Biography of Frank Sheldon Fosdick


Fosdick, Frank Sheldon, Buffalo.-The members of the Fosdick family were among the early settlers of Erie county. In 1821 Solomon Fosdick moved from his home in Rensselaer county hoping to find "in the west," as it was called then, a greater degree of prosperity than he had hitherto enjoyed. Strange as it may seem he did not stop in the village of Buffalo: in fact so little confidence had he in its great future that when he was offered land extending from where the Elk street market now stands, south to the river to cancel a small bill for carpenter work, he preferred the cash. He made his home in Boston, this county, where ire lived nearly twenty years. dying there in 1838. John Spencer Fosdick, one of his sons, made Buffalo his home. He became identified with the public schools early in the forties and until rendered incapacitated by age was connected with the educational interests of the city and State. He was superintendent of education in 1866-1867. and it was during his administration that the schools were first graded and many other steps taken, the influence of which is plainly visible to-day. In 1869, attracted by a fine offer at Westfield, he removed there, where he was for ten years principal of the union school which under his management made marked progress. Warned by the infirmities of advancing age, he retired from active school work, but never lost his interest in education. On school board and elsewhere his voice was always heard advocating the best interests of the rising generation. He died at Westfield in May, 1892. With both father and mother as teachers, it is not to be wondered that their son, the subject of this sketch, should have taken to his chosen profession. He was born in Buffalo March 11, 1851. His early education was obtained at public school No. 14, of which his father was principal. In 1868. he was graduated from the Central High School and four years later from the University of Rochester. After leaving the university Mr. Fosdick became teacher of Latin and Greek at the Buffalo Classical School, of which Prof. Horace Briggs was principal. After remaining there one year he was appointed by Superintendent Larned to the principalship of School No. 25, where he remained five years. He then spent two and one-half years as principal of School No. 33, and three years as principal of School No. 36. Then he became the head of the classical department at the Central High School and remained in that position until 1891, when he was appointed principal of the high school annex. It is said that in his high school work in prepairing scholars for college, he never had one conditioned in either Latin or Greek. He had charge of the annex and subannexes for six years, working faithfully and with good results under most discouraging circumstances. In 1897 when the magnificent new Masten Park High School was opened he was placed in charge. That it was a wise appointment is clearly shown by the enthusiasm and zeal with which the thirty-one teachers and one thousand pupils under him pursue their daily work and the high stand that the school has already taken among the schools of the country. When Mr. Fosdick was graduated from the University of Rochester, in 1872, he received the degree of A. B. and later A. M. was conferred upon him by the same institution. He is an excellent scholar and a great worker. He is a Mason, member of Washington Lodge and Adytum Chapter, a member of the Royal Arcanum, the University Club, Independent Club and various other societies. He is the only one in Buffalo who belongs to the American Philological Association. Naturally he takes great interest in educational affairs and has read papers and made many speeches before educational bodies. He is a member of the National Education Association, the State Teacher's Association and the Buffalo Principals' Association. In 1873 Mr. Fosdick married Arnie I. Weaver of Westfield and has three children. The oldest son, Harry Emerson - Fosdick, is a student at Colgate University; the second son. Raymond Blaine, and the daughter, Edith Weaver, are scholars at the Masten Park High School.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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