James Gilbert Riggs. - As principal of Oswego State Normal School, James Gilbert Riggs holds a highly important
position, and is one of the widely known educators of Northern New York. He was born at Dexter, N. Y., May 21,
1861, the son of Edwin Starr and Cynthia A. (Hardy) Riggs.
Edwin Starr Riggs and his wife were of New England ancestry.
After attending the public schools, James Gilbert Riggs entered Potsdam State Normal School, where he received
a thorough foundation in teacher training methods. He entered Amherst College, from which he was graduated in 1888
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, later receiving the degree of Master of Arts from the same institution. He
taught school for several years and during 1891-92 was principal of the high school at Watertown. He became superintendent
of schools at Plattsburgh in 1893 and served in that capacity until 1900, when he accepted an offer to teach in
a private school at Dobbs Ferry on the Hudson. He satisfactorily filled that position until 1905, when he was elected
superintendent of schools at Orange, N. J. Mr. Riggs held that important office for six years, and during that
time his methods of teaching evoked favorable comment. He resigned to become principal of the Oswego State Normal
The Oswego State Normal College conferred upon Mr. Riggs the honorary degree of Doctor of Pedagogy. He was appointed
by Gov. Alfred E. Smith as a member of the Board of Managers of the Rome State Normal School. His great knowledge
and love of history have qualified him for the position of president of the New York State Historical Society,
and he is also president of the Oswego Historical Society.
Mr. Riggs is the third principal of Oswego State Normal School, which is one of the oldest teacher training schools
in the country. Having been educated in a normal school, Mr. Riggs is particularly adapted to his work as principal,
and his efforts to build up the Oswego institution have met with the highest praise from his associates on the
faculty, members of the board of trustees, and his fellow townsmen generally.
On January 9, 1900, Mr. Riggs married Miss Elizabeth Spencer of Dobbs Ferry, N. Y., who died in February, 1915.
He was married (second) on Dec. 23, 1918, to Miss May Jones, of Ridgeway, Mich.
Mr. Riggs is a Republican, and is an advocate of administrative measures for the relief of educational agencies.
He holds membership in the Presbyterian Church, Fortnightly Club, Theta Delta Chi fraternity, and Oswego Country
Club. He is also actively identified with numerous educational societies.
The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932
Oswego County, NY
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