Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jewell Primm, Inducted into 2016 Teacher Hall of Fame

Jewell Van Landingham Primm

Perrin School Faculty - 1947
Mrs. Primm taught a group of the class of '62 in English year after year. We were very fortunate to be part of that group. She was organized and out to inspire us to explore new and old worlds. She was a handsome woman and very elegant, eloquent, prim, and proper. She stood, we sat, for years. She introduced us to the dark dysfunctional aspects of human nature with the Greek plays and stories of human fear like those of Poe and George Orwell. She taught how history and literature go hand in hand, and she took us by the hand with great energy and led us on a life long journey through the history of England and more.
She had me memorize a passage from one of our study books from 1961 and 62, Tennyson's Idylls of the King, from The Round Table section: "Man am I grown, a man's work I must do. Follow the deer? Follow the Christ, the King, Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King -- Else, wherefore born?"
Lyda Jewel Van Landingham was born in Wise County on October 25, 1909. She grew up and went to school in Jack County. In 1910 her father, Addison Garland Van Landingham (age 34) from Arkansas and her mother Anna Whitaker Van Landingham (age 26) were living in Precinct 2 of Jack County. 
Children in the home besides Jewel were Addison E., age 11, and Jeral Dene born in Feb. 1907. In 1918 the roll of the Perrin school lists Jewel Van Landingham in the third grade and brother Gerald in the fourth. One can debate about her birth year, the "09" is whited out on the death certificate and a handwritten "10" placed as her birth year. The headstone says 1910. But the census taker Jesse E.
Terry, in Jack County dated his record May 5, 1910 and said Jewel was 7/12 of a year old on that date. So, if she was born in October 1910 she would not have been there for the census taker in May 1910. 
Jewel's father was listed as a farmer. Addison Van Landingham was a step brother to Jewel as the Van Landinghams were married about 1905. Anna's brother, Fred (Jewel's uncle) and his wife Mary Whitaker and their little girl farmed on the place next to the Van Landinghams. The census of 1930 taken in Jack county on April 30, 1930 shows Jewel Van Landingham, single, age 20 living on state highway 24 with her 23 year old single brother Gerald. Both are listed as public school teachers. Gerald was teaching in Weatherford in 1940, married in 1934 to Aline Corry with one child, Jewel's nephew, James Stuart Van Landingham born in 1939. James died in 2009.
In a 1940 school yearbook she is listed as Jewel Primm, an Elementary teacher in the Perrin School faculty. Who Mr. Primm was and what was his fate after 1930 remains a mystery. She is pictured among the faculty in the 1942 Perrin School year book. Her 97 page thesis for a Master's Degree in Science was presented to the graduate council of North Texas State Teachers College in August, 1945. It was titled: "The Relationship Between Mental Ability and Reading Achievement." See the text at: The 1948 yearbook lists her as an eighth grade teacher. By 1949 she is listed as the elementary grade school principal as well as teaching eighth grade. In 1953 a Burro yearbook shows Mrs. Primm as the English I teacher for Mineral Wells High School.

 Mineral Wells High School Faculty - 1962
She died of cancer after a twenty day stay in St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas on February 29, 1968. She is buried along side of her mother, Anna, in the Perrin Memorial Gardens Cemetery on March 3, 1968. Her last residence was listed as 511 West Hubbard, Mineral Wells, Texas. In 2010 she was nominated by Bill Ansley, MWHS class of 1961 for the MWHS Teacher Hall of Fame. Quoting Bill: she "taught us good manners, honesty, decorum, and ethics." He described her as "an outstanding teacher," providing "invaluable council and encouragement" and a "skill" teacher. Jewel's mother outlived her to be 96 and died in 1980. Her father died in 1962. Jewel's headstone displays an Order of the Eastern Star emblem with the motto (FATAL); "Fairest Among Thousands, Altogether Lovely." A good fit.

By Robert J. Samuelson
Source: Subject: Wuz Up? MWHS Class of 1962 - Isabelle Has Fallen and
Lyda Jewel VanLandingham Primm Date: February 1, 2015 6:18:56 AM CST

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