EDUCATION IN THE MIAMI VALLEY
PHYSIOGRAPHICALLY considered, the Miami valley consists of the whole area drained by the two Miami rivers and their tributaries including the Whitewater river, which stream enters the Great Miami from the west not far above its mouth. Thus considered, it embraces the major part of western Ohio and much of eastern Indiana. Generally speaking, it is delimited on the west by the Ohio-Indiana boundary line and is one of those areas into which Ohio is sometimes subdivided.
This division is justified on other than physiographic grounds. Its settlement was due to one of several well defined movements of population into the area now embraced within the state. First there was the advance of individualistic representatives of the Pennsylvania-Virginia frontier population into the eastern section of the state known as the Seven Ranges. Following them were the New Englanders of the Ohio company with their political and social institutions. After them there came into the Miami valley judge Symmes at the head of a middle states contingent and Patterson and Filson heading the Kentucky advance, to be followed by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and English Quakers from the Carolinas and Georgia seeking to escape from contact with slavery, and by Germans from Pennsylvania and later direct from Europe in quest of good lands and a larger liberty. Into the Virginia lands, lying between the Little Miami and Scioto rivers, Col. Massie led the veterans of the Virginia regiments while the Western Reserve was occupied by settlers from Connecticut and their fellow New Englanders. These movements of population continued until their vanguards met near the center of the state and then they crossed and interflowed as they moved out to occupy the northwest section of the state. Thus it is that the Miami valley is not only physically different but possesses cultural characteristics that differentiate her from the other areas of the state.
Of the many interesting accounts given us of the valley during the early days of its development that by Dr. Drake written but little more than a century ago is the most graphic. At that time the valley boasted of a population of 90,000. Cincinnati had about one thousand houses, a stone courthouse with dome, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and Friends' meetinghouses, two banks, two newspapers, a library, a two-story building in process of erection for the accommodation of the newly founded Lancastrian seminary, and a number of manufacturing establishments, including one stone mill. Hamilton had seventy houses, chiefly log, a postoffice and printing office, but no public buildings save a stone jail. Lebanon was a considerable village with houses of brick and wood, a courthouse (page 82) and a schoolhouse, Baptist and Methodist churches, a stone jail, a printing office, a library, a bank, and several manufactories. Franklin had forty-five families, grist and saw mills and a postoffice. Dayton had one hundred dwellings, principally wood, a courthouse, a Methodist meetinghouse, a brick academy, a library of two hundred and fifty books, a bank, a postofifce, and a printing office.
Xenia was a group of wooden houses with a courthouse, one church, a postoffice, and printing office. Urbana, having been the base of the recent military operations, had developed into a town of about one hundred houses, with a newspaper and bank, but without any public buildings. West of the Miami river was Greenville, a military post, and Eaton, with thirty dwellings and a postoffice, but with no public buildings. Oxford he describes as a sparsely populated village located on the frontier of the state that had gained notoriety from having been fixed on as the seat of a university.
During the half decade following the close of the war 1812-15, population moved into this area so rapidly that the census of 1820 reports a total of 166,193. Cincinnati had developed into "a large commercial city" with 10,000 inhabitants. Hamilton now had "a bank, mercantile stores and 100 dwelling houses," while Franklin had increased to 80 families. Dayton had 150 buildings with numerous mills and Urbana had increased to 120 houses with 644 inhabitants. Xenia had added two churches, an academy, several stores and a number of brick and stone houses while its inhabitants had increased to 589. Greenville was now a town of "1,154 inhabitants and four stores," and Eaton had 40 families. Oxford is described as a flourishing post town with a postoffice, three stores, two taverns and a number of useful mechanics. The census of 1910 reports this area as having a population of more than one million. The joint population of its two largest cities is given at 480,168, while that of Hamilton and Springfield exceeds 82,000. Of cities over 10,000, Middletown and Piqua each have more than 13,000 each, while Xenia, Troy and Sidney approximate 10,000 each. There are numerous other places that have from 2,000 to 5,000 population.
Today this area contains 2 of the 5 cities of Ohio that have a population exceeding 100,000, 2 of the 8 that have from 25,000 to 100,000, 3 of the 19 that range from 10,000 to 25,000, and 7 of the 41 that have from 5,000 to 10,000. The report of the United States commissioner of education for 1916 indicates these 14 cities as having a school population of 165,399, with 3,266 teachers and a total expenditure for school purposes of $5,709,456. It also indicates that this area possesses 12 of the 40 colleges within the state, 7 of the 15 theological seminaries, 2 of the 5 law schools, and 1 of the 4 medical colleges, 2 of the 4 dental colleges and 1 of 4 schools of pharmacy.
Educational Status 100 Years Ago. What of the educational status of the Miami valley 100 years ago. The typical schoolhouse of the Miami valley at the beginning of the last century and its manner of erection has been thus well described. "As the pioneers built their cabins in close proximity, they immediately began to look (page 83) after the education of their children, and for this purpose they selected some central point in the woods for a school site. Usually the place chosen was near a branch for the convenience of having water near at hand for the use of the scholars.
This being done, the pioneer settlers, on a day agreed upon, turned out with axes, crosscut saw, broadaxe, plow and some augers, and convened early in the morning at the school site agreed upon.
Some went to felling the tall trees overshadowing the site, others cutting logs near by in the woods, others felling a large oak for clapboards, and still others cutting a sightly blue ash tree for puncheons, benches and writing desks. By the time the site was cleared, the logs began to arrive, being snaked through the woods by horses. The foundation was soon laid, and four men were selected as corner men, who took their respective stations and, with axe in hand, saddled and notched down the corners as the logs were delivered to them on skids. When the structure was about eight feet in height, the joists were laid from one side to the other, which consisted of round saplings cut the proper length. This was called the basement. The gable ends were then commenced by shortening the logs, sloping the ends and inserting the rib poles, until the slopes terminated on a pole at the top. The upper log of the basement projected about eight inches, to receive the butting or eave log, against which the slanting roof rested. From this point the clapboards were projected and carefully placed, and the points covered by an additional board. The knees were placed on the roof, with ends resting against the butting or eave log, and the weight pole resting against the upper ends of the knees, and so on until the house was covered. As the building was going up, the cross-cut saw was heard in the woods, the maul and wedge severing the cuts, and the butts were removed to some fork of a tree near by, where they were rived into boards four feet in length. Not far distant the puncheons were being prepared for the floor, benches, desks and doors. As the work progressed, logs were removed from three sides of the house, and the window styles prepared, which were adjusted in their places, about sixteen inches apart, to which newspapers were pasted, and oiled by "coon" grease to render them transparent in order to afford light for the scholars. The chimney space was made about ten feet in width, by removing the logs in one end of the house, and a wooden mantelpiece and jams adjusted, and a stick and clay chimney built on the outside, projecting higher than the comb of the roof, and the whole structure covered with clay mortar. The cracks were chinked and daubed, the floor laid, the puncheon door hung on wooden hinges, the writing desks attached to the wall, resting on standards slightly inclining towards the scholars, who sat on benches and learned to write in front of the large paper windows. In this way the primitive schoolhouse was reared and usually completed in one day, without a nail or a window glass connected with the structure. Many of these primitive schoolhouses were still standing in Preble county as late as 1826, and the last one was only removed a few years ago. It stood a long time as a memento of the past, but finally, with all the pioneer, settlers, it passed away, (page 84) and the site where it stood has long since been plowed over, and not a vestige of it now remains.
However, school buildings of better construction soon began to be erected. The schoolhouse first erected on the college township in 1811 was a hewed log building, 20x30 feet in size, with a fireplace at either end, the cost of which was $297, while that at Hamilton of similar construction was two stories in height. The one erected in the same year in Eaton is described as a hip roofed frame building. In the larger settlements, brick buildings began to be erected as early as 1807. The one erected in Dayton in 1820 is described as a specially constructed single room building 62x32 feet, heated by convolving fuels underneath the brick floor. That provided in 1815 for the Cincinnati Lancastrian school is said to have been a capacious two-story brick edifice, consisting of two oblong wings, extending from Walnut parallel to Fourth street, 88 feet in depth, and connected by apartments for staircases, 18x30 feet. This intermediate portion supports a handsome dome, originally designed for an observatory. The upper story of each wing is divided into three rooms. The entire building is capable of receiving about 1,000 pupils. The building was said to have been at that time the finest structure west of the Alleghenies.
The general custom of those writing of the educational development of Ohio has been to disparage the cultural interest and ideals of the southwestern portion of the state. One such writer gives the following description of our early schools: The teachers of the pioneer schools in southwestern Ohio were selected more on account of their unfitness to perform manual labor than by reason of their intellectual worth. The few schools established in this section were taught by cripples, worn-out old men, and women physically unable to scotch hemp and spin fax, or constitutionally opposed to the exercise. Educational sentiment was at a low ebb, and demanded from the instructors of children no higher qualifications than could be furnished by the merest tyro. Before school legislation and other instrumentalities effected salutary changes in the methods of school administration common to this locality, schools of worth were to be found only in the more populous centers. The estimation in which the teacher was held by the community at large was not such as to induce any young man or woman of spirit and worth to enter upon teaching as a vocation.
The teacher was regarded as a kind of pensioner on the bounty of the people, whose presence was tolerated only because county infirmaries were not then in existence. The capacity of a teacher to teach was never a reason for employing him, but the fact that he could do nothing else. Under such circumstances, it would be vain to look for superior qualifications on the part of the teachers. The people's demand for education was fully met when their children could write a tolerably legible hand, when they could read the Bible or an almanac, and when they were so far inducted into the mysterious computation of numbers as to be able to determine the value of a load of farm produce.
A brighter picture presents itself when we consider the state (page 85) of educational sentiment in that section of Ohio peopled with settlers from New England. They were not oblivious to the value of education in a utilitarian sense, but their notions of utility were broader and more comprehensive than those entertained by their southern neighbors.
Another expresses the same judgment but in language so strikingly similar to that just quoted as to raise a question as to the value of his opinion. A third gives a very different opinion of the pioneer schoolteachers of whom he says :
They were as a general rule men of a high moral standing, 'and qualified to teach all the first rudiments of a common school education, such as reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic and English grammar, and some of the higher branches of mathematics and algebra, but not many claimed the latter qualifications. But they were thorough in such branches as they professed to teach and if they found that any pupils were close upon their heels in any branch, they became studious themselves to be prepared to impart instruction to such. The teachers had an aptitude to teach and the pupils to receive instruction ; the spirit of emulation was infused by the former and seized and secured by the latter.
Which of the judgments thus expressed is in accordance with the facts? What were the educational conditions and development of this area during the first quarter century of its history? Naturally one who considered the conditions that then prevailed, the primitive condition of society, the exposure to Indian attack, the disturbed conditions on their frontier, would not expect to find an organized educational system then existing. Was there, however, in the chaos of that period any principles that later evolved into our educational organism?
Pioneer Schools. The pioneers of the Symmes purchase were little more than established in their new homes, when, exposed as they were to the Indian menace, they took thought for the education of their youth. On June 21, 1790, John Reily, of North Carolina, a veteran of Greene's army, and later a prominent lawyer, clerk of the legislature of the Northwest territory and president of the board of trustees of Miami university, opened a subscription school at Columbia. The year following he associated with him Francis Dunlevy of Virginia, who later served for sixteen years as presiding judge of the court of common pleas of Hamilton county, and as a member of the first constitutional convention and of the first state legislature. In the first educational enterprise, Reily taught the English branches and Dunlevy the classics.
The first schoolhouse in Cincinnati was a log structure that stood at about Third and Lawrence. It is possible that the teacher of this school was Stuart Richey, who a little later advertises a school which seems to correspond in circumstances and location to this early school. This was soon succeeded by a frame building which judge Burnet states was in progress of erection on his arrival in the city in 1795. Here as in so many places the Presbyterian minister devoted part of his time to education, as we fnd the Rev. James Kemper teaching school in the church building and later in a schoolhouse which he caused to be erected on the church lot. Nor (page 86) was the education of women neglected during these early days. As early as July, 1802, we find this advertisement in the Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette : "Mrs. Williams begs to inform the inhabitants of Cincinnati that she intends opening a school in the house of Mr. Newman Sadler, for young ladies on the following terms: Reading, 250 cents; Reading and Sewing, $3.00; Reading, Sewing and Writing, 350 cents per quarter." These beginnings at education were largely due to individualistic effort. In 1811, a number of citizens associated themselves together, purchased a lot, erected a couple of buildings, and employing teachers, opened a school. This, due to the efforts of the Rev. Joshua L. Wilson, was followed by the erection of a building, which was considered the finest of its day west of the Alleghenies, on a lot at the corner of 4th and Walnut streets, donated by the Presbyterian church. Here in 1815 was opened the Cincinnati Lancastrian seminary under the supervision of Edmund Harrison. It was provided that the school should have a junior and a senior department and that the boys and girls should be instructed in separate groups. In less than two weeks after the opening of the junior department the enrollment was 420, and it became necessary to provide additional facilities.
This school was made possible by the liberality of Gen. Lytle, Judge Burnet and others who made donations of land and money, the aggregate amount of which approximated $50,000.
