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After the presentation of this subject in official documents and in other ways, for twelve years, the Legislature in 1849, passed an act establishing a State Normal School.

This act provided that the Normal School should be under the direction of a Board of Education appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board were to procure a site and erect buildings, appoint teachers, and make all the regulations and bylaws necessary for the government and management of the school. Ten sections of salt-spring lands were appropriated for the purposes of a building fund, aud fifteen sections for an endowment fund.

In accordance with this act, a Board of Education was appointed, which held its first meeting in the city of Detroit, in May, 1849. Provision was made for locating the lands granted, and for securing a site and the necessary buildings. At the next meeting of the Board in September, propositions were received from the citizens of Ypsilanti, Jackson, Marshall, and some other places ; each tendering to the State a site for the buildings, together with subscriptions in money. After a full consideration of the liberal offers, the Board decided to locate the institution at Ypsilanti, the citizens of that place having tendered a suitable plat of ground for a site, and a cash subscription of $13,500. The citizens also engaged to give the use of temporary buildings for the Normal and Model Schools, until a suitable building could be provided, and to pay the salary of the teacher of the Model School for five years.

The site consisted of four acres, beautifully situated upon the high grounds on the border of the village-now city--of Ypsilanti.

By an act of the Legislature of 1850, the ten sections of land appropriated for a building fund were consolidated with the other fifteen sections, to be denominated the Normal School Endowment Fund, and made inalienable except so much of the same, not exceeding ten thousand dollars, as might be required to complete the buildings, purchase necessary books, apparatus, &c., after exhausting the amount of donations.

The minimum price of the lands was fixed at four dollars per acre; but the Commissioner of the Land Office was required to procure an appraisal below which none could be sold. An appraisal was made in 1850. A large portion was appraised below the minimum price. Some were valued as low as $1.50 per acre. These, of course, must remain unsold until they rose in value, or till the minimum price should be reduced.

In the same year, the Board added four acres more of land to the site for the buildings, and contracted for their erection for the sum of $15,200, of which $12,000 was to be paid by the citizens of Ypsilanti.

An act was passed by the Legislature of 1853, appropriating to the Endowment Fund the moneys arising from the Swamp Lands previously sold by the General Government, not exceeding $30,000. From this the school receives no benefit.

The Legislature of 1853 also appropriated $2,000, annually, for two years, from the State Treasury, to the Endowment Fund, and $3,000 to

the same, to be applied to the purchase of books, apparatus, and improvements upon the grounds.

But the income of the Normal School Fund, notwithstanding these appropriations, was inadequate to the wants of the institution. At the beginning of the year, 1855, it had exhausted its funds, and had contracted a debt of $2,000. In this embarrassment, it encountered the evils that have attended the first years of every State institution, of whatever kind, from the organization of the State. It was found that the School must have further aid, or its usefulness would be so circumscribed that it could not accomplish half its work.

The Legislature of 1855, appropriated $7,700 for that year, and $6,000 for 1856. This gave relief for those two years ; and in 1857, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the same sums were appropriated for 1857 and 1858.

The income from the Endowment Fund has increased so as to amount to a little more than $4,000 annually, and the appropriation from the State Treasury is $7,500, making an aggregate income of $11,500.

The original building for the Normal School was of brick, three stories in height, with rooms for the Normal and Model Schools. It was dedicated October 5th, 1852, when addresses were made by Hon. John D. Pierce, the first Superintendent of Public Instruction, Hon. Isaac E. Crary, Hon. C. Joslin, and Hon. Ross Wilkins. The dedicatory exercises were followed by the holding of a State Teachers' Institute for three weeks. This Institute was attended by two hundred and fifty teachers, arid was organized and conducted as a temporary Normal School. The regular opening of the Normal School took place in the spring of 1853. In October, 1859, the Normal School building was destroyed by fire, but it was rebuilt and enlarged, and re-opened with appropriate exercises in April, 1860.

The cost of rebuilding, with the exception of the alterations and additions, was covered by the amount received from the Insurance Company. The furniture and ventilating apparatys were not included in the insurance, and were replaced from the funds of the institution.

On the first organization of the Normal School, in 1852, A. S. Welch was appointed Principal. He continued in charge until 1865, when he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. D. P. Mayhew, for many years a Professor in the school, was appointed to succeed him.


