Mary P. Nowland:
"An able successor"
In her report to the trustees of the normal schools in the spring of 1899 Miss
Mary P. Nowland, the new principal of M.T.S., indicated a smooth transition
had been made in the administration of the Training School since the death of
Vetal Cyr. Rose A. Conry and Annie Dionne had shared the teaching duties, and
as Miss Nowland noted, "They have I think, done in their work, the best
that in them lies." The Principal was content because the school had been
"successful this year, beyond my hopes -- the pupils are quiet, obedient
and studious..." The latter fact had won the "most cordial approval
from both teachers and the people of the village." Eighty-five pupils attended
the fall term and 105 registered for the winter and spring terms. The number
of different pupils attending during the year was 115.
Routine improvements had been made during the 1898-1899 academic year, paid
for mostly by a special appropriation of $2,000 granted by the state legislature
in its previous regular session. Of this amount $897.80 was spent for land acquisition
and another $282.32 went for repairs. The grounds were graded and seeded, and
according to Miss Nowland, were "now very level and green, presenting a
fine appearance." The outside of the boarding house and some of the rooms
were painted. Thanks to the will of Vetal Cyr a set of encyclopedias was added
to the school library. A few other "valuable books" were received,
evidently as gifts, and a set of MacCowes historical charts, a terrestrial globe,
and some "philosophical apparatus" were either bought or donated by
those interested in supporting Miss Nowland's efforts to build a solid curriculum.
Like her predecessor, however, Miss Nowland would continue to make an annual
appeal for the expansion of library resources. "We still need books for
general reference and textbooks."
There were ten "ladies" and thirteen "gentlemen" in the
graduating class of 1899. The twenty-three were: Maxine J. Albert, Willie J.
Audibert, Victori Bourgoin, Joseph A. Cyr, Alexis R. Cyr, Aime R. Chasse, Zepherim
Daigle, Methaide Gagnon, Thomas Henderson, Vital Labbe, Euphemie Laferriere,
Marie Michaud, Laura A. Michaud, Luther McLean, Denis Nadeau, Elize Nadeau,
Ella Paradis, Herbet A. Sweeney, Catherine Sanfacon, Albert J. Thibedeau, Odelie
M. Thibodeau, Agnes Thibodeau. These graduates were from the Valley towns of
Frenchville, Madawaska, St. Agatha, Allagash, Wallagrass, St. Francis, Fort
Kent, Grand Isle and St. Hilaire, New Brunswick.
The Madawaska Training School lost a good friend and "founding father"
with the death of Major William Dickey on November 19, 1899. According to his
biographer, Rev. F.X. Barque, M.T.S. owed "the whole of its existence,
that is its origin and its developments" to the Duke of Fort Kent, as Dickey
was referred to in the Maine State legislature. Many were the times Representative
Dickey, a lifelong Democrat, had stood before the Republican controlled Maine
house of representatives and pleaded for more tax dollars to support his beloved
school. In the early days he had been particularly helped by Superintendents
of Common Schools Luce and Stetson and more recently by Governor Powers. When
it came to the Training School, Dickey spoke to his legislative colleagues with
evident and warranted pride. "We have now a staff of teachers as distinguished
as any one in any part of the state of Maine. No other normal school in Maine
has ever furnished better teachers than our own at Fort Kent."
Major Dickey often visited M.T.S. and could be frequently seen attending classes
or sitting in the armchair by the fireplace listening to the "instructions
of the day." Students passed his house, known to them as the "barracks,"
on their way to school each day. In a letter to the student body, Superintendent
Luce once said, it is to "your venerable friend, Major Dickey to whose
voice and influence in the legislature you owe it all." Or, as a newspaperman
from the Bangor Commercial reported in the 1890's, "the scholars venerate
Major Dickey who is a frequent visitor to the school which his efforts obtained
for this region."
It was Dickey who warded off a bill introduced in the state legislature in 1895, which in effect would have forfeited all state appropriations to those school districts "where discipline and instruction would not be entirely conferred in English." This bill was interpreted as being "aimed at Madawaska," and as Rev. Burque stated, it was not long before Major Dickey was "on the breach to fight away the invaders." With the help of Governor-to-be Powers, Dickey was able to have the bill "suppressed altogether." Because of the importance of the French language and culture to the history of M.T.S. part of Dickey's argument against the proposed bill bears repeating here. In general terms, he said, "This bill is bad and would do much evil... It would deprive both of school money and education thousands of children in Madawaska... (It) is an impossible task to confer discipline and instruction but in English." More specifically, and this was the heart of the matter: Would it be equitable to confiscate their rights to education because, being born of French parents and having learned in their prime infancy but the French tongue...they labor as a matter of course, under the want that French may be, more or less, spoken to them for school discipline and instruction ? It is not just ...that the privilege of the French language to a certain extent may be left them in the schools, until they may be sufficiently instructed to understand a teaching entirely conferred in English ?
The Maine house of representatives agreed and voted the bill down.
In 1897, the last term Dickey was in the legislature, he introduced a resolution
that $6,500 be appropriated for "enlargement and completion of "the
Madawaska Training School. The following year Major Dickey wrote a letter to
the Bangor Commercial,,commenting on the expansion of M.T.S. during his lifetime.
Talking about the fifty students then boarding themselves at the school, he
said," They bring and provide their own 'grub,' cook the same and are the
best behaved in the state." He referred to the death of Vetal Cyr as "a
great loss, for he and the school had become one." As for the "management"
of the school under Miss Nowland, "things are progressing nicely and our
school is doing noble work." William Dickey's contribution to the birth
and early growth of Madawaska Training School would live on in a succession
of buildings named in his honor.
The number of different pupils attending M.T.S. during the school year 1899-1900
(fall term, 87; winter term, 107; spring term, 52). May Brown, a "teacher
of experience," joined the staff in October of 1899. Annie Dionne had charge
of "French classes only" that year, and her work in French showed
"good results." The rest of the classes were taught by Rose Conry
and Mary Nowland. Miss Conry, Miss Brown, and Miss Dionne also helped out in
the dormitory. The remnants of the special legislative appropriation was spent
on painting the walls and woodwork in two of the class rooms and the corridors
and several rooms in the dormitory were papered and painted.
Miss Nowland was pleased that the state had provided $200 worth of books as
a special gift to the school library. She explained that the low attendance
in the last term was the result of extending the school year in the common schools
from thirty to thirty-eight weeks, and the Training School students who taught
in the public schools of the territory could not attend school themselves later
than the middle of April.
The first graduating class of the twentieth century was a small one. The thirteen
classmates were: Nathalie Albert, Fred Albert, Fred S. Corbin, Magloire Chasse,
Marie Gagnon, Mattie Lagace, Julia Labbe, Demerise Labbe, Elvira G. Pratt, Ludivine
Plourd, Phillippe Roy, Lydia J. Savage and Emilie M. Thibodeau. Three were from
Grand Isle, two each from St. Francis, Fort Kent, Frenchville and Wallagrass,
and single students from Madawaska, St. Agatha and St. Hilaire New Brunswick.
The graduating class in 1901 was even smaller. The seven graduates were: Joseph
S. Albert, Madawaska; Trefle J. Bernard, Grand Isle; Levite Dionne, Madawaska;
Alice P. Roy, Fort Kent; Antoine Sirois, Madawaska; Margaret E. Savage, St.
Francis; Almeda L. Stevens, Portage Lake. Although the graduating class was
small, total attendance was up from the previous year: fall term, 91; winter
term, 116; spring term,58; for a total of 120 different students. The teaching
staff remained the same, the Misses Nowland, Conry, Dionne and Brown.
