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Mercy RIPLEY TOOTHACRE, 1852 Teacher's Contract


Posted By: Doris Challis (email)
Date: 12/14/2003 at 19:10:38

"The Fairfield Ledger"
Saturday, June 25, 1927
Page 5, Column 5

Old Contract Turns Up to Show Remuneration in School Work in 1852.

An old hand-written contract, made evidently with a quill pen and with the old “long S” of that period, was brought to the County Superintendent’s office this week by Edward L. WESTON, superintendent next year of the Lockridge schools.

The paper was worn in the creases and the ink had begun to fade, but the beautiful, carefully formed letters with their scrolls and curves are perfectly legible.

In those good old days this teacher, who was Miss Mercy E. RIPLEY, maternal grandmother of Mrs. WESTON, and mother of Mrs. M. T. TOOTHACRE (sic - TOOTHAKER), formerly of Fairfield and now of Burlington, received $12 a month for a four-month school, and the salary was paid, two-thirds by the district and the rest by the patrons.

The contract reads: “It is agreed between Daniel VanWinkle, Wilson Green, and Abraham Vanwinkle, Directors of School District No. 6, of Round Prairie Township, County of Jefferson, State of Iowa, and Mercy RIPLEY, a school teacher of the county and state aforesaid, that the said Mercy RIPLEY is to teach the public school of said district for the term of four months 22 days for a month, commencing on the 22 day of November A.D. 1852, for the sum of 12 dollars per month, two-thirds of the publick money is to be paid, and the ballance is to be paid by the people sending their children to school in proportion to the number of days made up that for such services properly rendered the said Daniel Vanwinkle, Wilson Green and Abraham Vanwinkle, Directors as aforesaid, are to pay the said Mercy RIPLEY the amount of her wages as ascertained by this agreement.

“In witness whereof the said parties have hereunto set their name this 22nd of November 1852.

Mercy E. RIPLEY, Teacher

Daniel Vanwinkle
Wilson Green
Abraham Vanwinkle"

In applying for this school, Miss RIPLEY submitted the following recommendation: “This certifies that Miss M. E. RIPLEY is, in our opinion, well qualified to govern a school and to instruct youth in orthography, reading, writing, English grammar, geography and arithmetic and other branches of learning usually taught in Town Schools.”
Montrelle, May 19, 1849.

A. R. Pierce
M. S. Turnbull
J. E. Erskine

School Committee


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