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Coimty in 1831, and, two years later, the greater
part of the school section in the heart of the
present city of Chicago was sold, producing
about 839,000. The average rate at which these
sales were made, up to 1883, was §3.78 per acre,
and the minimum, 70 cents per acre. That
these lands have, in very few instances, produced
the results expected of them, was not so much
the fault of tlie system as of those selected to
administer it— whose bad judgment in premature
sales, or whose complicity with the schemes of
speculators, were the means, in many cases, of
squandering what might otherwise have furnished
a liberal provision for the support of public
schools in many sections of the State. Mr. W. L.
Pillsbury, at present Secretary of the University
of Illinois, in a paper printed in the report of the
State Superintendent of Public Instruction for
1885-86 — to which the writer is indebted for many
of the facts presented in this article— gives to
Chicago the credit of establishing the first free
schools in the State in 1834, while Alton followed
in 1837, and Springfield and Jacksonville in 1840.
Early Higher Institutions. — A movement
looking to the establishment of a higher institu-
tion of learning in Indiana Territory (of which
Illinois then formed a part), was inaugurated by
tlie passage, through the Territorial Legislature at
Vincennes, in November, 1806, of an act incorpo-
rating the University of Indiana Territory to be
located at Vincennes. One provision of the act
authorized the raising of §30,000 for the institu-
tion by means of a lottery. A Board of Trustees
was promptly organized, with Gen. William
Henry Harrison, then the Territorial Governor,
at its head ; but, beyond the erection of a building,


little progress was niaile. Twenty-one years
later (1827) the first successful attempt to found
an advanced school was made by tlie indomitable
Rev. John M. Peck, resulting in the establish-
ment of liis Theological Seminar_v and High
School at Rock Springs, St. Clair County, which,
in 1831, became the nucleus of Shurtleff College at
Upper Alton. In like manner, Lebanon Semi-
nary, established in 1838, two years later
expanded into McKendree College, while instruc-
tion began to be given at Illinois College, Jack-
sonville, in December, 1829, as tlie outcome of a
movement started by a band of young men at
Yale College in 1827 — these several institutions
being formally incorporated by tlie same act of
the Legislature, passed in 1835. (See sketches of
these Institutions.)

Educational Conventions.— In 1833 there
was held at Vandalia (then the State capital) tlie
first of a series of educational conventions, which
were continued somewhat irregularly for twenty
years, and whose history is remarkable for the
number of those participating in them who after-
wards gained distinction in State and National
history. At first these conventions were held at
the State capital during the sessions of the Gen-
eral Assembly, when the chief actors in them
were members of that body and State officers,
with a few other friends of education from the
ranks of professional or business men. At the
convention of 1833, we find, among those partici-
pating, the names of Sidney Breese, afterwards a
United States Senator and Justice of the Supreme
Court; Judges. D. Lockwood, then of the Supreme
Court; W. L. D. Ewing, afterwards acting Gov-
ernor and United States Senator ; O. H. Browning,
afterwards United States Senator and Secretary
of the Interior; James Hall and John Russell,
the most notable writers in the State in their day,
besides Dr. J. M. Peck, Archibald Williams,
Benjamin Mills, Jesse B. Thomas, Henry Eddy
and others, all prominent in their several depart-
ments. In a second convention at the same
place, nearly two years later, Abraham Lincoln,
Stephen A. Douglas and Col. John J. Hardin
were participants. At Springfield, in 1840, pro-
fessional and literary men began to take a more
prominent part, although the members of the
Legislature were present in considerable force.
A convention held at Peoria, in 1.S44, was made
up largely of professional teachers and school
oflScers, with a few citizens of local prominence ;
and the same may be said of those held at Jack-
sonville in 1845, and later at Chicago and other
points. Various attempts were made to form

permanent educational societies, finally result-
ing, in December, 18.~>4, in the organization of the
"State Teachers' Institute,"' which, three years
later, took the name of the "State Teachers'
Association" — though an association of the same
name was organized in 1836 and continued in
existence several years.

