From the Archives: The Teachers of Primary School #4/#7 (1845-1960)

From the Archives: The Teachers of Primary School #4/#7 (1845-1960)

By Mary Blauss Edwards, Curator of the Hanson Historical Society

Former Hanson Historical Society secretary Elsie Gertrude Calder (1895-1991) compiled a booklet which detailed the history of the current home of the Hanson Historical Society: The #4 Primary Schoolhouse (formerly the #7 Primary Schoolhouse). View the complete manuscript here. A transcription of Calder’s booklet can be read in June 2013′s Object of the Month: Elsie Calder’s History of the #4 Primary Schoolhouse.

In this manuscript, Calder compiled a list of all the teachers at Primary School #7 (which became Primary School #4 in 1867) from the years 1845-1960 [although she could not identify the teachers from the years 1845-1859]. Using Calder’s list of teachers, this exhibit includes biographies for all of the teachers of #4/#7 Primary Schoolhouse.

But first a little visual history.

Primary Schoolhouse #7 was built in 1845 on Elm Street in Hanson.

#7 Primary Schoolhouse at its original location on Elm Street in the 1856 Map of Hanson, MA. Courtesy of the Harvard Map Collection.

#7 Primary Schoolhouse at its original location on Elm Street in the 1856 Map of Hanson, MA. Courtesy of the Harvard Map Collection.

In 1867, it was moved to Main Street, just north of Elm St. and renamed Primary Schoolhouse #4.

#4 Primary Schoolhouse on Main Street in the 1879 George H. Walker Plymouth County Atlas. Courtesy of HistoricMapWorks.

#4 Primary Schoolhouse on Main Street in the 1879 George H. Walker Plymouth County Atlas. Courtesy of HistoricMapWorks.

#4 Primary Schoolhouse on Main Street in 1903 L. J. Richards' Plymouth County Atlas. Courtesy of HistoricMapWorks.

#4 Primary Schoolhouse on Main Street in 1903 L. J. Richards’ Plymouth County Atlas. Courtesy of HistoricMapWorks.

In 1939, it was moved to the east side of the L.Z. Thomas School on Main Street where it is currently the headquarters of the Hanson Historical Society. Read about HHS’s acquisition of the schoolhouse here.

The following are biographies (researched by HHS curator Mary Blauss Edwards) of all the #7/#4 Primary School teachers listed by Elsie Calder, listed chronologically by the year the teacher taught.

Profiles of the Teachers of Schoolhouse #7 (1845-1867), which became Schoolhouse #4 (1867-1960)

Dorothy Brown Dyer was born at Pembroke, 29 March 1835, the daughter of Hervey Dyer and Ruth T. Reed. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1860, at the age of 25. She married at Hanson, 30 December 1861, George F. Stetson. She died at Hanson, 2 June 1884.

Helen Maria Josselyn was born at Pembroke, 1841, the daughter of Henry Josselyn and Charlotte Stetson. She was listed as a “teacher of common school” residing in Pembroke in the 1860 Census. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1861, at the age of 20. She married at Hanson, 2 December 1877, Albert B. Howland. She died at Hanson, 31 January 1913.

Matilda H. Josselyn was born at Vermont, 1839, the daughter of Jairus Josselyn (originally from Pembroke) and Esther Hitchcock. She was a common school teacher residing with her parents in Plymouth, Windsor County, Vermont in the 1860 Census. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1861, at age 22, with Helen M. Josselyn and 1862, at age 23, with David A. Josselyn. She married at Vermont, about 1875, Alfred W. Allen. She died after 1900 in Orange County, Vermont.

David A. Josselyn was born at Pembroke, 1 December 1823, the son of David Josselyn and Mary Thomas Bates. He married at Hanson, 26 November 1851, Sophronia F. Dean. He was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1862, at the age of 39, with Matilda Josselyn. He died at Pembroke, 13 April 1870.

Malinda Ann Carr was born at Boston, 7 March 1845, the daughter of Moses and Melinda (Mann) Carr. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1865, at the age of 20. She never married, and died at Hanson, 2 August 1919.

Isabel Jane (Pratt) Winslow was born at Hanson, 8 May 1842, the daughter of John S. Pratt and Sarah Ann Jones. She married at Hanson, 12 October 1864, Henry T. Winslow.  She was listed as a teacher residing in Hanson in the 1865 Massachusetts State Census. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1866, at the age of 24, with Grace F. Cobb. She died at Hanover, 8 April 1912.

