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Prof. W. S. Calvert

Prof. W. S. Calvert

Submitted by : Sheryl McClure.


Taken from: Portrait and Biographical Record of Oklahoma, 1901


PROF. W. S. CALVERT, former principal of the Mulhall school, and now county superintendent of Logan county, has divided his life about equally between agriculture and educational work. He has a great love for both departments of usefulness and has prospered in both. Under his auspices the local schools have steadily advanced, and the students, with the general public, are interested in them as never before.
A son of Noding and Gabrella (Skidmore) Calvert, our subject was born in Carroll county. Mo., August 27, 1858, and passed his early years upon the old homestead there. After leaving the country school, he attended the normal department of the Carrollton high school, and when nineteen he commenced teaching in the schools of his own county. In 1878 he went to Russell county, Kans., where he bought land and engaged in its cultivation, and for three years he devoted a portion of his time to teaching in the common schools. Then, selling out, he located in Vernon county, Mo., and engaged in farming on the property which he had purchased there. For two and a half years he taught schools in that locality, and for six months he was a partner in a mercantile establishment at Virgil Citv, also serving as postmaster. A desire to try his fortunes in the far northwest led him to dispose of his financial interests in Missouri, and, going to Linn county, Ore., he not only carried on a farm, but also served as principal of the Sweet Home school for two terms.
In 1885 he returned to Kansas and, buying some farm land in Russell county, gave part of his time to agriculture and the remainder to teaching. At the end of two years he went to Ozark county, Mo., where he was similarly occupied, and the same may be said of his residence in Barton county. Mo. In that county he dwelt near Milford, and taught in the country schools three terms, after which he served as principal at Newport. He was honored by election to the office of justice of the peace in Milford township, and during the two years of his incumbency no appeal was made from his judgments, as they gave general satisfaction. In 1890 he became a land-holder in Jefferson county, Mo., and during a period of three years officiated, as principal of the Victoria schools.
Wherever he had dwelt, Professor Calvert had been active in the ranks of the Democratic party, but was not an office-seeker, and when he was urged to become chairman of the Jefferson county central committee he declined the honor, and though his many friends wished him to allow his name to be placed in nomination for the county superintendency of schools and for representative in the legislature—at a time when nomination was equivalent to election—he refused. Having placed his farm in fine order, he planted over two thousand fruit trees, and now, nine years later, they are bearing splendid crops annually. After placing good buildings and other improvements on the farm, he exchanged it for a fruit farm in White county, Ark., but for many considerations, health being the moving factor, he removed to Oklahoma five years ago, and settled on section 20, township 18, range 2 west, four and a half miles southwest of Mulhall. Here he has instituted valuable improvements, greatly increasing the beauty and desirability of the property. He raises cattle and live stock and is making a success of the undertaking.
His old love for educational work led the professor to accept the position as principal of the Mulhall schools, in 1898, after he had been in charge of schools in the country for three terms, and made a marked improvement in the system and daily work. He has also transacted considerable business in real estate and loans and is a notary public.
In Carroll county, Professor Calvert and Mattie A. Newkirk were married, March 8, 1877. She was born and reared in Audrain county, Mo., and is a daughter of C. C. and Martha Newkirk. In her girlhood she obtained a liberal education, completing her studies in the DeWitt high school. Then she taught school for two terms before her marriage, and since that time once had charge of a school for one term. With her husband and elder daughter, she holds membership in the order of the Eastern Star, and each member of the family is popular in the best social circles of the town. Lizzie, the first-born, is numbered among the successful teachers of Russell county, Kans. May, who was graduated in our schools, is counted among our successful county teachers, and George, her twin brother, also has completed the course in the Logan county schools; Pearl was born in Russell county, Kans.; Robert, in Barton county, Mo.; and Gertrude in Jefferson county, Mo.
Fraternally, the professor enjoys the honor of being chancellor commander of Mistletoe Lodge No. 21, K. of P. He also is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to St. John's Lodge No. 12, A. F. & A. M, of Mulhall.


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