About Elizabeth Ordway Elementary- History
Elizabeth M. Ordway was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1828. She came west as one of the "Mercer Girls." When Lizzie left her hometown she loudly declared that nothing would lead her away from the advantages of life as a single person.
Her first teaching assignment was in 1864 on Whidbey Island. She taught for two years in the school in Coupeville.
She then moved to Bainbridge Island and taught at the Port Madison school in 1867.
When Seattle opened its first public school in September of 1870 Lizzie was hired as its first teacher. She remained in Seattle for only a short period of time as she preferred the small classroom of Kitsap county.
When Susan B. Anthony toured the West in 1871, her personal secretary was Lizzie Ordway.
Lizzie then became involved in the Suffrage movement in Seattle and in the State of Washington. After a bill she was supporting was changed she visited San Francisco and then returned home to Lowell. She returned to Kitsap County within two years to teach at the school in Port Gamble.
In 1875 she started a five year stint as a teacher at the school at Port Blakely.
She successfully ran for the position of county superintendent of schools in 1880. She served only one term as she was defeated in the next election by a former student, Lillian Meigs.
In 1881 Lizzie moved on to teach in Manette. She only taught at this school for one year.
She was then reelected to the job of county superintendent of schools. She held this office until 1889.
She also worked on two promotional activities that supported the schools and Washington State at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
She died on September 22, 1897, in Seattle.
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This statue of "Lizzie" Ordway is located just inside the main entrance of Ordway Elementary School. It weighs more then 500 hundred pounds.
This newspaper article and picture of Lizzie Ordway was published in the Seattle Times.