D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

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small majority favoring this school made it dangerous



HISTORY OF HANOVER.



to ask fur uQy wore appropriation. Therefore no
school seats and desks could be bought. A village
carpenter, however, built some wide shelves or tables
all around the walls of the lower hall. These, un-
painted, served for desks and common settees for
seats for the twenty-five or thirty scholars who
attended here until 1871. Then, partly at the
private expense of the teacher and partly by sub-
scription, sufficient desks and chairs were purchased
to seat the pupils.

In December, 1873, Mr. Knight resigned, and Mr.
Charles F. Meserve, of Abington, succeeded him,
teaching several terms with great success. Under his
management the size of the school increased some-
what, lie is at present teaching in Rockland, where,
as in Hanover, his thoroughness, both as teacher and
disciplinarian, and his enthusiastic interest in all that
pertaius to learning, make him a teacher popular both
with parents and pupils.

Other teachers have been Mr. S. H. Libbey, Mr.
George E. Wales, now and for several years past
principal of the North Abington High School, Mr.
H. A. Sturtevant, Mr. Frank T. Rusk, a graduate of
Harvard University, and at present principal of the
high school at St. Joseph, Mo. The present princi-
pal, Mr. Melviu Shaw Nash, was elected for the first
time to teach the fall term, 1878, and has since con-
tinued. Under and during his principalship the
school has attained its greatest usefulness and suc-
cess. It now and for several terms past has num-
bered over fifty pupils. This is not wholly owing to
Mr. Nash's success as a teacher, but while in part due
to that cause is also in part the result of the new-
graded course of study to be spoken of hereafter.

For two years the increased numbers, and conse-
quently increased work, has necessitated the employ-
ment of an assistant teacher. Miss Ida J. Barker, of
Hanson, was first employed, aud Mrs. Sarah J. Mc-
Kenney, of Abington, is the present very popular
occupant of that position.

The school has just been reseated with single seats
and desks for sixty-four pupils.

From 186S to 1879 the school-room had been used
as a supper-room whenever a ball or other entertain-
ment had needed it for that purpose. This gave
much bad usage to the school furniture, and was
very obnoxious to the school. Accordingly, in 1879,
and later, in 1SS2, partitions were run through
the lower hall, shutting the school-room into itself,
and giving a convenient and much-needed assistants'
recitation-room in the northwest corner. 'A new
entrance to the school-room was cut in the east side
of the buildiug ; thus the school-room and town hall



are now entirely separate, much to the benefit of the
school.

In the year 1878 the town elected a board of
school committee, two of whom had never hold that
office. Mr. John E. Knight and John F. Simmous
were the new men, and both had had experience as
teachers. The third man, Mr. Morton V. Bonney,
had served the town well as representative in the
Legislature as selectman, and for several years as
school committee. Mr. Knight had been, as we
have seen, the first master of the high schoul, and as
such had given much which money could not buy, in
euthusiasm and self-sacrifice, to make the high school
a thing of existence. He was a committeeman for
one term to render the town still more his debtor.
His was the master-mind in shaping and putting into
practice for the first time in this town a course of
graded study, which was perfected after he had left
the board. To this course the present efficiency of
the schools is largely due. The town should be
deeply grateful to Mr. Knight for his labors and skill
in this behalf.

The course, as at first contemplated and afterward
carried out, was to divide all the pupils in town — now
and for several years ranging from three hundred to
three hundred and thirty in number — into u scries of
classes, commencing with the primer scholars and
going up through the district schools. Then, after an
examination and established competency, continuing
in the high school to graduation. At first it was with
difficulty that the new system could be adapted to ex-
isting circumstances. It needs must be very general
and elastic in its nature and requirements. Grad-
ually the strings were tightened until at length,
after about four or five years of trial aud continued
change, the present system was reached. By its
rules each class in town reaches a certain required
point in its work at the end of each of the three terms
into which the school year (now and for the last two
years amounting to thirty-nine weeks) is divided.
The admission to the high school (now officially
known as the high and grammar school) was gradually
raised, and the course lengthened to four years. At
the end of the course public graduations are held, and
a diploma awarded those obtaining the required de-
gree of excellence on the final private examination.

Thrice yearly written examinations of every school
in town are now held by the committee, and a strict
record of each scholar's daily work in each study is
kept. A pupil's course and the work he' has done
are thus in two ways kept account of, and full record
made thereof from his entrance to our schools until
he leaves them.



