Saturday, December 15, 2018


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

John Huston Finley, 1863-1940, Educator*Editor*Author

The marker is located in Grand Ridge on the grounds of the Grand Ridge Elementary School, 400 W. Main Street. It is at the intersection of Il. Rt. 23 and North 21st Street (Main Street).
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Citizens of Grand Ridge and the Illinois State Historical Society, with support from the Walgreen Company

Marker Description:
John Huston Finley was born on a farm east of Grand Ridge and attended Grand Ridge Elementary School. He graduated from Ottawa High School as valedictorian in 1882, and earned his undergraduate degree at Knox College in 1887. He went on to John Hopkin's University for graduate school and, at age 29, returned to Knox College as its president, serving in that post through 1899. In 1900 he accepted the newly established chair of politics at Princeton University. In 1903, he became president of City College of New York, and in 1913 was appointed Commissioner of Education of New York State. While on leave from that position, he headed a Red Cross delegation to Palestine in 1818 -1819. In 1921 Mr. Finley became associate editor of the New York Times and rose to editor in chief in 1937. He was an accomplished speaker and presented many addresses at colleges in America and abroad. He was widely published in journals of the day and wrote eight books, including A Pilgrimage in Palestine and The French in the Heart of America. He received 32 honorary degrees, He and his wife, Martha Boyden of Sheffield, Illinois, had four children. Mr. Finley is buried at Princeton Cemetery in New Jersey. His parents are buried in Grand Ridge Cemetery.

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