July 10, 1869 – October 27, 1953
Joseph Edward Meadows was born July 10, 1869 in Ontario, Canada. He arrived in California in November 1890 after a 14 day freight train trip with the family’s household goods and livestock. His father and the rest of the family arrived a month later and they settled on the West Side, near the newly formed community of Huron.
Mr. Meadows education prior to coming to California consisted of three years in public school and a brief course at a business college. In 1891 while working on the family farm he enrolled in the Lemoore Grammar school at the age of 21. In 1892 he entered business college and normal school at Stockton and at the end of the year was granted certificates to teach in San Joaquin, Tulare and Fresno counties.
On June 26, 1893, Joseph Edward Meadows, was granted the first certificate issued in Kings County shortly after the county was formed in 1893. At that time the responsibility of teacher certification was the responsibility of the counties. Certificates were issued to graduates of colleges or normal schools or upon passing of tests in subject matter and teaching methods prepared by the County Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Meadows began his teaching career in the Zorro School on the West Side. In 1898 with his brother James Waldo Meadows moved to Sacramento to open a school supply store, eventually returning to Kings County. In Kings County he has been the principle of the Eureka, Kings River, Sunset, Empire and Lemoore Elementary school. He was district superintendent of the Hanford Elementary schools and Kings county superintendent of schools for three terms; from 1914 through 1918 and from 1934 through 1942. It was through his efforts that a law was passed authorizing the county superintendent to employ a school nurse.
On august 12, 1903 Mr. Meadows married Clara Nieson, who died in 1916.