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Page 14 text:
His work was intensely methodical and his language correct and stately. In his mental philosophy he kept before his class a generalized man. taking a well-known citizen of the town, a good-natured man of all work, and clothing him with all the emotions and passions incident to the race and imagining how he would act under the various circumstances. His methods of discipline were quiet and effectual. Even though his work had been successful in every way, his resignation came all at once as a great surprise to his friends.
The next man to he given the responsbility of governing and successfully promoting the welfare of the Normal was Principal George L. Farnham. who was elected and commenced work in the fall term of 1883. Professor Farnham soon convinced the faculty and students that he knew something about school work; and made himself very much at home in all respects. He was a man of advanced thought and one of the most progressive educators of that day. During his term lie worked up a sentiment for a new chapel building, as an addition to the main building. The appropriation came and it was completed in 1885.
During this period new departments were constantly being added and every line of equipment which was soon to make the Normal one of the most efficient schools.
Prof. A. W. Norton, of Oswego, New York, is the next to come upon the scene as a promoter of the Normal toward all that is good and great. The fact that Professor Norton was known as one of the ablest educators of the state of New York, one whose original and advanced ideas of education mark him as a pioneer of a new era, is sufficient to say that the Normal was extremely opposite from retrogression during his management.
Mr. Norton proved equal to his opportunity and the Normal was in constant progress during his supervision.
Dr. Beattie, the next president, was a man whose pleasing personality and kind heart yielded an influence among the students with whom he came in contact that will ever play an important part in the forming and retaining of a high standard of character among the students who attended the Normal during his administration. He was always smiling and pleasant and always looking toward those things which would he of benefit to the students and school in general.
Tt was during his administration that our modern Mount Vernon Hall came into existence, and the school not only received many improvements hut tiie enrollment also increased constantly.
Dr. Beattie now is at Cotner University, where he is performing duties which arc only extensions of the principles for which he stood while at Peru.
The Normal between the years of 1900 and 1904 witnesses another very progressive period under the direction of Dr. Y. A. Clark, who being a native of Ohio and having secured the degrees A. P . and Ph. D. in the National Normal University, the degrees A. M. at Harvard and the Ph. D. at Chicago, was known as one of the prominent eastern educators and one who was to
Page 13 text:
Howard is one of the most eminent educators in the world, having written hooks and articles which have been printed in many languages. Miss Morehcad, now Mrs. Joy, was a very successful teacher for several years. After marriage her time and attention were given to the home. What could he more to any one’s credit than to say what has been said about Mrs. Joy, “She has given to the state sons and daughters of the highest type of American citizenship”?
In 1869 the legislature made an appropriation of $10,000. The second appropriation was to the amount of $30,000. which was one-fourth mill on all taxable property of the state.
Principal McKenzie having been elected as the first state superintendent of public instruction, it was necessary to elect a new principal. It was not surprising that the board would have serious difficulty in filling the place.
Dr. A. D. Williams, the first one chosen, though endorsed by the voting and eminent educator, Dr. Harris, was not equal to the emergency and General Morgan was called.
General Morgan was a scholar and a gentleman. The school prospered under his administration, gaining both in prestige and attendance. General Morgan became recognized during- his few years at Peru, but has since in various capacities, especially in the Indian service, gained even more than national distinction. After General Morgan came Principal Freeman, who soon found it necessary to resign. One of the members of the faculty. Prof. W. E. Wilson now president of a Washington state normal, was made acting principal. He, with the active cooperation of Colonel Majors, in 1874 secured the passage of a law in the legislature requiring each student to pay a matriculation fee of five dollars, the same to be used for building a library. That accounts for Peru’s having one of the best libraries of any state normal in the United States.
The board next elected Professor Nichols as principal, who remained only a short time, the school not being so successful under his supervision.
The next selection was that of Prof. R. S. Thompson of the Agricultural College at Lincoln. He was elected on the recommendation of the state superintendent. In many respects he was as efficient as General Morgan; at any rate, the school had a few years of remarkable prosperity under his wise guidance. He was now offered a wider field of usefulness, being elected state superintendent of public instruction, and resigned his position in the school. During his incumbency in the office of state superintendent he used every legitimate means to build up the Normal School. At the close of his office he was elected to a position in West Misister College, Pennsylvania.
Upon the resignation, the board of education, relying upon his recommendation and judgment, elected Dr. Robert Curry principal, and Mrs. Jennie P . Curry teacher of language and methods.
Dr. Curry found the school well classified, orderly and ready for business. His methods were so like his predecessor’s that the school continued without a jar.
Page 15 text:
become and did become one of the potent educational factors in the state of Nebraska. Not only was he connected with the educational work of our state by being president of our Normal, but he served three years previous to his election as Professor of Mathematics and Psychology at Peru, and has since been called to the position of Professor of Psychology and Pedagogy in the Kearney State Normal, at the same time holding many positions of honor in state and national educational associations.
During his time as president of the Normal the greenhouse and athletic field were added to our equipment, in both of which enterprises faculty and students bore a generous part.
The civil service system also, in regard to positions and salaries of the faculty, was adopted.
In 1903 the appropriation for a much-needed chapel building, which had been vetoed in 1901 by the governor, was secured and received the governor’s signature. It was the granting of this building that settled the question of the permanency of the Normal School at Peru.
The fall of 1904 witnesses the beginning of the New Birth of the Normal under the wise and efficient supervision of J. W. Crabtree. Never had the Normal been so blessed with one of nature’s grandest of blessings as was its privilege when our own President Crabtree entered upon his duties. True, this far we have noticed exceedingly rapid growth since the foundation of the school by Professor McKenzie, but never has its progress been so noticeable as during the present administration.
The growth of the school may be seen by comparing the graduating classes as: Class 1870. 2; class 1880. 7; class 1890. 16; class 1900. 29; class 1905, 57: class 1906, 88: class 1907, 149: class 1908. 142: class 1909. 172. and the present juniors, who are to be the class of 1910, have reached the maximum thus far of 203 members. It will be noticed that during the five years of President Crabtree’s administration the class has grown from 57 to 172, which surely signifies what an increase in attendance and finished products has existed during this time.
The graduate of less than a decade ago on returning now sees in place of the old $4,000 heating plant a fine. new. $25,000 plant, fitted with up-to-date heating facilities. He also finds chapel held, not as a few years ago in a room in the main building, but in a fine, new chapel building, also providing room for a finely-equipped gymnasium. He sees the two science departments removed from rooms Bi and B3 in the main building to Science Hall, with more than double the space previously occupied by science. He sees the library housed in a commodious new building instead of the old frame building, where only twenty-five or thirty students could work to advantage at a time He secs the new self-boarding scheme originated by President Crabtree and the new domestic science department, the new department of agriculture, the more beautiful campus, and a hundred fine new dwellings in Peru, with a $40,000 administrative building in sight. He sees members of the faculty secure in their
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