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Baggett, John E. (b. September 27, 1863; d. April 7, 1946) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Baggett, John E. (b. September 27, 1863; d. April 7, 1946)

Historical Note:

John E. Baggett (1863-1947) was born in Highland Park and a year later with the  death of his mother in childbirth he moved to Chicago with his father and three siblings.  In dire straits, Mr. Baggett was asked by a childless couple, the Reids, if they could raise John, then thirteen months old (1864).  the Reids were frm Orkney off northern Scotland.  When John was twelve, the Reids moved to BremerCounty, Iowa.  He began teaching in Iowa and by 1888, when he was twenty-five, he joined the Wasukegan Public Schools, as instructor for grades six, seven and eight and as building principal.

In 1904 he moved to Lake Forest, as superintentdent of schools (K-8), with the high school being at Highland Park: Deerfield-Shields Township high School--until 1935.  H continued to live in Waukegan with his long-long friend, the Rev. Dr. S. w. Chidester, pastor of the Presbyterian church there, with both resided in the manse for forty-four years. 

Baggett was renown as an outstanding educator (Marc A. Rose wrote about him as "The Most Unforgettable Character Ive Met" in the Reader's Digest for February 1943) committed to his work and his students and to broadening their cultural knowledge through exposure to art, which he bought and placed in the schools--sculptures and framed pictures on the walls.  Baggett went to Europe for the first time in 1906, whn he was in his early forties.  He had been introduced to the larger world already by the 1893 world's Columbian Exposition, Chicago. 

Baggett's portrait was painted in 1936 by Joseph P. Nash, then a Bell School instructor and by 1944 Lake Forest Colelge's first art professor (see a related finding aid on Nash).

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