History of Stanton
Have you ever wondered who John B. Stanton was? Ever since I became part of the Stanton Network School community in July of 2013, I have always wondered who Mr. Stanton was. Was he a teacher in Norwich? Was he a principal? Was he the mayor? Having been a History teacher for the past 16 years, I could not stop thinking about trying to solve this mystery.
I thought that the easiest way to solve the mystery would be to “Google” John B. Stanton. The Internet gave me a lot of great information about our school and the Norwich Public Schools but I couldn’t find anything about the man himself. My 2nd idea was to ask people here in our school community. I found out quickly that this mystery was going to be harder to solve than I originally thought. When I couldn’t figure out who he was on my own, I turned to the great team at the Otis Public Library right here in Norwich. I emailed the library and got responses from Bob Farwell and Kathleen Weiland. These two people took time out of their own daily schedules to help me. They were able to help me solve the mystery.
John Byron Stanton was born on June 6th, 1865. This was two months after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He was born in Sterling, CT but moved to Norwich as an adult. In 1896, Mr. Stanton became the Superintendent of the ‘west side schools’ here in Norwich. He also got married to his wife, Winifred, on December 26th, 1896. Mr. & Mrs. Stanton had two children that were born in 1905 & 1909. He served as Superintendent of Schools here in Norwich for 25 years from 1896-1921. When he retired in 1921, he and his wife lived on a farm somewhere on New London Turnpike where our John B. Stanton Elementary School is located. There were no street numbers back then so we don’t know exactly where they lived. Mr. Stanton died on February 25th, 1933. That was one month before Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States.
It’s always fun to learn about important people from our nation’s past. It’s just as much fun to learn about people who lived here in Norwich where you live or work. It allows you to use your imagination when you think about people. I wonder if Mr. Stanton’s farm was located here where our school is today. I wonder if he drove a car in the 1920’s or if he still used a horse and carriage for traveling. History is all about telling stories from our past. What types of history would you like to know more about? The answers are out there … you just have to know how to find them. Happy hunting!