Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Jeannette Du Bois Meech 1835 ~ 1956

 

Daughter of Gideon du Bois, was born in Frankford, Pennsylvania, in 1835. She is well known as an evangelist, who married a Baptist clergyman. Her work as an industrial educator is as practical and effective as that wrought by any other educator in America.

In 1869, during her husband's pastorate in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, she opened a free industrial school in the parsonage with one hundred scholars, boys and girls. She provided all the materials and sold the work when it was finished.

In 1870 a larger opportunity to develop her ideas came to her when her husband was chosen superintendent of the Maryland State Industrial School for Girls. Afterwards in 1887, Mrs. Meech was appointed by the trustees of the High School of Vineland, New Jersey, to superintend a department of manual education where the boys were taught to make a variety of articles in wood and wire work, and the girls to cook and make garments. This was the first introduction of industrial education into public schools.

In March, 1891, the South Vineland Baptist Church granted Mrs. Meech a license to preach, and thereafter she held a number of meetings on Sunday evenings in Wildwood Beach, N. Y., and in Atlantic City. She had held aloof from temperance up to this time, but realizing from her work at these shore resorts the great increase of intemperance she joined the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1889 and she was made superintendent of narcotics the first year.

Two years later she received an appointment as national lecturer for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and she continued in active service, at the same time maintaining her interest in industrial education, as well as supporting her family by a successful business career.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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