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John Wesley Henninger

HENNINGER, John Wesley, M. L., LL. B.— Among the most widely and favorably known teachers in Illinois, and one whose career has gained for him honorable distinction and reflected credit upon the public school system of the State, is John W. Henninger, of Macomb. During more than twenty-five years of experience in his chosen vocation he has held important positions of scholastic responsibility, and the high degree of capacity and efficiency manifested by him in each successive connection has constantly enhanced his reputation. Not only as a thoroughly equipped, resourceful and conscientious instructor has he exercised a strong influence in the mental development of large numbers of youth in various localities, but his administrative abilities have been impressed with beneficial and enduring effect on the local school systems of some of the principal cities of Illinois, and upon the official work of State supervision of public instruction.

Mr. Henninger was born in Vandalia. Illinois, December 21, 1857, a son of John Bunyan and Amanda Ellen (Oglesby) Henninger. His father was a native of West Virginia, where he was born November 23, 1819, while his mother was born in Louisville, Ky., February 12, 1823. John B. Henninger was a farmer by occupation, and his son, John W., was reared upon the paternal acres. The childhood and early youth of the latter were spent in the manner common to farmers' sons, and as he grew older he was occupied in raising, buying and shipping live-stock, together with his father. In boyhood he attended the common schools, and subsequently pursued a course of study at the Illinois Wesleyan University and McKendree College, where he graduated in 1881. On leaving the last-named institution he adopted the profession of teaching, and for three years held the position of Superintendent of the Mt. Carmel (Ill.) Schools; that of Principal of the Bloomington (Ill.) High School, for four years; Superintendent of Schools at Charleston, Ill., seven years: and of the Jacksonville (Ill.) schools, five years. For three and a half years he was President of Western Illinois State Normal School. His work in organizing and equipping the new State school was far-reaching and important, and won the confidence of the patronizing public; the total enrollment for the third year was over eight hundred. In 1887 Mr. Henninger was chosen President of the Southern Illinois Teachers' Association. In 1890 he received the degree of LL. B. and was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Illinois. In 1893, he was President of the Central Illinois Teachers' Association, and in 1894, President of the State Principals' Association of Illinois. He was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction for Illinois in 1895, and filled that office for one year. In 1905-06 he spent a year in post-graduate work in the University of Chicago and received the degree of Master of Philosophy.

On September 2, 1890, at Quincy, Ill., Mr. Henninger was united in marriage with Clara Kimlin, a daughter of Dr. Thomas and Louise Kimlin. Mrs. Henninger's father was a graduate of the University of New York. Three children have resulted from the union of Mr. • and Mrs. Henninger, namely: Ellen Louise, born in 1891; Thomas John, born in 1897; and Julia Kimlin, born in 1900. Politically. Mr. Henninger is a Republican, in religious belief a Methodist, and fraternally is identified with the A. F. & A. M., being a member of the Blue Lodge, a Royal Arch Mason and Knight Templar. He is also affiliated with the Royal Arcanum and Knights of Pythias. He is a man of genial disposition and sanguine temperament, and his views of affairs and men have an optimistic tint. Having been inured in his youthful years to the arduous toil of a farmer's life, he early developed a strong individuality and a faculty of sturdy self-reliance. He is energetic, diligent and persistent, and follows up any undertaking in which he is interested with indomitable perseverance. It has always been Mr. Henninger's habit to cultivate a wide and constantly extending acquaintance with men of all classes. He believes in the .growing work and worth of men, and holds he has always found inspiration in their fellowship and example.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 905-906, extracted 09 Mar 2019 by Norma Hass.

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