Grace C. Cobb was born at Hanson, 28 April 1842, the daughter of Theodore Cobb and Sarah H. Perkins. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #7 in 1866, at the age of 24, with Isabel Winslow. She married at Hanson, November 1867, Otis Lafayette Bonney, and at the time of their marriage, both listed their occupations as teachers. She died at Hanson, 1 April 1904.

Adelie Thomas Vinal was born at Hanson, 1845, the daughter of Cushing Vinal and Deborah Thomas. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1868  at age 23,with Mary H. Soper and Martha R. Pierce. She died at Hanson, December 1876, of diphtheria, age 31, occupation at time of death was “teacher”.

Mary Hayward Soper was born at Hanson, 15 February 1846, the daughter of Jeremiah Soper and Mary Briggs Hayward. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1868, at the age of 22, with Adelie T. Vinal and Martha R. Pierce. She married at Hanson, 25 February 1872, Robert N. Longstreet. She died at Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, 13 April 1882.

Martha Reed (Litchfield) Pierce was born at Scituate, 3 February 1841, the daughter of Martin Litchfield and Mary Mott. She married at Scituate, 12 April 1862, Albert Loring Pierce. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1868 with Mary H. Soper and Adelie T. Vinal, and the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1869. She resided in the household of her father in Scituate in the 1870 Census, listed as a school teacher. She died at Scituate, 22 March 1908.

Lucy Osborne Howland was born at Hanson, 28 November 1849, the daughter of Friend W. Howland and Lucy Osborne [who lived on Elm St., close to Schoolhouse #4].  She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1870, at the age of 21. She married at Hanson, 25 December 1870, George C. Hobart. She died of consumption at Hanson, October 1876.

Abby F. Estes was born at Hanson, 15 October 1851, the daughter of Stephen Harris Estes and Diana H. Keen. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1872, at the age of 21, and 1873, at the age of 22. She married at Hanson, 26 February 1874, Allen R. Phillips, and was listed as a teacher at the time of her marriage. She died after 1930.

Clara Frances Josselyn was born at Hanson, 17 September 1852, the daughter of David A. Josselyn [who was also a teacher of Schoolhouse #4 in 1862] and Sophronia F. Dean. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1874, at age 22, and co-teacher in 1877 with Bertha Alice Hood, at age 25. She married at Whitman, 20 August 1893, George A. Langill. She died after 1930.

Kate Gaffney was born at Summerside, Nova Scotia, 21 February 1856, the daughter of Thomas Gaffney and Annie (). From the ages of 19-20, she was the “Kate Gaffney” and “Kate Thomas” who co-taught at Schoolhouse #4 with her fiancé/husband Benjamin Thomas in 1875/6. She was taken in by the Kingman family, and living with the Joseph Kingman family of West Bridgewater in the 1870 Census. She married at West Bridgewater, 19 August 1876, Benjamin F. Thomas, her fellow co-teacher. They had daughters Jennie Franklin Thomas (b. Hanson, 19 June 1882) and Leah Ethel Thomas (b. Hanson, 27 Aug. 1886). Kate was listed as a teacher in the 1880 Census. The family moved to Maine for several years before returning to Plymouth County. Kate died at Boston, 14 July 1913 of uremia toxaemia.

Benjamin F. Thomas [misspelled as “J.B. Thomas”] was born at Hanson, 18 January 1855, the son of Benjamin Thomas and Mary Warren. From the ages of 21-22, he was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1875/6 with his fiancee (then wife) Kate (Gaffney) Thomas. After Katie’s death, he married Anna May Harbourne at Brockton, 24 Dec 1914.

Bertha Alice Hood was born at Hanson, 7 August 1859, the daughter of William W. Hood and Deborah. She was a co-teacher in 1877 with Clara F. Josselyn, at the age of 17. She died at Hanson, 26 February 1879 of diphtheria at the age of 19. Bertha’s death set off a three year diphtheria scare in Hanson, which was amplified in 1881 after the death of 10 year old student Elizabeth E. Oaks, when parents decided to keep their children out of school for 1881’s second term:

In 1879, the following individuals died in Hanson of diphtheria:

  • Bertha Alice Hood, died 26 February 1879, age 19.
  • George Cameron McClellan, died 25 March 1879, age 6 years, 20 days.

