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reading. His unusual talent for organization was one of the main forces of his success. His life in general has been an inspiration to all friends of business education.
O. H. L.
Mrs. Frank Stuart Parker
On April 1, 1899, Mrs. Frank Stuart Parker, wife of Colonel Francis W. Parker, passed from this life quietly and beautifully, from the home at Englewood, Ill., that she graced and blessed for sixteen years.
Few women have been privileged to be of so much service to the cause of education, directly and indirectly, as was Mrs. Parker. Her own tastes and talents, her personal opportunities and those that came to her as the wife of an educational leader whose position and characteristics made him the hero of a large class of teachers and young people thruout the United States, all conspired to a life of great usefulness. She was as widely known, probably, as any woman in educational circles has ever been. She was greatly admired for what she was, and she added materially to the efficiency of her husband in all his public and professional life. But, above all, she was eminently lovable and admirable as a wife and mother. No home could ask more than she gave, despite her public service.
M. Frank Stuart was born in Charlestown, Mass., April 19,-1848; was educated in the public schools of Boston ; graduated from the Boston School of Oratory under Lewis B. Munroe, and entered upon her professional career as a teacher in that institution. She was one of the first to make the Martha's Vineyard Summer Institute eminently successful. It was in this work that she and Colonel Parker came to appreciate and enjoy each other; and when he was elected principal of Cook County Normal School, she advised his going and went with him as his bride.
For several years she had charge of the departments of physical culture and elocution in the normal school, and was before the public so far as her school and home duties would permit.
“Correct dress” was her chief theme, altho her voice was heard in many questions that concern woman.
Her husband and two accomplished daughters survive her Mrs. Mabel Rolfe, of Cambridge, and Mrs. Edna Shepard, of Brookline. During her protracted illness one or the other of these daughters was always by her side.
In her sickness she was peculiarly and beautifully comforting to her loved ones. She made no draft upon their sympathies, but rather inspired them with faith and hope to the last,
A. E. WINSHIP,
Job Tk. TRassweiler
Mr. Rassweiler became a member of the National Educational Association in 1897. He wis born in Millersburg, Pa., September 10, 1852, and died at his home in Downer's Grove, I., September 18, 1897. He graduated from Northwestern College, at Naperville, Ill., in 1876. Previous to his graduation he had taught in the country schools; and, after graduating, he was principal of Downer's Grove schools for eight years. He was elected superintendent of the schools of Du Page county, Ii., but ill health compelled him to resign after two years' service. In 1884 he became principal of the schools in Wheaton, in the same county, where he remained eight years. He then returned to Downer's Grove and took charge of the schools of that city for the second time. Here he labored till his death.
E. C. H.
Andrew Jackson Rickoff
Andrew Jackson Rickoff was born in New Hope, N. J., August 23, 1824, and died at Berkeley, Cal., at the house of his daughter, March 29, 1899. He obtained his early education in the public schools of Cincinnati, O., to which city his parents had moved in 1830. Later he attended and graduated from the University of Ohio, from which institution he received, in later life, the honorary degree of LL.D. He began his life-work as a teacher at the age of seventeen in the rural schools of Ohio. He served for some time as a school principal in Cincinnati and later became superintendent of schools of that city. His most notable educational service was as superintendent of schools of Cleveland, O., from 1867 to 1882. Subsequently he served for several years as superintendent of schools at Yonkers, N. Y. He was regarded as one of the best school superintendents in the country, and has often been called the father of the graded-school system. He became a member of the National Educational Association in 1871, a member of the Council of Education in 1880, and a life director in 1881.
At the Los Angeles meeting of the National Council, in July, 1899, Superintendent Aaron Gove, of Denver, Colo., spoke of Dr. Rickoff as follows:
"I have been asked, without time for preparation, to say something of the life and character of the late Andrew J. Rickoff. The request comes from one who was his very dear friend, and who hesitates to undertake the task on account of a fear of expressing undue admiration. I accept the task as an honor — whatever inability may accompany it — because in all my life, and in all my study and observation of the schools and school superintendents of the country, no one character stands out more prominently in my mind than that of Andrew J. Rickoff. It is especially appropriate that his name be honored by this Council, because he was a charter member of this organization, and was never absent from a single meeting nor a single session, from the time of its organization to the time of his physical disability which prevented his regular appearance.