State Superintendent and School Jour-
nals. — The appointment of a State Superintend-
ent of Public Instruction began to be agitated as
early as 1837, and was urged from time to time iii
memorials and resolutions by educational conven-
tions, by the educational press, and in the State
Legislature ; but it was not until February, 1854,
that an act was passed creating the office, when
the Hon. Ninian W. Edwards was appointed by
Gov. Joel A. Matteson, continuing in office until
his successor was elected in 185G. "The Common
School Advocate" was published for a year at
Jacksonville, beginning with January, 1837; in
1841 "The Illinois Common School Advocate"
began publication at Springfield, but was discon-
tinued after the issue of a few numbers. In 1855
was established "The Illinois Teacher." This
was merged, in 1873, in "The Illinois School-
master," which became the organ of the State
Teachers' Association, so remaining several years.
The State Teachers' Association has no official
organ now, but the "Public School Journal" is
the chief educational publication of the State.

Industrial Education. — In 1851 was insti-
tuted a movement which, although obstructed for
.some time by partisan opposition, has been
followed by more far-reaching results, for the
country at large, than any single measure in the
history of education since the act of 1785 setting
apart one section in each township for the support
of public schools. This was the scheme formu-
lated by the late Prof. Jonathan B. Turner, of
Jacksonville, for a system of practical scientific
education for the agricultural, mechanical and
other industrial classes, at a Farmers' Convention
held under the aaspices of the Buel Institute (an
Agricultural Society), at Granville, Putnam
County, Nov. 18, 1851. While proposing a plan
for a "State University" for Illinois, it also advo-
cated, from the outset, a "University for the
industrial classes in each of the States,'' by way
of supplementing the work which a "National
Institute of Science," such as the Smithsonian
Institute at Washington, was expected to accom-
plish. The proposition attracted the attention
of persons interested in the cause of industrial
education in other States, especially in New
York and some of the New England States, and



received their hearty endorsement and cooper-
ation. The Granville meeting was followed by a
series of similar conventions held at Springfield,
June 8, 1853; Chicago, Nov. 24, 1853; Springfield,
Jan. 4, 1853, and Springfield, Jan. 1, 18.55, at
which the scheme was still further elaborated.
At the Springfield meeting of January, 1853, an
organization was formed under the title of the
"Industrial League of the State of Illinois," with
a view to disseminating information, securing
more thorough organization on the part of friends
of the measure, and the employment of lecturers
to address the people of the State on the subject.
At the same time, it was resolved that "this Con-
vention memorialize Congress for the purpose of
obtaining a grant of public lands to establish and
endow industrial institutions in each and every
State in the Union." It is worthy of note that
this resolution contains the central idea of the
act passed by Congress nearly ten years after-
ward, making appropriations of public lands for
the establishment and support of industrial
colleges in the several States, which act received
the approval of President Lincoln, July 3, 1863 —
a similar measure having been vetoed by Presi-
dent Buchanan in February, 1859. Tlie State
was extensively canvassed by Professor Turner,
Mr. Bronson Murray (now of New York), the late
Dr. R. C. Rutherford and others, in behalf of the
objects of the League, and the Legislature, at its
session of 1853, by unanimous vote in both houses,
adopted the resolutions commending tlie measure
and instructing the United States Senators from
Illinois, and requesting its Representatives, to
give it their support. Though not specifically
contemplated at the outset of the movement, the
Convention at Springfield, in January, 1855, pro-
posed, as a part of the scheme, the establishment
of a "Teachers' Seminary or Normal School
Department," which took form in the act passed
at the session of 1857, for the establishment of
the State Normal School at Normal. Although
delayed, as already stated, the advocates of indus-
trial education in Illinois, aided by those of other
States, finally triumphed in 1863. The lands
received by the State as tlie result of this act
amounted to 480,000 acres, besides subsequent do-
nations. (See University of Illinois; also Turner,
Jonathan Baldirin.) On the foundation thus
furnished was established, by act of the Legisla-
ture in 1867, the "Illinois Industrial University"
— now the University of Illinois — at Champaign,
to say nothing of more than forty similar insti-
tutions in as many States and Territories, based
upon the same general act of C

Free-School System.— While there may be
said to have been a sort of free-school system in
existence in Illinois previous to 1855, it was
limited to a few fortunate districts possessing
funds derived from the sale of school-lands situ-
ated witliin their respective limits. The system
of free schools, as it now exists, based upon
general taxation for the creation of a permanent
school fund, had its origin in the act of that
year. As already shown, the office of State
Superintendent of Public Instruction had been
created by act of the Legislature in February,
18.54, and the act of 1855 was but a natural corol-
lary of the previous measure, giving to the people
a uniform system, as the earlier one had provided
an official for its administration. Since then
there have been many amendments of the school
law, but these have been generally in the direc-
tion of securing greater efficiency, but with-
out departure from the principle of securing
to all the children of the State the equal
privileges of a common-school education. The
development of the system began practicallj'
about 1857, and, in the next quarter of a
century, the laws on the subject had grown
into a considerable volume, while the number-
less decisions, emanating from tlie office of the
State Superintendent in construction of these
laws, made up a volume of still larger proportions.

