KATHARINE ELIZABETH DOPP (1863-1944)

at The Dopp Family Tree

Katharine Dopp was one of the foremost educators at the turn of the century. She was one of the first educators to advocate the involvement of business in education. She wrote a series of anthropology and economic textbooks that were widely used in the public schools of Wisconsin, Illinois and Utah.

Born in Portage County, Wisconsin on March 1, 1863 in a log cabin, she was the daughter of William Dopp, one of the first white settlers in that wilderness area. William, several of his brothers and his parents had left their rocky farms in upstate New York for the chance to settle on the rich plains in the Indian Territory. William's mother died there shortly after the family's arrival, probably from pneumonia. Katharine grew up in the area known as Dopp Neighborhood, surrounded by many brothers, sisters and cousins. She remembered with fondness the early years of hewing a farm out of the wilderness. There, as she once said in a letter, "I learned the value and rewards of hard work, perseverance and respect for the forces of nature."

She attended the one room Dopp School and, at the age of 17, became a teacher in a one-room school in what is now Belmont, Wisconsin. An avid reader, she became fascinated with the study of anthropology. An unusual woman for her time, she attended several universities in Wisconsin and Illinois. She earned several degrees, including Doctorates of Philosophy and Education. She continued learning all her life. She was a public school teacher and a university professor. She taught in universities in Wisconsin, Utah and Illinois. Ultimately, she became the Dean of the Chicago Normal School, a teacher's college that became part of the University of Illinois. While at the Chicago Normal School, she was instrumental in designing and implementing correspondence courses for teachers in the public school systems.

Katharine was listed for several years in Who's Who in America. After her death, she was listed in Who Was Who in America. She died in Chicago, Illinois on the 14th of May 1944. She was buried at Dopp Neighborhood in the Dopp Cemetery next to her parents. According to testimonials from her former students, she was a beloved, dedicated teacher. She never married.

She was listed in "Who's who: US 1908-1909".