In 1880, the following individuals died in Hanson of diphtheria:

  • Maud Leslie Bearce, died 6 September 1880, age 6 years, 5 months, 6 days, daughter of W. H. and Amy G. (Lane) Bearce

In 1881, the following individuals died in Hanson of diphtheria:

  • Elizabeth E. Oaks, died 26 January 1881, a “scholar”, aged 10 years, 3 months, 14 days, daughter of Robert B. and Sarah W. Oaks.
  • Myron M. Keene, died 22 October 1881, age 2 years, 5 months, 18 days, son of Walter A. and Lucy E. Keene
  • Hattie D. Howland, died 6 November 1881, age 24 years, 6 months, 24 days, daughter of Davis W. and Harriet Howland

Clara Ann Bryant was born at Plympton, 16 March 1854, the daughter of Lemuel Bryant and Maria Bradford. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1878, at the age of 24, and a co-teacher with Mary R. Crocker in 1880, at the age of 26. She married at Halifax, 8 November 1881, James H. Holmes. She died of consumption at Plympton, 19 September 1892.

Mary R. Crocker was was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1880 with Clara A. Bryant, and the teacher in 1881. She may have been Mary E. Crooker born at Halifax, 22 March 1858, the daughter of Melvin and Sophia (Ripley) Crooker – during 1880 and 1881, Melvin served as the superintendant of the Hanson Almshouse. She married at Brockton, 23 Nov. 1887, George F. Thresher, a shoecutter.

Annie Frances Bass was born at Dorchester, 20 March1845, the daughter of Seth B. Bass and Sarah Gleason. She was listed as a 35 year old single teacher in the 1880 Census, residing with fellow teacher, 29 year old Annie Wheeler, in the household of Julia A. Howard in South Hanson. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, and 1886, at the ages of 37-41. She never married and died after 1930.

Daisy Aubry Trumbull was born at Rockland, 13 January 1861, the daughter of Howard A. Trumbull and Sarah C. Cushing. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1887, at the age of 26, with Ruth Stetson and Josephine Packard. She never married and died at Hanson, 30 April 1912.

Ruth Stetson was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1887 with Daisy Trumbull and Josephine Packard. She may have been the Ruth Stetson, born at East Bridgewater, 30 November 1868, daughter of Thomas Stetson and Frances Randall, who married at Brockton, 30 July 1895, Wilber Merry, and at the time of her marriage her occupation was “bookkeeper”. She would have been 19 years old as a teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1887.

Josephine Scott Packard was born at Kingston, 15 August 1864, the daughter of Joseph S. Packard and Angeline Willis. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1887, at the age of 23, with Ruth Stetson and Daisy Trumbull, the teacher in 1889 at the age of 25, the teacher in 1890 at the age of 26, and the co-teacher in 1891 at the age of 27, with Mary Duplessis. She never married, and died at Kingston, after 1920.

Mary Anne (Thibeault) Duplessis was born at Marlborough, March 1864, the daughter of Joseph Thibeault and Marguerite Arsenault. She married at Marlborough, 27 May 1883, William Duplessis. She was the co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1891 at the age of 27, with Josephine Packard. She died at Bridgewater, after 1930.

Ruth M. Sheehey was born at Providence, Rhode Island, March 1876, the daughter of Frank Sheehy and Orilla (). She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1893, at the age of 17. She resided with her parents in Somerville in the 1900 Census, working as a stenographer.

Ada J. Luther was born at Hanson, 18 June 1873, the daughter of Edward Y. Luther and Georgina LaForest Gurney. She was the co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1894 at the age of 21, with Jennie M. Cobb. She married at Hanson, 30 June 1903, Luke W. Hemmenway. She died at Hanson after 1930.

Jennie M. Cobb was born at Abington, 25 January 1872, the daughter of Dana Cobb and Anna Jane Pratt. She was the co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1894 at the age of 22, with Ada J. Luther. She married at Whitman, 25 December 1894, Edward C. Howe, and was listed as a “teacher” at the time of her marriage.

Nellie A. Alger was born at Lawrence, 1877, the daughter of Frank Alger and Ellen Hefferman. She was the co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1895 at the age of 18, with Annie E. Damon. She married at Rockland, 28 October 1905, Isaac B. Hersey, and was listed as a teacher residing in Boston at the time of her marriage.

Annie T. Damon was born at at Hanson, 11 February 1874, the daughter of Elijah Damon and Phoebe S. Besse. She was the co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1895 at the age of 21, with Nellie Alger, and the teacher in 1896 at the age of 22. She married at Hanson, 30 June 1898, Hubert Aubrey Gorham. At the time of Hubert and Annie’s marriage, he was a laborer and she was a teacher. They had a daughter, Elsie, and a son, Thomas. They divorced, and H. A. Gorham married second at Hanson, 21 July 1927, Maud Gilbert (Brewster) Bodell. Annie never remarried and died at Hanson, 1959.

