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Article Published September 30, 2020

Why Is Anyone Surprised?

By Peggy Adler

Why is anyone surprised that the land under the Pierson School belongs to the Morgan Trust and not the Town of Clinton? After all, the $110,000 Charles Morgan donated to build and fully equip The Morgan School (which opened in 1872) included the purchase of the land and cottage next door as a principal’s residence. In addition, Morgan established an endowment fund of $50,000, which increased over time and by 1879 was valued at $200,000. The endowment paid for the school’s maintenance, salaries, and all other expenses, except textbooks, pens, pencils, and paper. That endowment fund is undoubtedly the Morgan Trust.

By 1933, Clinton’s student population had grown to such an extent that the cottage next door to Morgan, which had been the principal’s residence, was torn down and a new, brick school was built on the site. That school is known today as Pierson. And for the first time, the townspeople had to pay taxes for the education of their children. So, you see, the Pierson building belongs to the town, as it was built with taxpayer money. But the land on which Pierson stands belongs to the Morgan Trust,

In closing, Charles Morgan proclaimed that though his endowment would be solely for the use and benefit of the town—it would be free of any political, partisan, or sectarian purpose.

Peggy Adler