Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Insley LeYantis Dayhoff (1867-1959)

  This obscure Kansas resident is one Insley LeYantis Dayhoff, a resident of Reno County who served two terms as the Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Little could be found in regards to Dayhoff's life, and I was flabbergasted to have found as much information as I did, let alone a picture of him! Dayhoff was born on October 17, 1867 in Howesville, Indiana, the son of George Washington and Mary Johnston Dayhoff. Little could be found on Insley Dayhoff's early life, although a small write up in the May 27, 1902 Wichita Daily Eagle notes that he "has not only a good school and college training, but has perfected his study in the school room by travel. He has been a traveler and student of affairs in almost every state and territory of the union, as well as Mexico, Canada and Cuba."
  A student at both the DePauw College and the Central Normal School of Emporia, Kansas, Dayhoff married in 1891 to Lydia Almira Mossman Bordeaux, a former resident of Wichita, Kansas. Three children were eventually born to this couple, and are listed as follows: Insley Lamar (1891-1966), Don Richard (1898-1961) and Helen Mossman (born 1901).
  Within a few years of his marriage, Dayhoff began his career in the public arena, becoming the Superintendent of Schools in Hutchinson County and later served as President of the Central Kansas Teachers Association for a time. In 1900 he was elected to a term as Reno County, Kansas Superintendent of Schools, and was still serving in this position at the start of his candidacy for Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

     This article on Dayhoff's candidacy appeared in the May 27, 1902  edition of the Wichita Daily Eagle.

Portrait from the Topeka State Journal, November 5, 1902.

   Dayhoff is reported to have run a vigorous campaign, and it is mentioned that he was "backed by an enthusiastic delegation and county and his prospects for nomination are very bright." He eventually clinched the nomination and was elected as Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 1902.  Dayhoff was reelected as Superintendent in 1904 and is listed as serving as a member of the Kansas Text-book Commission during his tenure. In addition to his various public services, Dayhoff is listed as being a member of the Hutchinson, Kansas Methodist Church as well as a Scottish Rite Mason.
  After his term as Superintendent concluded in 1907, Dayhoff resettled in Independence, Missouri with his family. He died in that city at age 91 on May 21, 1959, and was subsequently buried at the Oak Ridge Memory Gardens in Independence. His wife Lydia Almira survived him by nearly five years, dying in February 1964 at age 93.
  The rare portrait of Insley L. Dayhoff shown above was featured in two different sources, the May 27, 1902 Wichita Daily Eagle (mentioned earlier) and a 1903 edition of the Kansas School Journal.

               Dayhoff's obituary, which appeared in the May 27, 1959 edition of the Hutchinson News.

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