By Kendra Rivers
The Samuel Brown School opened its doors on January 1, 1912. The overcrowding problem at the South School was the reason that the school was built.
The March 29, 1962 edition of the Peabody Times newspaper includes as article entitled "Samuel Brown School Celebrating Fiftieth Anniversary this Year." The article states, "Before the Brown School was built, children in the South Peabody area were being educated in the basement of the Second Congregational Church in the area. Fifty years after, the South End finds itself in an equally desperate position."
In 1911, the land for the school cost $1950 and the contract price for the building was $29,135.80. The brick building was 68 by 74 feet with six classrooms that were 25 by 30 feet.
The Peabody Times reported that many names were considered for the school. "Some sought to honor Lt. Charles B. Warner, a Civil War veteran in South Peabody and also a teacher there; Eleazer Lindsey, who bought 100 acres of land around Spring Pond in 1700 and always made his home in South Peabody. Those presented a petition on behalf of the 'Shillaber School' to the School Board in favor of naming the school after one of the oldest families in Peabody. Amos Merrill and Fitch Poole, members of the School Board for many years and Sidney Bancrost (sic Bancroft?), prominent lawyer and resident of South Peabody were also considered in the naming. The Newhall and Needham families and George F. Barnes (Appendix 1) a veteran school teacher were also considered but Captain Samuel Brown III won out!"
50th Silver Anniversary and Tea (Appendix 2)
Provide information on Samuel Brown, Jr., namesake of the school. Include his family history.
by Jared Colombo
Samuel Brown, Jr. (1836-1862) was a very distinguished man. He was well mannered, smart, and agreeable. He graduated from Peabody High School and then went on to graduate from Bowdoin College in 1858.
After he graduated from college, he went to Connecticut to become a teacher. His peers always held him in high regard. While in Connecticut, he enlisted in the Union Army and was soon sent for training. In his first battle, he was shot three times: once in the neck, once in the head and once in the hip.
He was a member of the Andrews Sharp Shooters and the group was trying to capture the stone wall bridge during the battle of Antietam, but they failed. Samuel Brown III was a captain of the 16th Connecticut Regiment. He was killed at the horribly young age of 36.
His brother, Louis, went to the cornfields of Antietam to find his brother's body. Escorted by an honor guard, he was brought back to South Danvers and his funeral was held. His family wanted the funeral to be private but the town wanted to show its praise for Samuel Brown, so the Brown's allowed a public funeral.
After the funeral, an anonymous poem was written that shows how much Brown was respected by his townsman:
Principal George "Ernie" Osborne provided the Samuel Brown School Research Team with a copy of an undated and unidentified newspaper article by Frank C. Damon that focuses on Samuel Brown's father (Appendix 3) who lived from 1809 to 1857.
There is a portrait of Samuel Brown hanging in the main hallway at the school.
Battle of Antietam 135 Years Ago This Week (Appendix 4)
Who was Annie I. McCarthy?
by Kendra Rivers
Annie I. McCarthy was a teacher at the Center School when she was appointed principal at Samuel Brown School in August, 1918. The generous gift that she gave to the Samuel Brown School was a scholarship fund. The scholarship started in 1964 and was established for graduates of the Samuel Brown School who have completed their first year of college. In 1997, $500 was given in scholarships.
According to an article in the Peabody Times in February 1967, the original deposit of $15,000 was placed in trust and scholarship assistance comes from interest on the bequest.
A complete list of recipients (Appendix 5) of the Annie McCarthy scholarship was provided to us by Principal George "Ernie" Osborne.
In a Peabody Times article that appeared in 1947, Ed Meaney reported, "The Brown School at the present time is one of the few schools in the city with a female principal. She is Miss Annie McCarthy, a veteran, experienced member of the local system whose service to the education of Peabody children hits somewhere around the 40-year mark. That's 40 years of real, honest, accomplishment….As far as this writer is able to determine, Miss McCarthy is the first and only principal at the 10-room schoolhouse."
McCarthy made quite an impression on the school department of the City of Peabody. When she retired in 1952, the Samuel Brown School P.T.A. paid tribute to McCarthy (Appendix 6) and an article appeared in the Peabody Times about a surprise reception held in her honor.
