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Title: Charles Edward Putney - An Appreciation
Author: Various
Language: English
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[Illustration: (front cover)]

[Illustration: (frontispiece)]

Charles Edward Putney

An Appreciation

Published by the Charles E. Putney Memorial Association

  What delightful hosts are they--
    Life and Love!
  Lingeringly I turn away,
    This late hour, yet glad enough
  They have not withheld from me
    Their high hospitality.
  So, with face lit with delight
    And all gratitude, I stay
    Yet to press their hands and say,
  "Thanks,--So fine a time! Good night."

                --_James Whitcomb Riley_


This memorial to a great Vermont educator is the happy thought of one
of his pupils, Miss Caroline S. Woodruff. The idea immediately found
favor wherever it was known that such a tribute was contemplated. An
organization was perfected known as "The Charles E. Putney Memorial,"
to arrange for the publication of this book. Hon. Charles W. Gates
of Franklin, Vermont, was selected as chairman, and the preliminary
expenses of the enterprise were taken care of by a finance committee
consisting of Hon. F. W. Plaisted of Augusta, Me., Mrs. Fletcher D.
Proctor of Proctor, and J. F. Cloutman of Farmington, N. H. The
committee in charge of securing the material for the book and its
publication were Miss Caroline S. Woodruff of St. Johnsbury, Rolfe
Cobleigh of Boston, and Arthur F. Stone of St. Johnsbury. The
publication committee realize that there are many former pupils of Mr.
Putney who would have been glad to have contributed to this memorial,
but believe that the tributes in the following pages are representative
of the sentiments of all who sat under his inspiring teaching, and are
stronger and better men and women because of his marked influence upon
their lives.


On His Seventy-fifth Birthday

February 26, 1915

  Still, still a summer day comes to my call,--
  A room wide-windowed, bright with girls and boys,
  A wrinkled Homer craning from the wall,
  A bee-like murmuring of _ai's_ and _oi's_;
  And you, a king, dark-bearded, on your throne,--
  A king of gentle bearing and soft speech,
  No scepter ringing and no trumpet blown,
  But nature's own authority to teach.
  A stranger-lad I steal into my place
  And five and thirty years are quickly gone.
  The same sweet balsam breathes upon my face,
  The old Hellenic brook is purling on.
  See with how bright a chain you hold us true:
  We that would think of youth must think of you.

                         Wendell Phillips Stafford.


Charles Edward Putney, the son of David and Mary Putney, was born at
Bow, New Hampshire, February 26, 1840. He was one of fourteen children,
of whom ten lived to grow to manhood and womanhood. David Putney was a
farmer, and Mr. Putney's early years were spent on the farm. He attended
district school and went later to Colby Academy, teaching district
schools from time to time, and preparing himself to enter Dartmouth
College, which he was about to do when the Civil War broke out.

He enlisted in the Thirteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, and later became
a sergeant. He was in the war over three years and took part in the
battles of Fredericksburg, siege of Suffolk, Port Walthal, Swift Creek,
Kingsland Creek, Drewrys Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort McConhie,
Fort Harrison, and Richmond. He was one of the first four men to enter
Richmond after the surrender.

At the conclusion of the war he entered Dartmouth College, and was
graduated with high rank in 1870. Directly after his graduation he was
married to Abbie M. Clement of Norwich, Vermont, who died in 1901. He
taught in Norwich until 1873, when he became assistant principal in St.
Johnsbury Academy under Mr. Homer T. Fuller, whom he succeeded in the
principalship. In 1896 he resigned on account of ill health. He went
to Massachusetts and became superintendent of schools in the Templeton
district, where he remained until the spring of 1901, when he took up
his work in the Burlington High School. He died in Burlington at the
home of his daughter, February 3, 1920, after an illness of two weeks.


It takes a man to adorn any calling; callings require or bring special
fitness, but manhood crowns the fitness, gives it added scope,
completeness, power and beauty--rejoicing the heart. Good doctors, good
lawyers, good men of affairs, good teachers, are better if they are
beyond reckoning. Wisdom is an intellectual thing, a property of the
mind, but when it is perfect the heart pours through it as the rivers
flowed through paradise. A poem in the Scriptures says that Wisdom
created the world, not as a task, but as a pastime. Speaking of God,
Wisdom says, "I was daily his delight, sporting before him, sporting
in his habitable earth." When one sees a man investing his work with
personal charm, one knows the difference between a photograph and a
painting--a photograph with its hard, incisive fidelities, and a
painting with its living colors, its appeal to feeling, its lovely
beauty, something luxuriously human in it. A teacher has a special
reason for floating his service, if it may be, upon a stream of personal
worth and personal charm, because he deals with children and youth who
respond to what he is, as well as to what he teaches. Daniel says,
"The teachers shall shine as the stars." Our friend here had much of
the oak, much of the granite in his make-up; something also of the
morning scattered upon the hills, something of the son of consolation.
He mellowed with the years. He planted climbing roses beside his
strength, and in the heart of it a tender and delicate consideration;
some of you loved him more and more to the end.

In his early youth he had the happy fortune to serve his country during
the Civil War. The ardors of that crisis glowed in his heart to the end;
the scorching heat gone, the flashing lightning gone, but never the
remaining glory of those years when he ennobled his young manhood by
risking his life for his country. He might have said what Galahad said
of the Holy Grail,

                        "... Never yet
  Hath ...
  This Holy thing fail'd from my side nor come
  Covered, but moving with me night and day."

He was a faithful member of Stannard Post, and long its commander. He
kept the Friday night of the Post meeting for the Post. Every Sunday
afternoon he passed my house, going to visit a comrade whom illness kept
at home. And he was a religious man--a Christian man. Faith was mixed
with his life. God strengthened him with strength in his soul. He was a
deacon of this church, and while his strength permitted, a teacher in
the Sunday school. He lived by his faith, and he thought about it. It
was one of the great interests of his mind. There is plenty in every
man's experience to limit him, to confine him, to make him small and
petty. This man had at least two enthusiasms which lifted and broadened
his spirit, his patriotism and his religion. The last word he spoke was
the name of his native town in New Hampshire, Bow. A great light came
into his eyes with the name, as if he saw the place in a vision. He
loved his old home and visited it when he could. He went back at last
in imagination and desire to the roothold of his life, and that was
well and fair, for he represented the fineness of that New England
inheritance. One perhaps should not boast, but at least one may say that
it is a goodly inheritance of solidity, fidelity, seriousness, fitness
to live in a community and take part in its affairs.

It is said of Elisha that he took up the mantle of Elijah. The mantle
was a symbol of the spirit; it had become almost a personal thing.
Elijah had wrapped his face in it when he stood in the cave's mouth and
heard the small, still voice of the Lord. He cast it upon Elisha when he
called him from his plow to be a prophet. He smote the waters with it,
when he went to the place where he was to go up in the whirlwind, and
they were divided hither and thither so that they went over on dry
ground. When he went up in the storm, his mantle fell on Elisha. That
mantle lay close to the secrets of the prophet's heart; he wrapped his
face in it when God spoke to him. It was the symbol of his influence; he
called Elisha with it. It was the symbol of his power; he divided the
waters with it. A mantle lies upon the shoulders. It may fit another as
well as its owner. If it could be said that the mantle of this man has
fallen upon the teachers of Burlington, he would need, he could desire,
no other memorial.


                                                 South Weymouth, Mass.,
                                                      February 6, 1920.

Dear Mary:

May I tell you a little story? It has largely to do with one whom you
loved and who loved you very much. You called him "Grandpa."

The story begins sixty-four years ago this coming spring, when two
brothers, a big brother of sixteen years and a little brother of eight
years, started out together one morning for school. They were going to
attend a private school, for a few weeks, in a strange district about
two miles from their home. The little brother would have been afraid
to go that long distance alone; but he had all confidence in his big
brother, whom he loved very dearly.

They had not been in that school very long when the teacher discovered
that the big brother was the best scholar he had. Very soon the teacher
asked him to help him in his work. Do you think the big brother refused?

One day the teacher was ill and could not attend school. He sent word by
one of his pupils that he wanted his best scholar to take charge of the
school for the day. Well, that was a trying experience for a boy of
sixteen; but that boy commanded the respect of all the pupils of that
school; so he undertook the task and with wonderful success. He had no
difficulty with any of the pupils although some of them were older than
himself. Perhaps the little brother wasn't proud to have such a big
brother! It was about this time that the little fellow began to notice
how earnestly his older brother was trying to do right in every way; it
made a great impression upon him.

The few weeks of private school ended and the big brother soon opened
the summer term of school in his home district. In spite of his youth
he was appointed teacher and all the people of the district seemed very
glad. Among his pupils were little brother, two other brothers, and a

The teacher was so successful in his work that the parents in the
district wanted him to teach another and another term. He did so; but
all the time he was studying to prepare himself for larger work. He took
advantage of every opportunity to attend school for a term or two at a
time in some academy, until he became fitted for college. Meanwhile he
was deeply interested in his younger brothers and sister and doing all
he could to help them along in their studies.

About the time he was sixteen years old he heard a voice that seemed to
say to him, "Go, work in my vineyard!" That voice meant everything to
him; he was eager, therefore, to obey it. To work in the vineyard meant
doing good, helping others, being unselfish, giving strength and cheer
when needed. We all know how well he did his work in the Master's
vineyard and through how many years he sowed the good seed.

A few weeks ago, the little brother, to whom I have referred, was
looking forward to the coming of big brother's eightieth birthday and
wishing that he could give expression to something worthy of the brother
and his wonderful life-work. While he knew that he was not equal to
an ideal accomplishment of such a pleasant task, he made one of his
attempts and wrote the few lines enclosed, finishing them a very few
days before the sad news of Grandpa's fatal illness reached him. He has
made no change in them, realizing that you will understand that he was
fondly hoping that his eightieth birthday would find big brother in his
usual health and strength. So, with a heart heavy with grief, yet full
of loving and grateful memories of my dear big brother, I am telling you
this little story and sending you the accompanying tribute to one of the
best men that ever lived.

And now, with much love to yourself and all the members of your home,
the little brother of sixty-four years ago wishes to sign himself

                                                      Your affectionate
                                                         UNCLE FREEMAN.

