Hastings Historical Plaques

Historical Plaques for Belleville

Belleville (50)     
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Samuel Greene was the first deaf teacher to teach deaf children in the Ontario school system. An American by birth, he was educated at the National Deaf Mute College, now Gallaudet University, in Washington D.C. After graduating in 1870 he came to teach at the new provincial school for the deaf in Belleville (later Sir James Whitney School). Believing that the education of deaf children should be based on solid language skills, Greene devised a progressive and highly successful method of teaching that used sign language and written English. Co-founder and first president of the Ontario Association of the Deaf, he was renowned for his eloquent public addresses and poetry recitations in sign language.

– Ontario Heritage Foundation

GPS Location: 44° 08' 59.74 N 77° 24' 10.63" W (44.14972222, - 77.40277778)

Street address: Sir James Whitney School, 350 Dundas Street West, Belleville

The following is from a plaque for Samuel Thomas Greene, found in Belleville Cemetery next to his headstone.


A native of the state of Maine, Green was Ontario's first deaf teacher of deaf students. Following his graduation from the National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet University) in Washington, D.C., He taught for 20 years (1870-1890) at the Ontario Institution for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf) in Belleville. He was noted not only for his excellent teaching skills but also for his talents in sign language, poetic signing, art, carpentry, athletics and leadership. He was co-founder (1886) and first president of what is today the Ontario Association of the Deaf. He died at the age of 46 from injuries sustained in an iceboat accident on the Bay of Quinte.

Information Last Updated: Saturday October 17, 2020