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Andrews, Eliza Frances (10 August 1840–21 January 1931), author and educator, was born at Haywood Plantation near Washington, Georgia, the daughter of Garnett Andrews, a judge and planter, and Annulet Ball. After attending the Ladies’ Seminary in Washington, Georgia, Andrews, often known as “Fanny,” was, in 1857, one of the first students to receive an A.B. degree at LaGrange Female College in LaGrange, Georgia....

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Andrews, George Leonard (31 August 1828–04 April 1899), soldier, engineer, and educator, was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Manasseh Andrews and Harriet Leonard. After attending the state normal school at Bridgewater, he was accepted as a candidate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated at the head of the class of 1851 and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers. His first duty after graduation was in his home state, participating in the construction of Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. He then returned to the academy as an assistant professor....

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Alexander Graham Bell Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-104276).

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Bell, Alexander Graham (03 March 1847–02 August 1922), inventor and educator, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds. Family tradition and childhood environment set him on the path to his greatest invention, the telephone. His grandfather had turned from acting to speech teaching, and his father had become eminent in the latter vocation. His mother, despite her seriously impaired hearing, was an accomplished pianist and engaged her son’s interest in that form of sound communication. Edinburgh, second only to London as an intellectual center of the British Empire, excelled in science and technology, which probably stirred the boy’s interest and ambition in such matters. He made a hobby of botany and zoology. Playing about a local grist mill, he took up the miller’s challenge to make himself useful and devised a hand-cranked machine that took the husks off the grain—“my first invention,” he later called it....

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Bouchet, Edward Alexander (15 September 1852–28 October 1918), educator and scientist, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of William Francis Bouchet, a janitor, and Susan Cooley. Part of New Haven’s black community that provided much of the city’s unskilled and domestic labor, the Bouchets were members of the Temple Street Congregational Church, which was a stopping point for fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad, and both Edward and his father were active in church affairs. During the 1850s and 1860s New Haven had only three schools that black children could attend. Edward was enrolled in the Artisan Street Colored School, a small (only thirty seats), ungraded school with one teacher, Sarah Wilson, who played a crucial role in nurturing Bouchet’s academic abilities and his desire to learn....

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Bowen, Norman Levi (21 June 1887–11 September 1956), petrologist and educator, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the youngest son of William Alfred Bowen, an immigrant from London (Chigwell), England, and Eliza McCormick of Kingston. At the time of Bowen’s birth, his father was a guard at the Kingston Penitentiary, later became sexton of St. George’s Cathedral, and then was proprietor of a bakery. His older and only surviving brother, Charles Lewis Bowen (1879–1951), retained the bakery business....

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Bunting, Mary (10 July 1910–21 January 1998), college educator and microbiologist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest child of Henry Andrews Ingraham, a lawyer, and Mary Shotwell Ingraham, a community activist. Her well-educated parents were committed to bringing culture to their children, along with a love of the outdoors. Family life was close and satisfying for Polly (so called to avoid confusion with her mother), who appreciated her father’s interests in art and literature and her mother’s community commitments, including as a member of the New York City Board of Higher Education and the national president of the Young Women’s Christian Association....

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Byerly, William Elwood (13 December 1849–20 December 1935), mathematician and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elwood Byerly, a merchant, and Rebecca Potts Wayne. Byerly grew up in New Jersey, where he was privately tutored until he entered Harvard University in the fall of 1867. He received his A.B. in 1871 at the top of his class, which included ...

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Clark, William Bullock (15 December 1860–27 July 1917), professor of geology and administrator of scientific organizations, was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, the son of Barna Atherton Clark, a merchant, and Helen Bullock. Clark graduated from Brattleboro high school in 1879 and entered Amherst College the following year. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1884, he traveled to Europe with two of his professors and settled in Munich for graduate studies in paleontology, receiving a Ph.D. in 1887. Two years earlier, a Department of Geology had been organized at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the founder of that department, George H. Williams, was able to convince the university administration he needed more assistance....

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Anna Botsford Comstock. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111455).

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Comstock, Anna Botsford (01 September 1854–24 August 1930), educator and scientific illustrator, was born in a log cabin in Cattaraugus County, New York, the daughter of Marvin Botsford and Phoebe Irish. The Botsfords were prosperous farmers who encouraged Anna in her love of art, literature, and natural history. Her mother, a Hicksite Quaker, shared her love of the natural world with her daughter. From 1871 to 1873 Anna attended the Chamberlain Institute and Female College in nearby Randolph, where she resisted attempts by its faculty to have all students “experience” religion, asserting the moderate beliefs she would retain throughout her life....

