SOUTHBOROUGH (2) owes its name to the circumstance that it lies nearly south of the ancient town of Marlborough,(3) of which it was originally a part. The territory had proved to be good pasture lands; the Marlborough "Cow Commons" were accordingly located there; and eventually a little settlement grew up known as Stony Brook. The three hills, Breakneck, Wolf Pen and Mt. Vickory, and the beautiful u1 countryside to the south have never failed to excite the admiration of the chroniclers; and in 1793 the Rev. Peter Whitney added that the people were industrious, generally wealthy, hospitable and peaceful. As early as 1720 the settlers found themselves too far from the place of Public Worship; the inconvenience was "compassionated" by the General Court; and in 1727 the town of Southborough was incorporated.
The first town meeting, consisting of representatives of about fifty families, organized an elaborate government, and appointed about half the men of the township to office. Among them were two tithingmen (and no meeting-house), two "hog-reeves," and a clerk of the market. When a meeting-house was at length planned, a committee from Westborough and Marlborough decided that it should be erected on the new town's dominating rise of land, which was then named Holy Hill. The Rev. Nathan Stone, the first minister, took charge in 1730, at a salary of four hundred dollars and thirty cords of wood, an excellent settlement for the time. His pastorate lasted for fifty-one years; and "during that time," writes Mr. Parkman, "it is not recorded that anything special occurred." The first native of Southborough to take charge was the Rev. Jeroboam Parker, a man of great dignity and benign influence.
The first mention of Southborough in connection with education is not promising. In 1732 the town was called before the grand jury at Worcester to answer to the charge of having kept no public school. The result was that two schoolmasters were forthwith appointed at salaries of six pounds and four pounds six shillings a year respectively; and from then on we hear little on the subject until 1859, when the High School was given by a loyal citizen, Henry Peters. The present High School building was occupied early in 1901.
During King Philip's war Marlborough had suffered seriously from Indian raids, and three garrison houses were established in Southborough. In 1756 Captain John Taplin led an expedition to Crown Point with about two score troopers. During the Revolutionary period, before nightfall on the nineteenth of April in 1775, the "minutemen," under command of Captain, afterwards Major, Josiah Fay, were in Lexington, only to find the battle already fought. At the close of the war, after rendering efficient service, the town encountered its first period of want through the loss of many able-bodied workers and the depreciation of currency. Unable to pay the state tax, harassed and depressed, the people fell into active sympathy with Shay's Rebellion; but prompt action by the State prevented calamitous results. To the call in 1861 came the splendid response of two hundred and nineteen men, thirty-three more than enough to fulfil the quota. Seventeen died in the service, and their names stand on the little granite monument in the centre of the town Common.
One week-day summer evening in 1850 Mr. Canfield, lay reader, of St. Paul's Parish, Hopkinton, held services in the schoolhouse at Southville, with ten or twelve people present. The proper prayers of the Episcopal Church were thus used for the first time in the town of Southborough. During the next ten years there were occasional services at the Centre, and at intervals the church people attended St. Paul's at Hopkinton; but it was not until 1860 that a small stone building, capable of holding fifty people, was properly fitted up and given over to church service and sacrament by Joseph Burnett--- the first apparently of his long list of benefactions to his native town. Regular services began here on Whitsunday, and have continued in Southborough every Sunday since. On December the twenty-sixth of the same year St. Mark's Parish was organized, with Joshua R. Pierce as first rector. During the first year or two of its existence it received help from other places; but on the fifth of July, 1862, Joseph Burnett gave the Parish a lot in the centre of the township, with the stipulation that the church to be built thereon should be free to all, with no distinctions as to wealth, color, race or station. The Rev. A. C. Patterson was elected rector; on August fifteenth, 1862, the corner stone of St. Mark's Church was laid by the Rev. E. M. P. Wells of Boston; and on June sixteenth, 1863, the present stone church was consecrated by Bishop Eastburn. The cost of building was defrayed by Mr. Burnett, and the beauty of the church, whose architect was A. R. Esty of Framingham, is too well known to need description. The transept for the organ was built in 1876, mostly through the gifts of St. Mark's boys; and many other gifts, including the beautiful clock tower, testify to the prosperity of the Parish and to the love and veneration of its members. It is interesting to note that the Parish of Holy Trinity, Marlborough, was organized by the efforts of St. Mark's Church. It had for two years been a mission in charge of the Rev. Waldo Burnett, and was organized as a parish when a church building was provided through the generosity of one of the parishioners, J. Montgomery Sears.
The pioneer citizens of Southborough are described as firm, sagacious and temperate, and among these the names of Brigham, Fay, Ward, Johnson, Burnett, Amsden and Bellows are conspicuous, especially that of Fay, through Francis B. Fay, by whose gift of money for its establishment the Fay Library was made possible. Fay three times represented the town in the General Court, was State Senator from Worcester County, and a member of the House of Representatives of the United States. When Commissioner Price founded his ideal colony in Hopkinton he sent to England and invited as settlers various well-to-do farmers, men of sterling character and worth. One of these was John Burnett, the founder of the family in New England, and the ancestor of the Founder of St. Mark's School. Joseph Burnett's inheritance came from men of vigorous initiative and intelligence, one of whom, Waldo, was an acknowledged pioneer in the great advance of medical science during the last century.
It should be noted that the aspect of the country about Southborough now differs materially from that of the early days. Where the reservoirs(4) now divide the township there was formerly a beautiful brook embedded along its whole course in thick woodland. This brook, which was probably the "Stony Brook" of the settlers, turned the wheel of an old-fashioned saw-mill, and came from "Parker Pond," a pretty body of water which lay in the valley now occupied by the reservoir at the extreme west of the village. South of the present Fay School buildings, the road called "Hickson's" or "Solomon Esty's" continued deep into the valley and through the woods, providing excellent coasting. The "Giant's Grave," a precipitous oblong hill at the junction of the Worcester turnpike and the road to Cordaville, has also been half swallowed by the reservoir; and to the east the "First Red," a hill so-called from the little red mill at its foot, has been almost entirely submerged by a broad expanse of reservoir which likewise separates the village from the "Second Red," a favorite coasting-place, which began on the ridge beyond and ran down into the next valley. These reservoirs have of course never been available for boating, and after their construction the sport of rowing became a mere tradition until its recent revival at Fort Meadow Lake. This lake, lying some distance to the north of Marlborough, offers excellent opportunities for rowing, but was practically inaccessible until the coming of the motor-car, and the later development of the School's resources. The famous "49 Bulls," a space in the Cordaville road where there were no bushes on either side for the distance of a few yards, also lies beneath the reservoir. It formed a convenient open-air club-room for Sunday afternoons, the stone walls providing seats. Its name came from the only legible part of an old advertisement on one of the smooth stones on the east side. The tradition that Southborough possessed a gold-mine has always persisted in the School. The "mine," which lies towards the south, consists of a hole about thirty feet deep, at whose mouth is heaped the quartz removed from it. A Californian upon viewing the region had prophesied a strike at the present depth, and when none was made the enterprise was abandoned.
