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P. J. Stearns Memorabilia Collection
1910-1961
 
Extent: 20 items
 
Accession Number: 2008.023
 
Abstract: Photographs, news clippings and other materials documenting the life of P.J. Stearns, a prominent educator and business man in New Madrid County, Mo.
 
Processed by: Amber Miranda, October 2008
 
Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
Phone: (573) 651-2245; Fax: (573) 651-2666; Email: semoarchives@semo.edu
 
Provenance: Donated by P. J. Stearns’ daughter, Ruth A. Liley.
 
Citation: P. J. Stearns Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
 
Restrictions: None
 
Separated Materials:
Sagamore Yearbook, 1924
Alumni Signal, May 1962 (copy of article on Stearns retained.)
 
Biographical Note
 
Pearl Julian (P.J.) Stearns was born April 30, 1888, to Nathaniel P. Stearns and Anna Bass Stearns in Millersville, Mo. He married Ethel Campbell in Portageville, Mo., on April 17, 1912, and they had four children: James N. Stearns, Ruth A. Stearns Liley, Doris E Stearns Brower, and Betty Ann Stearns Crouthers.

Stearns attended the public school in Millersville, Mo., before studying education at Southeast Missouri State University, Missouri University, and Peabody College in Nashville. Stearns received his first bachelors degree in pedagogy (teaching) in 1912 from Missouri State Normal School—Third District (now Southeast Missouri State University.) While he attended Missouri State Normal School—Third District, Stearns played football and was a member of the Webster society. Stearns later earn additional degrees from Southeast and joined Pi Gamma Nu, science society.

Stearns began his career as a teacher, football coach, and school superintendent at East Prairie, Mo. Following that, Stearns became the superintendent of schools at Portageville, Mo., and Lilbourne, Mo. Stearns then became the superintendent New Madrid County Schools and was president of the Southeast Missouri State University Teachers Association. He was also, elected to the office of New Madrid County Collector, and Deputy State Auditor of the southern counties of Missouri.

In addition to teaching and public service, Stearns was a prominent businessman; he began the Lilbourn Lumber Co., owned a department store in Lilbourne, Mo, and owned the Rex Theater.

Stearns died on April 26, 1961, 4 days shy of his 73 birthday.
 
Scope and Content Note
 
Photographs (4), news clippings, diplomas, and other certificates documenting the life of P.J. Stearns, a prominent educator and business man in New Madrid County, Mo.
 
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