Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ridpath, John Clark

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RIDPATH, John Clark, educator, b. in Putnam county, Ind., 26 April, 1840. His parents were from West Virginia, and began life under circumstances of great discouragement and hardship. The son had no early educational advantages besides those that he obtained at frontier schools, but his appetite for books was insatiable, and at seventeen he was a teacher. At nineteen he entered Asbury (now De Pauw) university, where he was graduated with the highest honors of his class, Before graduation he had been elected to an instructorship in the Thorntown, Ind., academy, and in 1864 he was made its principal. This office he held until 1867, when he was chosen to fill the chair of languages at Baker university, Baldwin City, Kan. During the same period he served as superintendent of the Lawrenceburg, Ind., public schools. In 1869 he was elected professor of English literature in Asbury university, and two years later he was assigned to the chair of belles-lettres and history of the same institution. In 1879 he was elected vice-president of the university, and he was largely the originator of the measures by which that institution was placed under the patronage of Washington C. De Pauw, and took his name. In 1880 he received the degree of LL. D. from the University of Syracuse, N. Y. He has published “Academic History of the United States” (New York, 1874-'5); “Popular History of the United States” (1876); “Grammar-School History” (1877); “Inductive Grammar of the English Language” (1878-'9); “Monograph on Alexander Hamilton” (1880); “Life and Work of Garfield” (1881-'2); “Life of James G. Blaine,” and a “History of Texas” (1884); and a “A Cyclopædia of Universal History” (3 vols., 1880-'4).