Due to the menace of the Indian, the cultural frontier was not far removed from the north bank of the Ohio, even until after the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. The first school in the interior of the Miami valley appears to have been that opened by Francis Dunlevy in 1798, a little west of the present city of Lebanon. Upon his election to the territorial legislature he was succeeded by David Spinney. Other schools were opened in Lebanon and throughout the county. One of these was taught by Francis Glass, who achieved quite a reputation as a teacher of Latin and Greek. Early in the 18th century a Mr. Richey opened a school on Front street, Hamilton. He is reputed to have been an excellent teacher, but was severe in government. From 1810 to 1814 Rev. Matthew G. Wallace, the founder of the Presbyterian church in Hamilton, operated a school with a classical department. A picture of his school building shows it to have been a hewed log house, two stories in height. In 1815 a Mr. Proudft, a student from Ohio university, opened a school. He is reputed to have excelled in the teaching of the languages. In 1818, the Hamilton literary society erected a substantial building for educational purposes. In 1820, the Rev. Francis Montfort opened a school in which he taught not only the English branches but the classics and higher mathematics. Benjamin Van Cleve in his Memoirs, writing of the year 1719, notes that: "On the first of September, I commenced teaching a small school. I had reserved time to gather my corn and kept school until the last of October." After gathering his corn and serving during the session of the territorial legislature as deputy clerk, he returned to Dayton and kept school about three months longer. This school is said to have been taught in a blockhouse that had been erected for defense against the Indians. It is also affirmed (page 87) that lacking an adequate supply of books, he taught from wall charts prepared by himself. For this work his skill in drawing and mapmaking admirably fitted him.
When Eaton was founded in 1806, a lot was set apart for educational purposes. It was not, however, until the following year that a school was opened in a private house by John Hollingsworth, who is described as a "fair teacher." In 1801, the lot was sold and the proceeds, $409.66, were invested in a more suitable lot on which a hip roofed frame building was erected. The equipment of the building was provided by voluntary contribution and the fuel was secured by a chopping frolic, as was ofttimes the case. The branches taught were spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic to "the single rule of three" though the classics were taught by the Presbyterian clergyman on the occasion of his teaching the school.
The first schoolhouse in Miami county appears to have been that at Piqua and was erected in 1804. This gave way in 1808 to a more pretentious structure that was known as the academy. Rev. J. P. Finley opened a school. In 1813, Samuel Kyle opened the first school in Troy.
The date of the establishment of the first school in Darke county is vested in uncertainty. It is known that a certain John Beers taught a school from about the year 1818 to 1830 and that others soon followed him. It was not until 1806 that the necessity of a school was felt by the residents of the then village of Springfield. In that year a certain Nathaniel Pinkered opened a school which was the foundation stone of the present educational system.
Pioneer Academies. From the foregoing it will be seen that the educational frontier of the Miami valley had advanced to the utmost limits of the valley. Not only elementary schools had been established quite generally throughout the valley, but a beginning had been made in a more comprehensive system of education. We have already noted that in many instances the schools indicated taught not only the common branches but also the classics and advanced mathematics. In addition to these a number of academies or grammar schools had been established. Drake mentions such schools at Cincinnati, Dayton and Xenia and provision for one at Troy, as early as 1815. It appears that in each county, with the possible exception of Logan, one or more such institutions were in actual operation or had been provided for. Of the 38 such institutions known to have been founded in Ohio by 1820, 15 were to be found within the Miami valley. Of the best known of these, a few words may be spoken. Perhaps the most largely attended of these was the senior department of the Cincinnati Lancastrian school, to the junior department of which reference has already been made. Another academy of interest was that at Dayton, which was founded in 1807. This institution was incorporated by James Welsh, D. C. Cooper, William McClure, David Reid, John Folkeith, George Tennery, Benjamin Van Cleve and James Hanna. Two lots, a bell and a considerable sum of money were the gifs of Mr. Cooper, the founder of Dayton. The first teacher was William M. Smith.
(page 88) His contract required that he teach reading, writing, arithmetic, the classics. and the sciences. Teaching in elocution was also given much prominence. For a time after 1815, Mr. Smith had as his assistant the Rev. James B. Finley, who later achieved distinction as a Methodist frontier preacher. In 1820, the school was placed in charge of Mr. Gideon McMillen, a graduate of the University of Glasgow. Under his supervision the Lancastrian system of education was introduced. For this purpose a new building was erected, which is described as a "specially constructed single room building 62x32 feet." It was heated by convolving flues underneath the brick floor. The walls were hung with printed lesson charts before which classes were placed to recite under the charge of monitors. A sand table was provided upon which the younger scholars copied the alphabet.
Among the rules of this school were the following: 1. The moral and literary instruction will be studiously and diligently and temperately attended to. 2. They will be taught to read and spell
deliberately and distinctly agreeably to the rules laid down by Walker's Dictionary upon which all who have leisure are invited to attend. 3. Every day is to be an examination day. 4. Any scholar found playing ball on the Sabbath or resorting to the woods or commons on that day for sport shall suffer such forfeits as the tutor shall think proper.
This system did not meet the expectation of the patrons of the school and was soon discontinued, but its adoption is an evidence of an aspiring spirit on the part of the management and of a desire for educational betterment.
Founding of Miami University. Another educational effort of a century ago was the grammar school of Miami university, sometimes referred to as the Hughes grammar school. Though Miami university was begotten in the contract made by John Cleves Symmes with the government under the Articles of Confederation wherein it was stated, "One complete township to be given perpetually for the use of an academy or college to be laid of as nearly opposite the mouth of the Licking river as an entire township may be found eligible in point of soil and situation, to be applied to the intended object by the legislature of the state."
To us today who live in an age of rapid progress and large achievement, it may seem strange that a quarter century was required to transform a township of land into an infant educational institution and twelve years more to develop it into a real college. We must bear in mind the difficulties that had to be overcome. The first of these related to the location of the college township. In accordance with the above provision in his contract, judge Symmes caused to be indicated on the map of his purchase, what is now known as Springfield township, Hamilton county, as the "college township." After he had left for the west his associate in the east entered into an agreement with the government whereby the amount of the grant was fixed at 1,000,000 acres and its bounds modified. No mention being made in this agreement concerning the "college township," Judge Symmes concluded that it was forfeited by the reduction of the grant and sold a considerable portion of the (page 89) designated township. The patent that was issued to Symmes, September 30, 1792, provided that "one complete township or tract of land, of six miles square, to be located with the approbation of the governor for the time being, of the territory northwest of the river Ohio, and in the manner, and within the term of five years as aforesaid, as nearly as may be, in the center of the tract of land, hereinbefore granted, hath been and is granted and shall beholden in trust, to and for the sale and exclusive interest and purpose of erecting and establishing therein, an academy and other public schools and seminaries of learning, and endowing and supporting the same and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatever." In accordance with this provision, Symmes in 1798 tendered to Gov. St. Clair the second township in the second fractional range (Greene township, Hamilton county) as being the only one then available. This the governor declined because it did not answer the description of the one granted in the patent, was different in quality, and his title to it was questioned. Symmes then offered it to the territorial legislature, later to the state legislature, and finally in 1802 presented the matter to congress. Congress on March 3, 1803, enacted, "That one complete township, in the state of Ohio, and district of Cincinnati, to be located under the direction of the legislature of the said state, be, and the same is hereby, vested in the legislature of the state of Ohio, for the purpose of establishing an academy, in lieu of the township already granted for the same purpose. Provided, however, that the same shall revert to the United States, if within fve years after the passing of this act, a township shall have been secured for the said purpose, within the boundary of the patent." A committee appointed by the Ohio legislature located the present college township and the same was registered at the land office at Cincinnati September 1, 1803. No township within the patent being tendered the legislature within the prescribed five years, the township located in 1803 became the irrevocable possession of the state to be applied to the end specified. A second cause of delay was the unusual form of tenure by which the lands were to be held. When equally good lands could be readily obtained for a few dollars per acre to which he would be given a title in fee simple, the settler who had any means preferred to take up such lands. Instead of the prospect of a university drawing a desirable class of citizens to the college lands, they were taken up principally by persons who did not have the small sum necessary to purchase government lands or the squatter who bid in a tract, made a few rude improvements, sold of so much of the timber as he could market, obtained his living from the soil until he could dispose of his title for a small cash sum or was ejected for non-payment of taxes. Even today prospective buyers from the outside frequently decline to complete a purchase when they learn the nature of the title, while the rate of interest on mortgage loans is in advance of that which prevails in adjoining townships by reason of the fact that the insurance companies refuse to place loans on the college lands.
A further hindrance to the steady consummation of the plans for building the university was the failure of the Browne mission. (page 90) In 1811, Rev. John W. Browne, a Congregational clergyman from England, who with his son owned and edited The Liberty Hall of Cincinnati, was sent east to secure money for erecting and equipping a college building. Visiting Washington, Baltimore, and Albany he arrived in Boston in February, 1812. Here was his Waterloo. Encouraged to expect great things by the cordial commendation which he received from the clergy, his solicitations were met with positive refusals by the politicians who were "principled against encouraging any state in league with the southern states." Disappointed in his expectations and disheartened by his failure at this point, he determined to await a more propitious period, and directed his course homeward, arriving at Cincinnati twelve days before Hull's surrender of Detroit. The total amount of money collected was $2,566.75, but after paying the expenses of the trip and making certain deductions, the mission netted to the university only $713.38 in cash, somewhat more than a thousand volumes of books and a set of globes. It failed to secure the amount necessary to erect a college building which would have greatly enhanced the value and expedited the sale of the college lands. It was now necessary to defer the opening of the university until sufficient funds could be accumulated from the revenues from the lands to erect and equip the buildings.
Still another hindrance was experienced in the contention that arose relative to the seat of the university. It has been noted that the college township as finally located lay without the Symmes purchase rather than within as originally provided. Where should the university itself be located? At a suitable spot most convenient to the mouth of the Licking river ; at a point central to the whole Miami country, or within the college township? Cincinnati, Lebanon, Dayton and Yellow Springs were among the places that were suggested. The matter of site was referred to a committee consisting of U. S. Senator Alexander Campbell, James Kilborne, who was then serving as district surveyor, and Robert G. Wilson, D. D. The last, however, failed to be present when the other members having visited the several places proposed for the location of the university, decided on "a site in the county of Warren on the western side of the town of Lebanon, on the land of Ichabod Corwin, at a white oak tree marked with the letters, `M. U. V.' " However, due to the absence of Dr. Wilson, the legislature refused to accept the report of the committee and passed a bill, introduced by Mr. Cooper of Dayton, which provided : "That the Trustees of the Miami university shall cause a town to be laid of on such part of the land described in said acts, as they may think proper, to be known by the name of Oxford. That the said university is hereby established on said land, on such place thereof as the trustees may think proper; and that they are authorized and directed to cause such building or buildings to be erected, as they shall deem necessary for the accommodation of the president, professors, tutors, pupils and servants of said university, and also to procure the necessary books for the said university." This action was far from pleasing to the citizens of Cincinnati who felt, with some reason, that the institution should be closer to that place.
(page 91) The original provision was that the university site should be within the college township which as specified should be the first complete township Apposite the mouth of the Licking river. This would have placed the institution so convenient to the city as to be readily accessible, whereas the site actually chosen was so remote as to be of little immediate advantage.
Founding of Cincinnati College. However, the citizens of Cincinnati were determined upon having a college in their midst. Dr. Drake tells us that: "In the year 1806, a school association was formed in this place, and in 1807 it was incorporated. Its endowments were not exactly correspondent to its elevated title (Cincinnati university), consisting only of moderate contributions; and an application was made to the legislature for permission to raise money by a lottery, which was granted. A scheme was formed and a great part of the tickets sold; but they have, however, not been drawn, and but little of the money which they brought ($6,000) refunded. On Sunday, the 28th of May, 1809, the schoolhouse erected by the corporation was blown down ; since which it has become extinct."
