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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Stewart, Lillian Kimball
Rose C. Swart,   pp. 144-147 PDF (832.0 KB)


Page 145


descent, she derived her sturdy, honest intellect, her sense
of humor, and her ability to work continuously at a task
until it was completed. From her mother, who came of
Puritan stock, she derived her common sense, her quick
understanding, her love of justice and liberty. After
the death of her parents when she was a child of ten,
she came to Wisconsin with her older sister, Mary, to
live in the home of an aunt at Racine. At the age of
fifteen she began her career as a teacher amidst the pion-
eer conditions then prevailing in Wisconsin. She taught
a country school for eight dollars a month and her board.
After she had reached the age of twenty she had no fur-
ther schooling, but all her life she has been a student,
purposeful and constant.
    In 1871 Miss Swart had become so proficient as a
grade teacher in southern Wisconsin, at Janesville and
Madison, and had gained so wide a reputation as a woman
of unusual power, grasp, and resourcefulness, that she
was invited by President Albee to take charge of the
primary department in the newly organized state normal
school at Oshkosh, at a salary of sixty dollars a month.
She found herself then in a most congenial and stimulat-
ing atmosphere, and her expanding powers developed
rapidly. In a few years she was the head of the
department of geography. In a few more years she
was assisting the president in the inspection and criticism
of work done by practice teachers in the training depart-
ment. At last she had found her sphere of widest use-
fulness, and there she continued to serve for more than
thirty years.
    When Miss Swart entered upon her new line of
work, that of training teachers, there was little to aid
her in the way of precept and still less in the way of ex-
ample. She had to devise her own methods, and then
adapt them to each individual student who came under
her instruction. And she had not only to instruct but
to inspire. She overcame all these difficulties because
she was a born teacher. Her knowledge of psychology,
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