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 John W Zeller

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John W Zeller

Birth
Allen County, Ohio, USA
Death
17 Apr 1926 (aged 77)
Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Burial
Findlay, Hancock County, Ohio, USA
Plot
Block E, Lot 29, Space 5
Memorial ID
24157631 View Source

JOHN W. ZELLER.
Twenty-five years continuous service as superintendent of schools of the city of Findlay is evidence quite sufficient to mark Professor Zeller as a prominent figure in the educational interests of the great state of Ohio. During all of that period he has been prominently connected with every movement that had for its object the forwarding of educational interests, not only in his own state, but in the country at large. He is now and has been for years in close touch with the master minds in the educational fields of our country, and is a man who has done a very large amount of personal work in securing the excellent and unsurpassed school system with which the citizens of Findlay are favored.

We do not desire to present the life history of Professor Zeller here as presenting any points which are particularly remarkable. It, however, will not be without its value, as it may teach some youth the fact that only persistent effort is necessary to advance himself in the educational field. Professor Zeller was born in Union township, Hancock county, January 22, 1849. The period of boyhood was passed on the farm, on which he engaged in its activities, there building the physical frame and laying the foundation of that health which has always attended him subsequently. He attended the country school of his district during the winter time until he was seventeen years of age. At that period he felt qualified to enter the active duties of the school room as a teacher, and for the next six years he was found in the school room in the winter and during the summer in the activities of the farm, and in further enriching his mind for the profession of teaching. He later entered the Ohio State Normal University, at Ada, and in 1874 completed the course, being a member of the first graduating class of that institution. His'first work in the profession after graduation was undertaken in Grant, Logan county, Ohio, where he organized the public schools of the village and was superintendent for two years. Not satisfied with his equipment, Professor Zeller, entered Mount Union College, where he completed the philosophical course, and was given the degree of Ph. B. In passing it is worthy of note to remark here that this college in 1885 conferred on him the degree of Ph. M.; in 1891 he began a political science course at Ann Arbor for the degree of Ph. D., but not being able to complete that course since their rules required a year's residence at the school, Professor Zeller finished the course at Findlay College, and received from this institution in 1892 the degree of Ph. D. After receiving his degree from Mount Union College in 1876, Professor Zeller prosecuted his studies still further at the Ohio Normal University, where he took up the study of languages, also acting as a tutor in the university.
It was in the summer of 1877 that the first election of Professor Zeller as superintendent of the public schools of Findlay occurred. He entered upon the work with enthusiasm, and it was but a very brief period until the public schools of Findlay began to be noted over the state as being peculiarly excellent, and this reputation has since clung to the school. When Professor Zeller took charge of the Findlay schools, the population of Findlay was only a little over four thousand inhabitants, and there was a corps of sixteen teachers, with fifteen schools, all contained in three buildings. To-day there are eighty-two teachers connected with the schools, fourteen buildings and seventy-four rooms exclusive of the magnificent high school building, which has a faculty of eight teachers. All of these buildings are of the most substantial nature, being built of brick, and furnished with every kind of apparatus that is necessary for the conduct of a modern up-to-date school. The value of the three buildings when Professor Zeller took charge was but $45,000. The figures which cover the valuation to-day are $300,000. All this advance has been made under the efficient administration of Professor Zeller. During these years the city has grown from a village of four thousand inhabitants to a city of twenty thousand, and the number of school children has increased from eight hundred to about four thousand. The one thing, however, which among others is probably the greatest monument to the labor and zeal of Professor Zeller is the superb high school building finished in 1901, at a cost of about $65,000. This building is one of the best in the United States, being equipped with every convenience and necessity from a sanitary standpoint, and stands as a monument to the public spirit of the citizens of Findlay. It contains besides all the modern conveniences for the health and comfort of the three hundred and fifty high school pupils a handsome auditorium with a seating capacity of one thousand, which is not only used by the pupils for assembly purposes, but brings an annual income of $600 a year as a place for the holding of public entertainments. This money is set aside for replenishing the high school library and for the decoration of the rooms. The heating and the ventilation plant is of the most perfect construction, maintaining the temperature of the rooms and halls automatically.

