Account books for school districts of Enfield, Massachusetts. The schools' appropriations accounts kept by selectmen between 1816-1856 show the amount raised by the town annually for the support of the schools, and include how, when, and to whom money was disbursed. The account book for Enfield's school district number 4, 1854-1868, includes records of the disbursement of money for teaching, boarding the teachers, supplying cord wood, making fires, and repairing the building. Also lists the names of teachers and members of the Prudential Committee (who kept the records and sometimes taught).
The collection is open for research.
Background on Enfield (Mass.)
Enfield was among the Western Massachusetts towns abolished in the 1938 to allow the Swift River Valley to be flooded, thereby creating the Quabbin Reservoir to provide Boston with water.
School Appropriations Account Book, 1816-1856
In this account book the selectmen kept a record of the amount of money raised by the town for the support of the schools each year, and showed the proportion allotted each of the five districts from year to year, as well as how, when, and to whom the money was disbursed.
In 1816, the total amount raised was $300; even by 1828 $300 was still sufficient. In 1829, the amount rose to $400; dipped to $300 in 1831; but rose still higher in 1832 to $500. State aid to the schools of Enfield first appears in 1837, when the town raised $800 and the state sent $65. By 1856, the last year of these records, the town supplied $800, the state $43.72.
By 1854, there were 8 school districts. The number of scholars aged 4 to 16 were:
School District #5, Enfield, Account Book, 1854-1868
These are the records showing the amount received during the year from the town as the district's proportion of the total amount raised for school expenses, and the disbursement of that money, usually for teaching, boarding the teacher, supplying the cord wood, making fires, or repairing the school building. The records were kept by the Prudential Committee, who sometimes reappear in other years receiving payments for board, cord wood, or even teaching.
The teachers seldom taught more than one term in succession, although a few returned at a later date for another one. The terms ran 10 to 12 weeks, once 14. Sixteen of the 22 teachers listed were women, only one of whom, Mrs. E.S. Wheeler, appears to have been married while teaching. They were usually paid between $2 and $4 per week, although Henry Brown (the Prudential Committee for 1854) received $1 per day. One teacher, Esther Morton, received payment for boarding herself; the town paid someone else for boarding the teacher in each of the other cases, usually at $1.50 to $2.50 per week. Augustus Tuttle was on all the payrolls -- he taught, provided board, and sold wood for about $3.50 per cord. Some of the other teachers were Lucy M. Brockett, Pamelia B. Warner, Mary Sears, Sarah D. Blodgett, Lyman Morton, Jane Howe, Rebecca and Ellen Davis, and Lysander Thurston.
The Prudential Committee were: H. Brown, Henry Fobes, Augustus Tuttle, David Blodgett, Joseph Collis, Charles H. Dow, H.C.M. Howe, James Foster, H.M. and S.D. Potter, Charles Scott, William W. Hanks, and Daniel Fisk.
In 1854 District 5 had 32 students; in 1855, it served 44.
Acquired from Donald W. Howe, Sr.
Processed by Linda Seidman.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Enfield School Account Books (MS 87). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.