Some Sauk County Teachers I Have Known
A Paper Read before the Meeting of the Sauk County Historical Society
by James A. Stone, December 19, 1935
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Members of the Sauk County Historical Society, President Kingsford:
When you asked me to speak at this meeting, I hesitated not because I did not wish to renew my contact with you in maintaining this organization, but because I have been out of touch and felt my own inability to bring to you anything which would be of value and a source of pleasure to you as individuals. But when I reflected over night, a subject came to me which roused my own interest and brought to mind so many pleasant recollections that I yielded. I agreed to come and present some thought on a subject close to the experience of every one of you, “Some Sauk County Teachers I Have Known.”
Two men whose work as teachers made a deep impression on the schools of Sauk County came to me instantly. Their lives had much in common. Both were born before the Civil War and became soldiers in the Federal Army. One a product of the German civilization and education left a projected university training for public service at the age of seventeen to enjoy the freedom of thought and action possible under the American flag. His decision was reached because an uncle, who had accumulated wealth as an American citizen, returned to the homeland to enjoy it. Stifled by the atmosphere of restraint he experienced in the change, he publicly criticized some act of government, was arrested and given the alternative of imprisonment and a bond to the government for future good conduct or return to America.
Out of the discussion resulting from this incident, Albert Earthman (that was his name) abandoned his prospects for future advancement in Germany for the freedom of thought and action to be found in our government. A six weeks voyage found him engaged in the study of the English language on shipboard. On coming to Wisconsin, he sought employment in an American-born family upon a farm, the more quickly to learn the language and imbibe the principles, manners and methods of life. The next winter he attended district school and advanced so rapidly that he was engaged to teach the coming year.
From this environment he very promptly enlisted for service in subduing the rebellion and establishing more firmly a Government in which, if all men are not born equal in ability, at least every man has an equal opportunity. That ideal was implanted in his soul before leaving Germany and to maintain it he gave every effort of which he was capable.
His Company K was assigned to the 19th Regiment of Wisconsin Vo. Inf. In this regiment, Company A was from Sauk County under command of Captain R.M. Strong and Lieutenants Alex P. Ellinwood and H.A. Tator.
Walter O. Pietzsch, well known in Baraboo where he lived many years, was a member of that company and writes of Albert Earthman, “We went through all the campaign of the peninsula, then to Norfolk and so on through during the difficult battles in which we were engaged, at the front. He was Sergeant Major and this position requires a very strenuous duty. It was his duty to receive reports from the orderlies, who make out a weekly report and it goes to the adjutant. It was Albert Earthman’s duty to consolidate this report and make a report to the general of the brigade. It kept him busy.”
He served two years and re-enlisted for three years. The regiment was then engaged before Petersburg and Richmond. In September, 178 of the regiment were sent home and the rest of the regiment was ordered into battle line. Mr. Pietzsch writes that he remembers Earthman going up and down the lines at the battle of Fair Oaks. Twenty-eight men from the regiment were killed and 26 wounded. Earthman was taken prisoner, sent for a time to Libby prison at Richmond and then transferred to Saulsbury prison, North Carolina, where they were held for four months.
Mr. Pietzsch writes, “If anything would show friendship or show up any man, it was there. If he were mean, he would still be meaner, and if good, he would show it. Albert Earthman was generous and would divide rations with anyone who was in worse shape than he—a soldier from beginning to end.” Over fifty per cent of the prisoners at Saulsbury died from starvation. The men were offered food to enlist in the confederate Army but refused even when they saw their comrades carried out by hundreds.
Out of this school and contact Albert Earthman returned to Wisconsin and again engaged in teaching. A.P. Ellinwood, my uncle, who was a teacher in Reedsburg before the War, as a member of the school board afterwards sought Albert Earthman as principal of Reedsburg Schools. With this preparation he entered upon his duties as teacher at Reedsburg. He was quick and active in mind and body. He was a student always and never went before a class without a thorough preparation. He led in singing, quick response in mental arithmetic, in spelling. He secured by leadership active interest in every school function, and would not tolerate sluggishness. Nothing was too small to receive his attention and his personality was such that he secured ready obedience to the school regulations. His was a one-room school, and yet he absented himself as much as he deemed necessary to visit the grades under the two assistants, Sarah Shaw and Emmeline Martindale. He secured such co-operation that order was maintained by a self-government sentiment among the students. He aimed to give out work in such a way as to secure the attention and best ability of which any student was capable. The results attained were so remarkable that those who attended Reedsburg Schools under Albert Earthman are unanimous in saying that his was the most potent influence upon the character of work performed through life. In every line he led by a contagious and enthusiastic spirit.
