Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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These articles about the early Teachers' Institutes and Common Schools give us insight into early educational practices. They are part of research I am compiling to write about Teaching the Teachers before colleges were available for their education. Joyce M.Tice
Tioga County School Articles 1839 - 1849
Continued From Teachers' Institutes 1855-1859 Tioga County Teachers Institutes 1860
Tioga County School Articles 1861 - 1869 Tioga County School Articles 1870 -

The Agitator
February 2, 1860
A Teachers’ Institute.
 For mutual improvement, the teachers of Charleston, Delmar, and Wellsboro, have reorganized a Teachers’ Institute from one formerly instituted by the teachers of Delmar.
 The members assemble semi-monthly for the purpose of comparing methods of instruction in such branches as are taught in our common schools.
 The next session will be held at the Red School House in this Boro, on Saturday, February 11th, 1860, commencing at 10 o’clock A.M. and containing until 4 o’clock P.M.
 At the last session the Executive Committee reported the following order of business:
 1st. Arithmetic, Interest by Alfred Stone.
 2d. Reading, by Asaph Bacon.
 3d. Intermission from 12 o’clock till one.
 4th. Grammar, by R. B. Webb.
 5th. Discussion of the following resolution:
 Resolved, That the older pupils in our Winter Schools should receive more attention than the younger ones.
 6th. Essays, by Miss M. Blair, and Vanvalkenberg.  The public are respectfully invited at attend.
       Per order of Committee,
        J. Walbridge, Pres’t.

Tioga Agitator – May 31, 1860
Proceedings of the  Tioga Co. Teachers' Institute
Union Academy, Tuesday, May 15th, 1860

The Tioga County Teachers' Institute met here this afternoon, and commenced its sixth semi-annual session, with about fifty teachers in attendance.

First Day.

Afternoon Session. – Mr. H. C. Johns of Mainsburg, President of the Institute, took the chair and opened the Institute with appropriate remarks.  He urged the teachers in attendance to be zealous in making this session of the Institute as interesting and beneficial as possible.  He regretted that Prof. Reynolds, the County Superintendent was not present as usual to assist in organizing the Institute for he had had more experience than he (Johns) had had.  He considered teachers' institutes as indispensable auxiliaries to the teacher's profession.  In the State of New York a part of the school fund was appropriated for the support of teachers' Institutes; able and talented men were employed to carry on these institutes, and to make them of practical benefit to teachers.  This was the way it should be in this State, in order that teachers might be prepared for the duties and responsibilities of their profession.  The present Institute by the efforts of Prof. Reynolds and others had done much to lighten the burdens, and to increase the usefulness of teachers.  It was for the teachers in attendance to determine whether the present session should result in good to themselves, or otherwise.

The secretary of the Institute, Mr. John I. Mitchell of Tioga being absent, Victor A. Elliott of Cherry Flatts was elected to fill the vacancy pro tem.

The President announced the Committee on Business for the session as follows:  Messrs. A. R. Wightman, N. L. Reynolds, V. A. Elliott, and Misses Diantha M. Drew, and Persis Butts.

By the request of the President, Prof. A. R. Wightman read the Constitution and By-laws of the Institute, for the benefit of those who were unacquainted with them.

On motion the Secretary was requested to call the names of the teachers at the commencement of each session, and to read the marks of attendance at the close of the term.

The committee on business reported that Prof. H. C. Johns would lecture in the evening, and at three o'clock the Institute adjourned.

Mr. Reynolds is expected here tomorrow, and this will add new interest to the Institute.

Evening Session. – The lecture of H. C. Johns, Superintendent elect, delivered this evening before the teachers of the Institute, and others from the adjoining villages, was a candid and powerful vindication of popular education, and I am in hopes that he will consent at some future time to give it to the public through the press, so that the people may give it a more careful consideration.