One of the most significant to St. Mark's of other Southborough institutions is the Fay School, which was founded in 1866, a year later than St. Mark's, by Mrs. Eliza B. B. Fay and Miss Harriet Burnett, largely through Joseph Burnett's influence. It was probably the first strictly preparatory school for young boys in the vicinity, and was opened in what was formerly the parsonage of the Unitarian Church. From its original number of three boys it grew to a dozen in the late seventies, and moved its schoolroom into another building; and in 1885 and 1886 important additions were made, and the numbers rose to thirty-two, with a waiting-list. Upon the death of Miss Burnett in 1890 Mrs. Fay took entire charge, but survived her sister by only six years; and in September, 1896, Mr. Waldo B. Fay, her son, became Headmaster. Under his wise and devoted management, and with the unstinted love and motherly care of his wife, the School soon became a force in education throughout New England, and in 1908 extensive changes and additions became necessary, and the numbers were increased. In 1918 Mr. and Mrs. Fay retired after twenty-two years of service,(5) and the present Headmaster, Edward Winchester Fay (St. Mark's '04), and his sister took charge. In 1921 Miss Fay's marriage to Mr. Brinley, now a master at St. Mark's, left Mr. Fay the only member of his family in active service at the School, a service which his experience and character eminently fit him to discharge. He had taught two years at St. Paul's, and eight as a master at the Fay School. More boys go from the Fay School to St. Mark's than to any other school. It was incorporated in 1922.
JOSEPH BURNETT, one of the four children of Charles and Keziah Burnett, was born on the eleventh of November, 1820. He passed his earlier years in the Burnett homestead near Southville, and was educated in the district schools of his native town. At about the age of fifteen he left home and went to Worcester. He attended the English and Latin Schools there, but never received a collegiate education, though his study of medicine, which he never practiced, acquired for him the familiar title of Doctor, by which he was everywhere known. In 1837 he associated himself as clerk with a prominent Boston chemist, rose to partnership in this house, and in 1854 disposed of his interest and entered the business of manufacturing chemist on his own account at 27 Central Street, ---an enterprise so successful that the products of the manufactory are now world-famous. In 1847 he married Josephine Cutter, daughter of Edward and Ruth Cutter of Boston, by whom he had twelve children.
Mr. Burnett took great pride in his native town of Southborough, and it was only the demands of business that induced him to live in Boston during the winter, which he did for the first time in 1875. Many years before this he had constructed "Deerfoot," the permanent family home, a mansion of stone taken from Southborough soil. It would be difficult to discover any work or undertaking for the public good in which he was not a prime mover or a generous benefactor; but it was always at the request of friends that he held any public office, though his political faith was distinct; he had been an original Daniel Webster Whig, and was always a strong friend and supporter of President Cleveland. Governor Alexander H. Rice appointed him prison commissioner, and he became chairman of the body, which was entrusted with the erection of a reformatory prison for women at Sherborn. He served on the School Board, and was the first road commissioner appointed by the town of Southborough. It was mostly through his action that the highway surveyor system was abolished; and to him the town largely owes the excellent roads, and the beautiful shade trees which distinguish them.
Mr. Burnett's work in bringing the Episcopal Church to Southborough has already been noticed. Thereafter until his death he personally made up any deficiencies that occurred in the church finances. He served as vestryman of St. John's Church, Framingham, and of St. Paul's, Hopkinton, and he was one of the original incorporators of the Church of the Advent, Boston. No account of his life or work can be properly understood without an insistence difficult to exaggerate on his reverence for the church and her ministers, and his faith in and practice of her discipline and teaching; and these, determining his friendships and directing his great ability in practical affairs, are the corner stone of St. Mark's School, the greatest monument to his memory. He lived nearly thirty years longer to see his school develop into one of the foremost institutions of its kind in America. He died on the eleventh of August, 1894, from injuries received in a carriage accident, and was buried near the ivy-covered church he had built and supported. The service was conducted by Bishop Lawrence, assisted by Dr. Converse and Dr. Chambré, and was attended by the Trustees of the School.
The portrait of Mr. Burnett, which hangs at the end of the School dining-room, is said by those who knew him to be a faithful likeness. The limitations of portraiture for so large a hall render impossible, however, an adequate suggestion of the refinement of the strong features and the steady penetration of the clear eyes. Slender, slightly above middle height, his erect figure suggested indefinite reserve strength as his direct glance and kindly seriousness promised clear thinking and brief expression. To these a somewhat low voice and very distinct enunciation added a force which compelled attention and respect. His presence and address were effective and dignified. From his hands the Founder's Medal was made of something better than gold, and to the schoolboy whom he passed on his frequent walks about the grounds his smile, accompanied by a formal bow, was warm with understanding and friendliness. "He was at the School every afternoon the first year," writes one boy of the class of '71, "and not only took an intense interest in the School itself as a whole, but also in each boy; in fact, he looked after the younger boys as if he were their father, and perhaps more than some of their fathers ever had." (6)
St. Paul's, the first Church School in New England, was founded in 1855, when the older endowed schools were beginning to lose in numbers because of the increased facilities of the high schools; and ten years later it was difficult to obtain a place in it without patient waiting. Mr. Burnett had sent his eldest son, Edward, to St. Paul's; and Dr. Colt, the Headmaster, suggested to him when he was entering another son, Harry, that, as he had four boys it would be a good thing to start a church school in Massachusetts. Thus the words of Dr. Coit and the success of St. Paul's undoubtedly suggested to Joseph Burnett the possibility of another school on the same plan; and his own large family of boys nearing the school age brought him to serious consideration of the matter, as had been the case with Dr. Shattuck and St. Paul's. It is probable that in the words descriptive of Southborough which are found for many years in the School catalogue, "healthful," and "singularly free from objectionable features," we have his own perception of the fitness of Southborough for such an important venture. At this time there was for sale a well-built old-fashioned square house in the middle of the town. One morning on his way to Boston Mr. Burnett was approached at the railroad-station by a fellow townsman, who had heard of his plans, and was asked for an offer on it. Mr. Burnett made one, and on his return in the evening was informed that the estate was his.
A review of Joseph Burnett's life and work in connection with the School would be to anticipate much of the history of St. Mark's. Treasurer of the Corporation until his death, when the mantle fell on the shoulders of an equally devoted son, he spared no pains and delegated no labor or supervision that he could himself perform for the sake of the School; and of all his gifts to it none perhaps is greater than the example of Christian reverence, unselfishness and modesty set by his own life. At a meeting of the Trustees of the School on August the fifteenth, 1894, at which the entire Board was present, a committee was appointed to draft suitable resolutions, and the following were prepared for publication in certain papers, and were transmitted to Mr. Burnett's family and to all patrons, graduates and undergraduates of the School.