He directed a choir in one of the churches; he joined in every community effort, and gave unstintingly of his time for the general good. Mr. Earthman applied himself so intensively that in 1873 he was granted a Life Certificate by examination. He participated in teachers meetings and prided himself that his pupils were thoroughly prepared for teachers examination under the County Superintendent. The writer had been out of school for a year on the farm when in the spring of 1873 he was able to take the examination for a third grade certificate conducted at Reedsburg, because it was a “stormy day.” Mr. Earthman passed me as I was writing and observed, “Well, James, one may forget a great deal in a year.” It was with some pride that I received from J.H. Terry, then County Superintendent, the certificate.
Emmeline Martindale, afterwards Mrs. J.S. Worthman, was teacher in the primary grades under Mr. Earthman. She quotes with approval from his obituary, “As an educator, Prof. Earthman ranks with the foremost men of this kind in the land. During the short time he has been connected with the educational work in Cass County, Iowa, he has been very active and was selected as one of the instructors in Normal. His position at the Griswold Schools made vacant by his death is quite difficult to fill. He died November 14, 1885, at the age of 45 years, 9 months and 3 days.” The value of a life cannot be measured by its number of years.
A.W. Perry, a brother of R.P. Perry of Reedsburg, says of him, “Prior to his advent had a teacher left the room for half an hour, bedlam would have broken loose and probably he would have lost his job, but the first time Mr. Earthman left the room it was more quiet if any pupils found to their surprise that it was unnecessary to have a watchman, mentor or other guard to preserve order, and ever after that they seemed to take delight in good behavior during his absence.”
Carrie Jones Cady says, “His mind was perfectly clear, he knew what he knew and everything he knew was available at any time. He was very energetic, and I have never known anyone who had so much visible energy.”
Another, Addie Finch says, “He was our advisor, comrade, friend, always ready to help us in our studies. To him I owe more gratitude than all the instructors I ever had.”
Another from Caroline Buell, a life-long teacher in the schools of St. Paul who recently died, “Had he lived I believe he would have had a national reputation as an educator. I remember him best and appreciate him most in the knowledge he gave me of geography. His method of imparting instruction in that subject must have been very superior.”
James S. Thomas, who came to Reedsburg a poor boy, came back to Reedsburg as Principal of the High School before graduating from the University and again after such graduation. He made Mr. Earthman his model and says, “Of all the teachers I have known who have been principals of the Reedsburg High School, and I regard Mr. Earthman as best of them all. Whatever success I may have had in teaching, the foundation of that success was laid by Mr. Earthman. It was his penmanship for instance, that caused me to determine to be a good penman, and my penmanship had something to do with my getting the principalship of the Reedsburg High School. If I were on the school board, I should always hesitate to employ a teacher who was not a fairly good penman and able to teach others to write. In all his teaching he was just as particular in one study as another.”
(James S. Thomas and every other true teacher must have within the missionary spirit, and be able to say as Preston R. Bradley said Dec. 8 last, “I look upon humanity with great sympathy, and I covet the opportunity to help human beings like myself.” He, too, was one of the teachers of whom Sauk County should make note. He studied medicine, a graduate of Rush, and after practicing at Reedsburg and in Nebraska, devoted his life as a minister and medical missionary to work in Siam. His wife, formerly Amy Sheldon, accompanied him in his work. He was retired, and both are still alive at Pasadena, California.)
No man with whom I have come in contact as a teacher was so universally beloved, with gratitude for the personal benefits received as Albert Earthman.
