Electa Quinney: The First Public School Teacher in Wisconsin

© Photographed June 12 and 13, 2016
Stockbridge, Calumet County, Wisconsin
44.082757, -88.301216
44°04'57.9"N 88°18'04.4"W
Google Map

1802 - 1885)
The first public school
teacher in Wisconsin. She
began teaching in Kaukauna in
1828. Her one-room log school
was open to all and was the first
of its kind in what would
become the State of Wisconsin.

Electa Quinney is buried at the Stockbridge Indian Cemetery, accessible from eastbound Moore Road, just west of its intersection with Wisconsin Highway 55, Stockbridge, Wisconsin 53088.

Wisconsin Life: Electa Quinney
Born to the most prominent family in Stockbridge tribal history -- her grandfather, father and brothers were all tribal chiefs!

Wisconsin Historical Society Press: Electra Quinney: Stockbridge Teacher

Wisconsin Women Making History: Electa Quinney

Badger Boneyards: The Restoration of a Cemetery / Stockbridge

The origin of the "Sweet Cemetery" (9 May 2001)

Stockbridge-Munsee restore century old cemetery (11/04/2004)

See also, Arvid E. Miller Stockbridge Munsee Historical Library Museum, a related location in Shawano County, Wisconsin.

See also, "Sweet" / Stockbridge Indian Cemetery, also at this location.

© Wisconsin Historical Society Press; used with permission.

Electa Quinney loved to learn. Growing up in the early 1800s in New York, she went to some of the best boarding schools. There she learned how to read, write, and solve tough math problems-- she even learned how to do needlework. Electa decided early on that she wanted to become a teacher so she could pass her knowledge on to others.

But life wasn't simple. Electa was a Stockbridge Indian, and her tribe was being pressured by the government and white settlers to move out of the state. So in 1828, Electa and others in her tribe moved to Wisconsin. Almost as soon as she arrived, Electa got to work again, teaching in a log building that also served as the local church. In that small school in the woods, Electa became Wisconsin's very first public school teacher, educating the children of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians as well as the sons and daughters of nearby white settlers and missionaries.

Electa's life provides a detailed window onto pioneer Wisconsin and discusses the challenges and issues faced by American Indians in the nineteenth century. Through it all, Electa's love of learning stands out, and her legacy as Wisconsin's first public school teacher makes her an inspiration to students of today.

To receive a review copy or press release, to schedule an author event, or for more information contact the WHS Press Marketing Department:

Note: This book meets and exceeds the requirements of the Wisconsin American Indian Education Act (Act 31).
The foregoing content and screenshot of book cover used with permission of Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Looking southeast, with Electra Quinney's
black granite headstone visible in the distance.

The entrance to the Stockbridge Indian Cemetery;
Electra Quinney's headstone (not visible) is to the left.

Looking south from the parking lot.

The long entrance to the cemetery.
Looking west, with Moore Road and St. Mary's Cemetery visible to the right.

The entrance to the cemetery, adjacent to a farm.

1 comment:

Mrs. Coats said...

I learned something new today. As a former elementary teacher, I know how rewarding it is to be a teacher. I bet she touched the lives of a great number of children since she lived into her eighties!

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