. Hathaway also built a large dwelling-house on the corner of Ashland and Chestnut streets, into which he moved with his family just before Christmas, 1851. His school contained pupils from Medford and the surrounding towns; also from other parts of the United States, Mexico and the West India Islands. He boarded many of his pupils, some of whom remained with him many years. Mr. Joseph Bird of Watertown was the singing master, and Mr. Horace Bird, his brother, the music teacher; he was succeeded by Mr. Henry G. Carey. Mr. Hathaway was a kindly man and was much beloved by his pupils; to illustrate this we quote from a letter from a lady, formerly a pupil of his school:—

Aaron Kimball Hathaway was a true Christian gentleman, kind and sympathetic, a genuine scholar of the old school, his mind far out-reaching his frail body. The foundation of my early education is, in a measure, due to his intellectual influence. I attended his school, with my brother, in the years 1851 and 2. He always opened the school with devotional service, often supplemented with interesting talk on some moral subject. He was many sided, and interested in everything that was uplifting. He was most happy when seated at his desk, teaching. Helping to develop the minds of the pupils before him, he never discriminated; he had no special favorites, at least it was not evident. I think he made warm friends of nearly all of his pupils; his personality was such that the most unruly feared and respected him, if they did not love him, which last I am sure many did. . . . There were exhibitions occasionally in the old Town Hall by the advanced pupils of the school. Mr. Hathaway was interested in athletic games, always contributed for them, and encouraged and instructed his pupils in the foot-ball games that were held on the field east of the schoolhouse; he watched them at recess with great interest and pleasure. He was successful in managing large unruly boys, bringing out their best, often where other instructors had failed. . . . The controlling influence and authority exerted by the teacher was peculiar, not painfully evident, but one felt it was there. He was interested in civic and church affairs, well versed in law, often in those days called upon for opinions, the execution of deeds and civic documents. He also engaged in surveying, but his forte was instruction; he excelled as a teacher. He was a fine surveyor; many date their [p. 4] interest in that pursuit to his instruction. He possessed good instruments, and enjoyed assisting and instructing his pupils on the east field. He was very strong in the languages, particularly Latin. I studied that before the English grammar, by his advice. Miss Hale taught the younger pupils in English, but we always recited in language and elocution in the larger room to Mr. Hathaway. He always seemed to be suffering from a hidden malady that sapped his bodily strength, aud we were conscious of his fortitude in bearing his burden. He was fine looking, but always pale in countenance.’

At the height of its prosperity, in 1860, the school was dispersed by the death of its founder. Its building still remains in Chestnut street, but used as a dwelling-house.

Mr. Hathaway had a fine sense of humor, as illustrated by the following incident: The Rev. Mr. Haskins, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, and Mr. Hathaway were college classmates, and each was building a dwellinghouse in Medford at the same time. Mr. Haskins' house was at West Medford, and was built upon a rock. Mr. Hathaway's house was, as has been before stated, at the corner of Ashland and Chestnut streets, and was built upon sandy soil. The former wrote to the latter that he was surprised that they should differ about building, one on sandy soil and the other upon rock. After the tornado, in the year 1851, it was found that while Mr. Hathaway's house, being outside the path of the tornado, was not damaged, Mr. Haskins' house was entirely demolished; thereupon Mr. Hathaway wrote to his friend, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’

Mr. Hathaway served upon the school committee of Medford two years. He was at one time in charge of the Bishop estate.

Five children were born to Mr.Hathaway and Mrs. Hathaway: Edward Kimball Hathaway, born in Woburn, August 19, 1838, drowned in Mystic River, just below Cradock bridge, Medford, July 9, 1844. Mariannette Hale Hathaway, born in Woburn, July 21, 1840; died in Medford, December 12, 1873. Sarah Kimball Hathaway, born in Medford, July 1, 1845; married, April 24, 1867, Abner Loammi Deane, who died in Medford, November 22, 1867. Mrs. Deane [p. 5] married, October 15, 1879, Thomas Chase Thurlow of West Newbury. Alice Brooks Hathaway, born in Medford, October, 1847; died in Medford, August 24, 1849. Agnes Elizabeth Hathaway, born in Medford, December 25, 1849; married, October 1, 1873, Henry Nelson Loud of Au Sable, Mich.; died at Ann Arbor, Mich., March 25,909. Mr. Hathaway died in Medford, September 16, 1860. Mrs. Hathaway died in Medford, May 29, 1881. Sarah K. and Agnes E. Hathaway both taught in the public schools of Medford.

I am indebted to Miss Eliza M. Gill for assistance rendered in the preparation of this article.

The following is a partial list of the pupils of the Hathaway School, with places of residence as nearly correct as it was possible to obtain them:—

[p. 6]

Grandchildren of A. K. Hathaway.

children of Thomas Chase Thurlow and Sarah Kimball Thurlow, Nee Hathaway:

George Chase Thurlow.

Edward Kimball Thurlow.

Susan Chase Thurlow.

Winthrop Hale Thurlow.

All born in West Newbury, Mass.

Edward Kimball Thurlow and wife are now living in Wuhu, China.

George Chase Thurlow and Annie Goodrich Thurlow have four children:

George Harold Thurlow.

Dorothy Goodrich Thurlow.

Lois Chase Thurlow.

Elizabeth Kimball Thurlow.

These last are the tenth generation living on Chase estate.

children of Henry Nelson and Agnes E. H. Loud:

Henry Kimball Loud.

Born in Au Sable, Mich. [p. 7]

Frederick Hale Loud.

Born in Au Sable, Mich.

Emily Hathaway Loud.

Born in Au Sable, Mich. Died in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., December 30, 1901.

Marian Violet Loud.

Only one born in Medford, Mass.

George Brewster Loud.

Born in Au Sable, Mich.

Arthur Caleb Loud.

Born in Au Sable, Mich.

children of George B. Loud:

George Brewster Loud, Jr.

Stewart Montgomery Loud.

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