The following comparative table of school
statistics, for I860 and 1896, compiled from the
Reports of the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, will illustrate the growth of the
system in some of its more important features:

I860. 1896.

Population 1,711,951 (est.) 4,250,000

Nu. of Persons of School Age ( be-

tween6and21l •549.604 1,384,367

No. uf Puplla enrolled "M72.247 898,619

■• School Districts 8,956 11,615

Public Schools 9,162 12,623

" Graded " 294 1,887

Public Hiah Schools 27»

■' School Houses built duriiiK

tbeyear 557 267

Whole No. of School Houses 8,221 12,6S2

No. of .Male Teachers 8,223 7,057

■• iVinale Teachers 6,485 18,359

Whole No. of Teachers in Public

.Schools 14,708 25,416

Highest Monthly Wages paid Male

Teachers 5180.00 J300.00

Highest Monthly Wages paid

Female Teacliers 75.00 280.00

Lowest Mouttily Wages paid Male

Teachers 8.00 14.00

Lowest Moulhly Wages paid

Female Teachers... 4.00 10.00

Average Monthly Wages paiil Male

Teachers 28.82 67.76

Average Monthly Wages paid

Female Teachers 18.80 80.63

No. of Private Schools 500 2,619

No. of Pupils In Private Schools. . . , 29,264 139,%9
Interest on State and County Funds

received $73,450.38 $65,583.63

Amount of Income from Township

Funda 322,852.00 889,614.20

•Only white children were Included In these statistics for



Amount received from State Ta.T.. t C90,ooo.oo f l.iioo.uoo.oo
" •■ " Special Dis-

trictTaxes i,':65,i:tT.oii i;i, 133,809.61

Amount received from Bonds dur-
ing the year 617,960.93

Total Amount received during the

year by School Distrirt.s 2,193,455.00 15,607.172.50

Amount paid Male Teachers 2,772,829.32

" Female •■

Whole amount paid Teachers .... 1,542,211.00 9,958,934.99
Aniuuut paid for new School

Houses 348,728.00 1,873,757.25

Amount paid for repairs and im-
provements 1,070,755.09

Amount paid fur School Furniture. 24,837.00 lW,8,1(i.64
" " Apparatus 8.5G3.UO 164,298.92
" " " Books for Dis-
trict Libraries 30.124 00 13.664.97

Total E.tpendituri-s 2.'.'59..S(i8.oo 14.614,627.31

Estimated value uf School Property 13.304,892.00 42,780.2117.00

•* Libraries.. 377,819.00

" " " Apparatus 607,389.00

The sums annually disbursed for incidental
expenses on account of superintendence and the
cost of maintaining the higher institutions estab-
lished, and partially or wliolly supported bj' the
State, increase tlie total expenditures by some
$600,000 per annum. These liigher institutions
include the Illinois State Normal University at
Normal, the Southern Illinois Normal at Carbon-
dale and the University of Illinois at Urbana; to
which were added by the Legislature, at its ses-
sion of 189.J, the Eastern Illinois Normal School,
afterwards established at Charleston, and the
Northern Illinois Normal at De Kalb. These
institutions, although under supervision of the
State, are partly supported by tuition fees. (See
description of these institutions under their
several titles.) The normal schools— as tlieir
names indicate — are primarily designed for the
training of teachers, although other classes of
pupils are admitted under certain conditions,
including the payment of tuition. At the Uni-
versity of Illinois instruction is given in the clas-
sics, the sciences, agriculture and the mechanic
arts. In addition to these the State supports four
other institutions of an educational rather than a
custodial character — viz. : the Institution for the
Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Insti-
tution for the Blind, at Jacksonville ; the Asylum
for the Feeble-Miiided at Lincoln, and the Sol-
diers' Orphans" Home at Normal. The estimated
value of the property connected with tliese
several institutions, in addition to the value of
school property given in the preceding table, will
increase the total (exclusive of permanent funds)
to §47,1.5.5,374.9.5, of which §4,37.5,107.95 repre-
sents property belonging to the institutions above

