The History of Daniel Butler School
Daniel Butler Elementary School has been housed in two still existing buildings during its one hundred, thirteen years history. The first building stands at the corner of Trapelo and Waverly Street. This structure was built in 1873 and was initially called the Waverly Village School. In 1895 the Belmont School Committee renamed it honor of the area’s most distinguished citizen of the time, Daniel Butler.
Born in Connecticut in 1808 , Reverend Butler was a graduate of both Yale University and the Andover Theological Seminary. After serving a church in Dorchester, he moved to Belmont in 1865 and would spend the rest of his life on Sycamore Street in a house across the street from the current Butler School. He was for many years the president of the American Bible Association. He also served his new community in a number of capacities. Among these was membership on the Belmont School Committee and two-terms as the town’s representative to the state legislature. He passed away in 1893. However the tradition of service lived on in his family. His son Henry was principal of Belmont High School from 1881 through 1899.
By the late 1800’s the school age population of Waverly Village had outgrown the first Butler school. Construction on the second building, our current home, to become Butler school was completed in 1900. Continued increases in the number of students attending the school required two additions to the original structure, one in the 1920’s and one in the late 1940’s A final renovation was undertaken in the early 1980’s at which time the gym and link area of the school were added. Butler is the oldest town building still in service. Today it combines a classical facade with an updated interior. The result is a school building of singular charm.
Today Butler is home to an increasingly diverse school population of roughly three hundred and thirty students. While it still includes some long-time local families who have attended for three or more generations, it is also home to students from over twenty different countries. The result is rich mixture of backgrounds and cultures. Daniel Butler looks forward to continuing its service for the residents of Waverly Square into the future.