Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One of the village schools in 1910

In recent times, we've debated the extent of the Governor's authority over the Department of Education.  In 1908, the Governor WAS the Director of DOE.  His name was Capt. Edward John Dorn, United States Navy.

The man who took care of the schools on a daily basis was the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Albert Percy Manley.  Manley was a Marine stationed on Guam around 1904.  He married a local lady from the Rosendo family.  Not surprising, then, that he left the Marines (honorable discharge) in 1907 to stay on Guam and raise his family.

Manley's clerk was Jose Roberto.  I wouldn't be surprised if Manley, new to the island, needed a Chamorro clerk like Roberto to help him with communication in Chamorro with parents, students and perhaps even a teacher here or there not used to advanced English.

The teachers of DOE in 1908 were :


Concepcion Martinez
Rufina Castro
Jose Cruz Valenzuela
Jose Tejada
Jose Kamminga
Agueda Iglesias
Pedro Martinez
Antonio Perez
Gregorio Perez
G. L. Costenoble
H.W. Elliott - Night School
E.B. Peck
Rosie C. Kraber
Francisco Taitano

Asan : F.T. Brown

Piti : A.W. Jackson and Vicente White

Sumay : F.A. Northrup

Agat : W.L. Vaughan and Rosa Sablan

Umatac : Jose Charfauros

Merizo : J.C. English, F.E. Rushing and Prudencio Gogue

Inarajan : W.R. Rhodes and F.B. Snedecker

Dededo : J. Schnabel and J. James

Some observations :
  • Tejada was Latin American; arrived in the early years of the American administration; I believe the family ran a store.
  • The Kamminga family descended from a Dutch settler during Spanish times, Galo Bouma Kamminga.
  • Agueda Iglesias later married William G. Johnston and became head of DOE for many years.
  • Pedro Martinez soon left for the US for a college education; returning to Guam he became one of the leading businessmen on the island.
  • I suspect that Antonio Perez is "Boñao" and Gregorio Perez is "Goyo," but I'll confirm this.
  • G.L. Costenoble is almost surely Gertrude Costenoble, wife of a German settler and entrepreneur, Hermann, who ran stores on Guam and formerly in Saipan.  They had a daughter named Gertrude who married Hans Hornbostel and moved off-island some years later.  She spoke good Chamorro and helped with some cultural studies on Guam before the war.
  • Elliott is Hiram W. Elliott, who married into the Martinez clan.
  • Rosie C. Kraber is Rosie Custino, married to Kraber.  Rosie's father Luis was originally surnamed Castro (familian Kaban) but changed his name, as did his brother Jose, to Custino when they left Guam in the late 1800s.  Both brothers became Protestants and moved back to Guam for a while under the American administration to help with the Protestant mission.
  • Francisco Taitano might very well be Francisco S.N. Taitano, son of Jose Mendiola Taitano (familian Kueto), one of the earliest Protestant converts.  In some of the few documents we have, Francisco is praised for his command of English, so this may in fact be him.
  • Some of the stateside names are familiar, as they married into Chamorro families (Jackson, James, Vaughan).
  • Schnabel is Jacques Schnabel, a Belgian if I remember correctly, who married one of the Calvos (Concepcion Anderson Calvo).
  • The "Native Band" fell under DOE at the time.  While the members may have been mainly Chamorros and local Filipinos, the band was lead by two recent Italian settlers, Marcello Sgambelluri and G. Saccomani.  Sgambelluri married a Chamorro, Joaquina Camacho, and raised a family on Guam.
  • With quite a number of Chamorro Protestant and American non-Catholic teachers having daily contact with the children, one can understand why some Spanish Catholic missionaries were anxious about this situation!
  • You can see from the list that the majority of the island's population lived in Hagåtña.
  • Public education did not go up to the 12th grade yet.
  • There were 2 schools in Hagåtña in 1908, a No. 1 probably for the youngest children, and a No. 2 with only 3 teachers, for older students (I suspect no older than the 6th grade).
  • My grandmother (born 1899) said she only went as far as the 6th grade.  She would have been a student of one of these teachers listed above.  Although reaching only the 6th grade, my grandmother was herself made a teacher and later on a school principal.  If you had a knack for picking up English, you could get a job as a teacher if you wanted one, end of story.
  • There was a Night School, most likely for gifted adults and potential school teachers.
Agaña School No. 1
Early 1900s

Source : Governor's Report 1908, Governor of Guam, National Archives, Washington, DC


  1. The Gertrude Costenoble you reference was more likely the mother of the Gertrude who married Hans Hornbostel. Gertrude the younger would have been 14 years old in 1908.

  2. Genealogical info on the Costenoble family:

    My email is on the web page above, should you like to know more about the family.

    Pictures of the Costenoble family:

    The pictures include one of a Costenoble store in Agana in 1912, and several pictures of the Costenoble family.

  3. Also, you can see mother Gertrude's grave stone in the Naval Cemetery post on this blog.