of the State Normal School
By Holice, Pam, and Deb
Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for transcribing book. The excellent work she does continues to help many researchers! Thanks also, to Pam Rietsch, for sharing her books with genealogists!
PERIOD OF REVIVAL AND NEW GROWTH.
DURING THE YEAR THE Normal School was closed people of Cheney thought seriously on their previous dissension. The spirit of strife had been carried to the state capital, and it was believed that local wrangling had affected the interest of the school adversely. Property became depressed in Cheney, and the more forward-looking men of the town began to see the necessity for concerted action to build up once more the fortune of Cheney. Time had given them a better perspective, and there followed a spirit of cooperation the like of which had been manifested only in 1893. Common interest was the magnetic force which pulled the discordant elements into common action. This unity of interest affords a reasonable explanation of the course of events in 1898 and 1899. Misfortune had produced clearer vision and straighter thinking.
When it became known that school would be resumed in the autumn of 1898, due to the charging of a tuition fee of $15 a semester (called an incidental fee), a new faculty was employed. W. B. Turner was elected principal. Others members of the faculty included Vice Principal Frank B. Babcock, a graduate of Spokane College and of the College of Puget Sound; Dr. J. A. Mahan, instructor in biology and physiology, formerly a member of the faculty of the State Normal School at Ellensburg; George Becker, a graduate mining engineer of the University of Minnesota; Mrs. W. B. Turner, formerly supervisor of the Training School in the State Normal School at Ellensburg; Miss Lilyan Walter, a graduate of the State Normal School at Cheney, and Miss E. May MacKenzie, in charge of the kindergarten department.
A six-weeks' summer school, beginning July 11, was held in 1898, with Principal W. B. Turner in charge.
Alumni of the Normal School were specially active during this period. A general reunion was held at the Normal on July 16, 1898. Members of the board of trustees, former members of the faculty, alumni, and students attended. W. C. Stone, who had been with the school from its beginning, made an address. George C. Craig, president of the class of 1897, also spoke. All were looking forward somewhat anxiously to the action the legislature would take the following winter.
The fall term opened September 12, with forty-one enrolled. A catalogue had been printed for general distribution, and particular care was taken to inform prospective students that the work would be carried out during the year and that all credits earned would be valid. Says the catalogue announcement: "The carrying out of the foregoing calendar will not depend upon state aid. The full year's work of forty weeks is guaranteed to be given to all students desiring it. The State Normal School at Cheney enjoys all its original powers and privileges, and will confer upon its graduates the regular State Normal diplomas and state certificates to teach. This school, with its free text-books, large library, and complete equipment, offers to the young people of Eastern Washington special advantages for a liberal professional education."
As an earnest of good faith business men of Cheney had subscribed to a fund to defray incidental expenses. By making such an effort it was believed that the cause of the institution would be materially aided not only in the legislature, but throughout the state. The "roll of honor" of 1898 is as follows:
"We, the undersigned, hereby agree to pay the sums respectively subscribed, and in kind as herein expressed, to the trustees of the State Normal School at Cheney, Wash., for the purpose of warming, lighting, furnishing water and other expenses than salaries of teachers that may be necessarily incurred in opening and conducting said school; and it is a part of the contract hereby entered into between the aforesaid trustees and subscribers, of which this subscription is a part, that if for any cause the school shall not be opened by or during the
month of September, 1898, then and in that event all material or money paid on this subscription shall be returned in kind to all respective subscribers." Signed: F. A. Pomeroy, $100; H. A. Wells, $25; L. Walter, $150; W. W. Cossalman, $75; J. F. Cummin, $25; C. A. Hutton, $25; L. H. Houck, $25; Frank Korte, $5; E. N. O'Brien, $25; T. W. Odell, $5; J. M. Perry, $25; J. E. Burbank, $15; Franz Magnus, $15; Ulrich Bros., $25; D. F. Percival, $10; C. E. Davis, $20; Hugh and W. L. Fulton, $50; J. S. Hull, $10; F. M. Martin, $25; F. B. Bailey, $26; Louis Budde, $25; John H. Betz, $25; Cheney Water and Light Company, $100; Miss Gertrude Harris, $5; T. C. Tenneson, $20; Cheney Sentinel, $20; Free Press, $20; Nicholas Georger, $20; Findley and Peterson, $12; Reuter and Webb, $8; J. L. Ankrom, $6; G. A. Fellows, $15.
Satisfaction that was expressed by those interested in the upbuilding of the State Normal School at Ellensburg, after the veto of the Cheney appropriation in 1897, reacted unfavorably against that institution during the biennium. When it became known that the trustees of the institution at Ellensburg were planning to ask the legislature in 1899 for additional money for improvements and new buildings, newspapers of the state began to take stock of the building at Cheney, erected at state expense, that had been idle for a year. Why spend more money for capital outlays, they asked, when buildings are already available indifferent parts of the state? Editorial expression of that point of view, which appeared in the Tacoma Ledger, was reproduced in The Cheney Sentinel, December 30, 1898, as follows:
"Regents of the State Normal School at Ellensburg will ask the legislature for $70,000 for the purpose of constructing new buildings, additions to the library, scientific apparatus, etc. Of this amount $40,000 is wanted for a new Training School. It is not clear just where the economy or good public policy would come in by expending $70,000 t increase the capacity of the Ellensburg school when the state already has two normal schools, vacant and unused, which cost large amounts of money. The Whatcom school never has been put in use, and the Cheney School has been closed for the lack of appropriation, except as it is carried on ina manner with funds contributed by citizen of Cheney. It would appear to be much more practical and less expensive to devote the public money to one or both of these schools rather then to enlarge the one at Ellensburg. Private corporations or business men would not erect new building when they already had suitable ones."
