Fayetteville Celebrates with Appropriate Ceremonies the Completion of its New Union Free School Building, and Formally Devotes it to
Crowds of Visitors and Old Residents Visit the Scene of their School Days.--The Exercises in the Audience Hall.--Flag Presentation.--Addresses.--Old Residents Heard From.--Their Love for their Native Village Undimmed by Times.--Reunion in the Evening.--Unbounded Joy, Etc., Etc.
Thursday last was a red-letter day in the history of Fayetteville. Leaden skies and gloomy predictions by the Weather Bureau could not keep down the enthusiasm of its citizens who were in earnest in their determination to make the important events of the day all that had been planned and anticipated. Business was almost entirely suspended in the forenoon and in the afternoon every shop and factory and store was closed, and the whole village fathered together for a holiday. The morning and noon trains brought large accessions to their number from far and near, and when shortly after noon the sun broke through the clouds, all was joy and gladness. The center of attraction was of course the new school house. Hither the crowds tended and long before the hour designated for the exercises the building was filled with towns people and their friends and every nook and cranny visited and inspected. But one expression came from every mouth--"What a beautiful building! and how complete in its appointments!"
The different school rooms which have for several weeks been occupied
and enjoyed by the pupils of the school, were handsomely decorated
with potted plants and flowers and flags and on the blackboards were displayed
the handi-work and skill of the pupils. The teachers were in attendance
to show the visitors their pleasant rooms and entertain them while they
awaited the opening of the exercises.
The continued rainy weather of the previous week had delayed the erection of the flag mast on the "campus" and workmen were busy with their preparations when the audience began to assemble. The presentation of the flag which was the first number on the programme of the day's exercises took place in the large hall which was filled to overflowing by the friends and patrons of the school. The flag of heavy bunting, 20x10 1/2 feet in dimensions adorned the front of the hall west of the stage and in full view of the audience. Upon the stage were the members of the Board of Education of Fayetteville, the members of the advisory building committee, Martin A. Knapp Esq., the orator of the day, Hon. A.S. Draper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, H. D. Nottingham Esq., School Commissioner of the Third Onondaga District, Messrs. E.U. Scoville, Geo. M. Bell and F. A. Boland of the Manlius Board of Education, the clergy of the village, T. K. Fuller Esq., of Syracuse, a former teacher, and other invited guests. The stage was handsomely decorated with potted plants and flowers, and a profusion of bunting. A fine piano from the ware-rooms of Leiter Bros., Syracuse was placed immediately in front of the stage. Mr. Samuel J. Wells, President of the Board of Education called the meeting to order about half past two o'clock and introduced the speaker, Mr. Levi S. Chapman, who in an address of about twenty minutes alluded in fitting terms to the significance of the gift and paid a glowing tribute to the generosity of the donors who in thus remembering the school of their boyhood days had honored a custom now becoming general throughout the land. In the course of his remarks Mr. Chapman said:
"The true grandeur of the American flag consists in what it represents,--the first great Republic founded on human equality, the greatest continuous empire ever established by man, and of unequaled natural resources. It is also rich in historical associations. Made from a white shirt, a captured red-coat, and a strip of blue, it first appeared among the combatants of war, floating defiantly above the fortifications of Ft. Stanwix; carried in the hand of Commodore Perry when he made his daring trip from the sinking "Lawrence" to the "Niagara," it heralded this country's first victory over an enemy's fleet; the first in all Christendom, it was saluted by the humbled pirates of Barbary when Decatur put a stop to their world-wide depredations and exactions; victoriously it was borne through every battle of the war of '47 until it floated in triumph above the palace of the Montezumas in the ancient city of Mexico; placed by Fremont on the loftiest peak of the Sierras, it first asserted the power of this government over the vast regions of the West; carried fearlessly by Perry into the harbor of Yokohama, it awakened Japan from its sleep of 200 years and started that Imperial Nation on its marvelous career of progress; while taken by the intrepid Stanley into the heart of Africa, it opened up that Dark Continent to the light of civilization. How well you remember the flag you presented to the boys of '62. They took that flag into the terrible carnage of Civil War, and when they brought it back, though baptized in blood and riddled with bullets, not a star had been erased. Contemplate all these memorable associations and then call your pride for the flag no mere sentiment, but rather noble sublime patriotism."
In closing Mr. Chapman said:--
"From younger school house went forth one to occupy the presidential chair. May those who shall hereafter spend their early years in this new building, go forth conscious of their noble heritage and awake to the great destiny that awaits their flag. Love of country was the absorbing thought of those who adopted that flag; love of country and a fond remembrance of boyhood days prompted the gift of the flag we raise this afternoon. Gentlemen of the Board of Education, in behalf of the generous donors, Fred R. Tibbitts, L. Bertrand Smith, Harry H. Smith and William J. Cameron, of Boston, I take great pleasure in presenting to you this flag. Let it wave above your beautiful building and grounds, and as its folds shall be carried in the breeze now north, now east, now south, now west, may it teach the youth of this district the greatness of their country and inspire them to a fuller conception of the government it represents.