Mary Oldham Williams Howland was born at Pembroke, 16 June 1877, the daughter of Augustus W. Howland and Abbie J. Estes. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1898 at the age of 21, in 1899 at the age of 22, and the co-teacher in 1900 at the age of 23, with Ama D. Witt. She married at Pembroke, 16 June 1903, Walter Edwards Kilbuth.

Primary School #4, Hanson, c. 1899

Primary School #4, Hanson, c. 1899
Mary Howland (Kilbreth), teacher, 1898 to 1900.
First row, left to right: Hollis Ibbitson, __ Sweeney, State Ward, Laura Stuart, Abbie Monroe, William Benoit, Seward Brown, Fred Brown, Robert Calder
Second row: Mary Stuart, State Ward, Minnie Crocker, Mamie Crocker, Sadie Ford, Martha Everson, Nina Chamberlain, Marie David, Edgar Monroe, Howard Sampson
Third row: Myron Stuart, Oliver Brissett, Felix Brissett, Harold Brown, Harry Hill, David Brissett, Della Benoit, Lizzie Strang, Doris King
Photo courtesy of the Hanson Historical Society.

Anna Bell De Witt (later written as Amabell or shortened to “Ama”) was born at North Brookfield, Massachusetts, 7 April 1879, the daughter of Charles Henry Witt and Abbie B. Cottle. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1900 at the age of 21 with Mary O. Howland, and a co-teacher in 1901 at the age of 22 with Vera Knowlton. She married at Whitman, 21 June 1904, William F. Williston, and was a teacher residing at North Brookfield at the time of her marriage.

Vera May Knowlton was born at Acton, Massachusetts, 22 August 1882, the daughter of Octavius A. Knowlton and Etta L. Houghton. She was a student at Bridgewater State Normal School [later Bridgewater State University] in the 1900 Census. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1901 at the age of 19 with Ama D. Witt, and a co-teacher in 1902 at the age of 20 with Evelyn A. Pike. She married first at Exeter, N.H., 18 May 1900, Louis Johnson. They divorced. She married second at West Acton, 17 September 1907, Ralph G. Baker.

Evelyn Agnes Pike was born at Salisbury, Massachusetts, 29 August 1882, the daughter of Charles M. Pike and Helen M. Eaton. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse#4 in 1902 at the age of 20 with Vera Knowlton. She was a public school teacher residing in Melrose in the 1910 Census. By 1920, she had been institutionalized at the Danvers State Hospital as a patient, and was still a patient there in 1940.

Grace Maria Delano was born at Duxbury, 22 April 1881, the daughter of Otis Delano and Elizabeth F. Osborne. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1903, 1904, and 1905, at the ages of 22-25 . She married at Duxbury, 29 September 1909, Percy L. Walker, and was a school teacher residing at Duxbury at the time of her marriage.

Primary School #4, Hanson, 1903

Taken Oct. 7, 1903 Primary No 4 School, Grace Delano, teacher Beal’s Hill (now Main St.)
from left to right, top to bottom: Arthur Richards 4th, Seward Brown 3rd, Mary McDonald 2nd, Giles McDonald 3rd, Jessie McClain 2nd, Ralph Harley 4th, Marion Sampson 3rd, Josie Hill 5th, George Faulkner 3rd, Mildred Monroe baby, Elsie G. Calder 4th, Florina Valley 1st, Flora Wright 3rd, Hollis Ibbitson 5th, Abby Monroe 5th, Weston Crocker 2nd, Florence Hobill 3rd, Mary Valley 2nd, Edgar Tillson 5th, Edith Kinsington 2nd, Mildred Ibbitson 4th, Arthur Valley 1st, Adlor White 2nd, Emily DiMestico 2nd, Chester Richards 1st, Nelson Burrell 4th, Fred Brown 4th, Edwin Ibbitson 1st, Joseph Tillson 2nd, Hattie Kensington 2nd, Loring Besse 4th, Tooflee White 1st, Russell Richards 2nd, George Ford 3rd, George DiMestico 3rd
Photo courtesy of the Hanson Historical Society

Bessie Estelle Eayrs was born at Malden, 8 May 1884, the daughter of Jessie V. Eayrs and Ellen L. Bailey. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1906 and 1907, at the ages of 22-23. She married at Malden, 19 October 1908, Elvin E. Knowles, and was listed as a school teacher residing at 10 Leland St., Malden at the time of her marriage.