3S8



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



As a means of showing the advancement of the
hitjh school, the course as pursued the first year of
its existence, aud the course now iu force, are hero
given :

I. Course First Adopted.
■ First term. — Arithmetic (Greenleaf's Practical),
Algebra (Robinson's), Geography (Warren's Common
School and Physical), Grammar (Green's and Analy-
sis), Spelling, Writing, Latin (Viri Romas).

Second term. — Arithmetic, Algebra, Geography,
Grammar, Sargent's Fourth Reader and Selections,
Spelling, Writing, Latin.

Third term. — Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Ge-
ography (finished), Reading (Fourth Reader and
Milton), Natural Philosophy, Book-keeping, No. 3
and No. 4 Writing-Books (finished), Grammar (An-
alysis).

II. Present Course.

First Year. — Arithmetic, Geography, History of
United States, Grammar, Reading, and Spelling.

Second Year. — First Term : Arithmetic, English
History, Grammar, Reading and Spelling, Book-
keeping. Second Term : Algebra, English History,
Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Book-keeping. Third
Term : Algebra, English History, Grammar, Reading,
Spelling, Book-keeping.

Third Year. — First Term : Algebra, Physiology,
Latin, French, or German, English Literature,
Chemistry. Second Term : Algebra, Physiology,
Latin, French, or German, English Literature,
Chemistry. Third Term : Geometry, Physiology,
Latin, French, or German, English Literature, Phys-
ical Geography.

Fourth Year. — First Term : Geometry, Physics,
Latin, French, or German, English Literature (alter-
nating), Physical Geography aud Rhetoric, Civil Gov-
ernment. Second Term : Geometry, English Liter-
ature (alternating), Latin, French, or German, aud
Rhetoric, Physics, Physical Geography, Civil Gov-
ernment. Third Term : Review of Mathematics,
Euglish Literature (alternating), Latin, French, or
German, aud Rhetoric, Civil Government, General
Review.

Writing twice a week throughout the course. Ex-
ercises in rhetoric once a week throughout the first
two years.

Text-Books. — What text-books were at first used
is a matter of great uncertainty. The oldest citizens
speak of the Psalter, the New Eugland Primer, aud
the Testament as the principal reading-books. The
Young Man's Companion and Pike's were most used
of arithmetics. Noah Webster's spelling-book, but



recently discarded, was introduced about a hundred
years ago. Barry speaks of " a small geography."

Now our text-books are legion. The town has, fur
over three years, purchased all the reading-books and
loaned them to the scholars. In 18S3 three hundred
dollars was appropriated to purchase all the text-books
to loan to pupils instead of compelling scholars to
purchase them. Last winter the Legislature passed
a law making such a course as this obligatory on all
cities and towns in the commonwealth. Hanover
had anticipated the wisdom of the Legislature by just
a year.

The text-books at present in use are Arithmetic,
the Franklin and "Complete;" Grammar, Greene;
Language Lessons, Swinton ; Geography, Harper's
and Warren's; United States History, Higginsou ;
Algebra, Robinson ; Latin Grammar, Harkuess ;
German, Krauss' ; French, Bueher's Otto; Book-
keeping, Mayhew's; Physiology, Hutchison ; Physical
Geography, Warren ; Geometry, Seieuce Primer ;
Philosophy, Steele ; Readers, Appleton s, Franklin's,
and others; Spelling, Swinton's.

Hanover Academy. — In 1808, through the efforts
of Rev. Mr. Chaddock, pastor of the First Church, a
two-story building was erected, with cupola aud bell,
a few rods west of the present church at the Centre.
This was for au academy. " Parson" Chaddock was
the preceptor, assisted by Mrs. Chaddock. They
had a school of more than local celebrity, which fitted
many for college.

After Mr. Chaddock left Hanover the school de-
clined, and was in 1822 sold and removed to the
Four Corners, where it is now used for au apothecary
shop and post-otEce. This was the first Hanover
academy.

The second building was built in 1S28, a few rods
north of the preseut buildiug. It was built at an ex-
pense of about twelve hundred dollars, iu shares of
twenty-five dollars each, and the trustees were incor-
porated the following year. The list of the proprie-
tors' names includes many of the leading citizens in
this aud the surrounding towns.

