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Pictou Educationists

Pictou County might be called the Home of Educators. It has given eight college Presidents to Canada, many more than any other single county in the Dominion has contributed. Although only a few of its educators have attained great eminence, a large number have made a commanding place for themselves in the educational, literary and scientific world. The county was predestined to become an educational centre, for, from its earliest days, its Scottish settlers, resolved that, whatever the superstructure might be, education and religion should form the corner stone and the foundation of their community.

It was Pictou's good fortune, at the beginning of its history, to have as leaders men of decided scholarship and marked ability, who were firmly convinced that education necessarily went hand in hand with morality and civilization. Others followed them so that there has never been a decade in its history in which a number of men have not stood out as leaders in the cause of education. Dr. McGregor, the first minister in Pictou County, was a man of much natural ability. He had, moreover, enjoyed the benefits of a thorough College training, and was an excellent scholar. From the beginning of his work he made the establishing of schools and the education of the people second only to the preaching of the Gospel. He was ably assisted by his colleague, Rev. Duncan Ross, who was also a university graduate. In 1803, a third minister arrived in the field; and it may safely be said of him that no man ever lived in Nova Scotia who has exercised a more potent influence on education. Thomas McCulloch was a student, a scholar, and a born teacher. From the day of his arrival he became a power in educational matters. He was the founder of Pictou Academy, and the influence of Pictou County on the intellectual life of Canada has been largely concentrated in Pictou Academy ever since.

The pioneers realized that education was a better heritage for their children than gold. Their well organized public schools were proof of this; but it was particularly reflected in the sacrifices which made Pictou Academy possible. It afterwards became more or less articulated with the common school system, and the question in every household having sons and daughters was: "Which one shall we send to the Academy?" The home was back of it. No wonder that from such soil sprang such a crop of college Presidents, Professors and Teachers.

A few short biographies

Davidson, James

Dawson, J. W. Sir

Grant, George Munro Rev.

Ross, James Rev.

Gordon, Daniel M. Rev.

MacRae, Donald Rev.

Forrest, John Rev.

MacKenzie, A. Stanley

MacKinnon, Clarence Rev.

McKinzie, John J.

Bayne, Herbert A.

Purves, Archibald

McGregor, J. Gordon

Additional Educators

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914


Pictou County

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