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to take this step wholly for financial reasons. During his term of office he had drawn largely on his own private means to supplement his salary which was, in those days of high prices, inadequate to support his family, and carry out his well-laid plans for educational work. Many of the schoolmasters know from experience that Colonel Norris kept open house and generously and hospitably entertained school men who visited him from all parts of the country. I remember of having been invited to Columbus by him to talk over educational matters, when he met me at the depot, took me to his house, and entertained me while I stayed in the city. This is only one case in hundreds. The parsimony of the State drove Norris from the educational field, for which he was so well fitted and which he dearly loved. He obtained the position of the lucrative office of Pension Agent, on account of his services as a soldier and through the political influence of the Hon. John A. Bingham. The powerful influence of Senator Sherman and many others were thrown in favor of the then' incumbent in the office who had not been a soldier. The enemies, or rather opponents, of Norris prophesied his failure, business men shook their heads in doubt of his ability to manage an office involving so many complexities, because of his former line of life. But like the schoolmasters they did not know Norris. In this position which he held till bis death, he exhibited great business ability, that suaviter in modo, that kindness and sympathy for the unfortunate pensioners which won the confidence of all with whom he had business' transactions. He often advanced to the needy money from his own pocket without interest or discount, and his position was such as to make these demands upon his sympathy and generosity very frequent.
Colonel Norris was successful in his business ventures which were important and involved much risk, requiring more nerve than most men possess. Persistence was a prominent trait in his character, and this often served him a good purpose. He said to me a short time before his illness, that it was a mystery to him, why men who have distinguished themselves in the management of a system of schools, who possess good judgment and business talents, should continue in the same work when it was plainly evident that they must after even a ng life of service, and the practice of rigid economy, leave their families with a bare subsistence, and often not even that. The exercise of the same talents required to administer a system of schools if turned into business channels would in a few years earn a competency for the declining years of life.
As a friend, Colonel Norris was sincere and true. The good name and prosperity of his friend he held as sacredly as his own, and would fight for and work for as he would for himself. Money and work he cheerfully contributed for the advancement of one whose cause he espoused. In the social circle he was esteemed and admired, for his rare powers. He was a fine conversationalist. None regretted as much as he his inability to attend social gatherings. The loss of his limb was a constant regret, yet he never murmured. He was full of good humor, yet always sensible and interesting. He loved good books, beautiful pictures, and believed it a duty to make his home as his means would allow, the depository of things of beauty. By the death of Colonel Norris popular education has
lost an able advocate, the teachers a true and sympathetic friend, the State an honest politician, and an interesting and lovely family a kind and considerate husband and affectionate father. Colonel Norris has left
“Foot-prints on the sands of time," young men who are thrown upon their own resources will do well to note.
DISCUSSION. Dr. John HANCOCK, of Dayton :- I have been requested to prepare some resolutions that would express the feelings of this Association towards Col. Norris, both as an educator and a man, but before reading them, with the permission of the Association, I would like, as a friend of the deceased, to offer a few words by the way of an humble opinion, though I can scarcely add anything-can add nothing, of course, to the elaborate sketch of his life to which we have listened with so much pleasure. But I think it is well for this Association to call up and review the life and character of these eminent men who have done so much for our common cause and so much for the cause of humanity. I think I may say—and I do say without any hesitation—that Col. Norris was one of the most admirable men that I have ever known. Strength was his characteristic in all his work in life. Thorough strength, thorough honesty, and thorough manliness. There was nothing hidden in his character. He worked with almost superhuman energy to accomplish the work he undertook to perform. I think I have seldom known any man who worked with more unselfishness than he did. What he did was for the cause he loved, not for John A. Norris. His work was of the highest character. It would bear inspection in every direction for its thoroughness, wisdom, its completeness, and its power.
One characteristic that attached to him as much as any other, and which has been referred to, was that generous open-handed hospitality that was far beyond his means; a hospitality that seemed to bless him who extended it far more than even those to whom it was extended, high as the measure of obligation might be.