Laying aside differences which had divided them into two factions in 1896 and 1897, citizens of Cheney made preparations to present a united from to the legislature of 1899 in behalf of an appropriation for maintenance. Private subscriptions, augmented by tuition charges, has enabled the institution to open its doors in the autumn of 1898 this bold step was taken in the firm belief that public opinion throughout the state would support the legislature in renewing the state aid and that Governor Rogers, regardless of any personal belief, would hardly dare repeat his veto.
A committee of townsmen, comprising A. Harrison, D. H. Stewart, F. A. Pomeroy, L. Water, S. G. Grubb, and J. S. Hull, was selected to draft a
"statement of the case" for submission to the state legislature and to the general public. This appeal, giving twelve reasons why the institution should receive an appropriation, was printed in full in a supplement to The Cheney Sentinel, December 30, 1898. Arguments set forth in the appeal follow:
First, that the State Normal School at Cheney is the oldest in the state, and that the law creating it has never been repealed; secondly, that it has one of the finest public buildings in the state, located upon land that was donated to the state for normal-school purposes; thirdly, it has received liberal appropriations from every legislature, regardless of its political complexion, and the veto of the governor has thwarted the wishes of the people;; fourthly, both political parties, in platforms recently adopted, declared in favor of re-opening the school as well as the normal school at Whatcom; fifthly, leading educators of the state have endorsed it as necessary to the proper upbuilding of the common school system of the state; sixthly, the governor has misconception of the true purpose of normal schools, arguing that the educational system of the state is "top heavy" and failing to see that normal schools are the basis of the common school system; seventhly, the Enabling Act of Congress provides for more than one normal school in the state; eigthly, discontinuance of the institution is a violation of a moral obligation, assumed by the state when it accepted the building and the grounds of the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy; ninthly, abandonment means discrimination against out own children and renders necessary the importation of normal-trained teachers from other states; tenthly, increasing attendance indicates that there is a widespread demand for the institution; eleventhly, the faculty is of a caliber to deserve the commendation and the support of the people of the whole state; twelfthly, normal schools, being the poor men's schools, should ever be kept near to the people, as impossibility if only one large central institution be maintained.
Argument favorable to the cause of the Normal School revival were reproduced from the reports of Frank J., Browne, state superintendent of public instruction, and C. W. Bean, former state superintendent. Said Mr. Browne: "The standard for teachers' certificates has been raised to a higher point than ever before in this state. A year's record of examination shows that over two thousand were examined and received certificates, seven hundred and ninety-nine failed entirely and four hundred and ninety-nine temporary certificates were issued by our county superintendents. These facts show that a large percentage of our teachers gain places in the schools through the door of the examination room instead of through the door of the normal school or the training school. They also show that in the several counties the superintendents were led to issue about five hundred temporary certificates to prevent the schools from being deprived of teachers. The question for consideration resolves itself to this: Must the standard be lowered and tyros and novices be placed in charge of the schools, or must the standards be maintained and adequate means by provided for professional training by the state? It would be an injustice to the children
and to the commonwealth. The common schools deserve trained teachers. The legislature can do no better than to provide adequate means to this end."
In the November issue of the Northwest School Journal, under the caption "Shall We have More Than One Normal School?" Mr. Bean argued for four normal schools in the state, rather than one. He contended that the organization of several normal schools would encourage attendance and permit better instruction." He took exception tot he stand upon which the governor based his veto, namely, that the educational system was "top heavy" and that it would be unwise to spend more for higher education until the length of term of the rural schools could be increased.
"I do not wish to object to the position that our very short rural school term needs attention first of all," Mr. Bean wrote, "but I do wish to enter a protest against classing normal schools as higher institutions of learning. Properly considered, they are merely that portion of our elementary school machinery which fits teachers for their work in the elementary schools. If our common school term is ridiculously short, that is only a reason for having it taught by a well-trained teacher in order that the pupils may receive the greater benefit in the necessarily short time. The normal-school course does not offer any special thoroughness in higher branches, such studies being taught only in their elements, and with the idea of imparting a teacher's view of them and cultivating the ability to present some of their simple phases to primary children. The prime object of normal school is to train teachers in the art of skillfully developing the child mind. The investigation of the deepest problems of education and the consideration of its broader phases belong to the department of pedagogy in the university, while the special application of the principles of pedagogy to the higher teaching of the sciences is the proper work of the teacher's course in our school of sciences; but both these latter tasks are undertaken in our higher institutions and are no part of the work of an elementary normal school. It is false economy to make miserly appropriations for the work of training our elementary teachers, and it is gross error to regard that work as any part of our system of higher education. such work thoroughly done is the only guaranty of progress in our elementary schools. A lengthened term with no improvement in the quality of the teaching would, in many cases, result in merely increasing the evil. Let the State of Washington confine her normal schoolwork to the elementary phases if she must economize on this line at all, but in the name of educational progress give us enough good elementary normals to supply the state with properly-trained teachers."
