History of the Medford High School.
Early School history.for the first century and a half of Medford's municipal existence almost nothing was done for the free public education of her children. Those parents who could afford the expense patronized schools, public or private, in other towns. But the facilities for a respectable education were everywhere limited. The few textbooks in use were ill-adapted to accomplish the desired object, and when scholars of a high order are said to have existed in those days, it must be borne in mind that those scholars obtained their reputation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and not in the nineteenth. Ripe scholarship, if then found, was certainly not the outcome of the public school. How could it be, when the Speller and Psalter constituted the complete library of those who had not reached their teens? Those books were often thumbed by intelligent children till committed to memory entire, yet there was nothing higher, except the Bible, for them, however aspiring, to anticipate. To be sure, some other books were published, but they had a limited circulation, and were often no improvement. To show the style of those productions, a facsimile of the title-page and a brief description of one is here inserted. ‘From one learn all.’ In size that booklet measures three and one-fourth by three inches, with a thickness less than three eighths of an inch, including its thick covers. Surely its author planned for a ‘rapid transit’ from the vale of ignorance to the heights of knowledge! [p. 6] The diminutive thing commenced with the alphabet and proceeded with words for spelling, arranged according to the number of their syllables, from one to five or six. Then came several pieces of poetry, not of the most attractive
The Awakening.It was in the fourth decade of this century that, according to Usher's History of Medford, ‘a wave of unusual interest in educational matters was passing over many of the States and attained its greatest height in Massachusetts. In 1830 the American Institute of Instruction was organized, which, though national in name and object, was largely composed of Massachusetts men. It aimed at reform and progress, and proved itself most efficient in accomplishing its exalted purpose. A royal impulse was imparted to the educational machinery of our State, which from that time began to work with wonderful activity. Favoring laws were enacted; a State Board of Education was established; normal schools sprang into existence, and the public schools of the State soon began to assume the form and features they wear at the present day.’ Upon the crest of that ‘wave’ were such men as Rev. Charles Brooks, a native of Medford, and at that time a pastor in Hingham; Hon. Horace Mann, the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education; and Rev. Francis Wayland, D. D., president of Brown University. The light emanating from such luminaries was as inextinguishable as the solar rays. In some localities, as welcome as the sun in haying time, it struck into and dissipated darkness that was almost solid. In others the curtains were closely drawn against it and remained so for many years.
Effect in Medford.Some of Medford's influential citizens hailed those rays with delight. Among those, and foremost, were the Rev. [p. 8] Caleb Stetson, pastor of the Unitarian Church, a man of wit, tact, enthusiasm, and ripe scholarship; and Deacon Galen James, the builder of more than threescore ships, a man renowned for benevolence, energy, perseverance, and practical common-sense. These men (and doubtless others as well), being convinced that those youth who hungered for education beyond the mere rudiments ought not to be banished from the parental hearth to obtain it, boldly declared their convictions in private circles and in the public business meetings of the town. At the March meeting in 1834 they secured a vote ‘That the School Committee be directed so to arrange the town schools that the girls shall enjoy equal privileges therein with the boys through the year.’ Careful research has failed to reveal the nature of those ‘privileges’ denied to the girls, the removal of which the town then and there resolved upon. One now living, who was then a teacher in town, does not, at this late day, recall any occasion for the vote; yet doubtless the occasion existed, or the vote would not have been passed. It is not certain that anything was done that year by way of executing the citizens' recorded wish. Probably there was not, and hence the agitation was renewed at the next annual meeting in March (1835), and, as additional light had been received, a much higher claim than that of the preceding year was advanced.
Fruitage.The discussion then held resulted in the appointment of a special committee, consisting of Caleb Stetson, Galen James, Nathan Adams, Robert L. Ells, and Milton James, ‘to inquire into the different and best methods of conducting public schools; to report what improvements, what number and kind of schools are necessary in this town to qualify every scholar, who desires, for the active duties of life; also, to report upon the duty of the School Committee, the teachers, and the scholars.’ That Committee, constituted of liberal, shrewd, and persistent men, took the matter promptly in hand, digested it [p. 9] thoroughly, and at the April meeting submitted their report in print. It is presumed that a copy of that report was sent to every voter in town, that they might be able to act intelligently and promptly when the time for voting should come, and it is a matter for regret that no one of those copies is now accessible, since it would unquestionably throw much light upon the educational facilities then existing in this town and elsewhere. Their report was adopted, and to the $1,500 previously appropriated for school purposes $500 were then added. And that the plan might be judiciously executed, the School Board, which up to that date had been composed of but three members, and then consisted of Galen James, Horatio A. Smith, and Milton James, was increased to seven by adding Caleb Stetson, John C. Magoun, James Wellington, and John P. Clisby. Thus the establishment of the High School was assured, and one month later, or about the middle of May, 1835, the machine was put in operation.
Opposition.But the labor of those philanthropists was not to end there. Their scheme had prevailed against stubborn opposition, felt and expressed at every corner, and this must be still fought by tooth and nail. The improvement was an innovation and many were not easily convinced of its utility. The new teacher was to receive a salary of $700, and to the minds of some, who were more devoted to Mammon than to their offspring, or, if they had no children, cared not a straw for other people's, these were seven hundred solid golden arguments against the institution. At that time there were at least two high schools in the State for the coeducation of the sexes. Boston, the only city in the Commonwealth, and the accredited pioneer in educational improvements, had its Latin and English High Schools to qualify its boys for college and for the more responsible positions in metropolitan business life; but it had nothing of the kind for girls. The grammar school was thought good enough for them! [p. 10] Plymouth, the first town settled in New England by Europeans, appreciating the intelligence of its founders, and ambitious to preserve its prestige, established a free school in 1672 (antedating Medford's first by nearly a half-century) and a high school in 1826, which was taught by a graduate of Harvard College. A part of Chelmsford became Lowell in 1825. Within four years of its incorporation and seven years before it became a city with the requisite 12,000 inhabitants, that thriving village had a high school for boys and girls; but its organization was largely due to the irresistible arguments of one man, a young clergyman, possessed of indomitable courage to fight for his cause against the violent opposition of his wealthiest parishioners. Whether these schools had or had not existed long enough to have realized the ideal of Medford's High School advocates, their very being must surely have afforded a strong backing for the arguments used. The above-named opposition did not die out for a dozen years or more after the school was established, and, while it could not kill, it essentially crippled. The school guardians of those days had carefully to study public sentiment, and generally dared not advance beyond its approval. In anticipation of the possible obsequies of the High School, the apartments in the new building erected in 1843 were furnished substantially the same as those of the grammar department under the same roof, so that there might be no waste of furniture when the higher should be merged in the lower grade. In 1846 an economical compromise was effected, and the experiment tried, and continued for two years, of having lady principals in the two grammar schools, if perchance the reduction of expense (about $500) thus made might satisfy the complainers and secure the quiet permanency of the Committee's favorite institution.
The School's first home.It was due to the opposition that the School Board were compelled, nolens clolens, to doom their pet to its first unsightly [p. 11] and inconvenient apartment in the rear of the Unitarian meetinghouse. Their idea of its fitness, as expressed in their annual report in March, 1836, was in the following words: ‘The room is far too small to secure the prosperity of the school or the health of the scholars. It is too low. The internal construction is bad. To alter or enlarge its brick walls would be expensive. To widen it would be awkward. To lengthen it there is no room.’ This likeness was evidently drawn (but drawn in vain) with a view of inducing the town to erect a more appropriate edifice. But that thing was patched and puttied and used (some say abused) for seven long years thereafter. The structure had been erected after the approved models of the time in 1795, and enlarged in 1807. It was deserted in 1843, except that in the winter of 1846-47 a school was kept there for boys who were too large or too rough for management by the lady teachers in the grammar schools, and too illiterate for admission to the High School. By vote of the town, the structure was demolished in 1848, and those who now wish to view its external appearance will find the following cut, reproduced from a drawing recently made from memory by one of the school's early pupils, surprisingly accurate.
Encouragements.Upon the establishment of the High School, a new era dawned upon this ancient and wealthy town. Into the fist of its taxpayers a potent wedge had been so insinuated that the muscles of that fist were compelled to relax more and more. Other improvements followed, and each so augmented the interest and pride felt in the schools that every new step of progress was taken more easily than the one before it. That man would have been proclaimed a dreamer, a lunatic, perchance an idiot, who, in 1835, advocating an advance in school expenses from $1,500 to $2,000, had prophesied an appropriation of $25,000 in 1871 and twice that amount in 1891; yet such has been the miracle wrought, and the end is not yet.