In 1963, after McCarthy died, the Peabody School Committee issued the following resolution in her honor.
Whereas: The generous gift of a Scholarship Fund established by Miss Annie I. McCarthy, former principal of the Samuel Brown School, has made a profound impression upon the School Department of the City of Peabody, and
Whereas: Through the benefaction of Miss McCarthy, many graduates of the Samuel Brown School will be assisted in receiving their higher education, and
Whereas: Miss McCarthy made this unselfish scholarship fund known after her demise, and in the City of Peabody no such gift to education has been recorded since the time of our eminent philanthropist George Peabody,
Be It Therefore Resolved: That the School Committee of the City of Peabody hereby expresses its deep gratification and its acknowledgement of the generous scholarship fund founded by the late principal of the Samuel Brown School.
Be It Further Resolved: That these resolutions be spread upon the official records of the School Department and a copy be forwarded to her brother and to the Samuel Brown School as a sincere tribute of appreciation of a public servant who always cherished the ideals of excellence in education. So voted by the School Committee of the City of Peabody this day of April, nineteen hundred and sixty three.
Between 1912 and 1938, what unsafe situations were addressed at the school? Prepare a chronology and explanation of the concerns brought forward by parents.
by Briana Dyer
There was an accident with the boiler in the Samuel Brown School on January 6, 1915. It was then discussed at a meeting where it was voted to notify Mr. Henry Turner, a janitor, to appear before the board and explain about the blowing out of the boiler. He was "cautioned about the care of the boilers in the future."
In 1930, a physician named Dr. Murphy informed the board of "certain unhealthful conditions" existing due to the housing emergency at the school. Murphy recommended that wooden platforms be placed over the cement in the school's basement.
In 1939, the roof at the school was repaired through the efforts of workers employed by the federal Works Progress Administration. Five years later, abutters of the school complained about drainage problems.
A year before the school was expanded in 1952, there was serious overcrowding at the school that required classrooms to be set up in a hallway and in the basement. Members of the P.T.A. complained about the lack of heat at the school and requested funds to install sinks in the bathrooms and at least one electrical outlet in each classroom.
There was no heat in the building in October 1959 and problems with the school's chimney developed. Two years later, the school's chimney was dismantled into sections to determine whether a fire hazard existed.
On February 21, 1961, the chimney was leaking soot and Mr. [John] Gray, the district's architect, explained the situation was due to the size of the induced draft fan, which was repaired.
In 1967, the Fire Department said the single fire door was a hazard and they put in double doors.
On February 9, 1971, chairman Nicholas Mavroules recognized Ward 1 Councilor Peter Torigian, who addressed the committee as a parent of three children at the Brown School. He commented on various repairs necessary at the school, particularly the windows, boiler and waterproofing. Torigian inquired as to whether money would be included in an upcoming bond order to finance the repairs. It was.
In October 1996, the students at the Brown Elementary School had four days off when their school was closed due to flooding during torrential rains. The flooding overloaded the sewer system in South Peabody, including the school’s sewerage service.
Principal George "Ernie" Osborne remembered the event, "I got a call one morning, the first morning that the rain really started coming down from the custodian that the basement was flooded. I get here early. We called the Superintendent and decided that we need to call off school because water was literally coming out of the bathrooms. The Brown School is the only school that has a parent notification system where I can put a message out and send it to all the parents. It really came in useful that day, only one or two students showed up to school that day. We had eight to fifteen inches of water. We lost a lot of supplies, a lot of audio visual equipment. There was a lot of damage to doors and obviously to wall paint. We had to wait until the water receded from Lynn Street and we could re-open the school. It was the only school that was closed." [Source: Interview with Osborne, 2/23/1998]
The Department of Education required the school to make up half of the lost time. As a result, the school day was extended by fifteen minutes starting when classes resumed following April school vacation. The policy on a longer school day at the Brown remained in effect through the end of the school year. Students at the school were also required to attend a full day of classes on May 8, 1997, which was scheduled as an early release day when the students’ school day ends around lunch time. The plan added six hundred and forty minutes of instruction time at no additional cost.