Friends of the Normal School were no lacking when the legislature convened in January of 1899. And there was among them a feeling of unity that had not been in evidence on several previous occasions. Principal Turner spent six weeks at the state capital, and he was ably assisted in the work by business men of Spokane and of Cheney. No opportunity was overlooked by the friend of the East-side institution to gain support from West-side delegations. The delegation from Tacoma, which had always been unfriendly toward Cheney, was appeased by the solid vote of the Spokane County delegations for the "Tacoma" candidate for the United States senate. As the session proceeded, more friends were gained in other parts of the state.
Telegrams from Principal Turner in Olympia, printed in full in the Cheney newspapers, told of the progress of the bill carrying the appropriation necessary to insure the continuance of the Normal School. Every favorable step taken was received with enthusiasm by Cheney folk.
Early in the session the senate passed a bill (S. B. 42) appropriating $25,000 for the Normal School. The Cheney Sentinel, February 3, 1899, carried this note: "private correspondence from Olympia is to the effect that the house appropriations committee, to whom was referred the bill passed by the senate, appropriating $25,000 for the maintenance of each of the three state normal schools, will report the bill back to the house for action on Tuesday morning next. An effort will be put forth to have the bill made a special order of business for some day next week, in order that the bill may be sent tot he governor in time so that the legislature may have the opportunity of passing upon the veto, if there should be one. It is thought that the action of Senator Wilson and the Spokane County delegation in aiding the election of United States Senator Foster of Tacoma will have a favorable bearing upon the normal-school question, at the strongest opposition to the Cheney school in the past has come from Mr. Foster's home city."
One week later the same newspaper published the following telegram from Mr. Turner: "Bill passed the house; forty-four to twenty; fourteen absent." Some changes were made by the hose in the bill which passed the senate, and it was necessary to reconcile these differences ina joint conference. The following week, under the great headline, "The Appropriation Almost Assured," The Cheney Sentinel printed the following:
"Unless all indications go for naught, the bill appropriating $26,400 for the maintenance of the State Normal School at Cheney will become a law by Thursday next week. The joint free conference committee appointed yesterday to reach an agreement between the two houses upon the several items in the Normal School appropriation bill reported to the legislature this morning, and at noon today the following telegram was received from Principal Turner: 'Conference committee's report passed the senate unanimously and passed the house by a vote of fifty-one for, fourteen against, and thirteen absent. The report gives Cheney $25,000 for maintenance and $1400 for other items; Ellensburg, $38,500; Whatcom, $18,500. The bill goes to the governor today.' In response to an inquiry as to the governor's probably action, Mr. Turner replied that it was the prevailing opinion in Olympia that Rogers would not veto. This opinion seems founded upon something more tangible than guesswork. Should the governor veto, it is probable that the bill can be passed with his approval."
The joy of victory was pealed forth in an article which appeared in The Cheney Sentinel of February 24, 1899. Bearing the caption, "The Appropriations is Secured," it reads: "The State Normal School at Cheney will be maintained by the State. So said the legislature, and Governor Rogers did not see fit to interpose a veto. The bill making appropriation for maintenance of the State Normal School at Cheney, Ellensburg, and Whatcom, which was passed in both houses of the legislature on Friday last, became a law today by the expiration of the five days allowed the governor in which to veto or sign it. As was quite generally anticipated, Governor Rogers took no action in the matter. Having previously expressed his disapproval of the Cheney and Whatcom appropriations, it was not expected that he would sign them, and to have vetoed them, in view of the fact that they were passed by more than a two-thirds vote, would have been absurd. The bill gives to the Cheney Normal $25,000 for two years' maintenance, $1000 for repairs to the building and $400 for additions to the library and laboratory. This money will be available on April 1. As no considerable increase in the number of students is anticipated this spring, it is probable that the present faculty will be able to take care of the school the balance of this year. As a matter of economy, it is thought best not to start up the heating plant till next fall. The cold weather will be practically over by April 1, when the appropriation becomes available, and the stoves now in use will be sufficient during the spring and early fall. The funds that have been subscribed by the citizens of Cheney will be sufficient to maintain the school until April."
Principal turner and others who had worked in Olympia for the appropriation were guests of honor at a reception in Cheney on Saturday night, February 26. Apart from citizens of Cheney, two of the trustees were present, the Reverend Mr. Manier and Dr. Olmsted, mayor of Spokane. A letter was read from Millard T. Hartson, of Spokane, in which he expressed best wishes for the institution and his regret that he could not attend. Mr. Hartson had spent some time in Olympia working for the appropriation for the Normal School.