Admission. The ages at which applicants may be admitted to the Normal School proper, are, for gentlemen, eighteen, and for ladies, sixteen years.

It is, however, in the discretion of the Principal to suspend the rule in favor of applicants under the required ages, if they manifest sufficient maturity of mind or advancement in study.

Those intending to finish the course before teaching are also received at an earlier age.

All pupils, on their admission, will be required to sign a declaration of inten. tion to teach in the schools of this State, as follows:

We the subscribers, do hereby declare that it is our intention to devote our. selves to the business of teaching in the Schools of this State, and that our object in resorting to this Normal School is the better to prepare ourselves for the discharge of this important duty.

Members of the B class are further required to sign an agreement to attend the Normal School two terms before teaching in the schools of this state. These terms need not be consecutive.

All candidates for admission must pass a thorough examination in the following studies, viz: Reading, Spelling, Penmanship, Elementary Grammar, Local Geography, and Arithmetic through Compound Numbers and Vulgar Fractions. Students may enter an advanced class by passing an examination in all the preceding studies of the course.

Examinations for admission will be held on the Monday previous to the opening of each term, commencing at 9 A. M., at which time all persons desiring to be members of the school during the ensuing term, are required to be present.

Attendance and Expenses. Applicants for admission are not received for less than an entire term, nor after its commencement, unless they have been detained by sickness or actual service as teachers.

Those desiring to enter the school are required to present themselves for examination one day before the opening of the term.

Every student pays two dollars at the beginning of the summer term, and three dollars at the beginning of the winter term, as an entrance fee.

Board and rooms can be obtained in the city at reasonable rates.

Many students hire rooms and furnish their own board, thus reducing their entire expenses; but students of different sexes, who are members of different families, will not be permitted to occupy rooms in the same house.

The school has a small, though well selected library, to which its members have access.

The books are intended mainly for reference, as the regular studies of the course give little time for general reading.

Terms and Vacations. The terms of the Normal School commence, respectively, on the second Tuesday of April, and the first Tuesday of October, and continue, the former sixteeen weeks, and the latter twenty-four weeks.

A vacation of three weeks follows the winter term, and one of nine weeks the summer term. The exercises of the school are suspended during the winter holidays.

The last week of each term is devoted to the public examination of classes.

The regular exercises of graduation take place at the close of the winter term, on the third Tuesday of March.

THE EXPERIMENTAL DEPARTMENT. The Board of Education, in establishing the Model or Experimental School, had in view two prominent objects, viz: to give to advanced classes in the Normal School, practice in actual teaching, and to furnish a course of study preparatory to the regular course.

To attain the first object, each student in every E class is required to take charge of one daily recitation throughout an entire term, under a system of careful supervision and weekly reports. It is found that teachers who have been disciplined by several years training in the Normal department, are well qualified for the work of instruction in the Model School. The greater number of classes, however, are instructed by thorough and competent teachers, who are regularly employed for the purpose, or by members of the Normal School Faculty

COURSE OF STUDY. Previous to 1863, the course of study embraced the ordinary branches taught in Normal Schools, with professional instruction illustrating the method of teaching the elementary English branches ; lectures on different topics relating to education, the organization and management of schools; and practice in teaching in the Model School.

In 1863, the Board of Education made some modifications in both the Normal and Model Departments, so that the programme of instruction in the Normal School was made to comprise two courses of study, and the Model or Experimental School was graded in four distinct Departments. The course of study pursued in the Normal School is as follows:

Normal Training Course.

First Term.- A Class. 1. Concrete Arithmetic; Mental and Practical Arithmetic. 2. Object Lessons in Geography; Synthetical Geography and Map Drawing. 3. Drawing of Lines, Plane and Solid Geometrical Figures and Leaf Forms.

4. Reading, Spelling by object lessons, Penmanship, Composition by object lessons, Elementary Philosophy.

Second Term.B Class. 1. Higher Arithmetic, Method of Teaching Arithmetic. 2. Synthetical Grammar, Composition. 3. Drawing of Fruits, Flowers and Animals. 4. Elocution, Vocal Music, with method of Teaching it.

Third Term.- Class. 1. Analytical Grammar, with method of Teaching. 2. Physical Geography, with method of Teaching.

3. Object Lessons in Common Things, Colors, Geometrical Figures, Botany, Zoology and Properties of Bodies. Lectures on Primary Teaching. 4. Attendance and Practice in Experimental School.

