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Professor Nathan C. Schaeffer (1849-1919), a highly educated man and the longtime State Superintendent of Schools, visited New Castle on several occasions. I believe these round photos were taken with a early Kodak camera and depict Schaeffer’s visit to New Castle for a annual county teacher’s conference in October 1900. The inscription on back reads, “3,500 school children massed at New Castle Pa. to be addressed by Dr. Schaeffer.” Schaeffer (at left center) was born in Berks County but made his longtime home in Lancaster County. He had graduated from Franklin & Marshall in 1867, studied theology for a number of years in the United States and Europe, worked as a college professor and school principal, and served as the State Superintendent of Schools from 1893 until his death in March 1919. Under his reign the state’s schools were brought into the modern era. (c1900)Full Size
Several thousand school children, teachers, and parents gather to hear an address by Professor Schaeffer. The inscription on back reads, “Prayer by Dr. Schaeffer.” The location of this photo stumped me for a while, but I believe this is on the Public Square (The Diamond) right next to the Soldier’s Monument looking southwest. The main building in the middle background is marked as “W. J. Hartzell,” a wholesale grocery store. Various old ads for the company give its location as “Two doors west of the Fountain House” ( the Fountain Inn) and I believe it occupies the current location of the Olde Post Office Complex. The church in the right background would be the First Christian Church (Disciples Church) – its tall tower slightly visible but mostly off photo. (c1900) Full Size