"One may say, without reflection upon other cities, that the schools of Cleveland during his superintendency of fifteen years — from 1867 to 1882 - occupied a pre-eminent position in our educational history. It is not easy today to appreciate the educational situation during that time. Few school systems had acquired a name for excellent administration. Dr. Philbrick was in Boston, and in a few cities of the middle country intelligent and excellent efforts were making ; but we learned at that time, many of us, to look to Cleveland for counsel and advice. Personally he was to me one of a few cherished advisers, like Dr. Hager and Dr. Philbrick, of Massachusetts, and the other dear friends from the western states who have already passed away. The private correspondence embodying the advice which I, as a city superintendent, received from Mr. Rickoff and others would make an interesting volume, of as much use to the present young superintendent as it was to me in those years. You and I, ladies and gentlemen of the Council, can understand the value of that sort of advice which one receives in his early career from those who have previously traversed the ground. The obstacles which we meet and undertake to overcome are not new to our elder brothers. A few words from them assist in the contest and in the victory. These are intimations of the relations which I held with Superintendent Rickoff. In visiting the Cleveland schools and studying his methods and his work, I remember how overwhelming was my admiration for the painstaking and careful study which he had daily given to the manipulation of the great educational machine of that city.
" His work was scarcely accomplished when, in the unthankfulness of that community, he received the intimation that his services were no longer needed. When, in 1882, Andrew J. Rickoff left the Cleveland schools, he laid down the task of a life that has never been excelled in efficient execution in the history of the schools of our country. Personally I learned to love him as dearly as one man can love another. I remember him as one of my models of knowledge, skill, and power in the administration of a city-school system. Some of us know what it means to spend an entire lifetime in undertaking to realize the ambition of erecting a school system that shall live and be helpful to the community after our services are discharged. The present generation of schoolmasters cannot be too intimate with his work. He left Cleveland for literary work in New York. When later good health left him, he lived an exceedingly quiet life; but he never forgot us or our meetings; and whenever his physical condition permitted, he was found present at roll. call. I saw him at the meeting of the Department of Superintendence in Cleveland in 1895, feeble and worn with disease, but with a heart and countenance full of love for those whom he met, and of zeal and courage for educational progress."
Wilbur Vernon Rood Mr. Rood was born July 28, 1848, at Elyria, O. When he was yet a child, the family moved to North Amherst, O. In the fall of 1867 he entered Oberlin College, from which he was graduated in 1873. For three years after graduation he filled accept ably the position of principal of schools at Granville, Ill. During the next four years he had charge of Parker Academy, at Woodbury, Conn. In 1880 he was elected principal of the high school in Akron, O. This position he held till the time of his death, which occurred June 21, 1898. He was twice married. His second wife and six children survive him.
Mr. Rood was a true man and a good teacher. The most important work of his life was done in Akron. During all the eighteen years of his principalship the Akron high school was very prosperous. More than a thousand pupils were graduated in that period: To these and other pupils and teachers his life and work are a precious memory. He became an active member of the National Educaticnal Association in 1896.
Edward Searing The subject of this sketch was born July 14, 1835, in the village of Aurora, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, N. Y. His father was at first a mechanic and then a farmer. The thirst of the son for knowledge was early manifested in his careful reading of works of history and literature, and in his diligent application to the branches pursued in a country district school. Here his proficiency in the latter became so marked that, at the age of sixteen, he taught successfully a public school in the town of Locke, near Moravia, south of Owasco Lake, about twenty miles to the west of his home.
Then he entered, almost unaided, upon a protracted struggle to obtain a higher education. He was soon admitted to Homer Academy, in Cortland county, where he remained two years; and afterward he was, for eighteen months, a student and an instructor in Cazenovia Seminary, in Madison county. Both these institutions were, at the time, among the most efficient of their kind in his native state. His attendance upon them was occasionally interrupted by his efforts at teaching to earn money so that he could continue his studies. For a year following the summer of 1856 he was employed as the principal of the schools in Bay City, at the southern end of Saginaw Bay, Mich. He next conducted, until 1859, an excellent select school in the town of Union, Rock county, Wis. During the subsequent two years he completed the classical course in the University of Michigan. Then he resumed his teaching at Union, leaving the position in the fall of 1863, when he was engaged as professor of the Latin and French languages in Milton College, Wisconsin.
Here he acquired reputation as a superior scholar, an admirable instructor, and a polished writer. His alma mater conferred upon him, in course, the degree of master of
arts. He delivered a widely known address on the character and services of President Lincoln, immediately after the assassination. He also wrote standard articles on the value of a classical education. He prepared his admirable edition of the first six books of Virgil's Æneid, which was published in 1869 in New York city. He nearly completed a similar work on the first six books of Homer's Iliad.