Mr. Manier, on behalf of the citizens of Cheney, during the evening, presented an upholstered chair to Mr. Turner as a mark of appreciation of his work in Olympia. Mr. turner gave an account of his experiences during the six weeks he spent as a member of the "third house" in Olympia, emphasizing the fact that the work of a lobbyist is no easy task. Governor Rogers, said Mr. turner, told him that the governor's view with respect to the normal schools had not changed, but that he saw no reason for attempting to overrule the wishes of so many legislators. The governor admitted, Mr. turner declared, that he "had made some mistakes in the past," leaving the inference that the veto of the appropriation for the State Normal School at Cheney might have been one of them. Mr. Turner added that he had invited Governor Rogers to visit Cheney, and to give the commencement address in June."
The Monday following the reception two of the trustees, Mr. Manier and Mr. Dempsie, sent their resignations to Governor Rogers, and the governor appointed J. J. Browne and J. S. Allen, both of Spokane, to succeed them.
Governor Rogers came to Cheney, and, on June 22, gave the commencement address for the class of '99. After the commencement exercise Governor and Mrs. Rogers were entertained at dinner by Mr. and Mrs. D. F. Percival. Other guests included Principal and Mrs. W. B. Turner, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Brown, and Judge and Mrs. Prather. In the evening a reception was held in the Normal auditorium in honor of the governor. It was attended by townspeople as well as by faculty and students. Brief address were made by Del Cary Smith of Spokane, Representative A. Harrison, County Superintendent Drake and the governor. Commenting on the governor's address, The Cheney Sentinel said:
"The governor's remarks on this occasion touched directly upon Normal School matters and were of especial interest to our people. He stated that while he had not yet been converted from his old idea that one large normal school would be for the best interests of the state, it was evident that the people of the state did not agree with him and would not sustain another veto. Accordingly, he said, as he did not consider himself greater than the people, he had acquiesced and would not lay any further obstacle in the way. He considered that the state was now so thoroughly launched upon the broader normal-school policy that it could not well change its policy or retrace is steps. Consequently, he said, unless the people of Cheney should themselves do something to disrupt mattes, he should consider the State Normal School at Cheney henceforth a permanent fixture."
At the opening of the twentieth century the troubles of the State Normal
School at Cheney apparently belonged to the past. No legislature failed to make an appropriation for maintenance, and no governor saw fit to override the wishes of the legislature. Each biennium saw an increasing appropriation for maintenance, made necessary in order to care adequately for the increasing enrollment. From the total appropriation of $26,400 in 1899 there was an increase to $45,00 in 1901; to $72,00 in 1903, and to $160,000 in 1907 (including $65,00 for a new Training School building). The appropriation for maintenance alone in 1911 amounted to $125,000.
During this time the faculty was being enlarged from year to year, while the enrollment of students was increasing by hundreds. From an attendance of one hundred and one in 1898-99 there was a jump to five hundred and eight-two in 1911-12. Six diplomas and thirty elementary certificates were issued in 1899; in 1911-12 the number of diplomas and certificates had increased to two hundred six
J. H. Miller was elected principal of the Normal School in July, 1900, succeeding W. B. Turner. He remained for nearly two years, leaving in February, 1902, following a disagreement between himself and the board of trustees. Vice Principal C. S. Kingston was made acting principal for the remainder of the year. Lewis B. Alger was then elected principal and remained for one year. He was succeeded by Harry M. Shafer, who remained for five years. In 1908 H. C. Sampson became principal and remained until 1010. N. D. Showalter was elected to succeed him.
Mr. Miller's dismissal came in the wake of a complaint made by him to the governor. A new dispatch from Olympia, published in the Spokesman-Review of February 2, 1902, gave the following summary of the difficulty:
"Principal J. H. Miller, of the State Normal School at Cheney is at the capital and today filed with Governor McBride typewritten charges of seven or eight pages against trustees of the Normal School at Cheney and requested the removal of J. J. Browne and Joseph Allen, two of the trustees. It has been known or some time past that differences existed between Principal Miller and the board, but an open rupture was hardly expected.
"Principal Miller charges that the board has employed at least half a dozen incompetent teachers and others were not needed, just to furnish the individuals with positions, without consulting the head of the school.
"That the trustees habitually met at Spokane instead if Cheney, as required by law, and that in regard to these meetings he is neither notified nor consulted, and he is practically overlooked.
"That the funds appropriated by the legislature for the support of the Normal School are spent in an improper manner; that repairs and changes are made without consulting the principal and that money is paid for the same contract or other methods of controlling the work done, and that the board of trustees run the institution to suit themselves and without consulting with the principal on matters of vital interest to the institution.
"When seen today Governor McBride refused to take as to the charges filed, but said: "Some complaint has been made that everything is not harmonious at the State Normal School at Cheney. Before taking any action, however, I will have to hear all sides of the controversy."
Mr. Miller's complaint was directed specifically against Mr. Brown and Mr. Allen. He appeared to be satisfied with N. w. Durham, the third member of the board. What truth there may have been in Mr. Miller's charges can not at this time be ascertained. He was promptly dismissed by the board of trustees, and the action of the board was not reversed by the governor.