In accepting the flag on behalf of the district, Mr. H. J. Knapp, a member of the board, made a brief address:
"Enough has not been done in the past to educate the youth of our country in the principles of patriotism. Education and patriotism should go hand in hand. Our free institutions established by the sacrifices of the patriots of the Revolution are worthily represented by this banner. It has room in its field of blue for the new states which are being added to the original thirteen. It means more than color and texture. Its chief beauty is that it represents the principles of the grandest country upon which the sun ever shown. The crimson stripes have been brightened by the blood of patriots, the white made purer by the benedictions and smiles of the great Ruler of the Universe, the deep dark blue made dearer to the lover of his country because skyward it has been maintained above the smoke of battle and has always been the harbinger of victory. We can render no better service to the youth of our land than to teach them to reverence the dear old flag and to honor and defend the great Republic which it represents. We trust this beautiful gift may be the means of cultivating a deeper love of country in the minds of the youth who may be privileged to come beneath its folds. May this starry banner forever wave
"O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave."
Miss Geneva Armstrong then sang with thrilling effect, "The Star Spangled
Banner." Selections of national airs played by the orchestra appropriately
concluded this portion of the programme.
The regular programme of the afternoon began with an earnest prayer by Rev. A. C. Lyon for the blessing of Almighty God upon the building thus erected for purposes of education, upon the officers of the district and the teachers of the school in their labors for the instruction and improvement of the youth under their charge and upon the people of the commonwealth whose corner stone was the Free Public School.
Mr. Samuel J. Wells, president of the board then delivered the following address of welcome:
"The spirit of the age--and of this great country-is progress. Any community which does not keep up with the requirements of this spirit, is very soon left behind in the race. In no department of our national life is this more manifest, than in that of education our children and youth. Witness the vast improvement in the text books used in our schools; in the higher standard required of our teachers; in the careful supervision and oversight by our state department of public instruction; and the large and liberal appropriations, by our state government for the purposes of education. Remember also, it is but a few years since the rate bill was abolished, by which every child of rich or poor paid its equal part of the teacher's wages. Now, all can enjoy the benefits of our public schools, without money and without price. Observe also the change in public sentiment in regard to what is proper and necessary in our school buildings, and their appliances and furnishings.
I think there are many persons now present, who well remember the seats provided for the smaller children in the district school houses 40 or 50 years ago, consisting of a slab, with the flat side up, having two holes in each end for the legs. I myself have sat for many a weary hour, on those seats. Many more of you, will call to mind the great improvements made in our old school building, when the new seats and desks were put in, and we thought we were well up with the times, and were proud of our building and its furnishings.
The flight of time and the tooth of decay, with the spirit of progress has left it far behind the necessities of the present. The citizens of the school district came to realize this fact, and coming together in a spirit of harmony rarely equaled, nobly assumed the burden of a new building; not in a parsimonious spirit, but freely and generously they appropriated the requisite amount.
Believing that the consummation of our hopes and plans, which you were witness in this completed edifice, marks an epoch in the life and welfare of this community, worthy to be celebrated, we have invited you here to-day, to rejoice with us in the accomplishment of our desires, and to derive from the occasion, new impulses and aspirations, towards a better appreciation of the value of an education. We welcome here to-day most cordially, not only our own citizens, but all former teachers and pupils, in the village schools, and all visiting friends. We welcome you not only to the enjoyment of these services, but to the freedom of the building, and the hospitalities of our homes. We hope this evening to see you all in this room to enjoy a re-union, a hearty hand-shaking, with some speeches and songs intermingled."
Mr. O. D Blanchard, Chairman of the Committee on Invitations read a number of letters received from former pupils of the old Academy and its successor the Union District School. In another column we quote a portion of the contents of these letters regretting that we cannot give to our readers all of the honest congratulations and hearty "God speeds" by which these letters testify to the affection which these men and women still cherish for their old Fayetteville home.
Mr. Walden A. Tibbitts, clerk of the Board of Education, then read the
Formerly what now constitutes the present school district, was divided into three districts, respectively numbered 10,11 and 12. The school-house of No.10 was at the corner of High Bridge and Thompson streets; No.11, corner Elm and Warren streets, and No.12 on East Genesee street. The trustees of No.10 were Amasa Chase, Jerome B. Palmer and James A. Young; No. 11, Hiram Eaton, Beach C. Beard and Hiram Wood; No. 12, Ambrose Clark, Chas. H. Mead and Jacob Balsley. Of these, Amasa Chase and Beach C. Beard are the only survivors.
On the 20th of November, 1857, John A. Bright, then Commissioner of the Third Commissioner district of Onondaga county, in compliance with the petition of the trustees of the three districts, issued an order that a new district be formed from districts No. 10, 11, and 12, to be styled District No.11, Town of Manlius. A special meeting was held December 4th, and three trustees elected: Ambrose Clark, Orlo Blanchard and Amasa Chase. Later trustees have been Theodore D. Hadley, Nathan Seward, James A. Young, John Ecker, Ira L. Blanchard, Henry L. Beard, Edward Elting, Samuel J. Wells, N. M. Gillett, A. B. Northrup, Russel Morgan, Chas. H. Mead, James Boyd, Marquis L. Peck, R.W. Eaton, Mrs. Frances P. Carr and Wm. Austin: principals during the time, T. K. Fuller, D. G. Jackson, T. Y. Kinne, W. Raymond, A. H. Foot, J. M. Bayne, A. J. McCormick, C. T. R. Smith, J. F. Tuft, L. R. Hunt, G. W. Hawley, and C. D. Larkins.