December 11, 1916 after a lapse of 42 years, a memorial meeting was accorded his life and work attended by 22 former students, letters from a dozen others and addresses by the President of the School Board, N.T. Gill. A.B. Olson, Principal of the High School and W.E. Smith, Principal of the Sauk County Normal. The record of this meeting is in print and a copy is tendered herewith to accompany this paper.
James T. Lunn
Not less in importance in its influence upon my life as a teacher came James T. Lunn, Superintendent of Schools for Sauk County for 1874-1885 inclusive. At that time according to his reports he had 218 schools (teachers) under his supervision. The cities and villages were included so that practically the work of a county superintendent was as extensive as the present jurisdiction. Except that reports and additions to the superintendent’s duties have added greatly to his responsibility. The supervision required is aided by the assistance and clerical help allowed. When we consider that these visitations were all over unimproved roads by horse and buggy, we may realize in part what it meant in those days to visit personally every school and teacher in addition to conducting institutes, teachers meetings and examinations, it may well be that a conscientious official was kept very busy.
Like Albert Earthman, Mr. Lunn had a military experience which did much to shape his life. He we born in New Jersey in 1842; moved with his family to Washington County, and resided in Milwaukee 11 years. Nearly all his schooling was received at what was said to have been the first “Public” school built in Wisconsin, located on Fourth Street between Cherry and Veliet Streets, Milwaukee.
In 1857 the family moved upon a farm north of Sandusky, this County. He attended district school and commenced teaching in 1859 in a school east of Sandusky. His wage was $16.00 per month and he boarded himself.
The next winter he taught near Ironton and in 1861 attended Milton College in September and October, followed by 4 months teaching at Lone Rock in the winter of 1861-1862. In the winters of 1862-1863 and 1863-1864 he taught in schools north of Sandusky, closing school in February 1864 to enlist in the 36 Wis. Vol. Inf. When the Company was organized he was made a corporal promoted to rank as orderly sergeant in 1864 and July 22, 1865 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He reports when his regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, it was 1000 strong, but was so cut down that at one time the regiment had only 45 men, and Company A, his company, only 5. The remainder were killed, wounded, prisoners or in the hospitals.
After his discharge, he attended a Collegiate Institute a couple of months and during the winters of 1865-1866 and 1866-1867 taught near Sauk Prairie. His son writes that he was Principal of Schools at Baraboo for the school year of 1867-1868, at Ironton 1868-1871 and Richland Center 1871-1873.
During all this time he attended teachers meetings, institutes and examinations, contacting the best minds engaged in the work. He was a student and a thinker. He was one who saw that “This our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything.—As You Like It—Act II, Scene I.”
His son, James E. Lunn, Supt., of Schools, Nashwauk, Minn., says, “My father was a very industrious man. He was a hard worker and a great reader. When winter came he always purchased several books and brought them home to read during the winter months. When I started to teach school he urged me to study and take advantage of opportunities. It was his idea that I should work at one book or subject in the morning, another in the afternoon when school was out and perhaps a third one in the evening. Mr. Lunn himself said often, ‘If you meet something which is difficult to understand, pass that part of the book and go back to it later’.”
This idea, he states may be due to the fact that when read or studied nights his father cut the candles very short. Therefore he adopted the plan of reading very rapidly, and after the light went out, carefully thought over the reading and thus cultivated memory and understanding.
These two men, Albert Earthman and James T. Lunn, found joy in work, in accurate knowledge and an enthusiasm which lent life and thought at every teachers gathering. They held the highest respect for each other and were able to work upon any program for the enlightenment of younger teachers. Their common experiences as soldiers was another bond of sympathetic understanding. Mr. Lunn was impatient with those teachers who did not or would not work. He was brusque in manner, but kindly at heart. He meant to be just and applied sometimes a sarcastic comment which rasped the tender feelings.
George J. Seamans, publisher of the Reedsburg Free Press and former Sauk County teacher, tells me that at his first examination, Mr. Lunn asked him to read aloud. Seamans thought he did creditable execution as a reader. But when Mr. Lunn asked him to explain the text he floundered and failed. Mr. Lunn, then in the finest language, explained that the story came from the old Greek mythology. He then asked Mr. Seamans if he didn’t think a teacher should be able to explain his reading. Seamans replied, “Yes, but I didn’t know that it was necessary to go into Greek mythology to get a third grade certificate.”
