Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mary E. Stuart - Long Time Teacher

Here's a person who deserves to be remembered. Mrs Mary Stuart was born before the Civil War, and began teaching in Jamaica Plain when it was part of the Town of West Roxbury, one year after the end of the war. The "Old Agassiz" school was the Central school at that time, and it was, indeed, at the center of old Jamaica Plain village.

Boston Daily Globe January 18, 1907

Aged Teacher Dead. Mrs Mary E. Stuart of Jamaica Plain. In 41 Years of Service She Taught Children of Former Pupils.

Just as the clocks were striking the noon hour yesterday, and the pupils of the Agassiz grammar school were being dismissed, the death of Mrs Mary E. Stuart, for 41 years a teacher in that school, occurred at her home, 119 Sedgwick st, Jamaica Plain. Mrs Stuart was in her 65th year. She leaves four sisters, Mrs M.G. Rice of West Roxbury, Mrs E.R. Wilson of Dedham, Mrs J.W. Hewins of Medford and Mrs D.J. Chamberlain of Norwood.

Mrs Stuart was probably the oldest teacher in service in the Boston schools and during all of her 41 years of service had taught in the old Agassiz school. She joined the school in January 1866, and worked under the direction of master J. Billings and under the present master, John T. Gibson during his nearly 30 years in the position. She relinquished her duties only three and one-half months ago.

She was held in the highest esteem for her efficiency as a teacher, and during her long years of service had taught upwards of 2000 pupils, and had taught the children of many of her earlier pupils.

As a mark of respect to her memory the flag on the school building on Burroughs st was flown at half-staff yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Stuart was born at Medfield, and was the daughter of Cyrus Steadman and Mary Jordan Steadman. She was educated at the Thetford academy, Thetford, Vt. When 22 years old she was married to John Stuart of Natick, at Medfield, by Rev Andrew Bigelow, but became a widow within a year. Then she became a teacher in the public schools, and her first positions were in the schools of Westboro and Medfield, afterward coming to the Agassiz grammar school here.

Last fall she began the term at the Agassiz school and taught for about three weeks, when she was compelled on account of illness to relinquish teaching. A week ago she was compelled to take to her bed, because of an attack of the heart disease that proved fatal.

For many years she was a member of the Central Congregational church, Jamaica Plain, and was active in the work of that society.

Funeral services will take place at 12:30 Sunday at 119 Sedgwick st. Rev Chauncey J. Hawkins, minister of the Central Congregational church, will conduct the services and the burial will be at Medfield.

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