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Page 43 text:
Prof. Azel Freeman of Greenwich. Kentucky, was chosen his successor in 1874. and took the position the following January. V. F. Wilson, a member of the faculty, filled the position until Mr. Freeman’s arrival.
It was about this time that the Everett Literary Society was organized, for elementary students, and Harry Bovdyston was elected president. This society is now on equal rank with the Philomathean.
Mr. Freeman continued his work until the end of the year, and was succeeded for a few months by Prof. Albert Nichols, Principal of the Preparatory Department, when Prof. S. R. Thompson of the Agricultural School of Lincoln was elected to the presidency. Phis was, indeed, a fortunate choice. His former experience at Marshall College Normal enabled him to reorganize the school and introduce more modern methods in normal training. He soon gained the respect and confidence of all. His perfect control of the school is shown by a unique custom of having Student Day. A paragraph of the catalogue of 1875 says: “For one day during each term the entire management and instruction of the school are left to the hand of the students, who elect a Principal for the day and teachers for all classes. Hitherto the students have accepted this trust in the right spirit and have discharged it with credit to themselves and satisfaction to the faculty.
From Peru Prof. Thompson was called to the State Superintendency of this state.
Prof. Thompson's successor was Dr. Robert Curry, 1877. of Penn. Edinburg Normal. His presidency is known as the era of prosperity and good fellowship. He proved a remarkable disciplinarian and held the respect and love of faculty and students. At this time hazing was much in vogue throughout the I nited States, and Peru did not escape. The pranks played upon fellow classmen form an interesting page of school history. For a president to curb such a spirit and still retain the good w ill of the students, indeed required a nature that was sympathetic and fully alive to the feelings of young life.
To the regret of the board, community, and students, he resigned his position in 1883. to spend the remainder of his life upon his farm, near Palmyra. Nebraska.
Prof. Geo. F. Farnham, who had been engaged in the public schools of Syracuse, N. V., and Council Bluffs. Iowa, was chosen president. During his presidency, a large addition was built to the Normal Hall, heating and lighting systems were installed, a library building was erected, all the laboratories were fitted with modern equipment, and the brick observatory was built. A military department was established, and all young men were required to enter. It was also at this time that the V. M. C. A. and Y. V. C. A. was organized.
Prof. Farnham will be remembered in educational circles as the originator of the sentence method of teaching reading. After leaving Peru, he went to California, where he resided until his death.
A. Wellington Norton, Dr. Farnham's successor, was chosen by the Board of Education, because of his reputation as an instructor, in the Oswego Normal, N. ' . During his administration a more complete system of waterworks was put in the school and the old standpipe was built. The surveying class under the leadership of Prof. Geo.
Page 42 text:
II. II STRAKJIIT
A. I). WILLIAMS
(JEN. T. J. MORGAN 1872
Page 44 text:
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W. Ellis surveyed, planned and started the grading for the athletic field. For the first time a post graduate course was offered.
I)r. James A. Beattie, who succeeded Dr. Norton, had been interested in educational work in the East, and at the time of his election to Peru, in 1896, was a teacher in Cotncr University, of Lincoln. The first Kindergarten and German Departments were organized by Dr. Beattie and the whole school system elevated to a higher basis, thus requiring an extra year before graduation. The summer school sessions which had been irregular and indefinite now became a regular part of the school program. In 1897 the dormitory burned and the same year in its place, the present Mt. Vernon Hall was erected. Dr. Beattie’s presidency was known as the period of student growth. The total attendance, including the training school pupils, was 1,011. surpassing the attendance of all former years.
Dr. W. A. Clark, who was formerly professor in the school for three years, took work at Harvard and Chicago and returned to Peru in 1900, to act as her next leader. Dr. Clark introduced the observation and methods class in the Junior year, as a preparatory step for teachers training in the Senior year. An appropriation of $40,000 was made for a new chapel building. 'The athletic field was enlarged and the first greenhouse was built. The school was systematized and put on a stronger educational basis. All faculty members were elected on the civil service plan. Dr. Clark’s work will be remembered as a transitional period during which the school was brought into closer organization, making ready for its broader field of labor.
Prof. J. W. Crabtree was then elected president. He is the only Peru alumnus, who has been at the head of the school. He came to the Normal as a student in 1882.
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