The school, as then constituted, was styled a Union Graded school, in no wise different from the ordinary district except in being organized on a larger scale. The subject of organizing under the Union Free School act was agitated and at a meeting held Aug. 26, 1872, it was voted to so organize, though many were strongly opposed. By reason of informalities the proceedings were declared void by the superintendent of public instruction. Again Aug. 31st, 1882, the proper petition having been presented to the trustees, a meeting was called to consider the subject. It was decided to establish a Union Free school within the limits of school district No. 11, in the town of Manlius, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 555, laws of 1864, and amendments thereto. The first board of education consisted of five members: Wm. Austin, Mrs. S.E. Beard, Mrs. F. P. Carr, D. L. Bartlett and Samuel J. Wells being elected trustees. Later trustees have been J. M. Tillotson, W. A. Tibbitts, H. D. VanSchaick, H. J. Knapp and L. S. Arnold.
The proper forms were observed: library, chemical and philosophical apparatus sufficient to comply with the requirements were procured and the school placed as it now is, with an academic department and under the regulations prescribed by the board of regents at Albany. Since the organization the principals have been C. D. Larkins, C. C. Curtis, A. Smith, George T. Wiggin and F. M. Wilson.
The site for the old school building, from which we to-day formally sever our connection as a school-house, was deeded by Hervey Edwards in 1835 to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal society who commenced thereon the erection of a church. On the 7th day of May, 1836, by reason of their inability to complete such church and also a desire to change the site as set forth, the trustees of the church and society by an order of the court transferred their right, title and interest to David Collin, Jacob DePuy, John McViccar, Alfred Clark, Albert Neeley, John Yelverton, Caleb Whitford, Darlin Thompson and Hervey Edwards, trustees of the Fayetteville association to establish an academy in the village of Fayetteville. All the original trustees and subscribers to the fund for the purchase, finishing and furnishing the old academy have passed to the silent bourne with the single exception of John Brown who still lives in our midst at the advanced age of 88. The academy so established was continued as an academy with varying fortunes for a number of years, when the school was discontinued and for a time the building was unoccupied. While thus continued, the school stood high; many men and women of mark have been enrolled among its pupils, and one, at least has achieved world-wide fame.
Upon the formation of district No. 11, by resolution of the trustees of the academy and in compliance with requirements embraced in the resolution, the old academy became the district school-house and was first occupied as such in 1857. Since that time there has been an addition placed in the rear and many changes in its interior, but all these having failed to properly accommodate the school, in 1872 it was decided to lease the rooms in the rear of the old Baptist church to accommodate the primary department. These were far from what was wanted but seemed the best that could be done and have since been used by this department of the school.
Realizing the inadequacy of the building to accommodate the school, the trustees called a special meeting on the evening of March 27, 1884, to take into consideration some means to improve the accommodations of the school. A resolution was offered to build a new school-house, paying for the same in five annual payments. The resolution was lost by a vote of 61 to 57. After this the matter rested till the spring of 1888. At a special meeting held on the evening of March 23, 188, it was resolved to purchase the site of this present building and build thereon a new school-house and authorize the board of education to issue bonds of the district to the amount of $20,000 at a rate of interest not exceeding 5% to pay for such site and erecting such building. This resolution was carried by the very decisive majority of 119 to 10 opposed. After getting plans and specifications for such building, as was thought necessary, the amount was found insufficient, and on the evening of September 20th, 1888, a special meeting convened according to law and a resolution was passed authorizing the trustees to issue bonds for $6,000 additional and at the same interest. Bonds to the amount of $24,000 were issued bearing semi-annual interest at 4% payable $1,000 each year, which were sold at a premium and the work placed under contract after duly advertising for bids. The mason work was awarded to G. F. Ballou, of Canastota, and the carpenter work to E. F. Hopkins, of Fayetteville, these being the lowest bidders. A contract was made with Mr. Mahoney, of Troy, for the heating and ventilating apparatus, after having thoroughly examined the principles and working of the system as introduced in other school buildings. The seats for the school rooms were purchased of the Cleveland School Furniture Co. and seem all that could be desired. Any failures of work or material are by later additional agreement to be made satisfactory by the contractor or firm doing the work or furnishing the material, without extra cost or trouble. The building, with the exception of some minor details, is completed after many disappointments, and we trust may meet the approval of all interested.
At this stage of the proceedings Mr. Wells brought to the front of the stage a handsome edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, mounted on an elegant stand, which he said he had been requested to present to the school on behalf of Mr. Howard M. Smith, of Brooklyn, whose letter he read.
