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IV. CHARLES E. HOVEY.
Charles EDWARD Hovey, first principal of the Normal University of Illinois, was born in Thetford, V1., April 26th, 1827. His parents were intelligent and laborious; wringing from the hard soil of a New England farm the comforts but not the luxuries of life for a large family of children. Appreciating the value of education, they not only gave their children, without distinction, the benefit of common school instruction, such as it was a quarter of a century ago in Vermont, but also encouraged several of them to seek by their own exertion for knowledge at higher sources. Two of them, besides the subject of this sketch, are graduates of Dartmouth College.
In boyhood, Mr. Hovey was distinguished for activity and boldness. He had no special predilection for study, and made no rapid strides in gaining kuowledge. He kept pace, however, in his progress, with those of his own age, and early conceived an admiration for the office of teacher. A desire to reach this exalted position may be numbered, the writer has reason to believe, with the chief incentives to study which at that time affected his mind. When about sixteen years of age, he began to prepare for college; studying for the most part in the academy of his native town, and obtaining the requisite funds by " teaching school” during the winter months. His success as a teacher, at this early period, was, in his own opinion, very moderate. llaving no adequate conception of his work, he observed the customary routine of labor, and was satisfied if “the sums were done” and the scholars "made to mind.” Whether, however, his standard of duty was then lower than that of many teachers who enter the schoolroom for the winter, giving the rest of the year to other pursuits, may perhaps be doubtful ; for men do not commonly honor with their highest respect and love a calling to which they resort, for a brief period only, in transitu to something better.
Mr. Hovey entered college in July, 1848, and pursued with energy the regular course of study. His standing as a scholar was good ; but he exhibited no special preference for any one branch of knowledge. His love of public speaking and debate was marked, and sereral orations which he delivered attracted considerable attention. Social, active, and energetic, he was generally successful in accomplishing his purposes. In the last year of his course, he was elected president of the “ Social Friends” by a handsome majority. One
ne uenvered attractea considerable attention. Social, active, and energetic, he was generally successful in accomplishing his
of his course, he was elected president of the “Social Friends" by a handsome majority. One