The teachers of 1913 were a diverse group

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By Horace E. Hobbs

Hampton Union, November 2, 1983

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

The years in grammar school in Hampton included, for the most part in 1913, those grades which we have in the Junior High School today, Grade 9, however, was in the old wooden steepled belfry building that had been moved "over the lots" from its original site on Meeting House Green. At that time, it was called Hampton Academy and High School, and gave Academy Avenue its name. It was a quasi-public school controlled by a board of trustees, at first, which changed to the school board or board of education as we know it today since it became more truly a part of the free public school system with largely town support.

I can remember the sight, as my mother related it to me of 18 head of oxen pulling this very large building from Meeting House Green to Academy Avenue.

When we finished the 8th grade, we were graduated to the 9th, located in the Academy. This move gave us educational status. We were no longer primary: we were secondary.

Our class, one of the largest at 28 to enter, began in September 1913. Mr. William Elwell was the principal, and this was the first time that we had ever had a full-time male teacher. Other teachers were all ladies. Mr. Elwell left at the end of our sophomore year, to be followed by Mr. Bernheisel. He came from Pennsylvania, and was of German descent. These were troublesome years. War was on in Europe, and the Germans were sinking merchant ships. We were flirting with the First World War, and the towns people generally looked upon Mr. Bernheisel as the Kaiser's right-hand man. The poor man had a miserable time, and at the end of one year, he resigned. He was followed by a "little-bitty" Englishman who carried everything except the walking cane. He was the principal when I graduated in 1917. I was president of my class. Our class motto was B2 (Be square). This was inspired by (1) it was easy to make (I still have it in my attic at home): (2) it showed the place of mathematics in our lives: (3) it was an adverse reflection to the injustice to Mr. Bernheisel. (Teenage youngsters are very conscious of injustice.)
The lady teachers included:
-- Miss Jenney, who introduced us to science. She found, while here, a respected member of an old, established family, Edwin Bacheldor, as her husband.

-- Miss Adeline was a favorite teacher with me in my favorite study, history. She also taught Latin, and I stayed with her through second year Latin and we helped Caesar "build his bridge." When it got to third year (Cicero and his orations). I dropped out, since I was the only boy in the class.

Then there was so-called "Gusty" Blake. That was my mother's maiden name, but that didn't make any difference. I had a hard time with geometry.

Finally, I remember one mississ. Friendly with most of the boys, she was very much so with some, particularly on our hayride parties to Portsmouth, in the winter, to have oyster stew. The large flat sled was, of course, horse drawn, and there was plenty of hay to keep us warm. She taught English. I believe, and was very fond of her subject and her pupils.

To round out our roster of teachers, we had substitutes once in a while: Anna May Cole and Adeline Marston.

Both of these were older and experienced local teachers, dedicated to teaching and expecting, and in most cases receiving, favorable response from the pupils. They were every inch a teacher.

Both of these were older and experienced local teachers, dedicated to teaching and expecting, and in most cases receiving, favorable response from the pupils.

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