The preceptors who taught iu this buildiug were
Zephauiah Bass, 1828; Horace H. Rolfe, 1821);
Rev. Cyrus Holmes, 1830; Ethan Allen, 1830;
Rev. Calvin Walcott, 1831 ; John P. Washburn,
1832; Dr. Ira Warren, 1833; Thomas F. White,
1834-35 ; Herman Bourne, 1837 ; Josiah Fuller,
1838-39 ; Rev. Cyrus Holmes, 1840 ; Charles Hitch-
cock, George Wolcott, M. P. McLauthliu.

Some ladies have been connected with the academy
as teachers. We have not their names, except that
of Mrs. Chaddock, already alluded to.



HISTORY OF HANOVER.



389



In 1S51 the present building was built at a cost of
about three thousaud five hundred dollars, and was
dedicated with appropriate services March 2, 1852.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Saluiond, the latter only sur-
viving, have been probably the most generous patrons
of the academy. Mr. Salmond gave one thousand
dollars toward the present structure. Mrs. Salmond
gave the sweet-toned bell which surmouuts it, and
has since contributed in many quiet but none the less
effectual ways towards its support.

The present building has seen, among others, the
following teachers: M. P. McLauthlin, Charles A.
Reed (now city solicitor of Taunton), Samuel G.
Stoue, Peleg T. Keene, Prince Thorudike, J. S.
Woodbury, Rev. T. D. P. Stone (pastor of Second
Congregational Society), John G. Knight, Frank \V.
Brett, of Hingham, the present preceptor.

The establishment of the high school in town has
drawn heavily upon the academy. Its pupils are
now drawn largely from out of town, and from num-
bering about fifty the pupils have now come to be
scarcely half that number.

Assinippi Institute. — Twenty-four years ago, in
the settlement of difficulties which had arisen be-
tween the trustees of the academy and Samuel G.
Stone, the then principal, Mr. Stone, left the academy
and went to Assinippi. Here, with the aid of Hon.
Perez Simmons, Mr. Stone opeued a private school in
Assinippi Hall in September, 1861, with about thirty
scholars. The desks were old ones, the seats were
chairs. These were frequently removed as occasion
demanded for balls, etc. Here Mr. Stone taught for
about three years. He was succeeded by John S.
Crosby, now of St. Joseph, Mo. Under his manage-
ment the school grew in success uutil it numbered
about sixty scholars, many coming from afar and
boarding in the neighborhood. He was assisted
by Daniel G. Thompson, now of Milton, who took
the school after Mr. Crosby left Massachusetts for the
West. During one term the school was taught by
John Edwards Leonard, afterwards a member of the
National House of Representatives from Louisiana,
then passing a year of suspension from Harvard Col-
lege at Assinippi. Mr. Crosby taught here for about
three years, and Mr. Thompson for only about two
terms. Then the school failed for a lack of patron-
age. It was known during its existeuce as " Assinippi
Institute."

Mr. Stone was a man of remarkable thoroughness
as a teacher, but an unfortunate irascibility of temper
prevented him from being popular with his pupils.

Mr. Crosby was a man of great energy of char-
acter, whom his pupils adored. His magnetic pres-



ence always insured order iu the school-room, and in-
spired his pupils with a love for the learning which
he so much admired. He was thorough and pro-
gressive in his teaching, having the faculty of making
his pupils work. Both in and out of school he was
one of the boys with the boys, and yet thoroughly
respected and as thoroughly admired. For twelve
years he was the most successful master of the high
school at St. Joseph, Mo.



CHAPTER VI.



MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES AND TRANSPORTA-
TION.

The early settlers were compelled to resort to water-
power to drive their mills. Steam was not known,
and had it been it would have been inaccessible. The
first settlers therefore clung to the neighborhood of
the rivers near their mills. It was here that their
corn was ground, and the lumber for their houses was
here sawed. Now a great change has come over
manufactures. Along the Indian Head River, where
there was formerly a water-mill, in every case the
tall chimney-stack tells the tale of the supplementary
steam-engine, which, lying dormant through the win-
ter and spring freshets, springs to life again iu the
droughts of the summer and fall. Modern business
brooks no delays, and is not content to await the
winter rise. Water-wheels therefore cannot suffice,
and the aid of steam, now much cheapened (so much
so as to be almost as economical as water-power), is
invoked. The first establishment to impede our prog-
ress up the Indian Head River is the old forge so
many years known as Curtis Forge. Here Bardin's
iron-works were erected in 1704. The power was
used in the manufacture of anchors for many years,
anchors of five tons' weight having been made there
as tradition says. But at length Mr. George Curtis,
the last owner bearing the name of Curtis, ceased to
manufacture anchors there, and the old mill was idle,
and for years lay a black, useless pile. Mr. Curtis
left town and died at Nabant, and the mill some ten
or fifteen years ago passed into the hands of Mr. Eu-
gene H. Clapp, a native of South Suituate, but now
a very energetic busiuess man of Boston. They have
since been used in the grinding and manufacture of
rubber, and employ a large number of hauds. The
old forge building is replaced by a large and com-
modious manufactory well suited to its purpose.
Steam is used as a supplementary power.



