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A Brief History of Carondelet

Neighborhoods of Carondelet

Famous Citizens of Carondelet

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Susan Blow

Susan Blow was a daughter of Congressman Henry T. Blow, and at a very young age became much more worldly than her peers. She took part in the St. Louis Movement, and thus had quite a taste for philosophy, literature, and education. She accompanied her father to Brazil after President Grant had appointed him its minister in 1869. And then traveled to Europe where in Germany she observed the kindergartens there. She studied with Maria Kraus-Bolte, an educational leader and proponent of Fredrich Froebel's theories on kindergarten. She returned in 1871, and immediately approached St. Louis school superintendent William T. Harris about starting a public school kindergarten. In August, 1873 her plan was approved by the St. Louis School Board, and in Sept. the first pubic school kindergarten opened in room number 4 of the Des Peres School in Carondelet. The St. Louis experiment with kindergartens begin to gain attention. In 1876, the city's kindergarten exhibit won top honors at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Blow opened a training school for kindergarten teachers. Blow's health began to fail in 1877 and she had to leave teaching. She moved to Cazenovia, New York, where she lived out her days writing books and lecturing on kindergarten and other topics for Columbia University. She died on March 26, 1916 in Avon, New York. Her idea of kindergarten had already caught on though, by 1900 200,000 children were in public kindergartens.