The Family Puzzles - Demystified (Sort of)

Jonathan Wright Cattell

Male 1820 - 1887


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  • Name  Jonathan Wright Cattell 
    Born  25 Jun 1820  Fayette, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  25 Sep 1887  Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I1104  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  8 Sep 2003 

    Father  David Cattell,   b. 17 Nov 1787, Brownsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jan 1837 
    Mother  Margaret Wright,   b. 25 Sep 1785, Fayette, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Mar 1853, Fayette, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  15 Sep 1812  Frederick, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F416  Group Sheet

    Family  Deborah Ellyson,   b. 5 May 1816, Salem MM, Columbiana, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Oct 1902, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  20 Mar 1842  Upper Springfield MM, Damascus, Columbiana, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified  11 Aug 2002 
    Family ID  F419  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 Jun 1820 - Fayette, Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 20 Mar 1842 - Upper Springfield MM, Damascus, Columbiana, Ohio Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Sep 1887 - Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • CATTELL SCHOOL Grades K-6
      East 12th and Hull
      Site- 2.1 acres
      Cattell School bears the name of Jonathan Wright Cattell who was all outstanding pioneer of early Des Moines days. Prior to 1909, Cattell School was known as Grand View Grade School.
      Mr. Cattell was born in Pennsylvania and lived there until about twenty years of age. He married and moved to the Territory of Iowa about 1845, settling in Cedar County. He was a state senator from that county and quite an active legislator.
      In 1858 he was elected auditor of Iowa. In regard to his election, the State Register says: "It was a fortunate thing for Iowa that a man of his Roman simplicity, Spartan courage and inflexible honesty that arose above every temptation was in that position at that particular time." He introduced improve­ments into the manner of conducting monetary transactions of the state as well as in the system of bookkeeping. During his incumbency, which covered the entire civil war era, the expenditures were very heavy and the work greater than ever before. Twice he was re-elected to the office.
      While a member of the General Assembly, Jonathan Cattell and other State House officials and citizens sponsored a school at East Ninth and Des Moines Streets. It was a community later served by Bryant School. Though built and supported by private contributions, there was no intention of making it a private school. When two colored children were admitted, the wealthiest contributor withdrew his children as well as his contributions. Mr. Cattell and others doubled their payments and the school went on. He was one of the first men in Des Moines to support minority groups by insisting on equal educational opportunity for all.
      After his retirement, Mr. Cattell remained a resident of the city and for a short time was out of political life. In. 1866 he was nominated by the Republicans of Polk County as their representative in the State Senate. He served two terms and again retired from public office. However in 1885 he was appointed by Governor Sherman as auditor of the state, to fill out a term. Physically Mr. Cattell resembled Abraham Lin­coln.
      In 1967, the School District began purchasing, for future needs, the properties north of the present school grounds -­north to Tiffin between East 12th and East 13th. All but one property has been purchased. To support and enrich a strong basic skills program, following areas are noted:
      1. A phonetic approach to reading continues to be used in the primary grades.
      2. A career education program, integrated with the curriculum areas, was implemented.
      3. There has been emphasis on the use of supplementary materials and instructional media materials and
      equipment. The auditorium is being converted to a media center.
      4. There has been assistance from resource and support personnel. The most recent programs have been in the areas of reading and learning disabilities.
      5. Cooperative planning and teaching to meet the needs of individuals.

      To enhance the "Community School" concept, the following areas have been utilized: 1. School-Community Council
      2. Classes for children and adults through the district's Community Education Department. 3. Recreation program sponsored by the City Parks and Recreation Department. 4. Working relationship with Grandview College.
      5. Involvement of community in the Career Education Program.

      In the mid-1970's Cattell had a departmentalized primary unit with a grade 4-6 modified six-unit program for the older students.

  • Sources 
    1. [S32] Upper Springfield MM, Vol IV, William Wade Hinshaw, Page 936 (Reliability: 3).