|Birth: ||Nov. 18, 1821|
New Hampshire, USA
|Death: ||Jan., 1892|
Educator. Thomas W. Harvey was born in New Hampshire, and when Thomas was 12 years old, his father, Moses E. Harvey, moved his family to a farm in Concord Twp, Lake County, OH.
Not enjoying farm work, at age 15, Thomas became an apprentice in the printing office of Horace Steele, the publisher of the "Republican" a newspaper in Painesville. The environment of the printing office inspired in him an interest in learning. While he had only attended school for several months as a child, he studied on his own and later was able to save enough from his earnings to hire a tutor. He attended Western Reserve Teachers' Seminary in Kirtland, OH, part-time from 1842-1844. Soon after, he established the Geauga High School in Chardon, OH. After three years, he became the principal of a school in Republic, OH. In 1851, he became the Superintendent of Schools in Massillon, OH. After serving there for 14 years, he was hired for a similar post in Painesville which he held until 1871. He was then elected to the office of State Commissioner of Common Schools for a term of three years.
Until this time, Ohio schools had made little effort to grade students, high schools were nearly non-existent, and there was no state supervision over public education. Teachers generally served only a short time, seeing the teaching profession as a stepping stone to more promising careers. Thomas Harvey, however, devoted his entire life to education. As State Commissioner, he promoted legislation that greatly increased state support of local school districts. In 1877 he returned to Painesville, serving again as Superintendent of Schools. While holding this position, he also composed several textbooks, including "Practical Grammar," "Elementary Grammar," "First Lessons in Language," and a series of readers and spellers which were widely used for over 50 years in the Midwest. He also founded the Northeastern Ohio Teachers' Association, and served as a trustee of Lake Erie Seminary, which is now Lake Erie College.
On January 27, 1892, an article in the Geneva (Ohio) "Times" mentioned his recent death. His funeral had been held on January 23, 1892, and during the services, the businesses of Painesville had closed and the flags were flown at half mast. In an article titled "The History of Popular Education on the Western Reserve" by B. A. Hinsdale (Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Volume 6, #1, 1898), the author commented, "All things considered, it may be doubted whether any other man has left a stronger impress on public education in Ohio than Thomas Harvey."
Thomas W. Harvey High School in Painesville, OH, was dedicated in his honor in November, 1922.
Moses Sargent Harvey (1794 - 1879)
Sarah W Harvey (1796 - 1876)
Louisa O Beebe Harvey (1826 - 1895)*
Mary B. Harvey (1854 - 1902)*
Louisa E. Harvey (1858 - 1896)*
Sarah Harvey Kendall (1865 - 1941)*
Annie S Harvey (1867 - 1888)*
Joseph Harvey (1818 - 1906)*
Thomas W. Harvey (1821 - 1892)
Rhoda S Harvey (1825 - 1836)*
Moses C Harvey (1830 - 1902)*
Created by: Cherie Atkinson Clark
Record added: Nov 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22786693