Daniel Franklin Nickols, who is today serving so efficiently as county superintendent of schools in Logan county, is a native of Kansas, his birth occurring in McPherson county, January a, 1880. He is of ScotchIrish and English descent, though his ancestors came to the new- world at an early age and settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia, both of his grandparents being natives of the latter state. His parents were George Crogan and Lydia Catherine Nickols, natives of Ohio and Kentucky respectively. During the Civil war, however, the father lived in Missouri and as both were reared in border states, their educations were very meager. In early life they came to Illinois and were married in Lincoln in 1877. By occupation the father was a farmer and for many years the family lived near Mount Pulaski.
Professor Nickols began his education in the country schools of Logan and Sangamon counties and later attended the high school at Illiopolis but did not complete the course there. He was not strong physically in early youth but was always inclined to books and ever made the best use of his advantages. Although his father was in limited circumstances, he did everything in his power to give his son a good practical education. Later he attended Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Indiana, where he completed the teacher's course by attending in the summer seasons. Prior to this, however, he began teaching school at the age of eighteen and successfully followed that profession for several years. He taught the country schools for three years, was then principal of the Lake Fork school for two years and of the New Holland schools for three years. At the age of twenty-five he was appointed county superintendent of schools upon the death of E. P. Gram, being the successful applicant out of seventeen who applied for that position. He was first appointed by the county board of supervisors and so efficiently did he fill that position that at the end of a year and a half he was nominated and elected to the office by a majority of twelve hundred and eighty-seven. He has since continuously filled that position, serving in all for five years, during which time the schools of the county have made substantial progress along various lines.
On the 6th of June, 1906, in New Holland, Illinois, Professor Nickols was united in marriage to Miss Edith Holland, the youngest daughter of O. W. Holland, a pioneer resident of this state, who laid out the village of New Holland which now bears his name. They now have a little daughter, Dorothy May, who was born May 16, 1909. Professor Nickols gives his political support to the democratic party, but aside from his present position as county superintendent of schools he has filled no offices. Socially he has been a member of the Modern Woodmen of America since 1901, the Knights of Pythias since 1904, and he joined the Masonic order in 1910. At the early age of fifteen years he united with the Christian church and has since been an active member of that organization.
He has made many needed improvements in the public schools of the county since he entered upon his official duties, which include the securing of a uniformity of text-books for all the public schools of Logan county. He has written a course of study to fit these books and has established the Logan County Teachers Reading Circle and the Pupils Reading Circle. Today through his untiring efforts, every school in the county has a library and professional instructors from colleges and normal schools have been placed in charge of the different departments of the county institutes for teachers, all teachers' certificates are now renewed strictly on the merit system and in every way possible educational interests have been advanced. Professor Nickols has held two annual county commencements for rural and village school graduates of the tenth grade and the class of 1909 numbered fifty-seven, while that of 1910 had sixty-two graduates. About five hundred people took the spring examination conducted by the county superintendent and in his efforts to promote the efficiency of the schools he has been ably assisted in the unanimous cooperation of the teachers working under him.
Source: Skinner, Lawrence B., History of Logan County, Vol. II, [Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company, 1911] p. 14-16.
Submitted by Cheryl Rothwell who is not related to Daniel Franklin Nickols and knows nothing further about him or his family.