Biography of William Tassie, LLD.

William Tassie, one of the most successful educators in Western Ontario, is a native of Dublin, Ireland, dating his birth May 10, 1815. His father, James Tassie, an Engineer and Contractor, descended from a Scotch family that went to Ireland about a century ago; and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Stewart, was also a descendant of a family which made a similar migration a little earlier. She belonged to the Garth family.

Our subject spent his boyhood in study in his native city; in 1834 came with the family to Upper Canada, and taught and continued his studies at Oakville and Hamilton until 1853, when he settled in Galt and took charge of the Grammar School, which was some years later merged into a Collegiate Institute.

While at Hamilton, where he taught fourteen years, Mr. Tassie took up the studies laid down in the curriculum of the College and University of Toronto; passed terminal and annual examinations, and was graduated from that institution in 1855 as Bachelor of Arts, and in due course of time received the degree of Master of Arts. In 1871, Queen’s University, Kingston, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws a distinction rarely granted by that institution.
Dr. Tassie has been at the head of the Collegiate Institute the oldest school of the kind in the Province since it was opened, and has built up an institution of unusual popularity and of high standing. Usually about three hundred students attend it annually. They come from every part of the Dominion of Canada, and from nearly every State in the American Union, including Texas at the extreme south, and Oregon on the Pacific Slope. In looking over the list of pupils, we notice that several of the leading men, particularly politicians in the several Provinces, send their sons here for their mental drill.

This school is well known, not only in Canada and the United States, but also in Great Britain, and not unknown on the Continent of Europe, parties from time to time writing to Dr. Tassie for situations as teachers, from Germany, France, and Switzerland.

The course of instruction in the Institute embraces the English, French, German, Latin and Greek Languages, History, Geography, English Composition, Bookkeeping, Arithmetic, Algebra, Physiology, Trigonometry, Use of Instruments, Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Natural History, Mensuration, Geology, Music, Drawing, and Drill. Pupils are prepared for Competitive Examinations at the Universities, for the Law Society, the Medical Boards, the Army and Navy, the Civil Service, and for Mercantile pursuits.

Dr. Tassie has an extensive acquaintance among the leading men of all classes in the Dominion, and they thoroughly appreciate the noble work which, with the aid of a competent corps of masters, he is doing in a quiet way at Galt. The people of this town seem to appreciate the merits of the Institute, and are liberal in their patronage and very free in their commendations of its learned Principal.
The wife of Dr. Tassie was Miss Sarah Morgan, of Dublin, married in 1837. They have no family.



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