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John W. Simonds
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John Wesley Simonds, a New Hampshire native born in Franklin on May 9, 1829, and a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, succeeded Ephraim Epstein in the fall of 1883. Simonds had been the state superintendent of public instruction in New Hampshire from 1871-1876, and he taught in many New England schools before journeying west to Centerville, Iowa, where he was superintendent of schools. Simonds served as the principal of the academy of the University of Dakota from 1883-84 and was appointed as its president in 1884. An able teacher, Simonds helped enrollment grow to 96 students. A re-organization in the structure of the Board of Regents, increasing factionalism, and a controversy over Simonds’s salary took a personal toll. Simonds began to suffer from ill health while in office and died on June 3, 1885.
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