history of west virginia schools - Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair

HISTORY Of WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS

 

Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair
1249 Gihon Road
Parkersburg WV 26101
 

   304 422-7274

 e mail   rmackey@mackeysclockrepair.com

Website  http://www.mackeysclockrepair.com    

Tygart School Reunion website http://www.tygartschoolreunion.com

Marrtown Reunion website http://www.marrtownreunion.com/

Parkersburg Viscose website http://www.parkersburgviscose.com/  

Wood County History Photography & Scenery  http://www.wchps.net

For Early Parkersburg History and Old Pictures

 Over 900 Old Parkersburg & Wood County WV Pictures

 

HISTORY Of WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS

 

faculty, and a hundred students. After a successful career of more than half a century it was merged, in 1852, into Meade Collegiate Institute. The Mount Carmel School, after doing forty-eight years work, lost its building by fire and was then removed to another locality. The Linsly Academy was opened in 1808 four years before the date of its incorporation. It was a noted center of education and culture for more than fifty years and from its halls went forth many legislators, great debaters, scientists and soldiers who made lasting names. The Lancasterian Academy was the beginning of the Linsly Institute at Wheeling, still a flourishing institution of learning after a successful career of almost a hundred years.

 

The Monongalia Academy was for many years the most flourishing institution of learning on the banks of the Monongahela river and, in 1867, its property, including that of Woodburn Seminary, the whole valued at $51,000, was donated to the State by the people of Morgantown in consideration of the location of the University at that place. Mercer Academy did more than all things else to mold the educational sentiment of the Great Kanawha Valley nearly a century ago, and forty-six years of successful work is to be placed to its credit. Its property passed to the Board of Education under the Free School System, and one of the present school buildings of Charleston bears the name of Mercer in commemoration of the old academy.

 

In the Martinsburg Gazette of January 10, 1812, Obed White, and David Hunter, trustees, advertised the Martinsburg Academy as a school of very high order. John B. Hoge was the instructor in Greek and Latin and the tuition was $20.00 per annum. The Romney Classical Institute exerted a great influence upon the educational work of the South Branch Valley for nearly sixty years and its property a valuable one was, in 1870, donated to the State of West Virginia in consideration of the location of the Schools for the Deaf and the Blind at Romney. The course of study in the Red Sulphur Seminary embraced the ancient languages and mathematics and with William Burk as principal and James MaCauley, assistant, the institution did many years of excellent work. The Seymour Academy was long the pride of Moorefield and the Upper South Branch Valley.

 

The West Liberty Academy began its work in 1837; lost its building by fire in 1840, but was rebuilt and made the old town famous for many years. In 1870, it was sold to the State of West Virginia for $6,000 and became the nucleus of the Branch of the State Normal School. Marshall Academy was for a quarter of a century the most famous institution of learning in Western Virginia. Soon after it was opened, two boys students climbed high up among the branches of an old beech tree in the yard and carved their names in its smooth bark; one of them was afterward the first adjutant-general of West Virginia and long a judge of her courts; the other became a judge of the court of appeals of Louisiana. In 1850, the Academy was changed into Marshall College, and in 1867, the Cabell county authorities gave its property worth $10,000 to West Virginia, thus securing the location of the State Normal School at that place. Rector College, a Baptist institution at Pruntytown, had its beginning in the Western Virginia Educational Society of that place, which was incorporated March 28, 1838.

 

In 1849, the Assembly  provided that scholarships might be established in this institution, which,  in 1850, had three professors in its faculty, fifty students, and a library of two thousand, five hundred volumes. Bethany College, whose history is forever associated with the name of Alexander Campbell, the illustrious founder of the Church of the Disciples of Christ, is the oldest among forty or fifty institutions of learning of that denomination. Under the name of Buffalo Academy, it did eighteen years of work before being erected into a College. So that eighty years is the measure of its usefulness in education in West Virginia. By an act of Assembly in 1849, it was provided that scholarships might be created in this institution. The Little Levels Academy accomplished eighteen years of work among the mountains and in the valleys of Pocahontas county, and then its property was transferred to the Board of Education under the Free School System. The Preston Academy began its work under the administration of Doctor Alexander Martin, who was afterward the first president of the West Virginia University, and it was long a power for good. The Northwestern Virginia Academy at Clarksburg, a Methodist institution, had for its first principal the distinguished Gordon Battelle, whose successor was Doctor Martin, who came from Kingwood for the purpose;and he in turn was succeeded by Doctor William Ryland White, who had served twelve years when he was elected first State Superintendent of Free Schools of West Virginia.

 

 The Academy building was erected in 1842, and the school at once took a high rank. In 1849, the General Assembly provided that scholarships might be established therein. In 1843, Henry Howe, the historian, found a flourishing academy at Holliday's Cove, in Brooke county. The Male and Female Academy at Buckhannon did much to create the splendid educational sentiment which for a half a century has prevailed in that locality, and to a greater extent now than ever before. The Potomac Seminary now the Potomac Academy still continues its good work begun at Romney fifty-seven years ago. The Lewis county Seminary was so successful that after ten years its name was changed and it was by act of Assembly erected into Weston College. The Wheeling Female Seminary was long under the management of Mrs. S. B. Thompson and was very successful. In 1855, it was occupying its own building erected at a cost of $20,000. In addition to the regular academic course, full instruction was given in music, drawing, and modern languages; the faculty then consisted of seven accomplished teachers. Throughout all the years since then the institution has been fulfilling its mission and the citizens of Wheeling are proud of it today.

 

Buffalo Academy made an excellent record in the Great Kanawha Valley as a. school of high grade, and then its property was sold to the board of education under the Free School System. The Meade Collegiate Institute was removed from Parkersburg to Wellsburg where it became the successor of Brooke Academy and did good work. The Academy of the Visitation began its work at the corner of off and Fourteenth Streets in Wheeling, in 1848, and there continued until 1865, when it was removed to Mount De Chantal, an eminence in Pleasant Valley two miles east of Wheeling, where for about forty years it has continued to train its students for the highest duties of life. Fifty-five years spans its period of work. The Fairmont Academy and the Fairmont Male and Female Seminary did thorough work and paved the way for the location of the Branch of the State Normal School at that place. The Lewisburg Female Institute has, for forty-five years, been earning the splendid reputation and large patronage it now enjoys. West Union Academy did eight years work and the property was then sold by its board of trustees. The South Branch Academicals Institute, the Morgan Academy, the Point Pleasant Academy and others had accomplished successful work and were still engaged in it in 1860.

 

These academies, seminaries, and colleges had resulted in great good and had done much to create an interest in secondary and higher education. Many hundreds of young men had gone forth from them in quest of that learning that was to fit them for the highest callings in life. From the Eastern Pan-Handle and the Greenbrier Region some went to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, or Washington College at Lexington. From the northern part of the State some went to Uniontown College, or Washington College, Pennsylvania. While from the Great Kanawha Valley and the counties lying along the Ohio river, others went to the Ohio University at Athens. Such, in brief, is the story of early educational work in West Virginia; and such with the Old Field Schools in vogue and her many splendid academies, were her educational facilities in 1860. In 1848, John G. Jacob, then among the foremost literary men of Western Virginia, when writing of educational matters, said: Under the General Law of Virginia, which makes quite liberal provision for Common school education, though clogged with provisions which render it distasteful to the class it is intended to benefit, the facilities for acquiring a common school education are good, and where there is a disposition, there is abundant opportunity. West Virginia people had made the most of their opportunities, but they anxiously sought something better than they had known, and this was near at hand.

 

A NEW ERA IN EDUCATIONAL IN FIRST FREE SCHOOLS IN WEST VIRGINIA

 

If we would learn of the origin of popular education in West Virginia we must return to the year 1846, which marks an era in the annals of Virginia. We have seen how the Aldermanic School Law was amended that year and the operation of the Common Primary School System changed. Almost from the foundation of the Commonwealth there had been in it many men who were advocates of a Free School System. Prominent among these were John Burk, the historian, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Martin and James McDowell. The number increased as the years went by and the school men were hoping for something better in education than the Commonwealth had yet known.

