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STOUGHTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDED 1895

(Regular meetings third Monday at 7:30 PM) 

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Volume V, Number 1  - February 1974

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At the beginning of this fifth year of our little pub'n it is an unpleasant duty to call attention to the fact that some dues are in arrears. If the box number on the front of this Newsletter is circled in RED it is an indication that your dues have not been recorded for the current year. If you wish to continue membership please send your dues to Mrs. Frances Podgurski, 168 West Street, Stoughton. If you have already paid for the current year, please excuse this reminder . . . our computer is not infallible. (Dues: age 21 through 70, pay $2.00; others pay $1.00 a bargain)

During the January meeting it was unanimously voted to discontinue meeting in December due to the nearness to the holidays with everyone so very busy* Please make a note of this in your copy of the By-Laws. Article VII Meetings, Section 2 should now read "Regular meetings of the Society shall be held on the third Monday in each month excepting the months of June, July, August and December".

In January, John Stiles, local photographer, N.E. traveler, and Yankee wit, presented color movies of a 1938 Stoughton parade; a slide tour of N.E.; and his own collection entitled "State of the Mail Boxes in Winter". John's commentary included some ready identification of some quite familiar faces and John very kindly slowed the film speed so that we might all see better. The "Saga..." was unusual and interesting. It showed the many unique ways in which rural route residents solved the problem of putting the mail box within reach of the mailman after a severe winter snowstorm.

Among other welcome gifts were a banner with the town seal (from 1926) and a portrait of Minnie Hussey, former postmistress, from John Stiles; also, a group picture of the Stoughton Old Guard was received from Phil Hanley.

Attendance at the last meeting was very gratifying and we are sure that those good folks present were gratified by the pro-am, please keep up the good attendance ... a speaker does a much better job before a larger audience . . . and we need folks to consume those goodies during the social hour.

Besides a predominant membership on the 250th Anniversary Comnittee, our Society drew on the talents and cooperation of two more of our own flock at the meeting of the town-appointed Committee on January 30. The meetings of the 250th Anniversary Committee are always open meetings which you may attend with a knowledge that no one will "pressure" you into a job.

CHRONOLOGY of STOUGHTON HIGH SCHOOL . . . from 1858 through 1966

1858 - $800 appropriated to establish a high school to be kept six months in Stoughton Village and four months in East Stoughton. Opponents refused to be taxed for such "nonsense" and the vote was rescinded.

1861 - National catastrophe called halt to high school controversy brought on by citizens' outright violation of a state law to establish such a school in each town.

1865 - The war over, $1,500 was appropriated for two schools: $900 for the Village; $600 for East Stoughton. In May, with P.P. Parker as principal, Stoughton High School assembled in the Drake School with 24.

1868 - First class graduated three: Claude Wilson, Amelia Clifton (who later became clerk of the Historical Society) and Abbie Anderson.

1873 - New combined high school and grammar school built on Walnut Street and named for the town's benefactor, Lucius Clapp.

1883 - High School Association formed with Dr. W.O. Faxon as president; Edwin A. Jones as vice-president; William Atherton, treasurer. This Association held first place in the social life of the town for forty years.

1885 - Free textbooks introduced.

1890 - Three difficult written examinations during the ninth grade were required to enter high school. 62 pupils this year and one graduate.

1896 - Fire demolished school in January. Classes moved to Town Hall. On November 30, at a cost of $14,521.10, the new Clapp School was opened. Physical culture added to curriculum ... gymnasium in unfinished attic .., boys did not receive this training.

1899 - Principal, in his report, rejoices at record registration of 137.

1900 - School Committee recommended new school,

1902 - Schools badly overcrowded, discipline impaired; talk of closing school because of inability to control youngsters. New school built and named for Henry Kimball, Superintendent of Schools.

1903 - Kimball High School opened April 13 ... Louis Whitten, principal. Town's population now 5,442. Over 700 students in 19 schools. 

1908 - Depression. Teacher salary averaged $10 per week.

1916 - Principal Stimson Wyeth abolished football."It took too much time away from academics", he said; and, besides, he had enough to do without coaching the team, a task which would befall him as the only male on the faculty.

1917 - Superintendent begged the community for a new school.

1922 - Football reinstated with Ralph Lehan as volunteer coach.

1923 - New high school on Pearl Street dedicated September 8. Building and 21 acres cost $150,000. John W. Woods donated $10,000 for a playing field. 1930 - Evening school abolished due to lack of interest,

1953 - Howard Randall, after 24 years as principal, resigned due to illness.

1954 - Best football team in 3.U.S. history ... coached by "Tuck" Twomey,

1955 and 1966 - Three wings added, including auditorium.

This Newsletter is being written too early to include notes concerning the program for the February 18 meeting. However, we will enclose a note . . . so be alert if something falls from this letter1 it will be your passport to a pleasurable evening with a congenial group. Come and enjoy it.

We-could-careless-dept.: The forerunner of the modern soft drink was "beverage", made of spring water, molasses and ginger. Sailors laced it with vinegar and rum and called it "switchel".

 

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