Friday, February 8, 2008

Daniel Hagar - Teacher, Principal And Advocate

As noted in the Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain, 1845-1875, By Miss Ellen Morse, Daniel Hagar was a teacher and Principal at the Eliot school during the 1800s. The street named in his honor runs between Thomas and Eliot street, just a short block from the school. I lived nearby for 10 years, and on the empty corner lot at Thomas and Hagar there is still a tree that I spent many hours climbing during the early '60s. The McGraths, Glynns and Hogans all lived on the short stretch, making at least 10 children within about three or four house lots. That's why they call it the Baby Boom.

Returning from the street to the man, Mr Hagar seems to have been an active and noble gentleman, working hard for the education of the poor and working people. It's nice that they named a street after him, but it's a shame that the man was forgotten. He certainly deserves to be remembered as much as any Jamaica Pond estate owner.

New York Daily Times August 24, 1857

American Institute of Instruction

Manchester, N.H., Thursday, Aug. 20

Third Day.

The meeting of the Institute was opened to day with prayer by Rev W.L. Gage, of this city. The first subject presented for discussion was "The relative merits of Public High Schools and Endowed Schools."

D.B. Hagar, Esq., of Jamaica Plains, very ably contended for public high schools. He said the same arguments could be applied in their favor which are applied in favor of free common schools. It is not practicable to establish endowed schools everywhere where schools of a high grade are needed. The poor man has as good a right as the rich man to have his child educated, and it is indispensable for public interest that his right should be regarded. To give these facilities to the poor and to all alike, the schools must be near and distributed properly throughout the land. In some respects endowed schools are an injury, since in one community may be found munificently endowed schools by the benevolence of certain wealthy persons, while in a neighboring community there may be no such wealthy and benevolent individuals, and therefore the people and therefore the people, in view of the difference of their positions, become disheartened, and the interests in education are neglected. He had known such cases. Mr Hagar's remarks showed an intimate acquaintance with the subject, and were received with marked attention and interest.

[excerpt from a larger article]


  1. hey Mark, that " empty corner lot at Thomas and Hagar there is still a tree that I spent many hours climbing during the early '60s" is my yard..Frank Connolly

  2. Long time no see. Still at the old homestead? That's pretty rare - there can't be many old-timers left in the neighborhood.

    Mark Bulger.