1698The first public school opened in the Meeting House.Government and Public Service, Education

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Gloucester Town Records, 1642-1715. Vol. 1. Gloucester, Mass., 1715.

Although Massachusetts law at the time required that any town with more than 50 households provide a public school, Gloucester had not complied. Families lived far apart, and it was difficult to find a convenient location for all students to attend. The town finally took action in 1698, with a vote to choose a schoolmaster. Thomas Riggs, Sr., who had been town clerk for 33 years, was selected and was to be paid 1 shilling 6 pence per day.

Gloucester Town Records, 1642-1715. Vol. 1. Gloucester, Mass., 1715. Hurd, D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) ed. History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia, J. W. Lewis & Co., 1888, http://archive.org/details/historyofessexco02hurd
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