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KEAGY, JOHN, M.D., was born in Martic township, Lancaster county, Pa., about the year 1795. He was of German descent on the maternal side, the name of his motherís family being Litzenberg. He received a classical education, studied medicine and graduated in 1817. In 1819 he published a series of educational articles in the Baltimore Chronicle, which were reprinted at Harrisburg in 1824, in an octavo phamplet of thirty-eight pages. In 1827 Dr. Keagy became principal of the Harrisburg Academy, and during the same year published his "Pestallozian Primer," a work made up largely of the more modern object-lessons, but under the name of "Thinking Lessons, and Lessons in Generalization." By this method, as soon as the child knows a vowel and a consonant, he is taught to spell and read the syllables which they form. In the introduction the author advocated the teaching of a child to read words, "as if they were Chinese syllables," and without a previous knowledge of the letters, a practicable mode which avoids the absurdity of telling a child that that see a tea (which should spell seat) spells cat. He remained at Harrisburg about two years, when he went to Philadelphia to take charge of the Friendís High School. Shortly before his death, which occurred at Philadelphia in the winter of 1836-37, and is buried in Laurel Hill cemetery. Dr. Keagy was elected professor of the languages in Dickinson College, but did not live to act. Besides being a classical scholar, the Doctor knew hebrew, German and French; he knew the principles of mechanics, and insisted that steam boilers should have more fire surface. Had he been brought up as a machinist, he would have invented tubular boilers, having constructed a copper model composed partly of tubes.


Dorothy Bumbaugh

Sidney, Indiana page 355