The special event of the year was the unveiling of a memorial window at the
graduation exercises on June 7, 1901. The friends of Vetal Cyr throughout the
Madawaska Territory had made a gift of the window to the Madawaska Training
School in the memory of its first principal, Mr. Cyr. Although "conventional
in design" the window was thereafter one of the first features of the campus
to be pointed out to visiting dignitaries.
Enrollment was "larger than ever before" the following year, with
130 different students registered in one or more of the three terms. There were
only 48 pupils registered in the third, or spring, term, due to its late closing
date. Miss Nowland added a new type of statistic in her annual report for 1901-1902.
She noted the number (62) entering the school, perhaps in an attempt to show
how many of the students who started the program at M.T.S. finished in the prescribed
amount of time. There were exactly 62 "self-boarders" that year, seeming
to indicate an early twentieth century version of "placing freshmen and
new students in the dorm." Miss Conry was out the first part of the year
due to illness at home, and her place was taken until Thanksgiving by Miss Mary
E. Hughes of Pennsylvania.
Miss Nowland found the conduct of the students throughout the year "irreproachable."
She also said, "I cannot speak in too cordial praise of the work done not
only by teachers, but pupils, particularly those of the graduating class."
The eleven graduates were: Joseph H. Audibert, Adele J. Bernard, Eda Bradbury,
Lizzie B. Daigle, Thomas D. Dufour, Anna Dube, Joseph Dumais, George Henderson,
Isabelle Martin, Fred E. Michaud and G.B. McC. Parker. The only student from
outside the St. John Valley was McC. Parker, who was from Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 1903 Miss Nowland again revised the way she reported the Training School's
enrollment to the normal schools' trustees. Instead of calculating the number
of different students attending during the year, she gave a total of those attending
the three terms, in this first instance 301. To Miss Nowland the "greatly
increased numbers" had led to "livelier interest" and had made
the school "more than ever before, pleasant and profitable." She praised
the "work of all, particularly that of the first class..." All in
all it had been "a most successful year."
The M.T.S. catalog for 1902-1903 shows a number of curriculum changes. First
year students took reading (English and French), language and composition, arithmetic,
U.S. history, vertical writing, and geography. During their second year were
held responsible for reading (English and French), grammar and composition,
arithmetic, U.S. history, French grammar, and geography. In the third year English
reading, grammar (English and French), U.S. history, free-hand drawing, physiology,
history of Maine, physical geography, civil government, bookkeeping and arithmetic
were required. Fourth year registrants needed to take English grammar, English
literature, algebra, physics, school laws of Maine, pedagogies, botany, French
reading, grammar and composition. All students, as in earlier years, took vocal
music each term and "physical culture" daily. There were few changes
in expenses, conditions of admission or the general regulations. Some pupils
may have tried to avoid the "incidental fee" of fifty cents due at
the beginning of each term. Others may not have abided the Sunday Observance
rule, under which "Proper observance of the entire day" was "expected"
and attendance at the church of their choice was required.
All fourteen of the graduating class of 1903 were from the St. John Valley
or nearby Eagle Lake. The class list included: Marie Alice Audibert, Amanda
Austin, Russell Cleveland Brown, Isabelle Bellefleur, Maxine T. Chasse, William
R. Chasse, Adeline Cyr, Alice Marie Daigle, Antoine Joseph Gagnon, Marie Therese
(sic) Nadeau, Gertrude Therese (sic) Nadeau, Anna Ouellette, Margaret Alice
Sweeney, Amelia Lisia Cote. All nine listed as teaching the following year were
located in the immediate vicinity. The total number of graduates from Madawaska
Training School had now reached 183.
The number of boarding students increased to 71 in 1903-1904. A special legislative
appropriation of $1,250 provided for finishing, painting and furnishing several
rooms in the boarding house, redoing the laundry so that it could be "used
better" for a kitchen, repairing the ceiling and floor in the dining room
and painting the other kitchens. A new chandelier was purchased for the hall.
A globe and some physical maps were bought for instruction in geography. A new
piano arrived, and $50 was spent on new books for the library. Four instructors,
Miss Nowland, Miss Conry, Miss Brown, and a new addition J.C. Morin, shared
the teaching load. The graduating class of 1904 was a small one, including only
H. Ervin Bradbury, Felix T. Chasse, Alfred T. Cyr, Denise M. Guimond, Mary A.
Henderson, Jeannette M. Nadeau, Beloni P. Roy, Melissa Savage and Joseph A.
Tardif, representing the towns of Fort Kent, St. Agatha, Madawaska, Frenchville
and Allagash Plantation.
Miss Conry was on leave of absence during the 1904-1905 school year. Mrs. Josephine
L. L'abbe replaced her. The beginning class that year was "unusually large"
(75), and as Miss Nowland expressed it "very interesting, because interested."
"Much hard work" was done during the year in and outside of the classroom.
There were 137 different students registered for the year. The winter term,
as usual, was the heaviest attended (125). Income from fees paid by the student
body were used to fund staining the school building floors and painting both
halls there. All the floors in the boarding house were also painted with the
use of money generated by the school itself. This meant that $1,500 appropriated
by the legislature could be used to purchase a new steam heating plant for the
boarding house. The new system was badly needed, as witnessed by the 79 students
staying there during the "very severe weather" that winter when, as
Miss Nowland reported," "We were not able to keep the house as warm
as we could wish."
According to Miss Nowland the graduating class of 1905, though small in size,
was "of more than usual excellence, seven of the number being teachers
who are ambitious to excel." The class consisted of Emilie Bellefleur,
Josephine Bernard, William H. Cunliffe, Jessie M. Daigle, Edna J. Daigle, Frederic
Hebert, Annie Laferriere, Saul Michaud and Mattie J. White. Three, Bernard Hebert
and Edna Daigle, were among the first graduates of M.T.S. to come from the town
of St. David.
The State Superintendent of Public Schools, George W. Warren of Castine, chairman
of the legislature's education committee and other members of that same committee
attended the examination and graduation exercises. One of the legislators attending,
Mr. Briggs of Auburn, had been a member of the legislature that had established
the Madawaska Training School. Miss Nowland was pleased that Briggs "remembered
the passing of the act, adding to the interest of what he said to the school."
But, looking to the future, Miss Nowland could not pass up the opportunity to
ask the legislators present to seriously consider the school's need for an additional
faculty member, "We do very much desire another teacher -- we very much
need another teacher."
There were two new faces on the instructional staff at M.T.S. in 1905-1906, Emma J. Bresnahan and Pauline D. Balloch, the latter working only through the winter term. Because the number of students attending the autumn term (133) was the "largest in the school's history," however, made Miss Nowland even more insistent about adding to the faculty. "We want more and absolutely need another teacher." Although Miss Balloch's service had "added much to the advantage of the school in every way," Principal Nowland thought it only logical that, on a permanent basis, "much more and far better work can be done by five teachers than by four, if all are capable workers."
