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Armon P. Vaughn. The condition and the high standards of the public schools of Rosedale reflect the power and efficiency of Armon P. Vaughn as an educator and an educational leader. Mr. Vaughn for the past four years had been city superintendent of schools there, and had two more years to serve in his present term. He came to Rosedale in 1907 and for four years was principal of the Columbian School and for two years was principal of the high school before his election to his present office.
The enrollment in the public schools of Rosedale is 1,725 students, while the number of teachers is 48. Ten years ago when Mr. Vaughn first came in touch with educational conditions there were 26 teachers and an enrollment of 1,225. Though the schools are now much crowded the students are much better provided with educational facilities than they were ten years ago. There are more teachers to the number of pupils, and in many ways the standard of educational efficiency had been kept rising. Ten years ago there were only three teachers in the high school, while now the staff numbers nine. Manual training is an important feature of high school work, and in the manual training department are opportunities for learning the fundamentals of several mechanical trades, while the domestic science department fills an important need with the girl students. Since Mr. Vaughn became superintendent he had introduced commercial law and practice, typewriting and book-keeping in the course. A new grade school had been built and other schools have been improved and equipped along sanitary lines. It had been the ideal of Mr. Vaughn and he had been supported in that by the school board that not so much attention should be given to showy buildings as to the comfort and sanitary surroundings of the students.
Mr. Vaughn believes in athletics as a wholesome feature of school life. The Rosedale schools have an enviable record in that department. In 1916 the boys’ and girls’ teams won the championship of Congressional District No. 2. The team of girls won the state championship in that year. In 1917 the girls won the district championship at Baldwin and stood second in the state tournament held at Lawrence. Mr. Vaughn had a just pride in the schools. The high school had won the district championship in debating for the past four years, and he had done much to encourage that feature of school work.
Armon P. Vaughn was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, on a farm near Greenville, in a rugged and picturesque section of Western Pennsylvania, January 10, 1858. He was third of the five children of John and Harriet (Perrin) Vaughn, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of New York State. In the maternal line Professor Vaughn is descended from the Montgomery family of New York. His grandfather Vaughn fought with Commodore Perry in the great battle on Lake Erie early in the War of 1812. John Vaughn was a Civil war soldier, answering the call for three months troops at the beginning of the war and subsequently re-enlisting, and he was at Richmond after Lee had evacuated that city. John Vaughn became a farmer, tilled some land on the hills of Western Pennsylvania, but in 1866 removed to Northeastern Missouri. He and his family traveled by train as far as Macon City and then penetrated the wilderness by wagon into Adair County. He secured 120 acres, improved the land, and was actively engaged in farming until he had reached the age of seventy-five. He then removed to Kirksville, Missouri, where he died at the age of eighty. John Vaughn was not a man who could be said to have been liberally educated, having attended school only six months in all his life, but keen powers of observation and a habit of reading and careful study carried on for many years gave him a well rounded knowledge and information much above the average. He was very much concerned with the education of his children and did all that could be expected of him in that way. He was also active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and as a republican was a loyal party man but never held office except membership on the school board.
Armon P. Vaughn attended the district schools of Adair County, Missouri, and it was while a boy that he determined to make teaching his life work. When eighteen years old he qualified for his first term of school, which he taught in one of the rural districts of Missouri. He continued teaching and with some help supplied him by his father was able to acquire a liberal education in the Kirksville State Normal, where he remained five years and where he did both the high school and collegiate work. He was graduated in 1898. For thirteen years Mr. Vaughn was connected with the public schools of Kirksville, being principal until 1907. It was through his brother-in-law who lived in Rosedale that he first became interested in that city and accepted his first position in the schools in 1907.
On December 30, 1885, Mr. Vaughn married Miss Sennie Wisner, who was born in Missouri. Five children have come into their home: Chester A., who died at the age of twenty; Florence E., now the wife of Dr. E. R. Adams, a successful dentist at La Plata, Missouri; Berthul E., a wholesale jewelry salesman with headquarters at Kansas City, Missouri; Virgie V., wife of R. M. Bowser, of Rosedale; and Annabeth, a senior in the Rosedale High School.
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Mr. Vaughn is independent in his political affiliations, though until a few years ago he was quite regularly identified with the republican party. While in Missouri he held the office of county school commissioner. That was an office corresponding somewhat to that of county school superintendent, but without the powers and responsibilities, and while exercising its nominal functions Mr. Vaughn also taught. He was county school commissioner in Missouri in 1905-06. He is active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church and for a number of years had filled the post of Sunday-school superintendent. Fraternally he is identified with Lodge No. 333, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Rosedale, with Rosedale Chapter No. 95, Royal Arch Masons, and had filled the various chairs in the Blue Lodge.