Born: Feb­ru­ary 20, 1834, Al­fred, New York.

Died: Feb­ru­ary 20, 1917, Mil­ton, Wis­con­sin.

Buried: Oak Grove Ce­me­te­ry, Hop­kin­ton, Rhode Is­land.


Jairus was the son of Max­son Still­man and Ly­dia C. Chap­man, and hus­band of Cla­ra Le­nore Lang­wor­thy.

As a young man, he learned the trades of mill­wright and car­pen­ter from his fa­ther.

His heart was set on mu­sic, though. In the sum­mer of 1857 he stu­died at the Nor­mal Mu­sic­al In­sti­tute at North Read­ing, Mas­sa­chu­setts, un­der Lo­well Ma­son, George Root, and oth­ers. At the same time, he stu­died Voice Cul­ture un­der Au­guste Kreiss­man of Bos­ton.

During the sum­mers of 1859 and 1860, he at­tend­ed the Nor­mal Mu­sic­al In­sti­tute at Gen­e­see, New York, tak­ing pi­ano­for­te les­sons from T. J. Cook, and les­sons in Voice Cul­ture from Car­lo Bas­si­ni, both of New York.

From 1861–62 he stu­died pi­ano­for­te at Mil­ton Col­lege, re­cit­ing al­so in the Ger­man class­es. In the sum­mer of 1870 he at­tend­ed the Na­tion­al Nor­mal Mu­sic In­sti­tute at South Bend, In­di­ana, again tak­ing pri­vate les­sons un­der Bas­si­ni.

From 1870–74 he was a pu­pil of Dud­ley Buck of Chi­ca­go and Bos­ton, in har­mo­ny and count­er­point, tak­ing his les­son part­ly by mail and part­ly in per­son.

In the win­ters from 1858–61 Still­man taught sing­ing schools and gave pri­vate les­sons in Shel­by and Lo­gan coun­ties, Ohio, and led the Lu­ther­an Church choir at Belle­fon­taine, and the Se­venth-day Bap­tist choir at Jack­son Cen­ter.

In 1862, 1864 and 1866 he was pro­fess­or of vo­cal and in­stru­ment­al mu­sic at the Hop­kin­ton Aca­de­my, Ash­a­way, Rhode Is­land. In the win­ter months he taught sing­ing schools six ev­en­ings each week, and at the same time taught as ma­ny as thir­ty pri­vate stu­dents.

During the years 1863, 1865 and 1867 he di­rect­ed the mu­sic de­part­ment at Al­fred Uni­ver­si­ty, his class­es em­brac­ing Pi­ano­for­te Mu­sic, Voice Cul­ture, and El­e­ment­a­ry and Cho­rus Sing­ing.

Later in his ca­reer, Still­man con­duct­ed sing­ing schools in ma­ny states, and be­came a pro­fess­or of mu­sic at Mil­ton Col­lege, Wis­con­sin.