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Margarethe Meyer Schurz

Margarethe Meyer Schurz used the training she gained in Germany to create the first kindergarten in the United States. Schurz and her sister Bertha trained under Friedrich Froebel, a groundbreaking educator who created the term ‘kindergarten’ and argued for the importance of games and songs in socializing and educating young children. Bertha and her husband moved from Germany to England in 1848 to create a kindergarten in London. Three years later, Schurz came to assist them. She married in 1852 and immigrated to America in 1853. After settling in Watertown, Wisconsin, she created a German-language kindergarten in 1856, which continued to run until German-language schools were closed during WWI. In 1859 Schurz taught her methods to Elizabeth Peabody, who set up the first English-language kindergarten in Boston in 1860. In 1867 Schurz grieved the loss of her youngest daughter by returning to Europe for two years, but moved to Washington, DC when her husband, Carl Schurz, was elected to the US Senate. Although she had two more children, she died of childbirth complications in 1876, at age forty-three.

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Margarethe Meyer Schurz
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Margarethe Meyer Schurz.
Courtesy of Wikimedia.
Date of Birth
August 27, 1832
Place of Birth
Date of Death
March 15, 1876

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Margarethe Meyer Schurz." (Viewed on October 20, 2018) <>.


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