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Too Pretty to Teach

Check out this headline from the November 18th, 1906 issue of the Hammond Lake County Times:  “Miss M’Graw Pays Penalty: Teacher Who Is Too Attractive Dropped by Board of Education.”

It seems that Genevieve McGraw was asked to resign from her teaching position in Hammond, Indiana by Superintendent C.M. McDaniel.   

From what I can piece together from the various newspaper stories, McDaniel received numerous complaints about Miss McGraw’s life outside the school and had no choice but to fire her.  The exact nature of what she did wrong was never revealed but was hinted at with claims that she was both too pretty and too popular.

The public felt that she had been wronged and numerous people, including many of her students, asked the board for her reinstatement. That did nothing to change the decision.  The superintendent asked the board to pay Miss McGraw the $16.00 (about $425.00 today) that was owed to her for her services and then she handed in her resignation.  My guess is that there was a lot more to this story than her just being too pretty…

1889 packaging for Pretty Soap.
1889 packaging for Pretty Soap. Library of Congress image.
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