Posts Tagged ‘Teacher Pensions’

She Gets a Pension

July 9, 2010

After nearly forty years of continual service as a teacher in the employ of the public schools of Oakland, Miss Rebecca A. Bills of 961 Jackson street, of this city will have for her faithful work, the distinction of being the first woman in Alameda county to be pensioned from the teacher’s pension bill which goes into effect August 10 of this year.

During the lengthy period of service with the Oakland schools, Miss Bills has been most actively identified with activities of the primary grades, being especially devoted to the younger grammar school children. Miss Bill first became identified with the local educational branch in 1872 when she was appointed to one of the graded classes of the Lafayette Grammar school.

Later she was given a class in the old Irving school serving until 1875 under J.B. McChesney. In that year, she was transferred to Mills Seminary in East Oakland, where she taught for two years.

This was followed by a short six-month leave of absence and after a short term in the San Leandro school she was elected to a position in July, 1878, to the Lincoln Grammar school with which institution she has been connected until Friday, which concluded her career of teaching.

TAKES  TRIP ABROAD.

According to present plans, Miss Bill will leave for a trip through the various cities and places of interest in Europe, returning by way of the Panama Canal and arriving here on time to witness the Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915 in San Francisco. At the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. Cotton at 961 Jackson street, with whom she has resided for the past fifteen years, Miss Bills recalled several reminiscences of her career.

“I graduated from Mt. Holyoke University Mass. in 1867,” she said, “and after several weeks of traveling arrived in Oakland early in the year 1868. My first experience as a teacher was at the Pacific Young Ladies’ Seminary which was located where the Merritt hospital now stands. It was in this year that the great earthquake similar to that of 1906 occurred. I was the last to leave the building, taking two small Spanish girls with me. They were both badly frightened and cried out in terror. It was one of the most dreadful experiences I have ever gone through.”

Miss Bills also taught at the same institution for some time after its removal to Eddy and Taylor streets in San Francisco.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jun 29, 1913

MRS. SYMONS ENDS 33 YEARS SERVICE AS SCHOOL TEACHER

Seated comfortably in her cozy home on Fifth street, Mrs. Eleanor Symons, Elyria’s veteran school teacher, entertainingly discussed her long service of thirty-three years in the public schools and let her mind run back over the years that she has been engaged in training the youth of this community.

“I hardly know how to express myself,” said Mrs. Symons, “but I feel as if I had earned a vacation and a needed rest. My years of teaching have been pleasant ones, and I presume I will be lost when I retire in June.”

Eleanor M. Baker Symons was born in Spring Creek, Pa., in 1851 and attended the district school summer and winter. At the age of fifteen she obtained her first county certificate, and that winter began her first school. She was then but sixteen and taught 66 days for $24 in cash with her board thrown in, boarding around in the old-fashioned way. This was not considered a hardship as it had many pleasant sides to it.

“Some of the most delightful and lasting friends came into recognition in this way,” said she. “The school ma’am had the best of everything and was always invited to all the festivities of the district. I taught six years in the county schools and then went into the Corry public schools and taught the spring term as assistant eighth grade teacher and principal. The following summer the president and secretary drove to my home to see if I would take the position of the principal, as she had resigned.

Reluctantly, and after much urging, I consented to try it, with the result that I taught there until the Christmas of 1876 when I resigned and was married. I came to Elyria in 1877 and for one year was home sick as I did not know a child on the street.

Mr. Symons was working in the Democrat office. George G. Washburn was the editor of this paper and in February of 1878 he invited me to visit the schools with him on a certain Tuesday. I gladly went, not knowing then that Superintendent Parker was anxious to find a teacher for his one A grammar school. This fact, however, was known to Mr. Washburn, who had been asked by the superintendent to bring about this visit so he could size me up. Mr. Parker walked home with me at noon and asked if I had certificates, recommendations etc., I had, and he took them with him, after explaining his desire to find a teacher so he could release Miss Josie Staub, who soon became Mrs. D.C. Baldwin.

