You might be surprised to learn that the number of horses has stayed fairly steady, with about 220,000 in the state in 2016, compared with a plague of automobiles—more that 600,000.
The workbook was “prepared and arranged” by Ethel E. Redfield, a former superintendent of public instruction in Idaho.
It seemed a little unusual to me for a Superintendent of Education to write a textbook, so I decided to see what her story was.
Ethel Redfield was born April 22, 1877 at Kamiah on the Nez Perce Reservation. She went to college in Portland, getting a BA from Albany College (later renamed Lewis and Clark College) in 1897, then earning a BS the next year from the same school. Redfield started her career at a one-room school in Detroit, Oregon. She soon returned to Idaho as the head of the Latin Department at Lewiston High School from 1906 to 1913, then served as the Nez Perce County Superintendent of Schools for 1906 to 1917.
Redfield ran for Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1917. Her platform, more or less, was that she wanted the office eliminated.
A new plan for organizing education in Idaho had been developed. Under that plan the office of superintendent of public instruction would be abolished. She ran under the assumption that the legislature would do away with the office in the next session, placing the duties of the position under the secretary of the state board of education.
Redfield won the office. A bill to eliminate it was killed in the Idaho senate, so she chose to serve in the position voters had handed her. She apparently did a good job. The next time elections rolled around, Redfield, a Republican, won easily. She was popular enough that in Canyon County she was nominated as a Democrat and as a Republican during the primary. She beat her Democratic opponent in the primary in that county.
Redfield served three terms as the head of Idaho’s schools, then began a string of jobs in education beginning as the state high school inspector, 1923-34; executive secretary of the State Board of Education, 1924-25; and the State Commissioner of Education, 1925-27. In her spare time, she taught summer school at Idaho State College and received an MS in Education there in 1925. She did additional graduate work at Stanford and Harvard and wrote the above-mentioned text.
In 1928, she began teaching full time at Idaho State College and stayed there until her retirement in 1947. Redfield’s alma mater, Lewis and Clark College in Portland, awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1955. Dr. Redfield, who passed away in 1957, has been called the “Dean of public education in Idaho.”
Thanks to Bud Cornelison for sending me the pupil’s workbook that started me off on this quest.