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Fieser, Louis Frederick (07 April 1899–25 July 1977), chemist and educator, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Louis Frederick Fieser, merchant, and Martha Victoria Kershaw. His father engaged in several Columbus enterprises, principally as co-owner of a pig iron business and as an officer in a building and loan company. After attending Columbus public schools, Fieser went to Williams College, where he majored in chemistry, became a Phi Beta Kappa, and won letters in three varsity sports. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1920. He chose Harvard for his graduate studies, earning the doctoral degree under the direction of ...

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Grew, Theophilus (?–1759), schoolteacher and mathematician, was of unknown parentage. There is no extant information on his early personal life or education. By the early 1730s he was skilled enough in astronomical computations to prepare almanacs, and presumably he resided in Maryland. His first known almanac, ...

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Halsted, George Bruce (23 November 1853–16 March 1922), professor of mathematics, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Oliver Spencer Halsted, Jr., a lawyer, and Adela Meeker. He attended Princeton University, as had his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and other members of the family. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree there in 1875, he briefly attended the Columbia School of Mines before becoming a student of ...

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Iddings, Joseph Paxson (21 January 1857–08 September 1920), petrologist and educator, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of William Penn Iddings, a merchant, and Almira Gillet. With the encouragement of his father, Iddings graduated in 1877 with a Ph.B. in civil engineering from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. He spent the next year in graduate study of chemistry and mineralogy while assisting in courses in mechanical drawing and surveying. He continued his studies in geology and assaying during 1878–1879 at the Columbia School of Mines, mainly as a result of the influence of a lecture at Yale by ...

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Kessen, William (18 January 1925–13 February 1999), psychologist, educator, and historian, was born in Key West, Florida, the only child of Maria Lord Kessen, a third generation Key Wester, and Herman Kessen of Georgia, a ship's engineer with the Peninsular and Occidental Steamship line. The family moved to Fort Lauderdale when Kessen was ten; he graduated from high school at the precocious age of sixteen. The first in his family to attend college, Kessen pursued a variety of interests at the University of Florida, including history, acting, and radio announcing, but his undergraduate studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II....

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Knopf, Adolph (02 December 1882–23 November 1966), professor of geology, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of German immigrants George Tobias Knopf, a building contractor, and Anna Geisel. The family owned a ranch in open country south of San Francisco (near the San Andreas fault, movement along which caused the San Francisco earthquake of 1906), and Knopf’s early years were divided between country and city. He entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1900, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1904 and a master’s degree in geology in 1906; he pursued graduate work in geology for an additional year. His primary professor there, whom he always admired and revered, was ...

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Krause, Herbert Arthur (25 May 1905–22 September 1976), novelist, English professor, poet, and naturalist, was born near Friberg, Minnesota, the son of Arthur Krause, a farmer and blacksmith, and Bertha Peters. Krause’s parents were first-generation descendants of devout German immigrants who settled as farmers in the hill country north of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Their folkways and fundamentalist Lutheran religion were important concerns in his first two novels....

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Kremers, Edward (23 February 1865–09 July 1941), pharmaceutical educator and phytochemist, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Gerhard Kremers, a secretary-treasurer of the Milwaukee Gas & Light Company, and Elise Kamper. German culture and education were dominant influences that shaped Kremers’s life and career. To escape the events in Germany in 1848 his family immigrated to one of the most Germanic parts of the United States. In elementary school, all but two or three of Edward’s peers were studying German. His high school, operated by the German Reformed church, was modeled after a German secondary school. After graduation in 1882, Kremers apprenticed in Milwaukee with an immigrant German pharmacist, Louis Lotz. After a two-year apprenticeship Kremers studied at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy for a year (1884–1885); he then enrolled in the University of Wisconsin to earn a Ph.G. certificate (1886) and a B.S. degree (1888)....

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Laws, Samuel Spahr (23 March 1824–09 January 1921), educator, businessman, and inventor, was born in Ohio County, Virginia, the son of James and Rachel Laws. Laws worked in a tool shop in rural Virginia as a young man before matriculating at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1844. He was valedictorian of the class of 1848. He graduated from Princeton University's seminary in 1851 and accepted an offer to serve as leader of a St. Louis, Missouri, Presbyterian congregation. In 1854 the rectors of Westminster College, a newly formed Presbyterian school in Fulton, Missouri, hired him as a math instructor; he was appointed president of the college a year later. In 1860 he married Ann Marie Broadwell, the daughter of William Broadwell, who later became chief of the Cotton Bureau for the Confederate States of America's trans-Mississippi department....