And the Sheaves Are Still Coming In

  "Go, work in my vineyard!" The Master spoke
  To the list'ning heart of Youth;
  "The world is my vineyard; go forth and sow
  The Life-giving seed of Truth!"
  And forth to the sowing, with ardent zeal
  And a love for mankind akin
  To the Master's own, he joyfully went,--
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  He quickened ambition's sluggish soil,
  And freely scattered the seeds;
  The blades spring up, and life takes on
  A passion for worthy deeds.
  New visions catch the opening eye,
  Fresh purposes begin;
  The sower sowed with a lavish trust,--
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  He turned deep furrows in shadowed soil,
  Where the weeds of dark despair
  Were the only growth; the seeds of Hope
  He patiently planted there.
  A harvesting of wheat appears
  Where lately tares had been;
  The sower in love had graciously sown,--
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  The years speed on; in manhood's glow
  He is sowing with vigilant care;
  There are fields that call for the Seed of Life,--
  He is finding them everywhere.
  He is steadfastly doing the Master's work,
  Unheeding the clamor and din
  Of a restless world; he quietly sows,--
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  At threescore years: does he stay his hand
  In token of lessening powers?
  He takes no note of vanishing time
  Save to honor its golden hours.
  He only kens 'tis the Master's wish
  That his strength be given to win
  The harvests of Truth; he scatters the seed,--
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  Threescore and ten: he has surely laid
  The burden of sowing down?
  He is far afield and with glow of soul
  Is wearing the years' bright crown.
  In his zeal for service he does not ask
  When the days of rest begin;
  Enough to know there is seed to sow;
            And the sheaves are still coming in.

  And what of the sower at fourscore years?
  Has the vineyard a place for him still?
  In joy of service and glow of zeal
  He is sowing with marvelous skill.
  He has sown in faith through many years,
  And rich have the harvests been;
  His forward look is a look of trust,
            For the sheaves are still coming in.

  Ah! Brother, thy summons to riches' quest
  Was the call of the Voice Divine;
  Thou hast shaped thy will to the Master's word,
  And Infinite wealth is thine.
  'Twas thy constant aim, from the fields of Time,
  Eternal treasures to win;
  That aim was blessed; to thy lasting joy
            The sheaves are still coming in.

  And when thou art called from the toil of earth
  To the larger service Above,
  And shalt hear the Master's questioning voice,
  In accents of Infinite Love,
  "What is the measure of golden grain
  Thou didst wrest from the fields of sin?"
  The Angel of Record will testify,
              "The sheaves are still coming in."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Call him not old, although the flight of years
    Has measured off the allotted term of life!
  Call him not old, since neither doubts nor fears
    Have quenched his hope throughout the long, long strife!

  They are not old though days of youth have fled,
    Who quaff the brimming cup of peace and joy!
  They are not old who from life's hidden springs
    Find draughts which still refresh but never cloy."


I am glad you are to have a birthday tomorrow. I feel sure that it will
be a happy birthday. Your children and grandchildren will see to it that
the day is properly celebrated.

It is a great pleasure to look back on the days spent in St. Johnsbury
when your influence meant so much to us. You can never know how strongly
your personality and your life influenced the boys and girls in the
Academy, especially those of us who were away from home. Many of the
things which you said to us, the time or occasion of saying them and
the place too are very vividly recalled after thirty years. You in St.
Johnsbury, four or five professors at Dartmouth and perhaps a half dozen
other men, make up a small group of men who have given me most in the
way of stimulation and encouragement. To express adequately my gratitude
is impossible, but out of a full heart I do thank you and am glad of
this opportunity to extend my best wishes to you for continued health
and happiness.

                                                  Yours very sincerely,
                                                 DAVID N. BLAKELY, '85.

You have been living in my life all these long years since the old St.
Johnsbury Academy days.

That wonderful kindness with which you looked upon all our shortcomings
has been the great example of kindness I have looked to all these days.

That wonderful equality of judgment with which you decided all our
cases, has always remained unquestioned in my heart.

And that which most of all has influenced my life has been that
wonderful quietness with which you have possessed your soul.

I am more grateful to you every day I live and more thankful for the
years spent under your influence.

We are all to be congratulated because of this birthday. May you have
many, many more and may you know better every year how much we all love

                                                  Yours most sincerely,
                                                        MARY DREW, '87.

Believing that the only real satisfaction to a teacher after all is the
knowledge that somewhere down the years there sounds an echo of his
effort, I am venturing to add my word of appreciation to you on your

There in your office and classroom I received, as have hundreds of
others, the inspiration--the vision, if you will, of what life
means--and there are no memories more hallowed than those of the
associations at St. Johnsbury Academy. Year after year for thirty years
I've watched the groups of young men and women leave the institution but
never without a keener appreciation of what the years had meant to us.

Not for the first time do I say that whatever little success I may have
had with young people is due in large measure to the help received at
your hand, and with all my heart I thank you for your firm and gentle
guidance, your paternal influence over us all, and most of all for your
exemplary Christian character that never failed.

The best wish I can offer you today on your seventy-fifth birthday is
that you may realize more and more what a mighty power for good you have
been and are in the lives of an army of men and women today who once
fell under your influence.

                                                        Very sincerely,
                                             CAROLINE S. WOODRUFF, '84.

I wonder how many of us you can remember and whether any of our failings
are still in your mind?

You only had me for a short time, but such as it was it completed my
school work.

In fact it was my only schooling away from home. I am therefore able to
recall vividly many impressions made on my mind during the time I was
under your charge. I formed the impression that you were absolutely fair
and honest with your scholars and that you expected no higher standard
of conduct from them than you were practising every day. I can see you
as you were then and wonder why, with such an example, we did not do

I do not say this because it is your seventy-fifth birthday but because
it is true and I wish you to know that I realized it.

Seventy-five years of upright living comes to but very few and is a
crown of glory more valuable than great wealth or political advancement
and I most sincerely congratulate you on having achieved this end. May
your remaining days be filled with content and happiness and may the
expressions of appreciation and love that you are sure to receive at
this time, bring to you a partial reward for all you have done in the
past for your fellows.

                                          Sincerely and lovingly yours,
                                                          G. H. PROUTY.

Patey and I were speaking and writing some time ago about the
seventy-fifth birthday. As the boys would say, "That is some birthday,"
and it is fitting that more than ordinary notice should be taken
of it. I expressed a belief that expressions of loyalty and grateful
remembrance were more to you than material things would be. I hope the
expression will be as spontaneous at this time as it has been from year
to year all through your service. I have never known in any other case
such a continued and universal loyalty as the students of St. Johnsbury
Academy have given to you. By reflex action it has been inspiring to me
and cultivated in me the same desire to serve my pupils which you have

                                                      With best wishes,
                                                     FRANKLIN A. DAKIN.

Words are after all poor substitutes for the genuine feelings of the
heart but I know you will be able to brush aside the words and get at
the sentiment back of them.

In three more days from this date you will be rounding out seventy-five
years of a very useful life.

I am sure you will let an old pupil and one who has received so much
inspiration and good cheer from your life tell you so at this time.

Your boys and girls are in many lands but they are still your boys and
girls. Never have I seen a man retain the affection and esteem of those
who have come under his influence to a greater extent than you have.

May the good Lord continue to bless you and yours is the sincere wish
of your former pupil and friend,

                                              HEDLEY PHILIP PATEY, '86.

As I look back on my years in St. Johnsbury Academy I know that I
appreciated to some extent what you were doing for the young people in
your charge, and especially the many kindnesses that you showed to me
in assisting me to prepare for college. It was not until the close of my
second year at the Academy that I made any definite plans to go farther,
but I appreciate very much more today than I did then the character of
the work you were doing. It was my good fortune to be brought into touch
with able teachers and educators during my entire education, but I can
truthfully say that not one of them took time out of a busy life to
arouse and assist a growing ambition for a broader education as you did,
and I shall always look back to the three years spent under you at St.
Johnsbury Academy as the time when my ambitions clarified themselves and
I began to look out toward a broader field.

                                                        Very sincerely,
                                                    MATT B. JONES, '86.

As one of the many students who in St. Johnsbury Academy had the
pleasure and advantage of your instruction, I am glad to acknowledge the
obligation I personally feel to you for the kindly and patient direction
given me at such an important period in a young man's life. It seems to
me that the knowledge that one has wisely directed the education and
lives of so many young men and women as you have, must constitute one of
the crowning and most satisfying joys possible, and I am sure that all
the youth who have felt the influence of your teaching sincerely wish
that you may live long to enjoy the happiness which you deserve for
service so conscientiously and cheerfully performed.

                                                  Very sincerely yours,
                                                  EDWIN A. BAYLEY, '81.

I am sending this letter hoping it may be opened by you on February 26,
which I am told is your birthday. I want you to be sure of the love of
an old pupil who never forgets you, and never will cease to be grateful
for your gifts to him during the three years that we were together in
St. Johnsbury. The Lord richly bless you with all good things.

                                      Yours loyally and affectionately,
                                                   OZORA S. DAVIS, '85.

I wish to take this opportunity to write to you to extend congratulations
on your seventy-fifth birthday, and further to express my appreciation
for the service you rendered me back in St. Johnsbury Academy. You will
recall that when I entered the Academy I told you I wanted to become a
teacher and to that end I have always striven.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must not weary you with too much of my own history, only enough to let
you know that after eighteen years of service I can still look back with
appreciation to the man who above all others in the Academy made a
lasting impression on my life. May the years that are before you be full
of sunshine and happiness.

                                                       Yours sincerely,
                                               ARTHUR F. O'MALLEY, '93.

Some one tells me that you are to have a birthday tomorrow and I desire
to join with the host of your former students in sending you good wishes
on that day. There are many of us who still feel in our lives what
a factor St. Johnsbury was, and of all those in the old school you
were the one who meant the most to each one of us. When I think of my
experiences at the Academy--and St. Johnsbury meant more to me than
college or anything else--I always think of you and the great help that
you were to us boys in the time when we needed help. The pleasures of
my classes in Greek and all the other things in which you were of such
valuable assistance, will always be remembered. I only wish I might
do for some boy as much as you did for me. I send you my sincerest
greetings and best wishes for a happy birthday.

                                                         Yours for '85,
                                                    JAY B. BENTON, '85.

It hardly seems possible that you are reaching your seventy-fifth
birthday, but such, I am informed, is the case. I have really known you
quite a while; because you will remember that you were the Normal School
examiner, and I was in one of the classes graduating from the Randolph
Normal School in 1882.

I presume that as you think over the factors which have led to such a
hale and hearty old age, you will agree with Mark Twain who attributed
his seventy years to, among other things, never having smoked but one
cigar at a time, never having smoked during sleep, and not always at
his meals.

I hope that on this auspicious day you will take out the gold-headed
cane presented you by the class of '86 and, at least, wave it in the air
a few times; for, as I think I told you on the day of its presentation,
we hoped you might never need it for walking purposes.

I can never forget your many acts of kindness rendered me personally
during my course at St. Johnsbury. Were I to attempt to recount them as
they occur to me I am sure I should make this letter, which is intended
to be simply one of warm congratulations, far too long.

Among the many things upon which I think you are to be congratulated, I
would mention first the spirit which inspires you to still love your
work at seventy-five, and again the nervous and physical energy which
permits you to stay, as Roosevelt might say, "in the ring." No less are
you to be congratulated on the consciousness, which I know must be
yours, of the love and devotion of hundreds, yes, thousands by this
time, of your pupils throughout the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am sure I have imperfectly expressed the love, gratitude, and
admiration which I always cherish toward you, but you can be sure there
is much of it here, as there is in the hearts of all who have come in
contact with you.

With cordial best wishes I am, sincerely,

                                                    GEORGE E. MAY, '86.

Tribute written by Mr. Roland E. Stevens for the _Hartford Gazette_,
a paper printed by Mr. Stevens' small boy.

Editor of the _Hartford Gazette_:

Every day in every year, I suppose, has a special meaning and interest
for some one or more of the great human family. The day of the present
week that has a particular interest and meaning for me (and without
doubt for many others whom I know) is Friday the twenty-six. Why?
Because nearly thirty years ago when I was an awkward, spindling boy,
thirsty and hungry for an education, without means and not in very good
health, I wrote a letter to the principal of St. Johnsbury Academy,
telling him of my ambition to enter the Academy as a student and asking
him if he thought I could find work by means of which I could earn
enough to pay my way at the Academy. When I was writing the letter I was
half discouraged and rather feared and expected that I wouldn't receive
an answer, because I knew the letter was not very well written or
expressed, and I was almost sure that so great a man as I supposed the
principal of St. Johnsbury Academy to be, wouldn't pay much attention
to such a letter.

In a short time, however, I received a very encouraging reply expressing
a friendly interest in me and advising me to come to St. Johnsbury in
season to take an entrance examination and stating that a willing boy
could most always find work.

The letter was not dictated nor was it typewritten. It was written in
long hand and by the principal himself. The spelling, grammar, and
punctuation were, I felt sure, absolutely perfect; but the handwriting,
to my great joy, was no handsomer than mine. This and the kindly tone of
the letter helped me to a quick and firm determination to pack all of my
worldly possessions, including some cookies, loaves of bread, etc., into
a rough wooden box and start for St. Johnsbury in season for the opening
of the fall term.

Within an hour after my arrival I found myself in the home of the
principal sitting quite near him, hearing him say in a quiet, sincere
voice, that he was glad I came; that he had found work for me; that he
wanted me to know that he was interested in all boys who came to the
Academy with a desire to work and to learn. I went from him to the
family where I was to live and work, inspired with confidence in him and
respect for him.

Master editor, these things happened nearly twenty years before your
birth, and in all these years the only change in my feelings toward this
principal of St. Johnsbury Academy that I am conscious of, is an increased
and unbounded faith in him as a Christian gentleman, love and respect
for him as a true friend, gratitude and admiration for him as a teacher
and wise counsellor who has ministered generously to the physical and
spiritual needs of many besides myself.

You know, of course, that I refer to Prof. C. E. Putney who was
principal of St. Johnsbury Academy in the days when it ranked with
Andover and Exeter and for a number of years has been teaching Latin and
Greek in the Burlington, Vermont, High School. February 26, will be his
seventy-fifth birthday. This is why that day has a particular meaning
and interest for me and many others.

                                                     ROLAND E. STEVENS.

  Hartford, Vermont,
  February 22, 1915.

On Mr. Putney's seventy-fifth birthday the teachers of Edmunds High
School presented him with a beautiful loving cup. This note accompanied
the cup:

To our honored Friend and Co-worker,
  Mr. Charles E. Putney.

The teachers of the High School, with the superintendent and his wife,
wish to send you hearty congratulations on your birthday and the many
years of usefulness that lie in its wake. They wish to emphasize their
appreciation of what it means to the whole school to have in their midst
a loyal old soldier, a kindly and genial friend, and a real gentleman
of "the old school."

They hope this loving cup will be to you a substantial evidence of their
appreciation in the past, as also of their good wishes for the future.


At Seventy

  With a step elastic,
  Vigorous of mind,
  Strenuous of purpose,
  Casting doubts behind,--
  Vigilant for duty,
  Strong to banish fears,--
  What a wealth of tribute
  To your seventy years.

  Backward glance disclosing
  Many a service field,
  To whose faithful tilling
  Bounteous harvests yield,--
  Priceless treasures, wrested
  From the soil of truth,
  Treasures from rich sowing
  In the lives of youth;

  Treasures from the valley,
  Where the shadows lay
  Till your voice of comfort
  Whispered them away;
  Treasures from the hillside,
  Whose ascent seemed drear
  Till your note of courage
  Fell upon the ear.

  Treasures from the garden,
  Where the Graces bloom,
  Lavishly exuding
  Breaths of rich perfume;
  Treasures from the vineyard,
  To whose soil were given
  Streams of gracious influence
  Born of Hope and Heaven;

  Treasures from the hilltop,
  Where the Eternal Love
  Fell in showers of blessing
  From the fount above;
  Treasures gleaned from sorrow,
  When to longing eyes
  Came a glimpse of mansions
  Reared in Paradise.

  Ten and threescore cycles
  Are complete today;
  Loving benedictions
  Speed you on your way.
  Age has no forebodings,--
  Clouds and shadows fly
  From the glow and radiance
  Of your western sky.

  Peaceful, glad and trustful
  Is your forward glance,--
  Faith begetting vision
  As the years advance.
  Is the sight entrancing?
  Do you long to go?
  List! the Father speaketh,
  Lovingly and low:

  "Safe are all the treasures
  For which you have wrought;
  Safe the precious jewels
  Prayer and love have bought;
  All your aspirations--
  Incense of the soul--
  With the seal eternal,
  Safe in My control.

  "Heaven awaits your coming
  With a warmth that cheers;
  But the earth-friends need you
  For a few more years;
  Tarry yet a season,
  That My will may be,
  Through the twilight hour,
  Perfected in thee."

               MRS. A. L. HARDY.

Of late we have heard much on the subject of preparedness. We have been
told that the prepared man is the man who achieves the thing he goes
after. He is happy. He is satisfied with himself.

On the twenty-sixth of February, seventy-six years ago, there was born
into the world a man who now holds a very high place in the thoughts
of hundreds of men and women. That man was Charles Edward Putney, our
beloved and respected teacher.

The lives of great men, it has been said, are the greatest teachers. Let
us then take the life of Mr. Putney and see what a lesson it teaches us
in preparedness.

At the early age of seventeen, Mr. Putney was teaching school. If he had
not studied and prepared himself could he have filled such a position at
the early age? The answer is plainly "No." Mr. Putney had moreover the
moral and the physical courage as well as mental ability. In 1861 he
answered Lincoln's call for volunteers and fought bravely for the Union.
He had prepared to do the right and when duty called he responded.

After the great war was over he entered Dartmouth College. He was
graduated from the institution as "honor man." And since then wherever
he has gone he has been the "honor man." Men, now old themselves, speak
with fondest regard of their teacher and state that he showed them the
right way to success. He prepared not only himself but others. Isn't
that a glorious thing? What greater hero is there than the fashioner of
the thoughts and character of the young?

Let us then, as I have said before, set up Mr. Putney's life as a life
to live by. Prepare ourselves as he did and then when we have reached
the autumn of our lives, we can look back with pride on a life well
spent, on a character that was prepared for all that was right. If
we can do that, surely we shall be happy, we shall be satisfied with
ourselves.--_Burlington High School Register._

There are many people who are seventy-one years old, but there are very
few who can claim the distinction of being seventy-one years young which
belongs to our respected Greek teacher. We rejoice with Mr. Putney in
his undimmed triumph over time and congratulate him on his many years
of constant usefulness. As the philosophic Greeks once honored one of
their race with the words "not who but what" so we honor and esteem
Mr. Putney for his faithful service to Old Edmunds and for the great
good he has done for her sons. We love him for his splendid personality,
his patience, his fortitude and the kindly interest that he always shows
in our welfare. After we leave this school, when we turn and recall the
many bright days we have spent in the Burlington High School, the memory
of Mr. Putney will ever awake affection and make our heart glow with its
warmth.--_Burlington High School Register._

                                                     February 24, 1912.

Here are my congratulations and best wishes for you. Another year of
service is added to your enviable list. It must be a great satisfaction
to look back upon a life so well spent and to realize how many lives
have been benefited because you have been here all these years.

You cannot but know the honor and respect with which the teachers look
up to you, and how we are trying to reach something like the high standard
which you have attained; but I wonder if you realize the love which your
pupils have for you. Some of them come into my room every day at the
close of school for an hour's uninterrupted study and I am going to tell
you some of the things which they have said to me about you. "Mr. Putney
is such a lovable man." "I thought I should be afraid of him, but he
makes us feel he is interested in us and I don't feel one bit afraid
even though he does know so much." "He is full of fun too. There is no
one in the class who sees anything funny quicker than he." "I am so glad
he is in the school while I am here. I shall always feel it to have been
a great privilege to have had him for a teacher."

And I want to say that I, too, feel it to be a great privilege to be
in the school with you and to have felt your quiet presence and to have
known your ready sympathy and interest. May the coming year be a happy

                                                  Very sincerely yours,
                                                         HARRIET TOWNE.


  He's just a BOY, a LIVELY BOY,
    Who notes no years, I ween;
      He might be six and seventy, or
        He might be "sweet sixteen."
          He's done a marv'lous work, and still
            Is putting in his licks
              To prove the staying powers of
                A "Boy of Seventy-Six."

  "His hair is white?" Of course it's white!
    He's white, all through and through!
      His soul is white, has always been;
        His heart is white and true.
          But in Life's Battle has he shown
            Whiteness of feather? Nix!!
              His whiteness adds new glory to
                The "Boys of Seventy-Six."

  "What great things has he done?" Ah! if
    The querist only knew it,
      Greatness concerns not what we do,
        But, rather, how we do it.
          And every deed well done is great;
            And that is just his fix!
              Say! isn't that some record for
                A "Boy of Seventy-Six"?

  "But doesn't he take time to play?"
    Why, bless your anxious soul!
      He's always played,--too hard to note
        How fast the seasons roll!
          He's playing yet; but work and play
            In him so closely mix
              You don't know which to call him, Man
                Or "Boy of Seventy-Six."

  "His favorite game?" No need to ask;
    That in which GOOD is rife;
      The game that tests all human worth,--
        The glorious Game of Life.
          He never "stacks the cards," and yet
            He takes his share of tricks;
              Competitors have nothing on
                This "Boy of Seventy-Six."

  "But when does he intend to stop?
    He's surely done his share;
      Give him some nook and let him play
        A game of solitaire."
          Methinks I see you try it on!
            There'd be some vigorous kicks;
              You'd feel them, too, though coming from
                A "Boy of Seventy-Six."

  A "quitter," he? Not on your life!
    He's built on different lines;
      He'll never be a quitter while
        The Sun of Priv'lege shines!
          As long as he can serve the needs
            Of Harrys, Toms and Dicks
              Who look his way, he'll be "on call,"
                This "Boy of Seventy-Six."

                                                        FREEMAN PUTNEY.


Charles E. Putney was happily surprised at the opening of the Sunday
school of the College Street Church when the Rev. I. C. Smart, pastor of
the church, in a most delightful manner, presented him with the insignia
of the First Brigade, First Division (General Stannard's), Eighteenth
Army Corps, the gift of his friends in the church.

The badge was pinned to the left breast of Mr. Putney's coat by his
little granddaughter, Mary P. Lane, and Gen. Theodore S. Peck explained
to the children the use of the Corps badge of the army. Although
overcome with surprise, Mr. Putney responded most feelingly. The
presentation was witnessed by a large number of members of the school
and of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The medal bears the following inscription:

"Prof. C. E. Putney, from friends in the College Street Church,
Burlington, Vermont, February 26, 1916, in remembrance of his gallant
service in the war for the Union, as Sergeant, Co. C, Thirteenth New
Hampshire, First Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Army Corps."

On the two gold bars from which the medal is suspended by a red, white
and blue ribbon, are inscribed the eleven battles in which his regiment
participated: First Fredericksburg, siege of Suffolk, Port Walthal,
Swift Creek, Kingsland Creek, Drewrys Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg,
Fort McConhie, Fort Harrison and Richmond.

The badge was originally intended as a birthday gift to Mr. Putney, but
its arrival was delayed so the presentation was made on the anniversary
of the death of Abraham Lincoln. The badge was accompanied by a letter
from Mr. Putney's friends stating that the gift was intended as a slight
token of their esteem and affection and a birthday reminder of the
gallant service performed by him as a soldier in the army of the Union,
1861-1865.--_National Tribune._

       *       *       *       *       *

  Sleep on, O brave-hearted, O wise man that kindled to flame--
  To live in mankind is far more than to live in a name,
  To live in mankind, far, far more than to live in a name!

                                             --NICHOLAS VACHEL LINDSAY.


I take special pleasure in sending to Mr. Putney's memorial an
appreciative testimony to the long tried friendship which we had
for each other. I was with him as fellow teacher under Mr. Fuller's
principalship and after that worked with and under him as principal
until his resignation. Was with him a longer time than any other
teacher, always with the kindest and most uniform relations both in
educational and social respects, and more than all else in the higher
spiritual relationships. In a letter from him a very short time before
he passed away he hoped he might still be in the work of teaching when
he reached his eightieth birthday. I thought he was to be much rejoiced
with that he came so near it and was called up higher while in the joy
of his chosen life work.

It is very pleasant to remember also the close friendships between wives
and daughters of our two families.

                                                   SOLOMON H. BRACKETT.

None of Mr. Putney's pupils were more devoted and loyal to him, none
had more sincere love and affection for him, than the teachers who were
privileged to work with him. Mr. Putney's great aim was to make true men
and noble women and all those who were fortunate to be called his pupils
will bear his mark with them in their accomplishments, in their graces,
and in their power.

Many of his pupils will be inclined to virtue, holiness and peace,
because the teacher was the embodiment of these qualities. In all things
he had charity. Tolerance was of his nature. He respected in others the
qualities he himself possessed, sincerity of conviction and frankness of

His power over his pupils was marked and abiding because of his own
example, his profound scholarship, his humility, his absolute justice,
yet accompanied with sympathy and respect. His impulses were great,
earnest, simple, unostentatious. His is the old story of devotion to
duty, a religious sentiment and faith, serious determination,
cheerfulness and untiring effort.

"For he was a faithful man and feared God above many."

                                                           A. L. HARDY.

When you speak of Mr. Putney you will find my loyalty as strong as ever.
We kept up our correspondence to the last. I am glad to express again
my debt to him, and I certainly should not wish to be omitted from any
group of Mr. Putney's friends.

When I went to St. Johnsbury Academy at Mr. Putney's invitation I was
inexperienced and needed a good deal of friendly advice. He had a rare
gift in that way. His own devotion, unselfishness and conscientiousness
were contagious. He was a good teacher and still better trainer. But the
moral effect of living and working with him was the best thing about the
Academy. I believe all the excellent staff of teachers felt just as I
did. So much so that our intimate association gave us more than the
pupils could get. Some of us enjoyed too the fine, generous
neighborliness of both Mr. and Mrs. Putney.

In administrative councils his judgment never lost sight of the central
object--the cultivation of each pupil to the most effective Christian
manhood and womanhood. What higher mark than that can be set by any of
the theorists and innovators of the present day education? The typical
"New England Academy"--and St. Johnsbury was the ideal among them--can
bear comparison with the latest and best of schools in the highest
object of education. Probably it needed its own environment which could
not be duplicated elsewhere. All honor to it and to him who was its
exponent during my own years so happily given to its service.

                                                       Sincerely yours,
                                                     FRANKLIN A. DAKIN.

The first impression which Mr. Putney made upon me when he joined our
circle of teachers in the Academy was that of a man of strength, high
moral purpose and rare teaching ability, an impression which grew to
a certainty as the years went on and he became our principal. His
courtesy, unfailing kindness and good fellowship made it a pleasure to
work with and under him, and I shall always remember him as a true and
valued friend and a great teacher. "What more can we desire for our
friends than this," as was said of that other beloved teacher, Edward
Bowen of England, "that in remembering them there should be nothing to
regret, that all who came under their influence should feel themselves
for ever thereafter the better for that influence."

                                                       L. JENNIE COLBY.

It is difficult to put in words my estimate of Mr. Putney. He was a loyal
friend to everyone he knew, always looking for ways of encouragement
and help. Many a scholar can testify to the truth of this. We know his
thoroughness as a teacher, we remember his reverence for the Bible, his
prayers, his loyalty to church and its organizations, his devotion to
his Heavenly Father.

I think his influence for good will extend to the ends of the earth. It
has been a great blessing to know him. I have been so glad he could keep
up his work to the last.

                                                   MARY CUMMINGS CLARK.

If I were to put into one word what seems to me the keynote of Mr.
Putney's life as I knew him, it would be service. There was never
a moment that I was not conscious that even when he was in physical
suffering, which, alas! was often, he was ready to help in every way
possible. This patience and kindness were unfailing, and his sense of
humor, which must have helped him as well as us, often pricked our
difficulties, and showed us how unimportant they really were. I was with
him only two years, but his character, and the lessons learned from him
have been a very real influence in my life ever since.

                                            ELIZABETH WASHBURN WORTHEN.

The distance of time (now forty years) since those Academy days does
not dim the fond recollection and appreciation of my teachers at St.
Johnsbury Academy. And of them all, before or since, there is no one who
holds a higher place in my esteem than Mr. Putney. Though engaged in
teaching mathematics and astronomy during the greater part of this time,
I have not forgotten, nor ever shall, the essentials he taught--some
things even in Latin and Greek, but far more in earnestness and sincerity
and purpose. And I prize also the closer touch with his sensitive,
kindly, sterling personality afforded by the few months when I was
privileged to teach as a substitute at the Academy.

Would that we had more such men now in the ranks of the profession.

                                                   F. B. BRACKETT, '82.

With high reverence for what men had known as wisdom and beauty in the
past, with sane and clear-eyed understanding of the shifting needs of
the present, with confident faith in the ultimate good, whatever the
future, he taught many lessons which we did not know until long
afterwards that we had learned.

                                            MARGARET BELL MERRILL, '94.

It is a great pleasure for me to add my word of appreciation with
respect to the splendid influence that Mr. Putney exerted at St.
Johnsbury Academy. He was always fair, always friendly, and his sense of
humor was a delight. A thorough scholar himself, he was not satisfied
with superficial work. He was able to sympathize with the pupil's view
of life and yet he knew how to enlarge that view. The branches of Latin
and Greek which he taught did not afford him full scope for expressing
the originality that was a remarkable part of his character; but I
remember a course of reading in English literature which our class took
under him as an extra, and there he was able to disclose the poetic part
of his nature, and we were able to know him as a thinker and a seer.
I look back with gratitude to the days at "St. Jack."

                                             GEORGE R. MONTGOMERY, '88.

I first saw Mr. Putney in August, 1881, when I came alone and somewhat
homesick to seek admission to the Academy. He was standing on the steps
of South Hall ready to greet new students with his quiet friendly manner
and sincere expression of interest. He made us feel at once that we had
in him a friend, one who understood us and expected the best from us. I
like to recall this picture of him for it gave me an impression of the
man that I have never had occasion to change.

Mr. Putney was a great teacher. Thorough in detail and wise in daily
drill that he knew was necessary for our success, he showed a love for
the literature that he taught and an enthusiasm that was contagious.
Fortunate the boy or girl who learned Virgil under his wise guidance.
Always sympathetic and encouraging, he could detect the bluffer and
discourage one who tried to get through his lessons without adequate
preparation. He corrected our mistakes, but encouraged our attempts to
succeed, even though we often failed. He appealed to our ambition, to
our sense of obligation, and to our pride; and thus he led rather than
drove us to our work. And work we did; we did not dare to disappoint
him, we did not wish to disappoint him. Later in college we had occasion
more than once to be thankful for the wise and sound training we had had
under his leadership.

It is, however, the personality of the man that lives with us, whether
we remember him best in the classroom or in the chapel exercises, in
the dormitory or in some other phase of his active life. He was quiet,
even-tempered, but forceful. His voice was not often raised, but it
carried conviction. His directions were accepted without protest or
question; or if, as I remember well, on one occasion we did protest, he
had a firm, convincing manner that made us accept his word as final. And
yet there was no rancor left, we felt that Mr. Putney was right. As a
rule he was serious, but he had a merry twinkle in his eye that told of
a sense of humor and an ability to join with his students in their good
times. In a very real sense he entered into the lives of all of us and
made upon us that impression that makes us rise and say with one voice,
"He was a Christian gentleman."

                                               GILBERT S. BLAKELY, '84.

The personality of Mr. Putney has stayed with me during all these years
with singular distinctness. Many other teachers, whose influence has
been undoubted and deeply felt, shape themselves in memory somewhat
vaguely. But Mr. Putney stands out clearly and vividly, as if the days
under him at St. Johnsbury Academy were but yesterday. Here was a man
quiet and unassuming, and yet I am conscious, and always have been
conscious, of a certain power that flowed from him into the lives of his

Such a force does not lend itself readily to analysis. Like most
fundamental things, it is subtle, undefinable. But some elements in the
character of Mr. Putney in the retrospect are clear as air. In the first
place, he was a born teacher. His scholarship was backed by thoroughness
of application in the classroom. A part of his painstaking self passed
into the mental processes, and so into the equipment, of those who sat
under him. His instruction went deep. It was thorough plowing of the
mind. Slip-shod methods were repugnant to his nature. Then, too, how
patient he was! For every student he seemed to carry in his mind an
ideal of development that made every effort on his part toward that end
a real joy, and so he first grounded him in basic things and then built
on that foundation.

