News of Events and People in Bethel, Maine and Surrounding Towns for 1896


Gould Academy, 1896

In 1896 for the winter term of 1896-1897, the academy began publishing The Academy Herald once each term.  The Academy Herald along with the academy’s catalog has provided a much improved record of the school’s trustee, faculty, student body and perspectives over time. 

1893’s Bethel Journal has a complete copy of the academy catalog for that year which includes courses of study, students and administration.

The first Herald stated that it was published once a term by the students of Gould Academy.  Herald staff were as follows: Cora H. Farwell, Managing Editor; Assistant Editors: Winnifred Hall, Ethel M. Richardson, Alice C. Perkins, Ethel Eames, and George H. French. Business managers: Florence Carter and Beatrice Kelliher.  It was printed at the News Office, Bethel, ME.

An editorial followed the masthead information.  “The students of Gould’s Academy have faith to believe that those who read the ‘Herald’ will make allowances for imperfections. As nearly all the students are over crowded with work, it is almost impossible to write an article in the spare moments we have, without making more or less mistakes. Still we have the satisfaction of knowing that we have not undertaken a task too great for our abilities.”

Students were then called on to help make the “Herald” a success and make a point to sell copies -

“Remember that the editors have as much school work as any of you”

“ It seems to us that one thing which goes to make up a good education, is the reading of the current news in the daily papers.”

In the Personals column, one found news of recent grads.

Norman Gehring is in Bowdoin College.

Alice Chamberlin is attending school in Portland.

Albert C. Eames, G. A. '94, is now in Bowdoin College.

Fred Merrill, G. A. '96, is attend­ing Bowdoin College.

George Merrow, '96, is teaching school at Bryants Pond.

Archer Grover is attending the Maine State College at Orono.

Miss Cora Walton Hastings is employed in the Chicago University.

Miss Jennie M. Wood is principal of the Grammar school in Pittsfield, N. H.

Favorite saying of the girls:— "Miss Purington, please play us a waltz."

Miss Joan Stearns, '96, lately of Shaw's Business College, is now em­ployed in Herrick & Park's law office.

F. O. Small, a former popular teacher of Gould's Academy, is now principal of Washington Academy, East Machias.

Miss Clyde Bartlett one of G. A's former students, is teaching in Han­over and has every prospect of mak­ing a fine teacher.

Since the laughing girl, Lizzie Moulton, graduated in '95, she has been teaching, but is now at the home of her parents in West New-field.


Academy trustees for 1896:

Gideon A. Hastings, President

Charles Mason, Vice President

Goodwin R. Wiley, Secretary

Samuel B. Twitchell, Treasurer


Other board members:


Attorney R.A. Frye

Ceylon Rowe

Judge Enoch Foster

John M. Philbrook

A. L. Burbank

Judge A.E. Herrick

J.U. Purington

Albert W. Grover

Gilman P. Bean



Faculty and Staff


Fred O. Small*, A.B., Principal, Ancient Languages, Chemistry, Commercial Department


Cora Walton Hastings**, A.B., French, German, Mathematics, Physics.


Alice Emma Purington, English, Literature, History, Astronomy


Winifred Hall, Librarian***


Barton A. Smith, Janitor


*Fred O. Small left Gould to become principal of Washington Academy, East Machias.

** Miss Hastings (like Miss Purington) was a Bethel resident; note that in the Personals she is mentioned as employed at the Chicago University.

*** Miss Hall is listed as a member of the editorial board for the “Herald”.


(To  be added—student body summary)


Historical Sketch from the 1896 catalog

The people of  Bethel have always shown an  active  interest  in education.

No town in the state can boast of having a larger percentage of college graduates among its residents or of having sent proportionately so large a number of young men and women to the colleges and seminaries of New England.

The first settlers brought with them the habits of their Puritan ancestors, and early took measures to have their children enjoy the advantages of education. A school was established as early as 1788 and a school-house was f-oon built.

In 1835 the citizens formed an organization as trustees of the Bethel High School, a hall was fitted up for a school-room and N. T, True was employed as principal. Encouraged by their success, the trustees reorganized and obtained a charter for an Academy, which by act of the Legislature, January 27, 1836, was incorporated as Bethel Academy. A building was erected and Isaac Kendall was the first instructor and opened the first term of school on the second Wednesday of September, 1836.

The institution was without funds and depended upon public patronage for support. But in 1842, Rev. Daniel Gould of Rum-ford, made a bequest, since known as the "Gould Fund," on con­dition that the name be changed to "Gould's Academy in Bethel," which was done. A grant/ of a half-township of land was made in 1850; this was sold and the proceeds were termed the ''State Fund." In 1855, Dr. John Grover made a donation, the interest of which was to be expended only for chemical and physical appara­tus.

The present academy building was built in 1881, is well lighted, pleasant, and fully adapted to the purpose for which it was erect­ed.

Among other gifts to the Academy should be mentioned those of the citizens of Bethel, who, at different times during the early days, subscribed such sums as they could for the needs of the in­stitution; and especially in 1882, when $1,123.00 was raised in this way for the purpose of furnishing the new building. Through the kindness of the Bethel Water Company, the building is sup­plied with pure water.

In 1891, by a resolve of the Legislature, the Academy realized several thousand dollars.




The Bethel Journals

January 23, 2010


Text Box: The 1896 debut of The Academy Herald marked Gould’s 60th anniversary.

The Bethel Journals

Donald G Bennett

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

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Left: A copy of one page from the 1896 Academy Herald Business Directory. To see all the advertisers in this Herald, see the page of Social and Business organizations

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South Bethel 1896

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