ELIZA WELSH, Superintendent of Public Schools of Shasta County, California, is a lady endowed with remarkable mental vigor and unusual executive ability. A few facts, briefly stated, in connection with her life and work are as follows:

Miss Welsh is a native of California, born near Shasta, in Shasta County, July 16, 1857, the daughter of M.K. and Margaret (Welsh) Welsh. She has two brothers and two sisters. Her father was born in Ireland, and was reared and educated there, coming to America when quite a young man. He married at Sacramento, and in 1856 settled in Shasta County. A fact worthy of note in the history of Miss Welsh’s ancestry is that both her paternal and material grandfathers were named Welsh,—John and Michael,—both were born in the County of Cork, Ireland, and, although their names were the same they were not related to each other. Her father has been a miner for thirty years, and has only recently retired from that business. He resides on his fruit farm near the village of Shasta.

Miss Welsh obtained her education as well as nearly all her experience in teaching in her native county. She posted herself thoroughly in regard to text-books, methods of teaching, school government and all matters concerning her profession. During her twelve years’ experience as a teacher and member of the Board of Education, she has won for herself an enviable reputation. She has the rare ability to express her ideas and convictions in a clear and concise manner; and she not only holds the attention of her listeners by her easy and affable address, but also convinces them of the truth of her statements. The citizens of her county showed their appreciation of her as an enthusiastic educator by electing her Superintendent of Public Schools. When she was first elected in a Republican county, by a majority of 500 (though on the Democratic ticket), the editor of her home paper called her the “Rock Creek Racer,” in honor of the days when he used to see her walking three miles a day to school. Her first term in office proved a success, and she was re-elected by an overwhelming majority. He then began to think he must give her a higher sounding name and called her the “Maid of Orleans.” Miss Welsh very gracefully gives credit to her predecessor in office, Mrs. D.M. Coleman, for the fine condition of the schools in the county. She says that the county is rapidly developing and that the schools and school facilities keep pace with the other advancements. The subject of this sketch furnishes a fine illustration of the many things her sex can accomplish just as well, if not a little better than, the “lords of creation.”

Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, Lewis Publishing Co. , 1891
Transcribed by: Betty Wilson, August 2004

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