Susan Elizabeth Blow
Started First Public Kindergarten —
SUSAN ELIZABETH BLOW (Born June 7, 1843 in St. Louis Missouri – died March 26, 1916 in New York City) was a United States educator who opened the first successful public Kindergarten in the United States; she ran it for 11 years without getting paid.
Blow began her training at the New York Normal Training Kindergarten. In 1873, Blow opened a public kindergarten at Des Peres School in what was then a separate city, Carondelet, St. Louis, Missouri, teaching children in the morning and training teachers in the afternoon. Her classroom was very bright and colorful compared to other Kindergarten classrooms in America. She made her classroom perfect for young children. It had short benches and tables and contained many different books and toys. By 1879, there were 53 kindergarten rooms in St. Louis, making the city a model and a focal point of the kindergarten movement.
In 1884, because of an illness, Susan retired and traveled. She ended up leaving St. Louis to live in the east in 1889. She also lectured around the country and in 1894 she wrote five books for the International Education Series. Also she wrote articles in the Kindergarten Magazine. Blow was also a part of the advisory committee of the International Kindergarten Union and Committee of Nineteen. Susan Elizabeth Blow died on March 26, 1916. She was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.