With poise and self-control, though not physically robust, he managed
a large school in such a way that it ran as smoothly as a well-oiled
machine. We took it all for granted then. But we see now, especially
those of us who are teachers ourselves, the meaning and the reason of
it all, and we trace the fact to its source in an able and inspiring

Mr. Putney had a quiet glow of humor, and many an incident comes to mind
to show how large and wholesome a part this characteristic played in his
career. But most of all I would pay tribute to the Christian gentleman.
His idealism was not too lofty for "human nature's daily food." Rather
it expressed itself in practical devotion to the best interests of his
pupils, to good things, and to noble causes. He was a leader because
he allowed himself humbly to be led by something above him. He moulded
character because he was himself being moulded by spiritual forces. Not
ambitious in the worldly sense, he came into his own long before his
gentle life passed from among us. I fancy that, could he do so, he would
tell us that his real ambition has been realized. In Mr. Putney we are
gratefully aware of that gracious thing, the distribution of a rare
personality through the lives of others, the multiplication of self in
terms of helpfulness to the world.

                                                    HENRY D. WILD, '84.

Those were days of exceptional privilege in the eighties and nineties
for the shy but eager boys and girls of rural Vermont who found their
way to St. Johnsbury Academy, there, under Mr. Putney and the able and
friendly faculty of his choice, to catch enlarged vision and the
preparation to fulfill it.

The quiet, unobtrusive life of such as Mr. Putney lends itself to fewer
striking, outstanding memories than more brilliant careers, yet how
positive the impression and far-reaching the influence, and how sweet
the incidents one does recall!

My first acquaintance revealed his friendly interest and thoughtfulness.
Discovering that I, a timid new-comer, was the only girl enrolled for
Greek with twenty young men, he sent a kindly word of encouragement and
the hope that I would not let the fact discourage me in my purpose. That
pledge of sympathy on the part of one of my first male instructors had
large weight in deciding me to brave the ordeal. It was, too, a pledge
fully and most wisely carried out, so discriminatingly administered
by daily, tactful consideration as to set me wholly at ease and to
establish the most natural, unconscious comradeship with the class.
The only visible evidence of his thought came in occasional approving
comments upon the little rivalry in scholarship in the class and the
requests that I conduct the class sometimes when he was necessarily
absent. Thus he made of the experience, by his fine tact and wisdom,
a happy and fruitful one.

I was early inspired with a confidence that the ideals he held for us
were but those of his own life. The urgent suggestions to drill and
review our lessons thoroughly were the more forceful when I learned that
it had been a habit of all his own student life to review each Saturday
the entire daily work of the week. A trying epidemic of colds and coughs
was prevailing one winter, disturbing school exercises greatly. At the
close of chapel one morning Mr. Putney told us in his quiet, earnest
manner the dangers of allowing a cough to become aggravated and the
possibility of entirely controlling it. Skeptical of this, I well
remember with what gleeful malice I scoffed at it in the hearing of a
teacher who made the lesson one of life-long practice by telling me of
the heroic, thorough treatment to which Mr. Putney had in early life
subjected himself, so that he had spoken out of personal experience
again. When his life had been despaired of because of supposedly fatal
illness he had effected a complete recovery by checking the deep-seated

When in later years I found that his benign presence and quiet influence
was bearing daily fruit in the same, or even greater respect and reverence
with a younger generation of students, I realized afresh under what a
rare teacher I had had the privilege of coming, and how profoundly true
it is that such a personality teaches constantly, often when least
suspected, the finest and most profound lessons. The vision which he
communicated is one of the most precious treasures.

                                                BERTHA M. TERRILL, '91.

I appreciate exceedingly this opportunity to add my words of tribute to
the memory and worth of Mr. Putney.

To him I am indebted beyond measure for the incentive, encouragement,
aid and inspiration which he gave me while a student at the Academy.

His was a life long in years, ripe in scholarship, and rich in unselfish
and generous service. In him were combined the qualities of the best
type of teacher.

His clearness of vision, and straight thinking made him a leader whose
influence was broad and lasting; while by the gentleness of his manners
and by the broadness of his sympathies he won and held the affection of
all who knew him.

His loyal devotion to the cause of education was such that he desired
nothing more earnestly than to serve and aid those who sought his
instruction, and he ever held before the student the highest ideals of
a fine, clean, strong and Christian manhood.

His influence continues, and will widen in the years yet to come.

                                                  GEORGE E. MINER, '83.

All the way along, from the days when, in the absence of my own father,
he initiated me, a little girl of five, into the joys of a dip in the
Atlantic to the almost equally happy days in number ten when I learned
through him to know the wonder and beauty of Virgil and Cicero, Mr.
Putney seemed to me one of the best and finest men in the world.

How considerate he always was! During the years of my father's
pastorate, Mr. Putney was among those who gave unsparingly at all times
just the help and cheer that the minister needed.

I think of him as one whose life was a beautiful mingling of gentleness
and strength.

                                        CORNELIA TAYLOR FAIRBANKS, '97.

                                                        March 26, 1913.

It would be a genuine and great pleasure to us to be with you at the
doings of the Alumni Association and to meet again all the famous
characters expected there, especially the guest of honor. We are glad of
this opportunity to renew our profession of allegiance to him. He was
our principal during the final year we passed at the beloved Academy,
the year when, because of Mr. Fuller's absence abroad, he was the acting
principal as he afterwards came to be the titular principal as well.
We have always cherished the sincerest regard and affection for Mr.
Putney,--not only because he was our competent and faithful teacher and
our respected principal, but because he was in the truest sense our
friend. We owe him a great debt of gratitude which, like honest though
insolvent creditors, we can acknowledge though we cannot hope to pay.
Ours was the first graduating class that knew him as principal, and we
always cherished the fond conceit, that, as he was peculiarly dear to
us, so we were a little more to him than any other class could be. I
hope he will not say or do anything upon this occasion to banish that
happy thought from our minds. He will probably try to appear as fond of
you as he is of us. He always did have a way of letting you down easy
when he didn't want to hurt your feelings. You cannot have forgotten
how, when you answered his questions in classroom, he always said, "Yes,
yes," as though your answer was all that could be desired, even when he
followed it by some quiet correction, which when you had taken your seat
and thought it over, gradually let you see that you had missed the mark
by about a mile. We wish that we could do anything as well as Mr. Putney
could teach! Happy is the school that has him for a teacher! Happy are
the boys and girls--of whatever age--who have him for a friend!

                                       Sincerely and fraternally yours,
                                    FLORENCE AND WENDELL STAFFORD, '80.

Being both a paternal and maternal grandson of the Academy, I subscribe
to the above with duty as well as pleasure.

                                                  EDWARD STAFFORD, '07.

I hardly know what to say. There is such a mingling of emotions--sorrow
for the loss, joy that he has been with us so long, gratitude that it
has been my privilege to keep in so close touch with him during most of
the years since I, a school girl, first came under the influence that
has never lost its hold for a minute.

No one individual has ever had more to do with the shaping of my life
than he and whatever little good I have been able to do for boys and
girls is largely attributable to the influence that has helped me for
so long.

My experience can be multiplied a thousand times and then the story has
not been told. We all shall hold his memory in love, and in reverence.
Generations to come will still feel indirectly the help that we have had
from him.

I've always seen Mr. Putney as I read those words of Tennyson in his
dedication to the "Idylls."

  "Indeed he seems to me
  Scarce other than my king's ideal knight,
  Who reverenced his conscience as his king,
  Whose glory was redressing human wrong,
  Who spake no slander, no nor listened to it,
  We have lost him, he is gone--
  We know him now--and we see him as he moved,
  How modest, kindly, all accomplished, wise,
  With what sublime repression of himself--
  And in what limits, and how tenderly--
  Now swaying to this faction or to that--
  But through all this tract of years
  Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,
  Before a thousand peering littlenesses.
  Where is he
  Who dares foreshadow for an only son
  A lovelier life, a more unstained than his?"

                                                        Very sincerely,
                                             CAROLINE S. WOODRUFF, '84.

Among the many valuable and valued possessions which were mine when
I left St. Johnsbury Academy was a clear-cut impression of Mr. Putney
as a man, as a friend, and as a teacher. He stood for standards, high
standards of behavior and of scholarship. After all these years this
image is still clear and vivid. Simple, sincere, and single-minded in
his life work, his standards of living have always been a challenge
to the best in his associates, a challenge which has, consciously or
unconsciously, helped us all to higher levels of service. This is our
tribute to his memory.

                                                   ELIZABETH HALL, '86.

I look back on the old Academy days under Mr. Putney with ever increasing
appreciation of him and of his influence over my life. I am glad to add
my tribute to his memory and I do so most heartily.

Charles E. Putney was a kindly, courtly, Christian gentleman. He was
a wonderful teacher, leading his students through the classics by ways
that made Latin and Greek no longer "dead" languages but very much alive;
and so were the thrilling narratives of the old worthies who almost
seemed to speak again in Mr. Putney's classrooms. Meantime, character
building was going on and his insistence of high standards of honor and
strict discipline made most of the boys more manly and most of the girls
more womanly, and they are grateful to him, as I am, for it all.

Devotion to duty was characteristic of him in school and church, in
home and public life. He was a good soldier and to him citizenship meant
service. He was a true friend and that meant the helping hand.

I honor and revere his memory. My humble tribute is one of gratitude
for his noble life, which, touching mine, revealed more clearly
for my stumbling feet the shining pathway that he trod to worthy
self-investment, to truth and God.

                                                   ROLFE COBLEIGH, '86.

From that first day when I went into the Academy office to consult with
Mr. Putney as a new student, I have been and shall continue to be under
the deepest obligation to one of the noblest spirits and finest teachers
whose influence ever has been exerted upon young men and women. His
scholarship was accurate and he made Greek interesting. His moral
standards were lofty and he made honor and truth beautiful. His soul
was sincere and devoted and he made Christ attractive to the mind and
will of a boy. He knew how to give encouragement at the critical
moment and how to exercise discipline justly so that no sting remained.
He influenced me more deeply than any other teacher of my youth, and
my love and gratitude grew as the years passed. Mr. Putney did not
disappoint me as my ideal of a Christian teacher and lover of young
men. It was a great life.

                                                   OZORA S. DAVIS, '85.

