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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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progressive educational views, and his professional spirit have done more for the schools of Story County than any other one personal element. The standard of requirement has been kept up; the institutes have been put on the footing of a thorough course of study and graduation since 1874. Their attendance has risen from thirty-six in 1866 to 190 in 1889, when the session held four weeks. Besides this, for the past ten years, nearly a voluntary teachers' association has been kept up for the purpose of mutual improvement in a professional way.

There are a few schools in the county which have outgrown their early country dimensions, and require from two to nine teachers, while their enumeration has reached, in the highest case, 477, and the enrollment 385. It will be of interest to glance at these separately and in the order of size or estimated rank.

The Nevada public schools began in the fall of 1854, in an old log building, near the site of Mr. S. E. Harrison's new home, and with William Margason as the first teacher. Mr. Alderman headed the districts in establishing it. During the next few years Randolph Goodin, Mrs. B. R. Mitchell, Wilson Cessna, Mrs. S. Stater, Roland C. Macomber, S. E. Briggs and others were the pedagogues. The old court-house and private houses were used. About 1859 a brick was built-now a part of O. B. Alderman's residence-and Dr. E. Fuller and Miss Mary Moore (now Boynton) were the first teachers. During the war, a frame was built in the street, just north of the brick, for the noticeable development of the school. In 1875 it was determined to build a large brick, worthy of the place, and a part of the present building was erected, at a cost of about $16,000. A few years later the present imposing structure was made by an addition to that of 1875, early in the present decade, at a large, additional cost. It has a beautiful, elevated situation in the east part of town, and with its nine school-rooms, two recitation-. rooms, basement, steam-heating apparatus and outfits, the brick structure is probably the leading one in the county. It cost about $25,000 entire, and has a good reference library of 100 volumes, and other general appliances in keeping with a school of this character.

The district became independent in March, 1867, with the following board of education: E. G. Day, president; G. A. Kellogg, vice-president; E. Lewis, secretary; I. Reid, treasurer, and T. E. Alderman, J. L. Dana and James Hawthorn, directors. Among the presidents of the board since then have been G. A. Kellogg, T. Kindlespire, T. C. McCall, R. J. Silliman and others.

Among the principals of the school from 1867 to the present are L. W. Wells, in 1867; J. R. Hays, in 1868; C. H. Balliet, in 1869; Samuel Morgan, in 1870; Mr. Balliet, in 1871-72; E. R. Munk, in 1873; Mr. Clingan, in 1874; W. P. Payne, from 1875 to 1880; A. H. Smith, two years; T. E. Plummer, three years; L. M. Hastings, one year, and L. T. Weld, four years to the present. Among these and other teachers who should receive special mention are J. R. Hays (who excelled as an instructor), Mr. Morgan, W. P. and Mrs. Payne (who were excellent organizers), T. E. Plummer (whose enthusiasm was contagious), Prof. Weld (whose work is marked by thoroughness and scholarship). Among others (not principals) who might be mentioned, Mrs. Mary Boynton, who has served Nevada so long as a teacher, should not be omitted.

In 1859 there were two teachers; in 1867, four; in 1877, seven, and in 1890, eight, besides the superintendent. The enumeration of 1889 was 477, and the enrollment 380-the largest in the county.

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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