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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Philander P. Claxton Correspondence

 Collection
Identifier: AR-0263

This collection houses correspondence between Philander P. Claxton and educators throughout the United States. Much of the material documents the establishment of public county high schools in Tennessee by levying a county tax for the purpose. Researchers should note, however, that only those counties that did not have a public high school prior to 1910 are discussed in these letters. Other materials concern the establishment of public high schools for African-American students in Tennessee.

Notable correspondents in this collection include State Superintendent R. L. Jones, State High School Inspector P. L. Harned, Secretary of the Rockefeller Fund Wallace Buttnick, and Alabama State Superintendent Harry C. Gunnels.

Dates

  • 1901-1911

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection houses correspondence between Philander P. Claxton and educators throughout the United States. Much of the material documents the establishment of public county high schools in Tennessee by levying a county tax for the purpose. Researchers should note, however, that only those counties that did not have a public high school prior to 1910 are discussed in these letters. Other materials concern the establishment of public high schools for African-American students in Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

Philander Priestley Claxton was born in Bedford County, Tennessee to Joshua Calvin and Anne Elizabeth (Jones) Claxton on September 28, 1862. He began his education at the University of Tennessee, where he earned his AB in 1882 and his AM in 1887. He continued on to postgraduate work at Johns Hopkins and later earned his Litt.D. from Bates College (1906) and his LL. D. from Western Reserve University (1912). Claxton started his professional career as a school superintendent and served in Kingston (1883-1884), Wilson (1886-1887), and Asheville (1887-1893), North Carolina before accepting a position at the North Carolina Normal and Industrial College. Here, he served as a Professor of German Pedagogy from 1893 to 1896 and as the Director of the Practice and Observation School from 1896 to 1902. Claxton came to the University of Tennessee in 1902, where he served as a Professor of Education (1902-1911) and as the Inspector of High Schools (1906-1911). He also headed the Summer School of the South, which was dedicated to improving teacher education. He left UT in 1911 to become the U. S. Commissioner of Education, where he remained until 1921. He went on to serve as Provost of the University of Alabama (1921-1923), as the Superintendent of Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1923-1929), and as President of Austin Peay Normal School (1930-1946). Claxton died in January of 1957 and is buried in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Philander P. Claxton was married three times: first to Varina Staunton Moore (1857-1891) in 1885, then to Anne Elizabeth Porter (1862-1905) in September of 1894, and finally to Mary Hannah Johnson on April 23, 1912.

Arrangement

Collection consists of one box.

Acquisition Note

Collection was transferred to University Archives.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480