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Record Group Number: 000402
Series/Collection Number: .S 249
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Public Instruction.
Title, Dates: Superintendent of Public Instruction correspondence, 1882-1922.
Amount: 2.25 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Chronological by Superintendent's term of office, then alphabetical by subject.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction was created by the 1868 Constitution.  In the 1885 Constitution, the Superintendent became an elected official.  The Superintendent headed the Dept. of Public Instruction (1869-1938) and the State Dept. of Education (1939-1968).  Under the 1968 Constitution, the name was changed to Commissioner of Education and the position became one of the elected Cabinet posts.  The Commissioner heads the Dept. of Education and serves as chief state school officer.
    Between 1881 and 1902, the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction was held by Eleazer K. Foster (1881-1884); Albert J. Russell (1884-1893); William N. Sheats (1893-1905); and William M. Holloway (1905-1913).  From 1913 to 1922, the post was held for a second term by William N. Sheats.
Summary:     The series contains the administrative correspondence of the Superintendents of Public Instruction from 1882 to 1922.  There is a gap in the records from 1905 to 1913; so no records exist for Holloway's term.  The series contains only a few records from Foster's, Russell's, and Sheats' first term of office.  The bulk of the files are from Sheats' second term of office from 1913 to 1922.
    The correspondence reflects the Superintendent's involvement in all matters pertaining to public instruction.  Of particular interest are correspondence and inspection reports of the State Rural School Inspector, a position created in 1913 to supervise rural schools.  In addition, there is a good amount of materials relating to summer school from 1920 to 1921.
    The Superintendent was also a member of the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions which oversaw the State's hospitals, child training schools, and correctional institutions. The records contain information about the Florida State Prison Farm, the Florida Industrial School for Boys, the Florida Industrial School for Girls, the School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Florida Hospital for the Insane.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Florida Industrial School for Boys.
Florida State Hospital.
Florida Hospital for the Insane.
Florida Industrial School for Girls.
Florida State Prison.
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Superintendent of Public Instruction.
State Rural School Inspector.
Rural schools Florida
Prison administration Florida
School management and organization Florida
Added Entries Sheats, William Nicholas, 1851-1922
Russell, Albert J., 1829-1896
Foster, Eleazer K., 1841-1899