After music by the orchestra the orator of the day, Martin A. Knapp, Esq., of Syracuse, was introduced and for an hour held the closest attention of the great audience. His address was a scholarly production and although read from manuscript was delivered with such spirit that the speaker lost but little in oratorical effect.
Mr. Knapp's theme was "Practical Education." After alluding to the numberless failures of college bred and educated men to achieve success in practical life, the speaker deprecated the fact that the places of power and influence were not held to day by educated men. This was due, he said, to the fact that the education of the schools had not kept pace with the demands of the busy bustling American life of to-day. The scholar of to-day should be trained to meet the demands of practical every day life. New problems suggested by constant hanging conditions are continually presenting themselves for his solution. He must be equipped with knowledge and mental power to enable him to grasp these problems. Historical research, and scientific investigation have brought about changes in belief which demand a corresponding change in religious creeds; the increasing attrition of labor and capital which threatens anarchy and social disorder; the demands of woman for an equal share with man in the responsibilities of political life; the decline in public and private morality, are some of the questions which must be met and solved by the rising generation, and the schools of to day should give the student such training as will enable him to grapple with them.
At the close of Mr. Knapp's address an unusual commotion outside indicated that the flag mast had been placed in position and the flag having been taken out was hoisted to its place, and while the Orchestra was playing a brief interlude, the windows of the hall were filled with eager witnesses of the flag raising.
Quiet having been restored, Mr. T. K. Fuller Esq. of Syracuse was introduced and made a spirited little speech of congratulation seasoned with reminiscences of the times when he wielded the pedagogue's ruler in the old Academy building.
Hon. A. S. Draper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction was the next speaker: He complimented the people of Fayetteville upon the beauty and thorough construction and equipment of the new building which he said was not surpassed in its adaptability for educational purposes by any similar structure in the state. Buildings as well as books educate the children. Complaint is made that children use public buildings hardly. It is because in most cases the building stimulates a disposition to cut and hack and whittle it into pieces. With a building like this the reverse will be the case. A disposition to care for it and still further beautify it will be developed. This building will prove to be a splendid investment of the money which it cost. Take good care of it. Schools need care as well as homes.
The speaker then joined issue with the former speaker, Mr. Knapp, and controverted his assertion that the schools of to-day were not equal to the demands of to-day and compared the present conditions with those of fifty years ago. He claimed that more attention was yearly being paid to practical education, and education was more generally diffused than ever before.
After another fine musical selection by the orchestra, Rev. C. P. Osborne delivered the dedicatory address:
It is a fitting custom, he said, that large and costly structures erected for a public service should be specially and formally set apart and dedicated to their appropriate use. The thought expressed in Lincoln's great speech at Gettysburg was that the ceremonies of that day were a thing of words merely--the real dedication was a matter of heroic deeds already performed. So to-day the real dedication of this fair temple of learning is a thing of the future--this house is to be dedicated by honest work, by teacher and pupil in the years of coming time. Each term's study and instruction are to make these ample halls more sacred to the service of education proper, the drawing out and developing of the mental powers. This is not the place for play but for work and as the work is well and thoroughly done so will success follow. "Waterloo was won," said the great Wellington, "at Eton."
The teacher should not stop with mental training; virtue and patriotism should here be inculcated. Our boys must be inspired by that love of virtue without which true love of country is impossible; they must be strong to do right, valiant for truth, hating sham and falsehood, pure in speech and thought, kind in heart and void of selfish greed. The school room is also sacred to true friendship. Our life is worth just about what our friendships are worth. Here the most precious friendships will have their birth. In these halls will be woven bands of union most sacred which not even death shall sever; let them then be consecrated to the art of making friendships and of keeping them. With gratitude therefore to Almighty God who has signally blessed the friends of this enterprise in completing a structure so commodious and attractive, and humbly imploring continued favor, we do now dedicate this edifice to the service of education for which it was designed, and here may Learning, Virtue and Friendship united in preparing our children and youth for the responsibilities of a useful and happy life.
At the conclusion of Mr. Osborne's address the orchestra started up the strains of the National hymn "America" and led by Mr. Cole, the whole audience joined in the singing.
It was nearly six o'clock when the large hall was emptied and the crowd
retired for rest and refreshment.
HON. GROVER CLEVELAND, New York: "I am glad to be among those invited to attend the dedication of the new Union Free School building at Fayetteville. It is pleasant to be thus remembered by my old friends. I regret however that my engagements are such as will prevent my joining you in the interesting exercises you contemplate."
COL. DEWITT C. SPRAGUE, of Washington, D.C.: Invitation just received, been absent, cannot express my disappointment because unable to be present on an occasion that signifies so much for dear old Fayetteville. But my heart will be with you. God bless the men to whom the village owes so much for successful efforts to improve and extend the means for free education. I congratulate Fayetteville in whose progress and prosperity I feel an undying interest."
MRS. SUSAN CLEVELAND YOXMANS, Walworth, N.Y.:--"I congratulate you
most heartily upon your new school building's completion, but the 'old yellow school house with rickety stairs' was my first love and it will be hard for me to locate and actually believe in the new one until I see it sometime. I shall hope to revisit my old field of work and look once more in the faces of true friends before we speak a final farewell."