In Memory of JOSEPH BURNETT,
Founder of ST. MARK'S SCHOOL
Born Nov. 11, 1820. Entered into rest Aug. 11 1894.
The Trustees of St. Mark's School place on record this memorial of Joseph Burnett, the Founder of the School, and the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, from its foundation.
Twenty-nine years ago his Christian faith, his confidence in the educational system of the Church, his love of the youth of his country, prompted Mr. Burnett to organize a Church School in Southborough. His wisdom laid the foundations deep and strong, his enthusiasm and devotion to the School sustained and developed its strength, and his gracious spirit entered into the heart of the Institution, so that as the number of masters and boys increased, the character of St. Mark's School grew in strength and grace. Each step in the development of the School was taken with his advice and guidance. The beautiful group of buildings stand as a monument of his energy and faith.
He devoted his wide business experience, his time and his wealth to the School; but, an even richer gift than these, he gave, by his sympathy with the masters, and his tender regard for the boys, the influence of his genial, thoughtful and beautiful character. Always a gentleman himself, he taught them how gentle true manhood may be. Of the highest integrity, firm and courageous, his life awakened in them noble ambitions and ideals. His home and his heart were always open to the boys of St. Mark's, and his highest gratification was to learn that their later lives were worthy of the spirit of the Institution.
As members of the Board of Trustees, we deeply mourn his loss to the School and to the Board. His candour and courtesy won the confidence of all. We shall miss him not only as a colleague, but as a personal friend.
In his death the community has lost a citizen of the highest integrity and public spirit; the cause of education a wise and generous patron; and the Church a loyal servant and humble follower of his Lord.
To his family we offer our deepest sympathy in their great sorrow, tempered as it must be by the memory of a long, faithful and blessed life.
|D. CALDWELL MILLETT||FRANCIS C. FOSTER|
|GEORGE S. CONVERSE||HENRY N. BIGELOW|
|THOMAS R. PYNCHON||GEORGE P. GARDNER|
|SUMNER U. SHEARMAN||MORRIS H. MORGAN|
|A. ST. JOHN CHAMBRÉ||DANIEL B. FEARING|
August 15, 1894
At a meeting of the Trustees on the seventeenth of September following, it was voted that November the eleventh, being the birthday of Joseph Burnett, be established as Founder's Day.
SECOND only in importance for St. Mark's to the character of Joseph Burnett was that of the friends whom he called upon to support him as trustees. Isaac Fletcher Redfield(7) was born at Weathersfield, Vermont, on the tenth of April, 1804, the son of Peleg and Hannah (Parker) Redfield. He was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1825, received the degree of Master of Arts three years later, and was admitted to the bar in Orleans County, Vermont, in 1827, where he advanced to the position of Chief Judge from 1852 to 1860, and to that of Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at Dartmouth from 1857 to 1861. In the last year he moved to Boston. He was sent as special counsel of the United States government to adjust the claims of Great Britain, and to recover property held on behalf of the Southern Confederacy. He received the degree of Master of Arts from the University of Vermont in 1835, that of Doctor of Laws from Trinity College in 1849, and the same from Dartmouth in 1855. An eminent jurist, he was the author of many law writings and treatises. He died at Charlestown, Mass., on the twenty-third of March, 1876.
Josiah Gardner Abbott (8) was born at Chelmsford, Massachusetts, November the first, 1814, the son of Caleb and Mercy (Fletcher) Abbott. Both of his grandfathers fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and held commissions in the army of Washington; and Judge Abbott himself represented the seventh generation of the family in America. The chief influences in his youth were the Unitarian movement; the disruption of the Federal party and the rise of Jacksonian democracy; and the starting of the North American Review. He attended the classical school at Chelmsford, where for four months he was taught by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and entered Harvard in 1828. Graduated in 1832, he taught for a time at Fitchburg Academy, and considered these months as among the most important of his earlier life. In 1859 he was made an overseer in Harvard College. Consummately skilful in defending the accused in capital cases in the courts, his proceedings have become part of the history of criminal procedure, and are largely quoted as precedents; but in spite of his success in criminal practice, he never liked the associations which a criminal lawyer cannot avoid, and preferred the pursuit of remedial justice. He was in active practice for fifty years, and connected with some of the most celebrated litigations of his time. In 1863-1869 and in 1877 he received the vote of the Democrats in the state legislature for United States senator; and in 1874 he was elected to represent his district in the Forty-fourth Congress. As a Democrat he was a delegate from Massachusetts to seven national conventions, and chairman of his state delegation six times. He lost two sons in the Civil War, and one other served and returned. In 1862 Williams College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He died at his home at Wellesley Hills on the second of June, 1891.
Such were the corporate members of the body "constituted for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a school for the education of boys to be located in the town of Southborough." By the provisions of the act, the trustees were not to be less than seven nor more than thirteen in number, and might hold real and personal estate to an amount not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars.(9) The act passed the House of Representatives on March the twenty-third, 1865, the Senate two days later, and was approved by Governor John A. Andrew on March the twenty-seventh. The following day notice was given to the first trustees to meet at the office of Isaac F. Redfield, 33 School Street, Boston, on the fifth of April, for the purpose of organizing, electing associates, and appointing a committee to draft a constitution. The meeting was held at the time and place appointed, with Judge Redfield as chairman and Joseph Burnett as clerk pro tempore. The election of a Rector was referred to the adjournment of the meeting, and it was voted to proceed at once to the election of six associate trustees. The Rev. John B. Kerfoot, D.D., of Hartford, Connecticut; the Rev. Daniel Caldwell Millett, D.D., of Holmesburg, Pennsylvania; the Rev. George Maxwell Randall, D.D., of Boston; the Rev. Frederic D. Huntington, D.D., LL.D., of Boston; the Rev. George Sherman Converse, D.D., of Roxbury, and Charles Hovey, Esq., of Lowell, were unanimously elected, and the meeting adjourned " to meet at the building known as St. Mark's School in Southborough on the twentieth of April at three in the afternoon."
