"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

Philander Priestley Claxton
1818 - 1876

Philander Priestly Claxton was born in Bedford county, on the 28th of September, 1862, a son of Joshua Calvin and Anne Elizabeth (Jones) Claxton. In the acquirement of his early education he attended the public schools of his native county and in due time enrolled in the University of Tennessee. He was graduated from that institution with the A. B. degree in 1882 and in 1887 the A. M. degree was conferred upon him. He was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University in 1884 and 1885, and he attended schools in Germany in 1885 and 1886, and spent the year 1897 in visiting the schools of Europe. The Litt. D. degree was conferred upon him by Bates College in 1906 and the LL. D. degree by the Western Reserve University in 1912, the University of North Carolina in 1914, and Allegheny College in 1915.
Dr. Claxton was superintendent of schools in Kinston, North Carolina, 1883-4; Wilson, 1886-8; Asheville, 1888-93; and he was professor of German and pedagogy, 1893-6; professor of pedagogy and director of the Practice and Observation School of the North Carolina State Normal and Teachers School, 1896-1902; professor of education, 1902-1911; professor of secondary education and inspector of high schools, 1906-11, University of Tennessee; and on the 1st of July, 1911, he was appointed United States commissioner of education. He was editor of the North Carolina Journal of Education, 1897-1901; the Atlanta Educational Journal, 1901-3; a member of the Southern Educational Board, chief bureau of investigation and information, 1902-3; and superintendent of the Summer School of the South, 1902-11. He is a member of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, a director of the Moral Educational Board; a member of the council of the National Education Association and Southern Educational Association; a director of the Playground Association of America; chairman of the executive committee of the National Story Tellers' League; and is associated with various peace societies. He is the author of several works, among them "Effective English," which has had a wide circulation.
Transcribed and contributed by Christine Walters July 13, 2006
Source: Tennessee the Volunteer State Vol 3

Born in Bedford Co., Tenn., Sept. 28, 1862; son of Joshua Calvin and Ann Elizabeth (Jones) Claxton; graduate of University of Tennessee, A.B. 1882, A.M. 1887, Litt. D. Bates College 1906; student in Johns Hopkins University 1884-85; student of education and schools of Germany 1885-1886; visited schools in principal countries of Western Europe 1887; married twice, first, Varina Staunton Moore Dec., 1885; second, Anne Elizabeth Porter Sept. 1894; taught in graded schools of Goldsboro, N.C., 1882-83; Supt. of schools of Kingston, N.C. 1883-84; superintendent of schools of Wilson, N.C., 1886-87; superintendent of schools of Asheville, N.C., 1887-93; professor of pedagogy and German, North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College, Greensboro, N.C., 1893-96; professor of pedagogy and director of the practice and observation school of the same 1896-1902; professor of education, University of Tennessee since 1902; professor of secondary education and supervisor of high schools in the state since 1906; editor of North Carolina Journal of Education 1897-1901; editor of Atlantic Educational Journal 1901-1903; chief of the Bureau of Investigation and Information of the Southern Education board 1902-03; secretary Southern Educational Association 1899-1903; president of the same 1908; member of Council of National Educational Association and president Council of Southern Educational Association; chairman executive committee of National Story Tellers League; director of American School Peace League; director of Moral Education Board; member of National Society for the Scientific Study of Education, American Association of the Advancement of Science, National Geographic Society, Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the extirpation of the hook-worm, Southern Education Board; Chairman campaign committee of Southern Education Board 1908-10; executive secretary of the Conference for Education in the South since 1910; member of Methodist church; Democrat; Author of “From the Land of Stories” and other books for primary schools, and of many addresses and published articles on education.
Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler 

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