MRS. MARY PARKER LYON, of Oakland, Cal: "I will be with you in spirit and hope that the retrospect of those who shall ascend the "hill of knowledge" within the new walls will be as happy as that of those who climbed it in the old Academy building."
REV. W. N. CLEVELAND, Chaumont, N.Y.: "Allow me to say that your note and your name recall many pleasant reminiscences. You may not remember me personally, but I have a vivid recollection of yourself (O. D. Blanchard) as teacher in the old stone school house on the back street."
MRS. CORNELIA W. TARBOX, Andover, Mass." "It seems ages since I did my poor work trying to teach the children of my native town. I hope none of them are the worse for those efforts."
MRS. SARAH B. COOPER, (nee Ingersoll) San Francisco, Cal.: "I wish it were possible for me to be present and visit the scene of my early teaching experiences. The memory of that time comes floating back like the pictures of a dream. I recall many valued friends in your lovely town. I am glad you are to have a fine Free School Building. It argues well for your community. A commonwealth can afford to be economical to the very verge of parsimony in any other department rather than in the administration of school affairs, and no community can afford to have private schools of a given grade superior to the free public school. Wealth used to educate the masses keeps healthy, and it keeps the community healthy. It is the very life blood that carries nutrition into every part of the body politic. It is what makes a great nation and so I rejoice with you in your new school building and would rejoice still more could I be with you on the festal day of its dedication."
HOWARD M. SMITH, Brooklyn, N.Y.: "From the City of Churches to the Village of Churches I send my greeting and congratulations at the completion of the building which is to give to Fayetteville the much desired educational facilities. I hope that the spirit of enterprise which has brought about the erection of this school building will continue until your grand water power is again harnessed to mill and factory and your school filled to overflowing with the children of the artisan."
LEIGH R. HUNT, Troy, N.Y.: "May the light of your schools never again be hid under a bushel."
MISS MIRIAM REILAY, Hilsdale, Mich.: "Accept the sincere regrets of sisters and myself that we cannot be present at the dedication of your new school building on May 22. While we rejoice with you in the acquisition of a structure of which you may be justly proud, so furnished doubtless with all modern improvements as will greatly facilitate the progress of education in your midst, we cannot but look backward with a sigh that 'the old Academy' within whose walls so many happy pleasant memories cluster, must henceforth live with us as a dream of the past. But it matters little if the lessons of life be so well and wisely learned that when we reach the journey's end we may receive from the Master the 'well done', the one diploma that will secure for us in the Celestial City just that pinnacle of glory for which we have each in his own sphere been preparing daily in all these passing years."
MISS SARAH M. REILAY, N.Y. City: "Memories of early school days spent in the old Academy are very precious and there is a lingering regret that old haunts must sometimes be abandoned, but with that regret comes the wish of 'God speed' to the new undertaking."
REV. LEWIS H. REID, Hartford, Conn.: "We wish we could participate in the exercises of the dedication and again meet many dear old friends whose names and faces are indelibly photographed in our hearts. The years spent in Fayetteville are full of precious memories."
PORTER TREMAIN, Minneapolis, Minn.: "While unable to attend in person, I will be with you in spirit and just as proud as you will be. I believe that with your new surroundings, modern text books and improved methods of teaching, that the young idea will shoot at the mark, and not 'scull around' on a raft as we did in the basement of the old Academy in '52."
REV. C. J. SHRIMPTON, Athol, Mass.: "There are few things that would afford me more pleasure than to be with you on this occasion. I have never ceased for one moment to take the deepest interest in every thing connected with Fayetteville. Its religious and social and intellectual interests are all very dear to me and will always be so."
J. F. TUFTS, Atchison, Kansas: "I cannot come but will be with you in spirit. Please accept my congratulations for the community you represent, and please also remember me on that day to Messrs. Meade, Morgan and Boyd who composed the 'school board' in my time, and to the corps of teachers who gave my administration whatever of success it obtained, to my former pupils and all other friends."
MISS M. E. BYINGTON, Mexico, N.Y.: "Please accept my good wishes for the future of the Institution, that there may be trained and educated within its walls many good men and women to bless the world, although there may never be another to fill the Presidential chair."
EDWARD P. PAYSON, New York city: "To be remembered on this occasion by my former friends affords me great pleasure. Though many years have passed since I roamed your streets, Fayetteville with its delightful homes and generous hearts is often in my thoughts. I rejoice with you."
D. COLLIN WELLS, Andover, Mass.: "I have the interest of an old pupil in the new building and rejoice in this evidence of public spirit in my native town. Further, as somewhat familiar with educational work, I feel like expressing my conviction that nothing does so much for a community in all respects as fine schools maintained at a high grade, regardless of sects or parties-or for that matter-cost."
DR. T. Y. KINNE, Paterson, N.J.: "I regret my inability to be present. It would give me great pleasure to look into the faces and grasp the hands of those I once knew so well. Time has wrought changes in many things but can never lessen the warm regard I have for those with whom I spent the happiest years of my life. My greatest joy in being with you would be in witnessing the fruition of what in years long past gave so much of promise."
