(July 4, 1845-Mar. 9, 1916). Nebraska Cropsey served as assistant superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools for the primary grades and one of the best-known educators in the Midwest. A native of Pennsylvania, Cropsey came to Indianapolis with her parents while still a child. She became a teacher after Superintendent abraham c. shortridge persuaded the school board to send her to Oswego (New York) Normal School for advanced instruction. Upon her return, she served briefly as a critic in the training school for teachers. In 1871, at age 25, she became assistant principal of elementary education. She held this position, with a later title change to assistant superintendent, for 43 years.

During these years she supervised the primary schools of Indianapolis, fostered the cause of education, and worked for passage of the state’s compulsory education law in 1897. She wrote several arithmetic textbooks—the first appearing in 1893—used in Indianapolis and other cities.

Indiana University conferred an honorary degree on Nebraska Cropsey in 1913. She was the first woman and the fourth person so honored. The former Cropsey Auditorium in the Indianapolis Public Library was named for her, as was Public School 22.

Revised February 2021

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