At the close of Mr. Johns' lecture, Mr. Reynolds made a short and characteristic speech, telling the teachers that no one, two, nor three of them could make an Institute interesting, but that all should be engaged i the exercises.  When he heard a young lady or gentleman say that Arithmetic or Grammar was a hard study, and that he or she did not like it, he always knew that it was because he or she would not study it sufficiently to like it.  He cautioned the people from the village to mark those teachers who were heard about the town complaining that they did not like the Institute, for they were the ones who do not do enough for the Institute to like it.

On motion, a committee of three on the part of the gentlemen, and three on the part of the ladies, was appointed to procure music for the Institute.  Messrs. U. P. Stebbins, Chas. Tubbs, Philip Vanzile, and Misses M. J. Mulford, S. J. Tiffany and M. Robb, composed that Committee.

The committee on business made their report, an the Institute adjourned.

Mr. Reynolds is expected to occupy the first part of the forenoon on Orthography, and Mr. Wrightman to follow on Penmanship.

Second Day.

Wednesday, May 16th – Morning Session. – The Institute was opened this morning by a very beautiful piece of music by the choir which was arranged near the president's desk.  The music made the morning session much more cheerful and pleasant.

Mr. Reynolds said that Orthography was divided into four parts, namely:  1. Characters called letters;  2. Powers of the letters standing alone; 3. Spelling, or the proper arrangement of letters in forming words; 4. Pronunciation of words or orthoepy.  He asked teachers which one of the four parts they would teach first.  Various opinions were expressed.  He began with the letters and said that a very excellent method of teaching the alphabet was to compare each letter to some object that was familiar to the child, as O to the cart-wheel, B to the ox-yoke, S to the pot-hook, &c.  The sources or the powers of the letters should be taught by oral concert exercises, in which all the students should join.  In primary spelling, Mr. Reynolds said no teacher ought to allow a pupil to pass over a spelling lesson to a reading lesson, until every word could be pronounced readily at sight, without spelling it. In more advanced classes, teachers were generally in favor of giving scholars marks according to the number of words missed.  Mr. Reynolds deferred his remarks on Orthoepy till another time, and the Institute took a short recess.

Mr. Wightman said in teaching penmanship, he would make free use of the black-board. – Teachers might better not teach writing at all than to teach it wrong.  The beginner should be first taught how to hold the pen, then his position at the desk; the arm should always be at right angles with the ruled lines on the paper, and he should sit erect in a free and easy position.  The pupils should always be provided with waste paper, and should be taught 1st, the whole arm movement, 2d, thumb and finger movement for small letters, 3d, forearm movement for spacing small letters.  he taught four elements for making capitals, and five for small letters, which might be made useful if teachers would study them and put them into practice.  He taught that all upward strokes should be drawn at an angle of forty five degrees from the ruled line, downward strokes at an angle of sixty.  Exercises in writing should be conducted the same as in other studies, and at a regular time of day.  Pupils would do better to purchase writing books with the copies already written, than to trust to teachers for copies. – This would secure the pupil a uniform hand to write after each term.

The item-box was passed by Mr. Reynolds, and the items were referred to teachers for answers i the afternoon.

Afternoon Session. – The answers to questions from the item-box this afternoon were curious and amusing, as well as useful.

Miss Beach of Osceola conducted the exercises in Geography in a very interesting manner.

The following resolutions were ordered to be entered upon the Secretary's book for discussion.

Resolved, That a teachers month ought to be twenty-four days exclusive of Saturdays.

Resolved, That males and females having the same grade of certificate ought to receive the same wages.

Resolved, That it is unjust for property holders who have no children to send to school to pay a tax to educate the children of others.

Resolved, That the late Triennial Convention of School Director – were justifiable in continuing the salary of the Superintendent at nine hundred dollars a year.  Adjourned till evening.

Evening Session. – Ladies strike for higher wages.

The report of Business Committee, received and adopted.

On motion, the resolution respecting the wages of females, was taken up for discussion.

