Matthew Edgar Pearson, superintendent of the Kansas City, Kan., public schools, occupies a notable position among Kansas educators and a prominent one among national educators, being president of the Kansas State Teachers' Association and an active member and worker in the National Teachers' Association in its department of city school superintendents. Prof. Pearson has decended on both his paternal and maternal sides from Quaker families who came to America with the William Penn colony. He is a native of Indiana, having been born in Hendricks county of that state, March 8, 1862. His parents are Enos S. and Edith (Stanley) Pearson, the former a farmer and a native of Miami county, Ohio, and the latter born in Hendricks county, Indiana. Both parents are living and now reside on a farm near Gardner, Johnson county, Kansas. Prof. Pearson has two brothers and two sisters, of whom all except the youngest sister were born in Hendricks county, Indiana. They are Mrs. Mattie A. Hill, of Hesper, Kan.; Dr. Walter J. Pearson, a successful physician of Kansas City, Kan.; Horace I. Pearson, a farmer of Johnson county, Kan.; and Mrs. Mary E. Henry, of Kansas City, Kan., who was born in Douglas county of that state.
Prof. Pearson was but ten years old when he accompanied his parents to a farm near Leavenworth, Kan., in 1872. In 1874 the family removed to a farm in Douglas county, where they remained until 1892, when they removed to their present home in Johnson county. Prof. Pearson was educated through the "three R's" period in the public schools of both Indiana and Kansas. In 1879 he entered the University of Kansas at Lawrence, where he spent five years in preparation for his life work, graduating with the class of 1885 as a Bachelor of Didactics. In 1886 he came to Kansas City, Kan., and from that time to the present, a period of twenty-five years, he has been identified with the public schools of that city in one capacity or another. Beginning as a teacher in the seventh grade he was advanced to the position of principal of the Wood school in 1887 where he was retained four years; he was then principal of the Armourdale school three years, after which for eight years he was principal of the Longfellow school and during the last four years of that period he was also supervisor of drawing for the schools of the entire city. In 1902 he was promoted to his present position which is that of superintendent.
On Dec. 31, 1885, was solemnized the marriage of Prof. Pearson to Miss Carrie Davis, of Lawrence, but a native of Hesper, Kan., where she was born Jan. 27, 1866. They are very happily married and have four children living, three daughters and one son, viz: Earl DeWitt Pearson, born Jan. 26, 1888, who is now a teacher in the manual training schools of Kansas City, Mo.; Mary Claudia, born Oct. 10, 1895; Myrle Lorine, born Nov. 23, 1898; and Dorothy Gertrude, born May 11, 1907. The second son, Matthew Russell, born July 10, 1889, died Oct. 5, 1893. Both Prof. and Mrs. Pearson are members of the London Heights Methodist Episcopal Church of Kansas City, Kan., the former a trustee and treasurer of that church, and for fourteen consecutive years superintendent of its Sunday school.
Prof. Pearson is a member of the fraternal insurance organizations, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a member of the Kansas City, Kan., Mercantile Club. He is a man of great public spirit and extensive influence and has found time aside from his professional duties to devote to the general civic affairs of the city, looking to educational, general municipal and other reforms. He is an active member of the national and state teachers' associations as stated and is recognized as one of the foremost men of his profession in Kansas, an educator of efficiency and excellent administrative talent, and withal a man, strong, wholesome and energetic. Baker University conferred on him the degee[sic] of Master of Arts in 1909.Pages 1165-1166 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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