At this meeting, "being assembled in the southeast lower room, yet unfinished," the Rev. Dr. Randall, who had been requested to take the chair and to open the meeting with prayer, first used the collect "Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help." After other appropriate devotions it was voted to adjourn to Mr. Burnett's house. At eight o'clock, with the same persons present, --- Messrs. Kerfoot, Randall, Converse, Burnett, and Hovey --- Mr. Burnett read the act of incorporation, and Mr. Hovey was elected clerk, with Dr. Randall temporary president. A committee consisting of Messrs. Redfield, Abbott, Randall and Kerfoot was elected to prepare a code of by-laws, and to report at an adjournment of the meeting; Mr. Burnett read several letters he had received respecting the rectorship of the School; and a committee to consider this subject was appointed. It was voted that the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Manton Eastburn, D.D., he ex-officio visitor of St. Mark's School; and that the meeting adjourn to the house of Judge Abbott in Boston on the festival of St. Mark, April the twenty-fifth. At this meeting the deed of property of the school was read, and a resolution of thanks passed to Joseph Burnett for this rare example of true Christian generosity." It declared "that this Board of Trustees appreciates this magnanimous donation as of great importance to the Church, and through her teachings to the youth of the country."(10)
The constitution, duly submitted by those appointed to draw it up, provides that no person be eligible as trustee but a communicant in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States; that trustees must be elected by vote of the majority of the entire Board; that any trustee ceasing to be a communicant of the Church or becoming a member of any other church, shall cease to be a trustee; that the meeting of the Corporation be held on the festival of St. Mark, ---or, when this falls on Sunday, on the next Monday, --- in the town of Southborough; and that no alteration of the Constitution be made except by the written consent of all the Trustees. The by-laws define the duties of the different officers, and provide that the Headmaster, who shall always be a Presbyter of the Church, shall be appointed by the Trustees; that tutors and all subordinate officers of the Institution be appointed by the Headmaster; and that compensation be determined by the Trustees. The internal government of the School was vested in the Headmaster, subject to such general arrangements and principles as the Trustees might establish. The Bishop of the Diocese was to have at all times free access to every department of the School, to be free to observe the manner of conducting both the School and the boarding-house connected with it, and at his discretion to require an examination of the students at least once a year before himself or visitors appointed for that purpose. To the Bishop was also granted the power to make any recommendations or suggestions in reference to the conduct and management of the School that might seem to him proper and necessary. An annual report of the state of the Institution was also to be sent to the Bishop to be laid by him before the Church.
The Headmaster was to be regarded as the agent of the Trustees, and required to make semi-annual report of the finances and general condition of the School. It was to be his duty to regulate sessions, vacations, course of study and discipline of the School, subject to the advisory control of the Standing Committee of the Trustees, and to fix the amount of tuition and other expenses at the commencement of every academic year. A committee of one or more was to be appointed to visit the School, inspect and inquire into everything calculated to effect the physical, intellectual, moral or religious training and instruction of the pupils, and to report in detail in writing, with suggestions, at the annual meeting of the Board.
The question of a Headmaster had occupied the attention of a committee, but no choice had been made. The Rev. J. K. Lewis, A.M., had been mentioned, and a sub-committee chosen to obtain information about him, and to visit Buffalo to do so. The result brought about his unanimous election as Headmaster on the fourth of September, 1865.
John Kerfoot Lewis was born on Jefferson Street in Dayton, Ohio, on the eighteenth of March, 1837, the oldest of the five sons of Thomas and Jane Ann Lewis. The latter was the sister of the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, John Barrett Kerfoot. J. K. Lewis was graduated from St. James' College, Hagerstown, Maryland, and later received the degree of Master of Arts. His first ministry was at Christ Church, Elizabeth, as assistant to Dr. E. A. Hoffman, in 1861, where he taught the parish school. On the twelfth of May, 1862, he was married to Susan Williamson Moore. From Elizabeth he went to Buffalo, where he became rector of St. Luke's Church. After leaving St. Mark's he went to Trinity Church, Syracuse, in 1867; and during his rectorship a new church was built for the parish. From Trinity a nervous disorder induced him to take an appointment obtained by the influence of his wife's family as a chaplain in the Navy, in the hope of service at sea, but he was assigned to duty at the United States Naval Asylum in Philadelphia, where he went late in the spring of 1870. Here he had time also to assist Dr. Hoffman, rector of St. Mark's. In [873 he was sent on the Asiatic cruise, and three years later returned to the Naval Asylum. In 1881 he was again sent to sea, this time to South America. Soon after his return he was ordered to the Pacific coast, and at the end of this service he was retired, and went to live in Dayton, where he did some parochial work. His wife had meanwhile died; and marrying again he went to Santa Barbara, where he died in the summer of 1916. He has been described as of nervous temperament, but brilliant and attractive, and always popular with his many friends.
The problems of the new school were larger than they appear in retrospect; and to the success of the Founder and his associates in handling them St. Mark's owes perhaps as much as to the former's continual generosity in material things. His conception of a school founded upon the traditions of Church life, a departure from the hard pedagogy, severe discipline, and mechanical views of life postulated by the academies, was not yet a recognized one, though as has been said, the success of St. Paul's through the example of Dr. Mühlenburg's teaching at Flushing gave him courage and faith. In the words of one of our most revered trustees,(11) "the enterprise was conceived in a most self-sacrificing spirit, entered upon with the most undoubting faith, pushed on with the most far-reaching sagacity, fostered with unbounded generosity, labored for with unflagging zeal, prayed for with the most importunate earnestness, --and all this given and most liberally bestowed, not for any selfish purpose, or for any ambitious or mercenary end." The result was that the School stands and will always stand "four square," as Bishop Lawrence expressed it, on four foundation stones: fine scholarship, breadth of study and interests, public service, and loyalty to Christ and His Church.(12)
FEW photographs of the old school buildings exist, and these are mostly incidental to athletic groups. The material and social economy of St. Mark's has been a growth, rejecting, assimilating, and purposeful like any other organism; and to a great degree the plan and construction of the present building were suggested and guided by the School's experience with the old ones, excellently interpreted by one of her graduates. The old buildings were gradually demolished in the early nineties, the original rooms serving as a residence for the Senior Master and his family until a satisfactory house could be provided on the new school grounds.
The original building, which was situated about fifty feet back from the main road, and separated from the grounds of the high school only by a driveway and a fence, was a square two-story house with a mansard roof, and a two-story ell on the north side, and wide piazzas on all sides. It was painted yellow and sanded, and had green blinds. The hall extended directly through the building to a door at the farther end. The first room on the right was the parlor, and the second the dining-room, which was afterwards lengthened to meet the increased number of boys. On the left was the recitation-room, afterwards used as the Headmaster's study; and back of that the schoolroom, about fifteen feet square, with desks for about a dozen boys. This was the room afterwards called the "west parlor," and used later for the library. Upstairs, over the parlor and the original dining-room, were the Headmaster's quarters, and over the recitation-room his study, later used for a guest room, and taking the place of the first guest room behind it when the latter was assigned to the matron. At the head of the first flight of stairs, a little to the right, was the washroom, where each boy had a tin basin and a place for his towel, soap, etc., with a space for his shoes and blacking underneath the sink. Back of this was the bath-room with two iron tubs. Leading out of the wash-room was an entrance into the second story of the ell, where the housekeeper's and servants' rooms were situated. On the third floor were six chambers, two of which were occupied by the two tutors, and the rest by the boys, with three to six beds in each room. The kitchen and the laundry were in the first story of the ell. Above the third story was a blind attic, in which the trunks were stored. There was no heat in the third story, except what came from below; and the light there was furnished by candles, which were extinguished at nine o'clock, after which a lamp remained lighted in the hall for half an hour.
