Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Ernest Wilder Fellows

Of the various occupations that have been given high rank by thinkers of all civilized countries, that of the teacher stands near the top of the list. The true teacher is one who unselfishly devotes his life to the noble work of assisting the young to open their eyes to the truth, and it is no wonder that he has since time immemorial occupied a place of honor. To this class belongs Ernest Wilder Fellows, for six years past city superintendent of schools of Denison.

Born at Vinton, Iowa, April 29, 1874, he is the son of Elihu and Lottie A. (Wilder) Fellows, both of whom were born in New York state. The father was reared on a farm in Ontario county, New York, and educated at Naples Academy. In his native state he engaged in farming and school teaching and about 1870 came to Iowa and located at Vinton, where he spent twenty-five years. He worked in a mill and later was deputy county treasurer, but during the larger part of the time followed photography. He now resides at Grinnell. He and his wife are earnest members of the Presbyterian church, and politically he gives his support to the republican party.

Evander Fellows, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was a native of New York state and was a farmer of Ontario county. He had three children: Lorinus, Daniel and Elihu. The maternal grandfather was also a farmer of New York. He passed away in middle life and was the father of four children: Sibley, John, Lottie and a son who died in early manhood.

Ernest Wilder Fellows received his preliminary education in the public schools, graduating from the high school in 1889. He next attended Tilford Academy in the same town, graduating in 1890, and subsequently he matriculated at Grinnell College, from which he was graduated in 1894, with a degree of A. B. After leaving college he taught in the schools of Grinnell for five years, and for four years was superintendent of schools at Clarion, Iowa, coming to Denison in 1905 as superintendent of schools in this city, a position he has since held. He is in charge of seven hundred and fifty pupils and under his administration the schools have greatly prospered and rank with the best in the state, the teachers being active and wide-awake and the course of study skilfully adapted to the ages and capacities of the pupils.

In June, 1903, Mr. Fellows was united in marriage to Miss Adeline (Lawton) Robert, a daughter of Joseph T. and Hattie (Wilson) Robert, and two children have blessed this union, Adeline Harriet and Barbara Blanche.

A thorough and systematic student of educational problems, Superintendent Fellows is a close observer along the various lines of his chosen vocation and also a scholarly gentleman whose field of vision is not limited to America but comprehends all the principal countries of the world, past and present. He is especially interested in human nature and the unfolding of the mind, and he justly ranks high in educational circles on account of his acknowledged ability as a thinker and his success as a teacher and school manager. He and his wife are valued members of the Presbyterian church and deeply interested in all movements seeking to advance the permanent welfare of the community.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.