Friday, December 01, 2006

William Windsor, a member of the Class of 1875 who became a renowned phrenologist

Thus far, the Class of 1875 is earliest Madison [Central] High School graduating class for which I've been able to locate a comprehensive list of graduates. One member of that 14-member graduating class, William Windsor, became a renowned phrenologist and author "Phrenology, The Science of Character" (Ferris-Windsor Co., Big Rapids, Michigan, 1921)

Phrenologists believed character and personality (including criminality) could be determined by the shape of someone's head. If you'd like to learn more about this theory, have a look at The History of Phrenology on the Web , "...the most comprehensive website for the history of phrenology -- the most popular Victorian science." created by Dr. John van Wyhe, Director of the Wheeler Library of the British Society for the History of Science.

When Windsor died in Milwaukee in 1923, he left what at that time were considered unusual instructions about how his funeral should be conducted, including a statement that "I do not want the notice of my death printed in the obituary columns." Fortunately for historians, The Wisconsin alumni magazine published a short obituary in its February 1923 issue. You can read it by clicking HERE.

No comments: