Friday, November 28, 2014

Teachers of the South Middleborough School, 1882-1991

“Rock and South Middleboro schools are self-contained teaching units whereby the teachers are with the pupils from the moment they arrive by busses until they depart in the afternoon. The teachers teach the pupils, supervise them on the playground, and eat with them. Their instruction transcends the academic. Such close contact affords many lessons in good citizenship and a proper sense of moral and social values. A warm word of praise goes to these teachers for this vital aspect of helping boys and girls to grow.” Edward W. Sawicki, principal, 1958.
Clara F. Robinson (1882 or prior -1883)

Cora P. Lobdell (1883-1884)

Charlotte Hezlitt (1884)

G. C. Humphrey (1884-85)

Carrie F. Sampson (1885)

Bertha I. Mason (1886)

Nellie F. Thomas (1886-87)

Luranna W. Thomas (1887-88)

Eleanor G. Shaw (1889)

Isa L. Deane (1889-90)

Helen G. Cutter (1890)

Mary E. Deane (1890-91)

Ada D. Anthony (1891-93)

Nellie T. Alden (1894-95)

Bessie B. Gibbs (1896)

Mary E. Deane (1897)

Bertha E. Vaughan (1897-98)

Veretta F. Shaw (1899-1902)

N. Louise Kimball (1902-1904)

Mrs. Marian Sisson (1905-06)
     Her “removal” was very much regretted.

Donna F. Luce, Quincy, MA (1906)

Miss Hattie M. Chace, Middleborough (1906-08)

Miss Joise L. Russell, Wareham (1908-09)

Miss Christina Pratt, Middleborough (September, 1909 –

Miss Clara Cushing

Miss Helen Prescott, Arlington

Margaretta A. Wallace (September, 1910 – August, 1912)
      “For years the popular efficient teacher of the South Middleboro school.”

Miss Irene J. Hatch (1912-18)
      She died in December, 1918. Previous to South Middleborough, she had taught at the Highland School in Middleborough. She “was interested in her school work and gave the best of her efforts to advance her pupils.”

Miss Frances L. Squarey (1918-20)
     She was the teacher at the time of the Armistice. “Too much cannot be said in praise of the patriotic entertainment she trained the pupils to give, which was really something fine.”

Miss Eileen/Elena Manley, Plympton (1920-21)

Henry Bengt Burkland, Middleborough (1921-25)
     Burkland is undoubtedly the best known of the South Middleborough teachers, thanks largely to his later role in the educational life of Middleborough. It is for Burkland for whom one of Middleborough’s elementary schools is named. 

Mrs. Veretta F. (Shaw) Thomas, South Middleborough (1925-28)
     She had substituted, previously, during Burkland’s absences.

Miss Madeleine A. Duncklee, Middleborough (1928-30)
     She resigned shortly after marrying Bernard J. Owens

Miss Elsie A. Cahoon, Harwich (1930-35)
     A graduate of Harwich High School and North Adams Normal School. She taught two years at Harwich. She “comes here well recommended.”

Miss Hazel Long, Middleborough (1935 -38)

Miss Mildred K. Bowman (September, 1938-41)

Miss Arlene Nolan (1941-43)
     She resigned to marry John Doran of New Haven, Connecticut.

Mrs. Edward Keith (1943)
     She resigned when her husband entered the Army.

Miss Phyllis E. Johnson, Newton (1943-44)

Elsie LeBlanc (1944)

Third and Fourth Grade 
Mrs. Elsie LeBlanc (1944-52)

Third Grade
Mrs. Laura B. Grota (1952-1953)

Mrs. Margaret Mitchell, Lakeville (1953-1973)

Miss Margaret M. Higgins (1973-1991)

Fourth Grade 
Mrs. Elsie LeBlanc (1952-1953)

Mrs. Veronica Hawkins (1953-1967)

Miss Margaret M. Higgins (1967-1973)

Mrs. Delina M. Majuri (1973-1974)

Second Grade 
Catherine Chausse (1974-1983)

Delina M. Toal (1983-1991)

Courtesy of George Eastman House 

South Middleborough School, 1935

Please visit the South Middleborough Protective Association's Facebook page and sign the petition to save this historic schoolhouse. Everyone signature counts. Also remember to "Like" their page.

South Middleborough School, photograph by Herbert L. Wilber, 1935. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

South Middleborough School - Sign the Petition

The South Middleborough Protective Association is undertaking a grass roots effort to preserve the historic South Middleborough School. Please visit the SMPA's Facebook page to sign up in support of their efforts. Every signature is critical to demonstrate support for this worthy project!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Middleborough Town Hall under Snow, 1920s

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Conservative Middleborough

Middleborough has always been a conservative town. Its ban on public swearing in 2012 achieved fairly widespread notoriety, but was not the first action of its kind. One hundred years ago, in a similar act aimed at maintaining a semblance of decorum among its residents, Middleborough police were tasked with ensuring that the slits in women's skirts did not exceed what was considered proper - 15 inches to be exact. At the time, the action attracted the attention of Chicago's The Day Book  which published the following notice on January 19, 1914.

  How high may a slit skirt be slit?
   "Fifteen inches!"
   Such is the decree of those intelligent guardians of propriety, the police. Any longer breach in the skirt is considered a breach of the peace - at least in the puritanical minds of the good people of Middleboro, Mass.
   Chief of Police [Harry] Swift of more-than-moral Middleboro has shown that fifteen inches is the very ultimate maximum of leg that can be decently shown. And so he has turned loose on the streets the "slit-skirt censors" - a detachment of patrolmen armed with two-foot rules instead of clubs.
   But the rule is, in fact, unnecessary, for each censor has so delicate a sense of decency that he can tell at once, and infallibly, by the tingle of shame which passes over him that when he sees it, that a certain slit skirt is revealing a sixteenth of an inch more of limb than the first fifteen inches which alone can be gazed upon with perfect propriety.

It's not quite clear just how far the measure progressed or how long it lasted. The Boston Globe in February 1914 reported that the story had reached as far as the west coast where Chief Swift was the subject of at least one cartoon and news clipping.

The Day Book (Chicago), January 19, 1914, p. 9.
Boston Globe, "Middleboro Fame Reaches the Pacific", February 8, 1914, p. 16.

"See What's Here - A Slit-Skirt Censor" from The Day Book(Chicago), January 19, 1914, p. 9

Representative woman's walking suit from 1913 featuring a decorously-buttoned slitted skirt. Women in Middleborough showing an inappropriate amount of leg were subject to being cited for indecency.