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Hampton Academy & Winnacunnet High School Alumni Association

65th Anniversary, Historic Souvenir Booklet, 1972

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Hampton Academy and Its Board of Trustees

By Arthur J. Moody, Class of ’53


The Trustees After 1940

In September 1940 with the opening of the new Academy building under control of the Hampton School Board, the Trustees’ 130-year administration of Hampton Academy came to an end. The Trustees’ only function vis-a-vis the new school was the management of the trust funds and the allocation of their income. However, under the terms of the transfer of property to the School District, the Trustees did retain revert and other legal rights in the school.

In the 30 years since 1942, there have been relatively few personnel changes on the Board of Trustees. Changes via death, retirement and resignation include two senior Trustees who each served some 40 years. Long-term Treasurer Christopher S. Toppan ’90 passed away on October 12, 1946, at age 72½. And Board President Howard G. Lane ’87 retired from active participation in Trustees’ affairs in 1947. Mr. Lane was accorded the signal honor of being elected President Emeritus. His son, Wheaten J. Lane, joined the Board in 1948. Meanwhile, Samuel A. Towle ’22 was chosen to be the new President.

After the death of Elmore L. Dearborn on October 12, 1960, Otis Raymond Garland ’14 regained the seat he had given up to Mr. Dearborn in 1938. In 1963, Edwin L. Batchelder, Jr. ’42 and Russell A. Merrill ’44 (son of C. Ruth {Noyes} Merrill ’14) were elected to membership. Atty. H. Alfred Casassa ’48 accepted an invitation to join the Board in 1967. The Board was reduced to nine members when illness forced Hollis R. Johnson ’27 to resign his seat in 1968. Total active membership currently remains at that level.

From the annual reports of Supt. Gillmore and Headmaster Russell as well as the School District balance sheets, it can be determined that the Trustees furnished much financial aid to the school during World War II years. The first year, 1940-41, $2,500 was given to the School District. Thereafter, funds were allocated for specified projects. These included: over $1,000 for bleachers for the gym, and an amount to rewire parts of the building to accommodate the donated electrical equipment in the Manual Training, Domestic Arts and Commercial Departments and visual aids.

Details of the projects during and immediately after the War are not available because the Trustees’ minutes from mid-1939 to September 1947 have been lost. Provisions of the 1947 laws, which replaced those of 1916 and subsequent amendments, are also unavailable (a new set of Bylaws is being drawn up). The change in corporate name to “The Board of Trustees of Hampton Academy and High School, Inc.” occurred on April 12, 1943.

After September 1947, the Trustees’ records reflect the Board’s actions in providing funds to the High School in keeping with trust agreements. Money for instructional equipment, sports facilities, additional land and other embellishments upgraded and enhanced the school in areas of cited taxpayer support. This appears to have governed the Trustees’ annual expenditures of trust income, If the project suggested by the Headmaster was thought to be a normal obligation of School District, the Trustees passed it over (unless a trust agreement required that income to go for ordinary expenses or purchases). Usually, projects that added that “extra nicety” to education at the Academy were the ones undertaken by the Trustees. An exception to this was the installation of an oil burner about 1948.

During that school year, the Trustees Corp. shared in the Howard G. Lane Charitable Trust. A year later, the Georgia (Drake) Carpenter bequest of $10,000 was received. In 1913, she had presented a $5,000 endowment. The $500 legacy from the estate of Sarah Belle Lane ’94 was received in 1966.

Over $900 was expended, through the School District, in 1948 for equipment in various departments of the school. Also, a movie projector was purchased and the possibility of setting up a Driver Education course was investigated. In May of 1948, the Board suggested to the School and that a “competent heating engineer” be hired to survey the heating system of the school and make recommendations. The Trustees offered to pay the expenses incurred.

At the annual meeting in 1949, the Board authorized Supt. Gillmore to purchase Ediphone equipment for a maximum of $500. Reinvestment of securities included the purchase of 100 shares of a mutual fund and additional investment certificates in the recently renamed Hampton Co-operative Bank.

Throughout the years, the Trustees’ policy of supplying the Commercial Dept. with new and replacement typewriters, as well as associated equipment, was continued into the last years of Academy and High School. In 1950, they purchased one replacement and two additional typewriters. Two clocks and an electric potato peeler were also authorized.