Prompted by this desire, a large number of them assembled in Richmond in December, 1845, for the purpose of discussing the bringing before the Assembly a bill providing for a Free School System. Governor James McDowell voiced the sentiment of this Convention and in an eloquent address before it, he, after describing existing conditions, said: "We trust that we shall soon be delivered from this dominion of darkness, that we shall never be contented until every child can read and write, and every darkened understanding be illumined with the benign influence of education. An Act for the Establishment of a District Public School System, Under this title these people had a bill prepared and it was enacted into a law March 5, 1846. It provided that upon the petition of one-third of the qualified voters of the county to the court thereof, that body should submit to the voters thereof, the question of a District Public School System and if it appeared that two-thirds of the votes cast at such an election favored such a system, it should be adopted.

 

Its principal provisions were: That the school commissioners in office in any county at the time of its adoption, should divide the county into precincts, each containing as many school districts as might be thought convenient; that each school district should contain a sufficient number of children to make up a school; that in each precinct there should be annually elected a school commissioner; and that the commissioners thus chosen in the several precincts should be a body corporate under the name of the Board of School Commissioners for the county; that it should appoint a clerk whose salary should not exceed one hundred dollars per annum; that in each school district three trustees should be appointed, who should purchase a site, erect a good and sufficient schoolhouse, furnish the school with proper fixtures, books, apparatus and fuel, and keep the house and enclosure in good repair; that they should then employ a teacher for the school and have power to remove him for good cause; that no teacher should be employed by them whose qualifications for teaching and whose moral character had not been examined and approved by the school commissioners or by some person or persons deputed by them for that purpose, and a certificate to that effect presented to the trustees. They, or one of them, were to visit the school once in every month, and examine the scholars and address the pupils if they saw fit and exhort them to prosecute their studies diligently.

 

They might suspend or  expel all pupils who were found guilty of grossly reprehensible conduct, or incorrigibly bad habits. Annually they were to make a report to the Board of Commissioners of the condition, operation, and expense of the school. It was. further provided that the expense of purchasing a site, of building, renting, or leasing and repairing the schoolhouses of the several districts and furnishing them with necessary seats, desks, fixtures and books, and the salaries of teachers was to be defrayed by the inhabitants of the county by a uniform rate of taxation to be collected as other taxes are collected. To this fund was to be added the quota of the county due from the Literary Fund. All children over six years of age were entitled to attend these schools free of charge a free school system.

 

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH DISTRICT FREE SCHOOLS IN SEVERAL OF THE COUNTIES 

 

The fatal defect of the District Free School System just mentioned, was that it required a petition signed by one-third of the voters of the county before the question of its adoption could be submitted, and a two thirds vote to adopt it. Free School men in the Legislature saw this and on the 25th of February, 1846, secured the passage of a special act which prescribed a system of free schools to be optional for sixteen counties of the State, among them being the West Virginia counties of Brooke, Jefferson and Kanawha. Elections were to be held on Thursday, April 23, 1846, or, if there was not sufficient time for this, an election might be held on April 22, 1847. Do you vote for the Free School or against it This was the question asked the voter. It required a two thirds vote to adopt it. This act embodied many of the provisions of the General Law noticed last above. The Board of Commissioners organized by electing a president and secretary, the latter of whom received twenty five dollars per annum.

 

Schoolhouses were to be erected; seats, desks, and books supplied, teachers employed, and in the schools provided were to be thoroughly taught reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar and geography, and whenever it was practicable, history, especially of Virginia and the United States, and the elements of physical science, and such other and higher branches as the school commissioners might direct. All white children, male and female between the ages of five and twenty-one years, resident within the districts, were entitled to receive instructions at these schools free of charge. The total expense of these county schools was to be defrayed as follows: First. By the quota of the county from the Literary Fund. Second. Interest on the Glebe Land Fund, if any. Third. By fines and forfeitures. Fourth.

 

By donations, bequests, and devises. Fifth, By assessment upon the same subjects of taxation from which the revenue of the State was raised. Such was the special Free School System offered by the State of Virginia to West Virginia counties in 1846. The three of these named in the act Brooke, Jefferson, and Kanawha each voted upon the question of adoption in 1847. The first rejected it while both the others adopted it. Various other counties west of the mountains, within the next few years, voted upon the adoption of the General Free School Law, or the special act embracing its chief provisions. Marshall county rejected one of these in 1854; Hancock took similar action the next year; then Cabell and Wayne voted a proposition to adopt a system prescribed for Patrick county. Thus it was that in 1860 but three counties west of the mountains that is in West Virginia had free schools.

 

A WEST VIRGINIA FREE SCHOOL SYSTEM

 

West Virginia was admitted into the Union June 20, 1863. With the rise of the New State came a Free School System such as the school men within its limits had longed to see. The first step leading to the inauguration of this system was taken on the 27th day of November, 1861, when Honorable John Hall, of Mason county, President of the first State Constitutional Convention, sitting at Wheeling, named a committee on education consisting of Gordon Battelle, of Ohio county; William E. Stevenson, of Wood county; Robert Hager, of Boone county; Thomas Trainer, of Marshall county; James W. Parsons, of Tucker county; William Walker, of Wyoming county, and George Sheetz, of Hampshire county. Gordon Battelle, chairman of the committee, was a Methodist minister who had been principal of the old- Northwestern Academy at Clarksburg for twelve years, and one of his associates, William E. Stevenson, was afterward second governor of the State. These gentlemen went to work energetically and the committee made its preliminary report on Wednesday, January 2'2, 1862, and a most interesting document it was. The amended and final report was made February 4, ensuing. These two reports contained almost every provision that was afterward incorporated into the General School Law of the State and from them were taken the sections relating to education which were inserted in the first Constitution as framed at that time.

 

The chief of these provisions were those providing for an Invested or Irreducible School Fund for the establishment and support of a thorough and efficient system of Free Schools; for the election of a General Superintendent of Free Schools; for a "county superintendent of each county"; and for the election of such other officers as should be necessary to render the system effective. Thus was a public school system fixed firmly in the organic law of the State. The Constitution was ratified, and on the 20th of June, 1863, the statehood of West Virginia began. On that day the first Legislature of West Virginia assembled, and on Wednesday, June 24th, four days later Hon. John M. Phelps, another Mason county man, who had been elected President of the Senate, then sitting in the Linsly Institute at Wheeling,. appointed a Senate Committee on Education consisting of John H. Atkinson, of Hancock county; Thomas K. McCann, of Greenbrier county; John B. Bowen, of Wayne county; Chester D. Hubbard, of Ohio county, and William E. Stevenson, of Wood county. At the same time, Spicer Patrick, of Kanawha county, speaker of the House of Delegates, appointed a House Committee on Education composed of A. F. Ross, of Ohio county; S. R. Dawson, of Ritchie county; George C. Bowyer, of Putnam county; Daniel Sweeney, of Tyler county; and Thomas Copley, of Wayne county.

 

The joint work of these two committees was the first school law of the State, known as Chapter CXXXVII of the Acts of 1863, passed December 10 of that year, and entitled "An Act providing for the Establishment of a System of Free Schools." It was largely the work of Mr. Ross of the House Committee, who was himself an efficient and experienced teacher who had served sixteen years as Professor of Ancient Languages in Bethany College, and later as principal of West Liberty Academy. Under this law our school system had its origin and first years of development. This law provided for the election of a State Superintendent of Free Schools by the joint vote of both branches of the Legislature and this occurred on the first day of June, 1864, when William Ryland White was elected for a term of two years. He took the oath of office and entered upon the discharge of his duties. Thus the Free School System of the State began to be.

 

THE BEGINNING OF THE SYSTEM 

 

Superintendent White went to work energetically to put the system into operation and so well did he do this that he won for himself the title of "The Horace Mann of West Virginia." County organization, of which the State is since justly proud, was speedily effected. Then the friends of education saw that the crying need of the Public School System was a corps of trained and educated teachers, and that the development of the "thorough and efficient system of free schools," contemplated by the Constitution, must wait the establishment of Normal Schools and higher institutions of learning. State Superintendent White led in the movement to secure these and with his accustomed energy pressed the matter upon the Legislature. So much in earnest was he that he declared to that body that "It would be better to suspend the schools of the State for two years and donate the entire school revenues for that time to the establishment and endowment of a State Normal School than to have none at all.