390



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



Ascending the stream, we uext reach Project Dale,
already alluded to. This daui and privilege was util-
ized iu 1S30 by Charles Dyer, who moved his tack
busiuess here from the dam a short distance above,
now abandoned. This site was at one time occupied
as a tack-shop by Edward Y. Perry, Esq., now the
president of the Hanover Branch Railroad. It had
been before this used for running a fulling-mill, a
earding-inill, and also a grist-mill. The tack business
of Mr. Perry in 1S5- and 1853 was regarded as
large. In comparison with the business of the present
it seems almost puny. Here are some statistics of it
then :

Hands employed 1G

Shoe-nails made per day 300 lbs.

Tacks made per day 800,000

Tuns of copper used per year 2 to 3

Tons of zinc used per year 25

Tons of iron used per year 76

Number of shoe-nail machines 3

Number of Lack-machines 7

Nine years ago one establishment in the town of
Hanover, according to the census of 1875, made fifty
thousand dollars worth of tacks per annum.

The tack-works of Col. Jesse Reed were, as lias
been said, a short distance above the Project Dale
works. Col. Reed was almost the father of the tack-
manufacturing interest. A man of great versatility
and originality, combined with great energy, he in-
vented, after mauy failures, the first tack-machine to
cut successfully the tack from a strip of metal and
deliver it, all headed and pointed, a perfect tack, at the
tail of the machine. He resided at Hanover when
this machine was invented and patented. It stands
to-day with but little alteration, running successfully
all over the Union in all tack-shops, aud is kuowr as
the Reed machine.

When reaching South Hanover, we find Barstow's
forge, or, as it was afterwards called, Sylvester's forge,
now occupied by the very enterprising and successful
firm of E. Phillips & Sons, manufacturers of tacks
and shoe-nails. A forge was first established here-
about 1720 by the Barstows, and used by members
of that family uutil it was sold to the Salmonds, in
1795. It was used at different times for manufac-
turing anchors, bar-iron, tack-machines, tacks, aud
locomotive cranks. There is one anchor forge left iu
Hanover. It is now called Burstow's forge, and is
located on King Street. It was erected in 1710, aud
was known as Che Drinkwater Iron-Works. Cannon
are said to have been cast here during the Revolutiou.
Its present owners manufacture a small grado of an-
chor, and have steady work the year through.

The Third Herring Brook furnishes power for two
tack-shops. One, the northerly one, near Wiuslow's



bridge, is owned and run by Mr. James Tolnian, where
a small business is done. The lower mill, called
"Tiffany Factory," from having been once owned by
Recompense Tiffany, is the property of one of Han-
over's wealthiest citizens, Mr. Edmund Q. Sylvester,
who manufactures tacks under the firm-name of Sam-
uel Salwond & Sons. This privilege is one of the
oldest, haviug been established here '-as early as
1G77, by Charles Stockbridge."

The box-board and grist-mill and box manufac-
tory of Lot Phillips & Co., at West Hanover, is
a large aud flourishiug busiuess institution of the
town. It is one of the results of the Hanover Branch
Railroad, and the enterprise of its president, 15. Y.
Perry, Esq., who is a member of the partnership.
Here are made about one hundred and fifty thousand
boxes annually, which are sent all about the surround-
iug country. About thirty-five men are employed,
and the busy saws, run, as is all the mill's machinery,
by a powerful steam-engine, cut up into boards about
one million two hundred and fifty thousand feet of
lumber annually, while the grist-mill grinds two hun-
dred thousand bushels of grain for the firm. It is
connected with Brockton and the rest of the world by
the telephone line, which runs the whole length of
the Hanover Branch Railroad. Truly this is an
establishment of which Hanover may well be proud.