Income from the boarding house had covered the costs of painting, whitewashing and other repairs the preceding summer. The steam heat was finally installed, making the house "very warm and comfortable throughout." Another year Miss Nowland foresaw new floors and new seats in her list of priorities. It is not clear how many of the 139 students attending the winter term were staying at the boarding house. The number registering for the spring term showed an increase of nearly thirty students over the previous year, but the number of different pupils attending during the year remained approximately the same (137 in 1904-1905; 140 in 1905-1906). There were sixteen graduates in the class of 1906, the third class "in point of number" in Miss Nowland's memory. Familiar French names appeared in the graduation list: Alfred Albert, Catherine Bouchard, Saide S. Bernard, F. Joseph Cyr, Edith Dutour, Alma Doucet, Hubalde R. Daigle, Nellie M. Gullifer, Nathaniel L. Klein, Levi E. Michaud, Louise Plourd, Emma M. Raymond, Catherine Souci, Joseph H. Therriault, Lea R. Tardiff and Lottie B. Williams. All were from the St. John Valley except Nellie Gullifer, Fort Fairfield, and Lottie Williams, whose home town was Monticello.
Modeste E. Guimond joined the staff at M.T.S. on a temporary basis in 1906-1907.
Another full time teacher was promised for the following year. If this promise
was kept, Miss Nowland felt the school would be enabled "to do more and
better work," including, hopefully, Manual Training. She believed the addition
of manual training to the curriculum would be "of greater service to the
school and the territory" than any other new program except possibly Domestic
Science. Actually she would like to add both, putting forth logical arguments
in support of each. "Both would be a success," she claimed, "the
first because of the natural aptitude of the boys and gifts for such work and
because of the large number of boys who attend the school." She viewed
Domestic Science as a natural expansion of the M.T.S. offerings, "because
of the self-boarding which is carried on, this affording a larger practice class
for Domestic Science than can be found elsewhere in the State of Maine."
The number of new students in the fall of 1906 was down from the preceding
year, "due largely" to the raising of admission standards. "Several"
were unable to pass the examinations. The opposite was true of the graduating
class, which with twenty members, was the second largest in the school's history.
And, as far as Miss Nowland was concerned, "in point of scholarship, deportment
and general helpfulness it (the class) merits the highest praise." Other
student statistics found 99 attending the fall term, 111 the winter term, and
75 the spring term. These figures, plus the fact that only 116 different pupils
attended during the year, are further evidence of the effects of the new admission
A "long and most inclement winter" had led to "more than usual
amount of sickness" at the Madawaska Training School. Still a good deal
of work had been accomplished amidst the confusion of taking out the old seats
in the school building, replacing them with new ones, and laying hardwood floors.
Another of the needs of the school expressed by Miss Nowland had been met, presumably
out of the $2,000 special appropriation from the legislature.
Over half of the class graduating from M.T.S. in 1907 were from Fort Kent,
five were from Madawaska, two (the Sinclair girls Sophronia and Alice E.) lived
in Wheelock, and Grand Isle and St. David were represented by one student each.
Those receiving diplomas were: Albertine E. Audibert, Sophie M. Boutote, Felix
Beaulieu, Lucie A. Cyr, Flavie M. Cyr, Edee Cyr, Arthur R. Daigle, Marie Daigle,
Elizabeth Daigle, Anna Guy, Francois Herbert, Marie Michaud, Severin Morneault,
Rose E. Nadeau, Dina M. Plourd, Thomas S. Pinkham, Sophronia Sinclair, Alice
Modeste Guimond stayed on as a faculty member in 1907-1908, and Katherine L.
Lawlis and Ethel I. Duffy were welcome first-time members of the staff. Counting
Miss Nowland and May Brown, M.T.S. now had five regular instructors. Miss Lawlis
took the place of Miss Bresnahan who resigned. A native of Houlton and a graduate
of the Farmington Normal School, Miss Lawlis was evaluated by Miss Nowland as
"an earnest, helpful teacher." Miss Daffy came in January to take
charge of Manual Training. She had been "thoroughly fitted for her work"
at the Macdonald ?raining School at Truro, Nova Scotia. Miss Nowland attributed
the early success of the Manual Training program to the "zeal and enthusiasm"
of Miss Duffy. Forty-seven boys and "as many" girls had "worked
at the benches." Assignments included paper-cutting, paste board work and
sewing. Miss Nowland was pleased to report, "The effects of manual training
in the school are already apparent and will, I am confident, insure for us a
larger attendance next year." Having won trustee approval and legislative
support for one of her proposed curriculum changes Miss Nowlanc could not resist
making an early repeat bid for Domestic Science as well. "The self-boarding
done by the pupils make a course in domestic science particularly desirable,
and this I hope a wise legislature will provide for us in the near future."
All but $195.93 of a $2,000 appropriation from the legislature was spent on
putting steam heat in the school building, laying new floors in the dormitory
kitchens, purchasing a hot water heater, and applying several coats of paint
to some of the dorm rooms to make them "more clean and habitable."
A room in the rear of the second story was "fitted up" to house the
manual training course.
Miss Nowland was concerned about still another drop in enrollment in 1907-1908.
Less than 100 different students registered throughout the school year, and
even attendance in the winter term dipped below the 100 mark. Proportionately,
the decrease during the spring term was the smallest, seeming to indicate that
arrival of Miss Daffy, with her "zeal and enthusiasm," would eventually
offset the decrease in numbers resulting from the new admission standards.
Residents of the Valley towns of Fort Kent, Frenchville and New Canada, as
well as the Maine town of Grindstone and the New Brunswick town of Canterbury
were included in the graduation list in 1908. The fourteen class members were:
Luc Albert, Edmond J. Cyr, Lizzie A. Cyr, Rex Dow, Caroline Dufour, Catherine
Dufour, Louise Dufour, Agnes A. Lang, Helene Lang, Nellie McDonald, Myra M.
Nullen, Joseph H. Nadeau, Euphemie Pelletier and Euphemie Roy.
There was a special two week summer session held in Fort Kent in 1908. The
session drew ninety students, twenty-six of them being teachers. Thirty-three
were previous graduates of Madawaska Training School, and five others were graduates
of the normal schools at Castine, Presque Isle (then known as Aroostook Normal
School) and Gotham.
Three graduates of the Good Shepherd Convent in Van Buren were in attendance,
as were single graduates of St. Joseph's Convent in Wallagrass, Ricker Classical
Institute and Houlton Business College. One female student from Frenchville
had graduated from St. Lewis Academy in Quebec, as well as from the convent
school in Van Buren. The largest number of students (32) were from Fort Kent;
sizable numbers came from St. Agatha, Frenchville, Wallagrass, Madawaska and
New Canada. Eagle Lake, Wheelock and Grand Isle sent three students apiece.
Single students came from Van Buren, Washburn, Winterville, Woodland (Washington
county), and Springfield, Massachusetts. Miss Nowland said, in her special report
to Payson Smith, State Superintendent of Public Schools, "The undivided
attention given in every class spoke well for the interest taken..." Certificates
for regular attendance were awarded to fifty-two attending the summer session,
and thirty-two took the "complete examination for teachers."
Enrollment did go back up the following year, 1908-1909. The figures read:
fall term, 106; winter term, 130; spring term, 85; number of different pupils,
135. There was one change in the faculty. Miss Guimond resigned and was replaced
by Margaret A. Sweeney, a graduate of M.T.S. and of the Aroostook Normal School
in the class of 1908. She was assigned to teach French and penmanship, and Miss
Nowland indicated she did that "very acceptably through the year."
The most popular course, however, continued to be manual training. Sixty-two
boys, that is half the student body, were involved in the woodworking part of
the course, paying "such enthusiastic attention ..as to be almost unconscious
of the presence of visitors when busy at their benches." The girls took
"sewing, cardboard construction, raffia, etc." Miss Nowland pronounced
the girls' sewing as "equally as interesting and as well done" as
the boys' wood work.
The special appropriation for Madawaska Training School in 1909 was only $600.