Back of the house was a large barn, the upper story of which was partitioned off for a gymnasium, and was entered by a flight of steps from the outside. It contained a pair of rings, parallel and horizontal bars, a rope for climbing, a ladder, and some pulling weights. It was about fifteen feet by forty, and answered its purpose of a refuge in stormy weather, until with the growth of the School the Trustees built a large structure and equipped it with the customary apparatus. The new building had an entrance room and a small gallery at the east end, where the boys kept their pet squirrels and white mice. The grounds back of the School consisted of several acres, mostly planted with fruit trees. Part of this ground forms the present football field. The land on which the present buildings stand was not owned at the time by the School; all the original buildings were situated between the Marlborough road and the High School, which then stood less than half as far back from the main street as it does at present.(13)
When the large schoolroom and dormitory wing was added in 1866-67 the centre of gravity of school life of course shifted, and another description becomes necessary. The dining-room was lengthened, the desks and other schoolroom apparatus vanished forever from the front of the building. One entered a long hall, down which extended a stout rush matting. In the "parlor," which was on the right, an upright piano stood by the left of the two eastern windows, and over the fireplace between these hung the large painting now in the "Boys' Parlor." The door leading to the dining-room was used only on prize day. On the left across the hall was the Headmaster's study. A large desk stood in the middle, a smaller one in the southwest window; and high book-cases lined the back wall, against a closed door to the "west parlor."
In the long, low-studded dining-room the head table stood on a platform at the farther end, and the Headmaster sat as at present facing the room. At the so-called "monitors' table" just below and parallel, as many of the older boys sat as there was room for, and the head monitor carved. The dismissal from schoolroom to meals and the order of the dining-room were precisely as at present, except that in the schoolroom names instead of forms were called, and two very long tables extended nearly the length of the dining-room. Beneath the stairs in the hall hung the mail-bag, in front of which the senior tutor stood, commanding a view both of room and of hall, as the boys filed in to meals. On the west side of the hall, outside the "west parlor" or library, stood a book-case containing reference-books: dictionary, gazetteer, encyclopaedia, etc.
The library was a pleasant room, with two western windows, and with high bookshelves between these and on the south and east sides of the room, except where the chimney-piece and door occupied the last. A swinging lamp hung from the middle of the ceiling over a marble-topped table; for there was no gas in this part of the school, and indeed none in it at all until well into the eighties. The white surface of the table was of course irresistible, and never free from varied and sometimes personal inscription. On the north side were cases with glass doors, and these were the "museum," started at the instance of Dr. Coolidge. It consisted of various curiosities and glass jars containing hideous fleshy snakes and other reptiles, ---and, of course, one small piece of chocolate frosted cracker labelled "iron ore and jasper from Lake Superior." The room was furnished with plain wooden chairs.
The swinging door in the hall just outside of the library led abruptly away from assured peace and decorum into the gusty chances of the combined hall and locker-room. This door, which had no glass in it, would strike anybody who chanced to be coming down stairs, and, as if it were a ritual, several minutes would often be spent on the floor in restoring the equilibrium of dignity. Numbered wooden lockers in the later years lined all available space in this hall, which was L-shaped, and led in one direction down two or three interior steps and out of doors to the rear of the School. Here the bell, whose tones for so many years have been the ranz des vaches of St. Mark's boys and graduates, hung under a tiny red roof supported by two uprights, and was rung at the appointed times by "Daddy" Works,(14) whose stewardship began with the founding of the school, and whose faithful services are later acknowledged in the records of the Trustees. In the other direction the hall led at its farther end down steps to the little hall leading to the side piazza and the schoolroom. A large recitation-room, "number three," also led out of this hall beside another flight of stairs. In this was an old-fashioned square piano, used for practising.
The "old" schoolroom was used for the last time as an assembly and study room in 1882-3(15). Its rows of desks faced south; and the master's desk, on a high platform, was nearly in the southwest corner. The Headmaster conducted morning school and taught several classes. The chancel was closed off from the room during the day by folding doors. When the room had been brought to order for prayers two boys drew out from against the doors a very long kneeling bench, which they placed before the recitation-benches in front of the desks, for guests. They then threw back the folding doors and revealed the chancel, which was painted light red with a blue ceiling dotted with golden stars. Its windows, afterwards transferred to the chancel in the new schoolroom, are now preserved in the Aisle of the Chapel. A small parlor organ stood against the schoolroom wall. When in the summer of 1883 the new schoolroom was added, four large tables, in pairs end to end, with benches screwed down into place, turned this older schoolroom into a sort of common-room; but it was necessarily used mostly as a thoroughfare, and was sometimes a stormy one. One of the tables, incredibly carved with well-beloved names and initials, still survives in the trophy-room, across the hall from the present schoolroom, and the others in "number three" in the corridor leading to the Chapel. At the northeast and southwest corners were two recitation rooms; one, "number two," small, and the other large and provided with a grand piano, whose excellence is well attested by the fact that it is still or was until recently in use in the choir-room.
The hall to the new schoolroom led from the old room at its northwest corner, and was lined with lockers. To the right a door led to the back of the school; and farther on double doors led to the schoolroom; a step straight ahead led to another door opening on the side of the broad platform in front of the chancel, and another small exit was situated at the southwest corner of the hall. The chancel, cut off like the old one during the day by folding doors, projected towards the south, and the master's desk stood at the farther end of the platform by the window. The chancel was of the same light mahogany tints as the schoolroom. The room itself was very high-studded and airy, and the roof was supported by low beams, much like those in the present gymnasium, mahogany-colored. It was well lighted by low-hanging, green-shaded gas-lamps.
At the northeast end of the building was the wing containing the kitchen, pantries, offices and laundry. These were of course forbidden premises; and though the decree of exclusion might not of itself have operated to prevent investigation, it was always so excellently and promptly enforced by the steward or a large feminine cook that history must remain silent.
On the second floor of the building, reached by a stairway next to the study door, over the parlor and the dining-room, were the Head's quarters as before; over his study a. guest-room; and over the "west parlor " the matron's. The original six chambers above were assigned to the oldest boys, who used the wash-room below. They were called "the rooms," to distinguish them from the dormitories which formed the new sleeping quarters. Next in the rear came two passage-ways, one leading to the sewing-room by a little L-shaped corridor with windows, and the other through to the lower dormitory and lower side alcoves wash-room. Off the passages were two bathrooms, one, alcoved, with three tubs, and the other with one. A master always sat in the little hall while these were in use in the evening.
Beyond the sewing-room were two large rooms used as a hospital. Their furnishings differed in no way from ordinary bed-rooms. They were always adequate, though upon one occasion when mumps and measles visited the school at the same time the test was severe. The boys with measles would occasionally give the Harvard cheer, and those with mumps the Yale.
