Monday, July 25, 2011

William and Eudora Hailmann: Kindergarten Pioneers

Eudora Lucas Hailmann was an early childhood education innovator. She and her husband, William, introduced kindergarten models to American school systems. She was also the first president of the National Education Association. She prepared and published a valuable collection of kindergarten songs and games. She also developed kindergarten equipment that included sand tables and group tables. Eudora was born in 1835 and lived in Louisville, Kentucky. She died March 9, 1905 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, North Reading. Her sculpted headstone flanks a commemorative plaque for her husband, William Nicholas Hailmann.

William married Eudora on December 24, 1875. After attending Medical College in Louisville, Kentucky and receiving a PH.D from Ohio University in 1885, William taught high school natural science. From 1865 to 1873 he directed the German and English Academy where it is noted that he and Eudora built the first kindergarten classroom in the United States.

William also served as superintendent of the Indian School Service in 1894, and worked to hire more Native American teachers to teach Indian children. Working with Theodore Roosevelt, he developed an exam which ensured applicants for teaching jobs on reservations were aware of the unique hardships of American Indians. This process helped create more employment of Native American teachers. Eudora worked alongside her husband in all his efforts. William was born in Glarus, Switzerland in 1836 and died in Pasadena, CA, May 13, 1920. After Eudora’s death, he married Helena Kuhn of Detroit.

For a photo of the gravesite in Riverside Cemetery, North Reading, visit the following link at Find a Grave:

Other References:
“Eudora Lucas Hailmann” . Kindergarten Primary Magazine. Vol. 17. 1904. p. 559.

“William Nicholas Hailmann”. 26 June 2011. Wikipedia. July 25, 2011. Hailmann