A Clarkson Mosaic - page 15

Sunday, Aug. 19. Everybody's best friend is gone. Mr. Clarkson passed to eternal rest at 5 o'clock this morning. Mr.
Clarkson has shown how much good a man can do who has a little money. He has used it to help the village. He employed
many men. His men never struck. He never had any trouble. He was not a sharp businessman. He did not do business so much
to enrich himself as to help others. He sometimes continued business at a loss in order to give his men work. We feel sorrowful
but out of our great sorrow some good may come. We may endeavor in our limited capacity to do as Mr. Clarkson has done, not
live entirely for ourselves, but to try to help others.
Memorial for T.S.C.
After his death, the Clarkson family began considering ways to memorialize their
brother. They remembered that long before his death, Thomas had considered founding a school to promote
manual arts and technical education, industry, thrift, and good citizenship. For many years, he had been a
leader in Potsdam's businesses; he had furnished employment for a large number of men and was particularly
eager to advance the condition of workers in the village. He especially wanted to provide educational
facilities for ambitious young men and young women who worked hard to better their station and condition in
life, but his death prevented him from carrying out those dreams.
His loving sisters, however, sharing those same desires to help the young people, began investigating
what was needed to establish a memorial school in Potsdam that would offer the best and most advanced
opportunities for industrial and technical education to young people in the area.
To that end, on October 4, 1894, at the residence of T. Streatfeild Clarkson, family and friends met
to plan the memorial. Besides Mr. and Mrs. T. Streatfeild Clarkson, Miss Elizabeth, Miss Frederica, and Miss
Annie Clarkson, the group also included John G. McIntyre, Charles O. Tappan, Abraham X. Parker, George
H. Sweet, and Dr. Malcolm McVicar, the first principal of the Normal and Training School at Potsdam. At
that meeting, the group agreed on the name Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology. Shortly
thereafter, a special committee of Miss Elizabeth, Miss Annie, John McIntyre, and George Sweet studied the
layout of Potsdam to decide what kind of school was best adapted to this locality, and the costs of
establishing and maintaining it. They visited well-known engineering, trade, and technical schools, consulted
educators, and gathered a wide range of information from the best available sources.
On December 18, after reporting on this trip to the group that had met earlier, Miss Annie Clarkson
proposed that their group organize themselves into an informal Board of Trustees and elect a president and
secretary. Charles Tappan was elected president; Miss Annie, secretary; and Mr. McIntyre to investigate
incorporation. The other gentlemen of the Board were appointed a committee to choose an appropriate site
for a school building. Acting on the committee recommendations, on January 22, 1895, the Misses Clarkson
bought three plots along Main Street for $8,000: the Ransom home for $2,500; the Brown home for $2,500;
and the Hamblin home for $3,000.
Ten months later, on November 28, 1895, trustees of the local school district deeded to Clarkson
School a piece of land five rods by 10 rods in the rear of the Ransom lot, making a rectangular plot of ground
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