 

Here, as in the field of public primary schools, his efforts were crowned with success, and the year 1867, witnessed provisions made for not only one Normal School but for three, one of which was at West Liberty, another at Fairmont, and a third at Guyandotte now Huntington. But this was not the only result of the efforts of Superintendent White and other school in this direction, for in 1872, three other Normal Schools were added to the list one at Shepherdstown, a second at Glenville, and a third at Concord now Athens. The State Normal School with its five branches thus enumerated has wrought a mighty work for West Virginia. All now have splendid buildings with excellent equipment, libraries, and all that is necessary to the best and therefore the most successful work. The State has spent a million dollars en these properties. Many hundreds of graduates have gone out from them and they have enrolled nearly twenty five thousand students.

 

These trained men and women, learned as they are, not only in the subjects taught but in the best methods and the science of teaching them, as principals of high and graded schools, teachers in the common schools, county superintendents, instructors in institutes, lecturers, writers for school journals, editors of newspapers, anc: leaders in educational progress they have become a vast power, a mighty agency, for uplifting and making more efficient the whole work of education in West Virginia. Such is the result accomplished by a splendid Normal School System a system that is not surpassed by any other of its kind in the Union one in which an army has now been trained, not for war, but to wage the battles of peace, and thus, by breaking down the strongholds of ignorance, to win for the State victories that place her people high up in the intellectual scale. The State University, an institution which in a few years has risen to a first rank among educational institutions south of Mason and Dixon's line, stands at the head of our school system. Midway between it and the Primary Schools are the Preparatory Schools, High Schools, and Graded Schools, the whole soon to be a completely articulated system.

 

 

A CONCLUDING OBSERVATION

 

The solickude of the men who organized the State was never allayed, net even amid the clash of arms and the then uncertainty of the final result of the desperate conflict. Their purpose that which was uppermost in their minds was the founding of a commonwealth with free schools and universal education whatever might come, posterity must be educated for in that alone they saw the hope of the future. The result is our Free School System the richest treasure of West Virginia. Her good name as well as the continuation of substantial prosperity, is entirely dependent upon the initial direction given the minds of the young. Care on the one hand, neglect on the other, bring forth responsive fruit to tell in after years in the grateful form of public virtue and enlightenment, or in the melancholy spectacle of public vice and popular ignorance and abasement. The wisdom of statesmen is never more wisely directed than when it aims to establish the one and guard against the other. Such statesmanship knows that it must act always by anticipation; knows that it is dealing with functions in a state of constant change and progression; that it is molding and shaping that which though incorporeal and intangible, bears direct analogy to that which is corporeal and material, in that it is impressible to good or evil, retains the shape and form to which it is molded, and, in its material powers, presents the perfection of the wise directing handler the distortion of wicked neglect That, therefore, which is the chief source of greatest gratification to all West Virginians and to those who have come to live among us, is the knowledge that for forty years our wisest statesmanship has been constantly and unerringly directed toward the advancement and promotion of every educational interest, and that the intellectual development has kept pace with the material development of our State.

 

That, while the productive energy opens up to the commerce of the world our boundless resources of mine, quarry and forest, which ages of the most active industry cannot exhaust, and while the product of factory, of shop, and forge, together with our coke and coal, and iron and lumber, are taken up by the great arteries of trade and distributed to the marts and ports of the civilized world, the educational facilities of our children and our children's children and the full growth of intellectual life among all classes of our people, have immeasurably grown and increased since this Great Mountain State began her career as a member of the American Union. Those who compare it with the unfolding of the mental life of sister commonwealths, stand in wonder and astonishment. West Virginia has, indeed, been converted into a land of free schools, of culture, of refinement, and of a home life fitted to adorn the highest type of civilized and enlightened commonwealths.

 

THE TRANSITION PERIOD.

 

The year 1880-1 marks the close of an era and the beginning of a new one in The Free School history of West Virginia. Prior to that time the superintendents and educational authorities mainly addressed themselves to the preparation and perfection of the laws governing the system of schools required by the Constitution, including the State Normal schools as a necessary and helpful adjunct to the success of the Free Schools; and the building of houses and adjusting the great plan to the varied conditions of the people of the State. Both the Free School System and the Normal Schools had serious opposition from various quarters at different times, based upon various grounds; and as late as 1877 and 1879 the Legislature had a majority of members adverse to the Normal Schools. The final fight upon this subject was made in the Legislature of 1881, elected in 1880.Prior to this the Superintendents from Dr. White to Dr. Pendleton, were men of long experience and mature judgment, and all educated in antebellum times; from 1880 to the present time all of the superintendents have been young men, and all educated since the Civil War, and therefore mainly in the free schools of the State. The revision of the school law of 1881 was the enactment of the best effort of the school men on the questions of providing for the conduct of the Free Schools, and the Normal Schools in the education of the pupils and teachers of the State at public expense. The frame work of the system, however, was not very different from the original outline of the school law enacted in 1865; but various changes were made, which made its work more harmonious and effective. The provision for compulsory attendance at teachers' institutes and for Normal Schools, including a special provision for the education of colored teachers, was incorporated into the revised school law.

 

To this good work and on this strong foundation many new and important subjects were, after agitation, adopted from time to time; some very promptly and others after much experimenting and many failures. Among those that were suggested early in the era, the following may be mentioned as having produced important results in educational affairs: In the fall of 1881, a circular was issued by the Superintendent of schools announcing that West Virginia was entitled to six scholarships in the Peabody Normal School at Nashville, Tenn. This school is of high grade, and especially adapted to the wants of teachers, but no appointments had been made from West Virginia prior to that time. The first were made in the fall of 1881, and the quota of the State has since been appointed as fast as vacancies occur. The class of young men and women who have taken advantage of this advanced course of training has been of a high order, and a large number of them have had marked success in their calling as teachers, and none have failed to render a good account of themselves.

 

The late Marcus M. Ross, Principal of the State Normal School at Fairmont, was the first appointee from the State at Nashville. The strong influence of these graduates has had marked effect in aiding in the elevation of the standard of the qualifications of teachers and a corresponding help to the schools. Provision for the education of colored teachers was another one of the advanced steps taken under the new era by virtue of an amendment introduced by the late Judge James H. Ferguson, in the Legislature of 1881. Under that provision Storer College at Harper's Ferry, contracted with the superintendent to provide tuition for eighteen persons as candidates for teachers in the colored schools of the State; and, this number was largely increased without additional cost to the State at the instance of the authorities at the School.

 

This arrangement continues to this time, although the State has provided especially for Normal and Industrial training schools upon a very liberal scale for the colored population, both at Institute, in Kanawha county, and at Bluefield in Mercer county, where flourishing schools for higher education of the colored people, both academic and industrial, is now in progress. The small beginning has grown to great proportions. Another new question that was brought forward about the beginning of this new era, tp-wit, in 1883, was the establishment of a Reform School. It was first mentioned in the State Superintendent's report in January, 1883; and further urged in his report of 1885, with statistics and other data. Bills were introduced in the Legislature of 1885, but not passed until 1887, when provision was made to establish the school for boys, which has since grown into such favor and importance at Pruntytown, Taylor county. Several years afterward a Girls' Industrial Home was established at Salem in Harrison county, providing like advantage for girls.

 

 

The most marked contrast, perhaps, between the period before 1880, and the period following has been the enthusiasm and vastly increased expenditure of funds in the later period, for progress in school work; and, the effort to bring all sections of the State forward in educational privileges and attainments, at least so far as a fair common school education could be provided. The period before 1881 was largely constructive. The men elected to office during that period were lawyers and statesmen of long and varied experience in public affairs; men advanced in years; Dr. White, Judge Lewis, Col. Byrne, Dr. Pendleton. None of these men had received any part of their education in or under the influence of Free Schools, and could therefore but faintly feel the strength and pulse of the great machine for education they had helped to construct and superintend for a time. The first generation of voters that received their early education from the Free Schools began to ripen "in patches" throughout the State in  1875, and grew in number and extent of territory from that time, so that by 1880 the new voters who owed all their early (and in many cases, all) schooling to the Free Schools were numerous enough to put forward candidates of both parties for State Superintendent and members of the Legislature educated in the same way; and, after Dr. Pendleton, (1877-81), all the superintendents have been young men.