S. B. Elliott of Mansfield, spoke in favor of the resolution.  He would give a lady as much as a gentleman for teaching, provided the certificate of the one was as good as that of the other, and he should consider he was getting the better bargain to hire the lady at that.  Women were the natural teachers of our race, all great men referred their early education to their mothers.  Young ladies needed the compensation for their work, while the gentlemen could be employed in something else.  (Applause)  Mr. O. M. Stebbins being called on, said he preferred to speak on the side of the ladies – he would defer his remarks.

Mr. Charles Tubbs of Osceola opposed the resolution for the reason that it was the duty of Directors to employ teachers for the lowest possible price, and ladies could be employed for a less price than the men.

Mr. U. P. Stebbins of Middlebury did not think that the marks on a certificate were a sure indication of the amount of good a teacher would be able to perform.  Amid much applause be continued.  In a little, small, petty summer school, a lady might do, but in a large, advanced, winter school, a man only would answer.

Miss D. M. Drew of Richmond said that of course she was on the affirmative.  She did not believe the gentleman from Middlebury knew whether ladies could teach in the winter or not.  Some ladies did teach in the winter, where large and advanced scholars attended school.

Mr. M. C. Potter was willing the ladies should get all the wages they could.

Mr. Reynolds thought the gentleman from Mansfield had a wrong idea of the resolution.  It was the demand and not the cost of an article that regulated its price in the market.  Female teachers received for teaching all they asked.  If Directors should offer more than the present prices, the increased supply, and honest competition would soon bring them down again.  General information was necessary to the teacher.  Men could talk better than women, and could lecture to the students.

Miss Beach would like to know where the teacher found his authority for saying that females could not teach as well as males.  The female teacher could teach some branches better than the males, and in some cases which she had know, she had been preferred by the Directors.

Mr. Van Orsdale of Addison, N.Y., said women were daily gaining new concessions to their rights.  This was evidenced by the late act in New York State in favor of married women.  Woman's moral influence would secure obedience and respect, when man's physical force would fail.

V. A. Elliott opposed the resolution.

S. b. Elliott rose to speak again, but was called to order on the ground that he had spoken once.  The point was subsequently withdrawn, and on motion he was permitted to proceed.  His remarks were substantially the same as before.

Miss M. A. Stanton of Richburg, N.Y., thought that if boasting and high wages went together, the gentlemen should receive a large salary for their services on the present occasion.  (Laughter.)

Misses E. Mosher, A. A. Orvis and others boldly asserted their rights to equal compensation.

Mr. Wightman did not take much interest in the discussion, because he thought the resolution was opposed merely for fun.  The negative had set up a man of straw which was easily torn down.

At this time, a motion was made to lay the resolution under discussion upon the table.  The previous question was moved and carried, and the resolution tabled.

A motion was then made to take up the next resolution in order on the Secretary's book.  A motion to lay this motion upon the table was ruled out of order.  The motion to take up was carried.  the resolution was then amended and passed in the following form without opposition:

Resolved, That it is just for property holders who have no children to send to school, to pay a tax to educate the children of others.

The Institute then adjourned.

Professors L. L. Rogers and D. L. Freeborn of Spring Mills are expected here to-morrow, and will take part in the exercises.

Third Day.

Thursday, May 17th – Morning Session. – Mr. Vanzyle and Mr. Scudder discoursed sweet music from the melodeon and violin, and at the close the regular order of business being called, Mr. O. M. Stebbins of Middlebury, proceeded to give his method of teaching common fractions.  His demonstrations were clear and satisfactory, and doubtless will be of great use to the teachers who listened to them.

Mr. Reynolds resumed the subject of Orthography.  He recommended written exercise for advanced spelling classes.  He urged upon teachers the necessity of requiring students to pronounce their words properly, and of correcting all ungrammatical expressions.

It was moved and carried that a committee be appointed to criticize members for improper expressions.  Prof. Wightman, and Misses Eliza J. Beach and Diantha M. Drew were appointed.