MRS. MINNIE HATCH CARRIER, Elmira, N.Y.: "Much as the present and future pupils may enjoy the new school building, I doubt they will be more proud or any happier than were we of when we entered the old building after it had been repaired, and pursued our studies under our beloved and honored teacher Mr. Bayne."
W. H. STEWART, Woodstock, Ill.: "At the time of my flying visit at the old place last fall,...the exterior of your beautiful new building ...with this invitation has set me 'looking back.' The contract between this and the old school house just outside a 'little farther east...recollect learning my 'A,b,c's' way back in the 20s with seats, for us kids at least, made from the sawed side of slabs, with legs driven into ...holes, where "old Ranger" swayed the rod...authority, and the old school house was also...only meeting house, where the occasional missionary that drifted into the corners, held forth (for the little Burgh had not yet arrived to the dignity of a name and was dubbed Manlius Four Corners.) The little huddle was further noted ...the little town with four prosperous taverns with all the accompanying et ceteras, and no meeting house. But your beautiful new building, with your system of Graded Schools and corps of teachers, and all the known helps for teaching, your five churches, and only two real hotels, ...your city reaching way out below the hills beyond the creek, where in the old time were only two saw mills and a distillery, truly ... contrasts almost equal to that painted by 'Looking Backward.' " (Unreadable parts.)
Letters were also received from the following persons expressing regrets at their inability to be present:
Jasper Jewell, Claremont, South Dakota.
G. S. Jewell.
Grant M. Palmer, Boston, Mass.
Ella R. Baker, Mexico, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Gage, Aberdeen, South Dak.
S. T. Merwin, Amenia, N.Y.
J. P. Wells, Florence, Arizona
Prof. D. W. Blanchard, Buffalo, N.Y.
James D. Carpenter, Edgerly, S. Dak.
Mrs. Julia Gage Carpenter, Edgerly, S. Dak.
Valentine G. Edwards, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Mrs. Hattie Clark Webster, Indianapolis, Ind.
Miss Lillian Byington, Canton, Ill.
Prof. W. W. Wilcox, Hoboken, N.J.
Col. A. J. Clark, Newark, N.J.
H. M. DeLong, Richfield Springs, N.Y.
Rev. R. F. Barker, E. Onondaga, N.Y.
Miss Kate E. Griffiths, Cazenovia, N.Y.
R. Cleveland Hoyt, Beatrice, Neb.
C. G. Hoyt, Beatrice, Neb.
Clarence W. Austin, Williamstown, Mass.
Rev. Philo Cowles, Georgetown, N.Y.
Miss Jessie B. Ecker, Syracuse.
Mrs. Hattie Seward Hurd, Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Mrs. Inez Fulford Owen, Chamberlin, S. Dak.
Mrs. Julia French Walter, Oneida, N.Y.
Edson Rogers, Cincinnatus, N.Y.
Miss Anna S. Wells, Andover, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Collin, Syracuse, N.Y.
Miss Sarah J. Searl, E. Onondaga.
James H. Getty, Albion, N.Y.
Miss Mamie Gardner, Cambridge, Mass.
Will M. Gardner, Cambridge, Mass.
Charles F. and Emma Wood Palmer, Faribault, Minn.
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. McCormick, Medina, N.Y.
Prof. W. P. Thomson, Auburn, N.Y.
Mrs. Clara B. Spencer, Euclid, N.Y.
Winifred Osborne, Andover, Mass.
Miss Florence S. Baker, Omaha, Neb.
Prof. A.W. Smith, Newtown, L.I.
Prof. C. C. Curtiss, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. Fred R. Tibbitts, Boston, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs F. W. Smith, Washington, D.C.
Mr. and Mrs. John Hobbie, Cazenovia, N.Y.
Fred H. Bartlett, Andover, Mass.
Chancellor Sims, Syracuse University.
Mrs. B. R. Noble, Detroit, Mich.
Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Smith, Saratoga, N.Y.
Mrs. Marion E. Hibbard, Saratoga, N.Y.
Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Morse, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Mrs. Marcia (Hatch) Mitchell, Minneapolis, Minn.
Mrs. A. H. Felch, Minneapolis, Minn.
Miss Eva E. Decker, Minneapolis, Minn.
Joseph Clark, Newark, N.J.
Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Edwards, Chicago, Ill.
Theo. D. Hadley, Kennett Square, Pa.
Miss Eva J. Blanchard, West Chester, Pa.
Miss Harriet L. Scollard, Jackson, Mich.
Mrs. Celeste Scollard Brown, Jackson, Mich.
Mrs. Hattie R. Gilmor, Aberdeen, S. Dak.
By eight o'clock the hall was again filled by an eager, expectant crowd whom the protracted exercises of the afternoon were not enough to satisfy. They wanted the new building dedicated thoroughly if it took a week. In the audience were many of the students who had received a part at least of their education in the old academy building, and as they met and recognized each other their hearts warmed and their faces glowed with something of the old-time light and gladness. The room was too crowded, however, to permit much visiting and the proceedings were more formal than had been intended although greatly enjoyed by all.