Ida Remington, a Sauk County teacher, told me of an incident at an examination (the wind-up) at Ableman. A teacher who was very near sighted asked permission to cross the room in order to read the questions on the blackboard. Mr. Lunn required her to stand while she explained her difficulty, and then asked ‘if she thought that a good qualification for teaching’. Ida Remington never forgave him for doing that.
In July 1873, Mr. Lunn was granted the coveted life certificate by passing the required examination. Like Mr. Earthman, he devoted all his spare time while teaching to prepare for these examinations. In those days to secure a Life Certificate upon examination was counted a very high honor and mark of ability.
We had two old teachers who came into my circle, faithful, honest teachers and fairly capable, who worked their farms in summer and taught winters. The contrast between the personality of these two men and the work accomplished by Mr. Lunn and Mr. Earthman was a lesson I did not fail to notice.
While Mr. Lunn was Superintendent in Sauk County, Assistant State Superintendent C.L. Harper, was Superintendent in Grant County. They were thrown much together. I wrote Mr. Harper for reminiscences and received a very interesting reply. He says, “Some years before Mr. Lunn was elected Country Superintendent, he was late at the place where the then Superintendent was holding an examination. The Superintendent rated Mr. Lunn as a green country boy and expected him to completely fail. When the Superintendent found his paper on arithmetic of high order, and Lunn called for questions in Algebra and higher branches and that Lunn was entitled to a second grade certificate, his respect increased accordingly. The Superintendent had, when Lunn came in made some disparaging remarks and the result discomfited him.
“Every member of the old time State Teachers Association, who made Mr. Lunn’s acquaintance, enjoyed meeting him. His academic training was accurate, and his statements concerning educational statistics absolutely correct, and his suggestions worthy of consideration. His remarks were usually brief and well thought out. He was an unusually thorough man.
Jessie Ryan (nee Barnhart) and Bell Bohn (nee Cushman) agree in the statement that Mr. Lunn in his visitation was a keen observer, but a just critic. His practice was to leave a card on one side—under “amendable” the adverse criticisms and under “commendable” the good points observed. It may be said with truth that he never failed to find something commendable with every conscientious worker. The shirk and the laggard found no mercy at his hands, and justly so.
Mrs. Bell Bohn, who writes as a fellow-teacher under Supt. Lunn and as his friend and neighbor says, “It can be truthfully said that he gained the greatest measure of respect and appreciation for his intelligence and thorough systematic work as an educator. This is as he would wish it to be.
His pupils regarded him as a stern, uncompromising personality, but knew the frown between his eyebrows which caused them to tremble if lessons were neglected or rules of conduct disregarded, was not from ill-nature but because of concentrated criticism and scorn of poor work. Timid pupils feared him but honest industrious workers had no cause to worry. His pupils can look back with grateful remembrance to the instruction and training given now that the childish resentment felt when his strict discipline seemed a hardship has been blotted out by the realization of what they owe him.
He was always ready to help in social activities, though not given to expressing himself freely in argument, his opinion on matters under discussion were sound and convincing.
Martha Clark (Mrs. C.A. Clark) gives this reminiscence: I have a card given when a pupil of James T. Lunn at Ironton, signed by him. “The owner of this card may pass in and out and around and speak at will, unless it be revoked for its undue abuse.”
He made it a point to extend his visits on Friday afternoons to some school where his way home and the teachers coincided and thus give a lift, not felt so much in these days of automobiles and higher salaries.
Mr. Lunn’s work as an institute conductor was appreciated outside the county. I know he was called by invitation into other counties and I believe was for a time appointed by state authority. For three years he was an examiner for state certificates, and a member of the board of visitors for State Normal Schools. He compiled Lunn’s school register and a revision of the course of study for country schools.
On his retirement from the superintendence, he was honored by the Sauk County Teachers Association by presentation of a gold watch inscribed “From the Teachers of Sauk County.”
