Messler, Remsen Varick, 1875-1876

Remsen Varick Messler was a member of the graduating class of 1876 at Phillips Academy Andover. He was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was an enthusiastic Latin and Greek student. Messler was an avid participant in the Philomathean Society, and attended many public meetings of the Porter Rhetoric Society. Because 1875 was the semi-centennial anniversary of the Philomathean Society, Messler spent time both preparing for and attending the celebration. He was present for several Draper Prize and Means Essay declamations, documenting first, second, and third place winners for each. Messler applied to, and presumably attended, the College of New Jersey, otherwise known as Princeton, after graduating from Andover.

Messler’s scrapbook is in good condition for its age, with the edges of the pages browning and curling a small amount. The items pasted onto the pages are not in chronological order, and several pages have clearly been cut out of the scrapbook. Messler mostly saved pages from his textbooks as well as programs from the events he attended such as Philomathean Society events, several programs for Semi-Centennial events, Porter Rhetorical Society Public Meetings, Decoration Services, an athletic competition against Phillips Exeter Academy, several declamations, a celebration of Washington’s birthday, and the 48th anniversary of Abbott Academy. Also included are the obituaries of two classmates, Gerard Sumner Wiggin and Marcus J. Ames, the latter “drowned in the Shawshine River”. Both died in 1874. The program from the athletic competition against Exeter has had the first prize winner written in for each event. Maybe most interesting is a newspaper article on a spelling match that was judged by a group of girls dressed up as official judges. Included in the scrapbook are mentions of Abbott Academy, such as the 48th anniversary of the academy, as well as a program from “the 9th annual reading at the Abbott Academy,” which includes a card with the name Miss Douglass written on it. Messler ended the scrapbook with the program from his “exhibition”, or graduation, and a newspaper article documenting the event.

by Evelyn Tackett, class of 2015

Philomathean Society debate invitation, 1876, from Remsen Messler scrapbook


Scrapbook Box 12