Wellington - Isaac - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Wellington - Isaac

Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain counties, Indiana.  Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, pp 704-705

PROF. ISAAC M. WELLINGTON, Superintendent of the public schools of Crawfordsville, Ind., is one of the most successful educators in the State. He is known to be careful in his advice to teachers, and understands how to bring out all the ability that a teacher may possess. He is the author of several text-books of a high order, his "Geometry for Public Schools," and his "English Syntax" being among them.

The birth of our subject took place in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, January 14, 1832, he being the son of Isaac and Lois M. (Smith) Wellington, the former of whom followed the occupation of a farmer and gardener. Here our subject was reared until his sixteenth year, when, at the death of his father, he entered upon an apprenticeship of three years to the carpenter's trade. For this he received $30 the first year, $40 the second, and $75 the third. During this time he partly fitted himself for college. He followed his trade and studies for one year, hoping to be able to enter Harvard, but he finally decided to go to Dartmouth, and in order to be independent, taught school during the winters, and also kept a book-store in the college. Not only did this young man undertake all of this, but he had also to undertake the support of his beloved mother, two sisters and two brothers. Remarkable as it seems, however, he kept up with his class, never missed a day, and was graduated in the Class of '58 with the degree of A. B., and not only that, but he stood number one in the class. Some of his classmates were Mayor Palmer, of Boston; Thompson, who was Secretary of State of New Hampshire in 1878; and Duncan, who was chief of the observatory at Dartmouth.

Later, the degree of A. M. brought our subject the offer of a professorship of mathematics, but he preferred to accept the position of Principal of the Fryeburgh (Me.) Academy, and there he remained for two years. He then went to Elmira, N. Y., as Principal of the Free Academy, where he continued for a period of four years. At Port Jervis, N. Y., he was Superintendent of Public Schools for a period of four years, having under him a force of thirteen teachers. Later he returned to Maine in order to settle up the estate of his wife's father. In 1870 he was made Principal of the Detroit High School, under Duane Doly as Superintendent, and here he remained until 1880, building up the school so that instead of three teachers, twenty-five were necessary. Here he also taught with J. M. B. Sill, who is now President of the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, Mich.
Following this position, our subject accepted a situation as Principal of the Orchard Lake (Mich.) Military Academy for two years. At the end of this time he made a change in his business, engaging in a grain business in Detroit until 1887, at the end of which time he was offered the position of Superintendent of the schools of Muskegon, Mich., where there were one hundred teachers. Here he remained for three years, when he lost his wife, and this changed his plans. The following fall, in 1890, he accepted his present position, and has made a grand success of it, having given entire satisfaction. While living in Maine he filled the office of County Superintendent for two years. The bent of his life has always been in a literary direction. He is a forcible, exact and plain writer. His public life has been successful in educational matters, and he has been one of the delegates to, and a member of, the State and National Committees. His lectures at the Michigan institutes have been much admired, and he is popular with the whole fraternity, as he is full of life, and is agreeable under all circumstances.

Prof. Wellington has patented a machine for manufacturing election stickers, making his own models. He has taken charge of the psychological department in the school in addition to giving his attention to the entire school. He is a strict disciplinarian, although his treatment of pupils is kind and courteous. The marriage of Prof. Wellington took place August 20, 1861, in Fryeburgh, Me., to Miss Sarah Buswell, whose death occurred at Muskegon in 1889. Of his family, Mac is a student at St. Mary's Hall in Indianapolis; Charles is in the office of Dr. Pratt at Lincoln Park Sanitarium, in Chicago; and Arthur is attending the High School.

Our subject is a member of the Republican party, and has always taken a deep interest in public affairs, but is no partisan. He has been closely identified with the Congregational Church, and was a member of the church of Thomas K. Beecher, at Elmira, N.Y. In Prof. Wellington, Crawfordsville has obtained a man of wide experience, who is thoroughly familiar with the methods of instruction in use by the greatest teachers in the country. He keeps in touch with the most advanced educational thought, is a close student, a careful, logical reasoner, and is not in sympathy with that class of educators who would extend the experimental and theoretical ideas of thought in the schoolroom to the exclusion of the practical. On April 1, 1892, our subject met a severe loss, as on that date the beautiful and imposing High School building, the finest in the State, was destroyed by fire, and with it a part of the Professor's select and valuable working library, which was an accumulation of years. – transcribed by kbz
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