Although the afternoon session of kindergarten at the Brown was affected by the plan, the additional time the afternoon students received compensated for time that was lost earlier in the year due to parent visitation days, early release days and the day before Thanksgiving when afternoon sessions are not held.
The school department had sought permission from the state to reduce the school year for the students at the Brown from 180 to 176 days. The state waived two of the school days because of the unusual circumstances that caused the school to close. [Source: Peabody-Lynnfield Weekly News, 2/97]
History of the expansion of Samuel
In 1949, when the school's auditorium had been temporarily divided into two classrooms, the Brown School P.T.A. requested an expansion of the 20-year-old, ten room Samuel Brown School.
A debate raged for more than a year on the question of the necessity of an addition to the school. In May, the school board reviewed plans for an 82,000 cubic feet wing to house four additional classrooms, two on each floor, and two teachers' rooms. The cost was estimated at $81,435.
The first joint meeting of the City Council and the School Committee regarding school loans totaling $710,000 occurred in September. Although the Council later approved a loan order for some of the money, the bulk of the funds were withheld. Instead, the council voted to appoint a committee to "investigate the school building programs in adjacent cities and towns."
In September 1950, the state's School Building Assistance Commission recommended against adding on to the Samuel Brown School. Instead, the commission suggested the district secure a site for the erection of a new school in the Brown district because the school was "old and unsuited for an addition". Mayor Leo McGrath favored an addition in order to address overcrowding for the next five years and stated, "that the present Brown School was far from outmoded and was much newer than other schools in the city and could easily stand an addition."
An additional $160,000 was needed to complete construction at the Brown, Keefe and South schools. In 1951, when there were ten rooms at the school and eleven classes, the City Council refused to pass a bond order until the school committee provided the Council with actual bid figures for the work. The Council also maintained that school department funds should be expended to pay for architect's fees.
Architect John M. Gray, who had provided services to build several of the district's schools and performed considerable work on an informal basis, declined to provide the school committee with complete contract documents without a contract. The school board communicated that "inasmuch as the Committee has no architect, it is unable to comply with the request of the City Council until such time as money for this purpose is appropriated by the Council."
When the Council recommended in September that the school board appropriate funds for hot-topping some school yards, the committee responded that "the interest of the Councillors in the school yards was commendable, but that there were many more vitally needed repairs in the schools which the School Committee with the approval of the Mayor sought to remedy by a rehabilitation bond program which the Council refused to pass, and if conditions were unsatisfactory to the Council, it was due to their own refusal to concur with the Committee in the adoption of the rehabilitation program."
The addition to the school was eventually approved included provisions to equip the school with hot water and to replace the coal- burning boiler with an oil-fired machine. Despite the addition to the school, crowded conditions existed again at the Samuel Brown School in 1955.
The Brown School Action Committee was active in 1963, when enrollment required the creation of temporary classrooms. The group recommended that land be taken and an elementary school be built in South Peabody to hand the anticipated growth in both the South and the Brown schools.
Nearly a decade later, renovations were needed at the
school and emergency funds were allocated to provide heat at the school.
Peabody High teacher reported on soldier's reaction to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
Peabody-Lynnfield Weekly News, April 5, 1998, p. 27
by S.M. Smoller
PEABODY - Nearly two years after the Civil War began, sixteen men from the town of Danvers had died in battle or in hospitals from sickness or wounds and twelve others were reported as maimed.
As the calendar turned 135 years ago, townspeople learned the news of the slain soldiers and dead horses that peppered the Murfreesboro battleground at the same time as they learned the news of President Lincoln's announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The number of slaves proclaimed to be free in areas not under the control of the Union was estimated at a little over three million, reported the South Danvers Wizard.
In January 1863, George Freeman Barnes, a 28-year old teacher at Peabody High School, was a Lieutenant stationed in Newbern, North Carolina in Company C of the Fifth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers.
After complaining about the popularity among the troops for profanity and drink, his letter to the Wizard comments on the effect of Lincoln's proclamation on the soldiers.
