Robert Franklin Knight, superintendent of the Wichita public schools, is a commanding figure in the educational field of Kansas, where he has acquired his prominence through zealous and energetic labor during twenty years or more of identification with the Wichita schools. Well qualified in his own character and personality, as well as in his mere attainments, his striving for the realization of higher ideals and his labors for the advancement of education have been effective and far reaching. Prof. Knight was born at Farmer City, De Witt county, Illinois, Jan. 8, 1862. His father, Robert Knight, was born in Ohio, Jan. 1, 1828, and removed with his parents from that state to Indiana in 1839. Upon reaching his majority he located in De Witt county, Illinois, where he spent the remainder of his life, engaged in agricultural pursuits. He died on Jan. 9, 1892. The mother of Prof. Knight was a Miss Esther Johnson before her marriage. She was born in New Jersey in 1828 and died in De Witt county, Illinois, in 1908, at the age of eighty years. Prof. Knight has one brother, four sisters and two half-sisters. His brother and full sisters are: Mrs. Agnes Philipy, of Wabash county, Indiana; Mrs. George Mittan, of Farmer City, Ill.; Mrs. Henry Gillespie, and Mrs. Esther Belle Chubb, of Mt. Vernon, Iowa; and Eugene Claude Knight, of Wabash, Ind.
Robert F. Knight was reared on a farm in De Witt county, Illinois, and received his elementary education in a country school near Farmer City and in the public schools of that town. He received his collegiate education at the Northern Indiana Normal School, Valparaiso, Ind., Chaddock College, Quincy, Ill., and DePauw University, of Greencastle, Ind. He received the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy from Chaddock College in 1897, and the degree of Master of Arts from Baker University in 1909, the latter being an honorary degree. His career has been that of a teacher ever since he reached early manhood, and he had taught several terms of country school in De Witt county, Illinois, prior to his removal to Wichita, Kan., in 1887. He served as a ward principal in that city for five years; was then a teacher of mathematics in the high school for one year, and the following year resumed the duties of ward principal. Once more he became a teacher of mathematics in the Wichita High School, in which position he remained for four years, and then took up the same work for three years in the Manual Training High School of Kansas City, Mo. In 1901 he returned to Wichita as superintendent of its public schools and has very ably and efficiently filled that position to the present time. He is a member of the National Educational Association and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce. As a school man Prof. Knight ranks high, and is regarded as one of the ablest and best known school superintendents in the State of Kansas. In all he has been connected with the Wichita public schools for twenty years, having been ward principal for six years, teacher of mathematics in the high school for four years, superintendent for ten years, and there he is held in affectionate esteem alike by teachers, pupils and the public. On Nov. 27, 1900, Prof. Knight wedded Miss Mildred Faries, of Wichita, a native of that city. They have one son, Russell Faries Knight, born March 31, 1906.Pages 1208-1209 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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