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Writings taken from the
"Twenty-Five Year Book of the Ithaca High School 1876 - 1900"

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List of Graduates A - C

List of Graduates D - I

List of Graduates J - R

List of Graduates S - Z

List of Graduates by Year

Teachers of Ithaca High School

Historical Summary of Board of Education


The Ithaca Academy was incorporated in 1823. It was built largely by subscription and was afterwards maintained principally by the tuition fees. The brick part was built in 1840, the old wooden structure being still preserved and used as a rear annex and recitation room. The first floor was given up entirely to a chapel, in which the school always assembled in the morning for prayers, and in which once in each week there were public exercises consisting of music, declamation and the reading of essays. The second floor consisted of two large study rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls, while the third floor, fitted up for students' rooms, was for many years occupied as a dormitory.

The Academy continued in active existence until the year 1874, when it was merged into the present High School. Of these fifty odd years nearly all the catalogues have been lost, particularly those of the earlier years, but from those now accessible, it is apparent that during that time between fifteen and twenty thousand different persons received a part of their education within the walls of the old building. These catalogues furnish a very interesting study and contain the names of many persons who have since become prominent in the business and the professional world. Thus the catalogue of 1840 contains the name of Edward S. Esty, who did so much for the schools of Ithaca, and who the very efficient President of the Board of Education from 1874 until his death in 1890. His successor, Roger B. Williams, graduated in 1864. Here too, are to found the names of two Yale professors, William H. Brewer, then of Enfield, and Henry S. Williams, of Ithaca.

The catalogue of 1845 shows that there were during that year in the Ithaca Academy, three boys who afterwards became distinguished as judges, George B. Bradley, of Corning, C. C. Dwight, of Auburn, and Francis M. Finch, of Ithaca. The catalogue of this year also contains the names of Frederick K. Andrus, D. W. Bailey, John Rumsey and S. H. Wilcox.

In the catalogue of 1857 are the names of: 
	Edgar K. Apgar, famous in his life time as a politician and speaker  
	Colonel Walter S. B>Schuyler
	T. F. Crane, at present and for many years professor in Cornell University, and 
		recently is acting President.  

From 1860 to 1870 inclusive the catalogues are complete and they contain the names of: 
	John H. Cunningham, 
	Haines D. Cunningham
	Ward Gregory, 
	all of whom became prominent as editors and newspaper men.  

To those students of the old Academy who may read this article the following names taken from the
 few accessible catalogues will bring up many recollections.  
	Martin F. Hollister, a Presbyterian minister now deceased
	John F. Shaw, now in the ministry
	George H. Northrup
	Calvin D. Stowell
	George R. Williams
	Nichol Halsey
	Amos S. Hixson
	Henry A. St. John, 
	E. M. Treman
	William McD. Halsey
	H. Wiseman Hodson, now a prominent Episcopal divine
	Fox Holden, a successful teacher
	John J. Robins, now deceased, but in his lifetime a successful business man and 
		banker in Iowa
	LeRoy H. VanKirk, at present and for many years past the Clerk of Tompkins County 
	Asa B. C. Dickinson, now deceased, who will never be forgotten by those who knew him
	Charles H. Hyde, now a successful business man on the Pacific coast
	Howard J. Mead, County Judge of Tioga County
	Bradford Almy, Tompkins County Judge and Surrogate
	the Todd brothers, of Danby, the survivors of whom are now all successful 
		business men
	Nicholas Pearson
	Charles S. Seaman, the present Sheriff of Tompkins County
	Thomas G. Miller and 
	Charles J. Rumsey, prominent and successful business men in Ithaca
	William H. VanOstrand, for several years supervisor of the town of Newfield
	Leland O. Howard, celebrated as a naturalist
	Henry W. Sackett, a prominent lawyer in New York City
	J. B. Kline, the present District Attorney of Onondaga County
	Dr. John S. Kirkendall
	Dr. Edward J. Morgan  and 
	Dr. Martin Besemer, all of Ithaca
	Mynderse Van Cleef, 
	Jared T. Newman; Frank E. Tibbetts; James L. Baker;Judson A. Elston, 
	and David M. Dean, prominent attorneys of Ithaca.  

With these names before them, many other students of the old Academy will, in imagination at least, readily re-people the old chapel and the old class rooms with the other students of those days, who names cannot be printed within the limits of this article.