He loved to have his friends about him; he loved to converse with them. All conversation, however, was toward the one object he loved so dearly and worked for so enthusiastically and so zealously—the promotion of the education of the masses of the people. I have seldom seen any man who had a more comprehensive view of the importance of the education of the whole people than he had. And I certainly have never seen any one work more earnestly for it, and I say this very advisedly, knowing how many eminent men, and zealous men, men of wisdom and prudence have filled the office which he was called upon to fill.
Resolved, That the recent decease of the Hon. John A. Norris, a few years
since the State Commissioner of Common Schools, affords the educators of Ohio a proper occasion to express their high and reverent regard for his character as a scholar, as a soldier, as a civil officer, as a citizen, and as a man.
Resolved, That his zeal, his wisdom, and his entire self-devotion to the cause of educational progress whilst he filled the office of School Commissioner, reflected the highest honor on himself, and merit the gratitude of every citizen of our State.
Resolved, That we extend to the family of our deceased fellow-worker our warmest sympathies in their bereavement, and that we transmit to them a copy of these resolutions signed by the proper officers of the Association.
Hon. T. W. HARVEY, Painesville, Ohio :-I do not know that a word should be added to what has been said already, still as one who filled the office held by Col. Norris, after he left it, I think it incumbent upon me to say a few words. I do this because I was not in favor of his nomination. I went to Columbus to use what little influence I could use against him. Mr. White was my candidate, and I left the convention almost believing that he had been cheated out of the nomination that belonged to him. I was not in favor of the position Col. Norris took. I was not in favor of his attempting to secure county supervision at that time, not because I was opposed to county supervision, but because I was in favor of our attempting to secure normal instruction before the other was fixed upon. However, I must say that my opposition to him was disarmed before he had been in office a single year. I met a genuine man, a gentleman; I met one who, with singleness of purpose rarely to be seen in this world, saw what he ought to do and manfully went to work to do it. As one who followed him, not immediately, however, in the office, I can say this: That I found there evidences of work. One who occupies a public office cannot cover his tracks. Col. Norris made no display, but I found there had been a man at work who had a mind and a soul to work, who had ideas and who wished and attempted to accomplish something.
I wish to speak of another characteristic, perhaps, that has not been referred to. What I have said already has been with reference to what I may say now. Col, Norris was a frank man. He met me frankly with the understanding that he did not favor my nomination. He understood that the policy that he wished the teachers of the State to pursue did not meet my approval. He understood that, and he frankly expressed himself to me as being willing to aid me in anything excepting to secure the office of State Commissioner. He worked against me in the convention, not underhandedly, but openly, and used what influence he could exert to secure the nomination of an opposing candidate. When the nomination was made and the election held, after I had gone to Columbus, almost the first man I met there was Col. Norris. He took me by the hand and said, “You know the past; you know I feel towards you as a brother; I will aid you in your administration. Mark out the line you wish to follow and call upon me for help if you want it.” (Applause.) That was Col. Norris, and during the time I was in Columbus, when I was State Commissioner, there was no one who gave me more candid, more frank advice than Col. Norris; no one who stood by me as a friend as he did, no man who said better words in my favor than he, and I feel now, that not only has the cause of education lost a friend but that it was my individual loss. I felt when I heard of his death that I had laid a brother in the grave.
Let us honor his memory and follow his example, being as frank as he, as outspoken as he, as honest as he, as ready to throw aside our prejudices as he, and the work we shall do will be the work we ought to do.
Mr. Hall, of Tiffin ;-I feel, as if in justice to my own feelings, I would like to add a few words to what has been said to illustrate a nt made in the paper. We have heard the expressions of those who have spoken of what Col. Norris was to those whom he met as colleagues and friends. I myself have had some experience as to what Col. Norris was to those who were starting in the profession.
My acquaintance with him was very brief. When in Columbus one time I dropped into the office of the Commissioner for the purpose of securing a copy of his report, with the expectation of staying but a few minutes. He detained me for some time and drew from me the fact that I was a teacher; that I was young in the profession and that at that very time I was laboring under a severe disappointment in my ambition. He kept me in his office perhaps an hour and talked to me as a father would to his own son; he told me wherein my disappointment would be good for me and wherein, if I had attained the object of my ambition, it would have been a loss and a damage to me; he told me wherein I could do better work and marked out a course that he thought would be more to my advantage than the plan I had desired to follow, and he gave me cordial words of cheer and help, and I will say that I have found, over and over again, in the years that have passed by since that time, the value of his advice. I weighed it and put it in practice, and I believe to-day that no living man with whom I bad so short an acquaintance has ever influenced so much my professional life, as Col. Norris.