"I have heard no words of censure from the lips of soldiers concerning the Proclamation, but on the contrary have heard much in its favor. It leaves the soldier a tangible principle for which to fight, and I suppose you are aware that previous to January 1, 1863, the objects for which we were fighting were obscure and various in the opinions of the soldiers. The Proclamation brings the object of the war down to the comprehension of all; and now seeing clearly the object, they strike willingly at the cause - human slavery."
Barnes describes the southern blacks that flocked to the garrison at Newbern as "contraband". The blacks employed in government service received $8 a month, he reported.
"The negroes, as a class, are much more intelligent than they have been represented at the North," wrote Barnes. "If a person wishes to learn just nothing of the South and her institutions he has only to consult with the common class of whites, and he will gain the desired information, but if he wishes to learn something, then he has to consult the negro and the information is forthcoming," he wrote.
Barnes' service in Newbern with the Fifth Regiment was part of his service as a nine-month volunteer. He resigned his teaching job the same week that the town voted to offer a bounty of $125 for recruits to fill Danvers' quota for volunteers.
After serving his nine-month stint, Barnes re-enlisted as a Captain in Co. C of the 54th Regiment.
A member of the Jordan Lodge of Freemasons, Barnes was born in Deering, New Hampshire in 1835. He attended Deering Academy and married Caroline Spenser of Danvers. In addition to teaching at the local high school, he served on the Peabody School Board.
"I am not among the number who believe this war to be a terrible scourge to the county. I confess it is sad to see so many yielding up their lives to sustain laws, yet out of all this bloodshed and sacrifice will come prosperity, freedom, justice, righteousness and purity," he wrote.
Samuel Brown School 50th Anniversary Honored Guests
Unidentified, undated (1962?), news clipping provided by Samuel Brown School records by Principal George "Ernie" Osborne
Last Sunday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. close to five hundred friends and former teachers and pupils enjoyed a Silver Tea and open house at the Samuel Brown School on Lynn Street. One of the classrooms was decorated and prepared for an informal reception that was held during the afternoon, Mrs. Edward J. O'Connor, wife of the principal and Miss Helen Wiggin, assistant principal of the Samuel Brown School were pourers at the silver tea.
Mrs. Junior Anderson, wife of the P.T.A. President, was in charge of the guest book. The golden guest book had a hand drawn reproduction of the Samuel Brown School on the inside front cover, the work of Michael Welch of South Peabody and the Massachusetts School of Art.
The school received many congratulatory messages among those received were letters from President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall, U.S. Senator Benjamin Smith, Governor John Volpe, Mayor Pedward T. Meaney, and former Superintendent of Schools Albert Robinson of Warren, Massachusetts. Mr. Robinson was the superintendent of schools in Peabody in 1912 when the Brown School was constructed and opened for new pupils.
Among the main guests who came to the eventful celebration were Mrs. Mary Gilmore Boyce of Swampscott, the second principal of the school and her brother, Joseph M. Gilmore, the third principal of the Samuel Brown School. Mr. Lionel MacDuff, Mr. Frank Gainley and Mrs. Mabel Hudson were in attendance from the first class. Mrs. Gertrude Giles one of the first faculty members came to renew her acquaintance with her former pupils.
Principal Edward J. O'Connor was the general chairman …Every guest received an inscribed pencil and every pupil in the school on Monday received a pencil to mark the occasion of the school's fifty years of service in the South Peabody area.
Members of the Peabody School Committee, Superintendent J. Henry Higgins, present and former principals in the school system as well as present and former faculty members to extend their best wishes in addition to the greeting many of their former students.
Throughout the corridors class pictures were displayed as well as pictures of the school through the years.
An anniversary cake was made with picture design in ice of the school as it appeared on opening day in 1912.
Karen Muschiette, a fourth grade pupil gave the anniversary pencils to all the guests. Girls from Alumni served as hostesses and eighth grade girls were ushers in early 20th century costumes.
On next Monday morning the entire school will assemble in the front yard around the flag pole to raise a new fifty star flag. The flag has been flown over the U.S. capital in Washington D.C. and was secured through the courtesy of Congressman Thomas J. Lane. Mayor Edward T. Meaney, chairman of the school committee and Superintendent of Schools J. Henry Higgins will participate in the ceremonies.
