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of thorough professional training of teachers employed
there became known in educational circles throughout tlic
country as the " Oswego school system." Urgent calls
came from tlie west for Oswego teachers to labor in ordi-
nary and high schools, and more especially in training-
schools similar to the present institution. Other graduates,
though less numerous, found employment in tiie eastern
and middle States.

Among the institutions officered in whole or in part from
Oswego during the sixteen years since the city training-
school was founded, have been the training-schools of
Lewiston, Maine; of Boston and Worcester, Mas-sachu-
setts ; of New York city ; of Cincinnati, Ohio ; of Indian-
apolis, Indiana ; and of Davenport, Iowa. Also the State
normal schools at Trenton, New Jersey ; at Terrc Haute
and Indianapolis, Indiana ; at Mankato, Winona, and St.
Cloud, Minnesota; at Iowa City, Iowa; at Kirksville and
Warrensburg, Missouri; at Peru, Nebraska; at Leaven-
worth, Kansas ; and at San Francisco and San Jose, Cali-

The six new normal schools in New York, provided for
by the law of 1866, went into operation at various times
between 1867 and 1871. Like their sister-schools in other
States, these drew largely on Oswego for teachers. Nearly
the whole faculty of the Fredonia normal school was taken
from that of Oswego ; its principal, Mr. John W. Arm-
strong, having been a teacher there. all the schools named derived not only their
teachers, but their teaching, from Oswego, which is umiues-
tionably the parent of the present system of normal instruc-
tion throughout the country. Even the Albany normal
school, a much older institution, and very ably conducted,
confines itself almost entirely to ordinary instruction, giving
its pupils only two weeks of practice in a model school.

The salient points of the " Oswego system" are: First,
the long practice of every pupil under competent super-
vision in actual teaching, not of high-toned young ladies
and gentlemen, but of real, uneasy, whispering, pinching
little boys and girls, essentially the same as those with
whom all teachers must deal in the actual work of their
profession. Second, the maintenance of a model school,
composed of the best scholars and teachers, as a practical
example of what a first-class school should be. Third, the
use of the " objective method of instruction" in all depart-
ments of the school and in all branches of study.

An elaborate description of the objective method would
be beyond the scope of this work, but we can hardly fur-
nish a full history of tluj Oswego normal school without
giving some idea of the sy.stem of which that school is the
loading American exemplar. It certainly does not mean,
as some may imagine, the mere holding up of objects be-
fore a child and saying to it, " This is a stick of wood," or
" This is a piece of calico ;" but something like that is at the
fuumlation of all objective teaching.

The grand object of the system is to give the child
" ideas first, expression afterwards." If, however, he has
already seen the object under consideration, so that he has
what is called a "concept" of it in his mind, a picture of it
on his brain, it need not be exposed in the school-room. If
the children have never ^^een it, it should \n: produced bo-



fore them if conveniently attainable ; if not, they should be
taught to form an idea of it from something resembling it
which they have seen, — eking out this idea with as much
of reality as circumstances will permit.

Every child has seen a tree. It is not necessary that
one should be brought into the school-room, or even grow
in the yard, in order to give him an idea of it. But if the
lesson relates to oaks and maples, then the wood, the leaves,
and the bark of oaks and maples should be brought before
the class to emphasize the distinction between them. There
may be no mountains near, but the children have seen high
hills, and from these the idea of the mountain is built up.
If neither the desired object itself nor any other object suf-
ficiently resembling it is to be found, then, but not other-
wise, a picture is produced as its next best representative.

When a clear idea of the object has been produced in
the child's mind, then, and not till then, he is presented
with the word which represents that object. He spells it,
he reads it, he pronounc&s it. The same course is pursued
in regard to actions. They are first MluuWy jyj'eseiiled, and
then represented by words.

Ascending higher, in dealing with numbers, the pupil
gains his fiist idea of them from actual counting of visible
objects. All the processes of addition, subtraction, multi-
plication, and division are verified by counting. If the
subject of distance is under consideration, the students are
provided with lines, with which they actually measure
inches, feet, rods, perhaps miles. (We have never heard,
liowever, of the young ladies of the Oswego normal school
carrying object-lessons to that extent.) If colors are the
theme of study, paints are brought into the school, the stu-
dents are taught to mix them, and learn to name at sight
all their minutest gradations. Sounds, too, are first " pre-
sented" and then "represented," — a process which in a
large school must be more entertaining than convenient,
and is probably somewhat modified in practice.