In 1873 he was elected by the Democratic party of Wisconsin to the office of state superintendent of public instruction, and was re-elected two years afterward. In his incumbency he was everywhere received as an impressive public speaker on educational topics ; he acted as the secretary of the Normal Board of Regents of the state; he was the principal editor of the Wisconsin Journal of Education; he collected the materials from the schools of the state for the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876; he secured the passage of the law whereby the public schools of Wisconsin can, at their option, furnish the pupils with free text-books; and he organized the system by which the state provides aid for its public high schools, and directly superintends their operations.
At the close of his office, in January, 1878. he returned to his work in Milton College, prosecuting it until the summer of 1880, making his instruction here to cover nearly thirteen years in all. He was then elected to the presidency of the State Normal School, at Mankato, Minn., and held the office over eighteen years, until his sudden death by heart failure, October 22, 1898, at St. Paul, Minn. The state regents of his school have adopted this testimonial of his labors and character: “As a man, he was always gentle, affable, open, and kind, scorning everything that savored of deception or dissimulation; as a scholar, he was accurate, learned, and replete in his specialties; as a teacher, he was concise, lucid, and apt; and as an executive officer, he was able, energetic, firm, and efficient: His influence over the Mankato Normal School will be felt for many years to come."
W. C. WHITFORD.
James Fenimore Cooper Sickel
James F. C. Sickel was born in Bucks county, Pa., October 10, 1834. He was educated in the public schools of Bucks county and of Philadelphia, and at Plainfield Academy, Carlisle, Pa. He taught ungraded and graded schools in Bucks county and in Montgomery county. In 1861 he was appointed principal of the high school in Milford, Del., and in 1862 he entered upon his career as teacher and educator in the public schools of Philadelphia. Here he soon took rank with those who most earnestly advocated educational progress and reform. He was frequently a member of committees to systematize courses of instruction in drawing as a particular branch of study, and in the general branches of study in elementary schools.
He was for many years associated with teachers' institutes of the city and of the state; he was, on two or three occasions, the representative of Philadelphia in the National Educational Association; he was a member of the Committee on Educational Affairs at the Centennial Exhibition, and was charged with the preparation and the proper display of the Philadelphia educational exhibits at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
When the Department of Superintendence of the Philadelphia Schools was organized, under Dr. James MacAlister, in May, 1883, Mr. Sickel was among the first selected for the important post of assistant superintendent. He brought to the discharge of his duties in this position a large and valuable experience as teacher. He was progressive in his views, and possessed tact in the supervision of the work of principals, teachers,
He thoughtfully studied the complex problems of school education, and sought the best means of improving the work of teachers, so as to insure that general mental development and those correct habits on the part of the young that result in upright and intelligent citizens, qualified to discharge the varied duties of social and political life.
By his sympathy, intelligence, and fairness in directing the work of the schools, Mr. Sickel won the esteem and the friendship of teachers and principals; and for faithful and conscientious performance of official duty he secured the high respect of members of the local and the central boards of education.
EDGAR A. SINGER.
Wells Hawkes Skinner
Mr. Skinner was born in Virginia, 1855, and died in Omaha, September 21, 1898. He studied at Bethany College, in West Virginia, and also at the University of Nebraska. He came to Nebraska in 1884 and entered upon the work of a school superintendent, in which he continued till his death. He was two years at David City, five years at Crete, and seven years at Nebraska City.
He was one of the most active and enthusiastic workers in the state, in demand as a writer, a public speaker, and especially in teachers' institutes, where he is said to have had no superior. He held several responsible offices, among them those of treasurer and president of the State Teachers' Association, and president of the State Association of Superintendents and Principals. His early death removes one of the most efficient and promising educational men of the state. He became a member of the National Educational Association in 1895.
E. C. H.
Ellen G. Weeks
Miss Weeks was born on Martha's Vineyard, June 5, 1845. When three years of age she moved with her parents to Sheboygan, Wis. She received her education in the Sheboygan schools, graduating from the high school in 1867. She was the first graduate of that school.
Immediately after graduating she became assistant to the principal of the high school, and remained as such for seven years. She then went to Massachusetts and taught for one year. Upon her return to Sheboygan she began teaching in the grades of the city schools. She had great love and zeal for her life-work. Her death occurred at Sheboygan, January 24, 1898. She became member of the National Educational Association in 1897.
AGNES J. WEEKS.