Rev. Pearse Pinch made the presentation speech. He said in part: “It is no ordinary thing in these times of impatience and instability for a man to stand for eleven years in one place. The relation in which Mr. Lunn has stood to this county office is no ordinary relation. No other county office so vitally affects the interests of the county. The County Treasurer handles the money of the people; other county officers deal with property interests; but the superintendent of schools deals directly with the life of growing men and women. To have performed that work so worthily for these eleven years is a thing of no light significance.”
“You have held an official relation to the teachers of the County in which there has been of necessity much of what has seemed so cold and exacting, but your exactions have been of the kind which does us good. You have caused teachers to feel their limitations and have set them striving for higher things. And underneath this official relation, which has been necessarily and properly, in many phases cold and exacting, there has been growing on the part of these teachers a sentiment of warmth and affection. This sentiment has sought embodiment in a gift from the teachers of the county.”
The stern man melted but controlled himself to reply that he could not feel that he deserved the commendation which Mr. Pinch had expressed. He had endeavored to raise the standard of teaching in Sauk County. None regretted more that he than his official position made him seem distant to teachers, but it was not in his heart to be so, and feelingly expressed his thanks as he said farewell.
He taught in River Falls Normal January, February, and March of 1885, followed by teaching at Ironton, which had been his home for many years, for nearly three years.
He married Mary Jane Blakeslee August 25, 1872. >From Ironton the family moved to South Dakota, where he lived a retired life caring for some property purchased in 1875.
It is fitting to close this sketch of a busy, useful life to show more prominently some of the characteristics of the man, explaining the purchase of the Sioux Falls property.
In 1887 the writer returned from South Dakota and entered the law office of R.P.Perry at Reedsburg. Mr. Perry received a letter from Sioux Falls asking him to buy or obtain an option on eighty acres of land which Mr. Lunn owned at that city. Because of more intimate acquaintance with Mr. Lunn, Mr. Perry asked to attend to that errand. I drove to Ironton and met Mr. Lunn at his home. Sitting with him on the porch, I made my errand known. “No, James, I will not make you a price on the land. I had opportunities to buy land which would have made me a rich man long ago, but I am satisfied with this. I can’t accept your offer of One Hundred Thousand Dollars.”
Then he told me this story. “One evening during my Army service in Virginia on a march, just before we went into camp we passed a large plantation with many fine buildings, and an office upon the highway. I noticed also that there was a large library. I went back to that library and pored over the books. Among other books I found a government publication by the U.S. Geological Survey describing the falls of the Sioux River. I took the book to camp and read it thoroughly. The description described the amount of water flowing over the falls, the height, and estimate of the waterpower. It closed with a statement ‘Some day around these falls a thriving manufacturing city will be built.’ I said to myself, ‘Jim Lund, stick a pin right there and see to it that you get there before the crowd does’.”
“After the war I watched all references to opening the Sioux Indian reservation. When the proclamation was issued, I left everything only to find that the land adjoining the falls was still reserved for the Indians. When this land was opened for entry I couldn’t get away, much to my disappointment. However, two papers were published at Sioux Falls and I subscribed for both. Finally when the proofs were made on that land I published a notice in both papers, “Wanted: To buy 80 acres within one mile from the falls’. I received many offers of land which would have been a better investment, but I have no cause to complain.”
Shortly after that he moved to Sioux Falls and busied himself with building upon and otherwise managing this estate until his death.
Such was James t. Lunn as I knew him. His life and work are worthy of emulation. And there are very few teachers in Sauk County of many years experience who cannot trace his influence directly to some of their friends in the profession.
I cannot close without calling attention to some of those who preceded and followed him in the superintendence. J.H. Terry, who taught at Spring Green, was his predecessor. C.F. Viebahn and J.S. Roessler, who followed, always regarded his work as having deeply impressed itself upon the teachers of the county. W.H. Schulz, a later Superintendent, writes James E. Lunn, a son, as follows: “I always held your father in high esteem, and feel that I owe a great deal to him in the way of inspiration and the acquiring of ideas, which were a great help to me in making a success of my chosen work.”
Albert Ochsner, the great surgeon, taught at Ironton while Lunn lived there and was superintendent. Herman Grotophorst and James A. Buckley taught under him. L.A. Murray, Rose Gifford, Willis C. Stone, Mina Stone (my brother and sister), Ida Barnhart, Jessie Barnhart, Bell Sheldon, George F. Snyder, R.R. Remington, F.M. Groat, George Seamans—I can’t name them all.
