Rod Library--Special Collections
Harry LeRoy Eells
Rites Are Held For H. L. Eells
Harry LeRoy Eells, B. A. '18, Teachers College; M. S. '22, Iowa State College; professor of rural education at Teachers College since 1914, died Thursday, June 8, 1933, at a hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, where he had been undergoing treatment.
Mr. Eells, well known to hundreds of alumni of the College and especially to students who have gone out to teach in the rural schools of Iowa, was born February 5, 1878, at Waukon, Iowa. He was married August 17, 1904, to Pearl Gould.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two children, LeClair Herald, B. A. '26, Teachers College, and a daughter, Ruth, B. A. '30. The son has been teaching in the School of Business at Notre Dame University, South Bend, and the daughter has been teaching at Cherokee, Iowa.
Mr. Eells attended Waukon Business College in 1895 and received the first county certificate in 1897. He enrolled at the Iowa State Normal School in 1900, later receiving the Bachelor of Didactics degree, and in 1904 the Master of Didactics degree. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the Teachers College in 1918, and the Master of Science degree from Iowa State College in 1922. In recent years he had pursued at various times graduate work toward the Ph. D. degree at the University of Iowa, where he conducted specialized studies in the field of vocational education, rural sociology, and education.
Mr. Eells brought to his teaching work a wide background of practical experience in the rural schools of Iowa. He taught in the rural schools at New Hartford, Iowa, from 1897 to 1899. After receiving the Master of Didactics degree, he was made superintendent of the high school at New Hartford, and continued in this capacity until 1908, when he was made superintendent of schools at Schaller, Iowa. He was elected superintendent at Rolfe, Iowa, in 1911, and served there until 1913.
He came to Teachers College in 1914 as professor of rural education, and was made acting head of the Department of Rural Education in 1920-21. In 1927, he was given the full title of Head of the Department. In 1930, however, the Rural Education Department was consolidated with the Department of Education, and Mr. Eells was continued with the title of professor of rural education.
Mr. Eells did part time teaching at Iowa State College, Ames, during the years of 1919-21, where he was engaged in research work. He also served as assistant professor at the University of Iowa in 1924.
His military service in the Spanish-American War began with his enlistment on April 26. 1898, in the Company I, Forty-Ninth Iowa Regiment. He was transferred to the Hospital Corps on June 24, 1898, and was mustered out of service on April 25, 1899. He served with the Seventh Army Corps in Cuba. He was a member of the Fred Willier Camp, U. S. W. V., which he joined in 1921.
During the World War, he was made educational director of Camp Unit 93 at Fort Dodge, in which capacity he served from March 1918, until he went overseas in December, 1918. In his overseas work, he was assigned to the American University in France. He returned to the United States early in the summer of 1919.
Mr.. Eells published several books, including "Rural School Management" and "Seat Work and Helps For Busy Teachers." He also published results of a rural social survey conducted in 1922 in the consolidated schools of Hudson, Jesup, and Orange Township.
He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Iowa Historical Society, the Masons, and the Lion's Club. He was at one time a member of the Commission on the State Course of Study in Iowa, serving on the Committee on Agriculture. He also served on various advisory committees in the field of elementary education.
Mr. Eells was unusually active in his chosen field, and vigorously promoted many significant educational activities and reforms, including model one-room schools and safety campaigns in the interests of rural school children using the state highways. He took deep interest in the religious life of students at the College as well as in general community projects in Cedar Falls. He was advisor of Pi Tau Theta, national honorary society for Methodist men at College, which has as its aim "the building of leaders to encourage high moral standards among college men."
Adapted from an article in the Alumnus, July 1933, Page 13.