Lower Merion Academy: A Legend in Learning

Jacob’s Generosity

It was possible Jacob was so frustrated over the years by the lack of commitment of his fellow Quakers in establishing a free school in Lower Merion that he initiated the first step to begin a fund for others to contribute to or, in this case, a trust to erect a school, to educate children, and to provide land and accommodations for the teacher(s).

Jacob, however, went one step further than educating “…the poorer Friends’ children.” He included all the children in the Township regardless of their “religious Professions or Education.” Because of his and others’ generosity, the poor and orphan children of Lower Merion were allowed to receive an education free of charge and equal to the education that any other, more financially secure children could afford.

Board of Trustees, 4 standing men
The Board of Trustees in 1905 (from left): Israel Irwin, Luther Parsons, Joseph F. Haywood, John L. Ott and Silas Jones.
Primer pages showing alphabet
Example of an early primer from the 1860s.