Jefferson County Online
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The State of Iowa
State Normal School

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Page 201, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.


Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County.

Chapter 129 of the laws of the Sixteenth General Assembly, in 1876, established a State Normal School at Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, and required the Trustees of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home to turn over the property in their charge to the Directors of the new institution.

The Board of Directors met at Cedar Falls June 7, 1876, and duly organized by the election of H. C. Hemenway, President; J. J. Toleston, Secretary, and E. Townsend, Treasurer. The Board of Trustees of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home met at the same time for the purpose of turning over to the Directors the property of that institution, which was satisfactorily done and properly receipted for as required by law. At this meeting, Prof. J. C. Gilchrist was elected Principal of the School.

On the 12th of July, 1876, the Board again met, when executive and teachers' committees were appointed and their duties assigned. A Steward and a Matron were elected, and their respective duties defined.

The buildings and grounds were repaired and fitted up as well as the appropriation would admit, and the first term of the school opened September 6, 1876, commencing with twenty-seven and closing with eighty-seven students. The second term closed with eighty-six, and one hundred and six attended during the third term.

The following are the Board of Directors, Board of Officers and Faculty:

Board of Directors.--H. C. Hemenway, Cedar Falls, President, term expires 1882; L. D. Lewelling, Salem, Henry County, 1878; W. A. Stow, Hamburg, Fremont County, 1878; S. G. Smith, Newton, Jasper County, 1880; E. H. Thayer, Clinton, Clinton County, 1880; G. S. Robinson, Storm Lake, Buena Vista County, 1882.

Board of Officers.--J. J. Toleston, Secretary; E. Townsend, Treasurer; William Pattes, Steward; Mrs. P. A. Schermerhorn, Matron -- all of Cedar Falls.

Faculty.--J. C. Gilchrist, A. M., Principal, Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and Didactics; M. W. Bartlett, A. M., Professor of Languages and Natural Science; D. S. Wright, A. M., Professor of Mathematics; Miss Frances L. Webster, Teacher of Geography and History; W. E. Burnham, Professor of Music.

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