Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 acceptably 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 ember 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:

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.

“ As a man,

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,

and pupils.

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 Nel ska 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 6. 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 a member of the National Educational Association in 1897.

AGNES J. WEEKS.

DEPARTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENCE

COLUMBUS MEETING

SECRETARY'S MINUTES

FIRST DAY

MORNING SESSION. — TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1899 The Department of Superintendence was called to order at 9: 30, in the auditorium of the Commercial Club, by the president, E. H. Mark, of Louisville, Ky.

After music by pupils of the eighth grade of the First Avenue School, Columbus, an invocation was offered by Dr. Washington Gladden.

Dr. James H. Canfield, president of Ohio State University, and Dr. J. A. Shawan, superintendent of schools, Columbus, O., welcomed the convention.

President E. H. Mark responded to the words of welcome on behalf of the depart

ment.

E. B. Prettyman, state superintendent of public instruction, Baltimore, Md., read a paper on “Public Lands and Public Education."

Superintendent R. C. Barrett, of Iowa, opened the discussion of Superintendent Prettyman's paper, which was further discussed by Dr. George T. Fairchild, Berea College, Kentucky; Dr. B. A. Hinsdale, University of Michigan; John MacDonald, of Kansas, editor of the Western School Journal, and Superintendent H. G. Weimar, of Maryland. Superintendent Prettyman closed the discussion.

Sherman Williams, Glens Falls, N. Y., read a paper on the subject, “Relation of Public Libraries to Public Schools."

The paper was discussed by State Superintendent L. D. Harvey, of Wisconsin ; Dr. Arthur Allen, University of Colorado; Superintendent W. C. Martindale, Detroit, Mich.; Supervisor R. C. Metcalf, Boston, Mass.; Superintendent Aaron Gove, District No. 1, Denver, Colo.; Superintendent Eugene Bouton, Pittsheld, Mass.; Principal A. S. Downing, New York city; Superintendent L. E. Wolfe, Kansas City, Kan.; Superintendent Orville T. Bright, Chicago, III.; Superintendent George Griffith, Utica, N. Y.

The president appointed the following

COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS

Superintendent H. S. Tarbell, Rhode Island. Superintendent E. P. Seaver, Massachusetts.
Superintendent G, R. Glenn, Georgia. Superintendent W. C. Martindale, Michigan.
Ossian H. Lang, New York.

Superintendent F. B. Dyer, Kansas.
Superintendent W. H. Hershman, Indiana.

AFTERNOON SESSION

The afternoon session was devoted to round tables, as follows: round table for state superintendents, conducted by John W. Abercrombie, state superintendent of public instruction, Alabama; and round table of the National Herbart Society.

EVENING SESSION

Supervisor George H. Martin, Boston, Mass., read a paper entitled “The Unseen Forces in Character-Making."

The paper was discussed by Superintendent S. B. Laird, Lansing, Mich.

The next number on the program, “Shall the Sexes and Classes Have the Same Course of Study in the Schools ?”, was omitted on account of the absence of Superintendent David K. Goss, who had been appointed to present that subject.

Mrs. Alice White Duval entertained the department by reciting from “The Blessed Damosel.”

The department then adjourned.

[blocks in formation]

The department was called to order at 9: 30 by President Mark.
Music was furnished by pupils of the Columbus City Normal School.
Prayer was offered by Dr. E. E. White.

Dr. James E. Russell, dean of Teachers' College, Columbia University, N. Y., presented a paper on “The Training of Teachers for Secondary Schools."

The paper was discussed by Joseph H. Stewart, president of North Georgia Agricultural College, and by Mr. Thorndike, of the Cleveland High School.

Hon. Howard J. Rogers, director of education and social economy, United States commission to the Paris exposition, was accorded the floor to explain the plans for “The United States Educational Exhibit at Paris in 1900.” He spoke as follows:

Mr. President, Members of the Association:

I come before you this morning thru the courtesy of your president, not having a definite place upon the program, but interpolated, as it were, owing to the present interest in my subject. I assure you that I shall not keep you long from the enjoyment of the regular program, as what I have to say can be stated briefly.

The Paris exposition of 1900 is avowedly to be one of excellence and selection, and the best products of men's thought and labor in science, art, and industry will be on view to the world. Education and instruction are given the place of honor in the French classification, because, in the language of the French commissioner-general, “they are the source of all progress, and thru them man enters into the work of life.”

It is a matter of some regret that in their representation the French officials have not made the portals to this entrance a little larger, as they have assigned to the United States only about 4,000 feet to show the working of the mill which grinds out American citizens. But we accept the conditions without complaint, chiefly because we find that we cannot better ourselves if we do complain. We are, at least, treated as generously as any other foreign nation.

The exposition will open April 15, 1900, and continue till November 5 of the same year. The grounds are in the heart of the city of Paris, and include the Champs de Mars, the Esplanade du Trocadero, both banks of the river Seine for almost a mile, and the Esplanade des Invalides. Education and liberal arts have a special building on the west side of the Champs de Mars, and the space for education proper is in the gallery of this building, between the spaces assigned to France and Germany. Special forms of education are provided for elsewhere -- as agricultural schools in the agricultural building, art schools in the art building, and, under the present ruling of the exposition authorities, schools for defectives in the social-economy building, altho we hope to bring these schools back to the education group.

« PreviousContinue »