George K. Jenkins


PROF. GEORGE K. JENKINS, prominent in the religious and educational history of Jefferson county, He was born June 5, 1810 in Belmont county, Ohio the son of Michael and Sarah (Kinsey) Jenkins, the former of whom was a native of Virginia and the latter of Bucks county, Penn. These parents had four children, Rachel, wife of Owen Maris; Mary J., wife of Clark Terrell and mother of fifteen children, three of whom died in infancy; George L. and a sister who died in infancy. George K. Jenkins lost his father by death while he was a child and when he had grown to boyhood and began to manifest the strong desire for learning which characterized his life, he found his progress much impeded by the lack of help. In obtaining his education he depended largely upon his own exertions. At the age of seventeen he began to teach, and by that means supported himself through a course at Franklin college, where he was graduated in 1835. Subsequently until 1842 he was connected with the public schools of Wheeling, and Mt. Pleasant the Friends' boarding school of Mt. Pleasant and with Franklin college as professor of mathematics and classics. In 1842 he established at Mt. Pleasant a select high school in which he continued to teach until 1864, gaining a reputation as a teacher which drew pupils to his school from a wide territory. His scholarly enthusiasm and thoroughness was an inspiration to his pupils, and in his thirty years of labor as a teacher he exercised an influence for good which it may readily be believed will never cease to be felt. In 1840, he was one of the originators of the Union Sabbath school at Mt. Pleasant and was one of its executive committee for over twenty years, and subsequently for nearly fourteen years he was the superintendent of the Friends' Sunday school. Of the Friends' society he was an earnest and devoted member, and to every effort for the betterment of his fellow-man, he gave his enthusiastic support. For the ameliotation of the condition of the Indians and the abolition of negro slavery, he strove unceasingly and he was spared to see the fruition of some of his hopes. He was not a seeker for official position and held no office save that of school examiner from 1842 until his death. On September 30, 1841 he was married to Sarah E. Updegraff, eldest daughter of David and Rebecca T. Updegraff. Her dather was a son of Nathan and Ann Updegraff, who came to this country from Virginia in 1802. Prof. Jenkins died March 20, 1879. Of the five children who were born to him and wife, three survive, Rebecca A., wife of A. H. Johnson of Oberlin, O., and mother of two shildren: Cliffe U. and Albert M.; Charles H., who was first married to Alice, daughter of L. V. Johnson, of Sandusky, O., who died in January, 1880 and whose present wife is Catherine Ross, of Cleveland, by whom he has one son, Kenneth R.; and Elizabeth M. Jenkins who resides at home, was a student for several years at Howland school, of Union Springs, N. Y.

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