A Glimpse Into The Past

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By Jenny Simpson, 7th Grade Student

Atlantic News, Thursday, April 8, 1999

A PEEK AT THE PAST - HAJH student Jenny Simpson (left) and Evelyn Philbrick Squire (right) take a peek at a program from Mrs. Squire's 1924 graduation from Hampton Academy, which took place 75 years ago. Jenny, who is a member of the HAJH Historical Committee, interviewed Mrs. Squire as part of the committee's look into the school's past.
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
(Editor's Note: This article by HAJH seventh grade student Jenny Simpson, assisted by Priscilla Triggs Weeks, was written following an interview with Evelyn Philbrick Squire, who graduated from Hampton Academy in 1924 and later went on to become a second grade teacher at Centre School. The interview was conducted as part of Jenny's participation on the HAJH Historical Committee, which is currently researching Hampton Academy Junior High's past.)

HAMPTON - Mrs. Evelyn Philbrick Squire was born and raised in an old Victorian home on the corner of Pine Road and Atlantic Avenue in North Hampton. She will be celebrating her 94th birthday on July 10 of this year [1999].

The interview with Mrs. Squire was very interesting. It was fun to learn about school days 75 years ago. They started at 9 a.m. and went until 12 noon, with a break lasting until about 1 p.m. The day finished at 3 p.m. Junior high classes now have many of the same classes as her high school classes - French, Latin, history, English, algebra, and home economics. The boys enjoyed after school activities of baseball and football. The girls wore dresses, and no slacks or jeans - so different from our schools today.

Mrs. Squire graduated from Hampton Academy & High School in 1924. This June she will be celebrating her 75th year out of high school. She was vice president of her class. Her graduation was held at the old town hall, which burned down in March, 1949. A reception and dance followed the graduation ceremony for 12 young women and three young men.

Thinking back, Mrs. Squire recalled her days at Hampton Academy with great pleasure. The one thing she remembers most about high school was "raising the dickens!" Once she and a group of girls decided to pass gum out to their classmates; only two would not accept the offer. The teacher caught one girl and then three girls, and sent them out of the room. Finally, the teacher said, "Anyone else chewing gum please leave the room." All but two left the room!

In her other memories, Mrs. Squire recalled having a girl friend who hated bugs, so she wrapped up a beautiful caterpillar in a piece of paper and passed it to her saying, "Now don't say a word about this to anyone!" Of course, the girl "screamed to high heaven" when she opened the package.

After attending Newburyport Normal School, Mrs. Squire taught second grade at Hampton Centre School. One of her former students, Priscilla (Patty) Hoyt, remembers walking across Tuck Field to school during what appeared to be a "polar expedition". Miss Philbrick lovingly cuddled Priscilla in her lap to warm her hands and feet. This endearment created an everlasting friendship.

Mrs. Squire married a World War I veteran at a time when women were not allowed to teach if they were married. Her only daughter, Betsey (Mrs. Ted Davis) resides in Hampton.

Mrs. Squire has kept her warmth and charm throughout her many years, as well as her ready smile.

Hampton Academy & High School

Class of 1924

June 13,1924


Dorothy Batchelder
Beatrice Batchelder
Irene Blake
Josephine Blake
Mabel Brooks
Jessie Drysdale
Carleton Edgerly
Esther Fellows
Elmer Godfrey
Dorothy Hobbs
Hollis Moaratty
Marion Noyes
Madeline Nudd
Evelyn Philbrick
Isabelle Thompson


Carleton Edgerley -- President
Evelyn Philbrick -- Vice-President
Madeline Nudd -- Secretary
Dorothy Batchelder -- Treasurer
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