Lee County Biography



Dixon is an educational center. Few cities of its size in the entire country can boast of so many schools of recognized merit. An intellectual atmosphere prevails and the standards of education are high along classical, scientific and art lines and in the field where students are especially prepared for business life. It is to the latter field that William H. Coppins has always directed his efforts and as founder and principal of the Coppins' Dixon Business College and Normal School of Dixon lie is well known. A native of Bureau county, Illinois, he was born in Tiskilwa in 1871 and is a son of James and Theodosia Coppins, who were pioneer residents of that county, settling there when the work of development and improvement was in its infancy. The father was a farmer by occupation, devoting his entire life to that pursuit. He recognized the value of educational training as a preparation for life's work and desired that his children should have good opportunities in that direction. William H. Coppins after attending the public schools was sent to the Gem City Business College at Quincy, Illinois, where he was graduated with the class of 1892. He has since engaged in teaching and for twenty-one years has been identified with the profession in Dixon. He is one of the most widely known educators of this city and his ability has given him high rank among Dixon's most successful instructors. He was continuously connected with the Steinman School until 1905, when he organized the Coppins' Dixon Business College and Normal School, now occupying the second floor at No. 215 First street. From the beginning the school has enjoyed continuous and substantial growth and no higher testimonial of its efficiency and the capability of its graduates can be given than the fact that there are more demands for employes than the school can supply. The aim of the school is high. It fosters ambition and stimulates a desire to achieve success on the part of the pupils. Its slogan is: "Character and a little ability spell success; ability and a little character spell failure." The course of instruction includes stenography, bookkeeping, business forms, letter writing, theory and practice in accounts, arithmetic, English, spelling, school law, etc. The touch system of typewriting is taught and the most advanced methods are followed in imparting instruction. The aim of the school is to give an education that will last through life and will continue to grow in its usefulness as the individual develops his powers.

In 1896 Mr. Coppins was united in marriage to Miss Clara Biddnlph, also a native of Bureau county, Illinois, and they have become the parents of three. Mr. Coppins exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. High principles guide him in all relations of life and high standards constitute the salient features of his professional career.

Written by Karen Holt from various sources

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