Until near the close of the second war with Great Britain, interest in education naturally was at low ebb. In 1814, when the agitation began, that resulted in the founding of the Cincinnati Lancastrian school, a movement was started to secure the removal of Miami university to Cincinnati. Failing in this, Cincinnati college was founded in 1819, as the senior department of the Lancaster seminary. Fifty thousand dollars in money and land was contributed toward the maintenance of the institution. The Rev. Elijah Slack was chosen as the first president but gave place in 1821, to Rev. Philander Chase, first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal diocese of Ohio and later founder of Kenyon college. Being in straitened financial circumstances the college authorities presented a memorial to the legislature of Ohio at the opening of its session in 1822, proposing to transfer the grounds and buildings of Cincinnati college together with certain other properties, the value of which was scheduled at $20,000, to the state of Ohio, provided she would make certain financial provision for the same. On January 10th of the same year, Mr. Williams of Hamilton county presented to the Ohio house of representatives a memorial from the president and trustees of Cincinnati college proposing to convey certain property to the Miami university upon condition that the said university be removed to Cincinnati ; which was read and laid on the table, the previous notice not having been given. One week later Mr. Williams reported a bill to the house which in substance was as follows : (a) The removal of Miami university from Oxford and the appointment of a commission to locate the same within the Symmes purchase at such a point as should be most conducive to the great ends of education. In making their choice the commission should take into consideration donations which may be offered and the permanent interests of education. (b) That an academy known as Oxford academy should be established as a branch of said university under direction of a board of seven trustees to be appointed by the university corporation, which should appropriate (page 92) the one-eighth part of the funds arising or which may arise from the lands vested in the said university to the use and support of said academy, which was also to receive the buildings and ten acres of ground for its use and accommodation. (c) It was further provided that any leaseholder who felt aggrieved by the removal of the university might surrender his lease, have the value of the improvements he had made appraised, and retain the use of the property, free of rent until the rentals equaled the appraised value of his improvements. This bill provoked a lengthy discussion. Mr. Shields of Butler county opposed the bill on the ground (a) that the bill was the same in substance as the memorial from Cincinnati college which had been rejected by the house, (b) that it would be unjust to the people who had located upon and improved the college lands, (c) that Cincinnati was an unsuitable place at which to locate an institution for the training of young men. Mr. Williams then defended his bill in a speech which is given in full in the Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette for February 20, 1822. His arguments were: (a) The university belongs to the Symmes purchase and can never be of any advantage where it now stands to the present day and generation. Congress to encourage the settlement of the Symmes purchase offered certain inducements, among these being the grant of a college township which was to be located near the center of the tract of land and within which the educational institution was to be established. If necessity required the location of the college lands without the bounds of the purchase, this did not require the location of the college outside the purchase, as is shown where schools are in part supported by the income from school sections located outside the bounds of the township. (b) Congress granted to the Ohio legislature one township in lieu of the township already granted and for the same purpose, viz., for the benefit of the settlers within the Symmes purchase. The act of the legislature in removing the university from Lebanon to Oxford was void because it transcended the authorization of Congress and was entirely owing to a log-rolling scheme that grew out of the contest for removing the seat of government. The people of the Symmes purchase have the same right to the college township that the inhabitants of each township have to their school section No. 16. (c) The school at Oxford has not succeeded, at the most contained but twenty-two boys and cannot assist in the education of the present generation. (d) If the citizens of Oxford took their leases on the grounds that the college was to be fixed in the township * * * the people of the purchase bought their lands under the inducement that they should have the benefit of a college located among them. To take the college from the settlers on the college lands is not so unjust as to withhold it from those to whom it rightfully belongs, as the former will be compensated for their financial losses and be provided with an academy which will meet their needs for years to come. The discussion was continued by Messrs. Anderson, Fitzpatrick, Biggar, Harper, Whittlesey, Collins and Shields,.and was ended by the passing of a motion to strike out the first section of the bill. The feeling prevailed that due previous notice had not been given of the introduction of the bill.
(page 93) The introduction and discussion of the bill led the friends of the university as then located to rally to its support. A public meeting was held at Oxford, March 23, 1822, when a committee was appointed to examine the bill and speech of Mr. Williams and to publish a reply to the same, and also an address to the inhabitants of the Symmes purchase. A memorial address to the legislature, bearing date of October 17, 1822, was prepared by the members of the university corporation and forwarded to that body. Moreover James McBride was elected to a seat in the house of representatives and prepared the above speech that it might be in readiness should the friends of Cincinnati college revive the question of removing Miami university. This they did not deem wise to do, and so the speech was not delivered. It contains the best account of the Miami college lands that is extant.
Grammar School of Miami University. Undaunted by these many hindrances, Miami university was steadily, if slowly, evolving into a real college. In 1811, the board of trustees of the university made an appropriation and ordered that there should be erected on the university square in the town of Oxford, a house or building for the use of the school. There was erected a hewed log building 20x30 feet at a cost of $297. In December, 1812, James M. Dorsey, a schoolmaster from Baltimore, opened a select school for the benefit of the youth of the college township. Due to the unsettled condition of the frontier during the years 1812-15, this school had only a limited number of pupils.
By the fall of 1818, a brick building had been erected which cost $6,167. This building served as both recitation hall and dormitory. The building above described was remodeled and fitted for the use of the principal whose compensation was $500 salary, one-half of the tuition of $5 per quarter, and the use of a house and garden free of rent.
The person selected for this position was James Hughes, a Presbyterian clergyman who had pursued his literary and theological studies under Rev. Joseph Smith and John McMillan and is said to have been the first person to be ordained to the ministerial office west of the Alleghenies.
An account of the opening of this school that appeared in The Weekly Recorder of Chillicothe, Ohio, for December 18, 1818, reads as follows:
On the 3rd ult. agreeably to an ordinance of the president and trustees, the Miami university was opened for the reception of students, under the care of the Rev. James Hughes, who commenced teaching on the day following with six students. At this time the number increased to 21, who are all studying the Latin language.
A number more have applied to come in a short time. In the college edifice are twelve large rooms, sufficient for the comfortable accommodations of 50 students, and materials are prepared for an addition of the same size. Boarding may be had convenient to the college, at from $1.50 to $2.00 per week. The price of tuition is $5 per session.
Mr. Nahum Meyers of the Tribe of Levi, a converted Jew lately from Prussia, is at present living with Mr. Hughes, and (page 94) proposes to teach the Hebrew language to any who may be disposed to attend for that purpose. Hebrew is his native language. The attention of the friends of literature and the public in general is invited to this institution. It is expected that it will be a place very favorable for learning; though in the midst of a populous and very fertile country, yet in a favorable retreat from the tumult and various avocations and temptations, so prejudicial to youth, which abound in large mercantile towns and cities. The site of the university and of the town of Oxford is peculiarly pleasant, being on a very elevated tract of land, with a beautiful declivity on its borders from every side, affording a very pleasing prospect of the adjoining country in every direction.
Six years were yet to elapse before the college of liberal arts was to become operative.
The same year in which Cincinnati college was founded saw the establishment of the medical college of Ohio. The founder of this institution was Daniel Drake, who for a time had served as a member of the faculty of the Transylvania Medical college at Lexington, Ky. The other members of the faculty were Jesse Smith, professor of surgery; and Elijah Slack, president of Cincinnati college, who taught chemistry. The fortunes of this institution are set forth by Drake in The Rise and Fall of the Medical College of Ohio. This was not only the first medical college in the Miami valley, but the first northwest of the Ohio river.
Another indication of the cultural interest of that area at that early time was the establishment at Cincinnati of a school of literature and arts. Dr. Drake gives the following account of this society.
This is an association for literary and scientific improvement, composed chiefly of young men who formed themselves into a society in 1813 and elected Josiah Meigs, an accomplished scholar, their first president. Their constitution provided for frequent meetings, at which the exercises are of these kinds : A lecture from the president, an essay from one of the members, and a poetical recitation from another. On the 23rd of November, 1814, the school held its frst anniversary meeting, at which an oration was delivered by appointment. From this discourse, it appears that many interesting lectures and essays have been delivered, and that this infant institution is probably the germ of a permanent and respectable society. While therefore the Miami valley did not at the close of the second decade of the 18th century possess a well articulated system of public instruction, she at least had a large number of schools, certain of which were taught by persons of more than ordinary ability, several excellent academies or grammar schools and the only college and medical school northwest of the Ohio river that were actually operative as such at that time. Moreover a number of library associations had been formed to further the educational interests of the valley. Among these were the mercantile library association of Cincinnati, the Dayton library and the Paddy's Run library, which dates from as early as 1817. If the educational situation of the valley was at that time not all that could have been desired, if some of its school buildings were inferior in quality and (page 95) some of its teachers of mediocre ability, it would appear on the whole to have been not without certain effective institutions of learning nor without teachers of a high order of intelligence and efficiency. In view of the interest manifested in educational matters, the efforts put forth and the results achieved, it may be questioned whether the Miami valley was at all inferior in educational idealism to the other cultural areas of Ohio. Indeed it may be questioned whether any had, during the same period of time, made as much progress as had she.
Educational Development. As throughout the country in general, so in the Miami valley, the period, 1820 to 1837, was one of marked educational development.
It was during this period that Ohio in common with a number of other states, established a state system of public instruction. In common with the Ohio company's purchase, the Symmes purchase received from the federal government a grant of section 16 of each township, the income from which was to be used for the maintenance of a school system. Much was hoped for from these grants, but little was realized. The leasing of the lands was first tried but was found to be unprofitable. Finally in 1827, provision was made that they be sold and the receipts loaned to the state to constitute a fund on which the state agree to pay 6% per annum into the school funds of the state.
Two years previous to this during the administration of Gov. Morrow, one of the distinguished pioneers of the Ohio valley, a law was passed making obligatory the levying of a tax for the support of Ohio schools. Among the most effective advocates of this measure was Mr. Nathan Guilford of Cincinnati, one of the most broadminded and farsighted advocates of education of that period, as is evidenced by the following statement from him: "Nothing but free schools has ever succeeded in diffusing education among the most of the people who cultivate the soil. The system scatters schools in every neighborhood, is within the reach of every farmer, and freely offers to the poor tenants of every cabin the means of instruction. The yeomanry of every country constitutes its sinew and strength, and it is among them that those wholesome, honest, and homebred principles are preserved, which constitute the safety and honor of a nation." It thus appears that his opinion of the value of the elementary schools is not behind that of the leading educators of today.
The effects of this law was shortly to be seen throughout this as other sections of the state. Though several provisions for the education of poor children had been made by philanthropic citizens of Cincinnati, objection had been made to such schools. This arose from the heavy tax payers, those interested in private academies, and those who objected to sending their children to schools where certain of the pupils were charity.
In 1829, a public school system was organized and the city divided into ten districts, each of which was to have a two-room schoolhouse. For building and operating these schools, a tax of two mills was levied. The salaries provided ranged from $200 to $500, the teachers being mostly men.
(page 96) Of the state of the Cincinnati public schools in 1837, Atwater in his History of the State of Ohio gives us this interesting account: At the present time, Cincinnati has within its corporate limits, more and better means of affording instruction, than any other place in this state. Its medical school. may be said to be the only one, in the state, of the kind; and if any one seeks to acquire a thorough knowledge of the modern languages, Cincinnati possesses the amplest means of affording such instruction.
And if any young man wishes to acquire a knowledge of any one of the learned professions, Cincinnati is certainly the best place of obtaining it, in the valley of the Mississippi. And if any one wishes to learn any mechanical art, Cincinnati is the very place to learn it. The field is larger and better cultivated, too, than any other, in Ohio, in which the arts grow and flourish. And this will necessarily continue to be the best place in the west, for a long time, in which to acquire knowledge. Perhaps we might except female instruction, to which Columbus, Dayton, Chillicothe, Zanesville, and Circleville, have paid great attention.
Public common schools are under the government of trustees and visitors, who are Peyton S. Symmes, president; George Graham, jr., Elam P. Langdon, James R. Baldridge, William Wood.
These visitors examine and employ the teachers, carefully inspect the schools, adopt rules for their government, and finally, do every other act proper and necessary to be done, in execution of their high trust. Thus far they have acted wisely and efficiently in the management of these noble institutions.
The city council has a board of education, whose business it is to raise the funds wherewith to build schoolhouses, pay the teachers, and keep the buildings in repair. They have erected ten large edifices, at an expense of about one hundred thousand dollars.
This sum includes the cost of the lots on which these splendid buildings are erected. Each of these buildings is divided into four rooms, thirty-six feet in breadth by thirty-eight feet in length, two in each story, besides the basement rooms. The building is two lofty stories in height, above the basement story. In these buildings forty schools are taught, by about eighty instructors. The number of schools for males and females is equal, in which, about two thousand five hundred children are instructed during the whole year, except two vacations of two weeks each. The wages of the teachers are seven hundred dollars annually for principals, and three hundred for assistant male teachers ; and only two hundred and fifty dollars for female principals, and two hundred for assistant female teachers. All these sums are paid by the city, for the instruction of the children who have no parents, or those whose parents are poor.
So much we can say, for the benevolence, wisdom and charity of Cincinnati.
The instructors of these public schools are all well educated. The principals of the male schools are graduates of eastern colleges, and the female teachers are educated in the best manner. The teachers in their departments are perfect gentlemen and ladies. Their constant examples before their pupils, the moral as well as (page 97) literary instruction, which they convey to their schools, are productive of the happiest effects. Pupils are admitted when six years old, and they can be instructed until they are fourteen years old, and all this instruction costs nothing to them, or their parents and guardians.
Among the teachers in the higher department of females, Mrs. Wing and Miss Eustis, are preeminent for their education and polite accomplishments. We mean no disparagement to other teachers, because they are all good, and deserve higher wages than they now obtain.
The number of scholars in the Woodward college, is nearly two hundred. Its income from all sources amounts to four thousand two hundred and forty-eight dollars annually. In seven years, the funds of this institution will produce from six to eight thousand dollars annually. It originated in the enlightened benevolence of William Woodward, of Cincinnati.
His first grant of land for his endowment, was made on the 1st of November, 1826, to Samuel Lewis and Osmond Cogswell, perpetual trustees. The site of the building was a subsequent donation by the same gentleman. It was first chartered as the Woodward free grammar school. This title was afterwards changed into that of the Woodward high school, and with the alteration of the name, there was also a change in the character of the institution. The course of study was raised in consequence of the establishment of common schools. These latter, while they supplied the place, filled by the former under its organization, as originally contemplated, seemed to call for an institution of a higher grade. As a high school, its course of study has been gradually extended till it embraces every subject usually taught in our colleges, besides the modern languages and bookkeeping as parts of a mercantile education. In the winter of 1835-6, the trustees applied to the legislature for collegiate powers, which were accordingly granted under the title of the Woodward college of Cincinnati. Despite .certain hindrances due to the inadequacy of the funds provided, disputes as to text books, and uncertainties as to the relations between principal and teachers and teachers and patrons, and frequent changes in the rules, these schools made steady progress.
Outside of Cincinnati the immediate beneficial effects of this law, while discernible, were less marked. In many instances the tax levy was inadequate to the maintenance of wholly free schools and had to be supplemented by subscriptions or fees on the part of those who were able to pay. Thus the amount apportioned the Dayton school district in 1829 was but $133. Four years later it had increased to $1,865. Even as late as 1841 we find, due to the inadequacy of the levy to meet the expenses, the board of managers authorized the charging of a fee of fifty cents per quarter to all who were able to pay.
