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Ernest Everett Stonecipher. A Kansas educator of fifteen years’ experience, Mr. Stonecipher has taught in country schools, has been principal of village and city schools, and with increasing capabilities and growing reputation has been preferred to some of the larger responsibilities connected with school work in Cherokee County. He is now county superintendent of public instruction in Cherokee County, and his place in the profession is well indicated by the fact that he is also serving as president of the Southeastern Kansas Teachers Association, the largest organization of school workers in the state.
Mr. Stonecipher was born in Cherokee County, in Ross Township, September 5, 1880, and had a rural environment during his youth. He is of old American stock, although the Stoneciphers originally came from Germany and settled in the Carolinas in colonial days. His grandfather, Samuel Stonecipher, was born in Tennessee, in 1815, was a farmer and blacksmith in Marion County, Illinois, for many years and died there in 1898.
J. C. Stonecipher, father of Professor Stonecipher, is one of the old and honored residents of Cherokee County, now living on a farm in Pleasant View Township. He was born in Marion County, Illinois, March 26, 1856, grew up there, but in 1875, at the age of nineteen, came to Sheridan Township of Cherokee County and for a time was employed on the farm of his brother, Doctor Ezra Stonecipher, and also attended school at Oswego. He was married in Ross Township, Cherokee County, in 1879, and then settled down to farming in Ross Township. For a number of years he conducted a threshing outfit. While living in Ross Township he served as township trustee four years, and held a similar office in Pleasant View Township, where he has been engaged in farming since 1896. He served as township trustee for four terms, and was an active figure in democratic circles, having been several times a member of the County Central Committee. He belongs to the Baptist Church, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Anti-Horse Thief Association. J. C. Stonecipher married for his first wife Lucy E. Hamblin, who was born in Illinois June 17, 1860, and died in Ross Township of Cherokee County in 1891. Her two children were Ernest E. and Norah L. The latter is the wife of Luther H. Stukey, a farmer and stockman in Elk County, Kansas. In 1895 Mr. Stonecipher married for his second wife Mrs. Belle (Moon) Devena, widow of the late James Dcvena, a railroad man. To this marriage have been born four children: Joseph Edgar, a teacher in Cherokee County; Lucy E., now a senior in the high school in the Cherokee County High School; Bessie E., a sophomore in the high school; and Marion E., who is still in the grammar school.
The most of his early school training Ernest E. Stonecipher acquired in Cherokee County, but has been a constant student whether a pupil or teacher. In 1916 he received the teacher’s state certificate from the State Manual Training Normal School of Pittsburg, Kansas.
His work as a teacher began in 1902, when he taught a year in Wirtonio, in District No. 32 of Cherokee County. Another year was spent in Rising Sun, District No. 65, two years at Lawton, Kansas, for two years he was principal at Lowell, and for three years principal at Galena. Thus by experience he was well qualified for his duties when he was elected in the fall of 1910 as county superintendent of public instruction. He took office in May, 1911, and by re-election in 1912 and 1914 has continued to administer his duties to the general satisfaction of all the people of Cherokee County interested in the schools. From his office in the Court House in Columbus he has under his supervision 100 school districts with 143 teachers and 5,000 scholars enrolled.
Mr. Stonecipher is an educator in the largest sense of the word, being equally and sincerely interested in everything that makes for human progress and welfare. He has been elected for the year 1917 president of the Southeastern Kansas Teachers Association, which has a membership of 2,800 active educators. He served as a member of its executive committee in 1914, and the association placed him in charge of the basket ball tournament in 1914 and 1915. He is a member and clerk of the Baptist Church at Columbus, is especially active in Sunday school affairs, being superintendent of the school in his home church, and a member of the executive committee of the County Sunday School Association. Fraternally he is a past grand of Columbus Lodge No. 387, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belongs to the Anti-Horse Thief Association and to the Knights and Ladies of Security. He is also interested in business affairs, being a stockholder in the Cherokee County Lumber Company, and he owns a good residence at 618 West Elm Street in Columbus.
In 1909, in Moniteau County, Missouri, he married Miss Mattie M. Dale, whose father, George F. Dale, was a pioneer farmer in that section of Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Stonecipher have two children, one daughter, Nadine, born February 3, 1911, and one son, Joseph Dale, born September 29, 1916.