 

The question of uniform examinations, provisions for which were made by the Legislature of 1903, has been another of the urgent questions discussed by the superintendents both before and since 1881, showing how slowly advancement is made along some lines. The history of teachers' examinations in the State has been one of vexing variety to the teachers and school officials, but has steadily moved forward in the direction of long term certificates for high grade teachers, and frequent examination for beginners; and, the uniformity law throughout the State, in examination, seems to round out the original conception of leading school men on this subject. Another question exciting public attention and education during the period beginning about 1881, and for sometime before, was the admission of women as students to the State University. This was finally accomplished in 1885, and has since been growing in favor as the University grows in usefulness. A more novel yet important educational question was brought forward in the spring of 1882, by the official announcement of Arbor Day in the public schools of the State by the State Superintendent through the newspapers and especially the School Journal, which had been newly established in November, 1881. This idea of Arbor Day had been growing: in the West, and had recently before been adopted by the city schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, where the children were taught to plant trees in the public parks of that city and name them for great men and favorite authors, recite extracts and poems from the writings of these persona on the day and at the time of planting the trees.

 

In January, 1882, Superintendent Butcher visited the Cincinnati schools and learned of the success of this movement, and later was encouraged to proclaim it in the schools of the State, and issued the first proclamation of a State school official in the United States appointing Arbor Day; so it came into existence in the spring of 1882, and has since happily been followed by all the superintendents by the appointment of a day to be observed in all the schools of the State annually. A graded course of instruction adapted to country schools was recommended by the superintendents and generally discussed in the Institutes from 1880 until adopted in 1890, and is regarded as another important advance step in primary education, in the new era. Perhaps one of the greatest helps in the uplift in education felt about the early years of 1880 and following, was, Dy the aid of the Peabody Fund under the general agency of Dr. J. L. M. Curry, the bringing into the State of leading educators from all parts of the Union to conduct institutes and address educational gatherings. Among these may be mentioned, Dr. James H. Smart, of Indiana; Dr. B. E. White, Ohio; Dr. John B. Peaslee, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Dr. B. G. Northrop, of Connecticut; Prof. E. V. DeGraff, of New Jersey; Hon. Henry Houck, of Pennsylvania; Col. Francis W. Parker, of Chicago; Dr. W. H. Payne, of Michigan; Dr. A. D. Mayo, of Boston; Dr. M. A. Newell, of Maryland. These were aided and assisted by our own leading men, (not teachers), from nearly all walks of life among many may be named Hon. Chas. J. Faulkner, Sr., Martinsburg; Hon. A. R. Bouteler, Shepherdstown; Hon. William L. Wilson, Charles Town; Hon. B. F. Martin, Grafton; Hon. T. R. Carskadon, of Keyser; Hon. Henry G. Davis, (now) of Elkins; Hon. W. M. O. Dawson, of Kingwood; Hon. Thos. H. Dennis, Lewisburg; Dr. Isaiah Bee, of Mercer county; Dr. J. E. Reeves, of Wheeling; Hon. William A. Quarrier, Judge James H. Ferguson, Hon. E. W. Wilson, of Charleston; Hon. Chas. E. Hogg, of Point Pleasant; Prof. A. L. Wade, Morgantown; Hon. Geo. E. Price, (now) of Charleston; Hon. P. W. Morris, (now) of Parkersburg; Dr. J. M. Hall, of Ritchie county; Hon. Robert McEldowney, of New Martinsville; Col. John H. Oley, Huntington; Judge Dan'l. B. Lucas, of Charles Town; Col. John A. Robinson, of Keyser; Hon. W. P. Hubbard, of Ohio county; Hon. James Morrow, of Fairmont; Judge J. M. McWhorter, Charleston, and Hon. Archie Campbell, of Wheeling, and many others who are entitled to be named in this roll of honor

 

LATER PROGRESS. 

The growth of the public school system in West Virginia is marked by a steady progress from the formation of the State to the present time. At no time has that progress been spasmodic. When West Virginia first became a State she was practically without schools and schoolhouses, and consequently the limited resources of the undeveloped State were taxed to the extreme in providing even the rudest kind of houses and furniture and equipment. Our record shows that during the decade from 1870 to 1880 the number of schoolhouses in the State was increased 1444, which is a greater numerical increase than can be shown in any decade since. From 1880 to 1890 the increase in the number of houses was only 1257, while from 1890 to 1900, notwithstanding the wonderful material development of the State, the increase in the number of schoolhouses fell to 1102. The number of teachers employed makes a similar showing. From 1870 to 1880 the number increased 1729, from 1880 to 1890 the increase was 1357, and from 1890 to 1900 the increase rose again to 1576, which, however, is below that of the first decade. These figures must not be taken to indicate any slackening in the growth of the public school system, their true meaning is that the material wants of the system were being satisfied in a measure. In connection with these statistics it must be kept in mind that all the while the first rude, log structures were and are being constantly replaced with houses of modern construction and equipment.

 

Probably the best thing about this whole period is the increased growth of the public school sentiment and the development of the true ideas of public education. What was really being accomplished can best be shown by a different set of statistics gleaned from official reports. In 1870 the average daily attendance was 36 percent, of the enumeration, in 1880 it was 44 per cent., in 1890 it was 46 per cent., while in 1903 it was 50 per cent., which, when it is remembered that the enumeration includes all youths between the ages of 6 and 21 years, whether graduated from the public schools, enrolled in other schools or necessarily employed a part of the time, must be regarded as a very excellent showing. The rate of levy for school purposes during this time has advanced considerably, though necessarily these figures approach a limit beyond which an advance is not to be expected. On the other hand the amount spent for the public schools in proportion to the school population shows a marked increase and is still going on each year. In 1870 the State spent $2.70 for every boy and girl of school age, while in 1903 we spent $7.38 per capita, or more than 2^ times as much. During the same period the amount actually spent grew from less than half a million dollars ($470,129.43) in 1870 to almost two and a half millions ($2,393,555.36) in 1903, or nearly six times as much, while the number enumerated doubles itself only.

 

In the earlier periods all efforts were devoted to securing houses and necessary equipments and to establishing the public school idea. Thanks to the workers of those earlier days the foundations were well laid and the last decade or two have begun to garner the harvest. At least it can be said that the later day workers have found a tillable field, one ready to yield more abundantly.

 

THE UNIVERSITY AND THE NORMAL SCHOOLS 

The University and normal schools evidence this later and more gratifying development. Students no longer leave the State from sheer necessity, to get college training. The University has taken rank with the best in equipment and in the character of the instruction it offers. It is in full sympathy with the public schools and the normal schools, and is recognized as the rightful and actual head of the system. It furnishes a goal and standard for every school of every grade in the entire system. The University now fills this splendid mission but without disparagement to former and more limited times, it must be said that the attainment of that position in the educational plan of the State has been of recent years only. The evolution or revolution of the normal schools is best shown by a reference to their course of study as prescribed at present and as set forth a few years ago. In 1890 the catalogue of the original normal school presented the following course in the academic department, with the explanation that "the academic course of study shall consist of two years: Junior year, Geography, Arithmetic, English Grammar, Latin Lessons, Reader and Grammar, Physiology. Senior year, Algebra, Geometry, Bookkeeping, Casar, Cicero, Virgil, United States History, Greek Lessons, Grammar, two books of Xenophon or German. Last year the uniform course in the same department prescribed for all the normal schools covered five years' work, as follows:

 

First year Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, United States History, Physiology, Bookkeeping. Second year Mental Arithmetic, Advanced Grammar, General History, Physical Geography, Algebra, Greek History, Civics, Higher English, Roman History, Botany. Third year Algebra, Rhetoric, Latin, Zoology, English History, Geology, or Astronomy. Junior year Geometry, American Literature, Latin or French, Greek or German, English Literature, Latin or French, Greek or German, English Literature, Latin or French, Greek or German. Senior year Physics, Trigonometry, Latin or French, Greek of German, Chemistry, Latin or French, Greek or German, Latin or French, Greek or German. It should be observed that the above is not the full curriculum of the normal school, but a mere outline of the studies pursued in the academic department. In other respects the normal schools have grown stronger as much as is indicated in this course of study. The quality and the quantity of the work they are doing have advanced steadily and rapidly.