The various grist-mills which were formerly scat-
tered through town have becomo practically useless
by the changes which time brings. Our farmers rely
for their grain on the supplies which the railway
brings almost to their doors, and not on what their
ancestral acres produce. It comes here now in bulk,
aud is ground by the large establishments, like that of
Lot Phillips & Co., already described. There are
mills on the Third Herring Brook at its head, at
Jacob's mill, aud at Gardner's, or, as it is now called,
Church's mill. But their wheels arc seldom asked to
respond to the force of the descending water. Saw-
mills are still heard on the wintry air, as the scream-
ing piue logs yield to the whizzing force of the circu-
lar saw at Jacobs', Clapp's, Church's mills, on the
Third Herring Brook, at Mann's, formerly Deaeou
John Brooks', mill, near Main Street, aud at the Wist
Hanover Mill, near the larger steam-mill already re-
ferred to.

It is said that a mill formerly stood near Ellis
Bridge, palled Drinkwater Mill, from there having
been no spirits used at its raising. But this rests en-
tirely on tradition.

Hanover claims to have been the residence too of
the first patentee, if not the inventor, of iron plows.
Here they were certainly first manufactured by David



HISTORY OF HANOVER.



391



Prouty. His patent antedated .ill others, and lie
probably invented them. The old wooden mould-
boards covered with strips and pieces of iron, like all
established things, yielded with difficulty to innova-
tions. Mr. Prouty's plow had the strongest tests to
undergo before it became a success, and the rocky
soil of the northern part of the town presented a test
which it speaks well for the plow to say it stood well.
The manufacturing of plows was, as the business in-
creased, removed to Boston.

The greatest industry at present of the town is that
of the manufacturing of boots and shoes. The census
of 1875, now nine years old, gives the value of the
total product of boots and shoes for that year as one
hundred and forty-two thousand four hundred and
eighty-eight dollars, an increase within the ten pre-
ceding years of about fifty thousaud dollars.

Other statistics might be given, but it would be
unwise in a history to encroach upon the province of
the gazetteer.

The ship-yards of Hanover alone remain to be men-
tioned. The ship-builder's axe and the calker's
maul have long ceased to awaken the echoes of the
North River shore. The iron vessel has superseded
the wooden one. Depleted forests and bad legislation
have driven far from the town everything relating to
ship-building except its memories. " The palmy days
of ship-building in Hanover," says Barry, " were from
1800 to 1808. Then five or six yards were in active
operation, and at least ten vessels were annually fitted
for sea."

The Hanover Branch Railroad. — It is not sur-
prising, in a population as enterprising as is and
always has been that of Hanover, that they could not
remain cpuiet as their neighbors progressed. Lying
directly in the path of all intercolonial travel, for
years they possessed better facilities for traveling and
the transmission of the mails than did most of the
surrounding towns. The road now known as Wash-
ington Street, at and until the opening of the Old
Colony Railroad, was the oldest and most traveled
avenue between Boston and Plymouth. It had been
the main course of travel between the Massachusetts
Bay and Plymouth Colonies ever since the country
was settled, taking the place of an old Indian trail
over which Governor Winthrop and Judge Sewall, as
their official duties called them to Plymouth Colony,
had often been guided.

When the Old Colony Railroad projected its first
line from Boston to Plymouth, the surveyors, seeking
a location for their new iron road, followed this old
intercolonial thoroughfare. The railroad route was
surveyed as far south as what is now called Queen



Anue's Corner, about two miles north of the northern
limit of Hanover. Insufficient encouragement or
greater pecuniary inducements elsewhere determined
that the course of the railroad should lie farther west,
and Hanover was passed by. Its citizens, however,
about 1845, nothing daunted by the magnitude of
such an enterprise, began to consider the feasibility of
a railroad of its own, and there being then no general
railroad law, as now, petitioned the next Legislature
for a charter for the Hanover Branch Railroad.
April 6, 1846, a charter was granted to John Cush-
iug, George Curtis, John Sylvester, and their associ-
ates. The railroad was to connect with the Old Col-
ony at North Abington, and was to be located within
one year. This time proving too short, April 23,
1847, the time for filing the location was extended
one year and a half.

Several meetings of this new corporation were held,
and Isaac M. Wilder was chosen clerk. The charter,
however, expired by limitation without a rod of the
road having been located. The project, however, was
not dead, but sleeping. Just at this time a resident
of Hanson, who had done much business and owned
much property in Hanover, a man of almost indom-
itable energy and perseverance, to whom the inhabit-
ants of Hanover owe more of the substantial material
improvement of the town than they are willing to
admit, Edward Y. Perry, took hold of the work. He
and his partner, Ezra Phillips, one of Hanover's
wealthiest and most sterling citizens, who united a



Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 87 of 118)