In grammar, too, the pupils are first taught to observe by
actual sight the position of articles under or over others,
before dealing with the prepositions which represent those
ideas. The idea involved in the verb, the noun, the adjec-
tive, or the adverb is similarly realized before being sub-
jected to grammatical analysis.

Nor is the objective method confined to the material
world. The same realism above described is carried into
the domain of mental and moral philosophy. The emotions,
the formation of ideas, the will-power, are first described by
the students from their own internal consciousness, and then
made the subject of discussion. Thus,

"Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train;
Hate, Fear, Remorse, the family of Pain,"
are subjected as far as practicable (ah, yes, as far as practi-
cable !) to the tests of actual experience before any theories
regarding them may be considered.

Though Lord Bacon and other philosophers have made
suggestions pointing towards the objective mode of teaching,
' it was first given thorough practical expression in the latter
part of the last century, by the celebrated Swiss teacher, John
Henry Pestalozzi. It is a pleasant coincidence that a son
of Pestalozzi's first assistant, Herman Kriisi, a son bearing
the same name, has for over twelve years been a teacher in

the Oswego normal school, the first American institution
which to any considerable extent has adopted Pestalozzi's
methods of instruction.

During that time it has steadily increased in numbers as
well as influence. During the spring term of 1877 there
were three hundred and sixteen students belonging to the
normal school proper, besides the public school children of
the practice and model schools, which number over three
hundred. The whole number of graduates from the begin-
ning of the training-school in 1861 up to June 30, 1877,
was seven hundred and seventy-seven, an average of over
forty-eight per year, which is more than twice as many as
have graduated yearly from any other normal school in the
State. Less than one-tenth of these have been males. The
proportion of male students is, however, steadily increasing.
At fiist there were almost none. During the past year
there have been eighty graduates, of which just one-eighth
have been young gentlemen.

Ninety-one per cent, of those who graduated previous to
the last year are known to have taught school, — a larger pro-
portion of teachers than the graduates of any other normal
school in this State has furnished, with one exception. The
number of counties represented in the school since its
organization have been fifty-six ; those thus represented
during the past year have been forty-five.

By the present law each school-commissioner district in
the State is entitled to send two pupils to this school^, the
cities being each allowed a number proportionate to its
population. They are appointed by the superintendent of
public instruction, on the recommendation of the school
commissioners and of the superintendents of cities. They
must pass, according to the regulations, " a fair examination
in reading, spelling, geography, arithmetic (as far as the
roots), and must be able to analyze and parse simple sen-
tences." Pupils must be at least sixteen years of age, and
must possess good health, good moral character, and average
abilities. Tuition and the use of text-books are free, but
students are held responsible for injury to or loss of books.

The range of study has been gradually increased until it
now includes three courses, — the elementary English, the
advanced English, and the classical. The first occupies two
years. The first year is devoted to the ordinary elementary
English studies, but taught in the objective manner before
described. The second year is given up entirely to studies
bearing on modes of instruction and to practice in the

To be admitted to the advanced English course, students
must pass a thorough examination in all the studies of the
first year in the elementary English course. The first year
of the advanced course embraces algebra, geometry, chemis-
try, and other important studies. The second is nearly the
same as the corresponding year of the elementary course,
with instruction in moral philosophy and physical geog-

The classical course covers three years; besides which, in
order to obtain admission, the pupil must pass a satisfac-
tory examination in the studies of the first " elementary"
year. The first " classical" year is nearly the same as the
first "advanced," with the addition of Latin. The second
" classicid" i.s occupied principally by Latin, natural phi-


losophy, physical geography, and Greek or modern lan-
guages. The final year gives practice in training-school
and methods of teaching, without omitting Latin, Greek,
and geology-
Students possessing the requisite age and qualifications,
and who can pass the prescribed examination, may be ad-
mitted to the class of any year in any course, but no one
can graduate from a course without having passed through
its last or professional year. A pupil who satisfactorily
completes either one of the courses receives a diploma,
which serves as a license to teach in all the public schools
of the State, and makes a license from a commissioner un-
necessary. There has never been an " academical" depart-
ment in this school, — that is to say, a department in which
no portion of the time is devoted to strictly professional
instruction, — and the late order of the State superintendent
discontinuing those departments does not aifect the Oswego

The school-year consists of two terms of twenty weeks
each. Scholai-s may enter school in either September or
February, graduate in either February or June. There is
a fair-sized library of t«xt and miscellaneous books, and an
ample complement of chemical and philosophical apparatus.
A large boarding-house is provided at a short distance from
the school, which is under the supervision of the teachers,
and at which the non-resident lady pupils are expected to
board, except in special cases.

We close our sketch of this important institution with
the officials of the present year.

The local board is composed of Gilbert MoHison, presi-
dent; John K. Post, secretary; Daniel G. Fort, treasurer;
Samuel B. Johnson, Benjamin Doolittle, Theodore Irwin,
Alanson S. Page, John M. Barron, Delos De Wolf, Thomas
S. Mott, Abner C. Mattoon, Thompson Kingsford.

Besides Edward A. Sheldon, A.M., Ph.D., who has
been the principal from the beginning, and who may be
considered the founder of the school, so far as any one
man can be credited with that honor, the faculty consists
of Henry A. Straight, A.M. ; Isaac B. Poucher, A.M. ;
Herman Krusi, A.M.; Mary V. Lee, M.D ; Matilda S.
Cooper, F. Elizabeth Sheldon, Emma D. Straight, Ordelia
A. Lester, Mary E. Moore, Rose Whitney, Martha A.
Keeler, Sarah J. Walter, and S. Ida Williams.



School Commissioners' Districts
drcn, and Attendance— Wage:

of Schools, Teachers, Chil
rics— Present Condition.

For the management of its common schools Oswego
County is divided into three school-commissioners' districts,
besides the city, which has its separate board of education
and superintendent. A sketch of the city schools is given
in the city hLstory, and some mention is made in each of
the towns of the earliest schools taught within it. In this
chapter we present a brief abstract of the present condition
of the schools of Oswego County, outside of the city, for
which we are indebted to the courtesy of the commissioners,

Messrs. Robert Simpson, Jr., of the firat district, Fowler
H. Berry, of the second, and J. W. Ladd, of the third.

First Di.itr,ct. g^|,^„,. Toucher.. t»cen S nnd 21. AttcT.lancc.

ttranby 20 22 1,002 822

Hannibal 15 IS a'J5 4:iS

New Haven 12 12 618 228

Oswego l.i 16 1,0.36 ;ia.>

Scrihii 17 17 1,092 4:18

Volney 17 2i) 1,9J5 70fi

Second District.

Amlmv 7 7 .380 103

Con-sti'mtia 1.3 16 1,119 .3.S5

Hastings 10 19 1,021 A'.t:,

Parish 13 1.^ 719 .321

Palermo 1.3 13 013 211

Schn.cp'pel 10 22 1,110 S.H

West Monroe... 8 8 o21 19,S

Thiril District.

Albion 14 1.^ 818 311

liovlslun S 8 371 131

Mexico 19 21 1,075 112

Orwell II 11 487 ISO

Redfield 1" 11 526 IS9

Richlan.l 22 20 1,313 518

Sandy Creek.... It 20 932 396

AVilliamstowu... 9 10 755 257

Total 2S9 XUi 19,007 7, GO I

There are several union and graded schools in the county,
of which mention is made in their respective towns. About
three-fourths of the whole number of persons between five
and twenty-one actually attend school at some period of the
year, though the average daily attendance while school is
taught is only forty per cent, of the whole number. Wages,
though varying greatly, are reported to average about five
dollars per week in summer, and eight in winter. School
libraries, unfortunately, are generally in a dilapidated con-
dition, and the larger part of the districts use the library
money to help pay the teachers. In other respects the
schools are reported to be flourishing, both numbers and
zeal being manifestly on the increase.



Formation of the Oswego County Bible Society— Curious Facts-
Names of the Presidents — Present Officers — Oliject of the Society —
Payments to the American Bible Society — Depository and Branches
—Organization of the County Lodge of Good Templars— First
Officers— The Succession of Presidents— The Present Officers.