 

Liberal provision has been made for a similar education for colored students in the West Virginia Colored Institute at Institute, and the Bluefield Colored Institute at Bluefield. These institutions, however, are of a little more general character, giving considerable attention to industrial education as well as to the literary and teachers' courses. They have already accomplished much good and have demonstrated their importance and usefulness to the State. The preparatory branch of the University at Montgomery, established in 1895 and that at Keyser established in 1901 have both been supplied with commodious modern buildings, and necessary equipment. They serve not only as feeders of the University but as higher grade secondary schools for general training. They have already enlisted students in considerable numbers to whom they are giving thorough and practical training. It will be seen that the State is now well supplied with educational institutions and that these institutions are at least fairly well supplied with necessary equipment. With the material interests being satisfied more attention has been given to the less material but not less consequential interests.

 

Higher standards, better salaries, longer terms, improved architecture, more thorough and systematic supervision, systematic grading, practical and professional institute work, advanced school legislation, art collections, libraries and reading circles are some of the subjects that show best the real progress of the past decade. Longer terms and better salaries have come naturally with increased revenues, but recently there has been such positive sentiment and effort by our educational leaders generally as to insure practical results along these two lines, and while the subject of architecture has had attention by State Superintendents from the time of Dr. White down to the present, the days of the log Schoolhouse furnished small chance for its development and it is but recently that our cities have made great advances and our rural districts shown a general interest in the subject. The new high schools at Charleston, Huntington and Parkersburg, Mannington, New Martinsville and Sistersville, the district high schools in Fayette, Marion and Harrison counties, stand a pride to their districts and models of modern schoolhouse architecture.

 

Our county institutes are reaching the plane of professional discussion and instruction, rather than that of brief drill in the elementary branches, and the district institutes, recognized by statute since 1901, have begun to be practical and effective agencies, carrying the work to the very doors of the patrons of the schools. In recent legislation the statute increasing the pay of county superintendents, the relationship limitation law for teachers, the optional free text-book law, the compulsory attendance law and the uniform examination law mark distinct advances and have had already great influence upon the results being accomplished by the public schools of the State. While the latter two especially have had determined opposition to overcome, yet they have already vindicated themselves and their repeal is at present scarcely thought of anywhere. They have necessarily entailed some hardships, but the good to be accomplished far outweighs the sacrifices, and it is safe to say that the people of the State will demand their complete application rather than their repeal.

 

THE STATE TEACHERS' READING CIRCLE

 

But nowhere in the whole realm of recent attainment and progress is to be found better results than are shown in the work of the State Reading Circle and in the movement for school libraries. For several years the subject of a teachers' reading circle has claimed the attention of State superintendents and other educators, but not until 1901 was any material progress made along that line. Superintendent Miller took up the work with renewed energy and emphasized it on every occasion and after considerable effort succeeded in getting the work started on something of a general scale. Up to that time a score or two of the prescribed books was all that dealers disposed of in the State. In 1902-03, however, reports from various sources showed that several hundred teachers had taken up the work. Then the uniform examination system came on furnishing an additional stimulus for teachers to take up the work and careful estimates for the present year indicate that at least two thousand teachers are reading the course prescribed by the State Superintendent. That the effect will appear at once in the general quality of work done by the teachers of the State cannot be doubted.

 

SCHOOL LIBRARIES

In the matter of school libraries an equally good showing has been made. The question had been previously agitated and with some good results, but in 1900 Supt. J. R. Trotter designated the 7th of December as "Library Day," to be observed by all the schools of the State. The celebration of library day was a success and many books were added to the libraries already in existence and many new libraries established. The observance of the day has been continued each year since with the most gratifying results. A glance at the records shows how rapidly the advance has been made and especially during later years. The first report on the total number of volumes in the school libraries was made by Superintendent Pendleton in 1877, according to whose statement there was then a total of 725 volumes in the school libraries. In 1880 this number had grown to 886. Tb,e increase continued slow for a number of years. In 1885 the number had grown to 2335, in 1890 to 5675, in 1895 to 7132, in 1900 to 17,169 and in 1903 to 38,189. The phenomenal increase of 122 per cent, in the number of books in the past thre^e years shows how thoroughly awakened the State is upon this important subject, but what the movement will accomplish yet, ere its force is spent, remains to be seen and the future ages alone can measure the influence of this phase of the excellent work being accomplished by hosts of our public school workers, but there is no record in which the State may more justly feel a reasonable pride than in this unparalleled growth in her public school libraries.

 

OTHER GOOD WORK

 

The aroused sentiment shown in the phenomenal growth of our public school libraries manifests itself also in two or three other particulars to omit mention of which would be injustice to the showing which the State is now able to make. While definite statistics are not available, the reports from various sources show a wonderful increase in the number of teachers taking special training, and in the amount of educational literature made use ef by teachers, in the number of teachers who go to expense to attend educational meetings, and who are willing to spend their money to provide themselves with books, apparatus and devices. The school boards of a number of districts are also supplying themselves with literature and making a study of teachers, sanitation and architecture. District high schools are multiplying. A few districts have also taken advantage of the recent optional law and provided free books for their pupils. The general demand for improvement is more gratifying than at any time previous in our history.Both teachers and boards show a eadiness to take up advanced ideas. The request for a celebration of Library Day has met with a hearty response and added hundreds of libraries and thousands of volumes to the schools of the State, while the Arbor Day proclamation of the State Superintendent is meeting with a similarly hearty response and equally valuable results have begun to appear. In a number of instances boards of education have undertaken to try the merits of consolidation and transportation, even without waiting for express authority and county superintendents have not hesitated to undertake many plans for the good of the schools not required of them and to give of their time far beyond what they are paid for, all of which indicates a most wholesome school sentiment and a condition of public opinion worth more in the true results of the work than any amount of mere tangible property however great. The State is alive educationally as she commercially.

 

INSTITUTIONS FOR THE EDUCATION OF COLORED YOUTH. STORER COLLEGE. 

During the last year of the War there was attached to the Christian Commission of Sheridan's Army a young man just graduated from Dartmouth College. His duties gave him considerable knowledge of the prevailing conditions and heavy responsibilities, resulting from the care of soldiers, supplies and money, were his. This young man was Rev. Nathan C. Brackett. As soon as hostilities had ceased the General Government made him superintendent of all schools to be established for the freedmen in the Shenandoah valley and he immediately began the work intrusted to him. It was while he was thus employed that Mr. John Storer of Sanford, Maine, signified a desire to give ten thousand dollars toward the founding of a school for colored people. The gift was conditioned on an equal amount's being raised by others in a limited time. Such condition was soon met and Storer College was a reality. Since this money was pledged largely by Free Baptists, they as a denomination immediately set about finding a proper location for the proposed school. At Harper's Ferry were four badly dismantled houses belonging to the Government, which prior to the war had been occupied by the Superintendent of the Government Work, by his chief clerk, by the paymaster and by his chief clerk. The cooperation of Congress was sought and obtained largely through the influence in the House of Gen. James A. Garfield, afterward President, and William Pitt Fessenden in the Senate. 

A bill was passed by Congress transferring to the trustees of Storer College the above mentioned houses, and in one of these, "The Lockwood", the work of Storer College was begun, October 2, 1867. On that day there was present a faculty of two teachers, Professor and Mrs. Brackett, and nineteen earnest students. From this small beginning the school has gradually developed. It has always been limited in the amount of good it might do. But what it has done has been accomplished with an eye single to the development of sensible, thrifty, Christian manhood and womanhood. For many years Storer was the only institution of its kind in West Virginia and it supplied a large percentage of the teachers, ministers, and colored leaders of this state. It is no less active to-day and the demand for Storer men and women is increasing.