This may have reflected the fact that many of the repairs and improvements,
like new floors, steel ceilings and painting in the dormitory, had been finished
with monies previously appropriated. Expansion of the school curriculum to include
the "practical Teaching" of household science and agriculture the
following year would require more funds. Miss Nowland considered the addition
of these two courses and the "opportunity of observing in the model school,"
also to be established the next fall, as "great steps forward." Some
of the seventeen students who graduated in 1909 would come back to take advantage
of these new offerings. The members of the class were: Cassius Henry Austin,
Lea Boutote, Angelina Guy, George Ernest Sweeney, Clarence Bonnell, Vital J.
Cyr, Arthur J. Cyr, Jean O. Cyr, Agnes M. Daigle, Levite Dufour, Leonard J.
Hebert, Levite E. Hebert, Alphonse V. Picard, Annie Picard, Maria Alma Bourgoin,
Marie J. Lausier, Donat Pelletier. Bonnell, a native of Conway, New Hampshire,
was one of the few out of state students thus far to attend and subsequently
to graduate from M.T.S.
A second two week summer session was held in Fort Kent in 1909. Miss Nowland
and Rose A. Conry, well known to present and former students of the Training
School, taught during that session. They were joined by three special instructors:
Miss Matilda B. Doland, Miss Mary H. Gussman and Miss Ardelle M. Tozier. Twenty-nine
of eighty teachers in attendance were graduates of some state school. Thirty-seven
certificates of regular attendance were handed out at the end of the session.
The changes in curriculum and the resignation of Miss Sweeney made it necessary
to hire three new instructors for the 1909-1910 school year. French was not
taught the first term. Miss Martha D. Chase of Portland took up those duties
at Christmas. Mr. L.B. Boston from the University of Maine was placed in charge
of "work in agriculture," and he "accomplished much" through
"recitations and practical work." Three acres of land adjoining the
school grounds were purchased and, as soon as possible," ploughed, harrowed,
laid off into plots and scaled on paper by the older boys," with the help
of Mr. Boston. The older boys also built a granary and started to erect a henhouse
for eighty-five chickens that were already hatched. They also experimented with
growing radishes and lettuce in a hot bed.
The third new instructor, Miss Sterritt of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, directed
the new program in Household Science, and she soon "awakened a keen interest
among all the girls in school." A large room on the ground floor of the
dormitory was made even larger to provide a classroom for Miss Sterritt. Hard
pine sheathing was placed on the walls, a new steel ceiling put up, and the
"furniture and utensils necessary" added before classes started. The
Manual Training room was also enlarged by opening into it two small rooms, and
the lighting was improved. Fifty-four boys made most of the articles used in
various departments of the school, as well as "several very useful and
creditably made articles," which many of the boys remained "over hours"
to finish. All the work done was "distinctly practical." Miss Nowland
had only "one regret -- that Manual Trainiag was not introduced into the
Training School a quarter of a century ago."
Although the Model School had opened that September, the teachers there had
to work "under great disadvantages,'' as their rooms were "battered,
dark and cold." By Christmas, however, the rooms, each capable of accommodating
forty pupils, were finished and "won golden opinion from parents and scholars."
Miss Teel and Miss Buckman, "two hard-working enthusiastic teachers, such
teachers as cannot fail to obtain good results," were placed in charge
of the Model School. With better opportunities for observation, Miss Nowland
expected "much better work than formerly" from the Training School
The annual special appropriation from the state legislature remained at $600,
but some minor repairs and improvements were made with these limited resources.
The store rooms "below stairs" were enlarged and improved. New floors
were laid there and in the work room. The store room walls were sheathed with
hard pine and new ceilings put in. Then drawers and lockers for individual students
were put in. Other major repairs would have to wait for future appropriations.
Enrollment statistics for the 1909-1910 school year showed a slight decrease
in all categories, the number entering, number attending each of the three terms,
the number of different pupils, and the number of graduates. All eleven graduates
were from Fort Kent itself or surrounding Valley towns. The following received
their diplomas late that May: Ambroise Albert, Hedgwidge Bourgoin, Annie M.
Cyr, Evina M. Daigle, Catherine Ouellette, Augusta E. Pinkham, Isabel M. Pratt,
Robert P. Sweezey, William Levesque, Emile Ouellette and Delia S. Savage.
Miss Louise C. Laporte and Miss Annie F. Wetmore were listed as members of
the instructional staff at M.T.S. for the school year 1910-1911. Presumably
they were hired to teach in the model school. There were 113 registered for
the fall term, 121 for the winter term, and 70 for the spring term. There were
fifteen in the graduating class, at least eight of whom held teaching positions
in the Valley the following fall. Irenee M. Cyr went into farming, and Fred
E. Sweeney was subsequently employed as a clerk. How the other members of the
class were employed is not evident from the existing records. The full class
list follows: Louise Albert, Isabelle Bouchard, Donat Bourgoin, Emelie Cyr,
Irenee M. Cyr, Delphine Daigle, John Gagnon, Denise Guy, Winfred I. Labbe, Rilla
Ramsay, Scott R. Ramsay, Anna Raymond, George W. Savage, Laure Sireis, and Fred
E. Sweeney. Rilla Ramsay was going to go on to the Normal School at Presque
Isle the next year.
Over the years it had become at least physically easier for those living in
the St. John. Valley to attend M.T.S. The Fish River branch of the Bangor and
Aroostook Railroad was opened for travel in 1902. The extension of this branch
to St. Francis, and the completion of the Van Buren to Fort Kent section in
December of 1910, reduced the commuting problem and eased the pressure on the
available rooms in the boarding house. New students were also attracted by the
catalog descriptions of the new courses developed under Miss Nowland's leadership.
Mechanical drawing had been added to the manual training course. Agriculture
students learned to practice crop rotation (grains, grass and potatoes), and
they grew vegetables in a small plot in the three acres now owned by the school.
The emphasis in the domestic science course was also on the practical, with
"special attention...paid to the selection of food, to its composition,
to food values and cost."
Admission standards had been stiffened. No one was admitted who did not attain
an average rank of 65 percent or fell below 50 percent in arithmetic, grammar
or geography. In terms of student conduct "order, punctuality and systematic
effort to master one's work..." was expected. The important regulations
were posted in every student's room; for example, "All the students must
render cheerful and willing obedience to regulations and to the expressed wishes
of the teachers, conduct themselves in a proper and courteous manner', avoid
noisy and boisterous conduct in and about the buildings, observe neatness of
dress and person at all meals, recitations and social gatherings, and keep their
rooms neat and tidy." Students attending for at least one year and satisfactorily
passing an examination in all of the studies of the course were granted diplomas
signed by Miss Nowland and the State Superintendent of Public Schools.
Madawaska Training School held its third summer session in 1911. The teaching
faculty consisted of Miss Matilda B. Doland, Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Miss
Nellie M. Harvey, Castine; Miss Iva Baxter, Fredericton, New Brunswick and Mrs.
Charles N. Perkins, Brewer. Courses in Rural School Management, Arithmetic with
Methods, Geography with Methods, U.S. History with Methods, Manual Training,
Drawing and Music were crowded into the two week session. Eighty-two of the
105 registered were teachers who had only an elementary education themselves.
Eighty-eight were one room, rural school teachers. Only six taught in village
schools. Only two were graduates of normal schools. The group had an average
of six terms of teaching experience. Only eleven had no teaching experience.