S. B. Elliott, Esq., lectured for half an hour on the subject of ventilation.  His remarks were truly practical as well as purely philosophical.  School houses should be well ventilated.  In common school houses, this might be  accomplished by letting down a window from the top on the side opposite to the wind.  If windows were not already so arranged, teachers should take the responsibility of doing it.

At the close of his lecture, Mr. Elliott moved that the order of business be suspended, and that the resolution on teachers' wages which was laid upon the table last evening be taken up.  This motion was opposed but finally carried.  After a few remarks in opposition to the resolution, a motion was made to refer the subject to a Committee of five members, three on the part of the ladies, and two on the part of the gentlemen, who should be required to collect all the facts with reference to the subject, and to report the same as the next meeting of the Institute.  This resolution was lost, whereupon a motive was made to postpone the discussion of the resolution till evening.  The previous question being demanded was put and lost, as also was the motion to postpone.  The previous question was then moved on the main resolution which was carried, and the resolution passed by vote of all the ladies and a minority of the gentlemen.  The Institute then adjourned.

Afternoon Session. – Prof. A. R. Wightman made some excellent remarks on the subject of writing compositions.  The young student might be taught to compose without his knowing that he was writing a composition.

The teacher should write a part of a sentence and then ask the student to complete it.  In this way the young mind would be easily led along in composition writing, and would soon learn to like it.

The Institute proceeded to the consideration of Arithmetic.  The following clear and practical demonstrations were given:  Long Division, by Miss Eliza J. Beach; Least Common Multiple, by James H. Bozard; Cube Root, by Diantha M. Drew; Arithmetical and Geometrical Progression, Prof. A. R. Wightman, of Union Academy; Divisions of Fractions, by Ambrose Cloos.

The Institute proceeded to the election of Counsellors.  The following townships were found to be represented, and Counsellors were duly elected.

Sullivan, H. C. Johns; Clymer, Robil King; Westfield, Ambrose Cloos; Nelson, J. B. Cady; Lawrence, S. Tremain; Lawrenceville, N. V. Kinsey; Middlebury, O. M. Stebbins; Covington, A. A. Orvis; Richmond, D. M. Drew; Charleston, S. H. Elliott; Mansfield, S. B. Elliott; Chatham, M. C. Potter; Deerfield, P. F. Vanzile; Osceola, Charles Tubbs; Farmington, Persis Butts; Elkland, L. A. Baker; Brookfield, Sarah Bowman; Tioga, Ezra Williams.

Some of these Counsellors arrived after the election.

The President introduced to the teachers Prof. L. L. Rogers of Troupsburg Academy, to speak upon the subject of English Grammar.  He said he was a New Yorker by birth, and a New Yorker in many other respects; but as a teacher his labors had been confined mostly to Pennsylvania; he was acquainted with her system of schools, her teachers, and also with her Teachers' Institutes, and he confessed that although he had disliked teaching in his younger days, yet when he got into one of those curious inventions, a Pennsylvania Teachers' Institute, where big warm hearts meet together for social intercourse, he felt to thank God that he was a teacher.  he proceeded to speak upon the subject of English Grammar in a lively and interesting manner.

The Institute adjourned till evening.

Evening Session. – Prof. Rogers lectured this evening on the importance of teachers preparing themselves for the duties of their profession.  His remarks were all of a sublime and eloquent character, and he had the most perfect attention of the audience to the close.

After the lecture by Prof. Rogers, the following resolution was introduced:

Resolved, That in the judgment of the teachers of this Institute Kenyon's English Grammar is superior to Brown's as a text book, and better adapted to the wants of the schools of this county; we therefore recommend it for general use.

The Institute went into Committee of the Whole for the discussion of this resolution, and the debate commenced in earnest on both sides.  I cannot give the shortest outline of the remarks of particular gentlemen.  The "Kenyonites" introduced the resolution, and commenced the debate with perfect confidence in their superior strength in the Institute.  The "Brownites" offered a determined opposition, and though small in numbers seemed perfectly confident of the superior merits of their favorite text book.  After one or two unsuccessful attempts to postpone and amend this resolution, it was passed by a large majority, and the Institute adjourned.

