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he goes to school or not. And the sentiment for compulsory education is growing in the South. Kentucky and Arkansas have such laws. Virginia and North Carolina have such laws, but leave it to the local communities to put them into operation. One-third of Tennessee is operated under compulsory attendance laws. Georgia and South Carolina are laboring with the passage of such laws. And if we could see plenty of money in sight to pay for compulsory education, we would sweep to it unanimously, carrying the negro and all.
I believe that, taking it all in all, the mill children are better off than they once were. Settlement workers, educational influences, and popular opinion have made better conditions for mill hands, young and old. There are many humane presidents and superintendents who provide comforts and pleasures for their hands and protect the helpless from the cruelty of those who would oppress them.
I would not be a true southern orator if I did not say something about the negro. We have heard a whole lot about the incubus, the black cloud, the race problem, etc., but I have to say this about the negro. Next to the blessed sunshine, the fertile fields, and the blue blood of the native whites, the greatest blessing the South has today is the presence of the negro. He is not a curse, he is not a menace, he is not a danger. What would become of our cotton fields, our rice swamps, our sugar plantations, our turpentine mills, our lumber industries, were it not for the strong, willing, tractable black hands of the negro? All waste and desert, gentlemen-at least for a while. Of the three problems, the foreigner in the North, the Chinaman in the West, and the negro in the South, commend me to the negro.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, let the negro alone. He will find himself in time, and no amount of worrying, prophesying, guessing, or abusing is going to hasten the Almighty's plans for the final racial adjustment of the negro. He is rapidly coming into his own social status, for he is finding a society of his own. He still lacks moral standards, but as for that, certain white people do also. He is getting his industrial education and getting it fast. He has long since found his industrial adjustment, and that is for labor, intelligent, skilled, independent labor, well paid and highly respected. Now let us get together and stop making educated loafers out of the negroes, but make educated laborers out of them.
And so, ladies and gentlemen, the glory of the children of today is the hope of the South for tomorrow. In thirty years we shall all be gone, and the school children of today will take our places, and the country shall then be as we are making it now. The future of the South waits on the education of its sons and daughters, and they are crying to us from field and mountainside to give them a chance.
A. WARREN EASTON
JAMES B. ASWELL, PRESIDENT STATE NORMAL SCHOOL,
During twenty-five years, Warren Easton was absent but once or twice from the annual meetings of this Department of Superintendence. His place is now vacant and his voice is silent forever.
It is, then, proper and beautiful that this great gathering of the school men of the nation should pause a moment in its considerations of the practical educational problems of the day, to do honor to the memory of one who did well his part in the rich constructive educational period of this vast region of our southern country. It was a time when the South was bringing to the republic its own contributions of youthful spirit, purposeful effort, courage, and confidence, which have resulted in a new era of educational endeavor and adequate adjustment.
Warren Easton, who passed out of this life on October 17, 1910, was a actor in this period of educational opportunity and achievement. He was born in 1848, in the city of New Orleans, was educated at the state university, was a successful teacher in the public schools, state superintendent of public education in Louisiana, leader in the establishment of the State Normal School, organizer of the Louisiana state institutes and summer schools, for twenty-two years the trusted and beloved superintendent of schools in the city of New Orleans, once president, and, for a quarter of a century, an honored member of this body.
He was a teacher in the turbulent days of the Reconstruction in the early 70's, and so well was his skill as a disciplinarian recognized that he was moved from school to school to straighten out difficult situations. He believed and demonstrated that a group of apparently incorrigible boys can be controlled, inspired, civilized, under the influence of music. He was the first to advocate publicly and introduce the teaching of singing and drawing in the public schools of his native city. Hundreds of prominent men in New Orleans today speak tenderly of Warren Easton because he led them and compelled them as boys to obey. I have yet to meet a former pupil of his who does not love him and who does not say, "I am Easton's friend because he helped me when I was a boy"-and after all, this is the test and the finest asset of a teacher's life.
As superintendent, beginning with little money and an uncertain public sentiment for public education, he advanced the New Orleans schools with amazing rapidity. He increased the public funds to more than a million dollars, doubled the efficiency of the schools at every point, and established them firmly in the confidence of all the people of his city.
Easton had a princely bearing-he was always immaculately dressed, courteous, cordial, jolly. He had faith in his people and in his work-he
believed he had the best schools in all the world. He knew his eight hundred teachers personally, could call them by name, and locate the school and grade of each. It was his good fellowship, his diplomacy, and his buoyant hopefulness that made his co-workers love him. The children liked to meet him.
To be elected six times to the chief executive school position, and hold it for twenty-two years, in a great, growing, progressive city like New Orleans is within itself not a matter of small consideration in estimating the life of an individual. It is an achievement worthy of a man.
Warren Easton gave forty years of active, continuous service to the public schools, and he was never ashamed to be called a teacher. He joined every movement to promote the cause to which he had early consecrated his life, and few men rejoiced more in the educational advancement of our people. His devotion to this Department of Superintendence, his keen interest in educational affairs generally, and his long rich experience gave him a progressive conservatism of great value to the school forces of the country, and reveal today characteristics that give his life a high place in this memorial service.
But the quality in Easton's life that will perpetuate his memory was his unusual ability to hold his friends. To be once a friend of Easton was to be always Easton's friend. His friends never deserted him. He was large hearted and loyal-his friends knew him, trusted him, and depended upon him.
