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J. Harold Saxon Collection

Biographical Note

J. Harold Saxon was born on Aug. 3, 1891, in Cartersville, Georgia. He attended Emory University where he received his bachelor's degree in 1914. Years after he began his career in education, he returned to school at Mercer University where he received his M.A. in education in 1933. His master's thesis was an in-depth look at the Quitman school system. On June 5, 1954, John Marshall Law School in Atlanta bestowed an honorary doctor of laws degree on Saxon for his accomplishments in the field of education.

Shortly after his graduation from Emory University he was named principal at Decatur High School. He served in that capacity for one year and then moved to Moultrie to become principal, a job he held for two years before moving on to become superintendent at Moultrie for three years. After leaving the superintendent's post with Moultrie Public Schools, Saxon moved to Quitman where he became superintendent for five years.

After leaving Quitman, Saxon became the chairman of the Georgia High School Accrediting Commission. He served as a University High School Inspector with the University of Georgia. Saxon also had a long and illustrious career with the Georgia Education Association. He served as the treasurer of the association from 1934-35, as Vice President from 1935-36, president from 1936-37, and was then named as the executive director of the organization from 1944-1956. During his time at the GEA, he was at the forefront of the GEA's battle for higher standards and decent working conditions for teachers. He was a leader in the fight for the Minimum Program for Education during his 1949-51 terms. He was instrumental in the creation of the Georgia High School Association.

In addition to these posts, Saxon was director of the Schools at War Program in Georgia with the U.S. Treasury Department's War Finance Committee from 1934-44. Two years prior to that term, he was regional director of student work for the National Youth Administration.

Saxon died on Dec. 7, 1956. He was married to Zollie McArthur Saxon. They had one son and one daughter.

Provenance and Arrangement

These papers consist of materials produced by and about J. Harold Saxon, his career with the Georgia Education Association, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Accrediting Commission. The collection is arranged by physical content, i.e., correspondence, photographs, letters from noted educators, school studies, newspaper articles, speeches, assorted pamphlets, and reports.

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal items belonging to Saxon including his master's thesis, personal employment application, tax return, and photographs. In addition to these items, there are newspaper clippings from his time with the Georgia Education Association and the Georgia Accrediting Commission. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence from educators around the state of Georgia concerning his candidacy for offices in the Georgia Education Association. There are several reports and audits for the Quitman Public Schools included in this collection, as well as newspaper clippings reporting on the progress made in public education in the 1930s through the 1960s. Of specific interest are a few photographs of Saxon with former Georgia Governor E.D. Rivers.



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