Monday, March 27, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: March 27, 1868 - Patty Smith Hill

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Patty Smith Hill, educator, was born in Anchorage, Kentucky, on March 27, 1868, to William Wallace and Martha Jane (Smith) Hill. She lived at the Anchorage Female Seminary that her father ran until 1874, when the family moved to Fulton, Missouri. After her father's death in 1878, Hill moved to Louisville, where she attended first the public schools and then the Louisville Collegiate Institute in 1882. Exposure to new theories on the education of preprimary school children inspired her to become an educator. In 1887 she graduated from the first kindergarten training school in Louisville, which opened under Steve Holcombe in 1886. Hill experimented with the idea that children should be placed in settings that stimulated creative thought and openness, and she believed that programs should be adjusted to fit the child. She used music, poetry, stories, and plays to instruct children.

Though criticized, her ideas were of interest to educators all over the world, including John Dewey and G. Stanley Hall, who came to
Louisville to study preprimary education. She spoke before the Louisville Education Association in 1900 on " Education Through Play," and by 1900 nine Louisville public schools were offering kindergarten programs. In 1905 Hill left Louisville to study at Columbia University, where she worked at the Speyer School Experimental Playroom (later called the Horace Mann Kindergarten). In 1929 she received an honorary doctor of letters degree for her work as head of the Kindergarten Association. She may be best remembered for a song she wrote with her sister Mildred J. Hill in 1893, entitled " Good Morning To You," the melody of which was later used for the song " Happy Birthday."

Hill died in New York City on May 25, 1946, and was buried in Louisville's
Cave Hill Cemetery.
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hill, Mildred J., Patty Smith Byers, Margaret. Bryan, Byers, Margaret, and Bryan, Anna E. Song Stories : For the Kindergarten. New Ed., Rev., Illustrated and Enlarged.. ed. Chicago: C. F. Summy, 1896. Print.
LB1177 .H55 1896, Special Collections Research Center

Fediaevskaia, Vera Mikhailovna, and Patty Smith Hill. Nursery School and Parent Education in Soviet Russia. New York: E.P. Dutton &, 1936. Print.
LB1140 .F4, Remote Storage

Hill, Patty Smith. Experimental Studies in Kindergarten Theory and Practice. New York: Teachers College, Columbia U, 1914. Print.
LB1169 .H53, Remote Storage

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