A male quartette composed of Messrs. L. S. Arnold, A.L. Burhans, Thos. W. Sheedy and A. Cole sang "The Trumpet Calls Away."
Mr. P. S. Carr was then introduced and delivered a brief address, first excusing himself for not being prepared with reminiscences of the old school days here because this had not been the home of his boyhood.
Mr. Carr prefaced his address by alluding to the superior educational advantages possessed by the youth of the present time as regards school-houses, books and teachers. He referred to the pleasures derived from education, and an acquaintance with the ideas and discoveries of the past. That although the uneducated acknowledge the importance of education, they make but little effort to obtain it for themselves or to make it possible for their children; that to save a few dollars and to get a little work out of the weak bodies of their children, they rob them of treasures and powers, the lack of which stifled them from the cradle to the grave and compelled them to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
He told how in olden times the church was the world's great power, how the rostrum and finally the press became powerful allies--but that to-day behind those forces the teachers in the schools, and the mothers in all the homes exerted a power greater than all.
He congratulated parents, teachers and pupils upon the completion of a glorious work, and referred to the advantages to be derived from it--of its influence in various ways on the culture and refinement of the community. How in coming with bounding hearts and hurrying steps to enjoy the new structure, they should honor the old building whose influence still permeated a thousand homes, and had extended even to the councils of the nation.
After a solo by Miss Armstrong entitled "Old Madrid," Mr. James H. Eaton of Syracuse was called out and responded in his usual happy style. He was one of the "old boys," he said, and remembered with emotions of mingled pleasure and pain, his experience while trying to get an education here. Among his earliest memories were those suggested by the presence of one of the teachers of the old stone school house on Elm street, (Mr. Blanchard). That gentleman, he said, had made a very "striking" impression upon him. He gave the dimensions of the ruler he used to wield and said that he could testify from personal knowledge that it weighed a ton.
Mr. James H. Baker, of Rochester, said that when he had been informed by the chairman that he was expected to make a speech during the evening he was, to use a slang expression, completely "paralyzed." "He was a business man...the back part of his store seated...box could talk fluently enough...ever could make a public speech...thankful that he had been remembered by an invitation to be present on an occasion so pleasant but must be excused from speech making. (Unreadable parts.)
A ladies' quartette composed of Mrs. W.E. Burhans, Mrs. C.L. Collin, Mrs. M.W. Leech and Mrs F. C. Beard sang Sullivan's "Lullaby" and were heartily applauded.
Mr. Blanchard read several more of the letters received by him in response to invitations sent.
Prof. Wilson was called out and said that hearing these former residents characterizing themselves as "back numbers" made him wonder what he was. He did not know why he should be called upon to speak. If they were "back numbers" he must be a "dodger" or an "ad" put in to fill space. He spoke of the constant stream of immigration and advanced a thought which none of the current magazine discussions of practical education have enlarged upon--that the public school is the best training round for citizenship; the surest and quickest way to Americanize the foreigners is to give their children a public school education.
Mr. A. T. Armstrong sang a solo entitled, "The Happy Birds" which was received with marked favor.
Mr. H. B. Stark, of Syracuse, said that he was raised in this village and got his early education here. He took so much interest in the home of his boyhood that if he had NOT been invited to make a speech he would have been "paralyzed." He was also one of the "old boys" older than his friend Eaton. Mr. Stark related several amusing reminiscences of old times, and among other stories told how he escaped a whipping from "Priest" Hyde for using profane language, by showing that he was betrayed into this indiscretion by the persecutions of one of his playmates while he was trying to balance a bag of shelled corn on the back of a horse he was riding to the mill. When the bag at last tumbled off into the mud his self control was suspended and he blurted out the fateful words. "Priest" Hyde, he said was so much amused by the story that he let him off. Mr. Stark showed to the audience some of the old text books used in the old Academy which he had preserved as relics and read an advertisement of the Academy which contained a picture of a canal boat and, as an inducement to enter its classic shades, the statement that from the Academy grounds a fine view could be had of the Erie canal. Mr. Stark paid a warm tribute to Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage for her efforts to elevate the social and political condition of her sex.
Mr. Wells then thanked the people of the village for the kind expressions which the Board of Education had received of confidence and satisfaction with the work of the Board now ended by the completion of the new building. He said that much was needed yet by way of decoration and adornment which would afford the friends of the school an opportunity to manifest their generosity towards it; one friend of the school, Mrs. S. M. H. Gardner, now of Cambridge, Mass. had already presented to the school two beautiful engravings, one of Longfellow and another of the poet Whittier, and the same were now hanging in the room of the "A" Primary class.
A quartette composed of Miss Carrie Collin soprano, Mrs. M. S. Pratt contralto, Mr. E. C. Hubbard tenor and Mr C. L. Collin basso, sang "The Water Sprites" most delightfully and were enthusiastically received.
The day's exercises then closed and the dedication of Fayetteville Union
Free School was completed to the unbounded satisfaction of all present.
"Long may it prosper!"