Mayor Wishes Brown School Continued Success In Future
Regretting that he was unable to attend the 50th Anniversary Silver Tea of the Samuel Brown School Sunday, Mayor Meaney said yesterday that the school had served the city well for half a century, had a long record of accomplishment which he was certain would continue under the present staff at the school.
Brown School Flag Raising on Monday
SOUTH PEABODY , May 11 - A flag raising ceremony will be held Monday morning at the Samuel Brown School. The entire student body and faculty will assembly in the schoolyard to view the new flag, which has been flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It was secured through the courtesy of Thomas J. Lane.
Mayor Edward T. Meaney, chairman of the school committee, and Supt. of Schools J. Henry Higgins will participate in the ceremonies.
Excerpts from a damaged, undated, newspaper article
by Frank C. Damon
This week's story will center about Samuel Brown (1809-1887). He was a direct descendant in the seventh generation of John Browns who settled in Salem before 1637. He died in November, 1685. The descent was through James, James, John, James, and Samuel. He was therefore the second Samuel in the family. His son Samuel will be referred to later.
The subject of our sketch was one of 10 children. Nancy, Sally, James, John, Samuel, William, Isaac, Elizabeth, Marty Ann Ruth. Isaac Brown was a lawyer in Lynn.
Samuel Brown's children were Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Lewis, Mary, George, Fanny, John Brown - now in his 90th year, survives. He lives in the house he built on (the Brown?) farm on the southwest corner of Lynnfield and County streets.
When Samuel Brown died January 12, 1887, the Peabody Press in its weekly issue printed the same evening carried an obituary notice that compressed in a few short paragraphs the whole story of his life. It ran as follows:
Tribute of the Press and highly respected resident of this town has departed this life, quietly breathing his last this morning between sive and six o'clock. To may the news of the death of Mr. Samuel Brown will come with a painful shock, as his sickness was of but two weeks duration. He was stricken down the disease of ulceration of the bladder an while notwithstanding the agonizing sufferings which wracked his body, there were hopes at the first…..
Mr. Brown's business was that of a stone meter, his specialty being mill stones and it was worth the cost of travel and trouble of a trip to his stone sheds to see one of those fine specimens of his handiwork in its finished stated. For years his brother John was associated with him in his work. Together they built the old Lexington monument at the junction of Main and Washington streets, their first large piece of work. This substantial structure is a type of the character of all their work. They have laid many foundations in their days making it their special aim to do their work thoroughly. With pride, the deceased used to declare that none of their foundations had moved from the place where they had been built.
Mr. Brown finished his last contract for millstones last summer, since which time he had busied himself over minor jobs. His last piece of work was the new stone steps of the remodeled hotel building of Mr. Thomas.
Mr. Brown never held any prominent public office other than that of presidential school committee in the days of the old district system. Public life was not in accordance with his personal taste. He was a man retiring in nature and simple in his manner of life. He was gentle and sympathetic, always ready to do whatsoever he could to help the need, an upright conscientious citizen, a good neighbor, a most kind, indulgent husband and father.
Battle of Antietam 135 Years Ago This Week
From the Peabody-Lynnfield Weekly News, October, 1997
by S.M. Smoller
PEABODY - Anxious residents gathered downtown 135 years ago this week to hear the dispatches reporting the sad news of the bloodiest and most costly battle of the Civil War. During the twelve hour standoff at Antietam Creek, Maryland, 25,000 men in the two armies were shot down.
Several men from the town of South Danvers (now Peabody) fought in the battle and flags were again drooping at half mast in honor of the gallant dead: Sergeant J.S. Ingalls, a member of the Andrews Sharpshooters, and Captain Samuel Brown, for whom the Brown School was named in 1911.
Brown’s father, a famed stone cutter who quarried the granite slab for the Lexington Monument on Washington Street, settled in the area where the school is located on Lynn Street near Bartholomew.
