Elsie Fairbanks

Graduating class of 1892



Miss Elsie Fairbanks was a beloved Manchester High School Central teacher for nearly a half a century. She was born in Manchester in 1873 and graduated from Manchester High School in 1892 and from Wellesley College in 1898. Her career as a history teacher at MHS began in 1899 and concluded with her retirement in 1947, a span of 48 years. She served as head of the history department from 1911 to 1947. She died in 1950 following a long illness. Central's graduates, especially veterans, are indebted to her for providing the figures shown on the commemorative World War I and World War II flags hung in the Practical Arts Auditorium. She devoted innumerable hours clipping Manchester Union Leader newspaper reports of young men serving in both of these wars. She verified each name against alumni records in order to establish the total number of Centralites who served or lost their lives in the two wars. Known for her ability to stimulate spirited classroom discussions, Miss Fairbanks truly epitomizes the definition of the word historian, "a writer, student or scholar of history"