The Rev. Mr. Conover & the Rev. Mr. Lay


Identified on the left in this photograph as “Mr Conover” is the Rev. James Potter Conover, Form of 1876 and faculty member from 1882-1915.  Identified on the right is “Lay” – the Rev. George William Lay, Form of 1878 and member of the faculty from 1888-1907. The buildings behind them are from left to right: the New Chapel, prior to the completion of the tower, and the Big Study.

Arthur Stanwood Pier, in his book, St. Paul’s School 1855-1934, described Mr. Lay this way:

The Rev. George W. Lay had a hearty and rugged personality.  Solidly and strongly built, with a curly black beard and deep bass voice, he commanded from a new boy an exceptional degree of deference.  Himself a graduate of the school, he believed in enforcing the rules thoroughly and was regarded as a somewhat harsh disciplinarian. But his fairness was never called in question; he displayed no favoritism; and returning alumni, even those on whom in their school days he had borne down severely on account of their misdemeanors, received no more cordial welcome from any master than from him.

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Hastings, Theodore Mitchell. 1890. "The Rev. Mr. Conover & the Rev. Mr. Lay." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 23 July 2024.