Powers and Duties of Superintendents
AND Other School Officers.— Each county
elects a County Superintendent of Schools, whose
duty it is to visit schools, conduct teacliers" insti-
tutes, advise with teachers and school officers and

in.struct them in their respective duties, conduct
examinations of persons desiring to become
teachers, and exercise general supervision over
school affairs within his county. The subordi-
nate officers are Townshijj Trustees, a Township
Treasurer, and a Board of District Directors or —
in place of the latter in cities and villages — Boards
of Education. The two last named Boards have
power to employ teachers and, generally, to super-
vise the management of schools in districts. The
State Superintendent is entrusted with general
supervision of the common-school system of the
State, ancl it is his duty to advise and assist
County Superintendents, to visit State Charitable
institutions, to issue official circulars to teachers,
school officers and others in regard to their rights
and duties under the general school code; to
decide controverted questions of school law, com-
ing to him by appeal from County Superintend-
ents and others, and to make full and detailed
reports of tlie operations of his office to the
Governor, biennially. He is also made ex-officio
a member of the Board of Trustees of the Univer-
sity of Illinois and of the several Normal Schools,
and is empowered to grant certificates of two
different grades to teachers — the higher grade to
be valid during the lifetime of the holder, and
the lower for two years. Certificates granted by
County Superintendents are aLso of two grades
and have a tenure of one and two years, respec-
tively, in the county where given. The conditions
for securing a certificate of the first (or two-
years") grade, require that the candidate shall be
of good moral character and qualified to teach
orthography, reading in English, penmanship,
arithmetic, modern geography, English grammar,
the elements of tlie natural sciences, the liistory
of the United States, physiology and the laws of
health. The second grade (or one-year) certifi-
cate calls for examination in the branches
enumerated, except the natural sciences, physi-
ology and laws of health : but teachers employed
exclusively in giving instruction in music, draw-
ing, penmanship or other special branches, may
take examinations in these branches alone, but
are restricted, in teaching, to those in which they
have been examined. — County Boards are
empowered to establish County Normal Schools
for the education of teachers for the common
schools, and the management of such normal
schools is placed in the hands of a County Board
of Education, to consist of not less than five nor
more than eight persons, of whom the Chairman
of the County Board and the County Superin-
tendent of Schools sliall be ex-officio members.



Boards of Education and Directors may establish
kindergartens (when authorized to do so by vote
of a majority of the voters of their districts), for
children between the ages of four and six years,
but the cost of supporting the same must be
defrayed by a special tax. — A compulsory pro-
vision of the School Law requires that each child,
between the ages of seven and fourteen years,
shall be sent to school at least sixteen weeks of
each year, imless otherwise instructed in the
elementary branches, or disqualified by physical
or mental disability. — Under the provisions of an
act, passed in 1891, women are made eligible to
any office created by the general or special school
laws of the State, when twenty -one years of age
or upwards, and otherwise possessing the same
qualifications for the office as are prescribed for
men. (For list of incumbents in the office of
State Superintendent, see Superintendents of
P^Mic Instruction. )

EDWARDS, Arthur, D.D., clergyman, soldier
and editor, was born at Norwalk, Ohio, Nov. 23,
1834; educated at Albion, Mich., and the Wes-
leyan University of Ohio, graduating from the
latter in 1858 ; entered the Detroit Conference of
the Methodist Episcopal Church the same year,
was ordained in 1860 and, from 1861 vmtil after
the battle of Gettysburg, served as Chaplain of
the First Michigan Cavalry, when he resigned to
accept the colonelcy of a cavalry regiment. In
1864, he was elected assistant editor of "The
Northwestern Christian Advocate" at Chicago,
and, on the retirement of Dr. Eddy in 1873,
became Editor-in-chief, being re-elected every
four years thereafter to the present time. He
has also been a member of each General Confer-
ence since 1872, was a member of the Ecumenical
Conference at London in 1881, and has held other
positions of prominence within the church.