The Oswego County Bible Society was formed in
January, 1826. The American Bible Society had then
been in existence ten years, but its work had been compar-
atively small, and an interest in its benevolent operations
was then only just beginning to be awakened. The records
of the Oswego County society prior to the 15th of Sep-
tember, 1840, are lost, but the following extract from a
circular issued just after its organization, in 1826, shows
the necessity for its formation :

" As a preliminary step to the formation of this society,
a partial investigation of the county was effected to ascer-
tain the deficiency of Bibles ; the surprising result of which
was that one-fourth of the families in this county do not
possess an entire copy of the Holy Scriptures, a large portion



of whom have no part of the Bible in their houses. In
one of the school districts in this town, containing sixty
families, twenty-nine were destitute. In another town of
this county thirty-.six families out of one hundred and six
were found destitute. From all the returns which have
been received, it appears that eight hundred and ninety-four
families have been investigated, and of them two hundred
and fiftj'-one are put down as partially or entirely destitute
of the Word of Life."

The society was recognized as an auxiliary of the Amer-
ican Bible Society in March, 182G; but where the first
meetings were held, or who were the first cfficers, cannot
be ascertained. Rev. Oliver Ayer was elected president in
1827, and it is not certain but he was its first one. The
next year Rev. Jason Lathrop was chosen to the same
position. Rev. Ralph Robinson was elected president in
1829, and was successively re-elected for the next three
years. The succession of presidents siiice that time has
been as follows: 1833-35, Rev. Robert W. Condit ; 1836-
39, Rev. Robert W. Condit; 1840-43, Rev. Ralph Robin-
inson; 1844, Rev. Gardner Baker; 1845, Mr. Luther
Pardee; 1846, Hon. George F. Falley; 1847-48, Judge
Elias Brewster; 1849, Dr. Newell Wright; 1850, Hamilton
Murray, Esq. ; 1851-52, Hon. William F. Allen ; 185.3,
Hon. Ransom H. Tyler; 1854, Hon. James Piatt; 1856,
Hon. L. B. Crocker; 1857, Dr. M. Lindley Lee; 1858,
W. L Preston; 1859, Prof. J. P. Griflfin ; 1860, Mr.
Ralph Robinson ; 1861-62, Hon. William F. Allen ; 1863-
67, Hon. Ransom H. Tyler; 1868-72, Gilbert Mollison,
Esq.; 1873, Hon. Cyrus Whitney; 1874, Hon. T. W.
Skinner ; 1875, Col. W. D. Smith ; 1876, John B. Edwards,
Esq. ; 1877, J. G. Benedict.

The present officers of the society are J. G. Benedict,
president ; Charles T. Benedict, L. R. Muzzy, and W. H.
Kenyon, vice-presidents ; Frank S. Thrall, recording secre-
tary ; L. E. Goulding, corresponding secretary ; J. H. Coe,
treasurer and depositary ; Gilbert Mollison, S. W. Brewster,
Manni,ster Worts, 0. M. Bond, 0. J. Harmon, Thomas
Mathews, executive committee ; F. B. Lathrop, George
Goodier, auditing committee.

The object of the society, as declared by its constitution,
is to promote the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, " with-
out note or comment." As to membership, it is provided
that all persons contributing to its funds annually shall be
members ; that those contributing one dollar or more shall
receive, if called for within twelve months, a common
Bible ; and that those contributing ten dollars at one time,
or five dollars for two consecutive years, shall become mem-
bers for life, and entitled annually to fifty cents' worth of
Bibles or Testaments.

All funds not needed for circulating the Scriptures
within the county are paid over annually to the parent
society, to be used in distributing Bibles wherever needed.
The receipts for the year ending June, 1876, were seven
hundred and fifty-one dollars and ninety-three cents, of
which seven hundred and forty-seven dollars and seventy-
four cents were paid to the American Bible Society. The
Oswego society has a depository at Oswego, and branches
at Sandy Creek, Hannibal, Fulton, Mexico, Sand Bank,
and Williamstown.

The total value of the becks at these points in June,
1876, was eleven hundred and ninety-six dollars and
seventy-eight cents.

The Oswego County Lodge of the Independent Order
of Good Templars was organized on the 20th day of De-
cember, 1870, with the following ofiicers: County Chief
Templar, S. C. Weeks ; County Vice-Templar, Helen M.
Coe ; County Secretary, W. J. Dougall ; County Assistant
Secretary, Mrs. W. J. Dougall; County Financial Secre-
tary, Julia A. Ames; County Treasurer, L. P. Storms;
County Marshal, C. R. Groesbeck ; County Deputy Mar-
shal, Mrs. Lizzie Redding ; County Chaplain, Rev. J. H.
Allsever ; County I. G., Mrs. May Chapman ; County 0.
G., B. N. Menter; R. H. S., Miss L. E. Wadleigh ; L.
H. S., Miss E. Redding.