 

THE ALUMNI 

About two hundred and fifty have graduated from the various courses Of these not one per cent, have so lived as to reflect dishonor upon themselves and disgrace on their alma mater. Some of our leading colored lawyers, physicians, teachers, editors, clergymen, not to mention the less distinguished but no less honorable members found in the humbler walks of life, are our alumni. Storer men and women have served and are serving from the highest positions downward on the faculties of a number of institutions of higher grade. Our graduates have successfully completed degree courses at nearly or quite a dozen high grade colleges and universities. They have in a very high percentage of cases been wise, conservative leaders of their people. Besides the graduates probably more than fifteen hundred men and women have attended Storer and been touched by its wholesome, Christian spirit.

 

EQUIPMENT. 

The college buildings named in the order of their erection are Lincoln Hall, Myrtle Hall, Anthony Memorial Hall, Sinclair Cottage, DeWolfe Industrial Building. Curtiss Memorial Church, Lewis W. Anthony Industrial Building. Beside these are the barn, tool shed, corn crib and various outbuildings. Lincoln Hall was erected by means of funds contributed by the Freedman's Bureau. It is a dormitory for young men, accommodating about 50 people. Myrtle Hall was erected from funds collected largely by the Woman's Missionary Society of the Free Baptist Church. It accommodates about 60 girls. In the basement of this hall is the laundry. Anthony Memorial Hall in which is the chapel, library, recitation rooms, dining hall, was given by Mr. L. W. Anthony, of Providence, R. I. Sinclair Cottage, a dormitory for girls, was added to the group of buildings through the munificence of Rev. and Mrs. J. L. Sinclair, of New Hampshire. It will accommodate 18 girls. 

DeWolfe Industrial building, in which the Department of Cooking is located, was presented by Mrs. Mary P. DeWolfe, of Illinois. Curtiss Memorial Church stands a monument to the untiring zeal of Rev. Silas P. Curtiss, in whose memory it was erected. Lewis W. Anthony Industrial Building, in which is done the work in carpentry, upholstering, blacksmithing, painting, was given to the College by the heirs of Mr. Anthony. These buildings have a magnificent location on Camp Hill, which is between the gorges of the Potomac and Shenandoah and commands a beautiful view of the famous water gap. It was of this place and its wonderfully beautiful scenery that President Jefferson made his famous remark that it was worth a trip across the Atlantic to behold what nature had done here. The college has a good library of over 5,000 volumes and about 20 acres of gardens, under a high state of cultivation. The totalequipment including buildings and apparatus is easily worth $100,000.

 

CHARACTER. 

The school is wholly unsectarian as is shown by the fact that on its faculty are members of the Free Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, Protestant Episcopal churches. It admits students of all denominations and beliefs. There is nothing in the charter of the school which places it subject to the control of any particular denomination. Honever, in the support of the school during all its years of existence the Free Baptist Church has given a most helpful and honorable assistance. Had their support been withdrawn the school would have been most unfortunately situated. It now receives support from the same source; from an endowment of about $30,000 and from an annual appropriation from the tate. In return for this appropriation the school gives free books, room rent and tuition to all West Virginia students. Our Normal graduates receive the regular State Normal Diploma, and thus the school is semiofficially a part of the state school system.

 

COURSES. 

The courses offered are Academic, State Normal, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Carpentry, Gardening and Husbandry, Sewing and Dressmaking, Cookery, Blacksmithing, Drawing, Biblical Literature. All students do work in the Industrial Courses, they being so connected with the Normal Courses that each supplement the other. The women students must complete two industrial courses before graduation and on Commencement Day appear in gowns they have made in class. The young men must likewise complete two courses in the Industrial Departments before graduation. Thus excellent manual and industrial training is given and a genuine respect for work and joy in doing it is implanted in our students.

 

ENROLLMENT. 

At present six states besides the District of Columbia are represented in the student body. The enrollment for the past three years has quite rapidly increased. This year especially has been marked by a very large increase of students. We have been obliged to rent one house, the Franklin Cottage, for girls and place several in reliable families in town. This year there was the largest enrollment on the opening day, the largest average attendance and the largest enrollment of women in the history of Storer. The total enrollment for the year will be fully two hundred.

 

THE COLORED SCHOOL OF HUNTINGTON. 

the city was in its infancy. The few colored people who formed a part The colored schools of Huntington began in the early seventies when of the small population had been brought here from Virginia, and with thousands of other negro laborers were employed in cutting the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad through the mountains. The first free school for them was opened in a log house, out on the Cemetery Hill, half way between Huntington and Guyandotte, and jointly supported by both towns. Mrs. Julia Jones, still living, was the teacher. For several years the school ran on in this way and there was little or no change, except the change of teachers, the grade work not rising above the level of a district school. It was not until 1882 that any marked improvement came although the school had been removed to town. In that year, however, a second room was added. Mr. W. F. James was made principal and his wife assistant teacher. They proved to be efficient, progressive, and inspiring teachers. Mr. James graded the school and introduced monthly report cards with a system of regular promotion. Within four years a first class grammar school was organized. He went further and began classes in Algebra.  

But his strength was not equal to his ambition. His health gave way under his heavy duties and after a brief illness he passed to "pathetic lust", bemoaned by the entire community and especially by his pupils, many of whom accompanied the body to its last resting place in Gallipolis Ohio. Several of his pupils afterward graduated from other schools; but they remember him as the chief inspiration of their lives. Mrs. Susie James continued teaching twelve years longer and became known as one of the best primary teachers the city ever had. Her health finally failed and in 1899 she joined her lamented husband. The school continued to advance under Mr. James  successors, Mr. Ramsey and Mr. J. B. Cabell. But under Prof. W. T. McKinney who was elected principal in 1889 the third stage in the development of the schools was reached. During his stay the Douglass School, a brick building of six rooms with all modern improvements, was erected at the corner of 8th avenue and 16th street, and opened in 1893. The building and lot cost about $15,000. A high school course was established. A class of three graduates (the first) was turned out from the high school department that year. The number of teachers increased from three to five. 

The High School course covered two years' work. The Douglass High School has had four principals since then Mr. C. H. Barnett, was principal from 1897 to 1900. He raised the course to four years. Mr. C. G. Woodson served 'from 1900 to 1903. Under him the course dropped to three years. Prof. R. P. Sims was principal from 1903 to 1906. He restored the four-year course and did much toward improving the tone of the school generally. His resignation caused general regret. The present principal, J. W. Scott, has been connected with the high school every year since 1899, except one year which was spent at college, completing a course of study. He is also president of the West Virginia Teachers' Association of Colored teachers. Nine classes in all have come out numbering forty-three graduates twenty-four young women and nineteen young men. Three of these have died, one of whom, I. Leonard Scott, was principal of the Langston high School, Point Pleasant, at the time of his death. Fourteen are engaged in teaching. In short, all the graduates have led useful lives. Lloyd O. Lewis who finished his college course last year and who is now pursuing a theological course, is an especially promising alumnus of the class of 1902. The school has no laboratory but is otherwise supplied with appliances besides a library of 400 volumes, and an organ. There is ample play ground with shade trees all around. The Board of Education is liberal in its policy. 

In 1906 the total number of colored youth enumerated was 490. The present enrollment (Jan., 1907.) is 268. The term is nine months. The salaries range from $42.50 to $65.00. All the colored teachers teach on No. 1 certificates issued by the city board of examiners. The school has always had a strong corps of grade teachers. Deserving of especial mention are Miss Leota Moss, Miss Mary F. Norman, Miss Bertha Morton (deceased), and Miss Frances Morton.

 

PARKERSBURG COLORED SCHOOLS. 

The history of the colored schools is unique in at least two particulars: The first free schools in the city of Parkersburg were for colored children and supported by the private funds of colored men; the first public schools south of Mason and Dixon's Line for colored youth were in this city. These two statements, according to the best evidence at hand, seem to be settled beyond question. On the first Monday in January, 1862, a number of the best colored men in this city met to advise ways and means for the instruction of colored children. An organization was perfected, a constitution and by-laws framed. A board consisting of Robert Thomas, Lafayette Wilson, Wm. Sargeant, R. W. Simmons, Charles Hicks, William Smith and Matthew Thomas was elected to carry out the provisions of the organization. A school was established to which all colored children were admitted. Those who were able to pay it were charged one dollar a month tuition, but those who were not able were admitted free. Among the first teachers were Sarah Trotter and Pocahontas Simmons, both colored, and Rev. S. E. Colburn, a white man. The first school enrolled about forty pupils. From that time to the present, the colored youth of this city have enjoyed school privileges. 

