Milton in NH Education Report, 1879

By Muriel Bristol | October 3, 2021

In his June 1879 report, the NH Superintendent of Instruction provided some statistics regarding Milton.

Milton’s town school committee members were identified as being J.V. [J.P.] Bickford (1844-1910), I.N. [J.N.] Lowell (1846-1903), and B.B. Plummer (1846-1919).

Milton had 11 school districts and 12 schools in town, 1 of which was a graded schools and 1 a town high school. There were 12 schoolhouses, and none that were unfit for use. Maps and globes were available in 2 schoolhouses. The value of schoolhouses, furnishings and sites was estimated at $8,000, and the value of apparatus was estimated at $100. Only 2 of the district schools had an average of 12 scholars of less; and none had an average of 6 scholars or less. The average run of district school classes was 16.5 weeks. (The Strafford County average was 22.64 weeks).

Milton had 1 fractional school district. It paid $51.00 in superintendence. Some 30 students had no absences during the year. It had 5 students attending private schools.

Milton had 180 male and 140 female students enrolled. Of these, 20 were aged under six years, 277 were aged between 6 and 16 years, and 23 were aged over 16 years. There were 40 students pursuing higher branches, and there were 6 students aged between 5 and 15 years that were not attending any school. Average daily attendance was 230 students.

There was 1 male teacher, making an average of $50 per month, and 17 female teachers, making an average of $25.00 per month. Of these, 2 were teaching for the first time, and 8 had been teachers for more than one term. (One might infer that the remaining 8 had been teachers already for a single prior term). Of these, 1 of them had been to Normal school. Of 242 Strafford County teachers, only 19 (7.6%) had been to Normal school).

Under the heading Private Schools of a Higher Grade, Milton had its Classical Institute, which was situated at Milton Three Ponds. It had been chartered and organized in 1866. The value of its building, apparatus and grounds was $2,800. It had a 44-week school year, which began in September. It had no male teachers and 2 female teachers; and it had 17 male and 31 female students. Of these, 37 of them were NH residents, 18 of them were pursuing higher branches.

The school committee had available to it $3,980.17; of which $1,392.89 came from the town tax for support of schools, $2,234.68 came from district school taxes, $116.45 came from the literary fund, $159.00 came from local funds and the dog tax, $77.05 came from the railroad tax, and $0.00 came from contributions.

Milton expended $910.15 for new buildings, $1,327.13 in interest, $150.00 in permanent repairs, $0.oo in miscellaneous expenses; and $1,341.85 in teacher salaries, for a grand total of $3,780.13. The average cost of salaries and miscellaneous expenses per scholar was $4.37. (The county average cost per scholar was $7.55).

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NH Superintendent of Public Instruction. (1879). Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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