Second home.The house erected for the school in 1843 and shared for twenty years with the Centre Grammar School (now the Cradock) stood near its present site, with its gable toward the street. Two elms, now standing upon the premises, having been planted at equal distances from its two front corners, define its location. On the street the lot was bounded by a high board fence with solid gates, which gave
Impediments.Besides the opposition before named, the school at the start had other obstacles to success. But few of those youth who were studying in private schools or academies abroad were recalled to give dignity to the institution, and material had to be culled chiefly from the private and the lower public schools of the town. A few, however, who had once finished their education in those schools but still craved stronger meat than those schools afforded, embraced the opportunity of finding it in the new establishment. At the first preliminary examination there are supposed to have been about forty applicants of very unequal ability, who are known to have ranged in age from twelve to twenty-one years. The result was fraught with consolation and chagrin. The decision was: ‘We will let you all in, but not one of you is qualified.’ Several years must have elapsed before the Committee's ideal of qualification for admission was realized. Indeed, it has never been fully reached, even to this day. Something more perfect is still anticipated. Another embarrassment was found in the irregularity of attendance. Many of the boys patronized only the winter term. Others, both boys and girls, were often detained for weeks in the summer, either on account of the heat or to help on the farm. This fact will account for the terminating of the school year and holding an examination in November, when the ranks would be full; which practice prevailed till 1852. [p. 14] Under such disadvantages complete classification was an impossibility. Those who entered with the same qualifications would not long remain neck and neck in the race. One after another would be distanced and fall out, so that comparatively few remained as long as they were privileged to do.
Principals.The school has had eight masters. Mr. Charles Mason was the first, and taught till August 17, 1835, when he left for the study and practice of law. Mr. Luther Farrar then took the position till March 21, 1836, when he followed the example of his predecessor. Mr. Daniel H. Forbes commenced service April 22, 1836, and continued it till February 10, 1841, an exceptionally long period for those times. During an absence of five weeks in 1838 his chair was occupied by Mr. Stacy A. Baxter, who afterwards became principal of the East Grammar School. Mr. Forbes was an accomplished gentleman, well qualified for his business, and, though lie taught in the age when every Sunday was a palm Sunday to the boys, and when King Solomon's recommendation of ‘the rod for the fool's back’ was considered equally wise in the management of other brands of humanity, has been ever held in the most affectionate remembrance by his pupils. The source of his magnetism is unveiled in the following tribute to his memory from the pen of a pupil who fully appreciated him:—
He kept the custom of the bygone daysMr. Forbes resigned on account of ill-health and afterward accepted the mastership in a Charlestown grammar school. Mr. Isaac Ames (Dartmouth, 1839) took the position March 16, 1841, and held it till April 1, 1844. His absence [p. 15] of four weeks in 1841 was supplied by Mr. A. K. Hathaway, who afterwards became principal of the Centre Grammar School and still later the head of a successful private school on Ashland Street. Mr. Ames became a lawyer in Boston and was Judge of Probate for Suffolk County for nineteen years, till his death in 1877, at the age of fifty-seven years. Mr. M. T. Gardner resigned his mastership in the East Grammar School, April 14, 1844, to take that of the High School till September 14 of the same year. Mr. Edwin Wright (Yale, 1844) taught from September 16, 1844, to September 13, 1815, when he accepted a mastership in the Eliot School, in Boston, at more than twice the salary paid him in Medford. He became a lawyer and for some years was Judge of the Municipal Court in Boston, in which city he is still practising. Having married Miss Helen M. Curtis, of Medford, he resided in town for a period and was elected upon the School Board in 1854. Mr. James Waldock, Jr. (Harvard, 1844), was next in service, from September 14, 1845, to the close of the school year, in November, 1846. He afterward became principal of Derby Academy, in Hingham, and for many years was a practising physician in Boston Highlands, where he now resides. Upon the resignation of Mr. Waldock, the Committee advertised for a successor and more than a score of applicants appeared with credentials at the time set for the examination and election. Prior to this time the appointees had been men of but small experience in teaching before receiving their appointment and, with perhaps one exception, did not purpose to follow the profession beyond a very limited period. Believing that the prosperity of the school would be promoted by an incumbent who had had a more practical acquaintance with the art and who had a reasonable expectation of continuing in the profession, the Committee laid much stress upon those points and after a tedious scrutiny of the candidates' experience and qualifications, Mr. Charles Cummings [p. 16] (Dartmouth, 1842) was selected and took charge of the school Friday, December 11, 1846, and continued therein till the close of the school year, June 30, 1876, at which time but one (James O. Curtis) of those who elected him was living. Mr. Cummings presented his resignation in May and the Committee enjoined secresy upon him in order that, without suffering the importunity of the unemployed, they might make quiet investigation among those in service and select the best man. In this they were eminently successful. The High School in Stoneham was robbed of its accomplished principal, Mr. Lorin L. Dame (Tufts, 1860), and he was duly installed in his present position in September, 1876.
(Short shrift was his for childhood's naughtier ways!)
And gave us all he had with purpose true,
His zeal, his learning, and his muscle too;
But when. self-spent, the sudden tempest past,
What genial sunshine poured on us at last!
Assistants.The first assistant employed in the school was Miss Sarah E. Sparrell, who taught twenty-three weeks, from April 6 to September 28, 1839, at one dollar per week.1 Her successors were:— Miss Eliza S. Forbes, from May 11 to November 29, 1841. Miss Frances Gregg, from December 13, 1841, to March 12, 1846. Miss Angelina Wellington, from March 24 to May 19. 1846. Miss Mary W. Wilder, from June 16 1846, to August 26, 1849. Miss Margaret A. Richard., from April 1, 1851. to May 7, 1852. Wallace St. C. Redman, from May 10, 1852, to March 1, 1853. James Sumner, from March 1, 1853, to February 21, 1854. George H. Goreley, from February 22, 1854, to April 16, 1856. Miss M. H. Everett, from April 21 to December 1, 1856. Miss Ellen M. Marcy, from December 8, 1856, to April 3, 1857. Miss Mary A. Osgood, from April 20, 1857, to February 18, 1860. Miss Arabella L. Babcock, from February 18, 1860, to September 1, 1861. Miss Emma J. Leonard, from September 1, 1861, to March 5, 1866. Miss Ellen M. Barr, from March 5, 1866, to July 1, 1875, and from September 1, 1876, to July 1, 1877. Edward A. Drew (Tufts, 1867), from December 2, 1867, to June 1, 1869. George C. Travis, Jr. (Harvard, 1869), from June 1, 1869, to April 1, 1872. Charles B. Saunders (Harvard, 1871), from April 1 to July 2, 1872. Minton Warren (Tufts, 1870), from September 2, 1872, to November 26, 1873. Charles S. Bachelder (Harvard, 1873), from December 1, 1873, to April 6, 1874. [p. 17] Frederic T. Farnsworth (Tufts, 1873), from April 8, 1874, to June 30, 1876. Miss Carrie A. Teele, from September 6, 1875, to June 30, 1876; also, from September 1, 1888. Edward P. Sanborn (Dartmouth, 1876), from September 1, 1876, to April 9, 1877. Leonard J. Manning (Harvard, 1876), from April 16, 1877. Miss Caroline E. Swift, from September 1, 1877. Miss Genevieve Sargent, from September 1, 1881. Stephen Emery (Boston University, 1890), from September, 1890, to June 24, 1892. Miss Annie M. Sawyer (Wellesley, 1889), from September 14, 1891, to June 24, 1892. Miss Josephine E. Bruce, from September 13, 1892. Miss Carrie W. Whitcomb, from September 13, 1892. It will be observed that, except for twenty-three weeks in 1839, no assistant was appointed till May, 1841; also that there was none from August 26, 1849, to April 1, 1851. During this last period, through a desire to raise the standard of fitness for admission, no class was received. Six of the assistants were once members of the school; namely, Miss Sparrell, Miss Gregg, Miss Wellington, Mr. Redman, Miss Barr, and Miss Teele. It will not be deemed invidious if allusion be made to the subsequent history of some of these assistants. Miss Wellington married Mr. Darius Crosby and still resides in town. Miss Gregg continued to teach for many years in Florida and New Jersey. Mr. Redman left teaching to study civil engineering at Harvard College, which profession he followed till 1862, when he enlisted in the Massachusetts 39th, from which he was transferred to the Navy Department as draftsman. After the war he was in business in Washington, D. C., and for nine years preceding his death, in 1888, was an Examiner in the United States Patent Office. Mr. Sumner became a lawyer. Mr. Goreley was for several years an assistant in the Roxbury High School, and afterwards engaged in business in Boston. Miss Leonard left under an engagement for the High [p. 18] School in Canandaigua, N. Y., and later taught in the classical department of the Worcester High School and finally opened a private school in Connecticut, where she fitted students for college. While in Medford she assisted Professor Bocher in the preparation of a French grammar, and shortly before her death published a treatise upon Political Economy. Miss Barr first took charge of an endowed school in South Boston, then became manager of a private school for girls in the city proper, and finally opened a school on her own account in the same city and has been eminently successful therein. Mr. Drew became a clergyman and was settled in Lynn, where he died in 1874. Mr. Travis studied law with Hon. D. A. Gleason while in Medford, and upon leaving the school was admitted to the bar. He practised for a time in South Framingham and now has an office in Boston. He resides in Newton. Mr. Warren left Medford for the mastership of the Waltham High School. Later he studied for two or more years in Germany and on his return became a professor in Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Bachelder studied law in New Hampshire and is now Judge of the Municipal Court in Portsmouth. Mr. Farnsworth, except for a year spent abroad, has continued in the profession, chiefly as the principal of Bristol Academy, in Taunton, and