Teachers of the past
The teachers, that at my age we were most fortunate to have, were really great teachers.
Perhaps one of the reasons being that their lives were dedicated to teaching. They had to quit if they married, for fear they might get pregnant and the children would notice it. They were either widows or unmarried ladies. They were not allowed to join a political party, nor go anywhere, except school functions.
However, they were sure that you learned all you were supposed to, or you could not pass to the next grade. It has been more than 70 years since I graduated from Camden High School, and I can still recite long poems, such as “Paul Revere’s Ride,” "Barbara Friechie,” "Concord Hymn" and many more.
One teacher told us she would give anyone an A for the quarter if they could learn the Constitution. I started with the Preamble, but decided that was enough for me. They must have felt that it did something for your brains.
After working a lifetime (not quite), I decided to go the University of Maine. It came easy and they asked me to join an honor society (Phi Theta Kappa), which I did, but I felt the honor really belonged to my teachers, who were long gone.
I remember vividly all the teachers I had and loved them all, with maybe a couple of exceptions. Most of them came here after graduating from the Normal School, so were probably buried in their home town not at Mountain View Cemetery. But I will list the teachers who were buried here:
Edith Marie Arey was the daughter of Arthur and Mary Page Arey, who graduated from Gorham Normal School in 1911. She taught in Camden for 50 years and died in 1937. I had her only a few days in the fifth-grade, because we had moved to Chestnut Street and therefore I belonged at Elm Street School. It was there I had Nettie Knight, who was also principal of the school that went through grade 5. She was very strict, but I loved that year. If we did well in penmanship, we could use red ink the next week. We had not seen red ink before. Anytime we did not want an English class, we could write a play and put it on. I never before or after wrote so many plays. If we got an A on a paper, she would start to sing “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Dorothy Walsh, who much later married Dalzell, was the kindergarten teacher, a half-day for both the Knowlton Street School and Elm Street School. She was a very kind and loveable woman to us little 5-year-olds .She died in 1986. It was our first year, but we wanted to be there.
Evelyn Ryder (Goodwin) was one of my very favorite teachers, but she married at Christmas time and we had to have a different one. She was happy but we were heartbroken. I used to stop on my way home and visit her. As I think about it today, I am sure I couldn’t have called her from school, so must have just popped in, uninvited. Guess I didn’t stay long because we were supposed to go directly home from school. We didn’t even know the term “hang out.” She died in 1974.
T. Lucine Arau was from Camden and taught fourth-grade at Elm Street School and was very well liked, but I was at Knowlton Street School. She died in 1973.
Frances Alexander (Schipper) taught third-grade there and all of her pupils loved her, until she died last year at age 104. She was born in Camden, graduated from Farmington Normal School and taught 10 years, until she married Fred Schipper and moved away. After he died, Frances returned to Camden and all her pupils gathered around their former third-grade teacher. They still loved her, even though the pupils were now 60 and 70 years old. They went to breakfast, lunch and even dances with her, because she loved to laugh and have fun.
Mildred Gould was the first-grade teacher at Knowlton Street, and was from a long line of Camden Goulds. She was one of the first teachers, when Knowlton Street School was built about 1930. She had been teaching at the Milllville School, a neighborhood one-room building, until they built Knowlton Street School for eight grades.
Now about others buried elsewhere:
Mary E. Taylor was principal of Knowlton Street School and also math teacher in the seventh- and eighth-grades for many years. She was an excellent teacher, who ruled with an iron hand. There was no talking on the halls, chewing gum or hardly breathing. We all respected her and all the teachers because our parents had faith in them. They let us know that the teachers were always right.
Eva Rideout was our junior high English teacher, and she believed that we should learn it all and remember it all forever.
Lawrence “Dool” Dailey came from Camden and graduated from Camden High School. He was the physical education teacher and at Camden High coached basketball and softball (girls) or baseball (boys). The Dailey families were numerous in Camden, but he is not at Mountain View.
Ethel Oliver was the high school English teacher and was a fine and pleasant teacher. Her aunt, Ethel Staples, taught in junior high and her mother had previously taught in Camden grade schools.
Milford Payson taught French in high school and we never knew what his attitude might be, but he did a lot for us for entertainment. He would hire a dance teacher to come to the Opera House, teach the waltz, fox trot and the latest dance craze. Then the students would dance the rest of the evening. If you took French for three years, he took us on a weekend trip to Quebec. He did many things like that.
Frederick Richards from Rockport was a wonderful Camden High School math teacher. He had graduated from Annapolis and was very intelligent. We were so fortunate to have had him. He was good at discipline because he was still “military.”
Carleton P. Wood was the principal of the high school and was a very kind man. We called him “Papa Wood,” but not so he could hear us.
Anna Keating looked stern but had a nice sense of humor. She taught World History and sometimes English.
Bertha Clason taught Latin, for three generations and knew it better than the Romans. I didn’t care much for that subject and maybe I know the reason. When they handed us our book, I opened the front cover and a former student had written in it. It read,” Latin is a language as dead as it could be; it killed off all the Romans and now it is killing me.”
There were other teachers, but the article is long enough, so I thank all of them who did such a fine and dedicated job of teaching.
Barbara Dyer is Camden's official town historian.