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John Swett


Picture of John Swett
CA Blue Book (2000)
Date Party Office Votes Result
09-03-1862 Union Superintendent of Public Instruction 51238 Win
10-21-1863 Union Superintendent of Public Instruction 44791 Win
10-16-1867 Union Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction 35479 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Born: July 31, 1830 in Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Married: Mary Louise Tracy (daughter of Frederick P. Tracy) in 1862
Child: Frank
Died: August 22, 1913 in Alhambra, CA

1857: Teacher, Minns' Evening Normal School
1863: Founder, California Educational Society (became the California Teachers Association in 1875)
1870-1873: Deputy Superintendent, San Francisco Public Schools
1873-1876: Principal, The Denman School
1876-1889: Principal, The Girls' High School
1890-1895: Superintendent, San Francisco Public Schools

  • On the day of his funeral (August 25, 1913), nearly every school in California closed in honor of Swett.
  • Swett is widely regarded as being a primary mover in the creation of California's public school system, leading to his being identified as "Father of California Public Schools" and "The Horace Mann of the Pacific"  
  • PLACENAME: John Swett High School (Home of the Indians) is located in Crockett (near Vallejo). The John Swett Alternative School is located in San Francisco, and John Swett Elementary School is located in Martinez. A second John Swett Elementary School, located in Oakland, merged with the nearby Tilden School in 2005.

Source: California's Stately Hall of Fame by Rockwell D. Hunt (1950)