Ashley Webster

UPDATE: January 4, 2009 - Ashley passed away at the age of 100. If you'd like to send condolences to his family, write to 9 Linden Circle, Georgetown, MA 01833.

Ashley Webster was a long time Lincoln resident and school principal. He graduated from Eastern State Normal School in Castine, Maine in 1929, and later obtained a degree from the University of Maine. he commenced his career in Trenton, Maine as a teacher/principal in a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8. His starting annual salary was $604, which decreased during the Great Depression. He later was a principal in several other towns. One town ran out of money and was unable to pay him. It was later determined that the treasurer was stealing town funds.

In 1945, he moved to Lincoln with his wife, Ruby, and three children - Carol, Mary and Merritt. He assumed the position of principal at the Ballard Hill School. In addition to being the principal, he was a full-time teacher. Some of his other duties were tending the coal furnace if needed, monitoring students crossing the road and coaching basketball and baseball. The school day started with prayer, saluting the American flag and Bible reading. A half pint of milk was distributed to each student daily.

Ashley assisted in planning the Ella P. Burr School and became the first principal when it opened in 1954. He was very proud of the state of the art building. It included an intercom system, automated bells and a modern kitchen which provided the first hot lunches for grade school students in Lincoln. His first secretaries were 8th grade students. He often commented on what a great job they did.

Former Lincoln School Principal Ashley Webster
at 99 years old

Ashley Webster with his students in Plymouth, Maine in 1936 or 1937. Click on the photo for a larger view. In 1932, he and two friends departed for a trip to California in a 1926 sedan. They returned to Maine after 45 days, traveling 9, 411 miles. They had many adventures, including an encounter with a grizzly which ate their food. Ashley picked up numerous items on the trip, which he later used to teach students about some of the states he visited.

Ashley Webster at his desk at the Ella P. Burr School in Lincoln

He retired in 1968 after completing 39 years of service in public education. Ashley continued his summer employment for the Hart Seed Company for several more years. He collaborated with a grandson to write a book entitled "From Out Of The Past Speaks Morse's Cove". The book recounts his family history and life experiences. He was honored to be the Grand Marshal of the Lincoln Homecoming Parade in 2003.