In the Weekly Times, a paper published here of date June 7, 1866, appears the following notice: "The first public free school for the colored children of the city of Parkersburg, West Virginia, was opened in the school ward lately removed. All colored children over 6 years of age and under 21, as the law directs, are at liberty to attend and are requested to do so. Rev. S. E. Colburn, Teacher. With this notice probably dates the beginning of the public schools for colored children under the provisions of the Constitution of the State, a time four years later than when colored schools began. After this the organization formed in 1862 ceased to exist and the colored schools have been under the same Board of Education as the white schools. The last session of the colored schools under the original plan ended with a school exhibition, in 1866, by colored pupils in Bank Hall under the charge of the teacher, T. J. Ferguson. The colored schools struggled along overcoming many obstacles for ten or more years, when, with the appointment of a superintendent for all the schools, the course of instruction was improved, the work of the teachers inspected and the schools placed upon a better footing.  

For some years the colored schools have had, so far as text books, supervision and course of instruction are concerned, the same opportunities as the white schools. The improved condition in the colored schools is, generally recognized. After completing the same primary and grammar course as in the white schools, the pupils take up algebra, general history, geometry, civil government, physical geography, physics, rhetoric and literature. A general review in the advanced work of the common branches is also given, and when the course is completed a teacher's certificate or a diploma is given, as the Board of Education may determine. For several years the High School for colored youth in this city was the only one in the State. 

The first class was graduated and given diplomas in 1887 and every year since then except 1890 and 1892 there have been graduates. The total number of graduates is 23. The colored school building is a brick structure of four rooms, on Avery street, near Tenth. The building was originally two rooms, but was enlarged in 1883 to its present size. As has been stated, the original plan of the schools changed in 1866 during the administration of T. J. Ferguson, a man who was at that time a leading character, not only in educational circles, but in the politics of the country, justly ranked with Bruce Langston, Lynch, Small, and Douglass, that brilliant coterie of colored men who in their day and generation laid the foundation for the enjoyment of the fuller opportunities which colored people of the nation possess to-day. The work of J. L. Camp extended through a period of about eleven years. During his administration there were but few if any of the higher branches taught. He was a man of sterling character and though long since passed to his reward, his work is still going on and he is still remembered by the community in which he spent so many years of faithful toil. 

The Sumner High School, by which name the school is now known, was established in 1886. A. W. Peques, of Richmond Theological Institute was its first principal. He was a man of many scholarly attainments and an excellent teacher. He remained but one term, however, resigning to accept a chair in a university of North Carolina. He has since become an author of considerable note. He was succeeded by T. D. Scott, of Wilberforce University, who remained in charge five years and succeeded in building up a strong course of study . He resigned in 1892 to accept the chair in natural sciences at his alma mater. Mr. Scott was followed by C. H. Barnett, of Denison University, who remained but one year. He in turn was succeeded by John R. Jefferson, of Pomeroy, who took charge in the autumn of 1893. He held the position for nine consecutive years. During his administration the enrollment reached its highest point, and the school was in a flourishing condition. He resigned in 1902 and was succeeded by Mr. B. S. Jackson, of Howard University, Washington, D. C. In 1905 Mr. Jackson vacated the position, which was again filled by the appointment of John R. Jefferson, the present principal. 

A handsome new building of six rooms is now being erected, which will be ready for occupancy by March first. It is provided with all modern improvements and equipments, and will be perhaps the best school building for colored pupils in the state. When this building is occupied one additional teacher will be employed. The future of the colored schools seems no less bright than that of the other schools and the education of the colored race promises as successful results in this city as anywhere else in the United States.

 

CLARKSBURG COLORED SCHOOLS. 

The following is a brief sketch of the Colored Department of what is known as the Clarksburg Independent School District of Harrison county, West Virginia. At a meeting of the Board of Education of the above named school district July 15, 1868, a bid of $1147 was accepted for the erection of a one story brick building to be used as a school building for the freedmen of Clarksburg Independent School District. The building was completed in time to be occupied at the beginning of the school year of 1870. To meet the demands of a growing population, and to afford educational facilities commensurate with the advancement of the present age, the Board of Education at a regular meeting in 1900, arranged for the erection of a three-story brick building upon a lot which had been purchased on Water Street. The building and equipment cost almost, if not quite $20,000. The contract for the erection of this modern building was awarded to Mr. C. D. Ogden, Sr., a colored contractor of Clarksburg, now deceased. 

The building contains six large recitation rooms, an office, four basement rooms, and one of the finest school assembly halls in the state, and it is provided with all modern conveniences. This building was occupied: In January, 1902. The course of study contains eight grades and a three-year high school course. Those who complete the high school course are given diplomas, upon the approval of the faculty and the Board of Education. 1895. During the succeeding eleven years ten males and thirty females have been granted diplomas. The colored schools are under the same management and control as the white schools. The following is a list of the principals: Charles Ankrum, 1870-1873. Miss J. A. Riley, 1873-1874. G. F. Jones, 1874-1876. W. B. Jones, 1876-1878. M. W. Grason, 1878-1889. J. S. Williams, 1889-1891. C. W. Boyd, 1891-1892. Sherman H. Guss, 1892 - 1901. J. W. Robinson, 1901 to present time. The present enrollment of the colored schools is a little less than 200 pupils. Our school library contains 470 books classified as follows: Fiction, 209. Music, 46. History, 80. Poetry, 31. Reference, 39. Science, 10. Travel, 45. Biography, 10.

 

BLUEFIELD COLORED GRADED SCHOOL. 

The school for colored people in Bluefield was organized in 1890, when Mr. A. J. Smith and Mrs. L. O. McGee began work in a one-room log building situated in what was known as Jamestown suburb. Though lacking necessary equipment the school was continued here during two sessions of five months each, when it was removed to the Cooperstown suburb to a two-room building which, while not so comfortable as the modern ideal building, was a great improvement upon the first. The building was surrounded by dwelling houses situated so close that there was no room for a play ground and quarrels between the pupils and neighbors were frequent. The school was continued here for several years with Mr. S. W. Patterson and Mrs. E. O. Smith as teachers. In the meantime a large colored population had settled in North Bluefield and upon their petition the Board of Education erected a two-room building. Here in one room, Mr. P. J. Carter taught, having an enrollment of about thirty.

A little later the building in Cooperstown was burned and two additional rooms were annexed to the school in North Bluefield, but before it could be occupied, that too was burned. The Board of Education secured an old building which had been used in turn as a bar, a pool room, and a court house. In this place school was taught for one session after which a brick building, primarily intended for a store-room and dwelling was secured. This building was very uncomfortable but school was kept here for four years. The teachers were now four in number Messrs. H. Smith and T. P. Wright and Mesdames Lane and E. C. Smith. The enrollment was 125. An effort was now made at grading the school. The following year, Mr. Smith, Mr. Wright and Mrs. Lane were replaced by Mr. W. A. Saunders, and Misses H. W. Booze and R. A. McDonald. Mr. Saunders remained one year and was followed  by Mr. G. W. Hatter, who in turn was followed by Mr. R. F. Douglas. During his administration of four years, the Board of Education erected the present six-room frame building in Cooperstown, and the teaching force was increased to five. By giving entertainments, the teachers were able to purchase for the school an organ and a library of over one hundred volumes.

In the spring of 1906, his health having failed, Mr. Douglas resigned and Mr. E, L. Rann, of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, was chosen asPrincipal and another assistant was given making in all six teachers. The school has progressed under the present administration and is now in a flourishing condition. The present enrollment is 307, being the largest in the history of the school. It should be larger, but many from the Intermediate and Grammar grades are received at the Bluefield Institute, making it difficult to discipline properly and to retain the pupils until they reach the eighth grade; but with all that, we hope to make this school second to none in the State.

