Brush, Miltmore W., 1909

Miltmore Witherell Brush was a member of the Phillips Academy class of 1909. He lived in Greenwich, Connecticut and was only at Andover for his senior year; he went on to attend Yale. While at Andover, Brush was a member of the Phi Lambda Sigma society, the Gun Club, the Philomathean Society, and the football and basketball teams, according to the 1909 yearbook.

The scrapbook is in fairly poor condition, with almost all of the pages completely removed from the binding; a reader should be careful when turning pages. Its front cover is a piece of brown paper, and its spine and back cover are both bright blue cardboard. While the scrapbook is initially well organized, it later becomes less well thought out, and the last part simply consists of stacks of loose newspaper clippings, full Phillipian copies, and other scraps of paper tucked between pages, making it especially difficult to look through.

The scrapbook is arranged thematically though it also shows the chronological progression of Brush’s time at Andover. It begins with a section for friends’ signatures, which is mostly left blank. The first few pages contain Brush’s schedule, report cards, club brochures, and even an Andover postcard. On the first page, he wrote about his first week at Andover, describing it as “pretty lonely.” Brush later dedicated one page to listing his grades on each school assignment, plastered another with receipts from tailors, laundries, and banks, and filled several more with playbills and ticket stubs including one program from a performance at Abbot Academy. Though no pages otherwise mention religion, he neatly decorated one page using Easter cards adorned with Christian imagery and language. Brush also saved menus from several formal dinners and many dance cards (booklets listing with whom someone danced at an event), one of which was from Abbot Academy. Also, throughout the scrapbook, Brush placed scraps of stationary or envelopes bearing the seals of elite hotels in Greenwich, Boston, and New York.

One recurring topic in Brush’s scrapbook is speech competitions. Brush saved several newspaper clippings about the Means Prize, an annual speech competition at Phillips Academy. He also saved the event’s official program, which reveals him as one of the ten competitors; he gave a speech on “Andover Witchcraft” and did not win the contest. In addition, Brush kept a program for the Draper Prizes, a similar speech contest, and topic assignments from several debate competitions.

Brush dedicated the vast majority of the scrapbook to sports at Andover. He avidly followed the football, track, basketball, and baseball teams, saving newspaper clippings describing various games. Though most of the clippings seem to come from the Phillipian, at least one is from the Harvard Crimson and others are from local Andover and Lawrence newspapers. In addition to these external accounts, Brush himself kept detailed schedules of each team’s games. A page dedicated to football contains a handwritten schedule listing the scores of every game, with Andover’s victory over Exeter written largely and underlined several times. Similarly, Brush filled in the times for each event in a booklet from an Andover-Exeter track meet and labelled a team photo. These schedules and newspaper clippings reveal the schools Andover students competed against; Exeter, Harvard, and Yale are mentioned most often, but schools like Dartmouth, MIT, and Princeton are included as well. Despite his heavy focus on sports, Brush himself is not mentioned in any of his clippings. The scrapbook contains images of various athletes both competing and posing for photos, but Brush does not appear to be pictured. His inclusion of several ticket stubs from the “cheering section” and a baseball season pass indicates that he was more of a spectator than a participant in many sports. Additionally, he saved a copy of the “Phillips Academy Song and Yell Book,” which contains school songs and cheers. While most songs focus on Andover’s superiority over Exeter, one mentions Abbot Academy, saying that the “femmies” at Abbot would cry if they knew about the plight of an Andover “hero facing zero,” or a student struggling with an unfinished paper late at night. Aside from a few general references to Abbot like this one, Brush rarely, if ever, mentions women in the scrapbook. He focuses mostly on his male peers, and his emphasis on athletics highlights perceptions of masculinity at that time.

While Brush’s grades were poor, ranging from B’s to E’s, he was nonetheless accepted to Yale, like many of his peers. The scrapbook contains Brush’s Yale entrance exam, complete with his annotations on a German passage and diagram on geometry problem. Brush also saved a pamphlet about a Yale freshman dormitory, showing interest in college dormitory life. Near the end of the scrapbook, he included several programs and newspaper clippings related to his class’s graduation from Andover.

By Natalie Simpson, class of 2019

Scrapbook Box 88