St. Augustine Public School
State of Florida Education Report
|St. Augustine Public School
St. Augustine, Florida.
In 1832 the first English public school was conducted in this city in a building on
Charlotte street near King street. The building had been used for various purposes,
and at this time was rented by the town to conduct a school in.
The salaries of the teachers were paid out of the city treasury.
Many of the wealthier taxpayers did not patronize the "free school" as they called it,
and used their influence against its maintenance.
In less than a year the school was abandoned.
During the next thirty-five years the education of the children of this community was
directed by the private and church schools of the town.
In 1832 the United States government gave to the city a piece of land known as the
"Burnt Hospital Lot" to be used for the education of free white children.
The opposition to "free schools" was so great that no money could be spent by the
city to erect a suitable school house on this lot, until 1858. During this year a
two-story building was constructed by the city, but at its completion, the feeling of
hostility toward "free schools" had become so great again that the city council would
not levy a tax for its support.
A portion of the building was used for the council chamber, and the remaining part
was rented for various purposes.
Finally in 1868, the friends of the public school received an offer from the agent of the
Peabody Fund, of a sum of money to supplement what could be raised in the town. A
sufficient amount was soon raised by subscription and the school was opened in the
fall of this year.
In a short time the county was taxed to support the school.
The school has grown in size and popularity, requiring a new building to take the place
of the former one. To this new building have been added three two story additions, so
that at the present time the building contains eleven rooms. Each room is well
equipped with furniture and educational aids. In connection with the high school
department is a chemical and physical laboratory, fitted up with the proper appliances
for individual work on part of the pupils.
The building is valued at $7,000, while the furniture is worth at least half that amount.
The faculty of the school at the present time consists of ten persons, three males and
High School Department - Prof. H. O. Hamm, Principal; Prof. J. W. McClung, Prof.
O. P. Steves.
Miss E. Hamlin, Eighth Grade; Miss E. L. Watkins, Seventh Grade; Miss C. A.
Sherman, Sixth Grade; Miss E. B. Williamson, Fifth Grade; Miss E. Alexander,
Fourth Grade; Mrs. M. Reese, Second and Third Grade; Miss W. Young, First Grade.