Page:Frances Wood Shimer 1826-1901.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


uttered by one whose practice exemplified her precepts, exceeded in value loans and discounts.

As most of the ministers in the West were “home missionaries,” special discounts were made to daughters of soldiers. Free tuition in the normal department was given to one teacher from each county. Other things being equal, the positions of matron, housekeeper, and laundress were given to widows having daughters to educate. Pupils of creditable scholarship were privileged to give personal notes, drawing no interest for the first year, for a portion of their expenses. The value and wisdom of these various forms of financial aid wee evidenced by the number and class of beneficiaries, and by the faithfulness and promptness with which such obligations were discharged.

How wisely Mrs. Shimer planned, and how well the school has fulfilled its fourfold purpose, is demonstrated by the long life of the institution, the material growth in realty and patronage, the large number of graduates and positions filled by them, and the hundreds of homes, from Maine to California, happier and better for the discipline and training which had their origin in the simple rules and regulations of the Alma Mater.

To those who have had experience in the building up and maintenance of private schools, it is a fact of considerable significance that, during the forty-three years that Mrs. Shimer was in charge of Mount Carroll Seminary, there was never an appeal to the public for financial aid, and not a dollar contributed to its support for which the giver did not receive a full equivalent, except the gift of the original five acres. While other schools of a similar nature were petitioning for endowments, employing agents to solicit funds, and, failing to receive, were obliged to close their doors, she, hampered by the underdeveloped condition and inconveniences of a new country, remote from supplies, with a large family to provide for, unaided by hearty co-operation of the community, premonished on every side with assurances of failure, not only established a good school, but maintained it, and made it a remunerative enterprise and a recognized force in educational circles. The material development, while of utmost importance and occ-