A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
WILLIAM HEADRICK GEMMILL is one of the best known men in the educational
affairs of Iowa, having served since December 1, 1913, as secretary of the Iowa
State Board of Education, and in that capacity his offices are in the
statehouse at Des Moines.
He was born at White Lake, Ontario, Canada, March 14, 1871, son of John and
Sarah (Headrick) Gemmill. His parents moved to the United States when he was
a small child and he grew up and spent most of his life in Iowa. Mr. Gemmill
graduated Bachelor of Science from the Iowa State College at Ames in 1894,
and has since done work in the Highland Park College at Des Moines and the Des Moines College and Drake University, Highland Park College gave him the Master of Arts degree in 1911.
Mr. Gemmill has been a school man in Iowa for thirty years. He was county
superintendent of schools of Keokuk County from 1898 to 1902, superintendent
of the schools at Dallas Center from 1901 to 1911 and at Carroll for three
years before his appointment to the State Board of Education. He is a member of
the National Education Association, Iowa State Teachers Association, is a
Republican, a Methodist, and a member of the Masonic fraternity and Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. Gemmill married, August 13, 1895, Bridie D. Richards, of South English,
Iowa. She was born near Muscatine, Iowa, March 31, 1872, and was educated in
public schools. Her father, John D. Richards, was a native of Indiana, was
a soldier in the Civil war, and for many years a minister of the United Bretheren Church. Mr. and Mrs. Gemmill have four children: Agnes is the wife of W. H. Brown, a merchant at Ames, Iowa, and has a son, William Gemmill Brown, John D. Gemmill is a member of the faculty of history, economics and social science in the Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls. He married Helen M.
Hansen and has a son, John D. Gemmill, Helen Gemmill is a teacher. Iva May is the wife of Robert Morris, a pharmacist at Des Moines, and they have a son, Robert Gemmill Morris.
*Check your facts, don't know how accurate. Between the two bio.s I see that his wife's given name is different...Bridie and Birdie? Typo?