EDWARDS, Cyrus, pioneer lawyer, was born
in Montgomery County, Md., Jan. 17, 1793; at the
age of seven accompanied his parents to Ken-
tucky, where he received his primary education,
and studied law ; was admitted to the bar at Kas-
kaskia. 111., in 1815, Ninian Edwards (of whom he
was the youngest brother) being then Territorial
Governor. During the next fourteen years he
resided alternately in Missouri and Kentucky,
and, in 1829, took up his residence at Edwards-
ville. Owing to impaired health he decided to
abandon his profession and engage in general
business, later becoming a resident of Upper
Alton. In 1833 he was elected to the lower house
of the Legislature as a Whig, and again, in 1840
and '60, the last time as a Republican ; was State

Senator from 1835 to "39, and was also the Whig
candidate for Governor, in 1838, in opposition to
Thomas Carlin (Democrat), who was elected. He
served in the Black Hawk War, was a member of
the Constitutional Convention of 1847, and espe-
cially interested in education and in public chari-
ties, being, for thirty-five years, a Trustee of
Shurtleff College, to which he was a most
munificent benefactor, and which conferred on
him the degree of LL.D. in 1852. Died at Upper
Alton, September, 1877.

EDWARDS, Ninian, Territorial Governor and
United States Senator, was born in Montgomery
County, Md. , March 17, 1775 ; for a time had the
celebrated William Wirt as a tutor, completing
his course at Dickinson College. At the age of 19
he emigrated to Kentucky, where, after squander-
ing considerable money, he studied law and, step
by step, rose to be Chief Justice of the Court of
Appeals. In 1809 President Madison appointed
him the first Territorial Governor of Illinois.
This office he held until the admission of Illinois
as a State in 1818, when he was elected United
Sates Senator and re-elected on the completion of
his first (the short) term. In 1836 he was elected
Governor of the State, his successful administra-
tion terminating in 1830. In 1832 he became a
candidate for Congress, but was defeated by
Charles Slade. He was able, magnanimous and
incorruptible, although charged with aristocratic
tendencies which were largely hereditary. Died,
at his home at Belleville, on July 20, 1883, of
cholera, the disease having been contracted
through self-sacrificing efforts to assist sufferers
from the epidemic. His demise cast a gloom
over the entire State. Two valuable volumes
bearing upon State history, comprising his cor-
respondence with many public men of his time,
have been published ; the first under the title of
"History of Illinois and Life of Ninian Edwards,"
by his son, the late Ninian Wirt Edwards, and
the other "The Edwards Papers," edited by the
late Elihu B. Washburne, and printed imder the
auspices of the Chicago Historical Society. —
Ninian Wirt (Edwards), son of Gov. Ninian
Edwards, was born at Frankfort, Ky., April 15,
1809, the year his father became Territorial
Governor of Illinois; spent his boyhood at Kas-
kaskia, Edwardsville and Belleville, and was
educated at Transylvania University, graduating
in 1833. He married Elizabeth P. Todd, a sister
of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, was appointed Attor-
ney-General in 1834, but resigned in 1835, when
he removed to Springfield. In 1836 he was
elected to the Legislature from Sangamon



County, as the colleague of AViraham Lincoln,
being cue of the celebiateil "Long Nine, "and
was influential in securing the removal of the
State capital to Springfield. He was re-elected
to the House in 1838, to the State Senate in 1844,
and again to the House in 1848 ; was also a mem-
ber of the Constitutional Convention of 1847.
Again, in 18.50, he was elected to the House, but
resigned on account of his change of politics
from Whig to Democratic, and, in the election to
fill the vacancy, was defeated by James C. Conk-
ling. He served as Superintendent of Public
Instruction by appointment of Governor Matte-
son, 18.54-.57, and, in 1,861, was ap)X)inted by
President Lincoln, Captain Commissary of Sub-
sistence, which position lie filled until June, 186.5,
since which time he remained in private life. He
is the author of the "Life and Times of Ninian
Edwards" (1870), which was prepared at the
request of the State Historical Society. Died, at
Springfield, Sept. 3, 18.Si). — Benjamin Stevenson
(Edwards), lawyer and jurist, another son of Gov.
Ninian Edwards, was born at Edwardsville, III.,
June 3, 1818, graduated from Yale College in
1838, and was admitted to the bar the following
year. Originally a Wliig, he subsequentlj'

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 31 of 207)