The county lodge is composed of delegates elected from
each of the subordinate lodges in the county. It has held
meetings quarterly from organization to the present time ;
meeting with the various subordinate lodges, and doing all
in its power to promote the cause of temperance and good
morals. There are now ten subordinate lodges in the
county, with about five hundred members. The successive
County Chief Templars have been as follows : S. C. Weeks,
1871-72; Albert Potter, 1873-74; S. C. Weeks, 1875-77.

The following are the cfiicers for the year 1877 : C. C. T.,
S. C. Weeks; C. V. T., Mrs. 0. D. Austin; C. Sec,

C. W. Cogswell ; Assistant Secretary, A. Beardsley ; C. T.,
John Cooper; C. Chaplain, B. Gleason ; C. M., C. Wright;

D. SI., Mrs. R. J. Dimon ; R. H. S., BIrs. Hannah Smith;
L. H. S , Mrs. J. Cooper.



Oswego County Medical Society : First Members and Officers ;
Progress; Regulations, Meetings, etc. ; Code of Ethics; Present
Officers; List of Presidents; List of Members— Homceopathic
Medical Society : First Officers and Members ; List of Presidents ;
Present Officers and Members — Eclectic Medical Society: Its
Organization ; First Officers; Reorganization; The Eclectic Creed;
Present Officers.

" The Medical Society op the County of Os-
WEOO." — The above is the official title of the association in
question, though it is more commonly designated as The
Oswego County Medical Society. It was organized in
June, 182], and, so far as known, the following were the
only members present : Anson Fay, of Volney ; S. F. Kin-
ney, of New Haven ; Allen Andrews, of Pulaski ; —

Gridley, of ; Sardius Brewster, of Mexico ; Benjamin

Coe, of Oswego ; and L. Cowan, of Volney. As, how-
ever, the records have been twice burned in ten years, it is
possible that some names have been omitted.

For the same reason the names of the first officers can-
not be given, though from the scant number of members
they doubtless all held official rank. Even the names of
the presidents for 1821 and 1822 cannot be found in the
society's manual. The president in 1S23 was Allen An-
drews, of Pulaski.


From 1821 to the present year the number of members
lias steadily grown until, instead of seven, there are now
fifty-eight on tiie society's register. Two of these are ladies,
female merabei-s being admitted on equal terms with males.

Four members joined in 1822, seven in 1823, four in
1824, two in 1825, four in 1826, and four in 1827. In
1828 there seems to have been a regular "revival" in the
way of joining the society, no less than seventeen having
enrolled their names in that year, while in 1829 there were
only four. No subsecjuent year has cfjualcd 1828 in that
respect. The total number of physicians who have been
members of the society since its organization is over a hun-
dred and sixty ; but of these a large majority have died or
left the county.

The officers of the society are a president, a vice-presi-
dent, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary, a
treasurer, a librarian, and five censors, who are chosen
annually .by ballot. The society also elects annually five
delegates to the American medical association, and five to
the Central New York medical association. The annual
meeting is held on the second Tuesday in June, at which
officers are elected ; besides which, there is a semi-annual
meeting on the second Tuesday in December of each year.
Special meetings may also be called by the president, or, in
his absence, by the vice-president. Jleetings are held at
various localities throughout the county.

At these meetings discussions are held regarding inter-
esting questions in medicine and surgery, new members
elected, charges examined, etc. A member can only be
convicted of misconduct by a vote of two-thirds of the
members present, at a special meeting called to investigate
the charges ; after which he may be reprimanded, sus-
pended, or expelled, by a majority vote.

It is the duty of the censors to examine every candidate
for a license to practice medicine or surgery, who shall have
complied with the requisitions of the laws of the State (on
payment of five dollars for the society), and, if he be found
qualified, to give him a certificate to that effect, addressed
to the president, who thereupon confers a diploma upon him.

Any physician or surgeon, practicing in Oswego County,
may become a member, on payment of one dollar to the
treasurer, if a majority of the censors shall certify that he
is entitled to practice, and if, on being balloted for at an
annual meeting, he shall receive the votes of a majority of
the members present.

The code of ethics of the American medical association,

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