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STORIES OF OLD BROOKLYN
Brooklyn Daily Eagle- 1 February 1932
First Schoolmaster Got $25 a year salary
For That He Had to Dig Graves Also and Serve Summonses
Daddy White Outstanding Figure in History of Old No. 1
by Maurice E. McLaughlin
Brooklyn teachers, who wear fine fur coats in Winter and spend their
Summers in Europe, ought to thank their lucky stars that they don't have to
work so hard for so little as did Brooklyn's first public school teacher.
Twenty-five dollars a year was the salary paid by the thrifty old Dutch
burghers to Carl DeBevoise, way back in 1661. On July 4 of that year, the
first free school in the United States was opened in Brooklyn, with Mr.
DeBevoise as pedagogue. The school was on Fulton St. near Sands St., and was
the ancestor of Public School 1, at Concord and Adams Sts.
ALSO DID ODD JOBS FOR THE $25
And hark, ye, beloved brethren and sisters of the school teachers'
brigade, Schoolmaster DeBevoise for his $25 a year had many other duties
besides teaching the young the "three R's."
Skipping the intervening years, we come to May 4, 1816,when a district
school was opened on Adams St., near Sands St., sponsored by the village
officials. During the following year, the school was moved to the corner of
Concord and Adams Sts., and ever since then there has been a seat of learning
on this corner. The present brick building was erected in 1942.
FIRST SCHOOL BOARD
In 1836 the first attempt at musical instruction was introduced at Number
One, when Theodore Dwight volunteered to teach "do-re-me," etc.
Dr. David Gardner came along about this time as school committeeman and
examiner. His hobby was Lindley Murray's grammar, and he gave the scholars
many a hard test in parsing difficult sentences. "When school is out I shall
go directly home," was one of his pet examples.
OLD GRADS OF NUMBER ONE
A list of the men who went through Number One would take a great deal of
space but we may mention that among its boys, who later on "made good," were:
Seth LOW, afterward Mayor and later on president of Columbia University;
Cyrus P. SMITH, for years president of the Board of Education;
William HARKNESS, who became a great financier, and was for
years a member of the Board of Education;
Thomas B. Atkins,
Jesse B. Connor,
Edward A. Hall,
Richard B. Elliott,
H. B. Hubbard,
Jesse S. Pettit,
Isaac B. M. Waring,
Horace D. Badger,
Charles B. Powell,
Stephen B. Pettit,
William B. Hutchinson,
John W. Hunter,
William M. Harris,
Robert M. Whiting,
E. J. Whitlock,
Alden J. Spooner
Abraham B. Baylis.
On Friday of this week a great change will come over Old Number One.
The new term will begin and the building will then become an annex of the
Technical High School.
Transcribed by Marion Sinnott
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