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Terhune, John

SUPT.  JOHN TERHUNE

    Mr. John Terhune, the popular and efficient superintendent of the schools of Bergen county, was born at Midland Park, this county, August 4th, 1846. He was educated there in a district school. Later he attended the New Jersey State Normal School, and subsequently Fastman's Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. After being engaged for some time as an accountant and in mercantile pursuits, he took charge of the Midland Park Public School. He held this position for about nine years, until appointed to his present office, thirteen years ago.

    To Mr. Terhune belongs the credit of having popularized the observance of Arbor Day in the schools of the state. He has given a great amount of labor, time and money for this purpose. The fine Arbor Day programmes which he prepared and printed at his owh expense for a number of years, have been widely distributed throughout the country and have received the highest commendation from teachers and school officers everywhere.

    Mr. Terhune is also the author of the Teachers' Library Act for the establishment of professional libraries in each county, securing state aid to the amount of $I00 the first year

and $50 each subsequent year. The profit derived from the sale of his Arbor Day publications he donates to the Teachers' Library; he raised by subscription and donations sufficient money to purchase 900 volumes for the library, which, with the cost of cases, printing, etc., has cost over $1000. This was the beginning of what has since proved to be a valuable library. In the Iibrary are to be found many valuable works on the history, theory and practice of education. When, in 1891 and '92, the Legislature of New Jersey made a special appropriation of $1000 for school library purposes, Mr. Terhune secured $810 of the money for Bergen county.

    The teachers of Bergen county appreciate Mr. Terhune's labors for their advancement. A piece of beautiful silver service with which they presented him at his wedding anniversary, in 1892, bears the following inscription: "From the teachers of Bergen county to their County Superintendent, John Terhune, as a token of respect and esteem, and of their appreciation of his faithful services and eminent achievements in the cause of public school education."

        Recently the teachers of the county presented him a valuable gold watch, very finely engraved.

        "Educational Hall" has a complete teachers'library, from which the teachers are furnished with books free of cost.


James Van Valen, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1900

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