From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

December 1994

By Dr. Bill Randall

Tweedside School – December 18, 1901

December 18th was a very exciting day for the Tweedside School.

The teacher, Fannie Rodgers, wrote the following remarks upon the school register of 1901. “The pupils were examined in arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, geography, grammar, history and health reader. Several recitations were given by the pupils. There were 25 pupils and 23 visitors present.”

In those days the school year was from January to December with vacation late June to late August. The examinations, referred to, determined the grading status of the students.

Fannie Rodgers had a Class II teaching license. Born in Fredericton, she taught 3 1/2 years in Tweedside and she was 25 years old on that December day – eventually she married Arthur Swan. During the 1901 season there were 30 students whose name appeared on that register, but six of the older students had fairly erratic attendance records, these were twelve and thirteen year olds who at that age were doing the work of adults either at home or in the employ of a neighbor.

Let me tell you the names of the visitors on that December 18th.

Harry (Henry) Swan would be in attendance as, the Secretary of the Trustees; also because his daughters Lily age 10 and Carrie age 8 were participants.

John Rutherford, married to Christina Embleton had two children there, David 7 and Gilbert 6. George Wood, married to Lizzie Messer, had 4 children in school. Sandy 13, Wallace 10, Peter L. 9 and Sadie 5.

James Patterson, married to Sarah Ann Brown, was there. His son Hazen, 7, was a student and the school teacher boarded with them.

Mrs. Thomas Burrell  was there because of Harry, age 12.

Peter James was there representing the James family, children of Ned James and Janet Wood. Edward and Annie, twins, aged 13, and twins Clifford and Idella, aged 8 and cousin Lee, aged 8.

James Rutherford, married to Sarah Frances Speedy was there because Thomas 12, Norman 9, and Belle age 6 were enrolled.

Other guests, Peter Wood, Isaac Burrell. Annie Thompson, Mary Messer. Mamie Messer. Bessie Messer. Mamie Wood. Mamie Swan, Lavina James. Ada James. Lizzie Rutherford. Maggie Nesbit. Sadie Wightman, Darroll Patterson and  Stirling Patterson.

Other children not yet mentioned were three children of James Messer and Julia Ann Wood – Jimmy 12, Celia 9 and Minnie 8. Three other children of William Messer and Sarah Rutherford were Ford 11, Oscar 9 and Sadie 8. Three children of John Messer and Margaret Moffitt were Belle, aged 10, Norman 8 and Alice 6. Roy Swan, age 13 and Stephen Swan age 6, the children of Sandy Swan and Annie Burrell.

It’s so exciting for me to be able to put together so many details from the almost forgotten past. I needed and got a lot of help. It started many years ago when Dora Swan, widow of the late Earl Swan, was living in the same house with her in-laws, James R. Swan and Marne Swan. One day her mother-in-law was housecleaning, and would have burned some old school registers, registers that had been preserved by Harry Swan, Maine’s father-in-law who had been Secretary of the School Board. Dora retrieved the papers, stored them and only recently showed them to Jocelean Hall. With patience only Jo can demonstrate she patched, pressed and organized the papers; then with the help of Helen Craig were presented to the Provincial Archives. Photo copies were prepared and Jo showed them to me. We looked at the list of 30 students and began to relate them to parents; we also perused the census records for 1901, put together enough information to make it possible to write this item. Others who were most helpful were Margaret Wilkins, daughter of the teacher Fannie Rodgers, Henry James who is researching the James history, Dora Swan, Mrs. Alton Lister and of courses my wife, Emma, who patiently writes down my dictation.

P.S. And Ken Hall who makes the coffee for those long hours when Jo opens her files to me.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: