Transcribed from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar.

State Normal School.—The State Normal School was established in March, 1863, by an act of the legislature which provided: "That there be and is hereby established and permanently located at the town of Emporia, in Lyon county, a State Normal School, the exclusive purpose of which shall be the instruction of persons, both male and female, in the art of teaching, and in all of the various branches that pertain to a good common school education, and in the mechanic arts, and in the arts of husbandry and agricultural chemistry, and in the fundamental laws of the United States, and in what regards the rights and duties of citizens: Provided, that a tract of land, not less than 20 acres, adjacent to said town of Emporia, be donated and secured to the state, in fee simple, as a site for said normal school within twelve months from the taking effect of this act."

Section 2 of the same act empowered the governor to appoint three commissioners to attend to the details of procuring the site, and section 3 provided "That all lands granted to the State of Kansas and selected by said state adjoining or as contiguous as may be to each and all of the salt springs belonging to said state and granted by the 4th subdivision of the 3d section of an act of Congress entitled "An act for the admission of Kansas into the Union," approved Jan. 29, 1861, "save and except the salt springs, and the section of land upon which each of said salt springs are located, and one additional section, are hereby set apart and reserved as a perpetual endowment for the support and maintenance of the Normal School established and located by this act."

The salt lands amounted to some 30,380 acres but unsold produced no income. In Feb., 1864, the legislature appropriated $1,000 to be used exclusively for the salaries of teachers, and made provision for a board of nine directors, "six of whom shall be appointed by the governor, and the governor, secretary of the state, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction shall, by virtue of their office, be members of said board." In 1873 the regents of the state institutions of learning were reduced to seven, six being appointed by the governor and the seventh ex officio, to be the chancellor or president.

At the first meeting of the board of directors on Dec. 8. 1864, the executive committee was authorized to employ a principal, "at a salary not to exceed $1,000." Prof. L. B. Kellogg, a graduate of the Illinois State University, was elected to the position. The same legislature that enacted the law establishing the normal passed an act authorizing District No. 1, Lyon county, to vote bonds for the erection of a school house. The upper floor of this school house was offered for the use of the normal school and was gladly accepted by the board.

The school opened in Feb., 1865, with 18 students enrolled. According to Mr. Kellogg's report, settees for the students were borrowed from a neighboring church, and a seat for the teacher from the county treasurer's office. The room contained two stoves but no furniture, "no textbooks, maps or other appliances." The number of students increased during the year until there were 42.

At the opening of the second year, Prof. H. B. Norton became assistant principal. Through the liberality of John Fawcett a one-story frame building which he built at his own expense was placed at the service of the school. In June, 1865, the board of directors ruled that applicants for admission must be 16 years old if girls and 17 years old if boys, but it gave the principal power to admit those younger if a "sufficient maturity of mind is indicated, and where the pupil proposes to complete the course before teaching." In Feb., 1867, the legislature appropriated $10,000 to erect a building for the school. It was ready for occupancy the same year.

In the fall of 1868 Mr. Kellogg visited state normal schools in the East. In his report of this visit to the board of directors he defined the position and purpose of a normal school as being different from the other institutions of learning in the state, in that its sole design is to prepare students for the special vocation of teaching and for no other business. For this reason the normal school bears a near and permanent relationship to the common schools, its courses should be planned after the improvement of said schools, and the place of the normal school should be at the head of the common school system. Upon this idea as a foundation the later presidents have built.

In Jan., 1868, C. V. Eskridge proposed a resolution to the board which was adapted: "That the board of directors do not hesitate to declare it to be the duty of the faculty to impress upon the minds of the students the fundamental principles of the Christian religion; yet, as the institution is not in any respect denominational, the faculty or any member of it will not be justified in inculcating denominational peculiarities in speaking to students for or against any church organization."

In 1870 the board of directors elected Mr. Kellogg an honorary director of the school. The new board of 1871, although the institution was in prosperous condition, made changes that resulted in the resignation of Mr. Kellogg. Dr. George W. Hoss, of Indiana, became his successor, assuming his duties in Sept., 1871. In 1872 an appropriation of $50,000 was made by the legislature for the erection of main building. To this the city of Emporia added $10,000, and in June, 1873, the building was dedicated.

In April, 1873, every member of the faculty, including the principal, resigned, their resignations to take effect in June. In May Dr. Hoss was elected president, and in June some of his friends were reëlected to their old positions. Prof. Hoss was succeeded at Christmas time by Dr. C. R. Pomeroy, of Iowa. During the first two years of Dr. Pomeroy's administration the school developed rapidly, but the legislature of 1876, after making a small appropriation, decreed that the school should no longer be maintained at the expense of the state. The enrollment was then 345. The faculty finished the term, when all teachers except the president were dismissed, and he was instructed to manage the school without expense to the board, charging such fees as he saw fit for maintenance. In 1879 the attendance dropped to 90 students. Appeals were made to the legislature without success, the only appropriation being barely enough to liquidate old claims and to make repairs.

In a law suit with the city in 1878 the school lost two boarding halls that were a source of revenue. In April of that year a tornado damaged the new building. In October both buildings were burned and everything was lost. The citizens of Emporia fitted up the two boarding halls as class rooms and the school continued. The next legislature appropriated $25,000 to reconstruct the buildings on condition that the citizens of Emporia and Lyon county give $20,800 toward them. The condition was met. President Pomeroy resigned in 1879 and his successor was Prof. R. B. Welch, of Illinois.

In May, 1880, the new building was occupied. During Mr. Welch's administration the school, through land endowment and fees, was able to pay expenses and an awakened interest increased the enrollment to 402. In 1882, Mr. Welch entered the law profession and Prof. A. R. Taylor, of Illinois, became president. A plan recommended by Mr. Taylor and approved by the regents was the "offer of mileage to Kansas students at the rate of three cents a mile in excess of 100 miles." During the next decade the school made remarkable growth, the building was enlarged, the courses were rearranged and increased, and a library of 10,000 volumes was collected. Early in this administration arrangements were made by which high schools were placed on the accredited list, diplomas from them entitling the owner to enter the normal without examination.

State Normal School, Emporia


In 1886 the legislature appropriated 12 additional sections of salt land, the sale of which increased the endowment by $270,000. In 1887 a request for a new building was granted by the legislature and $26,200 appropriated for the same. In 1889 a room was fitted up for work in manual training, but little was accomplished in it for years from lack of funds to employ a competent instructor, it is now a strong department, the courses of which cover 80 weeks.

In 1895 the main building, which is known as "Albert Taylor Hall," was completed. For ten weeks during the summer of 1899 classes in mathematics and Latin were conducted, the number of students in attendance being 53. The summer school developed into a permanent session held every year in June and July. In 1901 Jasper N. Wilkinson succeeded Mr. Taylor as president. In 1902 the library building was completed at a cost of $60,000, and in 1905 the training school building was completed. It is arranged for practice teaching, and contains accommodations for the kindergarten and the eight grades of common' schools. In 1906 Joseph H. Hill was installed as president. The State Normal School has grown until in 1910 it had 2,224 students, a teaching force of 71 people, and occupied seven buildings.

By an act of Congress, approved March 28, 1900, the Fort Hays military reservation was donated to the State of Kansas for educational purposes, and the legislature set apart about 4,000 acres for a western branch of the state normal. This school began with a summer session on June 23, 1902, and the first regular term opened on Sept. 1 following, with an enrollment of 23 students. The school was conducted in the old fort buildings until 1904, when the central portion of what is now the main building was ready for occupancy. Since then the state has appropriated about $100,000 for buildings and equipment, and the total enrollment from the time the institution was opened to 1910 was 996 students.

A manual training normal school has been established at Pittsburg. The legislature of 1911 appropriated $50,000 for an industrial arts building for the institution, and in December of that year the state architect, Charles H. Chandler, had completed plans for the building, the central portion of which was to be 84 by 132 feet, two stories high, with east and west wings, each 50 by 112 feet, one story in height. In this building will be taught the mechanical arts, modeling, woodwork, iron work, forging, foundry, concrete work, clay modeling and firing and it will also contain an engineering department. The value of the property held by the normal schools at Emporia, Hays and Pittsburg aggregates about $1,100,000.

Pages 758-761 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.