As to be expected, most were from Maine (94), but there were six teachers from
There were as many students (115) attending M.T.S. in the fall term as in the
winter term in 1911-1912. The spring term enrollment also increased to 98. Sara
H.E. Doone and Eleanor F. Welch had joined the instructional staff, making a
faculty of seven. The graduating class was also a large one. The twenty-five
graduates were: Marthe Albert, Ella Austin, Mildred Bradbury, Irenee R. Cyr,
May Arm Cyr, Albert Daigle, Anna Daigle, Francis Daigle, Rosanna Daigle, Delia
Dube, Celina Dugal, Joseph Dumond, Laura Gagnon, Joseph Kelin, Zebedee Klein,
Cecile L'Abhe, Ernest L'Abbe, Lula L'Abbe, Francois Lang, Georgina Lang, Patrick
Martin, Emma McPherson, Nellie Michaud,
Isabelle Ouellette and Lizzie Savage.
No monies in the form of a special appropriation from the legislature were
included in the list of M.T.S. "resources" in 1912, but there was
$700 in the balance unexpended account. Miss Nowland's report to the state for
that year makes no special mention of lack of funds or any particular plea for
a special appropriation of the coming year. Her report included basically enrollment
statistics (fall term, 115; winter term, 115; spring term, 96), a list of teachers
(including one, Eleanor F. Welch, who had taught previously in a summer session
at Fort Kent), and a list of the twenty-five students graduating. Miss Nowland
did not designate the home towns of these graduates as she had done in previous
The class motto was "Aim High" and the class colors were "Old
Rose and Green." Lizzie M. Savage, the class secretary, gave the valedictory
address, and Irenee R. Cyr, the class president, was the salutatorian. The vice-president
was Isabelle Ouellette, and Ernest L'Abbe served as class treasurer. "The
Cherry Festival at Naumberg' was recited by Celina Dugal, and Delia Dube read
"Christophe Colomb." Emma A. McPherson offered "A Story,"
Francois X. Lang spoke on "Manual Training," "Biscuit Making"
was discussed by Laure Gagnon, and Isabelle Ouellette, and the agriculture course
students were represented by Albert Daigle, who spoke on "Artificial Incubation."
Miss Mary P. Nowland directed a summer session that ran from July 22 to August
2, 1912. Other instructors were: Miss Doland, again; Miss Louise M. Richards,
Farmington; Miss Bertha H. Burridge, Machias; and Miss Marion C. Ricker, Farmington.
Courses in school management, school law, primary methods, drawing, music, arithmetic,
geography, history, and domestic science were taught. Eighty-one of the 100
registered were Maine teachers. Of these 77 taught in rural schools. The other
four worked in "village schools." Fourteen were graduates of convent
schools, and thirty-nine were graduates of training schools. As a group they
averaged five years of teaching experience, but nineteen had no experience.
Fifty-four were given certificates for perfect attendance.
Mr. Laurence B. Boston, the agriculture instructor, "severed his connection"
with M.T.S. at the end of the winter term in 1913, for "what seemed to
him a better position." Miss Nowland was sorry to see him go. "Mr.
Boston's earnest enthusiasm and his untiring effort to interest the pupils and
their parents in the subjects that he taught made his loss one to be felt."
Boston was replaced by Mr. Maurice A. Peabody. Attendance figures that year
were as follows: new pupils, 42' autumn term, 125; winter term, 127; spring
term, 111. Course descriptions were added to the M.T.S. catalog in an effort
to attract more students. For example, the history course taken by "second
class" students covered "Presidents' Administrations from Washington's
to the Close of the Civil War. Current Events. History of Maine-outlines of
the State Course in History of Maine. Making a good deal of use of the Maine
Register in reference to their own towns. Stetson's History as a reference book."
Eleven of the sixteen members of the class of 1913 obtained teaching positions
upon graduation. Half of the class were from Fort Kent, two were from St. David.
The remaining graduates were from Eagle Lake, Portage, Madawaska, St. Francis,
St. John and Daigle. In alphabetical order the graduates were: Edith M. Bouchard,
Fred T. Bouchard, Caroline Cyr, Louise A. Cyr, Eugenie Daigle, Iva G. Daigle,
Phebe Dow, Robert B. Dow, Leonide J. Guy, Alice M. Hebert, Delie Lang, Clara
M. Mills, Gladys M. Mills, Catherine Michaud, Mildred E. Noble, Damase A. Robichaud.
These "fourth class" students had some of their last classes in the
renovated library, which had been made into "a larger and much needed classroom"
with part of the $2,500 provided by the legislature for "repairs and improvements.''
The rest of this money was spent on paper and paint in the dormitory and "commodious
and well lighted toilets" in the school building.
Miss Nowland served as director of the summer session in Fort Kent again in
1913. Miss Alice Nowland of Berkeley, California, joined Miss Doland, Miss Alice
Jones (Somerville, Massachusetts) and Miss Helen King (Portland, Maine) in providing
instruction in school management, school law, English grammar, geography, language,
primary methods, U.S. History, writing and music. Ninety-six attended the two
Between summer session and fall the old fence around the school grounds was
taken down, and the school b:fildings were painted. "Both of which changes,"
said Miss Nowland, "add very materially to the appearance of the place."
The main room in the school building was also painted, and a steel ceiling put
up. M.T.S. tapped into the town of Fort Kent's new supply of "good water."
But, what made 1913-1914 a "Red Letter year, a SAFER year" was the
installation of electric lights. Miss Nowland was now able to report, "The
constant danger which attended the handling by the scholars of so many kerosene
lamps is now a thing of the past.
There were a number of new faces on the faculty at the training school that
year. Donald H. Sawtelle was hired as one of Miss Nowland's assistants. Beulah
C. Bates taught during the winter and spring terms. She had come to the Valley
that fall as a representative of the State Superintendent of Public Schools
to visit the schools in the area and to offer them her "assistance and
advice." In February Miss Nowland herself went on leave of absence for
the rest of the school year, and Miss Ardelle M. Tozier, of Presque Isle Normal
School, became acting-principal. Miss Tozier's "well known efficiency made
very desirable her presence in the training school." The model school teachers
were Miss Nellie M. Douglas of Blue Hill and Miss Laura A. Richardson of Fort
Fairfield. These instructors noted an increase in enrollment figures, especially
for the fall (136) and winter (152) terms.
Commencement exercises in 1914 began with the class singing a "Welcome
Song." Mary M. D. Ramsay recited "Columbus." George F. Martin,
class president, read his essay on the "Characteristics and Uses of Woo(].."
Rosa Cyr, Christine Cyr, Laura Ouellette, Theresa Saucier, Helen D. Allen and
Leanna Daigle sang the "Holiday March." The class secretary, Delina
Daigle, presented "La Rouet." Louis O. Cyr was excused from giving
his essay on "Relation of Lime to Soil Improvement."
The class sang a "Hunting Song" after Victoire M. Boutote recited
the "Legend Beautiful." One of the lighter parts of the program, offered
by Cecile Bouchard, Angelia Cote, Reeve Cote, Elsie L'Abbe, Gertrude Michaud
and Mary Roy, was entitled "Home Economics -- Does It Pay?" This was
followed by Laura Bolton Mallett's presentation of the class gift and singing
of "Soldiers Chorus" by the first and second classes. Superintendent
Smith then conferred the diplomas. It had been a long day since the program
started at 10:30 in the Domestic Science Room, especially for Delia Charette,
Ella Daigle and Grace Hebert, who had been responsible for preparing lunch for
A beribboned commencement program tells us that the other two class officers
in 1914 were Gertrude Michaud, vice-president, and Louis O. Cyr, treasurer.
