Craven County Digital History Exhibit

New School Building, 1908

Title: New School Building

Creator: Oliver, William H.

Subject: Education--North Carolina--New Bern
              Schools--North Carolina--New Bern
              Griffin, Moses

Description: Broadside objecting to the proposed location of a school building in New Bern.

Publisher: Oliver, William H.

Date: 20 May 1908

Type: Text

Format: 1 page.

Identifier: Miscellaneous Collection

Source: Donation.

Coverage: New Bern, North Carolina

Rights: Permission to use this item must be obtained from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson Street, New Bern, NC 28560.

Click on an image below for more detail.


            In order that our people may know my position in regard to the School Building which is proposed to be erected on the Academy lot, I make the following statement:  There are some who want it built in the upper corner of the lot, the most obscure place on the lot.  To build it in the rear of a building thereby cutting off all view of it from the two principal streets.  The great objection is to join a ten thousand dollar building to another building.. The front of the rear building to be jammed to the rear of a solid brick wall and thereby cut off all sunshine, all air and light from both buildings, one in the front, one in the rear.  This will double the hazard from fire; if one building should burn it would also cause the burning of both.  This arrangement would make a FIRE TRAP for both buildings.  From reports recently made there were about Fifty School Buildings burned during the past twelve month; in one of them TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY CHILDREN were burned to death.

     Let the parents of the children who will attend the School take warning from this fearful loss of life and use their influence to prevent the possibility of such a calamity taking place[.]  It is proposed to cut a passage from one building to the other through a brick wall thereby damaging the building.

     There is no necessity for this, there is an abundance of room on the south side of the lot where a building could be erected free from all the above objections.  No other building could burn it, sunshine and light in every room room could never be cut off.  I am told by an advocate of placing it in the rear of another building that it would cost two thousand dollars less than if placed where I proposed.

     It was a great pleasure to me to petition the court to direct me (who for fifty years has been Trustee of the Estate of Moses Griffin) to place Ten Thousand Dollars in Bank to the credit of a committee named by me to be used by them in erecting a building for school purposes in the Academy lot.  The money was immediately placed in Bank and as soon as the site is settled on the building can be started.

     I am directed by the court to take a mortgage on the building for Ten Thousand Dollars and I certainly will not take a mortgage on a building which perhaps will cost some six or seven thousand dollars.  Why divert a part of this fund to some other purpose than erect in a beautiful grove where there is an abundance of space, a building fitting as a Memorial Building to Mr. Moses Griffin whose estate furnished every dollar for the entire cost of erecting the building?  I am told that the new building and the building to which it is proposed to be joined would be called the Griffin Memorial Building, this I most strongly object to and would not recognize it.  The Griffin Estate will enter into no copartnership and will not acknowledge a single brick nor an ounce of mortar as a memorial unless the same has been paid by its own funds.


Who for fifty years has been Trustee of the Griffin Estate.

New Bern, N.C.              

May 20, 1908.              

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Images scanned by John B. Green, III.  Text prepared by John B. Green, III and Victor T. Jones, Jr.
This page last edited on August 21, 2018.

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