GEORGE W. TANNEHILL, who died at his home in Vinton, Iowa, March 23, 1909, was professor of mathematics at the State College for the Blind for a period of nearly forty-four years, his service continuing close to the end of his life, he having resigned his position, on account of illness, only the month previous to his death.
Professor Tannehill was in many respects a remarkable man. Although blind from his twenty-second year, neither his ambition nor his mentality was impaired; indeed his affliction seemed to strengthen his ambition. His whole life was devoted to educating the blind, and his work met with signal success. At all times he had the high esteem of his pupils and fellow teachers and, indeed, of everybody in the town, for every boy and girl and man and woman in Vinton knew Professor Tannehill. He was honored by a place in the city council of Vinton, or, rather, the council was honored by having him as one of its members.
George W. Tannehill was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, October 13, 1838, near Springfield, and in his youth moved with his parents to Madison county, Iowa. It was soon after their removal to this state that he met with an accident which resulted in the loss of his eyesight, and this naturally changed his course in life. He was educated in blind schools, spending two years as a student in the institution at Vinton, in which the rest of his life was spent as an instructor. It was on February 3, 1863, that he entered this school, and, as already stated, he resigned in February, 1909, thus rounding out a period of nearly forty-four years in one institution.
On July 6, 1875, he married Miss Jennie Gale, who was his companion for over thirty-four years. For forty years he was a church member, six years identified with the Baptist church and thirty-four years with the Methodist Episcopal church, and for many years he was a member of the official board.
Mrs. Tannehill, who survives her husband, resides at the home on South Washington street, Vinton, where she came with the Professor from the college about two years after their marriage. She was born at Chittenango, Madison county, New York, where she spent her girlhood to the age of twelve years, when the family home was changed to Cleveland, New York. There she subsequently became a teacher, and taught for several years. She came to Vinton, Iowa, in 1874, and from that time until 1877 she was a teacher in the College for the Blind. Her father, William H. Gale, while in the East a contractor, came to Vinton and engaged in the carriage business with his son, E. M. Gale, but lived retired for some time before his death. He died here June 17, 1893, at the age of seventy-nine years. His wife, Elizabeth, nee Marks, died in November, 1900, at the age of seventy-six years.