Twenty-six-year-old Samuel Brown, 3d, was commissioned as a Captain of Co. D, 15th Connecticut Regiment in August 1862 and died a month later at Antietam, the first battle in which he served.
He fell in the cornfield that was littered with 10,000 dead during the fight for the possession of the stone bridge . Shot in the neck and hip, a third mark was found on his head.
"Your brother was killed on the right of the enemy about forty feet from me, and was on the extreme left when he went over Antietam Creek. We went into a corn field where the rebels had a crossfire on us - that was where Captain Brown fell; he was right in front. The last words he spoke were "Charge bayonets" and "Come on boys". He had his sword in his hand waving it to get the men to hurry up; there is where he fell. He was loved by all the men and I was sorry to lose him," reads a letter sent to the family.
"Your brother was wounded by a mine ball and he fell immediately after it struck him. He did not live any time after it. The last I saw of him was in the corn field just before he was killed."
The South Danvers Wizard newspaper reported, "Thus honorably, proudly, in the hour of victory, and doing an important service to procure that victory, has our brave, young and educated townsman gone to a patriot soldier’s grave."
Brown, the son of Samuel and Fanny Marsh Brown, was described as a "young man, of good mind, and agreeable manners." He was a "graduate and model scholar" of the Peabody High School.
He graduated from Bowdoin College and served as a member of the Lyceum and Library Committee of the Peabody Institute until moving to Connecticut to become a teacher. Shortly before the start of the war, he took a teaching job in Beverly.
Lewis Brown went to the Antietam battle-field to find his brother’s body and brought his remains home on October 10, 1862. It was the family’s intention to have a private funeral, but they gave way to the general wish of the citizens to have a funeral at the Old South Church on the square.
The church was filled as the coffin, draped with the United States flag, was placed in front of the pulpit, accompanied by a dirge performed by the choir. Brown is buried in Monumental Cemetery.
When 37-year-old Sergeant J.S. Ingalls came home on furlough seven months before Antietam, his friends raised funds to purchase a revolver for him.
Ingalls was one of the local men whose letters were published in the Wizard newspaper. In May 1862, a letter from Ingalls was published that described everyday life for the soldiers on the road to Richmond, as well gruesome scenes from Yorktown, and news on other "South Danvers boys". Another letter from Ingalls appeared dated June 1862 from Fair Oaks, Virginia.
Ingalls’ body arrived in South Danvers on Christmas Eve, 1862 - the same week that townspeople learned of the losses at the battle of Fredericksburg and battles in North Carolina. He was buried following funeral services at the Unitarian Church on New Year’s Eve, 1862.
Annie McCarthy Scholarship Fund Recipients
Miss McCarthy Feted by Samuel Brown P.T.A .
The Peabody Times, Friday, April 18, 1952, p. 3
The main event of the evening was a surprise party in honor of Miss Annie I. McCarthy, principal of the school, who is retiring at the end of the month. Miss McCarthy was the recipient of a beautiful watch, imported doeskin gloves and a black leather bag and wallet. These gifts were presented to her by the P.T.A. and all her friends and associated in the Samuel Brown district.
The members of the school committee presented Miss McCarthy was a plaque suitably inscribed and signed by all the members. The P.T.A. also presented her with a plaque.
President William Pierce welcomed all the guests in the name of the P.T.A. and messages of congratulations on her many years of service and best wishes for her future were extended by Mayor O'Donnell and Supt. William Welch. Among the invited guests were school committee members. All teachers past and present of the school were invited and large turnouts of these were present.
Miss Frances Feeney played the accordion and all the group
joined in community singing. Decorations were in charge of Miss Phyllis
Russell and Miss Foisey. Refreshments were served under the direction Mrs.
Robert Buckley, assisted by Mrs. John Foudy, Mrs. William Pierce and Mrs.
John Moore. Pourers for the evening were Mrs. Gallagher, Miss Vernon and
Miss Wiggin. All teachers of the Samuel Brown School were presented with
corsages of spring flowers and Miss McCarthy received an orchid corsage.
The main decoration of the refreshment table was a beautiful pink and white
tiered cake with the inscription of "Best Wishes Miss McCarthy".