Their class motto was "Earnestness, Honesty, Self-Reliance." The class
colors were lavender and gold, and the class flower was the pink rose. The class
included, besides those already named, Grace Hebert, Madawaska; Delia Charette,
Fort Kent; and Ella Daigle, also of Fort Kent. The class ode, sung to the air
Juanita, began with the words "close by the river Madawaska School doth
stand" and its last verse ended with, "In our hearts we'll ponder
M.T.S. so dear."
A man whose name was to become very familiar to M.T.S. students over the years
joined the instructional staff for the 1914-1915 school year. When Donald W.
Sawtelle resigned Richard Crocker was hired to fill his position. A graduate
of the University of Maine, Crocker took on his tasks "with the true Maine
spirit." He evidently passed Miss Nowland's close scrutiny, as she recorded
in her annual report that he had performed "effectively in the classroom.
Faced with a big fall enrollment (169) Miss Nowland hired Miss Dora M. Bradbury,
a recent graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, to teach the additional classes required.
The Principal found her to be an "interested and efficient" assistant.
The upsurge in enrollment, reflected in the figures for the winter (185) and
spring (149) terms as well, had convinced the legislature that a request for
$2,500 to build a boys' dormitory and dining hall should be honored. Miss Nowland
hoped the building would be ready for occupancy by January of 1916. In the meantime,
routine repairs and improvements were made to the facilities, including the
addition of a bathroom for the boys in the boarding house.
Emma L. Pinette, class valedictorian, based her graduation speech on the 1915
class motto, "Let Me Do It." She was also class president. Her fellow
officers were: F. Dieudonne Long, vice-president; Yvonne E. Michaud, secretary;
and George H. Pelletier, treasurer. Annie M. Bellefieur gave the Salutatory.
Other graduates who participated in the formal parts of the graduation exercises
were Ida L'Abbe, who recited, "La Retraite de Russie;" Carrie Bolstridge,
who read an essay on "Our Bird Friends;" Rose M. St. John, who offered
"Advice to Undergraduates;'' Irene L'Abbe, who spoke on "The Little
Quaker Maiden;" and George H. Pelletier, who delivered his essay on "Seed
Selection." The class had selected green and white as its colors. The complete
list of graduates follows: Gertrude M. Albert, Annie M. Bellefieur, Carrie Bolstridge,
Madeline Beaulier, Lizzie A. Brown, Alice M. Cyr, Delima Cyr, Madeline V. Cyr,
Irene H. Daigle, Emelie O. Dionne, Frank M. Eaton, Stella B. Freeman, Ida L'Abbe,
Irene E. L'Abbe, F.D. Long, Yvonne E. Michaud, Marie C. Nadeau, George H. Pelletier,
Laura May Pelletier, Emma L. Pinette, Julia B. Raymond, Aurore Roy, Rose M.
Enrollment figures went over the 200 mark in 1915-1916, with 207 registering
for the fall term and 210 for the winter session. There were 178 in attendance
for the spring term. A list of those teaching at the Training School, including
the model school instructors, reflects this growth: Mary P. Nowland, Mary Brown,
Katherine L. Lawlis, Sarah H.E. Doone, Eleanor F. Welch, Nellie Young, Mary
Robbins, Richard F. Crocker, Carl W. Maddocks, Noel D. Godfrey, and Clara Cooper,
who took over Beulah C. Bates task of visiting the rural schools for the State
Superintendent, taught a special class during the winter term. Miss Robbins
managed the dining room and kitchen in the new boys' dormitory. She was assisted
by Miss Ida Russ, who came to Fort Kent from Farmington Normal School. Thanks
to an early construction start the preceding summer, the first and second floors
of the new form were ready for occupancy on January first, as Miss Nowland had
hoped. Entrance hall, cloak room, dining room and kitchen occupied the first
floor. The Director of the Household Science Department also was provided a
room on the first floor. The Training School girls helped in preparing meals
and the "care of everything connected with that department." Most
of the actual cooking was done in the basement.
The twenty-four boys who lived on the second story rose early, set the tables,
prepared breakfast, readied the bread for the oven, and made sure the vegetables
were ready for dinner. They also helped wait on tables and put the dining room
back "in order" after the meal was over. Although the boys were given
responsibility for "the entire care of their rooms," Mr. Maddocks
and Mr. Godfrey made sure they kept them in "good order." Miss Nowland
expressed confidence that the next legislature would appropriate enough money
to finish the second floor of the dormitory and extend the school building "to
accommodate the increasing numbers of scholars and to supply us with necessary
books and apparatus." The legislative appropriation for Madawaska Training
School in 1915 had been $8,000 for the dorm and $1,000 for repairs. Only nine
cents of this was left by the time of Miss Nowland's annual report.
Fifteen of the twenty-two graduates in 1916 were from Fort Kent. The remainder
of the class were from: St. Francis, Daigle, Wallagrass, Guerrette, New Canada
and Eagle Lake. The class motto was "La fin courionne l'oeuvre," and
the class colors were read and white. Albert Bouchard, the class president,
opened the graduation program with his "Declamation entitled "A Man
Is As He is Worth." Anne Marie N. Cyr followed with her essay on "The
Children." Then came Leona Rioux's recitation, "An Order for a Picture,"
and Florence Pinette's essay on Jean Francois Millet. Cora May Chasse presented
the gifts and Alexandre J. Doucett, who was also class treasurer, delivered
the valedictory on "Heroism." The graduation list read: Rose M. Austin,
Albert Bouchard, Cora M. Chase, Rose M. Coulombe, Anne Marie N. Cyr, Alice V.
Daigle, Marie A. Daigle, Modeste Daigle, Rose L'Abbe, Alma Lapointe, Leanna
Levesque, Flavie C. Marquis, Emma Michaud, Hermina Michaud, Laure Pelletier,
Corrine Pinette, Leona Rioux, Eva Roy, Ethel Savage, Therese Violette.
The summer session at Fort Kent in 1916 attracted only 46 teachers, 20 of whom
received certificates. The Director, Miss Nowland, was assisted by Miss Matilda
B. Doland, Fitchburg Normal School, Massachusetts; Miss Elizabeth Jenkins, Presque
Isle; Miss Nellie Young, Fort Fairfield; and Miss Dorcas Hoyt. In her brief
report on the two week session, Miss Nowland said, "that the work was most
pleasant and profitable was evidenced by the interest which all present evinced."
Enrollment at M.T.S. was down for 1916-1917 (fall, 176; winter, 193; spring,
167). But, this was in comparison to the record numbers of the preceding year,
and the number of graduates increased to twenty-six. The $8,000 appropriated
for the dormitory and the $1,000 designated for repairs was supplemented by
$400 by special order of the executive council, presumably to cover the costs
of completing the second story in the dorm as suggested by Miss Nowland. New
instructors for the year were Sherman J. Gould and Dwight L. Moody. It is assumed
that as male instructors they were also assigned duties in the new boys' dormitory.
Graduation was held two weeks earlier in both 1916 and 1917 because of the need
for teachers in the Madawaska Territory.
The 1917 class was honored by the presence of Governor Milliken and members
of his council and staff. Two of the normal school trustees, J.F. Singleton
and C.P. Allen, were also, present to see Superintendent Payson Smith confer
the diplomas. The class represented Valley towns from Lille to St. Francis.
its president, I.L. Cyr, was present and spoke for his class at its sixtieth
reunion in 1977. Also at that alumni day banquet was Mrs. Lucille Pelletier,
business manager at UMFK and chairman of the Blue Ribbon Centennial Committee,
whose uncle Denis Lausier was another member of the graduating class of 1917.