Helen L. Heath was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1908 and 1909. She may have been the Helen Heath who was born at Mass. ca. 1884 and was a teacher working at Louisa P. Chapman’s Boarding and Day School for Girls in Philadelphia in 1910.

Muriel A. Rogers was born at Quincy, 19 March 1888, the daughter of Osborne Rogers and Carrie S. Currier. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1910, at the age of 22. She resided with her parents in Quincy in the 1910 Census, listed as a public school teacher.

Myra Clyde Chase was born at Harwich, Mass., December 1889, the daughter of Lawrence Milton Chase and Mary A. Kendrick. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1911, at the age of 22. She married at Hanson, 26 July 1942, Merton Ellis Howard. At the time of her marriage she was listed as a school teacher.

Edith M. Smith was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1912, and a co-teacher in 1913 with Isa Frazier. She may have been the Edith M. Smith who was born at Brockton, 19 Jan. 1886, the daughter of John F. Smith and Rose O’Neill. She married at Brockton, 29 Sept. 1914, Timothy E. Fenton. In the 1910 Census and at the time of her marriage she was listed as a stitcher.

Isa Doris Frazier was born at Hinsdale, New Hampshire, 1893, the daughter of Edward D. Frazier and Stella A. Lamson. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1913 at the age of 20, with Edith M. Smith, and a co-teacher in 1914 at the age of 21, with Laura Hatch. She married at Brattleboro, Vermont, 2 July 1914, Dwight Atwood Ware, and was a teacher residing at 403 Linwood St., Abington at the time of her marriage.

Laura Frances (Hatch) Armstrong was born at Norwell, 29 June 1893, the daughter of Edward A. Hatch and Elizabeth Coleman. She was a co-teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1914 at the age of 21, with Isa Frazier. She married at South Hanson, 20 December 1915, Frederic S. Armstrong. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1915 at the age of 22.

Anna Louise Streb was born at Boston, 17 Jan. 1895, the daughter of Philip and Florence M. Streb. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1916 at the age of 21. She was an office clerk in a department store in Medford in 1920.

Grace Elizabeth (Hanson) McClellan was born at Baltimore, Maryland, 5 August 1886, the daughter of John F. Hanson and Lila Cody. After the deaths of her parents, she moved from Maryland to live with relatives in Brockton, Mass. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1917, 1918, 1919. She married at Hanson, 31 Jan. 1920, Roderic McClellan. She proceeded to teach at Schoolhouse #4 in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929. She was a teacher in the Hanson public schools for the majority of her career. She was a founding member of the Hanson Historical Society, and was the step-grandmother of former Hanson Historical Society secretary Edna (McClellan) Blauss Howland and the step-great-great-grandmother of Hanson Historical Society curator Mary Blauss Edwards. She died at Hanson, 9 Feb. 1969.

Miriam B. Agnes Crowley was born at Rockland, 1 September 1908, the daughter of William Crowley and Ellen Flynn. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1932, at the age of 24, and the teacher in 1939, 1940, 1941, and 1942 at the age of 31-34.

Ruth Harriet Tolman was born at Norwell, 30 May 1898, the daughter of Thomas J. Tolman and Jessie D. Logan. She was a school teacher residing in Norwell with her mother in the 1930 Census. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1937, at the age of 39.

Leona I. Blacktin was born at Lowell, 11 May 1923, the daughter of Leo Blacktin and Florence Irene Portneuf. She was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1943 at the age of 20. She never married and died at Malden, Massachusetts, 9 August 2009.

Ann Brandt was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1944.

Madeline Charest was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1945.

Ellen Alden was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1946-1950.

Esther King was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1953.

Marie Abbott was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1954-1956.

Mary LeVangie was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1957.

Dorethea Hannon was the teacher at Schoolhouse #4 in 1958, 1959, and 1960.

Are there any former students who remember these #4 Primary School teachers from the mid-20th century? Please feel free to share your stories and memories.

2 Responses to From the Archives: The Teachers of Primary School #4/#7 (1845-1960)

  1. Pingback: Object of the Month: Elsie Calder’s History of the #4 Primary Schoolhouse | Hanson Historical Society

  2. Pingback: Object of the Month: March 2014 – Maud Gilbert (Brewster) Bodell Gorham Collection | Hanson Historical Society

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