The Board of Education as at present constituted and under whose supervision the building has been constructed is composed of the following well known citizens;--
Samuel J. Wells, President,
Walden A. Tibbitts, Clerk,
Henry J. Knapp,
Hollon D. VanSchaick,
Luman S. Arnold.
The following advisory committee has rendered valuable advice and assistance during the progress of the building;
James N. Hutchins,
Munro P. Worden,
Beach C. Beard,
Nathaniel M. Gillett,
Thomas W. Sheedy,
Dr. N. Wilbur.
The cost of the new building can now be given with substantial accuracy as but little more remains to be done. It is as follows:--
Architect's bill 400.00
Mason work 9,045.00
Carpenter work, roof and painting 10,585.00
Heating and Ventilating Apparatus 1,560.00
Seats for study rooms 1,005.25
Teachers Desks 62.15
Chairs for Hall 310.22
Lamps for Hall 50.00
Grading (estimated) 200.00
Walks (estimated) 275.00
The fund to pay the above items are provided for as follows:--
Premium received on bonds 1,106.13
Taxes collected '88-'89 2,000.00
It will thus be seen that the Board of Education have, greatly to their
credit, kept within their appropriation while at the same time everything
has been provided on the most liberal scale and the work has been well
done. This record is an unusual one in the history of similar public
Three former teachers of the old Academy were present. Messrs. Arnon G. Williams, Almon Gregory and N.R. Chapman.
The music furnished by the Fayetteville orchestra for the afternoon exercises was unusually fine and was the subject of many flattering comments by the visitors.
Great credit is due to Mr. Addison Cole for the excellent musical arrangements, of which he had entire charge.
The old hotel upon the site of which the new school house stands was years ago kept by Willard R. Scollard and was called "The Fayetteville Cottage."
The St. John cadets came down in a body to attend the dedication, and made a very creditable appearance in their handsome uniforms. They arrived here rather late and many of them were unable to get into the hall.
It is quite possible that our list of visitors present is not complete although much pains has been taken to make it so. If any names have been omitted we hope our readers will inform us so that the full list may be known and preserved.
It was a source of regret that our esteemed townsman, John Brown, the only surviving subscriber to the fund raised to purchase the old Academy building, was not present during the exercises. He came a little late and was unable to get into the hall.
In one of the many pleasing selections rendered by the orchestra was a cornet solo by Mr. A.W. Bennett, of East Syracuse, which was greatly enjoyed. The music of this solo was arranged by Mr. J. E. Campbell, leader of the orchestra, and is named "Dedication" in honor of the occasion when it was first produced.
After the evening exercises a large number of the young people adjourned to the hall in the Grove Hotel and enjoyed two or three hours of dancing in honor of the occasion. Quite a number of young married people who used to attend the entertainments of the old "H.G.S." Society were present and joined in the dancing.
The handsome flag mast which adorns the "Campus" and from which "Old Glory" will float every day school is in session was rigged and placed in position by Mr. Samuel Snow. It is mounted between two heavy cedar posts set six feet in the ground with cement and broken stone and ought to last for many years. The pole is of graceful proportions and is 110 feet in height.
So much interest in the "old Academy" has been revived by the exercises
of the past week that, as we are able to gather material, for the next
two or three weeks the RECORDER will public historical matter, reminiscences
etc., relating particularly to this once flourishing and important educational
institution. Next week we shall give as far as known the name and
address of all the old academy students now living.
Rev. Almon Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. H. Eaton, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Hunt, Mrs. H. N. Burhans, Mrs. Rebecca L. Mead, Mrs. E. F. Rice, Mr. and Mrs. T. K. Fuller, Mrs. F. C. Beard, Misses Hattie and Marie Hall, Miss Florence Crouse, Miss Merwin, Miss Jennie Chapin, Mrs. W. H. Emery, Mrs. N. Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Worden, Mr. Ira O. Goodrich, and Mr. H. P. Stark, of Syracuse; Mrs. Horace Nims, Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Wilcox, Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Nottingham, Prof. Geo. Bullis, Mrs. Sarah Rowling, Manlius; Mrs. Sarah Terpenning, N. Manlius; Mrs. L. B. Webb, DeWitt; Mrs. Ann E. Baker, Collamer; Prof. W. R. Alsever, Cicero; Mrs. E. C. L. Hughes, Elbridge; Mr. Fay H. Hutchins, Chittenango; Mr. and Mrs. Wells M. Beard, Pompey; Arnon G. Williams, Westmoreland, N.Y.; Messrs. E. P. and B. Baker, Seneca Falls; Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Baker, Rochester, Mr. and Mrs. J. Q. Baker, Rochester; Mr. and Mrs. Collin Armstrong, Mr. C. L. Noble, Lauren Redfield, N.Y. City; Hon. Chas. Tremain, Oswego; Mrs. T. VanEmbergh, Utica; Mrs. Hattie Bishop, Saratoga; Mr. Wesley Austin, St. Louis, Mo.; Eugene Maltby, Watertown.
Many of the visitors remained over Sunday with friends here, and some are still lingering loathe to depart.