As far as can be determined the following graduated in that year: Edithe M.
Bouchard, T.E. Bradbury, Florence E. Cote, Euphemie A. Cyr, Charles Alphee Cyr,
Isaie Cyr, Hedwidge A. Dumais, Marguerite M. Farrell, Verna H. Hafford, Adeline
B. Harvey, Anabelle M. L'Abbe, Rosa A. Lapointe, Denis Lausier, Ernestine E.
Lausier, Bernice C. Levesque, Francoise J. Martin, Isabelle Martin, Alvia A.
Michaud, Zenas R. Michaud, Eva M. Mills, Henry E. Ouellette, Amanda Paradis,
Pauline M. Pelletier, Gertrude I. Pinette, Gertrude P. Saucier, Alfred D. Soucy.
The first direct evidence of the impact of World War I on the Madawaska Training
School appears in 1918. Shortly before school closed Mr. Laurence B. Norton
"received his call to the colors." Norton and C.J. Huntley had just
joined the faculty, replacing Mr. Gould and Mr. Moody. As Miss Nowland indicated
in her annual report five out of the six male teachers who had had charge of
the boys in Dickey Hall had gone into the service. The female members of the
faculty that year were the Misses Nowland, Lawlis, Doone, Welch, Nellie Young,
Mary Robbins and Mrs. Scott R. Ramsay. Enrollment remained steady: fall, 163;
winter, 167; spring, 156. School had started late in the fall because both boys
and girls were needed to help harvest potatoes. The work on the third floor
of Dickey Hall was not finished until late fall. Some "needed" repairs
in the girls' dormitory were not completed until about the same time.
One of the graduates of the class of 1918, Marion Etta Pinette, of Eagle Lake,
was to maintain a lifelong association with M.T.S. She later attended and graduated
from Castine Normal School and returned to the Fort Kent campus when it had
become Fort Kent State Teachers College. At the time of her death she was a
well-remembered loyal member of the Alumni Association. Her fellow classmates
in 1918 were: Bertha May Blanchette, Carrie Mae Bosse, Joseph J. Boucher, Emile
Bourgoin, Leona Marie Cyr, Leon M. Cyr, Emelie A. Daigle, Herbet D. Daigle,
Lizzie L. Daigle, Marie Annette Daigle, Marie C. Daigle, Odile F. Daigle, Odile
M. Daigle, Oscar R. Daigle, Laure Marie Depere, Lenora Dorothy Dow, Laure Dora
Guimond, Annie Martha Hoyt, Lea L'Abbe, Lillian I. L'Abbe, Alice Long, Winifred
Bertha Levesque, Yvonne Mercedes Levesque, Florence Bernice Martin, Emelie Evette
Michaud, Donald F. Mullen, Vivian L. Mullen, Alphonse N. Nicknair, Alice Alma
Ouellette, Donat B. Ouellette, Leon B. Pinette, Marion Pinette, Laure D. Rossignol,
M.T.S. was still serving the St. John Valley, with all the graduates coming
from the immediate area. Alphonse Nicknair lived furthest from the river itself-
New names were added to the Madawaska Training School faculty list in the post-World War I era. For example, in 1920 four new names appear, Belle G. Nowland, T. Augustine O'Donnell, Vera Gilman and Iva G. Daigle.
Enrollment varied little between the fall (178) and winter (180) terms, and even the spring (158) statistics held steady. As before the war most of the student body, at least in the graduating class, came from towns in the St. John Valley. There were only two exceptions Dorilda Vermette, of Caribou, and Marie Louise Tetreault, the lone out-of-state member of the class, who came from Worcester, Massachusetts. Miss Nowland again carefully recorded the names of those graduating: Hattie Albert, Gertrude Austin, Viola Austin, Paul Bourgoin, Nellie S. Corbin, Aurore Arm Cyr, Elsie L. Cyr, Blanche Arm Daigle, Lilian A. Daigle, Vital R. Daigle, Blanche A. Desjardins, Florida Doucet, Lucy H. Gagnon, Eugenie Lagace, Martha Levesque, Florentine Long, Alima Marquis, Yvonne Martin, Laura J. Michand, Albert Plourde, Mattie Pinette, Hilda Ramsay, Florence Savage, Marie Louise Tetreault, Regina Theriault, Dorilda Vermette.
The following year, 1921, Marie Roy and Mary Ramsay were put in charge of the
model school. Jotham Reynolds, Antoinette Page and Stanley Clowes joined the
regular staff. The number of registrants was down in all three terms in comparison
to the previous year (fall, 162; winter, 160; spring, 147). There were 42 new
pupils compared to a graduating class of twenty-eight. Diplomas were given to:
Irene Bernard, Hector Bourgoin, Herbert Cote, Azilda Daigle, Irene Daigie, Lumina
Daigle, Mabelle Daigle, Zenaide Daigle, Ethel Dempsey, Idile Dionne, Laura Dumond,
Edithe Gagnon, Grace Gagnon, Leo Gagnon, Myrtle Hafford, Bertha L'Abbe, Beatrice
Lapierre, Therese Marquis, Adrienne Michaud, Edna Morin, Aline Morneauit, Emelda
Nicknair, Yvonne Pelletier, Levite Rossignol, Rose Roy, Hedwidge Souci, Edwin
Starting in 1923 the state normal schools and M.T.S. were required to report on a biennial instead of an annual basis. Miss Nowland's first report under this new system was also the first report in which she clearly distinguished between those teaching in the model school, high school and training school departments. In 1922-1923 the Training School faculty consisted of Miss Nowland, Richard F. Crocker, May Brown, Sarah H. E. Doone, Antoinette Page, Medeste Rossignol, David Garceau and Linwood L. Dwelley. The next year, 1923-1924, William H. Smith and Albert Weymouth replaced Garceau and Dwelley. Raymond Finley, Mrs. R.F. Crocker, Milton Cantor and Laurence Harris served on the high school department faculty in 19221923, and J. Arthur Green and Eleanor Prosser replaced Finley and Harris the following year. There was only one change in teachers in the model school department between 1923 and 1924. During the first year of the biennium Mrs. Paul Ouellette, Elizabeth Campbell, Vida V. Vance and Hilda Sullivan staffed that branch, and in 1923-1924 Laura Ouellette "ably filled" Miss Sullivan's place. Referring to the teachers in all three departments, Miss Nowland commented, "The work of both years has, I think, been successful in every department. The teachers have, with few exceptions, worked hard and accomplished much."
Comparing enrollments for the two years, the fall sessions remained practically
the same, but enrollment dipped during the winter and spring terms in 1923-1924
compared to 1922-1923. The highest enrollment in any of the six terms was 175
in the fall of 1922.
Miss Nowland also distinguished between those graduating from the training
school and high school departments. She included the home towns of the nineteen
graduating in 1922-1923 (St. David, Frenchville, Lille, Winterville, St. Francis,
Fort Kent, St. Agatha, Eagle Lake). Those earning diplomas were Alfred Albert,
Wilfred W. Belanger, Blanche A. Bernard, Marie L. Caron, Annie D. Connors, Anne
Marie Cyr, Elsie Marie Cyr, Merilda Marie Cyr, Helene M. Daigie, Laura A. Dempsey,
Helene M. Desjardins, Sylvia A. Gagnon, Geneva Mason, Sadie E. Mills, Ida L.
