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Hay, Harry (07 April 1912–24 October 2002), gay rights pioneer, was born Henry Hay, Jr., in Worthing, Sussex, England, to wealthy American parents, Henry Hay, Sr., and Margaret Neall. His father worked as a manager for mining companies, forcing the family to relocate frequently. The Hays moved to Chuquicamata, Chile, in 1914, then settled in Los Angeles, California, in 1919. Harry (as he was known) attended Los Angeles public schools and spent summers working on relatives’ ranches in California and Nevada. At age fourteen, Harry experienced his first sexual encounter with another man and realized he was gay (he had seen the word “homosexual” in a book several years earlier). Harry Hay attended Stanford University from 1930 to 1932, where he participated in the campus’s clandestine gay social scene and even told many classmates he was gay—an audacious declaration at a time when gay people usually did not publicly reveal their sexual identities....

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Langston, Charles Henry (1817–14 December 1892), abolitionist, temperance advocate, and educator, was born in Louisa County, Virginia, the son of Captain Ralph Quarles, a white plantation owner, and Lucy Langston, Quarles’s slave whom he manumitted and with whom he maintained an open relationship. Langston and his brothers were educated by Quarles in their youth. After the death of their parents in 1834 the Langston children were taken by William Gooch, a friend of Quarles and Lucy Langston, to Chillicothe, Ohio, where they were reunited with their half brother and two half sisters, the children of Lucy Langston who were born before her involvement with Quarles. Langston and his brothers took with them to Ohio considerable money bequeathed to them by Quarles. In 1835 Langston and his brother Gideon became the first African Americans enrolled in the preparatory department of Oberlin Collegiate Institute, then a hotbed of abolitionism. After leaving the preparatory department in 1836, Langston worked as a teacher at black schools in Chillicothe and Columbus, Ohio. He reenrolled in the Oberlin preparatory department in 1841 and studied there until the spring of 1843....

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Lewis, Dioclesian (03 March 1823–21 May 1886), temperance reformer and pioneer in physical education, was born near Auburn, New York, the son of John C. Lewis and Delecta Barbour, farmers. A product of the “Burned-Over District,” America’s most fertile ground for revivalism and reform during the Second Great Awakening (1800–1830), Dio Lewis absorbed revivalism’s lesson of individual improvement through self-discipline and applied it to social problems created or exacerbated by urbanization and industrialization. His first exposure to the new world of industry came as a boy, when he was hired by a cotton mill near his home. After spending several years in his late teens as a teacher, Lewis turned to the study of medicine, at first with a local doctor, then for a short time at Harvard. While practicing in Port Byron, New York, he was converted by his partner to homeopathy, and as a result of his efforts in publicizing homeopathic principles Lewis was awarded an honorary M.D. in 1851 by the Homeopathic Hospital College of Cleveland, Ohio....

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Miller, Emily Clark Huntington (22 October 1833–02 November 1913), author, Methodist temperance worker, and educator, was born in Brooklyn, Connecticut, the daughter of Thomas Huntington, a physician and Baptist minister, and his second wife, Paulina Clark. Receiving her early education at local schools, she graduated from Oberlin College in 1857 and stayed on briefly to teach in the college. While at Oberlin she met John Edwin Miller, a graduate of the Oberlin Theological Institute and a teacher, whom she married in 1860; they had four children....

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Norton, Alice Peloubet (25 February 1860–23 February 1928), home economics educator, was born Mary Alice Peloubet near Gloucester, Massachusetts, the daughters of Francis Nathan Peloubet, a Congregational minister, and Mary Abby Thaxter. During her youth the family moved to a succession of Massachusetts pastorates in Oakham, Attleboro, and Natick. Alice graduated from Smith College with an A.B. in 1882. In 1883 she married Lewis Mills Norton, a teacher of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)....

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Parloa, Maria (25 September 1843–21 August 1909), teacher of cooking and pioneer in home economics education, was born in Massachusetts; no records have been found of her parentage or exact place of birth. Orphaned in her youth, Parloa supported herself by working as a cook in private homes and as a pastry cook in several New Hampshire hotels, notably the Appledore House on the Isles of Shoals. In 1871, at the age of twenty-eight, she enrolled in the normal school of the Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. The following year she published ...

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Richardson, Anna Euretta (05 September 1883–03 February 1931), home economist and educator, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the daughter of William H. Richardson and Euretta Miller. In 1887 the family moved to Summerville, South Carolina, where her father served as mayor for many years. In 1900 she graduated from the Memminger High and Normal School in Charleston and three years later received a B.S. from Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. During the next few years, Richardson took graduate courses at the University of Chicago and Columbia University while teaching at secondary schools in Summerville and in Ocala, Florida. She earned an M.A. in nutrition from Columbia University in 1911....

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Roberts, Lydia Jane (30 June 1879–28 May 1965), home economics educator and nutritionist, was born in Hope Township, Barry County, Michigan, the daughter of Warren Roberts, a carpenter, and Mary McKibbin. She attended grade school and high school in Martin, Michigan. After graduating from high school (1898), Roberts obtained a Limited Teaching Certificate (qualification for teaching in only certain elementary schools) from Mt. Pleasant Normal School in 1899 and began teaching in rural Michigan. Her adventuresome nature led her to teaching positions in Miles City and Great Falls, Montana, before she returned to obtain her Life Certificate (qualification for teaching in all rural and urban schools) from Mt. Pleasant in 1909. She then taught third grade and served as a critic teacher, or supervisor of student teachers, in the local normal school in Dillon, Montana. Having observed a relationship between the health of her students and the quality of their diets, Roberts wanted to know more about the nutritional needs of children. To pursue this knowledge she entered the University of Chicago in 1915 at the age of thirty-six, ending her seventeen-year career as an elementary school teacher....

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Frances Willard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ61-790).

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Willard, Frances Elizabeth Caroline (28 September 1839–17 February 1898), educator and international temperance leader, was born in Churchville near Rochester, New York, the daughter of Josiah Willard, a businessman and farmer, and Mary Hill, a schoolteacher. When she was two her father sold his substantial farm and business interests and moved his family to Ohio, where both parents studied at Oberlin College. In 1846 the family moved to Wisconsin, where Frances spent the rest of her childhood on their large frontier farm near Janesville. Except for brief stints in rural schools, Willard was tutored by her mother until 1857, when she studied for a year at Milwaukee Female College (later Milwaukee-Downer College) and then at North Western Female College (later part of Northwestern University), receiving a “Laureatte of Science” in 1859. In 1861 she was engaged to ...

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Woolman, Mary Raphael Schenck (26 April 1860–01 August 1940), educator and author, was born in Camden, New Jersey, the daughter of Joseph Schenck, a physician, and Martha McKeen. As a child Mary Schenck lived a privileged life. Because her father was a leading doctor in the community—he was far ahead of his time in the use of prophylactic measures and modern medical surgical methods—she had access to his vast library, and after showing scholarly promise she was sent to a private Quaker school in Philadelphia that trained young women from upper-class families in many subjects, including domestic arts. In 1883–1884 she continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied history and languages....