Many Petalumans know about the Waugh Elementary School District located at 1851 Hartman Lane. The district now consists of two sites; Corona Creek Elementary School and Meadow Elementary School. But … how many readers know about the original Waugh Elementary School site (1922) at the intersection of Corona and Old Adobe Roads and the person for whom it was named – the Rev. Lorenzo Waugh?
Lorenzo Waugh was born on August 28, 1808, near Greenbrier River, West Virginia, in what is now Pocahontas County. In his youth he was acquainted with Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and other famous people from the early history of our country. At age 16, he was a teacher in Harrison County. In 1831, he entered the Methodist ministry and taught school in Mason County.. Waugh married Clarissa Jane Edsel in 1841. When the health for both of them failed, they traveled over the plains in 1852 to California in an ox teams. Upon their arrival, Waugh experienced some ownership problems with the land upon which he settled. Eventually, General Vallejo presented him with 320 acres of land near Petaluma. (1515 Old Adobe Road) Vallejo has been quoted as saying, “Land is plenty. and it for us, and I have plenty of it yet.” Since no church had been built, their new home was made available for preaching, social and religious gatherings for all in the region.
Father Waugh headed the Petaluma temperance movement for many years. He helped organize the California Youth Association in 1859, and urged people to “shun the degrading, ruinous habits of using tobacco and intoxicating drink.” He built the first Methodist Church in Petaluma. He also published a 32 chapter autobiography, 1883, that had five printings He had a strong penchant for composing arostics in poetic form, from the letters making up the names of his hosts on the occasion of his visits. For example, this was written for a kind young friend living near Portland, OR.
Olive,, you ask me to write.
Lines acrostic. Here they be.
I‘ve penn’d them in true friendship light;
View them kindly – think then of me.
Evermore I’ll think of you,
And many friends, I ne’er shall see.
JEHOVAH’s Love to all is true –
Enduring – Blessed friend is He.
Now, fare-you-well, my Olive dear,
New joys be yours through all life’s way;
Enduring grace your heart will cheer –
Rejoice, give thanks, and always pray.
Petaluma, Cal., Dec. 3, 1883
Rev. Waugh died on September 5, 1900.