Allen and Martha Maine Smith

Allen and Martha Maine Smith

Established in 1996, this scholarship honors the legacy of Anne Chase Maine, whose dream of becoming a teacher was fulfilled through sacrifice and persistence. The scholarship is awarded to a nontraditional nursing student at Jefferson Community College of academic achievement and financial need. The award is continued a second year if these two criteria are still met.

Anne Chase Maine was born March 12, 1907 in Massena, a daughter of Nathaniel Brewer and Martha Jean Shaver Chase. She graduated from Massena High School and attended Skidmore College in Sarasota Springs.

Mrs. Maine wanted to attend business school to become a secretary, but her parents said ‘ladies were teachers not secretaries,’ so in 1928 she attended Potsdam Normal School (now the State University College at Potsdam) to become a teacher.

In 1929, she married Leon E. Maine and two years later the first of five Maine children was born. She lived with her in-laws so she could complete college, going home between classes to nurse her newborn. Following graduation from Potsdam, she raised her children. Mrs. Maine did not begin teaching until the family moved to Carthage, where she taught in one room schoolhouses.

In the early 1950s, Mrs. Maine needed more credits to be accredited in the public school system, so she became a sales clerk at F.W. Woolworth’s, and later accepted a position as clerk and then manager at the Fort Drum Post Exchange, on the Army base near Watertown, New York. During this time, she had her first cancer operation, divorced, raised her children and continued her quest of attaining the credits she needed to teach. She commuted nights and summers to take courses at Potsdam.

By the mid-1950s, her youngest child had graduated from high school and her middle child had graduated from the nursing program at the House of the Good Samaritan (now the Samaritan Medical Center) in Watertown. Mrs. Maine had now completed her credit requirements, including some in art.

When an art position opened in South Otselic Central School she applied, however she needed to resume night courses to be permanently certified as an art teacher. She commuted to night and weekend classes at Syracuse University. She taught art at South Otselic, and for 17 years at Cincinnatus Central School until cancer forced her to retire in 1970.

Anne Chase Maine died of cancer March 22, 1973, at age 66.

Martha Maine Smith said her mother ‘saw the world not only in the basic colors, but in all the many hues of each color. She saw beauty in each person, each flower, and each tree. She looked beyond the surface and was able to pass this on to her students.’

But also, Mrs. Smith stated, ‘Anne Chase Maine had a dream. She not only fulfilled her dream, but helped her daughter’s dream of becoming a nurse come true. Her legacy continues with this scholarship.’

The Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to Allen and Martha Maine Smith for establishing this scholarship.