Skip to Content

Ida C. Bender

Born: 1857
Death: 1916

Ida C. Bender was one of the first women faculty at the then private University of Buffalo.  She was recruited (along with Natalie Mankell) for the School of Pedagogy, established on April 30, 1895.  Though the School was terminated on January 28, 1898, Bender was extraordinarily influential in the field of education, locally and nationally.

Bender was born into poverty in Buffalo, New York due to the death of her immediate relatives.  She attended several local schools: Holy Angels Academy; a Society of Friends boarding school in Orchard Park; a private school on Franklin Street; and graduated from the State Normal School where she was awarded the Jesse Ketchum Gold Medal.  Though she never practiced, she also held an M.D.

She became a teacher and held several posts throughout her career, as well as tutored neighborhood children.  For over 35 years, she worked in the Buffalo Public Schools, and for the last 20 years of her life, was Supervisor of Grammar Schools.  She also served as Principal of the School of Practice at the State Normal School, taught at Central High School, and for 20 years was President of the Women Teachers' Association.

She created the Baldwin-Bender readers with James Baldwin and Practical Lessons in English Grammar and Composition with Henry P. Emerson, both standard texts for American education in the early twentieth century.  She also was Vice President of the National Educational Association, lectured during summers at Tulane University, and was a delegate to the International Congress on Hygiene in London in 1907.

Ida C. Bender died after a yearlong illness on June 11, 1916, at her home at 424 Parkside Avenue in Buffalo, New York.


Affiliation(s): School of Pedagogy
Record Group(s): 17
Biographical File Contains:
  • Obituary