Francis Foster Patton, class of 1907, created three scrapbooks that documents his time at Phillips Academy. He was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and went on to attend Yale University then established a law firm in Michigan. The pages of his scrapbooks are mostly intact, but they chip and break easily.
In the 1904-1905 scrapbook, Patton displays his interests in athletics, documenting countless Andover sports victories and defeats in football, baseball, and basketball against teams from other boarding school and universities. Playing against universities was not uncommon for boarding schools at the time because there were not many competitors at the time, and college freshmen were typically not at the varsity level yet. Aside from sports, the scrapbook also includes theatre programs, Phillipian articles, tickets, checks, information about the chess club, and letters.
A particularly notable event that is documented in this Patton scrapbook is the outbreak of scarlet fever. A letter mailed to Patton’s father from Alfred Stearns, Andover’s principal at the time, includes a notice about the spread of scarlet fever at the Academy and resulting temporary closure of the school. The closing was deemed necessary by Boston physicians working with Andover because in the early 20th century scarlet fever was a major cause of death to kids.
Patton’s 1905-1906 scrapbook includes Phillipian articles; photographs of the football, track, hockey, and basketball teams; pamphlets of cheers and magazine; train tickets, and other ephemera. Foster resided in Taylor Hall during the one year that is documented in his scrapbook.
Within the pages of the 1906-1907 scrapbook, Patton included telegrams, theatre and orchestra programs, and other items that outlined his life during his attendance at Andover. Patton ventured off campus quite frequently, traveling back and forth between New York and Detroit.
The items pasted into this scrapbook include telegrams from Phillips Academy principal Cecil Bancroft to Patton’s mother asking about his leave of absence during his senior year at Andover due to his father’s serious illness. The nature of these telegrams was the balancing of Patton’s need to be present at home, and the academics he needed to keep up with in order to graduate that year.
Before his father became ill, Patton was an avid participant in Andover track and field as well as baseball. He includes many newspaper clippings about the outcomes of various tournaments and games especially Andover-Exeter days. In addition to sports clippings of these schools, general published information was also included in his scrapbook about those two schools.
Aside from sports and his academic life, Patton was a part of the automobile club which is fascinating due to the fact that cars were such a new idea during this time period. New enough that kids created a club dedicated to understanding them more.
In terms of his personal life, Francis Patton did not include any information or photographs of himself or his family. He did not leave any evidence of a girlfriend, or any friends for that matter. This 1906-1907 (volume 3) scrapbook is mainly dedicated to the academic and extracurricular elements of Patton’s senior year at Andover instead of his personal encounters and friends he had while he was here.
by Gregory Burgess, Class of 2015, Grant Cho, class of 2017, Meggan M. Rodriguez, class of 2017.
Patton 1904-1905 is in Scrapbook Box 94
Patton 1905-1906 is in Scrapbook Box 26
Patton 1906-1907 is in Scrapbook Box 11