The Higher Normal Course. Algebra, Geometry, Natural Philosophy, Botany, Chemistry; Latin and Greek (for young men), Latin and German or French (for young ladies), Intellectual Philosophy and Vocal Music, Lectures on the numerous topics embraced under the Laws of Development, the Philosophy of Instruction, and the Organization and Management of Graded Schools.


Primary Department. First Grade Facts in Natural Science; Primary Colors; Botany-Trees, Shrubs, Bushes, Vines, Flowers, Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds; Physiology-Human Body; Natural Philosophy-Air, Water, Rain, Snow, Hail, Vapor, Steam, Dew, Fog, Cloud, Sun, Moon, Stars; Mathematics—Counting by Objects, Time Table, Drawing Straight Lines; Language-Words, Things before Names, Moral Stories, Concert Verses, Gymnastics and Singing.

Second Grade. Botany Continued-Simple Leaf Forms and Flower Forms; Trees and Wood; Zoology-Animal

, Mammals; 1, Two Handed; 2, Four Handed; 3, Flesh-Eating; 4, Cud-Chewing; 5, Thick-Skinned; 6, Gnawers ; Color, Form, Size, Habits, Food, Uses and Speed of Domestic Animals ; Natural Philosophy-Color, Scale of Tints and Shades of Primary Simple Properties of Matter; Mathematics—Counting by Objects, Addition, Long Measure by Objects, Drawing Angles and Plane Figures ; Language-Webb's Primary Reader, Sounds of Vowels, Combination with Consonants, Moral Stories, ConJert Verses, Maxims, &c., Singing and Gymnastics.

Third Grade. Botany Continued--Leaf and Flower Forms, Compound Leaves, Parts of the Flower, Root Forms; Zoology-Birds—1, Flesb-Eaters, 2, Perchers; 3, Climbers; 4, Scratchers; 5, Waders; 6, Swimmers; Natural Philosophy—Simple Experiments, Secondary Colors; Mathematics—Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Tables by Objects, Analysis of Numbers, Drawing Plane Figures, Table of Miscellaneous Things; Language-Webb's First Reader finished, Spelling by Sound, Concert Verses, Singing.

Intermediate. First Grade. Robinson's Rudiments to Fractions; Natural Philosophy by Objects; Second Reader, 45 pages ; Spelling and Definitions; Elementary Geography begun; Singing.

Second Grade. Robinson's Rudiments finished ; Swift's Natural Philosophy entire; Geography continued; Second Reader; Spelling and Definitions.

Third Grade. Davies' Arithmetic to Decimals; Wood's Object Lessons ; Botany, Elementary Geography finished; Third Reader, Spelling, Singing, &c.

Grammar School. First Grade. Sill's Synthesis, Davies' Arithmetic continued, Fourth Reader, Spelling, Composition, Declamation, Penmanship, Book-keeping, Drawing, Vocal Music, Physical Geography.

Second Grade. Analysis, Arithmetic finished, Zoology, Reading, Spelling, Composition, Declamation, Penmanslıip, Book-keeping, Vocal Music, Physical Geography.

Third Grade. History, Entomology, Algrebra begun, Latin or German, Composition, Map Drawing, with Geography.

High School. First Grade. Algebra finished, Latin, German or French, Botany (summer term), Physical Geography.

Second Grade. Physiology and Astronomy, Geometry begun, Latin, German or French, Composition.

Third Grade. Chemistry, Geometry, Rhetoric, Latin, German or French.

There are Teachers' Classes connected with many of the Union schools and academies of Michigan, in which teachers are educated for the schools in the vicinity of these institutions.


The whole number of graduates from the organization of the school until 1867, was 192, of whom 82 per cent. had taught one year or more, 74 per cent two years or more, and 63 per cent. most of the time since graduating. The average length of time those had taught who graduated before 1863, and were teaching in 1866, was eight years. Forty-seven per cent. of the graduates were still teaching in 1866. The State Board of Education, in one of their last reports, say:

" The Normal School continues in its course of eminent usefulness and success. The value of this school to the State cannot be easily estimated. Besides all it accomplishes in the matter of training teachers for the public schools, the good it does by the exhibition it affords of a school almost perfect in its organization and work, and the general stimulation it lends to the general study of educational science and art are producing marked and valuable results throughout our entire school system.”

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