On Thursday evening of this same week, Mr. Parker called and said I had been hired by the board to teach and was to begin the following Monday. He advised me to visit Miss Staub and get somewhat acquainted with this work for the next week, which I did. I taught this grade for seven years and resigned, never intending to teach again, and I did not teach a day for six years. Then Mr. Parker sent for me to help out for a day, a week or maybe a fortnight.

The fall of 1894, he came for me to take the A grammar school taught by Miss Whitbeck, who was obliged to stop on account of illness. He put aside all my excuses for not taking up the work and I went into the school again on the following Monday. On the following Friday Miss Whitbeck passed away and of course, I remained until the end of the school year, and as you know I have been there ever since. I want to thank everybody connected in any way with the Elyria public schools, the different board members, superintendents, teachers, children and parents, for making my long years of teaching such years of joy and happiness.”

Well does the writer remember Mrs. Symons’ first year in school for he was a member of her class. It was a tough school to take charge of and was full of smart Aleck boys and a few frivolous girls, who did not have much idea of what they went to school for. However, the majority of the school were good students, and being a strict disciplinarian, Mrs. Symons soon brought order out of chaos. All will agree that Mrs. Symons has been able to discipline her schools in the right way. She knows when to be lenient, and when to be stern, with absolute justice at all times to her pupils. Some of her pupils with whom she had to be severe, have since written and thanked her for the advice she had given them, and these letters from all over the world are among her prized possessions. Little did the boy back in ’78 dream that in 1921 he would be telling the story of Mrs. Symons’ long years of service in the public print. But it is a genuine pleasure to give tribute to this splendid character whose life has been devoted to the youth of Elyria.

When she retires in June, she will be one of the first to receive the benefit of the teacher’s pension fund that a thoughtful legislature has provided for that splendid body of men and women, who mould the minds of men and women of tomorrow to become useful, orderly, patriotic, educated citizens.

The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Jun 5, 1921

Miss Kate Stanton, teacher in Wayne township school No. 9, who has taught school for 43 years, retired under the teacher’s pension law at the close of her school term last Friday. She will receive $700 a year the remainder of her life. Miss Stanton is the first teacher in Wayne county to receive a pension.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Apr 5, 1917

TEACHER 53 YEARS

SACRAMENTO, July 9. — Fifty-three years of teaching is the record submitted by Mrs. Fannie L. Walsh, of Salinas, who has applied to the California State Board of Education for a teacher’s pension. This is the longest term of teaching ever submitted by any applicant.

Trenton Evening Times ( Trenton, New Jersey) Jul 9, 1915

Pension Poetry

July 8, 2010

Pension the School Teachers.

Why do you pension our police
When they have grown so old they cease
To longer guard the public peace.
Are they superior creatures?
And really ’tis beyond our ken
Why we should pay our firemen
Too old to work, a pension when
We quite neglect our teachers.

Those to whose care we trust our youth,
To guide in wisdom and in truth,
They are the very ones, forsooth,
Most worthy of attention.
And since their lives are worn away
In noblest work at paltry pay
We ought to see to it that they
In age secure a pension.

Chicago Evening Post.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 5, 1890

A Plea to The Legislature.

Pension the lawyer who serves you as judge.
Pensions the lady who ladles out fudge.
Pension, be sure to, our noble police.
Pension your aunt, your uncle and niece.
Pension all public officials and sich.
Pension the sucker who fails to get rich.
Pension, of course, each down-trodden mother.
Pension the postman and clerical brother.
Pension the beastie we greet as our daddy.
Pension the kiddy who caters as caddy.
Pension the butcher who sells us our meat.
Pension the cobbler who covers our feet.
Pension the barber who skins us alive.
Pension the barkeep whose mixtures revive.
Pension, by all means, the regular preacher.
Pension, sure pop, the public school teacher.
Pension the plumber, although he’s a layman.
Pension his pal, the modest highwayman.
Pension the store girl, make her lot happy.
Pension her steady — cheer up the poor chappy.
Pension the single man ’cause he’s not married.
Pension the husband because he is harried.
Pension the plowman and pension the poet.
Pension yourselves, don’t mind how you go it.
Pension the black, the red and the yellow.
(And then, if there’s anything left,)
Pension God’s own, the newspaper fellow.

–Gazette Times.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 15, 1915