Provision of Better Text Books. We find also that the Ohio valley played an important part in the movement for a system of text books adapted to the needs of the schools. During the entire period little attention had been given to a system of texts. The (page 98) student used the text that he was able to provide. The New England Primer, Webster's Elements of Useful Knowledge, Webster's American Selections, The Columbian Orator, Murray's English Grammar, The American Preceptor, Dilworth's Speller, Webster's Easy Standard of Pronunciation, Pike's Arithmetic, and The Federal Calculator were then used. Sometimes, however, the pupil would bring a copy of the Bible or other devotional book that the family possessed to serve as a text book in reading. One of the most distinct contributions to the cause of better text books was that made by Prof. McGuffey of Miami university. Dr. A. D. Hepburn, son-in-law of Prof. McGuffey, recently gave an interesting account of the McGuffey reader which we cannot do better than quote :
The McGufey readers and spellers were written and compiled in Oxford, and were first published by Smith brothers of Cincinnati, about the year 1836. Eminent educators affirm that these books, which gave their author more than national reputation, elevated the standard of school publications, and did more to improve the methods of elementary education than any books ever published.
Many people thought it strange that a man who taught the advanced courses of which Dr. McGuffey made a specialty, should have either time or inclination to compile a series of books, including primers, readers and spellers; but those who knew the man understood his motives. First of all, there was a demand for such a series, and then Dr. McGuffey was a great lover of children. Having himself struggled for an elementary education, he sought to make smoother the road for future generations.
It was while a member of Miami's faculty that Dr. McGuffey organized a reading class among the children of Oxford, making a note of the kind of pieces that interested them, and watching their pronunciation of words. He was possessed of an inherent fondness for, and understanding of children, and being himself a man of refined literary tastes, his aim was to cultivate in others a desire for good literature. Some of the pieces contained in his readers he wrote ; others he clipped. In the advanced readers were numerous extracts from anniversary addresses delivered by men of prominence at Miami university commencements. The table on which the professor did most of his work in compiling his text books now has a conspicuous place in the Miami Alumni library. It is of cherry wood, octagonal in form with a drawer in each of its faces, in which he kept the clippings from which he compiled his books. The table is so made that it revolves thus enabling him to readily reach any paper or book which he might desire. The table was long the property of Dr. Hepburn, but on his retiring from active service he gave it to the university. Publication of School Books. Another contribution of the valley in this same direction was in the development of publishing houses for the production of text books. The publishing of newspapers had begun almost with the founding of the settlement. There were the Centinel of the Northwest territory 1793-96, Freeman's journal 1796-1800, The Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette 1800-09. The Whig 1809-10, The Advertiser 1810-11, The Western (page 99) Spy 1810, The Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Mercury 1801, Spirit of the West 1814-15, and The Cincinnati Gazette 1815. While there was this marked interest in newspaper publication, but twelve different books had issued from the Cincinnati printing presses, and these were of but moderate size. Paper for these as for newspaper work was at first obtained from Pennsylvania and later from Kentucky, but was now being supplied by mills lately established upon the Little Miami river. After 1815, the book publishing business so increased until we find the statement made in 1826 that the number of text books printed on Cincinnati presses during that year were as follows : 55,000 Spelling Books, 30,000 Primers, 3,000 American Preceptors, 3,000 Introduction to the English Reader, 3,000 Kirkham's Grammar, 2,000 Murray's Grammar, 5,000 Table Arithmetics. By 1840, the business had so developed that we find the school book advertisements an item in the city directory for that year. Thurman and Smith call attention to the fact that the Eclectic Series then consisted of McGuffey's Primer, Progressive Spelling Book, First, Second, Third and Fourth Readers, Ray's Eclectic Arithmetic, Ray's Little Arithmetic, Ray's Rules and Tables, Miss Beecher's Moral Instructor, Mansfield’s Political Grammar, Smith's Productive Grammar, and Mason's Young Minstrel. The great popularity of this series is evidenced by the statement, "that 500,000 of the Eclectic School Books have been published within the short time they have been before the public," and that the publishers having removed to new buildings and enlarged their manufacturing plant "will make it their special aim to keep pace with the constantly increasing demand." Ephraim Morgan & Co. advertise Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the New American Reader, the New American Primer, Talbott's Arithmetic, Kirkham's Grammar, Murray's Introduction to the English Reader, Hale's Premium History of the United States, the Elementary Spelling Book, and Walker's Dictionary. They exploit their series of readers as having been adopted by the board of trustees and visitors of the common schools of Cincinnati to be used in said schools, and introduced into a great number of schools in the western and southern states. George Conclin calls attention to Hall's Western Reader, Webster's Elementary Reader and Webster's Primary Reader. Ely and Strong note that they publish Emerson's New National Spelling Book, Emerson's First, Second, Third and Fourth Class Readers, Russell's Series of Histories, Introduction to Murray's English Reader, Hurray's English Reader, Ruter's Western Arithmetic, the New England Primer, the American Primer, the Small American Primer, and the Western Spelling Book. These books, they declare, are the best series of school books ever published in the west and unsurpassed by any issued east of the mountains. They are extensively used in our common schools-and the best teachers in the west give them preference over all others now in use.
A further evidence of the educational interest of the period was the various educational experiments that were tried out during the period.
Educational Experiments. Mention has already been made of the introduction of a modified form of the Lancastrian system into (page 100) the schools of Cincinnati in 1815 and into those of Dayton in 1820. This system did not meet the expectations of its promoters. However, that the people of this area were sufficiently open minded to attempt a scheme that promised educational betterment, is evidence of their interest in the subject.
In 1828, on the suggestion of Dr. John H. Craig, steps were taken to organize at Cincinnati, the Ohio Mechanics' institute. The next legislature granted a charter on February 20, 1829, to the association, which had for its object the advancing of the best interests of the mechanics, manufacturers, and art designers by the more general diffusion of useful knowledge in those important classes of the community. Of this institution Atwater has the following to say:
During the three last years, three lectures in each week have been delivered in the lecture room of the institute. The library consists of about fifteen hundred volumes of well selected books, which have been presented to the institution by individuals. The members of the institute contribute, each, annually, three dollars. The society has an annual fair, for the exhibition of such articles as our mechanics and manufacturers may feel disposed to exhibit. The fair held in May, 1838, at the bazaar, was attended by all the intelligent citizens of Cincinnati. The articles exhibited did honor to the ingenuity and skill of those who produced them. We saw, and felt proud of the producers and their productions. This institution deserves the patronage of the whole people and we hope will receive it. The classes in the institute are established by voluntary association of young men, who form their own by-laws and adopt a course of mutual instruction; receiving aid from professional teachers, many of whom have been very zealous in promoting the objects of the institution. During the summer seasons, courses of lectures in natural philosophy are delivered in the institute to young ladies. Another writes:
An institution of the cast and purpose of the institute deserves attention and support for many reasons, and one important one among these is the influence which it will exert in the cause of education, by diffusing a taste for manly and scientific knowledge, in opposition to that propagated by whining superficialism which adapts itself to the caprices and feelings of those who see no difference between things useful and excellent, and those useless and contemptible.
The institute, despite many difficulties that arose, has continued to contribute to this end and is today in a flourishing state.
In 1833 a manual labor institution was founded in Dayton and placed under the supervision of Prof. Milo G. Williams. This scheme of education had been successfully operated in Europe and shortly before this had begun to attract the attention of educators in this country, some of the best of whom regarded the plan with favor. A number of experiments were made particularly in the west. These in general did not prove successful and the operation of such schools was for the most part discontinued as not being well adapted to our educational needs in this country. Such was the fate of the Dayton experiment, which was discontinued after two years of trial. (page 101) A movement somewhat related to this was the establishment of the Farmers' college, which was attended with greater success, though in the end itself a failure.
In the Literary Register for 1829 there appeared an advertisement of Miami university. One of the features set forth therein was the Farmers' college, in which it was proposed to afford the young man who proposed to be a farmer or merchant, a course of instruction as well adapted to his needs as was the regular course to the needs of those entering upon a professional career. The financial limitations do not appear to have admitted of the execution of this idea. Later, however, it found expression in an institution with which Dr. Bishop was connected. In 1833, Freeman E. Cary founded the Pleasant Hill academy at a point about six miles north of Cincinnati. His school soon proved to be very popular and won a reputation as being the best academy in the west. He was fortunate in securing able instructors, among whom were Dr. Robert H. Bishop and Prof. John W. Scott, who had recently severed their connection with Miami university. As stated by its founder, the great and leading object had in view from the commencement of this institution has been ultimately to give an extensive and thorough course of scientific instruction.
In 1846, he and his associates chartered the Farmers' college of Hamilton county and the same year the cornerstone of the new college edifice was laid with addresses by Profs. Bishop and Scott.
Both of these speakers laid emphasis on the dignity of labor and the importance of a more general distribution of education in order to raise up another and better, because a more educated and intelligent kind of agriculturists, mechanics, and business men, than the present or any other generation.
It was the fundamental idea of the prime mover of this enterprise, President Cary, that every man had a special right to that kind of education which would be of greatest value to him in the prosecution of useful industry. For a time the operations of this school were attended with great prosperity, but during the Civil war it entered upon a decline from which it has never been able to recover. Today the buildings and grounds are the property of the Ohio Military institute.
One of the characteristic developments of this period was the founding of the Western Literary Institute and College of Professional Teachers, which had for its object the introduction of certain improvements in the methods of instruction. Correspondence was opened by the members with all similar associations and with such individuals of either sex as evinced an interest in or desire to encourage so important an undertaking. A contemporary thus describes the founding and purposes of this organization: A few years ago the teachers of Cincinnati organized a society for mutual improvements. Its first anniversary was celebrated on the 20th of June, 1831, at which time the Rev. R. H. Bishop, D. D., president of the Miami university, delivered an excellent address on the importance of demanding and encouraging faithful and well qualified teachers. This association, however, not extending beyond the boundaries of the city, was necessarily restricted in its (page 102) operations, and its benevolent designs even there were almost entirely paralyzed by jealousies, local prejudices and conflicting interests. Under these discouragements some of its founders were for abandoning the objects altogether, believing it could never be rendered productive of any valuable results. But Mr. Albert Pickett, sr., a veteran in the profession of teaching, unwilling to abandon his object, devised a plan which would not only sustain the sinking cause but greatly augment its usefulness and respectability. He very wisely concluded that if a literary institution were formed which should be composed of all the instructors of youth and other friends of education in the west, who should annually meet in convention, all the members would be apt to unite in the promotion of the great object in view, while all local schemes and selfish policy would be rendered powerless or be forgotten. This idea he communicated to some of his friends, and as it received their hearty approval, circulars of invitation were immediately sent, as far as information could be obtained, to all engaged in teaching, whether in colleges, academies or schools, to meet in Cincinnati on Wednesday, October 3, 1832, at which time a respectable number convened. A resolution was passed for the establishment of the present college. A constitution was prepared and unanimously adopted. Thus commenced the western college of professional teachers, the most popular and useful literary institution in the western country, if not in the Union, and which has already accomplished wonders in the advancement of the cause of general education in the west.
Should this institution continue to flourish, the advantages to be derived from it will at some future day be great. It brings together the presidents and professors of our colleges and universities and the teachers of academies and primary schools. They form a mutual acquaintance and learn to respect each other's character, merit and usefulness. And the time will come when there will exist between them a mutual dependence which will be productive of mutual benefits. The colleges and universities will then furnish efficient teachers for the schools and academies, and they in return, when efficiently taught, will furnish a great number of pupils for the colleges and universities. In consequence of our young men being early initiated and established in regular habits of study and in the love of useful knowledge, where there is now one pupil who wishes for the advantages of a collegiate education, there will then be many.
In the development of educational periodicals within the state, the Miami valley appears to have assumed the lead. The earliest publication of this class was the Literary Register, edited by the professors of Miami university. Twenty-six numbers were issued running from June 2nd to December 8th, 1828, when the publication was taken over by C. A. Ward and W. W. Bishop who proposed to continue the paper along the same general lines. In July, 1831, the Academic Pioneer was issued at Cincinnati containing the proceedings and addresses of the Western Academic institute and board of education at its meeting held June 20th of that year. A second number appeared in December, 1832, (page 103) containing the proceedings of the meeting held that year. In January, 1837, the Universal Educator made its appearance at Cincinnati. How long it continued does not appear.
The Western Academician and Journal of Education and Science edited by John W. Pickettt, A. M., made its appearance at Cincinnati in March, 1837. It was made the organ of the college of Professional Teachers. The enterprise lived but a year but that was long enough for it to publish a number of valuable articles, many of which were written by men from the Miami valley area. In May, 1837, the Ohio Common School Director was issued at Columbus, being edited by Samuel Lewis, a Miami valley man, who had just been made state superintendent of schools. As she pioneered in the field of educational literature, so has she maintained an important position throughout the later years.
The College of Liberal Arts of Miami University. During the period we are now considering, Miami university rose to the rank of a university and assumed an important place among the educational institutions of the west. In 1824 the central portion. of the present main building was so nearly completed and the income from the college township now amounting to $4,503.07/, it was determined to raise the institution, which had existed as a select school 1812-18, and as a grammar school 1818-24, to the rank of a college. To shape the policies of the young institution, Prof. Bishop of Transylvania university was chosen. For eighteen years he had served with distinction in that institution and had been considered as the logical man for its presidency in 1818. It was his fortune to serve at Transylvania when that was one of the leading universities of the country.
