Sprague, Ryther, and Ingham
When it became clear that he was leaving the Academy, Mr. Home recommended to the Board that they consider appointing as his successor William Dudley Sprague. Mr. Sprague, an 1894 graduate of Harvard University (and, interestingly enough, a direct descendant of the Dudley family of which Governor Dummer's wife, Catherine, was a member), had accompanied Perley Home to Dummer in 1896 and remained as his chief assistant until 1902. Then for a time he had moved into public school teaching in Salem, Massachusetts.
Athletic and energetic, Mr. Sprague had been popular with the boys, a man who shone in both physical and academic pursuits. He knew the school well and was familiar with the type of program carried on by his predecessor. He was accepted by the Board as an excellent answer to their needs. William Sprague's association with the school, in one capacity or another and at one time or another, extended as late as 1944. It was a pleasant one, based on mutual respect. The new Headmaster was handicapped at the start, however. He knew what his friend Perley Horne had wanted to do; he knew that when he had failed of accomplishing it, he had had to leave. Now Sprague was faced with trying to maintain what gains had been made, without the prospect of being able to carry them further in the direction in which they had been headed. It is a difficult task to try merely to maintain the status quo.
It appears that Mr. Sprague tried earnestly to carry on according to the limitations set down by the Board. The operating funds of the Academy were once again at a low ebb. New tuition rates were set, ranging as high as $600 per year for one boy living in a double room. A "canvasser" was hired to take charge of finding new students. Two years of relatively stand-pat administration began.
As part of the refurbishing of the school plant during the headmastership of Perley Horne, the Mansion House had been completely renovated and Peirce Cottage had been built (though apparently not completely finished until the spring of 1905).The