KNOT the least notable feature about St. Albans is its excellent public school system. In 1851, by action of
the School Meeting, Districts 12 and 4 were consolidated. This was the origin of what is now styled Union District
No. 4, or the St. Albans District. At the same time, an arrangement was made with the trustees of the Franklin
County Grammar School by which all pupils within the new District were admitted to the privileges of the latter
In 1872, compelled by changed conditions and the growth of the village, the present stricter grading was introduced,
under Prin. T. A. Kinney, and the schools, previously scattered in numerous small buildings, were consolidated
in the two large buildings now in use.
The work below the High School covers nine years regularly, though about an equal number require, respectively,
ten and eight years to complete it. The completion of this work presumes that the pupil has a good knowledge of
Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, Physiology, and History of the United States, and that he may profitably enter
upon the higher studies.
The Primary teaching is notably good. Many are inclined to consider this department secondary to more advanced
ones, but in these schools it is expected that the teacher of Primary work shall be a specialist as much as the
High School teacher.
The teaching of Music has been in charge of a special teacher for over three years and strong effort is being made
to bring this department up to the standard of good city schools.
THE FRANKLY COUNTY GRAMMAR SCHOOL,
More familiarly known as the St. Albans Academy, was incorporated in 1799 as a school for boys. It has undergone
numerous changes to keep pace with advancing sentiment and knowledge, and tries to be "in touch" with
the best thought of today. In 1847 the Grammar School became intimately connected with a blooming young Female
Seminary, which intimacy, after mutual concessions, ripened into a union hence the modern Academy. Increasing needs
culminated in the erection of the handsome three story building, of which we present an engraving, in 1860-1, at
a cost of about $25,000. This is beautifully situated on the east side of the Park, sometimes called the "
quiet side," as it is given up to three churches, the Court House and the Academy. By the terms of the lease
of the lot upon which this building stands, the District binds itself " to provide capacious and convenient
rooms, free of rent, to accommodate at least too students, for the exclusive use, occupancy and control of the
trustees and their successors in office." Thus the Academy inherits the " good will and fixtures "
of the old Grammar School, receiving in addition, all the privileges of a High School maintained by taxation and
independent of its tuition fees. The Academy was formally installed in the new building in 1862, and, compelled
by increased attendance, removed, in 1878, to the third floor room formerly used as a town hall.
Four years of Latin, three of Greek, three of English, three of French, three of Mathematics, with the usual science,
constitute a pretty strong course, one recognized by Williams, Dartmouth, Wellesley and other Colleges as an adequate
preparation for College. The attendance has been well sustained under the present Principal, Mr. F. H. Dewart,
the enrollment for the current term reaching an even hundred probably the largest in the history of the school.
Fifteen pupils were graduated last June. Many teachers are prepared for their work here. The Fall term's work is
especially adapted to their needs. The instructors have been selected to guarantee scholarship (being graduates
of Wellesley, Vassar and Harvard), and teaching ability.
By a recent arrangement, the Principal of the Academy has been appointed Superintendent of School's, and he divides
his labors equally between the two. This bids fair to help toward the organization of the work and to lead to a
unity otherwise impossible.
The charge of all school business is in the hands of M. Magiff, Superintendent of Telegraph C. V. R. R., H. E.
Bentley, Traveling Auditor of the same road, and F. F. Twitchell, of the well known dry goods firm, mentioned elsewhere.
It is readily seen that these are three typical business men. Their qualifications for the responsible position,
however, could scarcely be better, as is evinced by the prosperity of the schools, and the general satisfaction
of the citizens.
With characteristic American intelligence, the people of St. Albans have not thought it true economy to stint the
appropriations for maintaining the schools. The best committee men, teachers and apparatus reasonably obtainable
have been thought none too good. Naturally, this has reacted in favor of the village. Good schools as a recruiting
agent are second to none. Every year sees numerous families added to the population, drawn by the opportunities
afforded for giving the boys and the girls a start in life. And what better class of citizens can be found than
the self respecting parents who are anxious to do their part toward leaving behind them worthy substitutes who
may perpetuate the sturdy independence and earnest patriotism of the Green Mountain Boys ?
Advantages, Resources and Attraction of
St. Albans, VT.
Published for the Board of Trade
Franklin County, VT
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