Peabody School was named in honor of the Reverend Andrew P. Peabody who
was born in 1811 in Beverly, Massachusetts. Rev. Peabody graduated from
Harvard College in 1826 and the Cambridge Divinity School in 1832. In
1833, he became a parish minister at the South Church in Portsmouth, NH.
He received his Doctor of Divinity from Harvard in 1852. Dr. Peabody
assumed the Plummer Professorship at Harvard in 1860 and undertook the
duties of Preacher to the University in this position. The University of
Rochester conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws on Dr. Peabody in
1863. Dr. Peabody served on the Cambridge School Committee for twelve
years and was a trustee of Exeter Academy for forty-three years. He was
appointed Professor Emeritus at Harvard in 1881.
Andrew Peabody was an accomplished scholar, and also a firm believer
in ethical behavior. He championed many causes during his life,
including peace, the end of slavery, the education of women, and better
treatment for the mentally ill. The Peabody School was founded in 1889.
The original building was three stories high and cost $25,000. That
building was razed and a new one built in 1962 at a cost of $1,420,000.
In 2003, the Peabody School was relocated to its current facility, which
received extensive renovations and additions in 2001. The Peabody
School today continues to represent the two things for which Andrew
Peabody is remembered: the pursuit of academic excellence, coupled with a
caring and respect for others.