History of

Saint Mark's School

BY

ALBERT EMERSON BENSON, '88

PRIVATELY PRINTED FOR
THE
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

1925

ST. MARK'S SCHOOL. 1924

 

                        CONTENTS

Preface
SOUTHBOROUGH AND THE PARISH
THE FOUNDER
THE FOUNDATIONS
THE OLD SCHOOL BUILDINGS
THE FIRST YEARS
EARLY DAYS AT THE SCHOOL
DR. COOLIDGE AND HIS TIME
WILLIAM E. PECK AND HIS ADMINISTRATION
SCHOOL LIFE DURING THE EIGHTIES
THE NEW BUILDING
MR. PECK'S ADMINISTRATION (continued)
SCHOOL LIFE DURING THE NINETIES
MR. W. G. THAYER AND HIS ADMINISTRATION.
IN THE WAR WITH SPAIN
MR. THAYER'S ADMINISTRATION (continued)
SCHOOL LIFE FROM 1898 TO 1904
MR. THAYER'S ADMINISTRATION (continued)
SCHOOL LIFE IN 1910
THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY AND THE REPORT
IN WAR TIME
DR. THAYER'S ADMINISTRATION (continued)
CONCLUSION
APPENDICES
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 

PREFACE

THE following is written in accordance with votes of the St. Mark's Alumni Association at the meetings of 1923 and 1924. Its sources, unless otherwise noted, are the records of the meetings of the Board of Trustees, which extend back to the founding of the School in 1865, and consist entirely of formal business; the Courier, a school paper, of which but two numbers were published; the Vindex, which issued its first number in February, 1877, and with the exception of the year 1882-3 has continued to the present time(1); the St. Mark's Alumni Bulletin, which began formally with the December number in 1921; the School and the Alumni catalogues; various occasional publications and programs; and the memories of several of the older graduates. The committee on publication consisted of Spencer Ervin, '04, Chairman; Samuel Crocker Bennett, '72; Waldron Kintzing Post, '85; John Sanford Barnes, '87; and John Hill Prentice, '93.

The object of the book is to record in readable form the origins and development of the various important activities and traditions of the School as evidenced by the information at present accessible; and the plan was therefore determined by the nature of the material. The great diversity of events and interests constantly acting and reacting on one another suggested no method of handling but by chronological order if this object was to be attained; and since the index has been added for the convenience of assembling at once all references to each subject, the obvious plan was, with unimportant modifications, to move forward from year to year. Before the appearance of the Vindex in 1877 this plan could not be strictly followed because of the lack of dates and the haziness in the memory of older graduates; but as far as possible the stream has been followed; and the few changes in the life of the School while it was gathering momentum perhaps make the exact chronology of the earliest times comparatively unimportant.

The School is the men and boys of the community, and accordingly the biographies of those who have eminently contributed to its character and strength have been briefly given. While it has obviously been impossible within our limits to follow the careers of graduates, it has been thought necessary to our purpose in general to note those of graduates and masters who have given the whole or any considerable part of their lives to education; and any failure to do so is accidental. It is too much to hope that grave omissions have not been made, but comforting to reflect that much will be recovered by the interest of those whom the writer has so far been unable to reach. It is perhaps unnecessary to add that some matters of mere curiosity have been intentionally omitted, especially those of a financial nature.

While the idea of the history and most of the work incidental to realizing it are due to Spencer Ervin, '04, the kindness and interest of the earlier graduates and masters are thankfully acknowledged. The most interesting epoch to those who know the School today will probably prove to be the first ten or fifteen years; and for our account of these we owe thanks especially to Harry Burnett, '69; John C. Dewey, '70; Samuel Crocker Bennett, '72; John H. Storer, '72; George H. Millett, '74; Philo C. Fuller, '77; Paul Barron Watson, '77; Charles I. Sturgis, '78; Thomas Tileston Wells, '83; and Mr. Walter Deane. It has been necessary to combine accounts in order to avoid many instances of repetition, but as nearly as might be the writers' words have been retained. Dr. Thayer's help has been as generously given as in all matters of interest to St. Mark's; the interest of Edward A. Taft, '00, President of the Alumni Association, has been continuous and inspiring; and thanks are due to Mr. George B. Fernald and Mr. F. A. Flichtner, and to several graduates who have supplied photographs.


Chapter One: Southborough and the Parish