Coming to Miami university at the beginning of the school in November, 1824, Dr. Bishop was inaugurated as president of the institution.
One of President Bishop's associates in launching this educational venture was William Sparrow, of Charleston, Miss., who had studied at Trinity college, Dublin, and Columbia university, and who later was professor at Kenyon for sixteen years, and at the Episcopal Theological seminary at Alexandria from 1841 to 1874. The other was John E. Annan, a graduate of Dickinson college, who, after three years of service as professor of mathematics and science, resigned to complete his theological studies at Princeton seminary. On the resignation of Prof. Sparrow in 1825, his place was taken by William H. McGuffey of text book fame.
President Bishop's administration of seventeen years, though not without imperfections, was on the whole judicious, beneficent, and successful. The college township had been transformed into a thriving farming community, yielding an annual income to the university of about $5,500, the largest permanent income of any college in America. The unpretentious schoolhouse first erected on the campus had given place to four permanent brick structures, three of which still render excellent service. The select school had evolved into a real college with a faculty of six full professors, several of whom were men of national reputation, and a student body (page 104) of one hundred and sixty-four young men drawn from ten different states. From her walls had gone forth three hundred and two graduates, of whom one hundred and eleven entered the ministry and ninety-three studied law. Forty sought to further the cause of education, either as principals of academies or as professors in colleges, seven rising to the position of college presidents. Twenty-three served in their state legislature, five sat in the gubernatorial chair, thirteen were elected to seats in congress, and five rose to a distinguished rank in the army. Five were sent by the church as missionaries to heathen lands, while four were sent by our government on missions to foreign countries. With such a product, is it surprising that Miami university was speedily recognized as entitled to a place in the front rank of the educational institutions of our country? Even a Cincinnati writer, while lamenting the failure of local efforts to establish a successful college, could say of her, "It is gratifying that our citizens who have sons to educate, can avail themselves of the advantages of Miami university, which is located in the vicinity of our city."
Rise of Church Colleges. While the state university was thus progressing largely under Presbyterian control, other denominations whose needs were not served thereby were taking steps to found individualistic institutions.
Until after 1830 the Roman Catholics comprised a small and uninfluential minority of the population of the Miami valley. A survey of the churches established in this area prior to 1815 does not disclose a single one of that faith. This statement also applies to the Jews and Episcopalians. However, about 1820, churches of the Catholic faith began to be established and in 1831 Bishop Fenwich undertook the establishment of a literary institute, which took the- name of The Athenaeum. From 1831 to 1840 the school was under the care of the diocesan clergy. Though their efforts were attended with much success the growing needs of the work led Bishop Parcell to commit it to the care of the Jesuit order. Under the administration of this body the institution has been characterized by a steady growth until the old quarters were found to be inadequate and a new location was secured in Avondale where it now operates under much more favorable conditions. The ability and reputation of the Jesuits in the field of education has given to this school a distinguished place among the educational institutions of southwestern Ohio.
Among the other institutions of higher education in the Miami valley, St. Joseph's college at Cincinnati, founded in 1871 by members of the congregation of the Holy Cross, and St. Mary's at Dayton established under the direction of the Society of Mary, occupy a distinctive position.
In 1844 the first steps toward the establishment of an institution that would have as its distinctive purpose the education of colored youth was taken by the African Methodist Episcopal church. At that time a committee was appointed to select a site for a seminary of learning. The institution known as Union seminary was located twelve miles west of Columbus and combined manual labor with literary instruction.
(page 105) In 1853, a further step was taken by the Cincinnati conference of the Methodist Episcopal church when a committee recommended the establishment of a literary institution of higher order for the colored people generally. In 1856, Tawawa Springs, a summer resort of that day, located near Xenia, was secured as a location for the institution. To the promotion of this enterprise the Methodist Episcopal and the African Methodist Episcopal conferences of Ohio joined hands.
In 1889 the state came to the assistance of the school by the establishment of a normal and industrial department which it reorganized in 1896 and placed under a separate board of nine trustees and granted it thirty-five ten thousandths of a mill of the grand tax duplicate.
This institution now has a plant of nine school buildings and eight cottages and 571 students from all over the United States and Canada, South America, Africa, the Bermuda Islands, the Bahamas and the West Indies.
In 1845 the Evangelical Lutheran synod inaugurated a movement toward the establishment and maintenance of a literary and theological institution of high grade in the Miami valley. The effort culminated in the founding at Springfield, Ohio, of Wittenberg college an institution which by reason of the broad and fundamental Christian principles and the high educational standards which it has maintained has rendered a large service to society. Urbana university was founded in 1850 to provide for the education of youth in all the branches of academic, scientific and exegetic instruction, in the light of the philosophy of the church of New Jerusalem. In view of the distinctive ideas held by those of that cult as to the relation of spirit and matter, this school, while supplying a denominational want, has not had a general appeal to the youth of this section and the attendance has been quite limited. On December 2, 1850, steps were taken by that denomination commonly known as Christian, which resulted in the founding of Antioch college at Yellow Springs university. Provision was made for a building fund of $100,000. Twenty acres of land and $20,000 in money was given by William Mills and $100,000 by other citizens of Yellow Springs to promote the enterprise. Horace Mann, the distinguished educator, was the frst president. The young institution soon found itself on the rocks due to bad financial administration, all the property of the college was sold under foreclosure proceedings to a new corporation for the sum of $40,000. The control of the institution now passed under the control of the Unitarian denomination of Christians greatly to its prejudice in the minds of many of its former friends. In 1882 the administration of the college passed to the Christian educational society.
Although the Quakers entered the Miami valley in large numbers very early in the 19th century, it was not until 1870 that they took steps toward the establishment of an institution of higher learning. In that year Wilmington college was founded by the Miami center and Fairfield Quarterly Meetings of Friends. In 1914 the control of the college was vested in the Wilmington Yearly Meeting, and its management vested in a board of nine trustees.
(page 106) Theological Schools. A fact which forcibly strikes the student of the educational history of the Miami valley is the number of theological seminaries located within its bounds.
In 1829, Miami university announced the establishment of a theological department. Little is known of this enterprise other than that it is described as a three years' course embracing reading the scriptures in the original Hebrew and Greek, a short mathematical course, history, rhetoric and natural and moral philosophy. Two things that transpired in the educational world at about that date may have served to crowd this enterprise into obscurity. One was the founding in 1829 of Lane Theological seminary on a grant of money by two brothers, New Orleans merchants, whose name was given to the institution, and of approximately 100 acres of land located on Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, given by the descendants of James Kemper, the pioneer Presbyterian minister of the Miami valley, on which was already located a well finished academy with a dwelling house by it. In 1832 the theological department was organized with Dr. Lyman Beecher at its head. Dr. Beecher expressed the spirit of those who were its promoters when he said to plant Christianity in the west is as grand an undertaking as it was to plant it in the Roman Empire, with unspeakably greater permanence of power. This institution has developed with the years and is today an important part of the Presbyterian educational system. Another thing that affected the status of theological instruction at Miami university was the establishment at Oxford in 1837, by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church, of the Theological seminary under the direction of Rev. Joseph Claybaugh, D. D. The work of this institution was so closely related to that of the university that from 1850-55 it was affiliated with the university and its president made a member of the Miami faculty. Upon the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed Presbyterian churches to form the United Presbyterian church, the seminary was moved in 1857 to Monmouth, and in 1874, when it was consolidated with the Xenia Theological seminary.
This latter institution was the outgrowth of one of the earliest attempts made in the United States to found an institution devoted exclusively to theological instruction. In 1794 the Rev. John Anderson, D. D., was brought over from Scotland by the Associate Presbyterian church, and under his direction an institution for imparting theological instruction was founded at Service in western Pennsylvania. In 1830 the institution was transferred to Canonsburgh, Pa., where it continued in operation until 1855, when it was relocated at Xenia, Ohio, where it continues in operation. Other theological seminaries located within the valley are the following: Hamma Divinity school of Wittenberg college, founded in 1844; the Central Theological school of the Reformed church in the United States (1848) at Dayton; Bonebrake Theological seminary (1871) of the United Brethren church; Hebrew Union college (1875) ; Payne Theological seminary of Wilberforce university, 1892. Another educational development of the early days was the founding in 1833 of the Law school of Cincinnati college by a group of Cincinnati lawyers who had received their instruction in the Dane (page 107) Law school at Cambridge. While not so old as the Law college of Transylvania university, it is the oldest law college west of the Allegheny mountains that is now in operation.
In 1835 it was incorporated with the Cincinnati college, from which time it has been known as the law school of Cincinnati college and took up its location in the college buildings located at the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets. Upon the suspension of the Cincinnati college, the law school fell heir to its property, which in time became of such value that today it affords the law school a very handsome income.
Attention has already been called to the genesis of medical education in the valley. This early beginning has made a consistent growth, the history of which has been so admirably treated by Dr. Otto Juettner in his paper on The Rise of the Medical Colleges, published in the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society's Publications for 1913, that the student of this subject is referred to that article for further information.
Education of Women. One marked development of this period was along the line of the education of women. A beginning had been made along this line prior to 1820. After that date the movement gained in impetus and a number of such schools were established throughout the valley, at least one of which has persisted to the present time. Ex-President Sherzer of Oxford college has so well described this movement that we will use her language.
In 1823 John Locke, M. D., established the Cincinnati Female academy on Walnut street, between Third and Fourth streets. There were teachers in the French language, music, penmanship, and needlework, and an assistant ih the preparatory department. Twelve gentlemen formed a board of visitors who examined the pupils and superintended the academy. The price of tuition, exclusive of music and the French language, was from $4 to $10 a quarter. In August of each year there was a public examination at which medals and honorary degrees of the academy were awarded. Following the annual examination there was a vacation of four weeks. The academy possessed competent apparatus for illustrations in chemistry, natural philosophy, astronomy, and for teaching the simple elements of the different branches to the younger pupils. The demonstrative method of teaching was employed, by which a knowledge of things instead of words alone was imparted. In fact, it was Pestalozzi's method of instruction. Patrons were carefully informed that the idea entertained by some persons that the system of Pestalozzi tends to infidelity was unfounded. About four years were required to pass through the prescribed course of study in order to obtain the honorary degree of the academy. Mrs. Frances Trollope, who in 1828 visited Cincinnati, in her book on Domestic Manners of Americans, speaks with surprise of an exhibition where the higher branches of science were among the studies *** and where one lovely girl of sixteen took her degree in mathematics and another was examined in moral philosophy.
In 1823 the Cincinnati Female college or school, kept by Albert and John W. Pickett, from New York state, seems to have been (page 108) especially popular. Their method of teaching was the analytic or inductive. Their course of study embraced the ordinary branches taught in a female academy, including the Latin, Greek, and French languages, music and drawing. The school occupied a suite of rooms in the south wing of the Cincinnati college edifice. Flint's Western Monthly Review of April, 1830, gives an account of the commencement exercises, when eleven gold medals were distributed for proficiency in Latin, Greek, French, mathematics, music and painting.
I have in my possession a letter written by one of the pupils of Mr. Pickett's school, dated September 29, 1837. This quaint epistle gives such a vivid description of the college life of a girl in those early days that it is here inserted:
Cincinnati, September 29, Friday afternoon, 1837.
As I have finished my copy, and as it is some time until we are called up with our writing, I will commence a letter to you. I am sitting in the third story of Pickett's Female institution, next Mary Starbuck, amidst a number of girls who were all entire strangers to me two weeks ago, but Harriet Haven and Adelia Goshorn. I am pleased quite beyond my expectation, with my school, and my schoolmates, and my new home, and everything else in the city, but I must confess I was very homesick the first several days that I attended school, in consequence of seeing none but strange faces, and Mr. Pickett, my teacher, was strange to me, and the rules of the school were so new and very different from Miss Havens ; but now as I am acquainted with all the young ladies in the senior department I am very happy in my new situation. I will now tell you about our journey down here. Father and I started from Hamilton at 5 o'clock Tuesday, September 12, in the packet Clarion. The ladies' cabin was very crowded. Mrs. Campbell was also going down. We took tea at 8 o'clock on the boat. I sat up all night with some of the ladies, among whom was a Mrs. Hunt, newly married lady, and her husband from Connecticut, with whom I became acquainted. She pleased me very much by telling me of her travels over the United States ; they were very informing and interesting to me. We arrived at Cincinnati very early in the morning, father and I left the boat and went to Carters; that afternoon we visited the different schools accompanied by Mr. Barnes. We were pleased with them all, but more with Picketts. On Friday evening father left me for Hamilton. I felt I can't tell how at being left alone twenty-five miles from my nearest and dearest relatives. I am boarding at Dr. McGuire's on George street, a private family. They have but one child, and that a little boy. Mrs. McGuire was formerly Louisa Walden, the lady who painted that beautiful geranium in Georgetta Haven's album; she is a graduate of Dr. Lockes. Her sister Elizabeth is here spending some time with her ; she is a young lady of my age and very mild and pleasant, we have fine times together. Next week we have no school on account of the convention of teachers, which will be very great ; gentlemen from all parts of (page 109) the Union are coming to it, some have already arrived. Our school was this morning visited by a Mr. Scott of Tennessee, one of the members. I promised myself a great deal of pleasure in expectation of some of the girls coming to the convention, but I am afraid I shall be disappointed, for Mr. McGuire speaks of taking us all to Perrinsville, a village about twenty miles below Cincinnati, to spend the week. I attended the theater one evening last week; the performance was the "Robber's Wife" and "Soldier's Daughter." Mrs. Shaw is the only theatrical star in the city, and she will leave in a few days, but the whole Ravel family will be here in a week or two, which consists of eighteen persons, the great French dancers. They will draw full houses. The new theater is situated on Sycamore street. It is very richly decorated with chandeliers and paintings and curtains, part of which are white satin.