In projecting this subject I had no intention of reaching so far toward the present. I taught four terms under Mr. Lunn and “farmed” summers. When I decided to make teaching my profession, he advised me to go to the Oshkosh Normal, giving as a reason, “You will find Pres. George S. Albee and Robert Graham (afterwards State Supt.) mind sharpeners for you.” And I found others. My short attendance at Oshkosh Normal induced my brothers Willis and Orna to go there. Through Miss Rose C. Swart we brought Annie Reynolds here as assistant to our first Normal School Principal, George F. Snyder. He was always a Sauk County man and was directly instrumental as superintendent in securing the Sauk County Normal. He was the first principal. G.W. Davies succeeded him as superintendent and became a member of the official board. W.E. Smith succeeded George F. Snyder as principal of the Normal when Mr. Snyder, because of threatened tuberculosis, went to Colorado. He was successful there as he was here and built a splendid reputation as an educator. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder died during the past year.
I wrote W.E. Smith, who went from here to the Langlade County Normal at Antigo. Mr. Smith made a very efficient and successful teacher here. He guarded the county interests in every way and by example as well as precept guided the graduates toward the path of success as teachers.
I wrote Prof. A.B. West, who was principal in Reedsburg nine years following Prof. J.S. Thomas. The High School Alumni Association was organized while Mr. West was here. He inherited many influences from Mr. Earthman’ through J.S. Thomas work, and was directly connected with Mr. Lunn as county superintendent. Mr. West’s Sunday was Saturday and I remember Mr. Lunn’s saying to me, that for a teacher it was a most comfortable situation. One was not required or expected to attend teachers’ meetings and other educational gatherings usually appointed on Saturday. Mr. Lunn had built a healthy loyal sentiment among teachers for holding such meetings.
While Mr. West was here, I served as City Superintendent and later as member of the board. A campaign was put on to make a change in teachers in the primary. Bell Sheldon had taught for many years. But “they” said she was old fashioned, taught reading by the old alphabet road. We must modernize our teaching. They were unsuccessful, and a member of the board was elected favorable to Mrs. Sheldon. There was the further objection that she was a married woman, and the unmarried (the spinsters) were entitled to this work of teaching.
During vacation I went through the building with Prof. West. In many rooms the chalk dust was thick in troughs, erasers ere scattered around and unsightly drawings and writing on the boards. When we came to Mrs. Sheldon’s room, everything was neat and orderly—erasers were collected and stored in drawers at her desk, all work on the boards erased except that some mottoes were neatly printed in colors, and the program also in colors neatly printed at one corner. I said to Mr. West, “She may be old fashioned and she may not use the word method, but here is the evidence that no child can pass through this grade under her without learning the essentials of neatness and order.
The time came when Mr. West was voted out. He went from Reedsburg to Lake Mills as principal and taught many years in Janesville. H e has retired form active work in teaching to Milton Junction. But he has been connected with 4-H Club work, and was recently honored as one of four leading workers in Rock County. Each of the four was presented with a lighted candle, and told that their influence had stimulated the boys and girls, “who were presented with candles by our escorts, and who obtained their light from our lighted candles.” A long and useful life has been accorded Mr. and Mrs. West, who have reared a family of four—one a Rhodes Scholar, one a teacher at the University, and one a teacher in the East. The fourth paid his debt to mankind by sacrificing his life in the great conflict to “end all wars”. They are also caring for an adopted daughter. Mr. West is a member of the school board, and serving as Justice of the Peace.
George W. Davies made an enviable record as teacher and county superintendent. As Prof. W.E. Smith said, “The outstanding factor for the betterment of education and community life in Sauk County was George W. Davies. He had a vision and the ability to draw to him from all parts of the county the men and women who stood for the better things of life and were willing to co-operate with him in making his vision become a reality. As a result, Sauk County was one of the best organized counties, not only in the state, but in the nation, for the betterment of rural life and education.”