Rev. 0. N. HARTSHORN, of Mount Union College :- I feel that I should be untrue to my convictions, did I not occupy a single moment, at this time, in speaking of Col. Norris. I can most heartily endorse what was said in the sketch by Mr. Stevenson, so truthfully, as I believe, and frankly, and what has been said by Mr. Harvey, his successor, and by the gentleman to my left, (Mr. Hall.) I met him, not only in his office, but elsewhere, at our Associations and at Institutes. I havel bad lengthy conversations with him, and there is only one particular, now, to which I wish to allude, which has not been referred to; that was this: Mr. Norris regarded the educational means and agencies, from the primary school up through the graded school, all through the rural districts and towns and cities, up through the high schools, college and university as one system of instruction in our State ; and so far as I am personally acquainted, with one single exception, in his report as Commissioner, and in his private conversation, he had a breadth of view on this subject that seemed to meet with my hearty endorsement. That view expressed so plainly yet briefly yesterday, in the educational history of our State, and which may be seen in his report, with respect to the unity of our educational system ; that harmony wbich should exist from the primary, up through the other institutions of our State, losing the idea of aristocracy or caste, or higher and lower, but simply engage in the great work of educating the people of our country, and adapting our system of instruction to the needs of our pupils. This was an idea that Mr. Norris had deeply rooted in him, and an idea, too, I am glad to say, that all our School Commissioners have had very broad views upon.
Hon. W. D. HENKLE:-I do not wish to detain the Association more than a minute or two. I was one of those who felt, at the time of Mr. Norris's first nomination, that the teachers of the State had been trifled with. After his election and entrance upon the duties of his office he soon secured the respect of the teachers of the State. He came into our State Association and entered into its work just as if he had been previously a regular attendant. There was one important point Mr. Stevenson over. looked in his report; and that is the fact that Lorin Andrews was President of Kenyon College when John A. Norris was a student. This fact may account for some of Mr. Norris's earnestness. (Applause.) If I were called upon to name the school officials in this State that have exhibited the most enthusiasm, I would select Samuel wis, the first State School Superintendent, and L. Andrews, who ought to have been the first School Commissioner, and John A. Norris. Mr. Norris was in hearty sympathy with the teachers of the State in their efforts to secure county supervision. I was a member of a county-supervision committee appointed by this Association, and was telegraphed to by Col. Norris to come to Columbus and assist in preparing a supervision bill. I spent several days in Columbus as the guest of Mr. Norris, at his boarding-house, he insisting that I should not go to a hotel. I afterwards enjoyed his hospitality and that of his ex cellent wife, at their own home. Probably there are few persons in the State that came in contact with Col. Norris that have not pleasant recollections of him. When I was appointed by Goy. Hayes as Mr. Norris's successor, I went to Columbus, undecided, in my own mind, whether to accept the office or not. I found, however, on going to Mr. Norris's office, that he had already prepared a bond for me and got the bondsmen for $10,000. (Applause.)
Prof. D. F. DE WOLF, of Western-Reserve College :—I have only to say that I endorse every word that has been said with regard to Col. Norris. At one time I was in Columbus on some other business, and had a talk with him in reference to some aspirations I had previously had to the office he occupied; he assured me of his willingness to use his influence for me in that direction, although he had proposed to run for the office. To his surprise I told him I could not conceive what such a man as I wanted with such a toy. I have not altered my mind in regard to it, but I simply wish to show how unselfish a man he was; how absolutely unselfish of his own interest, and how thoroughly devoted to everything for the good of the State, and persons whom he wished to regard as friends. He was a good, cordial, brotherly man, and as such I shall ever remember him.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
T. C. Mendenhall, of Columbus, in behalf of the committee appointed by the Superintendents' Section, presented the following report on the Metric. System: