Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 1955 Volume 8 Number 4, Pages 109–115


Richard S. MacNamee

Page 109

I believe I am right when I say that Richard S. MacNamee is the man to whom most credit be given for the splendid high school system which Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships have enjoyed, as well as all of Pennsylvania.

Mr. MacNamee came to teach at Strafford in 1887 and in 1893 he was made Supervising Principal of all Tredyffrin schools as well as teacher at Strafford.

It was through his efforts that a bill passed the. Legislature at Harrisburg which made possible the consolidation of our two townships as one high school district, and it is said that the bill was passed practically word for word as Professor MacNamee had written it.

In 1908 he was made Supervising Principal of Tredyffrin School District, Easttown School District, and Tredyffrin-Easttown Joint High School, which position he held until his death on November 19th, 1914.

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Although he was to some degree incapacitated by infantile paralysis, he seemed always able to master a difficulty, and when he died he had served Tredyffrin for twenty-seven years and Easttown for five years.

On January 25th, 1952, the newly built auditorium of the Strafford School was dedicated to his memory. At the dedication Dr. Robert Hughes told of the work accomplished by Mr. MacNamee. His daughter, Mrs. Helen MacNamee Bentz, and her daughter came from New York for the occasion.

Mr. MacNamee was the only high school teacher at Strafford School where he taught Latin, Greek, algebra, and geometry. The final examinations were those for Haverford College entrance, and Dr. Sharpless, President of Haverford, helped to conduct them.


Mr. Robbins succeeded Mr. Taylor in September, 1910, as the second principal and continued as such until 1914. On the death of Mr. Richard MacNamee in 1914, Mr. Robbins became Supervising Principal of the Joint Districts of Tredyffrin and Easttown Schools, which office he held until 1923 when he accepted a position to teach Sociology and History of Education at Bloomsburg State Teachers College. He retired from Bloomsburg in l935. While there he also taught summer school at Lock Haven State Teachers College.

During his service as Supervising Principal of the two townships he had supervision of Primary Grades 1 to 4 and Grammar Grades 5 to 8 of the Leopard, Ogden and Easttown Schools in Easttown Township, and of the Howellville, Paoli, Salem, North Berwyn, Strafford, Mt. Pleasant, Fairview, and Valley Presbyterian Schools in Tredyffrin.

Mr. Robbins was a graduate of Lycoming Academy, Muncy Normal School, Bucknell College (A.B. degree), University of Pennsylvania (M.A. degree), and also took summer courses at the New York University,and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Previous to coming here he taught at Pottsgrove, Picture Rocks, and lastly at Phoenixville from 1905 to 1910.

Page 111


Samuel Paul Teamer was born in Malvern on August 23rd, 1890. His early school life was in the Malvern School where he completed his junior high school course. He then received his high school education at Tredyffrin-Easttown, graduating in one year in the first class turned out by the new Tredyffrin-Easttown Joint High School, 1909. He then matriculated at Bucknell University, playing substitute tackle on the football team and graduating in the class of 1913.

In 1913 Mr. Teamer came to Tredyffrin-Easttown High School as a history teacher and coach for the football team, and in 1914 he became principal, a position he held until his death on June 24th, 1940.

Mr. Teamer was the football coach from 1913 until 1931 when his duties as principal would no longer permit time for him to coach the team, but those who knew him knew that his heart was always in the front line with the team. It was with good reason, therefore, that the new athletic field was dedicated in his honor as the "Teamer Field" on September 15, 1950. (See page 100)

Mr. Teamer was a member of the Malvern Baptist Church and one of the two persons who organized the Tredyffrin-Easttown History Club; he was its first president. He had a great love for local history and took the pupils of Tredyffrin-Easttown on many caravans around the country in order that his students could study their history at the place of action.

While teaching at Tredyffrin-Easttown he was constantly attending classes at the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania. On February 14th, 1925, he received his degree of Master of Arts. He attended classes there from 1919 until 1932 and received credits as follows: Supervising Principal, certificate, 9-21-32; High School Principal, certificate, 9-30-32. At Bucknell he graduated in 1920 in general science, physics, English and Greek.

In 1918 and 1919 he was called from the school to serve his country, and was a First Lieutenant and served as Personnel Adjutant and Supply Officer, handling the pay rolls, commutation of quarters, rations of nine hundred enlisted men, and pay and mileage vouchers for two hundred and fifty officers. A letter from the Commandant, American School Detachment of University of Toulouse, commended him on this work and expressed their appreciation.

You will find on the wall of the old Tredyffrin-Easttown High School, now Tredyffrin-Easttown Junior High School, a plaque which reads:

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Presented by the Class of 1941
In memory of S. Paul Teamer
Principal of the Tredyffrin-Easttown
Joint High School from 1914 to 1940

Mr. Teamer was buried with military honors in the cemetery of the Malvern Baptist Church. He was an historian, a teacher, a man whose influence on the youth of this High School and on the community will be felt through the coming years.

Ruth Waters, of the Class of 1941, wrote the following poem about Mr. Teamer:

To the Pennsylvania Arch of Valley Forge, Mr. Teamer, historian, teacher, and principal, came year after year with his classes. To him it was always an inspiration.

As he firmly walked among us
Giving words our thoughts to sway,
As he bravely led us onward
So from us he passed away.
As he gave us words of counsel
Urging us to reach our aim -
So he led us on and upward
We, today revere his name.
May our love for him, our leader
Urge to deeds surpassed by none
May he greet as "Faithful Servant"
When our course in life is run.
Yes, his mortal soul has left us
But his spirit lingers still
To guide the school in truth and right
As his spirit ever will.


Mr. William C. Latch was the last president of the Tredyffrin- Easttown Joint School Board. He was elected president on September 8th, 1942, and held that position until June, 1953, when he resigned as a member of the Board on account of ill health. Mr. Latch was a life-long resident of Berwyn and the vicinity. The early part of his life was spent on the same farm that had been owned by his grandfather on Old State Road on the South Valley Hills. He later built a large gray stone house on Conestoga Road just to the east of the High School.

Page 113

He was first elected a member of the Tredyffrin Board in 1913 and served until 1917; he was again elected in 1937 and served until 1953. It was Mr. Latch who suggested on December 10, 1946, that the new athletic field be called the "Teamer Field." His suggestion was carried out with the dedication of the new field in 1950, but to date nothing has been placed on the field to mark it as such.

Almost the last act of the Tredyffrin-Easttown Joint School Board at its last meeting, June 9th, 1953, was to pass a resolution expressing its appreciation of the services and kindly attitude of Mr. Latch, its president for many years. (See Page 100) Mr. Latch passed away on May 20th, 1955, and was buried in the Great Valley Baptist Church Cemetery.


During the years 1918 - 1919 when Mr. Teamer, the principal, was granted leave to serve in the armed forces, Miss Mary Wingard, the Assistant Principal, became Acting Principal in his absence.

Miss Wingard will always be remembered by the students of T-E for her work in coaching the High School plays, but we find that while she was acting as principal she took on the work of coaching the football team. I am sure that this was a very unheard of thing for a woman to do at that time. Strange to say, with the help of some of the other teachers, the team had a very successful year.

Miss Wingard taught at T-E until her retirement in 1941.


Mrs. Edna Myers of Berwyn, formerly Miss Edna Hayman, has been one of the faithful servants of Tredyffrin-Easttown Township since 1912 when she began her service to the schools as a teacher in the Joint High School. She inaugurated the Commercial Department, teaching part time and continuing as a secretary until 1917 when she became a full-time teacher until 1922 when she resigned. In 1939 she again took up her secretarial duties and continued until her retirement.

She was a graduate of the Class of 1911, and took part in the first school play,"The Cricket on the Hearth," given that year.

Mrs. Myers retired from her work in February, 1954, and was honored for her years of service at a dinner held at Strafford School. Mrs. Myers served under all supervising principals except Simon Horstick since the Tredyffrin-Easttown

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jointure; these included D.H. Robbins, Wilmer K. Groff, Hobson C. Wagner, and the present Dr. J. Maurice Strattan. In all Mrs. Myers served T-E for thirty-two years.


In 1932, when the Junior High School was opened, Mr. Wallace S. Brey was selected to organize the newly established school. He was considered an expert in the field of social studies. He was educated at the Perkiomen School and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ursinus College and his Master's degree in social studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He also did advanced work in school administration and supervision at the University of Chicago.

After serving as Principal of the Whitemarsh Township School in Montgomery County, Mr. Brey became Supervising Principal of the Schwenksville School. In 1933 he came to Tredyffrin as Elementary Superintendent, and the next year became head of Guidance and Social Studies in Tredyffrin- Easttown High School, which position he held until he was appointed Principal of the Junior High School in 1939. Very soon thereafter, upon the death of Mr. Teamer in l940, he assumed the principalship of the Senior High School, which position he retained until his resignation on June 10, 1952. He is now living in Florida.

Because of his constantly urging students to adopt the profession of teaching, in 1953 a branch of the Future Teachers of America was founded at the School under the name of "The Wallace S. Brey Club."


Dr. B. Anton Hess, the present Principal of the High School, graduated from Lebanon High School in 1931, majored in science and mathematics at Millersville State Teachers' College, and then received his Master of Science degree from Temple University in 1942, and that of Doctor of Education from the same institution in 1952. During his teaching career he has taught mathematics and science for the Independent Borough of Lebanon, and algebra at Lebanon Junior High School.

He left Lebanon to serve three years as Air Navigator in the United States Navy. On his return he became Vice Principal of the Lebanon Senior High School and then Principal of Spring Township School District High School, from which position he came to Tredyffrin-Easttown High School in 1952. Dr. Hess is a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve

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and a member of the Chester County Boy Scout Council, acting as Chairman of its Camping Committee. He is a Rotarian and is active as a Director of the Rotary Club.

Perhaps the most important work that Dr. Hess i s doing outside of his school work is as a member of the important Committee of State Planning and Research for the Secondary Principals' Association. He also occasionally teaches Education Administration at Temple University Graduate School of Education. Dr. Hess is continuing as Principal of the new jointure Conestoga High School in Berwyn.


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