He says of George Snyder, “I knew George Snyder and coming as I did to take up his work, was in a better position to know the value of the foundation he had laid for the training of rural teachers in Sauk County than anyone else. The solid foundation left by Mr. Snyder was one of the most valuable assets I had in my work as principal.
I cannot close this paper without paying tribute to a teacher who left an enduring mark as principal of the County Normal, James E. Phillips. His sudden death came as a shock to all of us. I, who had exceptional opportunities to know his unselfish service and devotion to the cause of education and also as neighbor and friend, felt his loss most keenly. But life goes on as Mr. Phillips would have it. The school goes on under the management of a worthy successor, G.T. Longbotham, a graduate of Platteville Normal and who had been county superintendent of Rock County for 12 years.
Mr. Phillips was forceful and emphatic upon all questions involving the moral status of the school. He was fearless in giving his opinions of the needs of the school. He, with his good wife, reared a family of nine children and he was the first to go. His family life was marvelously congenial and as head, he trained for useful lives. His work through them goes on and on.
Unshakable in the performance of what he thought his duty, he was ready and willing to yield his opinions to a majority rule. He was first of all a student. He enjoyed his books and was one of the most thorough classical students. My tribute to him may best be given by quoting his own translation from Horace,
“The just man, firm of will,
Resists the rabble counseling ill;
The threats of tyrants move him not,
From his resolve; the storms may break
And round him rage disaster fraught,
The very skies may seem to fall.
He stands or sinks unmoved by all.”
Recollections of other teachers crowd upon me. The first address I heard Pres. Albee make contained this: “The secret of success in scholarship lies in review—review—review—and Review—review—REVIEW”. The lessons of childhood are built upon the imitative powers of the child enforced by constant repetition. We learn to walk one step at a time. Practice gives power to run. Add thought and imagination to these acquirements and the child builds for himself. Accuracy comes from these reviews. Speed in action from performance repeated many times. Thus athletes are developed. In this way Ford workmen become expert, and machinelike in doing one thing continually speeding up with machinelike accuracy.
As I review my life in connection with teachers, as pupil, fellow-teacher and member of boards of education, I am reminded of my son’s statement after graduation at the University. I submitted to him the money cost to me of that experience, and asked him which he would rather have, the money in hand or his education. His answer came quickly, “Why, Daddy, I wouldn’t take that for the friends I have made,” and he was right from a financial standpoint, even, and also right on the greatest issues of life.
So the recollection of my contacts with these noble, self-sacrificing characters are more satisfying than any material success. James T. Lunn, W.H. Schulz, George F. Snyder, George W. Davies, August F. Martin, graduated from the Superintendency of Sauk County to greater service as teachers. Sauk County Normal has served a stepping-stone to higher attainment in the profession.
The life of another is again impressed upon me by a friendly call made by Florence Hughes enroute to meet her husband and family on the Dakota prairies. Florence Chamberlain Hughes is a Wisconsin product; a graduate of the Sparta High School and Oshkosh Normal. She went to South Dakota as a teacher, married a rancher and became the devoted mother of three children. To secure for them the treasures afforded by a liberal education, she continued teaching. She was defeated for re-election as County Superintendent and returned to Wisconsin for work. Fortunately for Sauk County, I think, she was chosen as Assistant in the Normal and gave her best in aiding Principal Phillips. Her husband remained upon the ranch. She brought her children and made a home in Reedsburg for herself and them.
The time came when she was replaced by another because she was a married woman given as the reason. She met the keep disappointment and disarrangement of all her plans centered around these children by seeking work as a demonstrator of methods in teaching reading for a large publishing house. She has made a great success, financially and professionally. Her work takes her into every large city and every state wherever sent by the firm. Before returning to the East, she has work in the Twin Cities. The financial returns have been generous. She has built for herself and children now well on the way to a liberal education through her efforts; the home center on the ranch has been maintained in spite of drought largely by her aid. It has not been easy, but an indomitable will is carrying her forward. She lives abundantly. She is serving in her day and generation an example of what perseverance and ability can accomplish where there is a will to do.
And tonight as I review these lives and the expense, time and energy I have given to service in connection with schools and school-masters, I can say with my son, “I wouldn’t exchange the friends I have made for all that it has cost.”
JAMES A. STONE.