Major projects during the early 1950s were: $3,400 for enlarging the boys’ locker and shower rooms; planting various types of spruces and Norway maples; $2,500 for the construction and paving of two outdoor basketball courts (contract to Homer A. Johnson, Sr.; supervision for the Trustees by Douglass E. Hunter, Sr.’23 and Trustee Paul W. Hobbs ’25). Another project had to be dropped. It concerned preparing the unexcavated part of the basement for use by the school (perhaps as a cafeteria). A door was broken through the concrete wall but the cost ($10,000) of installing additional supports to the building once the fill was removed was too high for Trustee sources. In this case and in shower-room expansion, the original-building architects, by then known as Hersey Associates, were consulted. (The major addition to the Academy Junior High in 62 was also designed by the Durham firm.) Another project, installing electrically operated, swinging basketball standards in the gym, was put off by the Korean War and the steel strike of mid-1952. At the recommendation of School Board member Caroline (Philbrook) Higgins ’30, $700 of the income from the Betsey Seavey Memorial Fund for Domestic Science (established in 1913) was used in 1951 for the purchase of sewing tables and ancillary equipment for the Home Ec room.

During 1951, the Trustees agreed to help the Class of 1950 in financing its gift to the school — a large, glass-front trophy case built into the wall near the Headmaster’s office at the front entrance to the school. First cost estimates were too high and Hersey Associates submitted plans which could be completed with the $350 from the Class and $600 or less from the Trustees. The display case was completed the next year. The Class of 1953 later had difficulty in providing the entire costs of its gift, black-out curtains for the auditorium so that the entire student body could view, at one line, the showing of a Movie. The Trustees supplied the deficit of about $100 and curtains were bought and installed for the 10 extra-large windows. Classes traditionally presented a gift to the Academy. As previously noted, a chair and an oak desk for the Principal, and a mahogany clock were given in the 1920s. The Class of 1925 presented a large blue-and-white felt banner on which the old school was pictured. The Class of 1941 gave a wall-type trophy case. The case is presently near the original front entrance to the Academy — filled with H.A. & H.S. trophies and plaques. And the 1925 banner is still in existence; it’s in the one-room district schoolhouse which was moved to the Meeting House (or Academy) Green by the Hampton Historical Society in 1951. The larger and more affluent classes of the late 1940s and the 1950s (e.g., 1952) gave electronic mechanisms such as a public-address system and an elaborate scoreboard for the auditorium/gym. Some of the cost of the scoreboard was appropriated from gate receipts by the school’s Athletic Council. Classes often gave the school cash instead of a specific object.

Income from the Charles H. Lane Trust Fund, received in 1922, supplied power tools to the Manual Training Shop and a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner was also procured in 1951. A tape recorder was purchased for the school in 1955 and additional landscaping continued each year. The possibility of other projects was investigated: a vault door to the records room, a radiator to help “dry out” the boys’ locker room, collapsible bleachers for the gym and the purchase of a piece of property to the south of the school. The Trustees had provided much of the equipment for the Federal hot-lunch program which was initialed at the school in 1947-48 and, by 1955, they planned a new cafeteria (the Shop area — with its sawdust covering everything — had always been used). But the imminence of an addition to the school or a new high school delayed the proposal. The need for much larger quarters also delayed the basement excavation, which the Trustees had asked the School Board to consider.

Supt. Manning, in his report covering the last period of the Academy and High School (Town Report dated December 31, 1957), gave recognition to the Trustees for their significant support over the years. Mention was made of several gifts and improvements including the gift of reference books and encyclopedias, and the nearly $2,500 spent in grading and seeding a large field (a few acres) to the southeast of the High School for use by Junior High pupils. Referring to the Trustees, he concluded: “It is proper to say that the high school program in Hampton could not have been kept at a satisfactory level without their contributions unless much more money had been appropriated by the tax-payers.”

As the High School was getting overcrowded, the School Board in 1956 decided to construct a new building instead of adding to the present plant. A new school, The Adeline C. Marston Elementary School (named for the 1902 Academy graduate who had taught Hampton primary schools for over 45 years), was dedicated early in 1957 and the arrival of the World War II “baby boom” crop at the high-school level was imminent. The large number of newcomers to the Seacoast Area was already being felt. The School Board announced that there no longer was room in the Academy for tuition students from Hampton Falls and North Hampton. In preparation for it new high school, the School Board purchased a 52-acre silo off Landing Road not far from the Green where the first two Academy buildings were constructed. Meanwhile, area towns voted to form a regional high-school district operated by a school board with representatives from all the towns. Early in 1957, the State officially recognized the new cooperative school district and temporarily designated it the “Hampton, Hampton Falls. North Hampton, Seabrook Cooperative School District of New Hampshire.” The name “Winnacunnet,” the original Indian name of the area in 1638,[*} was selected by the voters at an organizational meeting of the District. (Winnacunnet, suggested by Ed Seavey ’32, won over such names as Atlantic, Seacoast and Lafayette.) The Hampton School District then sold the 52-acre site to the new School District and plans went forward to construct a building.

[* The spelling of “Winnacunnet” has always been a problem. According to original hand-written Town records of 1638 and 1639, Rev. Stephen Bachiler, the leader of the church settlement, clearly spelled the name of his plantation as “Winnicunnet” (unmistakably with an “i”). Rev. Bachiler, an educated man (perhaps at Cambridge), most probably was merely writing down the English orthography of the Indian sounds for “beautiful place of the pine.” In any case, since the adoption of the Town Seal in 1938, the spelling has generally been as displayed on the Seal: “Winnacunnet.” The High School used this spelling, the form also used by Joseph Dow in his “History of Hampton.”

The Academy Trustees once again asked the Court for permission to abrogate trust agreements so that they could continue to support secondary education at the new High School. In the case of the Charles H. Lane Trust Fund, the 11 living heirs of Mr. Lane had to be contacted for consent. Justice Dennis Sullivan of Rockingham Superior Court approved the petition on March 11, 1959. Initial Trustee support of the new school came in the form of an $18,000 grant to pay for the already constructed cafeteria-auditorium (presently called “Cafetorium”) and adjacent kitchen. The amount, supplied from the accumulated income of the C.H. Lane Fund, nearly recovered the school’s $20,000 construction deficit. A metal plaque was attached to the auditorium wall; it reads: “This Room is Dedicated to the Memory of Charles H. Lane, 1834-1920. Benefactor of Both School and Town.” (Mr. Lane attended Hampton Academy in the mid-1800s.) A letter of appreciation from Dr. Harold L. Pierson, Secretary of the Winnacunnet School Board (on which he served as an elected member from Hampton), was entered in the records of the Trustees and a copy was forwarded to Julia Lane, the closest living relative of Charles Lane.

During the 1959-60 school year, $3,000 in interest income from the C.H. Lane Fund went toward the purchase of athletic lockers, bench lockers for the Woodworking Dept. and permanent equipment for the Science Dept. at W.H.S. Mr. Carroll L. Blackden, Chairman of the Regional School Board, announced to the press that the $3,000 would be utilized to purchase the needed equipment – equipment that could not have been obtained through School District funds. The other trust funds of the Academy Corp. continued to support the Hampton Academy and High School building although it now housed, and was named, the Hampton Academy Junior High School. The Home Ec Dept. at the Junior High received $500 from the Seavey Fund in 1959-1960. The next year, $500 each was voted for use by the Home Ec and Manual Training Depts. W.H.S. received $800 for drapes in the “Charles H. Lane room” and $275 for a sewing machine. For 1961 and 1962, $2,200 was given W.H.S. from the C.H. Lane Fund; the amount for 1963 and 1964 was $2,500.

The Junior High building was becoming inadequate and, by 1961, construction was well underway on a two-story-and-basement addition onto the south side of the 1939-40 building. The addition completely covered the former site of the old wooden Academy building. Hersey Associates once again undertook the design-and-architectural phase of construction. Thirteen classrooms, a library, a music room, a girls’ locker room, a girls’ gym and a cafetorium with stage were contained in the red-brick addition. The style of the older building was kept in the new except that a flat tar-and-gravel roof was chosen because of cost considerations. Currently, the Junior High houses all of Hampton’s public-school students in grades six, seven and eight plus grades seven and eight tuition students from Hampton Falls.