The wash-room arrangements were in all respects like those used until very lately; long zinc-lined sinks, with an enamelled basin for each boy, and a locker beneath. A passage led from the wash-room past the head of the back stairs, --- from the middle landing of which one stepped into the "side alcoves" ---past a tutor's door, and into the dormitory. Both the "lower" and the "upper" dormitory, the former for older and the latter for younger boys, were in general plan like the present ones, but of course not so large and well-built. For a time no attempt was made to heat them completely, and on winter nights the cold was intense; but in the early eighties steam-pipes were installed and extended their entire length.(16) Each alcove had its green curtain, and its own window as at present, with a double window in winter which served two. There was a small and weak gas-jet at the entrance and another at the middle of each dormitory, beside an alcove. A door beside the entrance led into the tutor's room, and in one of its panels was a tiny door about eighteen by six inches. There was one toilet off the entry on the way to the sewing-room, but this was locked during the day; the others were out of doors beyond the gymnasium, and were of the most primitive type.
The tutors' rooms were comfortable bed-rooms, which served also perforce as studies. The two groups of "side alcoves" came under the jurisdiction of the nearest tutor; but there were only three alcoves in each place, and these were always assigned to the decorous, usually Fifth Formers.
In "the rooms" on the third floor were about twelve boys and at least one tutor. The first on the left at the head of the staircase was given to whatever Fifth Formers there was room for, and the others to Sixth Formers, except the last to the right, which was occupied by the tutor in charge, always the Senior Tutor if he lived in the building. No very definite rules were necessary, but boys were supposed to keep to their own rooms in the evening, and to put their lights out at ten o'clock.
The third story over the hospital and the sewing-room consisted of the servants' quarters. As to the rest, the "upper dormitory," wash-room, side alcoves and tutor's room were counterparts of those on the floor below, except that there was no passage and wash-room through to the "rooms."
Outside of the school building, the barn lay a few yards back of the northeast corner of the hospital wing, with its door facing west. Attached to its north side ran the long bicycle and sled house, filled with the old-style high wheels, gorgeously nickel-plated, or with a tangle of sleds, double-runners, and toboggans. The new gymnasium(17) stood on the left to the north, at the foot of the little rise leading to the football field. This is the red, wooden building which now houses automobiles and implements across the back road from the engine-house. It was tolerably well provided with apparatus, and heated by a large stove in the middle, which was guarded by a stout grating. Next to the gymnasium stood the ice-house. In the early eighties a long house containing two excellent bowling-alleys was erected on stone masonry built out towards the west, at the top of the hill; and next to this was a little coal-house which became socially important because of its use as a corral for new boys prior to initiation, in which the adjacent hill and green apple orchard figured.
There were no ornaments in any of the rooms of the school proper, except some incomprehensible etchings or prints in the dining-room: it was taken for granted that none could long survive the incidental disorder in halls, schoolroom and recitation-rooms. Experience seems to show clearly that this reasoning confuses cause and effect. It remains to note that the School was comfortable, homelike and picturesque; as Dr. Lowell once said, Nature seemed to have taken it to herself. One boy(18) writes that "it was not a handsome building, and I suppose Mr. Peck and Miss Parsons (the matron) found it inconvenient and towards the last rather crowded; but the boys seemed to be very contented, the house was, for a school, unusually homelike, and it had the charm of irregularity; inside were unexpected turns." Constant vigilance was the only possible safeguard against fire, an ever-present danger which was a factor in turning the attention of the Trustees towards new and improved buildings.
ST. MARK'S was formally opened on the thirteenth of September, 1865. After religious services in St. Mark's Church, at which the Rev. G. M. Randall, D.D., President of the Corporation, made the address, the pupils, their parents, clergy and invited guests "partook of a collation in the Dining-Room of the School-house." Dr. Pynchon in his address at the dedication of the new school building twenty-six years later points out the value of the "collation" as an institution laudably established by the Founder on the very day of the opening. A meeting in the Headmaster's study immediately followed it, and the Rev. G. S. Converse reported that two assistant teachers had been engaged: Mr. Louis C. Lewis for the classics, and Mr. James O. Hoyt as teacher of mathematics. Through the memories of one of the boys of this first year the impression persists that they were "fine men," and perhaps no further characterization could be desired; but it is significant that at a meeting of the Trustees on the twenty-fifth of April, 1867, it was "voted, that the Trustees present a copy of Shakespeare's Works to Mr. L. C. Lewis and a copy of Lord Bacon's works to Mr. James O. Hoyt for their faithful labors in behalf of the School in the first year of its organization." The "old fashioned square house" had of course been adapted as far as possible to scholastic needs; and since the ten acres of ground attached to it did not give much ground for a ball-field, a field was hired about where the golf-course now is, and at another time a piece of land opposite where the Roman Catholic Church now stands. It was not until 1885 that the School owned more than these ten acres.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees at the house of Judge Abbott on the twelfth of December the Rev. John K. Lewis, who was present by invitation, offered his resignation, to take effect on the first of March, 1866. It is certain that no abuse or negligence of the Headmaster figured in this action, and apparently the only possible cause of it was that he found his disposition and temperament or his strength irreconcilable with the unexpected complexity or difficulty of his new duties. The resignation was accepted on January the eighth, and Judge Abbott and Judge Redfield were at once appointed a committee to engage a headmaster in Mr. Lewis's place. Mr. Lewis had expressed the wish to be relieved on the third of February; and Mr. George Herbert Patterson, who had been elected temporary Headmaster on February the fifteenth, was unanimously elected on the seventh of May, "his services having been eminently successful and satisfactory." In consideration of Mr. Patterson's expressed intention of applying soon for Holy Orders in the Church, it was resolved "that so much of the fifth by-law as required the Headmaster to be a Presbyter of the Church be suspended until further action thereto " by the Board of Trustees. At the same meeting the resignation of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Kerfoot was announced, and his place unanimously offered to the Rev. James Ivers Trecothick Coolidge, D.D., of Boston, a man destined to play an important part in the history and development of the School. Evidence of the School's prosperity is provided by Mr. Burnett's request for further accommodations by enlargement or addition to the buildings, which was referred to the Standing Committee. It is interesting to note that the Headmaster and the Standing Committee were given the right to reduce the price of tuition in such cases as they might think it expedient to do so.
The personal connection of the Trustees with the administration of the School is indicated clearly by the by-laws as amended on the seventh of May. Not until 1883 were the provisions removed which put the determination of pecuniary compensation and "all unusual expenditures" in their hands. The Headmaster was required to keep a register in which was recorded daily the standing of each pupil in his several studies, together with his marks for conduct; and at least two examinations were required each year, which were to be attended by the Trustees.
In the following autumn this task was modified by the vote to have " one trustee visit the School every month in rotation," which was not rescinded until the spring of 1882. On the twenty-fifth of April, 1867, it was voted that the Headmaster be invited to take part in the deliberations of the Board, but without a vote.
