Prof. F.T. Oldt

Carroll County IL Biography

Professor F.T. Oldt, Principal of the Public School at Lanark, was born near New Berlin, Pa., Jan. 6, 1853. He is the son of Charles and Eve (Bolender) Oldt, and he spent his boyhood days on his fatherís farm. He attended the common schools of the county until he was eleven years old, and graduated from the New Berlin Seminary when but fourteen years of age, with the highest honors of his class. His education was completed at the celebrated La Fayette College, Easton, Pa., where he was graduated in 1871; the youngest in a class of forty. That same year he came to Illinois and taught school in Stephenson County the winter following. From 1873 to 1875 he was Principal of the Winnebago School, and from that time until the present he has been the efficient Principal of the Public School at Lanark. Prof. Oldt has acquired the reputation of an active worker in his profession; one who has the somewhat rare faculty of imparting both to the teachers under him and to his pupils the knowledge he himself possesses. His services are in great demand in his profession, and his executive ability in the management and government of schools is especially marked.

For five years Prof. Oldt has been President of the Carroll County Teachersí Association, and he was, in 1886, elected President of the Northern Illinois Teachersí Association. He is now Secretary of the State Teachersí Association. He is a man unusually well informed on public matters, and keeps himself posted in county, State, and National politics; but, while a pronounced Democrat in his views, he has no respect for political barnacles who attach themselves to either party for the mere purpose of obtaining office. He has made his mark in the councils of his party, and, in 1884, was nominated for Circuit Clerk by the Democrats of Carroll County. A few weeks later he was nominated for Senator of this district by the Senatorial Convention, assembled at Freeport, but declined both nominations, having no desire, but rather a distaste, for political office. In 1886 he was the Democratic candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and received a handsome vote, especially in that part of the State where he is best known. Large numbers of Republicans voted for him, believing him to be just the man for the position. He was a member of the Legislative Committee appointed by the State Teachersí Association to secure needed changes in the school laws of the State, and finally became the candidate of his party for State Senator from this district, which nomination he was persuaded to accept.

Prof. Oldt, in 1876, was united in marriage, at Winnebago, Ill., with Jessie F. Copeland, a daughter of Dr. Philander and Susan (Watkins) Copeland, and a native of Ogle County, Ill., born Dec. 6, 1856. This union has been blessed by the birth of three children Ė Charles F., Winifred E., and Jessie T. Both parents are active and consistent members of the Congregational Church, and are justly esteemed in the community where they reside. For so young a gentleman Prof. Oldt has acquired a fine position, and he exercises a wide influence in both the social and political circles of Carroll County. He and his wife are both held in very high esteem, and are among the foremost citizens of the community in which they live.

Transcribed and contributed by Carol Parrish. Portraits & Biographical Pg. 938

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