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Engle, Paul (12 Oct. 1908–22 March 1991), poet, literary critic, and educator, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Thomas Allen, a horse trader, and Evelyn (Reinheimer) Engle. He was educated at local schools, helped his father in the livery stable, and worked as a newsboy selling papers on the streets, a carrier boy, a chauffeur, a gardener, and, for many years, a drugstore clerk. He began writing poetry at Washington High School and was elected class poet. At Coe College in Cedar Rapids, he studied English literature, American history, and languages, and was awarded a B.A. in ...

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Spencer, Platt Rogers (07 November 1800–16 May 1864), penman and educator, was born in East Fishkill, New York, the son of Caleb Spencer and Jerusha Covell, farmers. After the death of Spencer’s father in 1810, the family sought opportunity in the West and moved to Jefferson, Ohio. With a few brief exceptions, Spencer spent the rest of his life in this northeastern corner of Ohio. Spencer was unable to begin his formal education until he was twelve. But since paper was very expensive, he indulged his fondness for penmanship before and after on beds of sand, snowbanks, and any other surface he could find. His school training, though uneven, mirrored Americans’ efforts to make educational opportunities universal. They placed strong emphasis on teaching students to read and write, thereby ensuring the perpetuation of their democratic ideals....