A teacher projects himself through the lives of his pupils and an
institution of learning speaks through the voice of its scholars. St.
Johnsbury Academy has been a formative force in the educational life
of New England and beyond, and her leadership has been buttressed upon
sound learning.

Charles E. Putney was a great principal and an inspiring teacher. In the
classics his well-ordered mind found a congenial field for interpretation
and elucidation. Frail of physique, with all the scholar's nerves and
sensitiveness, he yet day after day ploughed through the hesitating
minds of his pupils with patience and thoroughness. Particularly as a
teacher of Greek did he excel. He led his pupils through the necessary
technique of parasangs to the mastery of the sublime secrets of this
imperial mother of tongues. He possessed the capacity of taking infinite
pains and played no favorites among his scholars. I imagine the
responsibility of administration irked his gentle spirit and the rawness
of self-centered youth must have tried his conscientious soul.

I never thought of him in those days as a veteran of the Civil War, in
fact, did not then know of his martial service, but I can see now how
that experience must have fed his hatred of disobedience and disloyalty
and increased his zeal for the proper development of the minds of his
boys and girls in order that they too might become dependable citizens
of the Republic.

His was a kindly nature, though to the pupil who first fronted him he
seemed stern, yet this was but the shell, in which daily duty encased
him. It was always a pleasure to watch his sense of humor expand
itself in friendly smile and expend itself in his low chuckle as some
particularly atrocious translation fell from lips unused to expressing
ancient thought.

It is hard to measure his personal influence by a sentence but it seems
to me as principal and teacher, by precept and practice, he showed how
desirable a thing it is to perform the daily task conscientiously and

                                           FREDERICK G. FLEETWOOD, '86.

To me Mr. Putney was a great teacher. I knew him as a friend, my friend
and the life-time friend of my father. I knew him as an active member of
the South Church, and a devoted leader of religious life and activity in
the Academy. But it was as a teacher that he had a formative power on my

As I look back on those classes in "Beginning Greek," and in Cicero,
I recognize his painstaking thoroughness. The fundamentals were clear
to him, and it was his work to make them clear, definite, and lasting
in the minds of his pupils. If he made a mistake it was in his
conscientious care that no dull or backward or thoughtless pupil should
fail to have these fundamentals of the subject drilled into his mind.
How many hundreds of pupils owe their sense of accurate and clear
thought to his persistent efforts day in and day out, I have no idea.
He was primarily a great teacher because he never relaxed his effort
to make every pupil know the essentials of the subject he taught.

But he was more than a drillmaster, fundamental as that is. He was not
without a sense of humor. I remember once he came to the door of a room
in South Hall where, one Saturday afternoon, some boys were not very
quiet in their recreation. Some one answered his knock by asking, "Who's
there?" When the answer came, "It's me, Mr. Putney," the boy said, "No,
Mr. Putney would have said, 'It is I'"; and I can almost hear his quiet
chuckle as he went away.

A great teacher depends for his success on his moral character. No one
could ever question the sincerity and force of Mr. Putney's character.
With clear vision of the work he wanted to accomplish, with a devotion
to his high purpose which never wavered, with a simplicity and
straightforwardness which showed in every action, he impressed on
the students his high ideals. At the same time he won their complete
confidence and made them feel his sympathy.

Such a man leaves a widespread heritage in his pupils. He leaves also
a heritage of fine tradition for the Academy he served.

                                                 ARTHUR FAIRBANKS, '82.

A college professor, at an alumni gathering, in conversation with one
of his former students who had been obliged to work his way through
college, said to him, "I always had a feeling that you took life too
seriously,--that you had too little diversion."

The thought expressed in that remark suggests one of the dominant
impressions of Mr. Putney that comes to me after these many years.
Teaching was to him a serious matter, and the student's part, in his
judgment, both in preparation and in classroom, demanded likewise
faithful and not superficial performance.

The basis of this characteristic in his life-work was his Christian
faith. It naturally made his objective the development of Christian
character, over and above the impartation and reception of information.

I have always felt a deep sense of personal gratitude for a service
rendered during a special period of study at the Academy. Members of
my class who took the classical course will recall that Greek was not
included among my studies. Nearly four years after graduation from
the Academy, having decided to enter college as a classical student,
I returned to St. Johnsbury for ten weeks of intensive study of Greek
alone. Mr. Putney not only made my membership in the class in "Middle"
Greek possible, and practically free from embarrassment at being a late
comer, but gave me many regular hours of private instruction in Homeric
Greek, enabling me during the last weeks of the time to join the senior
class in the study of the latter form of the language.

This I believe to be illustrative of his devotion and self-denying
service to any who are ready to respond to the forth-putting of time,
strength and knowledge on his part.

His home was open, if needed, to receive students or others who were
sick and in need of attention impossible to be given in the Academy
dormitory or other rooming building. Some cases of illness were of many
weeks duration, but this mattered not. The tender ministrations of Mrs.
Putney were not lessened until all necessity was passed.

Mr. Putney's influence was not due to his public utterances, for he did
not seek platform prominence. But his constant adherence to high ideals
of faithfulness, conscientiousness, and efficiency outside and in the
classroom, and his personal helpfulness to many an individual student
are among the legacies which many of us have been privileged to share
from his long and abundantly fruitful life.

                                                GEORGE L. LEONARD, '83.


"Are you willing to write an appreciation of what his influence in those
early days meant to you?"

So the letter read, telling me of the Charles E. Putney memorial. And
shall I be frank enough to add that for a moment the question rather
floored me? For while youth is very susceptible to influences, of many
sorts, youth is not much more conscious of them than the beanstalk of
the pole. Yet almost immediately it came back to me that a few days
before that letter arrived, a group of men were chatting in a Washington
club--among other things, about the value and results of formal
education. And, agreeing that few people ever pick up at school or
college anything which in later life they can put their finger on, that
for many people the so-called higher education is a pure waste of time,
I added, "The only man who ever taught me anything was a Greek teacher I
had at a preparatory school in Vermont."

That Greek teacher was Mr. Putney. Perhaps Greek is no longer taught
at the Academy. I don't know. It is not the fashion nowadays. But I
am somewhat concerned that it has ceased to be the fashion. And the
foundation of the feeling I have about it was laid, in great part, at
St. Johnsbury. On that, at any rate, I can put my finger. It may not
have been Mr. Putney who first sowed in the mind of one of his pupils
the consciousness that history is a very long drawn out affair; that it
did not begin in A. D. 1776, or in A. D. 1492, or even in A. D. 1. For
before that pupil trod the banks of the Passumpsic he happened to have
visited the shores of the Ægean. To him, consequently, the Anabasis and
Homer were more real than otherwise they might have seemed--though Mr.
Putney had the gift of making those old stories real.

But of one thing I am quite sure. Mr. Putney gave me my first sense of
language as a living and growing organism, come from far beginnings; and
he first made me see in the English language, in particular, a stream of
many confluents. This is the chief reason why it seems to me a disaster
that the classics are passing out of fashion. For with them all true
understanding of our rich and noble tongue seems fated to pass out of
fashion. To be too much bound to the past is of course an unhappy thing.
Each generation must live by and largely for itself. Yet does it not
profit a man to be aware that knowledge is an ancient and gradual
accumulation, to gain an outlook upon the cycles of history and upon the
human experiments that have succeeded or failed, to be able to trace
the sources of this or that element in science, in law, in art? And how
shall he really know the language he speaks without some acquaintance
with the languages which have chiefly enriched it--not only French and
German, but Latin and Greek as well?

This Mr. Putney had the art of making his pupils feel. I remember how he
used to pick words to pieces and squeeze out for us the inner essence of
their meaning. One example in particular has always stuck in my memory:
pernicious. And I can still hear Mr. Putney's voice translating it for
us: "Most completely full of that which produces death." That word has
had an interest for me ever since--akin to the respect which Henry James
later instilled into me for the adjective poignant, which he declared
should be used only once or twice in a lifetime. What is more, I have
never lost the habit Mr. Putney enticed us to form, of picking words
to pieces for ourselves. There is no better way of extracting shades of
meaning. But that way is closed to those who have no Greek.

Mr. Putney was, in short, my first humanist--though that word didn't
come to me till another day, when I began to read about the Renaissance.
But he was more than a humanist. He was humane. He was human. That
underlay the fact that, with the affectionate disrespect of youth, he
was known among ourselves as "Put." Disrespect, however, was never what
we felt toward the principal of the Academy. Indeed, the first time
I ever saw him, when I was a new boy of sixteen, he impressed me as
being a rather awesome person. As long as I knew him his dignity and
his firmness never failed to impress me. Yet about that dignity there
was nothing aloof. That firmness was not hardness; it had no cutting
edge. He meant what he said. That was all. No idle or disobedient boy
flattered himself that "Put" was to be trifled with. Every boy felt,
however, that "Put" was just. Firm as he was, he had too a great
gentleness. And I think he had the kindest and most patient eyes I ever
looked into. They were very shrewd. They could look through a boy as if
he were made of glass. But they were also very wise, and they knew how
to overlook a great deal of folly and thoughtlessness. Moreover there
was in the bottom of them a twinkle--of a most individual kind. It was
no broad Irish twinkle, nor yet an ironic Latin twinkle. You saw it
sometimes when you had made a particularly egregious translation; but
it didn't dishearten you.

I have never forgotten that quiet, that comprehending, that rare
twinkle. After all, what happier light could a man cast on the cloudy
ways of youth--or shed upon his own character?

                                                     H. G. DWIGHT, '94.

Coming East from Dubuque to Chicago, it is inspiring to an Eastern man
to see how the life of this busy metropolis of the West is guided and
influenced by the Eastern-trained man and woman. On the same street with
the great University of Chicago is Chicago Theological Seminary. I had
a delightful interview with the man who presides over this institution,
training the virile young men of the West for the work of the Christian
ministry and also for work in the mission field. This man is Dr. Ozora
S. Davis, a graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy and of Dartmouth College.
Dr. Davis attended St. Johnsbury Academy during the principalship of
that gifted and consecrated Christian gentleman, Charles E. Putney,
Ph. D. A powerful influence for righteousness exerted by the quiet but
inspiring personality of this educational leader is now felt throughout
the world. Truly the fourth verse of the nineteenth Psalm is applicable
to this former principal of a New England academy: "Their line is gone
out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world."

                                                  H. PHILIP PATEY, '86.
                                                _Journal of Education._

It is fitting that Mr. Putney's work and influence as an officer in the
church in whose service he was so constant and faithful should receive
some mention. While serving as principal of St. Johnsbury Academy during
some of its most prosperous years and largest enrollment, he found time
to serve actively on the board of deacons of the South Church, to teach
a large class of students in the Sunday school, and to be unfailing in
attendance upon the mid-week meeting. He was a pillar in the church he
loved. And while in the Academy he maintained the religious traditions
on which it was founded, he recognized that it was in the church that
these traditions found their source and inspiration.