Mr. Johns will lecture to-morrow morning on School Government.  Mr. Burlingame of Wellsboro is expected to deliver an address in the afternoon.

Fourth Day.

Friday, May 18th – Morning Session. – The remarks of Mr. Johns this morning on School Government were well received by the teachers.  Other participated in the discussion of the question, How to secure good order in the school room.

S. B. Elliott, Esq., believed each offense should be treated upon its own merits; no fixed rules of fault and punishment should be adopted, for students generally had an instinctive desire to transgress established rules.

Prof. Price, former principal of Union Academy thought students had no desire to transgress rule which they recognized as right.  It was only those rules which they considered wrong and tyrannical that students were disposed to violate.

Mr. Burlingame said students should be taught first the necessity and benefit of rules, and then be required to observe them.

Mr. Reynolds said there was more in the manner than in the kind of punishment.  All punishment, however severe, should be inflicted in a spirit of kindness.

Mr. Morgan Hart of Charleston was introduced to the teachers, and he proceeded to give his views of teaching reading at some length.  Scholars should be taught to read from the newspaper; they should never be allowed to spell their words before pronouncing them.  He recommended reading in concert from primary books as a preventative for drawling.

On motion, Mr. Ambrose Cloos, and Misses D. M. Drew, and A. Secord were appointed to audit the accounts of the Treasurer.

Prof. Burlingame gave his views of teaching Mental Arithmetic.

The report of the Criticising committee elicited much laughter and applause.

The following officers were elected for the next session of the Institute.

For President – L. R. Burlingame of Wellsboro.

Vice Presidents – O. M. Stebbins, Middlebury; Chas. Tubbs, Osceola; Ambrose Cloos, Westfield; Diantha M. Drew, Richmond; Eliza J. Beach, Osceola.

Recording Secretary – A. R. Wightman, Union Academy.

Cor. Secretary – N. L. Reynolds, Mansfield.

Treasurer – Augusta A. Orvis, Covington.

The Counsellors reported that Mansfield had been selected as the place for holding the next Institute.

Mr. S. B. Elliott asked permission to offer the following preamble and resolution which were unanimously adopted.

Whereas, In the person of our outgoing County Superintendent, we recognize a faithful and efficient officer and ????? ????; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the thanks of the teachers of the Tioga County Teachers Institute are due to N. L. Reynolds for his earnest and untiring labors in the cause of popular education during his full term of office.

The Auditing Committee reports $24.61 in the hands of the Treasurer.

On motion the resolution approving the action of the Triennial Convention in continuing the salary of the Superintendent at nine hundred dollars was take up, discussed, and unanimously adopted.

Mr. Johns spoke upon this resolution before its adoption, saying that according to the Pennsylvania School Journal the salary of the County Superintendent was paid from the general school fund, and was not deducted from the State appropriation to the particular county.  The State tax previous to 1854 was three mills on the dollar, since that time it had been only two and a half mills.  He thought the money would be profitably expended even if Tioga County had to bear the whole expense of supporting her Superintendent.

Victor A. Elliott asked permission to submit the following statement of facts which was taken from official records:

[The right side of the column is unreadable]

The whole State tax according to the A. R. for General's report of the ????? of Pennsylvania for 1859, was $1,482,645.03, of which twenty per cent, or $287,790.37 was ????? for school purposes.  Of this sum, about ????teen and a half per cent, a little less than ??? per cent of the whole State tax, or $??,???.?? was paid to county Superintendents.

Tioga county, as a matter of course, ????ted to the support of the County Superintendency, and for school purposes, ???????tion to the amount of her State tax. ??????? tax according to the af???? report  ???  ??548.37.  Twenty per cent of this sum, ???? .67 would be the amount paid for the Superintendency and other school purposes.  ????? and a half per cent, of this $???.67 or ?????? would be the exact amount Tioga County ????? for the support of the County Superintendency and the remainder $767.77 would be the amount she pays for other school purposes.