In political belief Professor Zeller adheres to the party of Lincoln and Garfield, and has never been backward about taking part in its public work. He has acted as a delegate from Hancock county to three of the state conventions, and was at the last election the nominee on the Republican ticket as a member of the state school commission. As stated in the first part of this review, Professor Zeller is exceedingly active in matters pertaining to his profession. He is ever alert to the organization of associations for the improvement of teachers. He was instrumental in the organization years ago of the Ohio Teachers' Association, of which organization he has several times served on the executive committee, and has twice been elected president. For the past ten years he has been a member of the legislative committee of the Ohio State Teachers Association, and has also served on the executive committee of this association, and has been president of the section devoted to superintendency. In institute work Professor Zeller is well known all over the state, having conducted institutes in thirty-four different counties. In 1881 he was granted a state life certificate to teach in the schools of Ohio. The fact that our subject began his school work in the country schools of the county and at the early age of seventeen, and then advanced step by step from the rural schools to the village and town schools, rising to the superintendency in the schools of one of the best cities in the state, puts him in touch with every phase of the school system of the Buckeye state. This knowledge he has gained by continuous experience of thirty years, which experience makes him familiar with the needs and wants of our public schools.

Not only in the school room and school matters does Professor Zeller interest himself, but in any line which is meant for the advancement of the interests of young people. He has for long years been prominently identified with the Young Men's Christian Association movement and is at the present time a member of the board of directors for the city of Findlay. He is an active worker of the Methodist Episcopal church, being at the present time a member of the board of stewards, upon which board he has served for twenty years. He was one of the organizers of the branch of the Methodist denomination on the north side of the city known as the Howard Methodist church, and for years was a member of the board of trustees. He was also active in the erection of what is known as the Heck Methodist church in Findlay. In connection with his duties as superintendent of schools, Professor Zeller has interested himself in the public institutions of the city, giving aid and comfort to every enterprise that meant the advancement of Findlay. He was a member of the Findlay Natural Gas Company, the pioneer company of the northern Ohio oil fields, which drilled the first well for gas not only in Ohio but in the whole northwest. This well was drilled in 1886 at Findlay, and the development which has followed that first enterprise is well known to all.

The family life of Professor Zeller has been a happy one; he was joined in marriage in 1874, in Warren county, Ohio, to Julia, daughter of Thomas M. Abell.

JOHN W. ZELLER.
Twenty-five years continuous service as superintendent of schools of the city of Findlay is evidence quite sufficient to mark Professor Zeller as a prominent figure in the educational interests of the great state of Ohio. During all of that period he has been prominently connected with every movement that had for its object the forwarding of educational interests, not only in his own state, but in the country at large. He is now and has been for years in close touch with the master minds in the educational fields of our country, and is a man who has done a very large amount of personal work in securing the excellent and unsurpassed school system with which the citizens of Findlay are favored.

