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Stetson High School

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Location: Randolph, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
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The First Building

Stetson High School dates from 17 June 1841 when Amasa Stetson, a native of Randolph, Massachusetts, sent a letter to the town in which he offered money to erect a Town Hall. The town accepted and in subsequent correspondence he stated that his plan was for town offices downstairs and an Academy, with the rents for the offices to go to the school. There already was a Randolph Academy which offered a classical education, but Stetson stated "It is not intended that the Academy shall divert industry from productive pursuits as Academical Collegiate teachings tend to do, but to extent and improve the instruction of male youth, beyond the instruction those of similar ages acquire in the common schools of the town; not that I wish them taught any other than the English language, but that which shall be best calculated to promote their usefulness, prosperity, and worth as citizens."[1]

That building, erected in 1842, was named Stetson Hall and housed Stetson High School from 1842 until 1909. Stetson Hall is still extant.

Two years later, recognizing that rents alone would not be sufficient to sustain the Academy, he sent a letter dated 15 February 1843 offering $10,000.00. "The fund and the rent of town hall were to be kept separate from other town moneys, and wat to be known as the Fund of Stetson High School, the Fund was to be under absolute control of a board of trustees." The trustees "Shall admit without favor or affection or partiality from each and every section of the town male children only between ages of 14 and 18." If there were too many they would draw lots for entry. "The introduction of any other than the English language or any branch deemed necessary for a Collegiate education . . . at the expense of the Fund are hereby prohibited." However, he did allow that if a future contributor wanted to give money for that purpose "It shall not be considered incompatible with the Fund." Other provisions established tasks, terms and elections for the board of trustees and how to handle conflicts. Col. Royal Turner, Aaron Prescott, Est. and Levi Paine were elected the first trustees.[2]


Mary J. Gibbons
Mary E. Heney
Lucy B. McCarthy
Edward H. McMahon
Harriet E. Ormsby
Annie E. Pryor
Clara Wales Alden
Mary Bridget DeNeill
Nellie Mabel Field
Katie Agnes Keirnan
Lizzie Dwight Leach
Hattie Emma Towns
Jennie Agnes French
Lizzie Lena French
Alice Cushing Gove
Hattie Albertie Hawes
Leila Ada Holbrook


  1. Harry R. Butman, History of Randolph, Massachusetts, Randolph: Printed for the Town by Standard-Modern Printing Co., Brockton, [1952], pp. 34-35. Note: archive.org and worldcat.org both give the date [1944] as that is the date the town authorized it, but it contains an epilogue for the years 1944-1951, so probably printed in 1952.
  2. Butman, History of Randolph, Massachusetts, pp. 35-36.
  3. Randolph Town Reports, 1880, p. 71. https://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/821552
  4. Randolph Town Reports, 1881, p. 60. https://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/821553
  5. Randolph Town Reports, 1882, p. 70. https://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/821554

See Also:

  • Stetson Hall Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) database at https://mhc-macris.net/index.htm Search by address 6 South Main St, Randolph and ID 25 or property name Stetson Hall.

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