Pelletier, Essie Roy, Ernest F. Sirois, Laura S. Thibodeau. By contrast, Miss
Nowland did not include the home towns of the twenty-three members of the class
of 1924. Those classmates were: Rose Audibert, Verna V. Babin, Blanche H. Beaulieu,
Alma J. Beupre, Bernadette M. Cyr, Bertha D. Cyr, Ledo C. Chasse, Annette E.
Daigie, Eva D. Daigie, Jeanette S. Daigle, Marie Anne Daigle, Louise S. Fournier,
Adrien Remi Jacques, Elsie C. Laferriere, Laura Martin, Loanna C. Nadeau, Christine
M. Pelletier, Robert Pelletier, Emma M. Rossignol, Annette Souci, Delina M.
Thibault, Mabel M. Vaillancourt, Aurora Flora White. As Principal, Miss Nowland
also indicated those graduating from the high school department in both 1923
At the evening graduation exercises in 1923 the Salutatory address was given
by class present Alfred L. Albert. Anne Marie Cyr's recitation was titled "Vive
la France." Annie D. Connors was responsible for the presentation of gifts,
and Geneva Mason recited "O Mere, je t'aime tant." Helene M. Daigle
was the valedictorian. The other class officers were Laure S. Thibodeau, vice-president;
Helene M. Desjardins, secretary and Ernest F. Sirois, treasurer, and the class
motto was "Labor Conquers All." In 1924 the class motto was "Equal
to the Burden," and the class colors were red and white. Adrien R. Jacques
was class president and delivered a "Declamation -- 'Let the Other Side
Be Heard'." Marie Anne Daigle was vice-president, Annette Souci was secretary
and Ledo C. Chasse was responsible for the class treasury. Blanche H. Beaulieu
was class valedictorian, and Bernadette M. Cyr was salutatorian. "L'enfant
de Strasbourg" was offered by Emma M. Rossignol, and the presentation of
gifts was done by Christine M. Pelletier. Percival P. Baxter, governor of Maine,
was on hand to give an address and confer the diplomas. Fifty years later Adrien
Jacques and nine of his classmates gathered for alumni day and recalled "Let
the Other Side Be Heard."
Attendance records for M.T.S. for the year 1924-1925 show a decrease in the
training school department and an increase in the high school department, and
the same trend continued in 1925-1926. The largest term enrollment in the training
department was 153 in the fall of 1924, and the lowest was 107 in the spring
of 1926. It is interesting to note the specific teaching responsibilities of
the faculty at that time. Besides serving as principal, Miss Nowland taught
pedagogy, social laws, history and reading. Richard F. Crocker, the only instructor
listed as having a B.S. degree, served as assistant principal, taught agriculture,
biology, general science and psychology, and was responsible for athletics.
May Brown covered literature, music, physiology and history. Sara H.E. boone
headed the manual training program. Antoinette Page was the French instructor.
Modeste Rossignol covered the penmanship, arithmetic, grammar, geography and
some of the history courses. David Garceau divided his time between English,
algebra and physical and commercial geography. Iva Daigle assisted Irene Benn
in domestic science. Philip Taylor shared responsibility for some of the remaining
arithmetic, history and grammar classes. Crocker passed the responsibility for
athletics on to the only new man on the faculty in 1925-1926, Linwood Dudley,
who also had to teach general science, biology and arithmetic. There was a similar
variety of teaching responsibilities in the high school department in 1924-1925.
J. Arthur Greene, holder of a A.B. degree, taught math and science. Samuel Avin,
who also had an A.B., was hired to teach Latin, French and history, and Eleanor
Prosser was responsibile for English, history and athletics. All the high school
instructors, except Greene, were replaced the following year, 1925-1926. James
Nowland took over classes in English, history and civics. Vivian B. Hilton was
the new commercial teacher, and Madeline Coughlin, A.B., was now responsible
for Latin, English and French. Each of the model school faculty was responsible
for two grades: Laura Ouellette, grades one and two; Vida Vance, grades three
and four; Velma Carter, grades five and six; and Nellie Douglas, grades seven
and eight. Bella G. Downes was the house mother, and Jean O. Cyr was "Engineer."
Thirty students graduated from Madawaska Training School in 1925. Miss Mary
Nowland retired in June of the next year, so her replacement as principal, Mr.
Richard F. Crocker, was the one submitting the report to the State Commissioner
of Education for the school years 1924-1925 and 1925-1926. He hastened to point
out that the "healthy growth" of the school during these two years
was "hardly apparent from the data given." The high school department
had increased "approximately one hundred percent" during that time
period, "without lowering the standard of either entrance or graduation."
The entering class in the Training Department was discontinued in 1925-1926,
"thereby raising the entrance requirements." Crocker said this change
was possible because of "improved conditions in the public school systems
in the territory." He felt the change would also bring about "higher
standards for graduation and improved conditions in general." True, one
immediate result was an automatic decrease in the number of pupils in the Training
Department. But, he claimed it was safe to predict that the greater educational
advantages offered will very quickly make up for the reduction in numbers."
Principal Crocker spoke favorably of the future as well. "Another very
gratifying state of affairs is the demand for better trained teachers throughout
Madawaska Territory. This was not an overnight phenomenon. "This demand
has been growing gradually for some time and is becoming more insistent each
year." He was sure M.T.S. could meet these new demands. "The school
is preparing to meet these needs and assume its whole responsibility to the
district." It was appropriate that the thirty-five diplomas awarded in
June of 1926, the last year Miss Nowland officially held the post of principal,
represented the largest graduating class in the history of the school. Alphabetically
the class list read: Will Albert, Cecilia Cora Beaulieu, Albert Bouchard, Emilianne
Collins, Gerald H. Corbin, Josephel Cote, Dora E. Coulombe, Corinne A. Cyr,
Marie-Anne Cyr, Pierre Paul Dufour, Anne-Marie Freeman, Genevieve M. Gilbert,
Frances A. Henderson, Adrienne R. Jacques, Lilly M. Jandreau, Lucy A. Kelley,
Eva M. Lajoie, Gustave Long, Albertine A. Lapierre, Dorilda M. Lapierre, Irene
M. Lizotte, Donat Martin, Themla E. Melanson, Hattie Michaud, Emelie C. Nadeau,
Essie R. Nadeau, Eva Blanche Nicknair, Firmin F. Pelletier, Lillian N. Pelletier,
Olida M. Pelletier, Cecile M. Robichaud, May Bernadette Roy, May Ellen St. John,
Evelyn M. Thibodeau and Leanna M. Thibodeau.
Frances A. Henderson was salutatorian of the class of 1926, and Irene M. Lizotte was valedictorian. Gerald H. Corbin delivered the Declamation, Eva M. Lajoie recited "Fleurette," and Lillian N. Pelletier "bestowed" the gifts. Commissioner of Education Dr. Augustus O. Thomas conferred the diplomas. The class motto was an interesting one-- "If we rest, we rust." Those serving as class officers were: Will Albert, president; Adrienne R. Jacques, vice-president; Corinne A. Cyr, secretary; and Pierre Paul Dufour, treasurer. The class probably heartily endorsed Mr. Crocker's praise of the retiring Miss Nowland. "The school has indeed been fortunate to have had the services of such servants and the influence in the district is a tribute to their worth." Although Miss Nowland was technically on leave of absence the following year, for all practical purposes she had retired to her home in Ashland after graduation in 1926. A local historian summed up Miss Nowland's career in these words, "Few teachers, if any, in this country can claim the honor of such distinguished service as that rendered by Miss Nowland."