East Andover Village School

1920-1921

By Rita Norander

: Left to Right – Front Row: Herbert Taylor, Bernard Robie, Gerald Walker, Roy Jenkerson, Harold Walker, Clarence Keyser, George Keniston, George Supernor, Robert Keyser, Tuttle Thompson, John Wadleigh, Jr.
Second Row: Bessie Taylor, Melba Merrill, Clarissa Graves, Alta Rayno, Edith Keyser, Marie Nelson, Arline Woodward, Edith Cormier, Edith Robie.
Third Row: Harry (?) Burley,Mrs.Lizzie Elkins (teacher), Bertha Jenkerson, Rose Downes Caption: Rita Norander Photo: C. C. Keating

This picture was given to me by Mary Robie Godbout, a cousin who lives in Laconia. Mary’s father and aunt, Bernard and Edith Robie, who are in the picture, would have been living on Cilley Hill Road (Sam Hill Road) in 1920. They had previously attended the Dyers Crossing School, but it was closed in 1920 and 1921 due to low enrollment. During that time, the building received much needed repairs, and it was reopened in 1922 when there were more school age children.

Ralph Chaffee, in his book East Andover and Its People, Fifty Years Ago and Today, mentions that the Boston Hill School was also closed temporarily in 1920. After extensive repairs, it was reopened in 1925, and was in use for another twenty years, as was the Dyers Crossing School. Both of these schools closed for good in 1945, and centralization of the Andover schools began in earnest.

Due to the closing of these two smaller schools in 1920, the East Andover Village School, which was a two-room schoolhouse, must have been at near capacity. There are 23 students in the school picture which appears to include only the older children who would have been in the classroom containing grades 5 through 8.

Ralph Chaffee writes in his book, History of Andover New Hampshire, 1900 to 1965, “As the district schools began to be eliminated, it became the duty of the district to pay for transporting those pupils living beyond a two-mile limit. Where there were only a few, the parents were sometimes paid by agreement to assume the responsibility.” My cousin Jerry Hersey and I both remember our parents telling us that Robert Robie transported his own children to school and picked up other students along the way. The means of transportation at that time would have been a horse drawn wagon or sleigh.

After looking over the names of the children in the school picture, and recognizing many of them, I thought it would be interesting to find out where they were living in 1920 and to see if any of their relatives are still living in Andover.

Herbert & Bessie Taylor were living on Franklin Road, the second house east of Tucker Mountain Road (Valley Road). Their brother, John Taylor, who was too young to be in the school picture, was a teacher at Franklin High School when I was a student there. Sharon Taylor Lefevbe, who lives on Flaghole Road, is the daughter of John Taylor.

Gerald & Harold Walker were living on Flaghole Road in 1920, and I believe some of their relatives still live there. I remember Gerald and his family, who were very active in town, and faithful members of the Grange, as was my mother.

Harold, Robert & Edith Keyser were living on Switch Road in 1920. Bill Keyser, who lives on Maple Street today, is their nephew.

Tuttle Thompson was living on Maple Street in 1920, along with his brothers Donald and Alan. There are many Thompson relatives still living in town today, including Alan’s son Mark.

Clarissa Graves was probably living at the family homestead on Taunton Hill in 1920. The Graves’ house was across the street from the Taunton Hill School, but it too, must have been temporarily closed at that time. According to Chaffee, the Taunton Hill School was last used for 24 weeks in 1924 – 1925. John Graves lives on Taunton Hill today, and is Clarissa’s nephew.

Marie Nelson would have been living near the dam on Maple Street in 1920. Marie later taught at Dyers Crossing School, and for many years after that school closed, she taught at the East Andover Village School. Following her marriage to Lawrence Rising, she lived a little farther up Maple Street (Peter Zak’s today). I don’t think there are any of Marie’s relatives living in the area today.

Arline Woodward was the aunt of Jerry Hersey’s mother, Pauline. Jerry is not sure where she would have been living at that time.

Alta Rayno would have been living on Cilley Hill Road (Sam Hill Road) in 1920. She was a first cousin to my mother (Dorothy Hersey LaPlante), and Jerry Hersey’s father (James Hersey, Sr.).

George Supernor lived on  Franklin Road, in the first house east of the church. This house was originally the Village’s first schoolhouse. It was later moved down the hill by oxen, and renovated for family living.

I could find very little about the following people, other than where they were living in 1920:

Roy & Bertha Jenkerson were living near the present town beach.

George Keniston was living on Plains Road, near the closed Boston Hill School.

Harry (?) Burley may have been living on Flaghole Road.

George Supernor, John Wadleigh, Jr., Melba Merrill and Edith Cormier all lived on Franklin Road, not too far from the school.

Interestingly enough, my mother (Dorothy Hersey) and her younger brother (Samuel) should have attended the East Andover Village School in 1920. Their parents, however, were not comfortable with them going to this bigger school with so many more pupils. Instead, Dorothy and Samuel were sent to the Pond School near Webster Lake in Franklin. It was a very long walk for them, but the student population of the whole school was nine!