JAMES W. JACKSON. It will scarcely be gainsaid that there is no class of society to which it is given to exert a more powerful and far-reaching influence than the instructor, into whose hands is placed in such large measure the making of the future citizen. A community is infinitely to be congratulated which has at the head of its educational affairs men of enlightened and progressive ideals and to such all honor is due. A splendid example of the progressive educator is James W. Jackson, county superintendent of schools of Monroe county, who makes his home at Waterloo and has in retrospect many important and ably filled positions in a pedagogical capacity.
Mr. Jackson was born on a farm in Erie county, Pennsylvania, on the 27th day of June, 1841, the son of Smith I. and Mary (Bloom) Jackson. There he resided until about the age of nineteen years and from actual experience as his father's assistant in the manifold duties of the farm learned all the secrets of the great basic industry. Meantime, however, he found opportunity to lay the foundations of a good education, and when only about seventeen years of age began teaching in the schools. He received his elementary educational discipline in the public schools and subsequently, having within his youthful breast an unquenchable desire to drink deeper of the "Pierian spring," he attended the following trio of colleges: Waterford Academy at Waterford, Pennsylvania; Lake Shore College in northeast Pennsylvania and the Western Normal University of Illinois. As he took special courses in each, gleaning from each institution what he believed it most admirably fitted to impart, he received no degrees from them. As mentioned previously, he began upon his pedagogical career when a youth, and so well did he prove fitted for this noble work that he has devoted nearly his entire subsequent time to it. After completing his course in the normal school he became principal of the schools at Fayette, Illinois, and following this he became principal at Rockbridge, Illinois, and at Ava, Illinois, in the latter place later assuming the superintendency of the schools. He has been here for the past twenty years, eleven years of which he was superintendent of the city schools of Waterloo, and his services in that time have been of the most satisfactory character. He was appointed deputy clerk in 1902, which office he held for eight years, and at the close of his tenure of office in that capacity he was elected to his present important office as county superintendent.
Mr. Jackson is an enthusiastic lodge man, being affiliated with the Masonic order, to whose high principles he is true; and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Rebekahs and the Royal Americans. In his political ideas he is Democratic and since his earliest voting days has supported the men who are following in the footsteps of Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland.
Mr. Jackson was first married on Christmas Day, 1890, to Celia E. Bruner, of Greene county, Illinois, and their union was blessed with three children, namely: Harry E., William I., and Geneva E. The first wife died in 1901 and in 1908 he was married to Martha V. Holmes, of Waterloo, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson hold high place in the confidence and regard of the community and are identified with its best interestS.