On his removal to Burlington he took up similar relations with the
College Street Church, and continued them to the end of his career,
loyal to its interests and liberal in its support. If fine distinctions
are to be made between vocation and avocation it would be difficult to
determine to which institution the terms should be applied as his life
is reviewed.

                                                         C. H. MERRILL,
                                                  _Vermont Missionary._

It was not my privilege to sit at the feet of Mr. Putney as a student.
In about the year 1870, I attended prize-speaking at the high school
of Norwich, Vermont, and was told that the young principal was a Mr.
Putney. Something about the man appealed to my boyish senses and I
wished that I might know him, but lack of confidence prevented my making
myself known. An acquaintance was formed three or four years later at
St. Johnsbury. For a time, I was associated with Mr. Putney in certain
lay-religious work and came to know him well, if not intimately,--a
friendship which ever after continued. After the death of Mrs. Hazen,
I received a beautiful letter from Mr. Putney, written laboriously by
a shaking hand, but it expressed so much in a few words, characteristic
of his genuineness, it is a letter that will ever be preserved among
my most cherished possessions.

What was the subtle something that so appealed to me that long-ago
evening at Norwich? It seems to me it was the unspoken sympathy of the
man which touched the lives of all who came in contact with him even as
the fragrance of a flower permeates the atmosphere. Surely he lived a
life that is well "worth the telling."

                                                       PERLEY F. HAZEN.

I want to join in the chorus of love and tender remembrance which you
are hearing from all sides in regard to your father.

He was my first teacher, at Norwich, when for the first time I went
to school, and his kindness and consideration helped me over the
strangeness and discomfort of the new experience. He taught me Latin
and I began Greek with him.

He was a most delightful principal of the school, and thought of the
pleasantest things for us boys and girls to do, in and out of the
classrooms; for instance, long walks together in which he accompanied

All my life I have thought of him with warmth and pleasure, and on the
few occasions when I have seen him the old gratitude and confidence have
been renewed. He was so good and so delightful all at once.

                                                       Sincerely yours,

                                                 KATHERINE MORRIS CONE.


  One lately dying--though alas I deem
  Myself unfit to praise his high, clear faith--
  Followed his Master till the darkling stream
  Was bravely crossed, sure that in life or death
  Nothing could separate from the love of Christ.
  So faithfully he kept with God his long, last tryst.

                                         J. A. BELLOWS, DARTMOUTH, '70.

From his brother Freeman.

The hearts of all your father's brothers were terribly wrung by his
death. For it has not often been given to a household to have a leading
member who commanded such reverently affectionate esteem as did our
brother Charles. His life, his spirit, his purposes, his exemplary
attitude toward worthy living, his generously helpful thought--always
expressed in action--how could they well be other than a constant
challenge to his brothers and sisters? We all have rare cause for deep
gratitude that he was ours for so many years; we cannot express our
gratitude for our memories of him.

From a friend.

There is just one mind and one expression regarding your dear
father--"One of the grand old men has gone to his reward." The presence
of Mr. Putney has been a benediction to our high school. How thankful
you must be that he had no lingering illness but just laid down his
books and entered into the fuller life. We thank God for such a presence
in our midst.

From an associate teacher.

In the years in school Mr. Putney was always ready with good counsel to
the younger men. He never seemed to lose his courage nor even to grow
old. The last time I saw him, his smile was as bright and his voice as
cheery as I remember it always to have been.

From another associate teacher.

I count myself very fortunate to have known your father, and to have
been his friend for a short time. He was one of the finest Christian
gentlemen I ever knew. His influence in the city, the church and the
school is certainly past all measuring.

From a friend.

A man whom literally thousands love and revere in memory, and whose work
and influence are still going on.

From a former pupil.

I need not tell you that his going is, as was the death of your blessed
mother, like the loss of one of my own parents. The kindness of those
two good people to me when I needed help of just the kind they so finely
and unselfishly gave has always been a most helpful influence in my
life. To grow old looking upon his advancing years and the future with
grace and an abiding faith, as Mr. Putney did, is in itself an
inspiration to us all.

From a more recent pupil.

I do not need to tell you how we all loved him--everyone did who ever
knew him. He was everybody's favorite teacher, and instead of hating to
go to his classes we loved to do so. Somehow I always felt better after
having talked with him, and I only wish everyone in the world could have
known him. He was a real gentleman and a scholar.

       *       *       *       *       *

  He is not dead, this friend; not dead,
  But on some road by mortals tread,
    Got some few trifling steps ahead;
    And nearer to the end;
    So that you too once past the bend,
    Shall meet again, as face to face this friend
      You fancy dead.

                                              --ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

SCHOOL, 1920

To live to old age; to keep one's physical health and mental vigor to
the very end; to work at one's chosen task with undiminished enthusiasm;
to know one's self greatly useful and greatly beloved; to go, at last,
swiftly, and to be mourned by many friends;--what could one ask, of all
the gifts of life, better than that?

The impression left by Mr. Putney is that of a singularly serene and
happy old age. And surely, if ever a man had reason to look upon his
life with serenity and quiet satisfaction, Mr. Putney had reason to do

It is a touching and also an inspiring thought, how the successive
generations of young boys and girls passed through his life, each one
receiving something of the rich gift which Mr. Putney had to share with
all, but then too, each returning something of the fresh outlook and
untarnished faith of youth to keep his old age green.

Mr. Putney lived long but never grew old. Perhaps because of his very
association with the young, he tasted the fountain of perpetual youth.

How valuable and how prized was the gift which he imparted, is best
known to those who best knew the man himself. No pupil of his seems to
think of him primarily as a teacher, but as a wise and kindly friend,
whom to know was, somehow, to become one's self wiser and of a more
human spirit.

And yet he was a superb teacher.

It is simply that this phase of him is lost in the totality of the man.

One thinks instinctively of a phrase of Cicero's--Cicero whose orations
Mr. Putney taught for so many years--"Vir amplissimus." It means
something much more, something quite other than simply "Great man." It
means one adequate for the occasion, whatever that occasion might be.

That is the final verdict to be pronounced, as it is the highest praise
to be bestowed. From whatever angle Mr. Putney was regarded, and to
whatever test he was brought, he measured up; he sufficed.

                                                       JOHN E. COLBURN.

When Mr. Putney died, we could not at first realize our loss.

He had been so much a part of the school life that it seemed hardly
possible that, while that life went on, he could be away.

We all loved and admired him, but we seldom stopped to measure him. We
accepted him, like any other accustomed gift, without realizing quite
fully how much he meant to us.

As we remember him now, what impresses us most strongly is the thought
how little in him we could have wished to change--how extraordinarily
well he measured up as a man.

There was a fine serenity about him, and a kind of soundness and
sweetness of character like the autumnal ripeness of a perfect apple.
It was tonic and wholesome to be under his influence.

There have been great teachers who could not teach. Nevertheless they
were great teachers because a virtue went out from them which touched
the lives of their pupils and was better than all instruction.

There have been great instructors who could not be respected, because
along with intellectual brilliancy and clearness went a narrow, or a
low, or a selfish outlook on life.

Mr. Putney measured up in both respects--he was a large-minded man, he
was a great teacher.

The very nature of his profession precluded any wide or ringing fame.
His work was done quietly, unobtrusively, one might almost say,
obscurely. A teacher's work is always so.

His memory rests with us who knew him, but with us it is very secure.

It is the memory of a man whom we could respect without coldness, and
love without making allowances.--_Burlington High School Register._

In these days when the so-called practical side of life has seemed to
crowd out the humanities, so that in many schools Latin and Greek are
not included in the curriculum, Mr. Putney has held high the torch of
classical learning. To him much credit should be given for keeping alive
a real interest in Greek, and for giving thorough and inspiring work
in Latin.

Moreover, in all school relations Mr. Putney has been not only ready
but glad to co-operate. Whether for a social gathering of the teachers
requiring a tax, for tickets to the many ball games, or for Thanksgiving
baskets to be filled, Mr. Putney's purse was always open. Not many,
indeed, know how often he overpaid his subscription so as to be sure
to do his part.

But, of course, it is the personality of Mr. Putney, so elusive and yet
so real, that has impressed us all. In the hurry and rush of modern
days, he never failed to be truly kind, to be warmly sympathetic, and at
all times to be wholly unselfish. So with the poet we say,

  "And thus he bore without abuse
  The grand old name of gentleman."

                                                           EFFIE MOORE.

The thing which impressed me the most about Mr. Putney was the way he
saluted the flag in Assembly every morning.

One could tell by his manner in saluting that he loved the flag and
would fight for it again, anywhere, any time.

                                                                  I. A.

Mr. Putney was a man who always found the best in every one; who proved
himself such a sympathetic teacher that he inspired all to try to please

His name will always bring to mind most tender remembrances.

                                                                  L. B.

Mr. Putney has always been to his students the highest ideal of man and
of teacher. He has been a true friend. His generosity to faults and the
encouragement he has given us all to live better lives will bear fruit.
He had a whole-hearted smile which none of us will ever forget. He is,
and always will be, the outstanding figure in my school life.

                                                                  E. C.

With the passing away of this most venerable character Burlington High
School has lost a shining star,--a star that shone in the hearts of all
his students and of all of those who knew him. He was a friend of all
creeds and was always ready to lend a willing hand to them. Religious to
the utmost and a real American in the full sense of the word,--such is
the character of the soul which will no longer cheer us in our daily
tasks, but which will remain in our memories forever.

                                                                  A. F.

Of all Mr. Putney's most striking attributes, his smile always impressed
me greatly. Every time he smiled we looked up and just naturally smiled,
too. And when he laughed it was contagious--a ripple of happiness
sounded through the class. His smile always drove away the blues and
encouraged us; not only in our Latin lessons, but in every way it made
life brighter.

                                                                  E. L.

Mr. Putney's love and friendship for the pupils and the respect which
they had for him stand out most strongly in my mind. Never did he
hesitate when asked to help some of his pupils out of hours. Never did a
cross word pass his lips, and a nod was all that was needed to stop any
disturbance in the hall or room.

He will be missed as the most loved, most able, and most respected
teacher and companion that ever entered "Old Edmunds."

                                                                  C. K.

Mr. Putney, the most perfect man I have ever known. Only a few words are
necessary to say that though I knew him only for a short while, he stood
as a symbol of my utmost ideal in man.

Justice, kindness, love and brotherhood were living in his heart. His
most beautiful characteristic and the most precious was his consideration
for others.

                                                               G. E. R.

What especially appealed to me in Mr. Putney was his love for his
pupils. He always tried to help them in every possible way. He even
stayed at school an hour or so after the school had closed to help those
"who might wish to come for help," as he always said in his pleasing
tone. I shall never forget his words, "Well, you will have it to-morrow?"
when some person was not prepared with his lesson.