 

LANGSTON SCHOOL (COLORED) POINT PLEASANT 

In the year 1867 the first colored school of Point Pleasant was organized, and was taught by Mr. Eli Coleman. Mr. Coleman, who died recently, continued to teach this school for seven years. At that time the school house was a one-roomed frame building situated at the east end of Sixth street. The enrollment at the opening was 64, some of the pupils being grown men and women.. Many years later as the town increased in population, the Independent School District of Point Pleasant was created and this school instead of being under the control of a board of three trustees, two white and one colored, became a part of the city system of schools under the control of the Board of Education of the district, and under the supervision of the city superintendent of schools. The names of some of the earlier teachers are as follows: Messrs. Brown, Reckman, Williams, Misses Lillie Chambers, Florence Gee, Fannie Smith, and Lida Filch. In 1885 two teachers were given the school; L. W. Johnson, Principal, and Miss Hattie Jordan. Mr. Johnson taught as principal until 1890. When the new building was occupied by the white pupils in 1890, the four-roomed brick building that they vacated was turned over to the colored pupils, and was named "Langston Academy in honor of Hon. Jno. M. Langston, one of the greatest scholars of the negro race. 

In 1895 the first class was graduated, the school then doing work up to the grammar grade only. High School studies were introduced in 1897, and since then a three-year High School course has been arranged by the present superintendent. In 1903 through the efforts of Mr. I. L. Scott, Principal, seconded by his two assistants, Misses Hattie and Bessie Jordan, a well selected library of 125 volumes was secured for the school. In the death of Mr. Scott during the middle of his third term the school suffered a severe loss. In the summer of 1905 the building was thoroughly overhauled and repaired, and in the spring following the teachers and pupils united on Arbor Day to improve the building and grounds by planting trees and ivy. Weston

 

Weston Colored School. 

A good many years ago Mr. Benjamin Owens taught a school for colored children in an old church house, then located not far from where the Weston Electric Light, Power, and Water Company's plant stands now at the head of Main street extended. It may be that Doctor Jordon's daughter also taught school in that building. Mr. Owens had at one time worked for Horace Greely in a printing office in New York. Once while he was teaching in Weston he learned that Mr. Greely was billed for a public address at the Fair Association at Clarksburg. Being very anxious to see his friend and hear him speak, Mr. Owens adjourned his school for a time and walked to Clarksburg. He returned next day by the same method of transportation and resumed his school work. George Jones, who afterward engaged in the ministry, was one of the most influential teachers of the colored school in Weston but he believed that there was a much greater work for him to perform among his people than teaching, and could not be persuaded to remain in that work longer. Misses Hattie Hood, Grace Rigsby, and Anna Wells each taught one or more terms in Weston. W. P. Crump, a teacher of ability and influence, had charge of the school for a few years, but having higher aspirations he left for other fields of labor, more remunerative, perhaps,  than that of the "jolly old pedagogue." Mr. Frank Jefferson taught several successful terms, but seeing nothing better ahead than the very low salary paid in the district, he also gave up the work and located elsewhere.  

The Board of Education owns a very pretty lot on which the small brick house for colored children is located on lower Center street in a very desirable locality. The appearance and convenience of this building has been much improved within the last year by an exchange of seats. The old seats were consigned to a bonfire and new patent desks of latest model are now used in the building. A library was started a few years since for the colored children, but its growth has been retarded by lack of funds. In 1898 Prof. L. O. Wilson was employed to teach the colored children of the district, and his services have proved so satisfactory that the board has more than once raised his salary in order to retain him in the position. Mr. Wilson has been offered higher wages, but he says the people of Weston treat him so kindly that he would rather teach for less money and "feel at home," in the school and in the town.

 

The Growth of the Colored Schools in West Virginia. 

In 1862 the first school for colored children organized in West Virginia, was established in Parkersburg by seven prominent colored men. It was known as a "pay school," but indigent children could attend it free of charge. It was merged into the free school system in 1867. The first Constitution of West Virginia, adopted in 1863, provided for the establishment of free schools; but it made no reference to the colored youth of the State. However, the Legislature passed an act, February 26, 1866, providing for the establishment of colored schools in sub-districts containing thirty colored children between the ages of six and twenty-one years. The law further provided that these schools must have an average attendance of fifteen or be closed. In 1867, this law was amended so as to require trustees and boards of Education to establish and maintain colored schools in sub-districts containing more than fifteen colored youth of school age. This law remained in force until 1899, when it was again amended. And now we have the following special law in reference to colored schools: 'It shall be the duty of the trustees of every sub-district to establish therein one or more primary schools, for colored persons between the ages of six and twenty-one years, and said trustees or board of education shall establish such school whenever there are at least ten colored persons of school age residing therein and for a less number when it is possible to do so  

When the constitution was revised in 1872, it provided that white and colored persons should not be taught in the same school. About the same time, a law was enacted authorizing the State Superintendent of Free Schools to make arrangements with some school in the State for the normal training of colored teachers. Graded schools have been established at Point Pleasant, St. Albans, Montgomery, Lewisburg, Eckman, and several other places. High schools have been established in Parkersburg, Wheeling, Huntingdon, Charleston, and Clarksburg. From 1866 to 1892, Storer College, a denominational school at Harper's Ferry, was the only school in the State at which the colored youth could receive academic and normal training. But through the efforts of Prof. Byrd Prillerman, A. M., Rev. C. H. Payne, D. D., and others, the Legislature established the West Virginia Colored Institute in Kanawha county, in 1891. This school was established to meet the requirements of the Morrill act of Congress providing for the establishment of Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. 

In 1895, the Legislature passed an act establishing the Blaefield Colored Institute in Mercer county, with provisions for academic training. In the summers of '90, '91 and '92, Byrd Prillerman and H. B. Rice conducted a summer school for teachers in the city of Charleston. This school was discontinued after the opening of the West Virginia Colored Institute, as teachers were given an opportunity to review in the spring term at this institution. On Thursday the 26th day of November, 1891 the colored teachers of this State met in Charleston and organized the West Virginia Teachers Association. The Association meets annually on Thanksgiving Day. The present membership is eighty. White and colored teachers are admitted to the same teachers' institutes, but special institutes for colored teachers are conducted by one of their number at Storer College, the West Virginia Colored institute, the Bluefield Colored Institute, and the West Virginia Industrial School, The following interesting items may be found in the State Superintendent's report for 1906: Number of colored school youth enumerated, for 1906, 14,765. Number enrolled, 9,874. Average daily attendance, 6,803.   

Common schools 219 Graded schools 42 High schools 5 Total number of public schools 266 Whole number of colored teachers in the public schools for this year, 310. Total amount of salaries paid to these teachers for the year, $71,773.98. Average salary for the year, $231.53. There are colored schools in only 38 of the 55 counties of the State. And eight counties contain 150 of the 266 schools of the State as follows: Fayette county, 51; McDowell, 32; Kanawha, 19; Jefferson, 19; Greenbrier, 17; Mercer, 14; Berkeley and Monroe 9 each. Under the law, teachers are paid according to grade of certificate. The law fixes the minimum salary for first grade teachers at $35 per month; second grade at $30 per month, and third grade at $25 per month. The minimum length of term is five months. And it must be said to the honor of the school officials that absolute fairness is shown to the colored teachers both in the matter of examinations and salaries. If a colored teacher holds a first grade certificate, he is paid the same salary as a white teacher holding the same grade of certificate. If a colored teacher has ten pupils he has as long a term as any other teacher in his district. For in the language of one of our State Superintendents, "West Virginia knows no such thing as black boys and white boys in the number of school days. 

When one compares these conditions with the report of the State Superintendent of Georgia for 1902, the contrast is very marked. cording to his report, the average monthly salary paid white teachers that year was $36.72, and that paid colored teachers, $26.08. The highest average monthly salary paid first grade white teachers in any county of the State was $GO, and the highest paid first grade colored teachers was $40. The lowest average monthly salary paid third grade white teachers was $13.93, and the lowest paid third grade colored teachers was $10 per month.

 

 

COPYRIGHT 1997-2014 All Rights Reserved
MACKEY'S ANTIQUES & CLOCK REPAIR