Fales, Philetus

Philetus Fales

From the Ottawa Daily Republican of 1 April 1907:

Professor Fales is Dead

Former Ottawan Passed Away at Home of Daughter In Connecticut–Burial Here

E.M. Sheldon today received a letter announcing the death of Prof. Philetus Fales, formerly of this city, who died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Maude Strong, in Winsted Conn., Saturday morning at 4 o’clock of brain trouble.

Prof. and Mrs. Fales left Ottawa for a permanent home in the east in May, 1902, in the hope of benefitting Mr. Fales’ shattered health.  He left bearing the highest esteem of the community after a residence here that dated from 1868.  In the years that he lived here, Professor Fales had been a pillar in religious and education matters, and took a prominent part in the material as well as moral betterment of the city.  He came here at the close of the War of the Rebellion, in which he took an active part as a union soldier, from St. Louis.

He came at the instigation of Rev. I.S. Kallock, one of the Ottawa University trustees, to take charge of the college in its opening years.  In the spring of 1866 Professor Fales was made the head of the Indian department of the school which was held in a building at Hickory and Second streets.  In the fall of that year he was head of the faculty of the school proper, which went into temporary session in the building now owned by Mrs. Crawford at 427 south Main street.  He was succeeded in 1869 by Rev. Robert Atkinson when the school was opened in the new building.

In 1878 Professor Fales was elected county superintendent of schools and served two years.  He also completed an unfinished term as principal of the city High schools.

Professor Fales was peculiarly endowed naturally and by a very finished education for successful work in educational matters and took a large interest.  He served as a member of the board of trustees of Emporia Presbyterian college.  In church work he was equally earnest and diligent: during his years in Ottawa he was recognized as a mainstay of the local Presbyterian church, he was an elder of the society.

In March of 1868 Professor Fales, with John H. Kitts, purchased the Home Journal newspaper, changing the name to that of Republic and conducting it as editor until the fall of 1869.  He was also an original stockholder in the First National Bank.

Philetus Fales was born in Tomaston, Me., in 1825.  He was educated at Dartmouth College, and also studied in France, returning a finished master of its language.  He married Miss Abigail S. Lewis, three children being the result of the union.  One, a son, Dr. Harry Fales, is buried here; another child was buried in St. Louis.  Mrs. Maude Strong is a resident of Winsted, Conn.

The body will be brought here for burial; it is expected that it will arrive Wednesday.  In that case the funeral will be held from the Presbyterian church in the afternoon.  Burial will be in Highland, of which cemetery association Professor Fales was the original secretary and where the family has an elaborate monument.

Form completed by Philetus Fales for the Kansas State Historical Society, March 21, 1893

Born: Rockland Maine, May 7 1825.  Settled in Ottawa August, 1866.  Pres. Ottawa University 1866-68.  Supt. Schools, Franklin Co. 1867-80 (about 10 years),  Some time ago received a request for information about early history of Franklin Co.  I prepared large share of statistics for F. Co. in a huge vol. published twelve years ago.  Said vol. one of our Atty’s . . .appropriately characterized “The Kansas Herd Book.” [This is A.T. Andreas’ History of Kansas]

Phileus Fales biographical sketch by Celia Davis, Ottawa University librarian

Note:  Read Fales’ notes about individual early rural schools and their teachers at Themes/Education/Rural Schools/(select name of school)

Note: Additional materials relating to Philetus Fales are in the Archive.  Type his name in the Archive search box to retrieve them.


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