Tioga County receives in return for ??? Superintendency $909, and for other school purposes $1,408.10.  Total receipts$2,39?.??  ???tal expenditures in State tax as before ????? Excess of receipts over what she pays ??????? 73, of which excess $768.10 goes to the Superintendent, and could not be appropriated for other school purposes in the county, and the remainder of this excess, $730.03 goes ??? other school purposes.  These excesses are paid by the richer counties under the operation of the school law.

The number of taxables according to the aforesaid report was 6,994. Dividing ?????? by this number, and each taxable pays on an average of less than two cents for the support of the County Suprintendency.

A motion to take up the resolution ??????er's month was negatived, and a sub?????? the resolution passed in the following form:

Resolved, That a calendar month exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays should constitute a ???? month.

A vote of thanks to the students and families of Union Academy, and to the people of this vicinity generally for their hospitality to teachers attending the Institute, was unanimously adopted.

On motion, the Corresponding Secretary was requested to correspond with some of the best educators in the county, with a view of ????.

Tri-Counties Page 16334

Continued on Tioga County Teachers Institutes 1861

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 23 SEP 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

Gazette & Bulletin, Williamsport, PA, Saturday morning, 30 Oct. 1937

Annual Sessions Held by Teachers and Directors of Tioga County Schools
WELLSBORO - Addresses by prominent educators were highlights of the 70th annual Tioga County teachers’ meeting and the annual school directors’ convention. Both were held here Thursday and Friday.
 Officers of the School Directors Association of Tioga County were elected as follows: President, Mrs. Mae Smith of Elkland; first vice president, Frank Snyder of Liberty; second vice president, A.H. Vosburg, Mansfield; secretary, Mrs. Clara MacIntosh of Covington; treasurer, Fay Furman of Wellsboro.
 Salom Rizk, lecturer, spoke on “Americanization of an American” at a meeting of the teachers in the high school Thursday morning.
 Sectional meetings, followed by panel discussions were led by the following: Irving T. Chatterton, on English; Dr. Paul J. Steele, science; Miss May M. Mattson, home economics; George S. Howard, music, all of the Mansfield State Teachers College faculty.
 The afternoon addresses were given by Dr. Joseph F. Noonan, president, Mansfield Teachers College, and Florence Hale, lecturer and editor.
 Preston O. VanNess, executive secretary of the state directors’ association, E.A. Quackenbush, of the department of public instructions, and Mr. Rizk, addressed the school directors.
 Music was furnished by the Mansfield Girls’ Glee Club, directed by Miss Eleanor Barnard; the Wellsboro High School Band, and instrumental quintet and pupils of the Charleston grade school. Mrs. Catherine McClintock, Wellsboro, led group singing.
 Dr. Hilton Ira Jones, scientist and lecturer, was the only new speaker at yesterday’s meeting of teachers.
 Entertainment was provided by the Wellsboro High School Orchestra; a baritone solo by Ronald Walter of Tioga; dances by Wellsboro High School girls in charge of Miss Jane Farwell; selections by Sophomore Girls’ Glee Club of Wellsboro, and vocal solo by Lane Webster, Wellsboro.
 Approximately 300 persons attended the two-day sessions, at the close of which the following officers were elected by the Tioga County Tuberculosis Society: President, Rock L. Butler, Wellsboro; vice president, Walter G. Clark, Westfield; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. C.E. Bennett, Wellsboro; auditors, Edgar Brandt, Wellsboro, and R.D. English, Antrim; delegates to P.S.E.A. convention, Warren L. Miller, Mansfield, Miss Josephine Squires and J.G. March, Wellsboro. Officers of the county unit were elected as follows: President, Rock L. Butler; secretary-treasurer, Miss Eleanor Donovan, Elkland.