Last Sunday I was out all afternoon in a gig riding with a friend. We went eight miles below Cincinnati, past the Hunting park. We passed some of the most splendid country seats.
I believe I have told you all I know of any consequence, and school is very near out, so I must finish as soon as possible. Reply soon. Direct your letter to me in care of Dr. T. McGuire, Cincinnati; it is immaterial about the street. Give my love to all my acquaintances, reserving a large share for yourself. Answer this by a long letter.
I am your loving friend,
Amelia C. Hittell.
According to Drake and Mansfield, the oldest female boarding school in Cincinnati was kept by the Misses Bailey, "women well qualified and of high respectability," assisted by Mr. F. Eckstein.
It was located on Broadway between Market and Columbia streets. The date of its founding is unknown. All the elementary, as well as the higher branches of female education, including the French language, music, painting, and drawing, were taught in this institution. There was also a school kept by Mrs. Ryland, an English woman of much culture. In 1833 Mrs. Caroline Lee Heintz, the celebrated novelist, together with her husband, a cultured Frenchman, had a popular school for a short time. In the same year is mentioned one on the site of St. John's hospital, kept by Miss Catherine Beecher and her sister, Harriet. But Harriet soon married Prof. Stowe and Catherine became a missionary for female education in the west. Miss Mary Duton, as assistant, then took charge, but after a time she gave up and went to New Hampshire, where she maintained a flourishing school for many years.
In Oxford, Ohio, in response to a demand from the faculty of Miami university that their daughters might have an opportunity of higher education, such as their sons were receiving in the Miami university, there was opened a school for girls in 1830. Miss Bethania Crocker, the daughter of a Congregational clergyman of Massachusetts, was put in charge.
This young girl, although but sixteen years of age, had been given a thorough education by her father, including Greek, Latin (page 110) and Hebrew. She was aided in her work by the counsel of President Bishop of Miami university, and Profs. McGuffey and John Winfield Scott. After three or four years this talented young woman married the Rev. George Bishop, son of President R. H. Bishop of Miami university. The Misses Smith and Clark from the east then continued the school, one of these women being the sister-in-law of Henry Ward Beecher. They soon were married and gave place to other principals, among them the Misses Lucy and Ann North, all of whom married professors from Miami, or clergymen.
February 27, 1839, the school was chartered as the Oxford Female academy by a special act of the legislature, for a period of thirty years, the incorporators being John W. Scott, William Graham, James E. Hughes, William W. Robertson, Herman B. Mayo, George G. White, and James Leach, and the capital stock was limited to $10,000. The corporate concerns of the said academy were to be managed by a board of seven trustees, who were to be elected annually by the stockholders. This school formed the nucleus of the Oxford college for women, at the present time a prosperous standard college, the oldest Protestant school for women in the United States conferring the B. A. degree.
Only one catalogue of those early days is in existence-a catalogue of the year 1838-9, in the possession of Mrs. DeNise (Mary E. Schenck of Franklin, Ohio, of the class of 1839), now of Burlington, Iowa, the oldest living graduate of the institution. The teachers at the time were Miss Ann L. North, principal; Miss Marion Crume, assistant; Miss Sarah E. Werz, instructor in vocal music, and Mrs. M. N. Scott, instructor in instrumental music. There were fifty-four pupils in attendance, the roll including Caroline L. Scott, who was to- become the wife of President Benjamin Harrison. The academy was divided into two departments, each department divided into two classes. In the first department, first class, were taught reading, writing, spelling, Ray's Eclectic Arithmetic, First Lessons of Philosophy for Children, Parley's History of Geology and History of Animals, First Book of History; tuition per quarter, $3.00. In the second class were Goldsmith's History of Greece and Rome, Smith's Grammar, Colburn's Mental Arithmetic, Goodrich's History of the United States, Malt Brun's Geography, Human Physiology, Davies' Arithmetic, and Comstock's Natural Philosophy, commenced; tuition per quarter, $3.75. The junior class (second department) studied Davies' Arithmetic and Comstock's Natural Philosophy (continued), Kirkham's Grammar, Whelpley's Compend of Ancient and Modern History, Watts On the Mind, Colburn's Algebra, Mrs. Lincoln's Botany, Paley's Natural Theology, Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric, Jones' Chemistry, geography of the heavens, geology, Legendre's Geometry (commenced) ; tuition per quarter, $5.00. In the senior class the subjects were Legendre's Geometry (continued), Hedge's Logic, Paley's Evidences of Christianity, Newman's Political Economy, Karnes' Criticism, mental philosophy, Butler's Analogy ; Wayland's Moral Philosophy, and Davies' Algebra. For instruction in the French language, drawing, painting, and instrumental music, additional charge was made. The daily (page 111) study of the Holy Scriptures, writing and vocal music were continued through the whole course. A weekly composition was required of every pupil, to be read and carefully criticized. A paper, edited and furnished with original pieces by the young ladies, afforded an advantage to those who wished to improve their talent of writing. Every scholar, on her entrance into school, was examined in the fundamental branches, such as spelling, reading, etc., and if found deficient, was expected to devote some time to their acquisition and, if possible, to become well-versed in them, as a thorough acquaintance with the elementary studies is indispensable to a correct education. Particular care was taken to have the young ladies thorough in all they studied, and no one was permitted to pursue such a variety of branches at one time as to dissipate and weaken rather than strengthen the intellectual faculties.
The year is divided into two terms and vacations. The winter term commences the first Monday of October and closes the first Wednesday of March. It is succeeded by a vacation of two weeks.
The summer term commences the third Wednesday of March and closes the third Wednesday of August. It is succeeded by a vacation of about six weeks. Those who pass a thorough examination in the preparatory studies will be admitted into the junior class. Those who pass a similar examination in the elementary branches and those of the junior class may be admitted into the senior class.
Those who, in addition, are well acquainted with the studies of the senior class, will, at the close, receive a testimonial of having completed with honor the course of study in this institution. Pupils of the academy are favored gratuitously with a course of weekly lectures in natural science, with an extensive apparatus and means of illustration, by Prof. Scott of Miami university. Recently it was the privilege of the writer to spend a few hours with Mrs. DeNise of Burlington, Iowa. Although in her ninetieth year, she has full possession of all her faculties and converses about her school days in Oxford with the vivacity of a young woman. With two other prospective pupils, she drove to Oxford from Franklin, a distance of twenty-eight miles, in a private conveyance. With several of her classmates she lived in the home of Mr. Harry Lewis, one of the family to which the husband of Mrs. Phillip Moore belongs. The pupils from a distance were thus taken care of in the homes of the people of Oxford, and formed the first cottage system, which has had in recent years its fullest development at Smith college. She described the school room vividly-a long, rectangular room, with a platform at one end, on which sat the presiding teacher. Benches, ranged around the walls, were occupied by the students during the day. The class reciting was summoned to the seats immediately in front of the instructor. The curriculum was the one above described.
Another school for girls founded during this early period was the Hamilton & Rossville Female academy founded by Hon. John Wood and others, in 1832. A fund of $2,500 was raised, a building erected and a Miss Murial Drummond elected principal. She was later superseded by Miss Georgetta Hahn, a graduate of Dr. Locke's school at Cincinnati. So popular was this school that the (page 112) attendance soon increased until in 1836 it numbered 127 pupils. Later the school declined and in 1856 the property was sold.
The Western college is the outgrowth of the Mount Holyoke idea transplanted to Ohio valley soil. It was the thought of its promoters to make possible for women that higher education which could be had only when established on the same basis as men's colleges. With this in view, the Western Female seminary was founded at Oxford in 1855. It announced its aim as follows, to give young women the best education that the times afforded, at the lowest possible cost and under distinctly Christian influences. With the development of educational ideals, the Western kept progress and in 1901, as expressive of her new character, changed her name to the Western College for Women. She is one of the very best colleges of her type to be found to the westward of the Allegheny mountains.
European Influences on Education. One fact that strikes the student of the educational development was the attention given at an early date to the study of the foreign languages, if we may credit an advertisement inserted in the Western Spy for September 10, 1799. Francis Menessier conducted a French class at his coffee house at the foot of Main street shortly after that date. In 1826,
French was being taught in the Cincinnati Female college, the Female Boarding school and in the Cincinnati Female school. The Miami university catalogue for 1833 says "French, Spanish, German, and Italian are regularly taught and two of them at least must be studied to obtain a diploma." These early attempts, however, do not appear to have been attended with great success. At Miami in 1835 the attempt was discontinued as "a natural and moral impossibility" to teach modern languages successfully to college classes,, and was not again seriously attempted until 1850. The counterpart of this attempt to teach American youth the modern European languages was the movement to provide instruction in English for the children of non-English speaking immigrants. Expression of interest along this line was the formation prior to 1838 of the Immigrants' Friend society. The object of this organization was "to educate the children of foreigners in the English language ; to instruct them in the Scriptures, and the nature of our free institutions." At that time they had one school in Cincinnati with 200 pupils in daily attendance. Another had been recently established at Louisville and still a third at New Albany. The importance of this work was recognized by Nathan Guilford, who, in his report of 1852, says: "We must educate them all ! Universal suffrage and universal intelligence must go together. The state must provide the means of a good education freely to all. She must plant and liberally support public schools in every neighborhood, where the rising generations of all classes, without distinction of sex, rank, or nativity, may freely receive such mental and moral training as shall enable every individual to comprehend the genius of the institutions under which he lives ; clearly to understand his rights and duties ; to form judicious opinions of the measures of administration ; to distinguish the true from the counterfeit ; to despise the demagogue ; and to honor the true patriot.
(page 113) "The children of our foreign population must, through the influence of these institutions, become Americanized, by mingling in early life with our native youth, learning in the same school obedience, order, self-control, and virtuous habits; imbibing the principles of American republicanism, and becoming familiar with our language and history."
One of the striking examples of European influence exerted upon American educational ideals is the interest awakened in physical training about the middle of the last century. The Cincinnati Daily Gazette for July 2, 1858, in giving an account of the commencement exercises at Miami university illustrates the extent the movement had then reached:
"The closing exercises, for the year, of this old and well-known institution of the state, began yesterday. They were introduced in a manner somewhat novel, by an exhibition of the Miami Gymnastic association. This society was established in connection with the university one year ago, under the direction of our former well-known citizen, Dr. J. C. Christin, assisted by Prof. Roemler, teacher of gymnastics, also formerly of Cincinnati. The association is already in a most flourishing condition, having upwards of fifty members, and apparatus worth about $500, erected in the gymnastic grove of sixty acres.
"In addition to the members of the association here, there were present, at the exhibit today, about twenty-five representatives of the Turners' association at Hamilton, and also delegates from both the Turners' and Young Men's Gymnastic association of Cincinnati.
"Messrs. H. Roemler, of Oxford, and Wm. M. Corry and Milton Sayler, of Cincinnati, having been appointed judges, awarded the prizes to the following persons in their order: T. P. Hatch, of the Miami gymnasium association; N. Meyer, of the Turners' association of Cincinnati ; William Whittaker, of the Young Men's Gymnasium association of Cincinnati ; D. H. Evans, of M. G. A.; France Lackner, of the T. A. of Hamilton; Jeremiah Morrow, of M. G. A.; Jacob Lorentz, of T. A. of Hamilton ; and G. W. Smith, of M. G. A. These gentlemen were each crowned with a wreath of evergreen in the presence of the multitude, after which the audience dispersed, apparently much pleased with the entertainment. It is but just to say that the exercises of the afternoon were all of the most interesting character, and reflected very great credit upon the young men engaged in them; and it is to be hoped that what has been so well begun in this university, in the way of physical education, will be carried forward with spirit and success."
The history and difficulties of the Miami Gymnasium association is thus set forth in a report by J. G. Christin, M. D., manager of the gymnasium of Miami university, to the board of trustees in 1859.
"When in the fall of 1857 the gymnastic apparatus purchased by your committee was offered to the use of the students, a number of them organized themselves at once into a society called the Miami Gymnastic association, engaged Mr. F. H. Roemler of Cincinnati as teacher at a salary of $40 a month and rented a building (page 114) for their gymnasium at a cost of $60 a year. During that entire first year, the classes practiced regularly three times a week, and with what success you have seen at our festival where the young gymnasts of M. U. carried of the frst honors of the day over their competitors, delegates from several old Turners' societies. But to bring about this happy result, we were obliged to complete our gymnasium by purchasing about $300 worth more of apparatus. This the association did, encouraged as they were by a generous donation of $150 from the citizens of Oxford and other friends, and believing that they could pay their debt soon by the aid of friends and proceeds of some exhibitions.
"At the beginning of the fall session of 1858, the society was reorganized, and Mr. Roemler again engaged as teacher at a salary of $480; but as the number of members during these two sessions was on an average only about 75, they were, for want of funds, obliged to rescind the contract with their teacher at the end of March last, whereupon Mr. Roemler went to Dayton as teacher of G. M. Gym. A. After his departure, the number of students at the exercises of the gymnasium, which under their faithful teacher's direction had always been from 60 to 80, dwindled down in a few weeks to about a dozen, and today the gymnasium is closed altogether, for want of interest in the students and citizens to continue their exercises without a teacher."