Mr. Alger's first year as principal of the school, viewed from the standpoint of the trustees, was entirely successful. He was re-elected in April, 1903, at a salary increase of $500. Before the opening of the fall term, however, he assigned to accept a position in the department of education of the University of Michigan.
At the meeting of the board of trustees in April, 1903, the following plans for improving the Normal School were agreed upon": First, increase of faculty on account of increased attendance; second, completion and repair of the building; third, additions to the library and tot he laboratories; fourth, grading campus and putting it in a lawn; fifth, planting of trees, flowers and shrubs; sixth, starting a museum.
"The Normal School has made notable progress the past year," President Brown said, "but we expect the coming year to bring still greater progress. The trustees and the principal are determined to give the state an institution second to no normal school on the Pacific Coast."
In August, 1903, H. M. Shafer of San Diego was elected principal of the Normal School. "Professor Shafer is recommended by education of national reputation," declared the Cheney Free Press, August 28, 1903, "and is fully equipped to take hold of the work and to continue energetically along the lines laid down by Professor Alger, under whose able leadership the school made such progress during the past year. The new principal of the State Normal has the degrees of A. B. and A. M. from Harvard, and on the completion of his thesis will take his doctor's degree from Columbia."
Before the opening of school on September 15 it was reported that $15,000
had been spent in "raising the roof, enlarging the gables, finishing the rooms on the upper floor, tinting the walls, installing a new heating plant, remodeling old rooms, putting in individual lockers, etc." The faculty was also increased from twelve to fifteen members.
Mr. Shafer severed his connection with the Normal School in 1908, and H. C. Sampson was elected principal. Mr. Sampson remained for two years, and then resigned to enter business. N. D. Showalter, who had been head of the rural school department since 1909, was thereupon elected principal. But he did not assume the office for nearly a year, however, C. S. Kingston being again chosen principal ad interim. President Showalter has served twice as long as any other head of the Normal School.
Three events are outstanding in the development of the Normal School between 1900 and 1912. One is the enactment of the millage tax law for the state institutions of higher learning, approved by the governor March 13, 1911, another is the organization of the rural department in the Normal School, and the third is the organization of the summer school.
The millage tax law created a special fund for each of the institutions of higher learning and established levies for the purpose of raising money to defray operating and building expenses. The levy established for the State Normal School at Cheney in 1911 was .09 of one mill. The law made provision for subsequent changes in the levies.
According to a review of the activities of the Normal School, published in the Twentieth Biennial Report (1910) of the state superintendent of public instruction:
"The rural school department of the Cheney State Normal School was organized September 1, 1908, and during the school year was directed by Principal H. C. Sampson and other members of the faculty. In September, 1909, the work of the department was definitely planned, and classes in rural school pedagogy, rural school management, rural school methods, and rural school administration and supervision were offered. A rural training school was established three miles from Cheney, on the electric line, where all students were required to go for observation and demonstration work. The object of the school is to demonstrate just what improvements may be made in our rural schools in general by the proper application of the right methods, by correlating and alternating the work, and by placing in charge a teacher who has the natural adaptability and special training for this particular kind of work."
N. D. Showalter, who had served as superintendent of Whitman County schools for the four years preceding, came to the Normal School as head of the rural department in 1909. What steps he had taken toward building up the department were set forth in the Tenth Biennial Report (1910) of the board of trustees to the governor. Said the report:
"The rural department of the Normal School has undertaken a considerable extension work. It is believed by this department that the one hundred twenty-five thousand children in this state who are compelled to attend school in one-room buildings are deserving of the most careful and serious consideration. In the past the work of these schools has not been properly aided, and special effort is required at the present time to make them really what they ought to be. During the past year the Normal School has established four demonstration schools--one in Spokane County, where the regular Normal students, who are
who are not in the rural department, go to observe the work and prepare for the special problems which they are sure to meet; the other three in Adams, Lincoln, and Stevens counties, where teachers of three conditions are sent by the county superintendent to observe the work as directed by this department of the Normal School. Many more schools have been asked for by the county superintendent and the school directors, and it is earnestly believed that through this means of demonstration the rural schools may be doubled in their usefulness and accomplishments by proving to the people the fact that our school work needs to be directed ina manner to being it close to real life and living. No work is more needed in this state, and no work will bear greater fruit for the benefit of the commonwealth. In order to do the work properly it will require at least $5,000. It may also be said that this department has established a help bureau which furnishes helpful suggestions to rural teachers and assists in helping to solve any special problems that may be found in the community."
George E. Craig, at that time superintendent of Lincoln County schools, was called to the faculty in 1912 to take charge of the rural department. He had previously taught for many years in Whitman County and in Lincoln County. During the last ten years, under his directions, the work on the rural department has been greatly extended, and in 1923 the institution is offering a two-year rural course.
The organization and development of the summer school, and its remarkable growth since the World War., will be treated at length in subsequent chapters. In the beginning the summer school term was limited to six weeks. Later it was lengthened to nine weeks, and subsequently, when the Normal School was reorganized on the four-quarter basis during the war period, the summer term was lengthened to eleven weeks.
Additions to the campus, construction of a new central heating plant and the completion of the third floor of the administration building are improvement credited to the administration of Principal Shafer. The Normal catalogue of 1904 announces that, during the last year, the following improvements have been made:
"As a result of the appropriations made available by the last legislature, there have been added during the year chemical, physical and geographical and mineralogical laboratories, a science lecture room and a society hall; an art room has been added and furnished; a manual training equipment has been installed; the mathematics department has been refurbished; the library has been extended and organized; the Training School furniture renewed in part; gymnasium lockers, apparatus and baths have been bought and used during the latter part of the year; book lockers have been built in the hallways; the heating system has been overhauled and the entire interior (of the administration building) retinted."
The heating plant was removed from the basement of the administration building after the construction of a central heating plant, for which the legislature of 1907 made an appropriation. This plant, as well as the Training School, was saved from the fire of 1912.
Additions that had been made to the campus since the original grant of 1890 brought the total to about thirteen and one-half acres in 1908. Two city blocks adjoining the campus on the northwest were bought in 1907. Since then there have been further extensions, occasioned by the construction of the
new administration building in 1915, the purchase of the Apache Club and the building of Senior Hall. When the bonds which were issued in 1922 for the construction of Sutton Hall have been redeemed, the Cheney Building Company will donate the grounds and the building to the state. This addition will amount to approximately one-fourth of a city block, west of the present campus. The area of the campus in 1923 is about twenty acres.
During the first nine years of the present century the attention of the governors of Washington was fastened upon the unpaid warrants which were issued in 1895 for the construction of normal-school buildings at Cheney and at Whatcom. It required the proddings of two executives, extending through four sessions of the legislature, to obtain legislation to remove this "cloud from the credit of the state."
Governor Henry McBride, in his biennial message to the legislature, January 13, 1903, spoke of the matter as follows: "On the first of October, 1902, there was in the state normal school fund the sum of $8,809.74. Against this fund there was outstanding warrants to the sum of $108,810.07, issued between July 12, 1895, and April 6, 1899. These warrants bear interest at the rate of seven per cent per annum; and it may be held, under section 5, page 57, Sessions Laws of 1895, that the interest upon them is to compounded. By the terms of the Enabling Act the state was granted 100,000
acres of land for state normal school. Of these lands, selected and approved, more than 95,00 acres remain unsold. A question has arisen as to whether, under the terms of the grant, the proceeds derived from the sale of these lands can be used in the payment of outstanding warrants, or whether these proceeds must be placed in a permanent fund to be invested, and the interest only to be used for that purpose. The proceeds derived from the sale of lands granted to the state for the support of common schools must constitute a permanent fund, the interest upon which only an be expended in their support. It is thought by some the same holds true of the proceeds derived from the sale of lands granted to the state for the agricultural school, for the normal schools, for the scientific school, and for the state charitable, education, penal and reformatory institutions. But such is not the legislative construction that has been given the Enabling Act * * *
"By the terms of an act approved March 7, 1895, a fund to be known as the 'state normal school fund' was established and prevision made that all proceeds derived in the sale of lands granted to the state for normal schools be paid into that fund, and that no appropriation for the erection of normal school building be made from any other fund. By the same at an appropriation of $60,000 was made for buildings at the Cheney Normal School, and an appropriation of $40,000 for buildings at the Whatcom Normal School with directions to draw warrants upon said state normal school fund to pay for the erection of such buildings."
The governor then called attention to the case pending in the supreme court of the state to determine the status of the normal school building fund. Continuing, he said:
"If it should be held that the proceeds from the sale of lands granted for normal schools do not constitute a permanent and irreducible fund, then the warrants outstanding against the states normal schools fund are a first lien upon something over 95,000 acres of land. Here may be found an opportunity for a safe investment of a portion of the permanent school fund. These warrants, principal and interest, on the first of January of this year, amounted to, approximately, the sum of $146,000. The normal school lands in value certainly far exceed this sum. Should you book with favor upon this suggestion, the method of procedure might be the same as pointed out in what has been said in reference to outstanding warrants against the capital building fund."
The supreme court of Washington held that the state normal school fund was, like the common school fund, permanent and irreducible, and that only interest from the fund could be used for current expenses. The act of 1895
was, therefore, held to be in part invalid. But no action was taken by the legislature of 1903 with respect tot he payment of the warrants drawn against the normal building fund.
On January 11, 1905, Governor McBride again addressed the legislature regarding the educational institutions in these words:
"The state educational institutions dependent for support upon appropriations made by the legislature, namely, the University of Washington, the State Agricultural college and School of Science, and the normal schools at Ellensburg, Cheney, and Bellingham, are all in a flourishing condition. Their several boards of regents and boards of trustees consist of men who take pride in their work. By careful attention to their duties, and through devoting their time to the upbuilding of the institutions with which they are connected, they have rendered valuable services to the state. Not least among their merits is the fact that they have absolutely divorced politics from our educational institutions. These institutions in the past could, no doubt, have used to advantage more money than was at their disposal; and could no doubt, in the next two years use to advantage more than you will be able to grant them. They should, however, be dealt with as liberally as is consistent with preserving the proper balance between the state's expenditures and revenues. In this connection I wish to call attention to the fact that on October 1, 1904, there was on hand in the scientific school fund, $27,051.99; in the agricultural college fund, $25,859; in the charitable, educational, penal and reformatory institution fund, $47,823,76; and in the normal school fund, $16,916,04, making a total on hand in these funds of $117,650.79. When the last legislature convened a test case was pending in the supreme court of the state to determine whether these several funds, like the common school fund, were permanent and irreducible so that only the interest could be expended, or whether the principal could be expended. Before adjournment it was decided that these funds were permanent and irreducible, and that only the interest could be expended; but in the hurry of closing days of the session the matter seems to have been overlooked and no provisions was made for their investment. As there is no good reason why this money should remain idle in some bank, provision should be made for the proper investment of these funds to the end that the educational institutions entitled thereto may receive some benefit from the same.
