Our History

Our History

Buckingham Today

Hughesian Free School: In 1811 Amos Austin Hughes left a farm of ninety-one acres at the present intersection of Rt. 413 and Rt. 263, along with $8,000 in money to establish a school to educate and board, if necessary, the poor children of the township. As a child Amos Hughes contracted a crippling illness and perhaps his affliction caused him to be sensitive to others of unfortunate circumstances. Having inherited a large estate, Mr. Hughes set up a trust which was used to erect a schoolhouse in 1841.The school was called The Hughesian Free School.

Joseph Fell was the first teacher employed and was paid through the Hughesian Trust. When the public school system was established, the need for private support was no longer needed. It was decided that the funds available to the trust would be used to support college educations for Buckingham Township students. The ninety one acres today contain the original school (white building), the second school (brick building), the U.S. Post Office, the farmhouse where Amos Hughes resided, Buckingham Elementary School on Rt. 413, and the Buckingham Township Building. The rental revenues from these buildings provide the grant funds.

Amos A. Hughes died December 6, 1811. This man probably benefited the lives of more Buckingham residents than any other single person. More than 18 decades after his death, the intent of his will perpetuates.

The first meeting of Trustees was held May, 1813. Since that time the Trustees have continued to manage his legacy.

There have been many changes since 1813 when there was no educational system as we know it today. Amos Hughes stipulated that with the funds generated by the Trust, a school should be built and maintained with teachers that would teach the “common and useful parts of an English education.” He even stipulated that students should be clothed and boarded if necessary. The establishment of the public school system negated the need for private support to lower education.