We do not desire to present the life history of Professor Zeller here as presenting any points which are particularly remarkable. It, however, will not be without its value, as it may teach some youth the fact that only persistent effort is necessary to advance himself in the educational field. Professor Zeller was born in Union township, Hancock county, January 22, 1849. The period of boyhood was passed on the farm, on which he engaged in its activities, there building the physical frame and laying the foundation of that health which has always attended him subsequently. He attended the country school of his district during the winter time until he was seventeen years of age. At that period he felt qualified to enter the active duties of the school room as a teacher, and for the next six years he was found in the school room in the winter and during the summer in the activities of the farm, and in further enriching his mind for the profession of teaching. He later entered the Ohio State Normal University, at Ada, and in 1874 completed the course, being a member of the first graduating class of that institution. His'first work in the profession after graduation was undertaken in Grant, Logan county, Ohio, where he organized the public schools of the village and was superintendent for two years. Not satisfied with his equipment, Professor Zeller, entered Mount Union College, where he completed the philosophical course, and was given the degree of Ph. B. In passing it is worthy of note to remark here that this college in 1885 conferred on him the degree of Ph. M.; in 1891 he began a political science course at Ann Arbor for the degree of Ph. D., but not being able to complete that course since their rules required a year's residence at the school, Professor Zeller finished the course at Findlay College, and received from this institution in 1892 the degree of Ph. D. After receiving his degree from Mount Union College in 1876, Professor Zeller prosecuted his studies still further at the Ohio Normal University, where he took up the study of languages, also acting as a tutor in the university.
It was in the summer of 1877 that the first election of Professor Zeller as superintendent of the public schools of Findlay occurred. He entered upon the work with enthusiasm, and it was but a very brief period until the public schools of Findlay began to be noted over the state as being peculiarly excellent, and this reputation has since clung to the school. When Professor Zeller took charge of the Findlay schools, the population of Findlay was only a little over four thousand inhabitants, and there was a corps of sixteen teachers, with fifteen schools, all contained in three buildings. To-day there are eighty-two teachers connected with the schools, fourteen buildings and seventy-four rooms exclusive of the magnificent high school building, which has a faculty of eight teachers. All of these buildings are of the most substantial nature, being built of brick, and furnished with every kind of apparatus that is necessary for the conduct of a modern up-to-date school. The value of the three buildings when Professor Zeller took charge was but $45,000. The figures which cover the valuation to-day are $300,000. All this advance has been made under the efficient administration of Professor Zeller. During these years the city has grown from a village of four thousand inhabitants to a city of twenty thousand, and the number of school children has increased from eight hundred to about four thousand. The one thing, however, which among others is probably the greatest monument to the labor and zeal of Professor Zeller is the superb high school building finished in 1901, at a cost of about $65,000. This building is one of the best in the United States, being equipped with every convenience and necessity from a sanitary standpoint, and stands as a monument to the public spirit of the citizens of Findlay. It contains besides all the modern conveniences for the health and comfort of the three hundred and fifty high school pupils a handsome auditorium with a seating capacity of one thousand, which is not only used by the pupils for assembly purposes, but brings an annual income of $600 a year as a place for the holding of public entertainments. This money is set aside for replenishing the high school library and for the decoration of the rooms. The heating and the ventilation plant is of the most perfect construction, maintaining the temperature of the rooms and halls automatically.

In political belief Professor Zeller adheres to the party of Lincoln and Garfield, and has never been backward about taking part in its public work. He has acted as a delegate from Hancock county to three of the state conventions, and was at the last election the nominee on the Republican ticket as a member of the state school commission. As stated in the first part of this review, Professor Zeller is exceedingly active in matters pertaining to his profession. He is ever alert to the organization of associations for the improvement of teachers. He was instrumental in the organization years ago of the Ohio Teachers' Association, of which organization he has several times served on the executive committee, and has twice been elected president. For the past ten years he has been a member of the legislative committee of the Ohio State Teachers Association, and has also served on the executive committee of this association, and has been president of the section devoted to superintendency. In institute work Professor Zeller is well known all over the state, having conducted institutes in thirty-four different counties. In 1881 he was granted a state life certificate to teach in the schools of Ohio. The fact that our subject began his school work in the country schools of the county and at the early age of seventeen, and then advanced step by step from the rural schools to the village and town schools, rising to the superintendency in the schools of one of the best cities in the state, puts him in touch with every phase of the school system of the Buckeye state. This knowledge he has gained by continuous experience of thirty years, which experience makes him familiar with the needs and wants of our public schools.

Not only in the school room and school matters does Professor Zeller interest himself, but in any line which is meant for the advancement of the interests of young people. He has for long years been prominently identified with the Young Men's Christian Association movement and is at the present time a member of the board of directors for the city of Findlay. He is an active worker of the Methodist Episcopal church, being at the present time a member of the board of stewards, upon which board he has served for twenty years. He was one of the organizers of the branch of the Methodist denomination on the north side of the city known as the Howard Methodist church, and for years was a member of the board of trustees. He was also active in the erection of what is known as the Heck Methodist church in Findlay. In connection with his duties as superintendent of schools, Professor Zeller has interested himself in the public institutions of the city, giving aid and comfort to every enterprise that meant the advancement of Findlay. He was a member of the Findlay Natural Gas Company, the pioneer company of the northern Ohio oil fields, which drilled the first well for gas not only in Ohio but in the whole northwest. This well was drilled in 1886 at Findlay, and the development which has followed that first enterprise is well known to all.

The family life of Professor Zeller has been a happy one; he was joined in marriage in 1874, in Warren county, Ohio, to Julia, daughter of Thomas M. Abell.


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