A temporary arrangement had been made with the Rev. Mr. Wingate as chaplain by the Standing Committee on the first of November; and now a committee of three, Messrs. Huntington, Converse and Coolidge, was appointed to consider "a form of worship for the household." One was made, but Mr. Converse found that "a similar and proper one had already been in use." This consisted of morning and evening prayer of short duration, with singing, essentially the same as that used for many years afterwards. There is a note of acknowledgment to Mr. William P. Emerson for the gift of a "Piano Forte."(19) At the meeting on September the sixteenth, 1868, Dr. Coolidge offered the following preamble and resolution: Whereas, in the exigency in the spring of 1866 the fifth by-law requiring the Headmaster to be a Presbyter was suspended; and whereas the interests of a Church School especially demand the care of a clergyman, it is therefore Resolved: that said by-law be restored and in full operation on or before the beginning of the School year in 1869. Mr. Patterson expressed his willingness to resign, and retired from the meeting to facilitate free discussion.
The preamble and resolution were adopted, and a letter of resignation from the Headmaster followed. The resignation was accepted; and Mr. Patterson was asked not to insist on the time specified in his letter, but "to continue his very valuable and important services to the School until next Easter."
George Herbert Patterson (20) was born in Buffalo, New York, on the twenty-sixth of December, 1836, the son of the Rev. Albert Clarke and Juliet Content (Rathbone) Patterson, the former a close friend of Joseph Burnett, and a descendant of James Patterson of Lyme Regis, England, who came to America in 1652. The son was valedictorian of his class at his graduation from Hobart College in 1858, was made Master of Arts in 1861, and received the degree of Bachelor of Laws from Harvard in 1863. He taught school for a time, was admitted to the bar in 1864, and returned to academic work in 1866, when he became Headmaster at St. Mark's. He was admitted to the diaconate in 1870, and ordained to the priesthood in 1877. Upon leaving St. Mark's he became President of De Veaux College, New York, where he continued twelve years. From 1883 to 1888 he was Principal of the Berkeley School, Providence, R. I. He died on May 27, 1908, at Roxbury, Massachusetts.(21)
Mr. Patterson's work at St. Mark's and subsequently at De Veaux College proved that he knew what a schoolmaster ought to be, even if he himself lacked some of the qualities of a great one; for his modesty enabled him to delegate to others duties for which they were better fitted than he. Methodical and business-like, he was positive and thorough in his teaching rather than inspirational; but his wife was of great assistance to him, and he felt that the boys were acquiring in system and in spirit all that was needed. In his ideas of how a school should be conducted he is said by one of his closest friends(22) to have been somewhat ahead of his time, --- a judgment which seems amply confirmed by the persistence and success of his ideas at De Veaux after his resignation and that of his successor. Certainly his unselfishness, conscientiousness and loyalty to his convictions, which stand out conspicuously in his later work, were strongly evident at St. Mark's, where for many years he was an honored visitor, and where the stamp of his character was never lost. His modesty and patience make a detailed estimate of his work at St. Mark's impossible; but that the young School prospered and grew during the three years of his administration is evidence enough of its quality. A letter from one of the youngest boys of his time states that he was a "stern disciplinarian, and had a splendid bass voice, and did much to promote the musical talent of the boys, the outcome of which was a fine choir." At a meeting of the Trustees on the twenty-sixth of April there was placed on record an appreciation of the "very faithful and efficient services of the late Head, Mr. Patterson," to whom "the School is largely indebted for its present, prosperous condition." The Board further assured Mr. Patterson of the regret with which the Trustees had heard of his impaired health. Years later, on the twenty-first of October, 1887, the Clerk of the Trustees was instructed to extend sympathy to Mr. Patterson for the loss of his wife, "whose genial influence and warm interest in the School during the headmastership of her husband are gratefully remembered."
Significance has justly been seen in the increasing lengths of term of the School's headmasters, and no stretch of fancy need be feared in attributing to each a special and permanent contribution to its stability and development.(23) The Rev. Robert Traill Spence Lowell, D.D., the new Headmaster, an older brother of James Russell Lowell, was a man of sound learning, especially in the classics, and of keen perception. He was born in Boston on the eighth of October, 1816, the son of the Rev. Charles and Harriet Brackett (Spence) Lowell. He prepared for college at Round Hill School, Northampton, Mass., was graduated from Harvard in 1833, and received the degree of Master of Arts in 1836. For a time he studied medicine at Harvard, but in 1839 began the study of theology, and at the invitation of Bishop Spencer, of Newfoundland, went to Hamilton, Bermuda, where he was ordained deacon in 1842, and priest a year later, serving as domestic chaplain to the Bishop and as Inspector of Schools. As rector at Bay Roberts, from 1843 to 1847, he was able to utilize his medical training in the famine there as chairman of the relief committee, and for his services he received the thanks of the government and the people. He was married on the twenty-eighth of October, 1845, to Mary Ann Duane. He returned in failing health to the United States in 1847, but did mission work among the poor in New Jersey, organized Christ Church, built the stone edifice, and served as Rector from 1850 to 1859. For ten years after this he was Rector of Christ's Church, Duanesburg, New York. After his headmastership at St. Mark's from 1869 to 1873 he became Professor of the Latin Language and Literature at Union College, Schenectady, where he remained until 1879. He had received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Union in 1864. He died in Schenectady on the twelfth of September, 1891. He was the author of The New Priest in Conception Bay (two vols., 1858); Fresh Hearts that Failed Three Thousand Years Ago, and Other Things" (1860); Poems (1864); Antony Brade (1874); Burgoyne's March, the poem at the Saratoga centennial celebration at Bemis Heights (1877); and A Story or Two from a Dutch Town (1878).
Dr. Lowell was unanimously elected to the headmastership on the twenty-eighth of December, 1868. At a special meeting held three months later, and before Mr. Patterson had left, the subject of "inducting the Headmaster-elect to his office by some public religious ceremony" was considered; and on the tenth of April services were accordingly held in St. Mark's Church by "four clergymen of the Board of Trustees and two others." After morning prayers the Keys of the School were delivered with a short address to the Headmaster-elect by the Rev. Mr. Coolidge, Chairman of the Standing Committee. The Keys were received by the Rev. Dr. Lowell, with a suitable response, after which he preached a sermon to a goodly congregation. The singing was by the School choir of boys, conducted by Mr. Patterson, the late Headmaster. The Trustees, with pupils and invited guests, then assembled at the schoolhouse and "partook of a collation," after which the Trustees dispersed without organizing.
