Biography of John Francis Deering

John Francis Deering — In the educational world, John Francis Deering has for many years been one of Rhode Island’s leading workers. He is today (1931) superintendent of public schools in West Warwick, this State, having held this post since 1913, the time of the division of the Warwicks. A man of conscientious and public-spirited qualities, he has done much valuable work in his community; and his place is one of deserved respect and high regard.

Mr. Deering was born in Melfort, on the west coast of Scotland, on November 24, 1863, son of John and Isabella (MacKay) Deering. His father was superintendent of the powder works at Melfort, and in later years, upon coming to the United States, served as foreman of the heating plant for the calico printing department of the Clyde Print Works, at Warwick, Rhode Island. From La Salle Academy, Providence, John Francis Deering was graduated in 1878. He then took a two-year course in the Rhode Island School of Design, after which he worked with the firm of D. M. Thompson, as a mill engineer, until the spring of 1882. From September, that year, until July 1913, he was principal and teacher at the Arctic Public School, Warwick, Rhode Island. On July 12, 1913, he was elected by the Warwick school committee to the office of superintendent of schools. That post he held until November 12, 1913, when he became superintendent of schools in West Warwick, a newly created municipality. From time to time, Mr. Deering has taken further studies at different institutions of learning, chiefly in drawing and design, in which he has always been especially interested.

His work as a teacher and school administrator has at all times been valuable to his fellowmen; but he has not confined his activities to these fields of civic life. With many different organizations and groups, in both social and fraternal circles, he has long been active; and since 1895 he has been a member of the Knights of Columbus, in which he was for one-year Grand Knight. For a quarter of a century, he was financial secretary, and at the time of writing (1930) he is recorder of the James P. Gibson Council No. 181. He also holds membership in the P. V. Nursing Association and the P. V. Board of Trade, as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Educational groups have found in him a loyal supporter and active member. He belongs to the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, in which he has been a member for many years; and prior to 1916 he was secretary of this organization. In 1919 he was its president. He also belongs to the National Education Association and the New England Superintendents’ Association.

Mr. Deering also holds membership in the Barnard Club, of Providence, an educational organization; the West Warwick Country Club, of which he has been a member since its inception; the Boy Scouts of America, in which he is both an active member and an officer; and the Catholic Church. His parish is that of St. James, in West Warwick. Mr. Deering was formerly a member of the P. V. Agricultural Association, and for two years its secretary. Into all his work and into his different associations with his fellowmen and with different civic bodies, he has ever put his best energies and his fullest measure of devotion, with the result that his is a place of eminence and esteem among his hosts of friends and acquaintances.

John Francis Deering has been twice married: (first), in August 1893, in the St. James Church, at Arctic, Rhode Island, to Sarah E. McGuire, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Gillan) McGuire; and (second), in the same church, in November 1921, to Ida Helen Taylor, daughter of William J. and Ellen (Healey) Taylor. His first wife died in August 1899. He has two children, both born of the first marriage: 1. John Deering Deering, born December 17, 1894. 2. Margaret Cecilia Deering, born December 19, 1896.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 4 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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