A statement was presented showing receipts of $1,025 and expenses of $1,325, leaving the M. G. A. in debt $300. "Reduced thus to the necessary alternative, either to seek aid at your hands, gentlemen, or to abandon the gymnasium altogether, and thus to throw away the thousand dollars already spent for it, I take the liberty of proposing to your honorable body a plan for the secure and permanent establishment of an excellent gymnasium at M. U."
As a result of this report the board of trustees provided for the discharge of the indebtedness of the association, taking over the property and management of the same, thus making it an integral part of the university system.
Effects of the Civil War on Education. Every great war is a transitional stage in human development. The series of revolutionary contests that climaxed in a world peace in 1815 was followed, particularly in the country to the westward of the Allegheny mountains, by certain characteristic tendencies. These, as we have already seen, tended along several main lines.
First, there was the establishment of certain land grant institutions which by reason of the emphasis placed by the Presbyterians on an educated ministry, had for the most part passed under the dominance of men of that faith as the ones best fitted to administer them. A second was a move on the part of certain denominations, due to their dissatisfaction with the situation in the state institutions, to found denominational colleges. A third was the move on the part of New England to recover the dominance which she had lost on account of the westward trend of empire to recover her prestige by the establishment of a number of cultural centers which through the radiation of their ideals would tend to bind the West to (page 115) the East rather than permit her continued alliance with the South.
The fourth was the development of a new type of education which, though it bore a correspondence to that of the older settled areas, had its own individualistic characteristics.
So also the contest between the sections of our country which culminated in the Civil war was accompanied by a new trend in American education. President Thwing gives five reasons for the great educational progress in the United States since the Civil war : (1) American Idealism, (2) Quickening or stimulating effects of the war itself, (3) The settlement of questions incident to slavery afforded opportunity to give attention to other great American needs and problems, (4) The appearance of several personalities who became great educational leaders, and, (5) The presence of so many immigrants who were unaccustomed to the privileges and duties of a democracy.
One of the tendencies has been a marked development of common school education, particularly in the rural districts. An examination of the school reports brings out some facts which cause the Miami valley area to sustain a favorable comparison with the other areas of the state.
In 1867 the average number of weeks that the ungraded or county district schools were in operation throughout the state was 26. Ten years later the Ohio average was 28 and in 1887 it had risen to 29 weeks. The average term for the country school of the Western reserve was 26.3 weeks or .3 above the state average in 1867; in 1877 it was 27.1 or .9 below the average, while in 1887 it was 30.1 weeks, or 1.1 above the state average for the same grade of schools. During the same period the ungraded rural schools of the Miami valley averaged 27.5, 31.2 and 32.5 weeks respectively. In 1897 the Ohio average for this class of schools was 30 weeks, while the two sections under consideration showed 32.5 weeks for the Western reserve and 32.7 weeks for the Miami valley. Ten years later the state average reached 32 weeks and that of the two sections stood at 33.8 and 33.2 weeks, respectively. The figures for 1916, the last available, show an average school year of 38.3 weeks for the reserve and 33.7 for the Miami valley. As far as the length of the rural school term is indicative of the attitude of the people toward popular education, the Miami valley has a somewhat better record than that of the Western reserve for the period since the Civil war, especially the first half of the period. If one considers the remuneration of teachers in any way an index of the character or grade of work done in the rural schools, the Miami valley has distanced the Western reserve quite perceptibly. The following table shows the standing of these sections by decades since 1867, in average monthly salary.
(See Here For Average Monthly Salary)
From the above sets of figures it will be readily seen that the Miami valley was giving the rural schools increased support during (page 116) the fifty years covered by this study and that it was not surpassed by any section of the state. A study and comparison of the rural schools has been made because it more nearly reflects the attitude of the whole areas. If a comparison of city schools were made, the area having the larger number of cities within its borders would appear to advantage. Another trend of this period has been the remarkable growth of the tax-supported high school, and the decadence of the old-time academy.
The first legislation that clearly provides for a free tax supported high school was that passed in 1843, to enable Cincinnati to establish such a school. That city had enjoyed the ministrations of endowed high schools which admitted a certain number of free pupils, and there had been some negotiations looking to the fusion of the Hughes and Woodward schools with the public school system of the city. There being some delay in securing the legal authority, it was enacted by the legislature February 11, 1845, that the trustees and visitors of the common schools of Cincinnati, with the consent of the city council, "were empowered to establish and maintain, out of the funds under the control of said trustees and visitors, such other grade of schools than those already established, as might to them seem necessary and expedient, and to have taught therein, such other studies, in addition to those now taught in the common schools of said city as might be deemed appropriate and useful under such regulations as said visitors might from time to time prescribe."
Under the provision of this act, passed a year in advance of that providing for the Cleveland high school and two years in advance of the famous Akron act, the Central high school was established. However, due to legal delays in the merging of the Hughes and Woodward schools with the city system, the Central high school did not become operative until November 8, 1847, a year after the Cleveland school had opened.
One of the interesting educational phenomena of this period was the rise and decline of the National normal at Lebanon.
In the summer of 1855 the second normal school in Ohio was founded as a result of a three-weeks' institute which was held at Miami university. The Southwestern State Normal School association was organized at this meeting. The object of the venture was to establish and maintain a state normal school in southwestern Ohio until state aid could be obtained. The first board of trustees consisted of A. J. Rickoff of Cincinnati, Charles Rogers of Dayton, and E. C. Ellis of Georgetown. This board chose Lebanon for the location of their venture and on November 24, 1855, the school was opened with about ninety students enrolled. In a few years the name of the first principal of the school had become a household word throughout the state, and few men in Ohio did more for the cause of education than did Alfred Holbrook. The growth and influence of this school present an interesting study and together with H. S. Lehr's Ohio Normal university at Ada, they furnish a unique chapter in the history of education in Ohio. At Lebanon was a school where students, men or women, with little academic preparation, might enter at several times during the year and find suitable work. Two decades after its founding it enrolled 1,600 (page 117) students during the year. Here many young men and women who through lack of funds or entrance deficiencies could not have enrolled in the old line four-year college found a school which would give them every economy of time and effort, and at the same time give them an inspirational start up the long educational ladder. It would be difficult to overestimate the value of this institution to the cause of education in the Miami valley during a long period of years, but more especially the period from about 1865 to 1895. Like many schools of its kind, it found in the tax-supported institutions a competition which became increasingly difficult to meet, especially from a financial viewpoint, and a few years ago this institution was forced to discontinue. An interesting sidelight on the kind of work which was offered by the national normal may be had from the following prospectus of the courses of study taken from a catalogue of 1875:
Course of Study in National Normal School in 1875.-Teachers' Course : This ordinarily requires two terms of eleven weeks each, in order to obtain a teacher's certificate, and three terms for a diploma. This shorter course prepares teachers to manage a grammar school, as well as any of the lower grades with success. The branches pursued are: English grammar, arithmetic, geography, map drawing, physiology, United States history, penmanship, objective drawing, elocution, and the art of school teaching and school management.
Business Course: The business course requires two or three sessions. Many combine the teachers' and business courses, which can be done by giving an additional term. Three terms are generally sufficient for the completion of both courses. Engineering Course: The engineers' course requires three or four terms. This fits young men for any possible form of county surveying, also for managing a squad of men in railroad engineering. Many combine the business course and the engineering course. This can generally be done in three or four terms.
Collegiate Course : The scientific course requires one year of fifty weeks, besides two or three terms in the preparatory department. The classical course requires an additional year of ffty weeks.
In the antebellum days, Miami drew a considerable portion of her students from the south, but of course this part of her constituency was lost never to return. This and other influences such as the Morrill act, granting land for higher education, greatly narrowed the scope of Miami's patronage and influence. The result of these conditions was a very limited income, and careful management could not prevent deficits. As Doctor Upham puts it, in his "Old Miami," "Her land rents had been long before prevented by law from ever increasing beyond a beggar's pittance, while other colleges, springing up all over the land with the revival of confidence and prosperity, lavished money on salaries and equipment. People professed to find the good old curriculum away out of date, but there were no funds in the Miami treasury to establish new chairs and add new furbelows. Tuition fees helped some, but depleted rolls meant depleted income. * * * The state legislature was being (page 118) petitioned at each session to extend aid to this child of its adoption, and everybody assured everybody else that some day this aid was coming." Miami also expected to benefit by the Morill act granting land for the establishing of agricultural colleges, but aid did not come from either of these sources, and notwithstanding "that students were on hand in at least comfortable numbers," the university decided to close its doors after the commencement of 1873. During the dozen years following, the only Miami was the Miami of memory. But through these years a small fund was accumulating from the early land grant and in 1885 the trustees decided to reopen the old college. This gap in the alumni list of the university deprives her of valuable counsel and support. Several changes came with the reopening in 1885. It was at this time that the long expected state aid came, in small doses to be sure, but very welcome nevertheless. As might be anticipated, the appearance of state aid through legislative grant meant the appearance of the "Co-ed" and the catalogue of 1888 states that "the university is now open to women in all of its departments." However, it was some years before any women were graduated. The deleterious effects of being closed during twelve years are apparent when one examines the statistics of attendance for the first year after reopening. Not only was there a dearth of students, but the faculty showed the same condition. It may be mentioned in passing that several of the faculty and a considerable number of the students found their places as faculty members and students in other institutions when Miami suspended operation in 1873. The catalogue of 1885-86 lists a faculty of eight members and a student body of fifty distributed as follows : Sophomores 7, freshmen 12, second year preparatory 9, first year preparatory 22. A tuition fee of $45 per year was charged, so that now the income of the university came from four sources. Rent on university lands, appropriations from the state legislature, gifts from friends and alumni, and tuition fees. Considering the slender resources of the university, the small student body and the quaint little town of Oxford, the following admonition repeated in several catalogues after 1885 provokes a smile: "Parents should remember that an abundance of spending money given to students is ordinarily an unmixed evil."
Perhaps the presence of two colleges for women in Oxford accounts in part at least for the small enrollment of women in Miami university. In 1888-89 two women were enrolled as "special students." During the year 1890-01, no women were in attendance. The next year twenty-two women are classed as special students. Of these all but two were from the village of Oxford. At this time there were two freshman girls. In 1893-94 one woman was listed as a "postgraduate" and in 1894-95 there were no women in any of the departments. No woman received a degree from the institution until June, 1900. The coming of the normal college in 1902 makes the presence of the fair sex much more common.
The growth of the university during the years 1885-1902 was rather slow. Despite the untiring efforts of faithful administrators, self-sacrificing faculty and loyal friends, the future of Miami was (page 119) not very roseate. In 1902, however, a better day dawned. Ohio at this date established normal colleges at each of the land grant universities and by so doing began a more healthful appropriation in support of Miami and Ohio universities. A summer session opened in 1903 with an enrollment of 488. The normal college that fall had nearly 200 and the college of liberal arts showed a handsome increase.
To a superficial observer it might appear that no cause for anxiety was in sight, but it was only the calm that precedes an approaching storm. Several forces were at work seeking to curtail or detach all state aid from the university in order to focus on one strong central tax-supported university. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, however, a compromise had been reached and the state appropriations are now assured and are keeping pace with the growth and usefulness of the institution. The growth has been steady during the last decade and the time is not far distant when considerable expansion will be necessary to accommodate the young men and women who wish to attend one of the strongest, institutions of its class in the middle west.
Dominance of Cincinnati in Educational Development of Ohio. Much has already been said that evinces the leading part which Cincinnati has played in the educational affairs of Ohio through most of her history. Space will permit of few additional illustrations of this statement. The education of the children of foreigners was begun as early as 1837; music was introduced into the schools of Cincinnati in 1844; drawing in 1862; night high schools in 1856; a city normal school in 1868. At the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876, the schools of Cincinnati won gold and silver medals for their exhibits. The high schools of the city were among the first in the country to provide courses in domestic science. The continuation school, or the co-operative plan, worked out by Dean Schneider for the engineering students of Cincinnati university, is unique in educational circles and has been copied by schools in various parts of the world. Of the municipal universities of the entire country, that of Cincinnati founded in 1869 must be given first place.
Cincinnati university was founded in 1874 on a foundation established in 1858 by Charles McMicken, but which, due to various obstacles, was not until now adequate to the end in view. An attempt to unite the various trust funds held for the promotion of education within the bounds of the city having failed, the city assumed a partial support of the institution which now embraces the Graduate- school, the McMicken college of liberal arts, the college of teachers, the college of engineering, the college of medicine, the college of commerce and the school of household arts. Though a tax-supported institution, it has appealed to the liberality of many public-spirited citizens of Cincinnati, from whom it has received many munificent gifts to aid in the furthering of its work. One of the interesting features is the evening classes in the college of liberal arts opened in 1912 in order that those persons whose occupations prevented them from attending day classes might have opportunity to take college courses at night.
(page 120) Educational Pioneers. Among the men of the Ohio valley who were largely instrumental in moulding the educational ideals of the state and of the western portion of our country in particular, the following deserve special mention.
Samuel Lewis is perhaps entitled to head the list of the early educators of the valley as being first in point of time and prominence in the advocacy of the rights of all the people to a common school education. Born in Massachusetts in 1799, he at the age of fourteen moved with other members of his family to Cincinnati. The trip was made on foot as far as Pittsburg, from which point the family floated down the Ohio to their destination in a flatboat.