Mr. Patterson seems to have concerned himself deeply with the consideration of the respective merits of a classical and a scientific course of study for the School, and this matter was being debated at the coming of Dr. Lowell, who was at once invited to take a seat with the Board. At the meeting on the fifteenth of September, 1869, many interesting matters were discussed, notably that of a seal with the motto "Age Quod Agis," which the "Headmaster was authorized to procure for the use of the School." The result was the seal as we have it today. We have no account of the adoption of the motto, but the wording of the vote indicates that it had already been in use. Its source is not given in the various books on Latin proverbs,(24) which suggests that it does not occur in a classical author. "Age si quid agis" is an expression common in Plautus, and perhaps "age quod agis" represents a mediaeval or modern adaptation of the classical Latin phrase. Its close resemblance to the thought in Ecclesiastes, IX, 10, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," is noted by Thomas Hughes in his account of his visit to St. Mark's in 1871. It may be added that it is used as the motto of the Grammar School at Stratford-on-Avon also.
At the same meeting in September a system of medals, prizes and diplomas was ordered, and a catalogue of the School planned. The last was printed with the date of 1870, and institutes in its main features the plan afterwards followed: an introductory note of the purposes and accommodations of the School; a calendar for the school year; a list of the Trustees, Faculty, and Monitors; a statement of "rewards"; extracts from the rules, in which tobacco, ardent spirits, firearms, gunpowder and other explosives, borrowing or lending of money, and buying on credit are explicitly forbidden, and neatness, decorum, readiness, kindness, good-breeding and Christian dutifulness specifically encouraged. Lists follow of boys by forms; the Missionary Society (founded in 1866) and the "Home-Reading Society," under its auspices; the Baseball Club (founded in 1866,---club color, red); the Boat Club (founded in 1870,---club color blue---,-motto " Pariter insurgite remis"); the Dramatic Society; the Glee Club; the Church Choir, consisting of twenty-four boys; the list of scholars past and present (whole number since 1865, ninety); a schedule of the courses of study; and finally two pages of description and instruction, in which among other matters the charge for tuition and all items of living is stated as $500 per annum, and each boy is instructed to bring a Bible and Prayerbook, six towels, six napkins, and a napkin ring. At the next meeting, on the eighteenth of October, Dr. Lowell was on the motion of Mr. Burnett elected a trustee, evidently the first Headmaster to hold the office without reservation. Joseph Story Fay of Boston was also elected, a man of continued value to the school for many years not only because of his practical wisdom, but for his active sympathy with the boys' point of view in sport and general activities.
With the establishment of prizes, the matter of scholarship assumed prominence. On the twenty-fifth of April, 1871, it was resolved that the giving of the medal and of the prizes should thereafter be on the ground of reaching a certain standing,(25) so that all boys in all forms who reached that standing should receive rewards. The requirements of various colleges were thoroughly discussed, and it may have been in this connection that at the same meeting a prize was voted "to the boy in the Fifth and in the Fourth Form who at the next annual examination shall in the opinion of the majority of the Trustees present be the best reader of such selections in English prose and poetry as may be given him at the time "; for there were but five forms in the year 1869-70, and later than this the line between the Sixth Form and the Fifth was vague, many boys nominally in one form taking certain studies in the other. On the twenty-fifth of April, 1873, it was voted that the Headmaster and the Standing Committee should draw up a course of study to be strictly adhered to thereafter; and the opinion was added that the boys' sacred studies, prescribed for each form, should be under the personal instruction of the Headmaster.
Ten days after this meeting Dr. Lowell resigned as Headmaster and Trustee. The Rev. John Binney, of Norwich, was elected in his place, but did not accept; and the President of the Board, Dr. Coolidge, took charge of the School for the time. On the twenty-fifth of April of the next year Dr. Coolidge was unanimously elected Headmaster, and a vote of thanks was given him for his work at the School during his temporary appointment.
Dr. Lowell's administration had been a profitable one for the School in material things as well as in scholarship. His recommendations in the former were specific and intelligently calculated, and resulted in increased facilities and several donations. Improvements began to be planned; better lights, water-supply and fire-apparatus were provided, and the school buildings were later put in order at a cost of four thousand dollars. His relations to the boys are necessarily harder to arrive at; he was much aided by his wife, a motherly woman, simple in manner, and faithful to the interest of the School. He was a man of much force, very formal in manner, excessively polite and courteous, and a somewhat strict disciplinarian.(26) He appeared indifferent to the School sports, as was not unnatural considering the theories of the times in regard to dignity; and, though he had their interests at heart, never went much among the boys. In matters touching religious observance he was of course uncompromising. When one of the tutors who had taken some boys on a Saturday to a ball game in Boston, came on the following morning, Sunday, to settle accounts, Mr. Lowell bowed very formally and politely, and said, " My dear sir, if it doesn't make any difference to you, will you please come to me tomorrow." On one occasion, a boy who had in his pocket only a twenty-five-cent greenback put it into the contribution plate at church and took out a ten-cent piece and a nickel in change for the regular contribution of ten cents. Dr. Lowell saw this from his place in the chancel, and that evening after prayers called the boy up before the School and reprimanded him severely as being a second Ananias.(27) It seems a just conclusion that his reserve guarded a sensitive nature. His books indicate no lack of humor, and it is very difficult for the modern mind to believe that before the "sermon to the goodly congregation" there lurked no suppressed smile at the imposing ceremony of the presentation of the Keys of the School during the service conducted by six clergymen. His interest in the School was sincere, deep and constructive, and his contribution a new respect and standard for scholarship, which is acknowledged by all who came under his influence.(28)
The personal nature of the relation between boy and tutor has made it inevitable that the influence of individual tutors has been almost entirely unrecorded except in the lives of the boys who knew them. But before Dr. Lowell resigned four men appeared who were to contribute incalculably to the character of the School: Warren Andrew Locke, Senior Tutor; James Russell Soley; Walter Deane; and William Edward Peck. Mr. Locke's fame rests on his career as a musician after leaving St. Mark's, and his best-known work at the School was the continuation and development of what Mr. Patterson had begun in the interest and cultivation of music through the choir and the clubs; but the modesty, devotion and sincerity of the man left their effect on the community, particularly on his collaborators, for he gave not merely his work, but himself with it.(29) To the example of Mr. Soley and another tutor, Mr. William Hunter Orcutt, we owe very largely the practical beginnings at St. Mark's of one of the most significant and far-reaching characteristics of modern school life, the close association on the athletic field between boy and master. With it began to crumble away the artificial wall by which tradition had kept the two apart as though by conscious intent; "discipline," the spectre whose very name implied disorder and punishment, and which had even given to the traditional boarding-school some grewsome flavor of the reform school, began to disappear in the light of mutual respect and affection. And it is perhaps safe to say that the new custom did as much for the teacher as for the boy. Mr. Deane's influence was a part of that similarly exercised during the headmastership of Dr. Coolidge; and Mr. Peck was destined to weld together the already strong traditions, and by his own life and work to weave a fabric of which, though some of its colors have faded, "the warp and the woof is clearly visible --- strong, uniform and the same as now."(30)