For the foreseeable future, the citizens of Marblehead will be using the Eveleth Elementary School as their town library.
Although I grew up in Marblehead and was familiar with the school, I didn’t know who Dr. Samuel Chester Eveleth was and why he had a school named for him.
This is what I found out.
Eveleth was born in Marblehead in 1883 and lived on Pleasant Street. He was a physician that practiced in Marblehead for many years until his death in 1938. He was married to Helen Grace Mills until her death in 1918.
His father Dr. Philemon Eveleth (1845-1900) was also a physician and practiced in Marblehead until his death in 1900.
Dr. Samuel Eveleth graduated from Marblehead High School and later attended Amherst College and later Harvard Medical School.
He served his internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and returned to Marblehead to practice medicine in 1909.
In 1909, he was served on the Marblehead School Committee just like his father and was later elected chairman of the School Committee in 1930.
His interest in the Marblehead school system was not confined alone to the School Board. For many years, he was the team doctor for the Marblehead High School Football team.
His last road trip with the team was in 1934, when they traveled to Florida.
On a side note, many in town may not know the origins of the name of our High School football team, “The Magicians”
Until the 1930’s, The Marblehead High School Football team was known as the “Yachtsman”.
In 1934, The football team traveled to Miami, Florida to play against the Red Raiders of Edison High School and were expected to lose.
Instead, the Marblehead Yachtsman won.
The sportswriter who covered the game, said the Marblehead Yachtsman used so much trickery and deception, they played like magicians. The name Magicians stuck and the name Yachtsman was retired for good.
Dr. Samuel Eveleth’s fraternal interests included membership in the philanthropic Lodge A.F. and A.M. (Freemasons) and the Atlantic Lodge of I.O.O.F. (The independent Order of Odd Fellows)
Dr. Eveleth was also an avid sailor and belonged to the Corinthian Yacht Club.
He also served on the board of Trustees of the former Mary Alley Hospital and was on staff at Salem Hospital.
He was also a member of Post 32 of the American Legion. He had served as a Lieutenant with the United States Medical Corps during the First World War.
Dr. Samuel Chester Eveleth died in 1938 and was buried in Waterside Cemetery with his wife.
It is sad that this historic figure will soon be a faint memory once the old school is “repurposed”.
Same thing for the Gerry school. I often wondered “Why the School Committee (or Selectmen) thinks that they can just overwrite the historic school names?”
My guess is that they feel the people who remembered and memorialized giants like Gerry and Eveleth are dead and can’t vote.
When you replace a school or public building you should retain the name out of respect the past and not use the opportunity for School Committee or Selectman self-aggrandizement,