of the Brookline High School. He has recently been appointed Professor of German in Bowdoin College. Mr. Sanborn resigned in order to accept the mastership of the South Abington (now Whitman) High School, and is now a lawyer in St. Paul, Minn. Prior to 1867, the English department had so monopolized the teachers' attention that but little could be done in the classics by way of qualifying students for college. A good start in Latin was given and that was all. The Greek and the advanced Latin had to be learned in other institutions. But at the date named above a second assistant was appointed and the difficulty was completely remedied. To [p. 19] meet the further demands of increasing numbers and give greater latitude in the election of studies, a third assistant was added in 1881, a fourth in 1888, a fifth in 1890, and a sixth in 1891.
Sessions and Vacations.When the schools became annual, they were made superlatively so. In 1846 they had eleven three-hour sessions each week for forty-eight weeks out of the fifty-two, Fast week, Thanksgiving week, and two weeks in huckleberry time being vacation. In 1847, an unusually bold and liberal Committee having been elected,2 they resolved to break the precedent either by giving the schools four weeks vacation in summer or by making a half-holiday of Wednesday afternoon through the year. Divulging their purpose to the master of the High School, they were advised to give the half-holidays, as the surer means of securing that regularity of attendance so requisite to success, and this they immediately did. When the time came, however, for the summer vacation, they complimented the High School with the additional gift of the extra fortnight. Their act occasioned considerable criticism, which was misinterpreted by the succeeding Board, who dared not repeat the favor. About half of the school's patrons then rebelled and would not allow their children to return till the expiration of the fourth week. As it was in the interest of humanity, the master rather favored the revolt, excused the assistant from attendance, and interested the moiety present with general exercises which would not conflict with the regular work when the absentees should return. The next Committee (1849), by way of compromise, gave all the schools a respite of three weeks in August. Other weeks have been added front time to time, till in 1891 the vacation extended from June 26 to September 14. In 1859 the patrons of the school petitioned for six sessions of five hours each week in lieu of the previous ten, and their prayer was granted. Since 1886 the session on [p. 20] Saturday has been discontinued, which completes a reduction of school hours in forty-five years from about fifteen hundred and fifty (1,550) to about nine hundred and fifty (950) each year.
Exhibitions.Prior to 1852 public examinations were held in April and November; but when the school year was made to end with the summer term, both were dispensed with and a private one in midwinter and a public one in July substituted. The latter became largely an exhibition and attracted more spectators than the room could conveniently accommodate. In 1863 the Committee voted that the examination and exhibition should occur on separate days and that the latter should be held in the Town Hall. In view of the heavy responsibility thus suddenly laid upon then, the graduating class of that year quailed and begged reprieve; whereupon the vote was rescinded so far as that class was concerned, but left binding upon its successors. The matter thus becoming optional, it was easy for the master to persuade the actors to inaugurate voluntarily a custom which was to prevail by law in succeeding years.
Diplomas.As the exhibition would receive augumented dignity from the increased number of spectators, Mr. Cummings deemed it appropriate to honor each graduate with a diploma, and bespoke the sanction of the venerable and honored Chairman of the School Board. Not receiving that sanction, he let the matter rest till the next year (1864), when he appealed to the board through its Secretary, Rev. J. S. Barry. A favorable response was received, but late—a short week before the exhibition. It was accompanied with the request that the principal, with pen and ink, should prepare the documents (eight in number) for that year, and with the assurance that in the future the Committee would have them executed in due form. He acceded to the proposition, and specimens of his chirography were accordingly distributed by the new chairman, B. E. Perry, Esq. [p. 21] For the next two years the graduates received diplomas bearing the expressive motto, ‘We all do stamp our value on ourselves,’ printed by types on cardboard. These were merely temporary substitutes made in anticipation of the remodeling of the schoolhouse, which occurred in 1866, and of having the premises then properly represented upon parchment, as has from that time been the custom.
Music.Though singing had been a previous exercise in the school, music was not introduced as a science till April 1, 1862. At that date the services of Mr. Henry G. Carey were secured for the high and grammar schools and were afterward shared with the schools of lower grade. Mr. Carey held the position till June 30, 1884, except for two years which he spent in Europe. From April 1, 1866, to April 1, 1867, Mr. S. H. Hadley took his place, and from September 1, 1876, to September 1, 1877, the place was filled by Mr. C. R. Bill. Upon the resignation of Mr. Carey, Mr. S. H. Hadley received the appointment which he now holds.
Drawing.Drawing was taught by the lady assistants from about 1858 to 1873, and well-executed copies of heads, animals, landscapes, and other objects were wont to be exhibited at the annual examinations. In 1873 there came a sudden development of intense interest in the subject which spread through a large portion of the State. In Medford, Professor B. W. Putnam, of Boston, was employed to meet all the teachers at the High Schoolhouse for a series of practical lessons which should qualify them to instruct their own pupils. The High School alone was honored with a special instructor of the art from that time, and the succession has been as follows:— Miss Frances C. Saxe, from September 1, 1873, to June 1, 1878. Miss Isabel Webster, from September 1, 1878, to July 1, 1881. Henry W. Poor, from September 1, 1881, to October 1, 1885. Wallace Bryant, from October 1, 1885, to July 1, 1809. Miss George L. Norton, from October 1, 1889, to June 30, 1891. Miss Louise MacLeod, from September 14, 1891.
Miscellaneous.Prior to 1868, the course of study embraced a period of four years. At that date it was reduced to three years, and so remained till 1887, when it was so modified that students could choose between a course of three and one of four years. Candidates for college have been accustomed to take a postgraduate course of one year. Upon the solicitation of parents and pupils the School Board recently (1889) voted to establish military instruction for the young men and the town made an appropriation therefor. In the late civil war more than forty of the alumni, in the spirit of their patriotic declamations, ‘seeing behind the starry flag the Union and the Law,’ rushed to the field of strife. The following, and probably others, lost their lives therein: William H. Burbank, Edward Gustine, Joel M. Fletcher, Edward Ireland, Alfred Joyce, Samuel W. Joyce, Samuel M. Stevens, Herman Mills, and Isaac J. Hatch.
Give them the soldier's meed,
To them the patriot's honor yield;
The holy cause their hearts espoused
Their martyr blood has sealed.
Conclusion.The school has now reached the fifty-seventh year of its existence, and its influence is patent to every observer. It has afforded instruction to about twenty-two hundred youth, and most of them have done it honor in after years. Many have occupied high positions of trust and influence. Among them may be found artists, civil engineers, journalists, bankers, railroad presidents, legislators, school superintendents, authors, attorneys, physicians, clergymen, and more than one hundred teachers. Incomplete as it was in organization at the beginning, it nevertheless shone brilliantly because of the dark background of previous educational wants. But, compared with itself or with many others of the (about) two hundred high schools now in the State, it was but as the dawn beside the high noon. [p. 23] Let it still progress with its noble work. Let each of its members, past, present, and future, be a champion for the cause of education. Let each seek to purify the tone of public sentiment and elevate the standard of public morals; then what it has done in the past will be but the brilliant promise of what it is to do hereafter.
O Alma Mater, to thy mission true,
How fair the prospect opening to thy view!
Still never hushed thy voice of wisdom charms,
Still thronging childhood seeks thy sheltering arms.
As, year by year, comes up the advancing line,
What gracious cares, what fruitful labors, thine!
Youth's feeble hand thy loving grasp upholds;
Youth's budding powers thy tender touch unfolds;
Its heart inspired with lessons always true—
The love of Virtue, which is wisdom too.
Vain all the thanks in labored phrase expressed.
Thy children love thee—and thou shalt be blessed!Extract from the poem of James A. Hervey, Esq., at the reunion of the M. H. S. A., October 28, 1874.