For 1961, the Hampton School Board recommended that no money be spent from the Betsey Seavey Fund for Domestic Arts since the new Home Ec Room was not completed. In the following two years, the Trustees earmarked $8,500 to equip the new room. The Trustees appropriated $2,000 at their annual meeting in 1965 to furnish two teachers’ rooms at the High School. Over $1,750 was spent that year for other equipment for both schools.

When the addition to the Junior High was constructed, the old Academy bell of 1852 was “discovered” in an unused area of the older building’s basement. An editorial in the Hampton UNION publicized the plight of the homeless bell (along with that of the stored bell from the burnt Town Hall – that bell is now situated in front of the Congregational Church). The Hamptons’ Jaycees offered to erect the Academy bell (without clapper) on a stone-and-cement foundation in front of the school, and began the project. The well-like masonry, completed by such H.A. & H.S. graduates as Harold E. Fernald, Jr. ’49, Wayne I. Elliot ’46 and Richard J. Knowles ’48, contained stones from all area towns including Rye’s Odiorne’s point – the location of New Hampshire’s first permanent “Old World” settlement, Pannaway Plantation (1623). The project, paid for by the Trustees, was dedicated on Hampton’s Old Home Day, August 6, 1966. At W.H.S. that day, the Hampton Historical Society and its associate organization, the W.H.S. Historical Society. exhibited memorabilia and historic items pertaining to Hampton Academy. Somewhat later, the Trustees installed a light for nighttime illumination of the hell and nearby sign. In 1969, they embellished this monument to Hampton Academy’s past by attaching, on the bell’s yoke, a bronze plaque reading: “Hampton Academy Bell of Hampton’s First Secondary School, 1859-1940 – Generations of Students Were Called to Their Classes by the Ringing of This Old Bell.” A photo of the emplaced bell appeared on the cover of the 333rd Annual Report (for 1970) of the Town of Hampton.

In 1966, the Board received the $500 provided via the will of Sarah Belle Lane ’94. Trustee expenditures for 1966 were $2,000 for W.H.S. and nearly $2,500 for the Junior High, which included $681 to the Home Ec Dept. A letter was received from the High School expressing appreciation for equipping the teachers’ rooms. Various school projects were provided for in 1967 when $2,000 went to W.H.S. and $2,800 to the Junior High ($1,000 being for Home Ec).

W.H.S. was allocated a total of $6,300 during 1968 with $1,500 going for video tape and a machine, and $2,800 (mostly from the Seavey Fund) for the High School’s Home Ec courses (some of which are open to boys). The Academy Junior High received nearly $3,500 of which about $1,400 was assigned to the Home Ec Dept.

At the Trustees’ annual meeting in 1969, W.H.S. Principal Eugene R. Hawley was present to express his thanks for the Board’s contributions to Winnacunnet. Later, the Trustees appropriated $5,700 for a duplex-working intercom to be installed in the 1,000-student school. Shop equipment costing nearly $1,400 was approved for the Junior High.

At a Trustees’ meeting in mid-1970, Mr. Hawley reported that the electronic communications system with console would be installed by fall. The Board voted to spend up to $2,150 at he High School for triple-mirror cabinets (Home Ec), for curtain material (which the students would turn into curtains for the Home Ec Dept.), and for equipment in the Art room. The Academy received $1,400 toward the purchase of bleachers for the Eastman Gym (boys’ gym), the students to raise the rest (one-fourth the cost). At the meeting it was reported by Pres. Towle that a Braille typewriter had been purchased for use by a blind child; a letter of gratitude from the parents was read.

At the Trustees’ annual meeting in mid-1971, appropriations from fund income were made as follows: $2,400 to buy a television camera and video-tape equipment for the Junior High; $675 for Formica table tops, $2,500 for movable bleachers and $450 for basketball “backstops” – all to W.H.S. Also, the Board deferred final action on the long-studied Bylaws revision.

Thus, has the Board of Trustees of Hampton Academy and High School continued to live up to trust agreements in providing support to public education, grades six through twelve. The Board has sought to fairly allocate its resources in conformance with those long-standing agreements while exhibiting the court-approved flexibility necessary in the face of the ever-changing circumstances and organization of local school management. The trust funds in its care have appreciated to the extent of having a current market value of approximately $135,000. And, of course, there always exists the possibility of additional bequests and gifts for the benefit of the 600 students at Hampton Academy Junior High School and the 1,100 enrollees of Winnacunnet High School.

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