This, then, is the life we honor today, and it emphasizes the fact that in real achievement of permanent value a man may become a great leader in the nation's life, as well by service to childhood, as by subtlety in argument, shrewdness in business, or courage in war. It renews our hopes and gives us strength to be unafraid in consecrating ourselves anew to the sacred task of opening the way and directing the youth of this land to a wide and liberal future of service to country and to humanity.
B. WILLIAM WALLACE STETSON
PAYSON SMITH, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
After a lingering illness of many months William Wallace Stetson died at his home in Auburn, Maine, July 2, 1910. Mr. Stetson was born in Greene, Maine, June 17, 1847, and spent his boyhood in the wholesome environment of a New England farming town, attending the district school near his father's farm and later Monmouth Academy and Edward Little Institute. He began his work as a teacher, as so many of our great educational leaders have done, in the district schools, teaching his first school at the age of fifteen. In 1868 he went to Illinois where, after attend
ing Monmouth College, he taught in district, high, and normal schools and began his experience as superintendent of schools. In 1884 Mr. Stetson returned to his native state where he was to render the notable educational service that was to win for him a far more than local reputation.
Upon returning to Maine he became principal of the Webster Grammar School of Auburn and later superintendent of schools of that city. He served as superintendent of schools of Auburn for ten years during which his great executive ability, his broad grasp of school problems, and his intuitive skill in devising methods of teaching won increasing recognition, so that his promotion in 1895 to the chief educational office in his state came as a ready and natural consequence.
Mr. Stetson held the office of state superintendent of public schools of Maine for a period of twelve years, the longest term with one exception enjoyed by an incumbent of that office in the history of the state.
Several important educational reforms were instituted during his administration of this office. Among the more important may be named the abolition of the district system with the adoption of the present township system, a provision for the consolidation of schools and the conveyance of pupils, the adoption of the free textbook system, the extension of free tuition privileges in secondary schools to all pupils of the state, the state certification of teachers and the adoption of a plan of union supervision which is designed to extend the advantages of expert direction to the schools of all towns.
The Maine School Reports prepared by Mr. Stetson were among the most widely circulated and most generally quoted educational documents of the decade during which they appeared. His terse, graphic style serves to command ready attention to the clearly developed conclusions of his educational philosophy. This style, appearing not only in his written reports, but dominating likewise his expression in speech, won for him a cordial welcome on the public platform, and his services as a lecturer on educational topics were constantly in demand. His skill as a speaker made him a powerful advocate of any cause in which he might enlist while his progressive ideals found him readily sympathetic toward any forward movement. As a result he gave generously of his time, strength, and abilities to the promotion of advanced educational plans both of his own and other states.
While Mr. Stetson held foremost his work for the public schools, he was likewise always to be found in the forefront of any movement affecting the welfare of the community in which he lived or of the state of which he was a citizen. Service was the keynote of his life and the opportunity to serve was the goal of his ambition.
Recognition of Mr. Stetson's broader educational activities is to be found in the record of his connection with such organizations as the New England Superintendents' Association, the American Institute of Instruc
tion, and the National Education Association. He served as president of the first two and of the Department of Superintendence of the last. Mr. Stetson received the degrees of A.M. and LL.D. from Colby College, Maine, and the degree of LL.D. from Monmouth College, Illinois.
In this brief outline of the life and activities of Mr. Stetson one touches only upon his larger public acts and services. To those whose privilege it was to know him there remain the tender memories of a large, wholesouled man who loved to open his heart to friends, who found his greatest joy in the opportunity to share another's burden or to lighten another's toilsome way, and looked always for those deeds and words of other men by which he might justify his own broad and generous faith in human kind. In his passing many men and women in many walks of life feel the loss which is beyond recompense-the loss of a frank, courageous, heart-lifting, sympathetic friend. At no time did Mr. Stetson show more clearly the beautiful characteristics that dominated his whole life than in the months when, wasted and weakened by disease, he awaited the last summons. The philosophy of service which had guided his public career and his private relationships endured to the end, and even in the last days. no friend left his presence who did not feel that he had himself received the strength and the blessing of the interview.
It was in these last days that Mr. Stetson wrote a greeting to his friends -a greeting which was to be likewise his farewell. In this is the essence of his philosophy of life. In the "Joy of Serving" which is quoted in conclusion, he delineated an ideal which, tho high, he attained and which he leaves, with the manifold words and deeds of a richly abundant life, to be at once the consolation and the continued inspiration of those who miss his kindly presence.
THE JOY OF SERVING
Souls grow lean if they think much of self or the recompense they should receive for exhibitions of concern for others. They are victims of a poverty no riches can relieve or conceal. They are barred from those sanctuaries where the heart sings the songs of peace. As the days loiter to their close they discover life is a sleepless torture. They refuse to learn it is not what you have that makes for happiness but the sacrifices made and forgotten that bring joys which abide. Life yields the largest dividends when you serve as spontaneously as you breathe and with as little aftermath of reflection. Then you will walk with those who travel in lonely paths, place a lifting hand beneath wearying burdens, give unregretted dollars to carry sunshine into shadowed lives, dispense home brewed hospitalities and nerve the elect with your hail and God-speed. Such service will tint the dawn when your lovers are legion, shed around you "the light that never was on sea or land," sing anthems in the chancel of your soul, and let you whisper, as the canvas of the Lord slips down the west,
"I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar."