Thursday, April 20, 2017

Local Research History Project: ALBION STATE NORMAL SCHOOL: 1893-1951

History 4423: History of Idaho
Idaho State University



     Prior to the Normal Schools established in Idaho, school teachers came from out of state or were untrained and unlicensed to work with children. According to the Albion Historical Society, “In 1890, when Idaho became a state the Federal Government had seen the need for better trained teachers. Part of the Federal Land Grant money to newly formed states was to establish Normal schools.”[1] At the time, Albion was Cassia County’s Seat; as well as, Idaho’s South-Central center of population. Local residents actively lobbied legislature to have a public institution of higher learning built in their town. Albion State Normal School in its prime trained most of the school teachers in Southern Idaho; playing a vital role in Idaho’s education from its beginning, the end, and beyond.
     The beginning of Albion State Normal School was first brought on by a bill, according to an article published in The Salt Lake Herald January 10, 1893 “In the senate today Mr. Miller, of Cassia, introduced a bill to establish a state normal school at Albion.”[2] The same newspaper reported March 2, 1893, “The Albion normal school bill passed the house today and now goes on to the governor.”[3] No report within the newspapers that the governor approved the bill; however, many resources shared Albion State Normal School bill passed on March 7, 1893.
     Although the citizens of Albion received the approval to build a school, Evin Filby wrote on South Fork Companion, “The Act required that land be donated as a site for the school and did not appropriate any funds for construction.”[4] No requirement seemed to be too large for the residents of Cassia County, determined to have a normal school in Albion. Wood River Times reported on April 4, 1893, “The citizens of Albion have subscribed $3000, and promised $2000 more, toward building the Albion Normal School.”[5] In addition, Twin Falls Times-News shared one of Albion’s pioneers, “State Senator J.E. Miller donated 5 acres for the campus”[6] in an article entitled Hidden History: The Albion Normal School. Albion Historical Society stated, “volunteers drew up the plans for a rock structure and signed up many volunteer laborers.”[7] Nine months later, The Salt Lake Herald reported,
the rafters up and begins to look like a nice, neat, and imposing structure. There are several men at work and only a short time will elapse till it is completed. We are proud of the structure, and we anticipate the future greatness with grim satisfaction.[8]

A short time it was, working through the blistery cold winter months, the much-anticipated day arrived. According to January 13, 1894 Caldwell Tribune, “The dedication and opening of the Albion State Normal School, which took place on the 8th marks an educational epoch in Idaho.”[9] In news items from ISU Marketing and Communications it is stated that, “Reverend Charles Lyles voluntarily taught twenty-three students”[10] in the building constructed by volunteers on donated land. Therefore, it is the beginning of teacher education in Idaho with the opening of the doors on September 11, 1894[11].    Albion State Normal School centered training exclusively toward teachers. Offering “one to three years of training to teach or four years to earn a lifetime certificate.”[12] The Caldwell Tribune provided the following,
Tuition is free for teachers and nominal for all… Teachers wishing to qualify themselves to raise the grade of their certificates in county or state can do so at Albion and at the same time establish themselves in a pedagogical course leading to a life diploma and state certificate.[13]

A majority of the students were “drawn from the farms and small towns of the surrounding counties,”[14] this caused trouble for this newly built institution. The students were not prepared for this level of training upon admission to the program. According to Filby, “the institution had to provide a considerable array of high school classes.”[15]
     The funds, construction, and land were all gathered by the local citizens of Cassia County; this spoke extremely well for this devoted community. It is expected, according to The Caldwell Tribune, “the legislature will, no doubt, supplement their effort by liberal appropriation.”[16] Indeed it was, January 19, 1896 Coeur d’ Alene Press accounted, “a bill was introduced providing for a bond issue of $114,000, the proceeds to be equally divided between the Lewiston and the Albion Normal Schools.”[17] These funds were to be used to “erect additional buildings and the state to be reimbursed from the sale of lands set aside for the schools.”[18] The Salt Lake Herald stated on February 17, 1895, “ Mr. Miller’s bill passed the House of Representatives authorizing the school with a $75,000 bond with a unanimous vote.[19] When the funds were acquired they were used for “an administration building and a men’s dormitory .”[20] Over the years, “the campus expanded adding a women’s dormitory and several other facilities”[21] according to South Fork Companion writer Evin Filby.
     Student population increased little by little from 1895 to 1930, The Coeur d’ Alene Press reported on January 26, 1895, “the second term of the normal school at Albion will open January 30, with the addition of a fourth teacher and new classes and several new pupils.”[22] The Caldwell Tribune says, “No school in the state can offer better advantages in instruction.”[23] In addition to the fine school that has opportunities of instruction, the institution provides “the best pedagogical library in the West and an excellent general library.”[24], according to The Caldwell Tribune. The administration and teachers were seeking to create the best normal schools in the United States. Within the first year, student population increased to 78 and the institution began to see the attention that it deserved.  South Fork Companion stated, “that the need for teachers was so great that the school thrived.”[25]  The school thrived within the classroom with teachers; as well as within the community with the townsfolk. May 1899, The Caldwell Tribune reported, “the normal school appears to be the social center of Albion, there seems to be no end of the functions in connection with it.”[26]
       Student population and government funds dwindled during the Great Depression. Albion stayed fully functional, as ISU Headlines reported, “by putting the students to work at school jobs, such as maintenance, construction, general services and food preparation.”[27] However, student census resumed to consistent growth in the late 1930s.
     In the mid-1940’s, after World War II, men and women who served in the war returned and found themselves in need of a different type of school, one providing more than just a teaching career.  At this time, most states were leading in four-year university programs, including education; there were only five normal schools left in the United States.  In 1947, Idaho half-heartedly allowed accreditation to Albion Normal School to a four-year program and renamed the institution Southern Idaho College of Education (SICE).  Lewiston Normal School became Northern Idaho College of Education (NICE). The institution now had the opportunity to provide a baccalaureate degree.[28]
     The newspapers reported there to be as much passion in the ending as there was in the beginning of Albion State Normal School. According to Twin Falls Times News, in 1951, newly appointed, Republican Governor Len B Jordan suggested closing both Albion and Lewiston Normal Schools [29], now SICE and NICE. This was not taken lightly by those in and out of government the article explained, many were left confused as "Jordan never mentioned it in his campaigns at all so his rationale, at the time as well as now, is not all that clear. Cost-cutting?”[30] There was a lot of substantial disapproval of this decision; however, according to the South Fork Companion, “SICE – once Albion State Normal School – held its final commencement exercise. The school had made an indispensable contribution to Idaho education, but it was doomed by its relatively isolated location.”[31] When the doors officially closed in both SICE and NICE institutions, their “responsibilities were transferred to Idaho State College (now Idaho State University) in Pocatello.”[32] stated ISU Headlines.
     Over the years, Albion State Normal School presented “approximately 6,460 degrees.”[33] ISU Special Collections shared, “One of these degrees, created a teacher named Terrell H. Bell. Bell was appointed United States Secretary of Education in 1981 under the Reagan Administration.”[34]
     Today, Idaho State University College of Education, “continues the tradition of the preparation of teacher educators and has strengthened its delivery of services by growing graduate programs, which prepare professional educators and leaders,”[35] published on ISU Headlines. The website shared,
Most recently in September 2006, the College of Education’s north wing was named Albion Hall in recognition of the achievements and legacy of Albion State Normal School (1893-1951). The dedication was a memorable event for those who attended and an opportunity to revisit the location … where the tradition of preparing professional educators began.[36]

     In conclusion, Albion State Normal School played a vital role in Idaho’s education from its beginning, to the end, and evidence of its training is even found beyond the closed doors.

Bibliography


"Albion State Normal School. Idaho State University." ISU Library. Special Collections.
http://www.isu.edu/library/miscellaneous/specialcollections/albion-state-normal
school/.

"Albion Historical Society 1871, 1890." Albion Historical Society.
http://www.albionidahohistory.org.

Crump, Steve. "When a Popular Governor Killed Albion's Teachers College. Editorial
Magicvalley.com." Twin Falls Times-News.
http://magicvalley.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_bdd8a36a-c3f4-5ce5
af32a8cb927e6c0e.html.

Filby, Evin. "Legislature Authorizes Albion State Normal School." South Fork
Companion. http://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/2017/03/legislature
authorizes-albion-state.html

"ISU College of Education to Celebrate Its 50th Year Sept. 10-11." ISU Headlines
News Items from ISU Marketing and Communications. http://headlines.isu.edu/?p=1406#more-1406.

Matthews, Mychel. "Hidden History: The Albion Normal School." Twin Falls
Times-News. July 3, 2014. http://magicvalley.com/news/local/hidden        history-the-albion-normal-school/article_f3acd545-ac95-50a3-a3fe
ca987ce64477.html.

"The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, January
13, 1894." Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1894-01-13/ed-1/seq-5/.

"The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, January 25, 1896."
Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1896-01-25/ed-1/seq-4/.

"The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, February 05,
1898." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1898-02-05/ed-1/seq-1/.

Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1899-05-27/ed-1/seq-1/.

"The Coeur D'Alene Press. (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) 1892-1907, January 19, 1895."
Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88056095/1895-01-19/ed-1/seq-3/.

"The Coeur D'Alene Press. (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) 1892-1907, January 26, 1895."
Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88056095/1895-01-26/ed-1/seq-3/.

Chronicling America Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-01
10/ed-1/seq-1/.

"The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909.” March 02, 1893.
Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-03-02/ed-1/seq-1/.

"The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909. November 18, 1893, Page
5." Chronicling America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-11-18/ed-1/seq-5/.

"The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909, February 17, 1895." Chronicling
America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1895-02-17/ed-1/seq-1/.

"Wood River Times. (Hailey, Idaho) 1882-1915, April 04, 1893." Chronicling
America. Library of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091172/1893-04-04/ed-1/seq-3/.




[1] “Albion Historical Society 1871." Albion Historical Society. http://www.albionidahohistory.org/1871/.

[2] "The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909.” January 10, 1893. Chronicling America Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-0110/ed-1/seq-1/.

[3] "The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909.” March 02, 1893. Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-03-02/ed-1/seq-1/.

[4] Filby, Evin. "Legislature Authorizes Albion State Normal School." South Fork Companion. http://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/2017/03/legislature-authorizes-albion-state.html.

[5] "Wood River Times. (Hailey, Idaho) 1882-1915, April 04, 1893." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091172/1893-04-04/ed-1/seq-3/.

[6] Matthews, Mychel. "Hidden History: The Albion Normal School." Twin Falls Times-News. July 3, 2014. http://magicvalley.com/news/local/hidden-history-the-albion-normal-school/article_f3acd545-ac95-50a3-a3fe-ca987ce64477.html.

[7] Ibid, “1890.”

[8] "The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909. November 18, 1893, Page 5." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1893-11-18/ed-1/seq-5/.

[9] "The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, January 13, 1894." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1894-01-13/ed-1/seq-5/.

[10] "ISU College of Education to Celebrate Its 50th Year Sept. 10-11." ISU Headlines – News Items from ISU Marketing and Communications. http://headlines.isu.edu/?p=1406#more-1406.

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid, Matthews. Twin Falls Times – News

[13] "The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, January 25, 1896." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1896-01-25/ed-1/seq-4/.

[14] "Albion State Normal School. Idaho State University." ISU Library. Special Collections. http://www.isu.edu/library/miscellaneous/specialcollections/albion-state-normal-school/.

[15] Ibid. Filby. South Fork Companion

[16] Ibid

[17] "The Coeur D'Alene Press. (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) 1892-1907, January 19, 1895." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88056095/1895-01-19/ed-1/seq-3/.

[18] Ibid

[19] "The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah) 1870-1909, February 17, 1895." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1895-02-17/ed-1/seq-1/.

[20] Ibid. Filby. South Fork Companion.

[21] Ibid.

[22] "The Coeur D'Alene Press. (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) 1892-1907, January 26, 1895." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88056095/1895-01-26/ed-1/seq-3/.

[23] Ibid. Caldwell Tribune. January 25, 1896

[24] "The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, February 05, 1898." Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86091092/1898-02-05/ed-1/seq-1/.

[25] Ibid. Filby. South Fork Companion

[26] "The Caldwell Tribune. (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928, May 27. 1899."

[27] Ibid ISU Headlines.
[28] Ibid. Twin Falls Times- News

[29] Crump, Steve. "When a Popular Governor Killed Albion's Teachers College. Editorial Magicvalley.com." Twin Falls Times-News. http://magicvalley.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_bdd8a36a-c3f4-5ce5-af32-a8cb927e6c0e.html.

[30] Ibid

[31] Ibid. Filby. South Fork Companion

[32] Ibid. ISU Headlines.
[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid. ISU Special Collections.

[35] Ibid. ISU Headlines

[36] Ibid 

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