Westfield State University Archives
Collection Guide for
Anne H. Halfpenny Collection, 1909 – 1977
Anne H. Halfpenny was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts and attended Holyoke High School. She had one brother John. Anne graduated from The State Normal School, Westfield after completing the Two Years General Course in 1909. She then attended the Teachers College of Columbia University and continued her studies there.
Anne taught school for about four years before being tapped as principal of Ingleside School in Holyoke. She went on to serve as principal at South Chestnut Street School and then, Nonotuck Street School. Anne served as principal of Highland School, on Lincoln Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts beginning in 1953. She retired from teaching in 1957.
Anne was very active while she attended the Westfield Normal School and this continued well after graduation.
When the Westfield Normal School was threatened with closure, Anne worked with Dr. Russell, Principal, to keep the school open. She helped to organize a car caravan that traveled to Boston. Once there, alumni members gave talks to legislators explaining the value and importance of education at the Westfield Normal School. They also talked to legislators about the importance of the normal school to western Massachusetts.
The Alumni Association was very important to Anne. She served as Alumni Association President from 1936 until 1939. 1939 was a significant anniversary year for the Westfield Normal School. May Day was a tradition in the Normal School Days. In 1939 a lavish pageant was planned for May Day. The pageant incorporated scenes from the critical events from the beginning of the normal school in 1839. There were lots of sketches, lots of people involved, and lots of rehearsals that took place. These events were coordinated by a committee. Anne Halfpenny took a lead role in these activities. She was with a delegation that traveled to Barre in 1939. The delegation brought a plaque to Barre, Massachusetts to commemorate this special event. There are newspaper accounts of the ceremony that was held and the plaque is still on the Barre Town Hall as a reminder of our beginning in that building in 1839.
Miss Halfpenny was active in her community and served as a member of numerous groups such as the Holyoke Teachers Club, Holyoke Women’s Principals Club, the state Elementary Principals Club, the National Retired Teachers Association and many more.
Miss Anne H. Halfpenny died in 1977 at 88 years old. She is buried at Forestdale Cemetery in Holyoke.
There are about six folders of materials in this collection. The materials were from Anne Halfpenny’s estate after her death in 1977. Some of the materials may have been donated over time. There are photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, and other materials that document Anne’s contributions to both the field of education and the Westfield Normal School.
Miss Halfpenny donated pictures of her classmates from 1909 and there are photographs of Anne. There are snapshots taken from campus events such as Commencement and a trip to Brookside Lodge, a YMCA camp located in Chester, Massachusetts.
The files have been kept in approximate date order. The newspaper clippings in this collection were photocopied for preservation purposes.
Some of these materials fall under copyright protections. All materials are open for study. Access must be in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
While these materials are spread throughout our collections, we do have related material that helps to understand Anne’s contributions during her time here. Materials such as a program from the 1939 ceremony held in Barre, Massachusetts; a photograph of the Class of 1909 ; 1909 Tekoa ; our scrapbook collection contains articles about Miss Anne Halfpenny and articles about events held during the school years for 1908/1909 ; and the 1909 Bulletin. There is correspondence from alumni members including Flora White.
Teachers – Holyoke, Mass. ; Universities and Colleges – Alumni and alumnae ; Alumni and alumnae – State Normal School, Westfield, Mass. ; Teachers colleges.