Among the principals of the Academy during those fifty years, the following probably exercised the greatest influence and will be the longest remembered, namely; William S. Burt, James Thompson, S. D. Carr, and S. G. Williams. There are hundreds of persons now living, who to-day are profoundly thankful that they received their instruction in the Ithaca Academy under the direction of so able and so successful a teacher as S. G. Williams.

No history of the Ithaca Academy would be complete without the name of Miss Harriet W. Thompson, whose gracious ways, accurate scholarship and aptitude for teaching, exercised for so many years a wholesome and lasting influence in the old Academy. S. D. Halliday

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The Ithaca High School grew out of and assumed the work of the old Ithaca Academy. It began its career in 1875 upon the organization of the separate schools of the village of Ithaca into a public school system. The work of the Academy, the graduates it had sent out to become judges, congressmen and Governor of the State, and to fill successfully and honorably important positions in the various departments of business and professional life had made that institution of great influence in western New York. It was therefore deemed inexpedient by the Academy Board of Trustees to make an unconditional transfer of its property to the new and untried Board of Education, so recently created by an act of the State Legislature. The old board accordingly decided to give a limited lease for a "period of five years" as a trial, and if the experiment proved success of the new board that the transfer was subsequently made; and the High School building now occupies the historic site of the old Academy.

The work of the High School began in the old Academy building, the transition from private to public secondary education being thus made easy. The first faculty consisted of five members as follows: Fox Holden, B.A., principal; Miss Sula S. Eddy, preceptress; Mr. A. B. Humphrey, Miss Eunice Chisholm, Mr. James H. Stubbs. One hundred fifty students were registered during the first year. The curriculum offered a preparatory course including arithmetic, grammar, geography; an English course of two years; a scientific course and a classical course of three years each. The first class graduated in June, 1876, consisted of six members: William A. Finch, now Professor of Law in Cornell University; Fred W. Smith, now practicing law in Rochester; Frank C. Whitney, now a clergyman in Austin, Minnesota; Miss Estelle McNeil, now Mrs. Alfred P. Camp, of Durango, Colorado; Miss Ella A. Pinckney, now Mrs. Ella A. Stanley, of Fort Smith, Arkansas; Miss Nancy Wallenbeck, at present living at Applegate, Tompkins County, New York.

In 1876 Miss Harriet Wood Thompson was elected to the position of preceptress, the position which she continued to hold until her death October 10, 1898.

In 1884 a new building became necessary. The corner stone was laid in that year; and on September 7, 1885 the building was dedicated with appropriate ceremony, a full account of which was given in the Ithaca Journal the following day and reprinted in the annual report of the Board of Education for that year. At the time the building was considered much too large for the city, but time has proved that it was much too small. Accordingly in 1893 the Seneca street annex was constructed at a cost of $15,000.00, and this year sees the completion of the Buffalo street annex which is nearly as large as the original building and its cost of the first building make the cost of entire plant about $125,000.00.

The Seneca street annex contains four large department rooms for 50 pupils each; the Buffalo street annex contains rooms, viz; Basement - Gymnasium, society room, boiler room, lavatories, shower baths. Ground Floor - Library, reading room, Assembly hall, with a seating capacity of 800. Second Floor - Study hall similar to the one in the main building, four class rooms, principal's office, faculty room, two cloak rooms, and waiting room. Third Floor - Physical laboratory and lecture room, shop, photometric room, heat room, suite of four rooms for commercial department.

The new annex is fire proof, is heated by steam and with the main building and Seneca street annex makes a building large enough to accommodate 1200 students including those in the grammar school, which occupies the first floor of the main building and all the Seneca street annex.

The following table shows the growth of the school by years:
	1875---------------150                                1888---------------304
	1876---------------200                                1889---------------354
	1877---------------175                                1890---------------373
	1878---------------207                                1891---------------411
	1879---------------203                                1892---------------408
	1880---------------192                                1893---------------419
	1881---------------171                                1894---------------440
	1882---------------169                                1895---------------447
	1883---------------223                                1896---------------483
	1884---------------237                                1897---------------520
	1885---------------254                                1899---------------580
	1886---------------308                                1900---------------650

From the first the High School has been an important preparatory school for Cornell University. It now sends from 40 to 60 students annually to college. It has just cause for pride over the State and University scholarships which its students have won, and the positions which they have taken in the affairs of life.

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