Provision for the disposition of the earnings of the normal school lands was made by the legislature in 1905. Sections three and four of an act dealing with the normal school fund follow:
"That there be and hereby is created in the state treasury a fund to be known as 'The Normal School Current Fund.'
"That there shall be paid into said 'The Normal School Current Fund' for the use and support of the normal schools of the state; First, all moneys here-
tofore collected and hereafter to be collected from the lease or rental of lands set apart by the Enabling Act or otherwise for the state normal schools; second, all interest or income arising from the proceeds of the sale of said lands; third, all moneys received or collected as interest on deferred payments on contracts for the sale of such lands,"
On January 15, 1907, Governor Albert E. Mead called the attention of the legislature to the unpaid normal school warrants, saying: "The validity of the method prescribed for the payment of these warrants was afterwards questioned, and the supreme court held that, under the provisions of the Enabling Act by which the state acquired title to the lands, the fund arising from the sale thereof was a permanent fund and not available for the purpose contemplated by the act. Those warrants are unpaid obligations of the commonwealth, a cloud upon the state's credit. Their holders have not received a cent of principal or interest. The state of Washington should be an exemplar of good financial morals. It can not place itself in the position of a defaulting debtor or assume to repudiate its own obligations. Its unstained credit is infinitely of more value than the money involved. It is but justice to the credit of the state and to the warrant holders that an appropriation be made to retire these warrants, such appropriation to be large enough to pay the principle thereof with simple interest."
Two years later, in another message to the legislature, governor Mean reviewed at length the manner in which the unpaid normal-school warrants had been drawn. He concluded in the following words: " The state received full value for these warrants, and had had the use of the very excellent normal-school buildings at Cheney and Bellingham for many years, for the construct of which not a dollar has been paid. While these warrants do not constitute a legal claim enforceable against the state, they are a moral obligation and one which, to quote from the language of the supreme court, in the opinion just referred tom 'the state injustice ought to, and no doubt will, make provision for the payment of.'"
Chapter LXV, Session Laws, 1909, empowered state officials to pay and redeem warrants issued under authority of the ct of 1895, providing for the construction of the normal-school buildings and creating a special fund, by issuing to the holders of the warrants state bonds to the amount of the principal of the warrants, together with simple interest at the rate of seven per cent per annum. Bonds were to be in denominations of "as nearly as practicable $1000 each," payable after five and within fifteen years, and to bear interest at the rate of three per cent per annum, payable semi-annually.
Improving the plant and the campus of the Normal School was one of the first tasks toward which Mr. Showalter directed his attention on assuming the principalship. During the school year 1911-12 the entire campus was graded, and a lawn was started in the early spring of 1912. Students, faculty and townspeople were beginning to look forward to a "campus beautiful"
when, on April 24, 1912, the administration building was completely destroyed by fire. Within a few hours the building that had been a landmark for so many years was a mass of smoldering ruins. Only the Training School and the heating plant were saved. Again the faith of the people of Cheney in this institution was put to the test.
The fire, which broke out in the manual training department, on the northeast end of the building, was first noticed about 1:30 in the morning by N. E. Hinch, head of the English department. Mr. Hinch, with other members of the Cheney chapter of the Eastern Star, returned at a late house from an entertainment at Spangle. Soon after retiring Mr. Hinch heard the crackling of glass and noticed the light. He turned in the alarm, but the Cheney fire department was unable to do anything except save the Training School.
Meantime it had been discovered that two members of the faculty, Max Miranda and J. R. Work, were sleep in the music room of the tower. Both men had returned from Spokane on a late train, and Mr. Miranda had invited Mr. Work to spend the night with him in his room in the Normal School. Before they could be awakened the flames had cut off their escape by the hallway in their rear. Smoke from the main entrance of the building began to ascend and enter the window of their room, sixty feet above the ground, which apparently offered the only means of escape. Unable to reach the window with ladders, the men assembled below hastily tore a carpet from the floor of a nearby house and used it for a life net. Into it the two men jumped. Both were seriously injured and did not recover completely for many months.
Before the fire had subsided plans were under way for continuing the work of the school. At the call of the principal a meeting of students and faculty was held in the auditorium of the Methodist church at ten o'clock, April 24, at which time it was agreed that the work, in so far as possible, would be continued in the usual manner. Churches were offered that rooms might be available for holding classes. Offers of the use of their homes were also made by citizens. The spirit of '93 and '98, when the existence of the Normal School had been in doubt, was again manifested. And so, almost without equipment, lacking everything but the determination to carry, on, the work of the school was resumed with only one day's interruption.
Class organizations, wishing to be of assistance to the administration, held meetings and appointed emergency committees whose services were offered to the principal. The committees were as follows: Ninth year, Zelpha Lacasse, Jessie Wendler, Leona Maichle, Hale Simpson, and Hale Stayr; tenth year, Archie Morris, Paul Guhlke, Franklin Stephenson, Annie Hennessey, and Muriel Frye; eleventh year, Milo Ball, Ruby Sharp, Genevieve Allen, Mona Reed and Grace Harris; twelfth year, Binna Mason, Albert Schoffen, Lowry Howard, Cora Weldin, and Nellie Hogan; junior year, Ralph Lehman, Lucile Elliott, Sarah Stegner, Elsie Huser, and Hazel Whitemore; senior year, Ralph Yeaman, Pansy Sweetser, Hester Emerson, Cicely Permain, and Lois McCroskey.
The night of April 24, 1912, was epochal for Cheney folk. Governor M. E. Hay, whoa t that time was visiting in Eastern Washington, was invited to Cheney to address a mass meeting of citizens in the Methodist Church. With him came two members of the board of trustees, Charles P. Lund and H. W. Collins. To the meeting came also members of the faculty and students;
citizens of Cheney, who recalled the vicissitudes of the Normal School in days gone by; W. J. Sutton, who had been principal from 1892 to 1897; business men whose future depended upon the continuance of the school; members of the board of trustees of the public school; others to hear what was said and to offer assistance if the opportunity was afforded. Standing room was at a premium that night; interest was intense.
Rousing cheers greeted the declaration of the governor that he would favor an appropriation to make the Normal School "bigger and better." The governor paid a nice tribute to the enterprise of the people of Cheney twenty years before, when they came forward to save the institution from the ravages of fire and the veto of the governor of the state. Addresses were also made by Mr. Lund, Mr. Collins, Principal Showalter, Superintendent A. E. Clawson, W. J. Sutton, and members of the board of trustees of the public school.
A motion offered by Mr. Sutton, which carried unanimously, provided that the new school building, then in course of construction, be donated to the Normal School until the Normal School plant could be rebuilt. The superintendent of the public schools, as well as the board, agreed to the plan, and E. F. Betz, chairman of the board, made the following offer to the Normal School authorities: First, that the use of the laboratories be given until the end of the present year; second, that the entire public school plant be used during the summer session of the Normal School; third, that the following year the new high school building be used by the Normal School.
With a cheerfulness that not infrequently is born of disaster members of the faculty, students, and townspeople quickly adjusted themselves to new conditions. Classes were resumed with little confusion, student activities were again started, and the class of 1912 held its graduating exercises in the Cheney Methodist Church.
Attendance at the Normal School during the summer session of 1912, to the surprise of many, showed an increase of thirty-three over the attendance of the preceding summer session, while the fall term opened with an attendance fully as great as that of 1911. Faith in the institution was in nowise impaired.
Business men of Spokane at once gave assistance to the Normal by lending equipment to the various departments of the school and by pledging their support to the rebuilding of the institution. Charles P. Lund, ina newspaper interview in Spokane, predicted the day the school was burned that it would be rebuilt in Cheney. A few days later, at a banquet of the Spokane Chamber of commerce, attended by business and professional men of Cheney, the unanimous support of that organization was pledged to the rebuilding of the school. The following resolution, [presented by N. W. Durham, a former trustee of the Normal, was carried:
:Recognizing the importance of professionally trained teachers in educational work, the rapid growth and high standards of efficiency attained in recent years by the State Normal School at Cheney, and especially the benefits that have accrued through its rural education and the development of country life, the Spokane Chamber of commerce takes this occasion to express its deep sympathy at the loss of the administration building and to pledge out undivided support in procuring adequate appropriations for necessary buildings at Cheney, where the ideals and sentiment for normal-school training have been so long and successfully developed."
A telegram from the Normal School student body, thanking the business men of Spokane for their expression of sympathy and asking their support of an appropriation for a new building, was read by Principal Showalter, who pad a special tribute to the loyalty of the students.
The Normal School did not established itself in the new high school building. Instead, the Training School was remodeled and became the administration building. The pupils of the Training School were housed, in part, in the old public school building, which had been built twenty years before expressly for the use of the Normal School, and in part in another building which had been taken over by the Normal School. Beside the ruins of the old building, grim reminder of the past, the work of the Normal was continued. Interest was fastened on the approaching election and the next session of the legislature, in whose hands the fate of the Normal School rested. It was hoped by many that Governor Hay, on account of his friendly attitude toward the Normal School, would be elected. But it fell out otherwise, and it was with some feeling of apprehension that election returns were received, showing that Ernest Lister, Democratic nominee, die to the "bull moose" defection, had been elected governor. Subsequent developments proved that the feeling of apprehension
was not unwarranted. Another struggle for existence confronted the State Normal School at Cheney.
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