Peirce School - Origin of Name

Origin of Name

Peirce School, (originally pronounced as if it were spelled "Purse" but now usually pronounced as if it were spelled "Pierce"), was named for Cyrus Peirce, (1790–1860), a Unitarian minister and educator, who was the first principal (or president) of the first Normal School opened in the United States in Lexington and served as such from 1839 until 1842 when he retired because of poor health. In 1844 the Normal School was moved to West Newton and located on Washington Street on the site now occupied by the First Unitarian Society in Newton, which is also on the National Register. Peirce moved to Newton that year and resumed his leadership of the school and served until 1849, when he again retired because of ill health. Peirce lived the rest of his life in West Newton. The Normal School he headed is now Framingham State College, in Framingham, which considers him as its first president.

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