No greater loss could be sustained by the school than this giving up of
Mr. Putney.

                                                                  D. R.

Mr. Putney was a man dearly loved by all who knew him. His gentle
ways, his remarkable whole-heartedness and his polished manners are
characteristics of a man who was a great but modest hero in the great
Civil War.

He had no favorites among the pupils but he was the favorite of the
pupils. Thus we mourn the loss of Mr. Putney next to the loss of a near

                                                                  C. T.

When I first saw Mr. Putney I was impressed by his dignity and his kind
face. After knowing him better, what appealed to me most forcibly was
the absolute confidence and trust he had in his pupils. This trust in us
made us want to do our work well, and made us feel that we must do our
work well so that we would deserve his trust.

  "Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul."

When we heard of Mr. Putney's passing all was silence; that was the only
tribute one could give. Mere words, mere music,--nothing reaches the
summit of a life given over to service. His creed was, What do we live
for if it is not to make life a little less difficult for others. Surely
that is the highest goal of any human soul. He lived so that to come
into his presence was to be warmed and cheered as by the sun. By a life
heroic he conquered death.

Whenever I looked at Mr. Putney and the flag in assembly, I could not
help connect him in some way with Abraham Lincoln and the great struggle
for freedom. He used to carry himself in such a soldierly manner.
Whenever he spoke to us it was a rare treat.

                                                               H. M. B.


You have not asked me to speak to you this morning about Mr. Putney
because I can tell you anything about him which you do not already know.
In fact it does not matter very much who speaks to you about him. You
only wish to have an occasion to recall a familiar and delightful and
impressive teacher. You wish someone to do what Mark Antony did for the
Romans and tell you what you yourselves do know and enable you to repeat
the experience of Samson's mother in the scriptures who said about the
angel's visit, "The man came to me who came to me the other day."

You have set me a difficult and an easy task. Difficult because you knew
the man and open your ears for words good enough to speak about him, and
easy because you knew the man and can yourselves supply what I may miss,
and smooth my awkwardness by the harmony of your own recollections.

You might be interested to hear something about Thomas Arnold of Rugby,
Tom Brown's teacher, or about Bronson Alcott who had such strange ways
in discipline, requiring an offending pupil to punish him, holding out
his own hand for the ferrule; or about Tagore in India who requires his
boys to go out early in the morning to sit for half an hour under some
bush or tree for quiet meditation. Talk about these men might perhaps
appeal to your general interest in teachers and teaching, but what you
crave this morning is different. You wish to repeat the experience of
Achilles who slept beside the many-voiced sea, the _Polu phloisboio
Thalasses_, and dreamed that his slain friend Patroclus came back to

  "Like him in all things--stature, beautiful eyes
  And voice and garments which he wore in life
  A marvellous semblance of the living man."

Or the experience of Peter when his Master appeared to him and freshened
the old love and admiration and moved him to carry on the Master's
service in his own life.

You have set me a very difficult task but when I give you an inch you
will take an ell. Where I stumble you will walk with sure step. If I
am too much like Hamlet with old Polonius saying this cloud is like an
elephant or a camel, you will see a cloud like that which went before
the Israelites in the desert--a high spiritual presence to guide them.

A few days ago he was here. The memory is full of life. His stalwart
figure clothed with gentlemanly care and taste, his bearing and movement
so fine, so dignified, so courteous and so pleasant. His voice so
special to him, with all harshness fined out of it, tuned as their
voices are who have in their spirits the accent and habit of good will.
And that fine face, the out-of-doors sign of good thinking and good
feeling, practiced long and become a second nature. That shapely,
well-proportioned, roomy head with its glory of white hair. He had, it
seemed to me, in his physical presence the charm of old age without
its weakness. He was not a sentimental, flowery man. He was naturally
perhaps like the rock in the desert which Moses struck and drew water
from it. The rock did not look as if it hid a fountain of living water,
but he took duty to wife. He loved to do his duty. He could not be
comfortable in any other course and doing his duty became his joy, his
life. Wherever you found him, in school, in church, in the state, in the
Grand Army, he was at his post, on guard, awake, alert, devoted. He did
not go with the crowd into the Civil War. He thought alone and deeply.
He weighed the matter by himself. He compared his obligation to his
father on the old farm with the call of the Union and concluded that
he ought to go. After a long life of fidelity to obligation he could not
breathe easily in any other atmosphere. He went simply and straight to
his post with his whole gift and might. Duty--

  "Stern lawgiver! Yet thou dost wear
  The Godhead's most benignant grace;
  Nor know we anything so fair
  As is the smile upon the face,
  Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
  And fragrance in thy footing treads.
  Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong,
  And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh and strong."

Mr. Putney was an instructive teacher. Some of you know it. Many old
pupils gratefully acknowledge his service. Both in the classroom and in
private personal contact he had an enthusiasm for teaching. He managed
to secure knowledge of what he taught. He was interested in his pupils
and he was interested in his subject and interested in bringing the two
together. Teaching I should think would be difficult without all of
those interests. No doubt Mr. Putney had a gift for teaching, but in
teaching as in other kinds of work one does much to make one's own gift.
Barring conspicuousness for a calling, this creative energy is the man
himself. I like to remind young people of this fact because they are
wondering what they will do in life; what they are fitted to do. With
some reservations it may be said that one becomes fitted to do whatever
one determines to do with one's whole mind and soul and strength. Think
how hit or miss our choices often are. Accidental circumstances or
chance openings when we are looking around for a job, something which
happens to be in the air when we come on the stage have more to do with
our first choices than any supposed genius for this or that.

When men and women who have begun their career in this quite casual
manner succeed, then people say they have a remarkable gift for their
work. The gift in a very real and large sense is the creation of their
own energy. I believe that it was so with Mr. Putney. He was diligent
and faithful in his calling and his calling opened its treasures to him.

You remember what the Scripture says: "No man having tasted old wine
straightway desireth the new for he saith the old is better." Mr. Putney
illustrated the saying. There was a graciousness, a consideration, a
pleasantness and good will in his ripe age which made it beautiful and
drew warm personal feeling to him. A custom of the heart grew up about
his name. Some of you loved him. That feeble old soldier whom he visited
every Sunday afternoon is lonely without him. He had "that which should
accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends." Not a
few boys and girls have reason to remember with tenderness his delicate
and patient sympathy.

I received a circular the other day signed by my old teacher of
mathematics. I have not seen him for nearly forty years but reading
his words, seeing his name I lifted him again before my mind as if
I sat again before him in the Albany Academy. I recall his bodily
presence, his voice, his manner. I am grateful for his clear, and to me
inescapably conclusive teaching, and something I cannot analyze came
back to me--perhaps I should better say, came over me for my debt to him
has been growing all these years. Something of him has taken root in my
life and grown and borne fruit. In youth we take such influences for
granted. We are careless about them. We absorb them without thanks. But
the years bring thought and thought reveals service and we are grateful.

    "All my best is dressing old words new
  Spending again what is already spent
    For as the sun is daily new and old
  So is my love still telling what is told."

In coming years some of you will be thinking and saying about Mr. Putney
with growing appreciation what some who are now in the thick of life are
already saying in the words of Scripture "Demetrius hath good report of
all men and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record."


Whatever our path in life or the aim of our ambition, the real measure
of our service and success is the influence we exert upon the present
generation and those who come after us. We may do this through our
everyday life, through our individual service, through our benefactions.
When our lives are summed up, we are asked not what we gained, but what
we gave, not how much wealth we accumulated, but how much good we did
through our service and the means at our disposal.

To grow old beautifully in service for humanity has been named the
height of human achievement. It falls to few men to do this in the
measure reached by Professor Putney, who has just passed out from
this community mourned by all. His long life joined generations far
separated. Those who paid tribute to his life and individual service
included the rapidly thinning "blue line" of the veterans of the
war for the preservation of the Union, for human freedom, of nearly
three-quarters of a century ago as well as hundreds of school children
who had learned to love him through the close association of teacher and
pupil. It is given to only one man in ten thousand thus to link close to
his own personality the genuine affections of organizations representing
extreme youth and advanced age.

To have done all this is proof that Professor Putney in every sense of
the expression "grew old beautifully." The human interest element serves
to bring out this side of his life still more impressively. It was
his ambition that he might teach on his eightieth birthday. A few more
days would have witnessed the consummation of this allowable wish. His
conscientiousness was supreme however. He remarked to his granddaughter
that if he did not recover in two weeks it would not be right for him to
retain his position as a teacher in the Burlington High School, great as
was his desire to celebrate his fourscore anniversary "in harness."

He continued to the end one of the youngest of aged men. He kept in
touch with youth and was thus able to reflect the spirit and intense
interest of youth. He was constantly aiding boys in his home who needed
help in their studies. He gave of himself ungrudgingly in this way
and refused recompense. It was with him a labor of love. If he had
frailties, and who of us has not, he governed them instead of letting
them have dominion over him, thereby showing himself better "than he
that taketh a city." For his pupils and his associates as well as for
those who associated with him in his Christian work in the College
Street Church he was always the gentleman of the old school and the
embodiment of unobtrusive beneficence combined.

All boys and girls who may be inclined to bewail the impossibility of
being of service under present conditions or limitations will establish
their privilege of serving as he served, if they bear thoroughly in mind
that Professor Putney did what he did, not through the aid of wealth or
position or the favor of powerful friends, but solely through his own
individual service to others.

Of such it is written "that he shall doubtless come again with rejoicing
bringing his sheaves with him." In the years to follow the sheaves of
influence of Professor Putney's life will come many times to the youth
whose privilege it has been to be associated with him, and they will
rejoice that his influence entered their careers. Who shall measure the
influences for good that he has set in motion in the young lives and in
the life of our community? Happy the man to whom it is thus given to
grow old beautifully! Thrice happy that man who in thus growing old
beautifully is able to bring down to the latest generations the best
traditions of the past and through them to make his life a benediction
to many generations to come.--_Burlington Free Press._


    He Toiled long, well, and with Good Cheer
            In the Service of Others
         Giving his Whole, Asking little
         Enduring patiently, Complaining
                   Not at all
                With small Means
                 Effecting Much

               *       *       *

     He had no Strength that was not Useful
       No Weakness that was not Lovable
          No Aim that was not Worthy
          No Motive that was not Pure

               *       *       *

                 Ever he Bent
             His Eye upon the Task
                 Ever he Bent
            His Soul upon the Stars
                His Heart upon
                    The Sun

               *       *       *

                 Bravely he Met
                    His Test
                Richly he Earned
                    His Rest

                                                      --HERBERT PUTNAM.

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