| as head clerk, at Cockenzie, latterly became one of the
leading merchants in Prestonpans, and in 1846 became postmaster.
In 1853, and in succession to her deceased husband, Mrs Whyte
During these years the office had been shifted several times,
and in 1875 Miss Whyte, a lady who has a ready and a cheerful
word for everybody, became mistress of the situation, and
is likely to retain it for many years to come. About this
period circumstances compelled another shift, and the office
was transferred to the site it now occupies.
This brief sketch would scarcely be complete without a slight
reference to Miss Cunningham, who has been the daily companion,
the consistent friend, and chief business assistant to Miss
Whyte for such a long term of years. " She is, "
says the head of this little establishment, "an invaluable
servant, and it will be a sorrowful day when this long, long
partnership is rent asunder. "
A sub branch to Tranent was established here many years ago,
but previous to June 1899 it was open for two hours in the
forenoon and thrice a week only; but owing to the increase
of business, and in order to further the interests of the
commercial community in the district, a very different system
was inaugurated from the above date. Agent, William Fraser,
Esq.; Accountant, Charles Belfield.
Colonel Aitchison of Drummore, Chairman; Mr John C. Belfield,
Vice-Chairman. The other members are Lady Susan Grant Suttie;
Messrs Js. Shields, Dolphinstone; Js. D. Taylor, Bankton;
Js. M'Neill, Northfield; A. A. Meek, T. Rennie, R. Clark,
T. M'Kinlay, H. Fraser, and W. B. Taylor.
The Town Councillors at the present time are: —Provost, W.
M'Ewan, M. D.; Bailies, Messrs Robt. Clark and John C. Belfield;
Councillors, Messrs John Simpson, Peter Whitecross, Wm. Wilson,
Alex. Black, Thos. Rennie, and W. B. Taylor; Clerk, Robt.
Hunter; Treasurer, John Rennie.
The present members of the School Board are: —Provost M'Ewan,
Chairman; Lady Susan H. G. Suttie, Miss Madeline Sprot, Rev.
G. S. Smith, Messrs R. H. White, Preston; J. D. Taylor, Bankton,
and John Belfield; Robert Hunter, Clerk.
Hotel (Queen's Arms), Miss Grant. Inspector of Poor and Registrar,
R. Hunter; Clerk to the Heritors, James Cowper.
Medical Practitioners, W. Crawford M'Ewan, M. D., and John
B. Swinden, L. R. C. P. and S., E., etc.
The last parochial school teacher in the parish was Mr Weir.
He was a great favourite in the district, and the parishioners
were sorry indeed when he decided to leave them for another
Mr Weir was still, here and in harness when the School Board
Act came into force; so it may be said of him he was the last
of the old system in the parish, and the first of the new.
There were three schools in the parish, independently of Schaw's
Institution, previous to the introduction of the new system.
These were the Parochial School, the Free Church School, and
a works school at Morrison's Haven.
Mr George Hunter succeeded Mr Weir as headmaster in the public
school. Meantime, Mr James Wallace was headmaster in the Free
Church School; and Mr Sinclair teacher at Morrison's Haven,
all three schools being worked under the new system.
It was early apparent to the members of the School Board that
one large school, with a suitable staff of teachers, would
suit every purpose much better than a continuation of the
double or triple school system. With that end in view ground
was obtained, and the present public school was erected, and
opened in the year 1881.
Under conditions highly satisfactory to all concerned, Mr
Hunter was allowed to retire, Mr Wallace being appointed headmaster,
Morrison Haven school being continued for a time. Owing to
the superior system of teaching introduced under the new regime,
so great has been the influx of pupils that