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Jesse H. Newlon Papers

Identifier: M013


Jesse H. Newlon (1882-1941) served as Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools from 1920 to 1927. During his tenure, Denver became nationally known for its innovations in public education. While Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Newlon oversaw the building of fifteen schools, created a program for curriculum revision in which classroom teachers were the key participants, and gained consensus for a single salary schedule for teachers, regardless of whether they taught in grade schools or high schools. This collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, speeches, reports, manuscripts, and education materials of Jesse H. Newlon and illuminates the Progressive Education Movement in the 20s and 30s.


  • 1916-1941


Biographical / Historical

Jesse H. Newlon was born July 16, 1882 in Salem, Indiana, the oldest of the eight children of Richard and Arra Belle (Cauble) Newlon. He married Letha Hiestand on December 29, 1909. Jesse H. Newlon graduated from the University of Indiana with the A.B. degree in history in 1907. He received his M.A. degree in education from Columbia University in 1914. He received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Denver in 1920.

Newlon taught history, civics and mathematics in Indiana and Illinois high schools from 1905 to 1912. In 1912 he was promoted to principal at the high school at Decatur, Illinois, and in 1916 he became principal of the high school at Lincoln, Nebraska. He was Superintendent of schools from 1917 to 1920 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Superintendent of the Denver public schools from 1920 to 1927. Newlon left Denver in 1927 to become Director of Education in the Lincoln School of Teachers College, Columbia University. He served as Director until 1937 when he became Director of the Division of Foundations of Education at Columbia University. He served in that capacity until his death on September 1, 1941. He was president of the National Education Association (1924-25) and a member of the executive boards of the Progressive Education Association and American Association of Adult Education.

Jesse H. Newlon was an associate editor of School Executive from 1927 until 1941. He wrote Administration of Junior and Senior High Schools (with others, 1922), The New Social Civics (with Dr. D. E. Phillips, 1926), The Newlon-Hanna Speller (with Paul Hanna, 1933), Educational Administration as Social Policy (1934), and Education for Democracy in Our Time (1939).

Jesse Newlon died September 1, 1941.


5 Linear Feet (5 record boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Jesse H. Newlon papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, speeches, reports, manuscripts, and education materials of Jesse H. Newlon. The collection spans the years of 1916 to 1941, and illuminates the Progressive Education Movement in the 1920's and 1930's.


This collection is arranged in four series: 1. Correspondence. 2. National Education Association (NEA); Articles/Editorials; Speeches. 3. Speeches. 4. Personal material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ruth Newlon, 1965, 1974.


No further accruals are expected.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428