Having learned a trade, he paid his father $50 a year for his time that he might be more free in framing his life plan. Working and studying, he developed talents that qualified him for license as a local preacher in the Methodist church, of which he was an earnest and consistent member. He was soon employed in the advocacy of temperance and of education. His interest in the latter subject had not a little to do in influencing his friend William Woodward to found the institution bearing his name, of which, as also of the Hughes high school, he served as an influential trustee. Recognizing the magnitude of the task of providing an adequate educational system for the state, and the qualities of mind and will that were requisite in him who would do that work, the better class of teachers of the state secured his election by legislature in 1837 to the position of state superintendent of education. In this capacity he traveled thousands of miles, delivered numerous addresses, prepared a series of reports and secured the enactment of legislation that evinced him to be a man of rare energy, capacity and power of achievement. Though he met with much opposition in his crusade, into which he threw himself with all the ardor of a medieval knight errant, and the time of administration lasted but two years, he achieved results that have persisted to the present. The ardor which he manifested in all his undertakings soon exhausted his vital energies and he died at the early age of fifty-five. His thorough grasp of the educational situation, his appreciation of the inadequacy of the existing educational provisions to meet the needs of all the people, his eloquence, persistency, and rare disinterestedness in the advocacy of his ideals entitle him to recognition as the founder of the present common school system of Ohio.
Milo G. Williams was born in Cincinnati in 1804, his parents being from New Jersey. At the age of sixteen he became a teacher in the village school in which he had studied as a pupil. In 1823 he opened a private school in Cincinnati which soon became so popular that he was required to secure additional rooms and employ other teachers. He graded his classes and organized the school under four departments and successfully introduced the study of constitutional law.
In 1833 he went to Dayton to accept the supervision of a manual labor institution, but this failing to meet the expectations of its promoters, he in 1837 accepted the position of principal of the Springfield high school, which was opened in that year. In 1840 he returned to Cincinnati, where he was shortly elected a professor (page 121) in Cincinnati college. In 1844 he removed to Dayton to reorganize the Dayton academy. Five years later he was elected president and professor of science in the college newly founded by the church of the New Jerusalem at Urbana, in which capacity he continued to serve until 1870.
Mr. Williams' educational activities were along many lines. He assisted in organizing "The Western Literary Institute and Board of Education," which largely through his efforts became "The Western Literary Institute and College of Teachers," of which association he was for ten years the corresponding secretary. He delivered many addresses along educational lines and prepared a number of educational reports. In one of these he advocated the establishment of a normal school in each congressional district. By reason of his varied and important activities, he is entitled to a high place among the founders and promoters of education in the west.
Among Cincinnati's promoters of a better system of education was Nathan Guilford. In 1821 he was one of a committee appointed by the state legislature to consider the educational needs of the state. This report advised the appointment of a commission of seven to devise and report a system of common schools, of which he was one of the members. From the report of this commission which advised the establishment of a system based on the New York plan, he dissented on the ground that it was not broad and comprehensive enough to meet the needs of the state, and wrote a letter to the legislature in which he urged upon the state the founding of a system of free education. This position proving too advanced for the vision of the legislators, he appealed to the people and was elected to the state senate from Cincinnati. In this capacity he served as chairman of the joint committee on education. This committee later presented a bill "which required a tax of one-half a mill on the dollar to be levied for school purposes by the county commissioners, made township clerks and county auditors, school officers and provided for school examiners." This bill without amendment received the sanction of a large majority of the members of both houses. In 1850 Mr. Guilford was elected superintendent of the public schools of Cincinnati, in which capacity he served for a number of years.
Of the early educators of the Miami valley none was better beloved or more effective in leaving his immediate impress on the lives of so large a number of prominent leaders in our national life, than Robert Hamilton Bishop, who was born in 1777 at Cult, near Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated from the University at Edinburgh in 1798 and from the Associate Presbyterian Theological seminary at Selkirk in 1802. In that year he was induced by Rev. John M. Mason of New York City to come to America and identify himself with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church. Upon his arrival in this country he was assigned to the presbytery of Kentucky and itinerated for a while in that state and in southern Ohio. In 1804 he located at Lexington, Kentucky, taking pastoral charge of several congregations in that vicinity. The same year he was elected professor of logic and moral philosophy in Transylvania university. In 1818 he was made professor of mathematics (page 122) and natural philosophy. The teaching of mathematics was soon assigned to an assistant and he was given history in its stead. In 1819 he connected with the Presbyterian church. During his connection with the university he continued his pulpit ministrations, which were highly appreciated. Rev. David McDill, sr., who graduated from Transylvania university in 1813, says of him: "He soon ascended to a high rank among the pulpit orators of Kentucky. `Clay at the bar, or Bishop in the pulpit,' was at one time among the students of Transylvania university the `ne plus ultra' of human greatness. There are and have been but few men in the United States who could wield a general principle with the same facility and apply it to such a variety of cases. This was his forte. In it he excelled Dr. Mason."
In 1824 Dr. Bishop accepted the presidency of Miami university. Prior to this time the institution had had a precarious existence. In 1811 a schoolhouse had been erected on the university reservation in which James Dorsey had conducted a private school until 1818.
In that year one wing of the university building and a house for the president being completed, the trustees opened a grammar school with Rev. James Hughes as principal. This school was maintained until 1821, when, the principal dying, it was discontinued that the main building might be the more speedily finished. By 1824 this work was so well under way and the regular income of the institution was such, that it was determined to raise the school to collegiate rank. The income for the year ending December 31, 1824, is shown by the records to have been $4,503.07/: To shape the policy of the young institution Dr. Bishop was eminently qualified. In 1841 he resigned the presidency of the institution to accept the professorship of history and political science, in which capacity he served until 1844. From that time till his death he devoted himself to the upbuilding of Farmers' college at College Hill, near Cincinnati. Of President Bishop's colleagues, one of the most-distinguished was William H. McGuffey, concerning whom we cannot do better than quote from his son-in-law, Prof. Hepburn:
"William Holmes McGuffey was born in western Pennsylvania in 1800, and was brought to Ohio by his parents when a child. He was of Scotch-Irish stock. His father was a sturdy farmer; his mother was devoutly pious, her one wish being that William should become a preacher. There were no schools in those days, and as the elder McGuffey was not a strong believer in education, the boy had a hard time in his search for knowledge. A preacher who lived several miles away took an interest in him, and taught him. To this man's house young McGuffey would walk two or three times each week to recite the lessons he had learned at night, using for light a pine knot, which he burned in the fireplace at his home.
At the age of eighteen he entered Washington college, from which he was graduated with honors in 1826. During his college course McGuffey would go out and teach, it being necessary for him to help himself. His last engagement of this kind was in Paris, Kentucky, where he taught in an old smokehouse, which probably still stands-it was there a few years ago. It was while there, and before his graduation, that he was elected to the faculty of Miami. He was (page 123) ordained a Presbyterian minister in Oxford in 1832, and at once became active as a preacher, taking a prominent part in the theological controversies of that period.
When the Cincinnati college was opened in 1836, Dr. McGuffey became its president, serving until it closed, three years later, for want of funds. While in Cincinnati he was one of a coterie of great educators who started the agitation for public schools-the common schools they were then called. Among these men were Prof. Ray, author of the famous mathematical series; Prof. Miller, the astronomer; Edward D. Mansfield and others.
Dr. McGuffey was president of Ohio university, at Athens, from 1839 to 1843, his administration being a stormy one. The enclosing of the college campus, and the demand for a revaluation of the property of the village of Athens, upon which rent was paid for the support of the institution, were events of his executive incumbency which caused a large amount of discussion.
In 1843 Dr. McGuffey returned to Cincinnati and became a professor in Woodward high school. By that time he had become famous, not only as an educator, but as a preacher and lecturer. He was particularly effective as an extemporaneous speaker, never being
known to write an address. His audience put him to his best. Two years later the distinguished William C. Rives, a member of the board of visitors of the University of Virginia, heard Dr. McGuffey lecture in Cincinnati, and was so impressed by the power of the speaker that, upon his recommendation, Dr. McGuffey was called to the Virginia institution, where he spent the remainder of his life teaching philosophy, preaching and lecturing, full of the vigor of manhood. One day in the spring of 1873, after having delivered a lecture of great power to children, he was taken ill with an affection of the brain, from which he died in a few weeks. He was buried in the cemetery of the University of Virginia. Dr. McGuffey was a strong man, a great teacher, and the efects of his work cannot be estimated. While possessing no false dignity, and never emphasizing himself, he inspired his pupils as few teachers ever did. He was of medium size, varied features, and thoughtful temperament. One's first impression of him was that he was very stern. He was firm, and stood by his convictions when once they had been formed ; but he was liberal, and all his pupils loved him.
Another of President Bishop's colleagues was John W. Scott, who was born in Pennsylvania, January 22, 1800. He graduated from Washington college in 1823, after which he studied physics and natural science at Yale university. He then returned to his alma mater where he served as professor of natural science, 1824-28. In the latter year he was elected professor of mathematics, geography, natural philosophy and astronomy and teacher of political economy, 1828-32; ordained to the ministry by the presbytery of Oxford in 1830; professor of natural philosophy, astronomy, and chemistry, 1835-45; professor in Farmers' college, 1849-54; founder and principal of Oxford Female institute, 1849-54; professor of natural science at Hanover college, 1860-68; at Concordia college, Springfield, Illinois, 1868-70, and at Monongahela college, 1874-81.
(page 124) After retiring from teaching he accepted a government position at Washington, which he resigned when his son-in-law, Benjamin Harrison, was elected to the presidency lest, as he said, he come under the curse, "The elder shall serve the younger."
Rufus King, a grandson of the Revolutionary patriot and statesman, was born at Chillicothe in 1817. After graduating at Harvard, he established himself at Cincinnati, where he became one of the leading lawyers of the city. For many years he served on the school board of that city, of which body he was president for twelve years.
He had a large part in the reorganization of the schools of that city and in the increase of their usefulness. Upon his suggestion a bill was prepared providing for the consolidation of the school libraries in cities and thus the way was prepared for the present library system of Cincinnati. He later served as president of the board of trustees of Cincinnati university, the schools of art and design and the Cincinnati observatory.
Calvin E. Stowe was born at Natick, Mass., in 1802. Having graduated from Bowdoin college and Andover Theological seminary and served as professor of languages at Dartmouth college, he came to Cincinnati in 1833 to become professor of biblical literature in Lane Theological seminary. Recognizing the educational needs of the state he associated himself with those public-spirited persons who were already advocating a common school system. In 1836 he visited Europe and in 1837 published his report on Elementary Education in Ohio. This report urged thoroughness in preparation and in work, freedom from routine and slavish subservience to
text books. This book was widely distributed throughout Ohio and other states.
Another teacher and text book author of the period was Joseph Ray, who gave to the educational world the series of mathematical texts that bear his name. He was born in Ohio County, Virginia, in 1807. Manifesting an aptitude for study, he entered Washington college, but did not complete the course of study prescribed for a degree. Taking up the study of medicine, he graduated from the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati. Instead of taking up the practice of his profession, he joined the teaching staff of Woodward college, of which he later became president, in which capacity he served until his death in 1856.
William Norris Edwards was born at Pittsfield, Mass., July 4, 1812, and graduated from Williams college. He came west and for a time conducted a private academy at Dayton. In 1852 he became superintendent of public schools of Troy, in which relation he continued till his death in 1867. He was elected president of the State Teachers' association in 1861. He was a man of culture and deliberation of judgment, who enjoyed the gratitude of his pupils, the respect of his fellow teachers, and the confidence and affection of his fellow citizens.
Robert W. Steele, descended from one of the pioneer families of Dayton, was born in 1819. He studied at Dayton academy and graduated from Miami university with the class of 1840. In 1842 he became connected with the public schools of Dayton in the capacity of clerk of the board of managers. For more than thirty years he (page 125) served in an administrative capacity. For twelve years of this time he was president of the board of education. By reason of the distinguished services rendered by him to. the educational interests of his city, the principal high school building has been named in his honor.
Samuel Galloway was, born at Gettysburg, Pa., in 1811, but in his early youth moved to western Ohio. He graduated from Miami university in 1833, after which he taught for a number of years.
In 1842 he was admitted to the bar and shortly afterward took up his residence at Columbus. When in his official capacity as secretary of state, he was ex officio state superintendent of common schools. In this he did much by means of his exceptional ability to promote the cause of education. Upon the founding of the State Teachers' association in 1847 he was chosen its first president.
While the fathers of the Miami valley have labored with such distinction, her sons are following in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors. They are occupying positions of influence and honor in many of the educational institutions and agencies of the country. A few years since, when Boston desired the ablest man to be obtained, she chose a product of the valley in the person of Prof. Dyer, erstwhile dean of the Normal college of Miami university and later superintendent of the Cincinnati schools. When the government desired a man to effectively direct the educational work of the Students' Army Training Corps, she chose President R. M. Hughes, the major part of whose life has been identified with this area. Numerous other names might be mentioned, did space permit. Prominence of the Miami Valley in the Educational Development of the State. As previously indicated, it has been the habit of some writers to dilate upon the importance of the Western Reserve element in the promulgation of educational ideals in Ohio. While no one will deny that this element has been a strong support to educational development in the state as it has been everywhere, it may be questioned whether any one section or area of the state is wholly responsible for this rather remarkable progress. While we may not therefore arrogate to the Miami valley sole honor of having evolved Ohio's educational system, the facts show that she does not suffer by a fair comparison with the Western Reserve. It may be seriously questioned whether any other area has contributed more to the educational progress of the state than has the Miami valley.
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