Sullivan County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

Sullivan County Schools


Alexander School 1914 Class Photo


Pleasant Ridge School 1907 Class Photo



History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam & Schuyler Counties, Missouri The Goodspeed Publishing Company – Chicago 1888

The Early Schools of Milan - The first school in Milan was taught in the court-house, by permission of the county court, by R. D. Morrison, in the year 1847. It was continued from year to year in rather an unsatisfactory manner, not so much for want of competent teachers, as for want of a proper appreciation among the people themselves of the advantages of education, down even to the time the present school-house was erected. In 1875 the teachers of the school were M. De Hurst, principal, and Miss Eva Barnett, assistant. The number of scholars in attendance in November of that year was 120, males fifty-one and females sixty-nine. The condition of the school-house and the difficulties the teachers labored under on that and other accounts, was set forth in one of the local papers in January, 1876, in substance as follows:

When Prof. Hurst took charge of the schools of this place it was necessary for him to lay planks across two sticks of wood in order to make room for some of the scholars. He now has to carry benches into the house on which to extend the boards and by keeping the doors open and raising the windows on cold days, to give egress to the smoke, he manages to get along. It's evident that our public school is laboring under many disadvantages. The first and greatest need is a suitable school building. The teachers are annoyed almost beyond patience by parents sending requests that their children be excused 1 at recess, 1 at 3 o'clock,' etc." The necessity for a new school building became more and more apparent, and in order to meet the requirement the board of education of the district (District No. 1, Township 62, Range 20) met at the call of the president at the office of A. 0. Eubanks, April 21, 1881, and a petition was presented signed by L. T. Hatfield and 159 others, requesting the board to order an election to determine the sense of the qualified voters of the district as to borrowing $8,000 for the purpose of erecting a school-house, and issuing the bonds of the district therefor, and to determine the sense of the people as to what length of time, if any, the public school should be kept open in excess of four months.

The election on the issuance of bonds was held May 12, 1881, and on the thirteenth of the month the following report was made by the judges of election: " It is hereby certified that the number of votes cast at this election amounts to 117; for the bonds, 113; against, four; for increasing the rate of taxation to 65 cents on $100, 111; against, two; blank votes cast, three. D. A. Wilson, John S. Davis, W. Stanner and B. Jackson, judges of election; George W. A. Preston, L. T. Hatfield, James Morris and R. M. Trumell, clerks of election." June 2, 1881, plans and specifications for the new building were adopted, which was to be 54x76 feet two stories high, and contain four school-rooms, and to be of brick. The contract was let July 20, 1881, to R. O. and C. R. Davis, for $7,000, bond of same amount required. On October 6, 1881, the bid of I. W. Baaye for furnishing the house was accepted, the contract being for 127 desks at $4.60 each, and twenty rear seats at $3.25. The building stands in the south part of the city of Milan, and is a very comfortable and commodious structure, but is now beginning to be too small.

In March, 1882, H. M. Peterson was employed as principal at $90 per month, William Cochran in the grammar department at $40 per month; Miss Lou Roe in the intermediate department, at $35 per month; and Mrs. V. E. Witter in the primary department, at $35 per month. In June, 1882, teachers were engaged as follows: Mrs. V. E. Witter, primary department, Miss Lou Ree first intermediate, William Cochran second intermediate, and H. M. Peterson, principal.

Other Schools of the County - The first school-house built at Greencastle was about 1859 by a board of directors, upon land deeded to a board of trustees by A. M. Dean. The present frame building was erected in 1881. It is 26x60 feet in size, with a vestibule 6x20 feet The ceiling is- i4 feet high. The building contains two room B, with an aggregate seating capacity of 112, and cost 82,000. The public school of Humphreys was taught in a house about three quarters of a mile northwest of the town until the winter of 1884-85, when a four months' term was taught in the college building. During each of the succeeding winters a term of six months has been taught in the same place. For the term of 1884/85, the enumeration of the district was 82, the enrollment of the school 100, and the number of days taught 80. For the winter of 1885-86, the enumeration of the district was 108, the enrollment in school, 122, and the number of days taught, 118; and for the winter of 1886-87, the enumeration of the district was 114, the enrollment in school 128, and the number of days taught, 118.

Green City College —Green City College was established in the spring of 1885, by means of articles of agreement signed May 25, that year, by and between A. L. Pierce on the one hand, and 0. B. Comstock, J. C. Custer, Pfeiffer Bros., and others to the number of sixty, on the other hand. By the terms of these articles of agreement, eighty scholarships were issued, sixty of them at $50 each to the sixty subscribers to the articles of agreement above mentioned, the money thus raised being used to erect a suitable college building, which, when completed, cost about $4,500. This building is an elegant brick structure, three stories high, 32x56 feet in size and contains live commodious rooms: two rooms separated by a hall in the first story; two rooms in the second story capable of being made one by moans of sliding doors, and one in the third story constituting a hall 28x48 feet in dimensions.
Mr. A. L. Pierce, the projector of the institution, secured the services of his brother, Prof. B. V. Pierce, B. S., a graduate of the National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio, to preside over the college, and on the 13th day of October, 1885, the school opened with thirteen students. Before the end of the first term of ten weeks, the number enrolled was thirty-three. President Pierce was assisted in teaching by his brother, E. E. Pierce, and Miss N. E. Godfrey as teacher of music. The number of students during the second year was about eighty.

The faculty for the year 1887-88 is as follows: B. W. Pierce, B. S., president, professor of languages, English history, American literature, higher algebra, civil government, etc.; C. H. Wise, B. S., professor of natural sciences, English literature, higher mathematics and German, and Miss N. E. Godfrey, teacher of music.

There are two regular courses of study—the preparatory, comprising one year of four terms, and the collegiate department, comprising four years of four terms each. In the collegiate department a thorough education may be obtained in the higher English branches, higher mathematics (including the differential calculus and mathematical astronomy), the natural sciences, the Latin language, mental and moral philosophy and political economy. Tuition in the preparatory department is $5 per term and in the collegiate department $6.25 per term, or less, according to the number of terms, paid in advance. The work in the college is systematic and practical, and the students are of as high standing and grade as those attending similar institutions.

Humphreys College and Business Institute -This institution was established in 1884, upon a plan originated in 1883,by which 100 scholarships were issued at $50 each, each good for twenty-seven months' tuition. With the money thus raised a college building was erected upon a campus of four acres, donated for the purpose by James M. Stringer, who also donated one acre to Prof. G. A. Smith, the president of the college, for a residence. The college is an elegant brick structure, two-stories high, built after the most approved style of architecture. The cornerstone was laid Juno 24, 1884, and the building was dedicated September 28, 1884. On the 29th the doors of the institution were opened for the admission of students.

The first faculty of the college was as follows: G. A. Smith, A. M., president and professor of languages and the sciences; W. H. Miller, A. B., principal of business department; I. S. Smith, professor of mathematics, history and literature; J. H. Ellison, teacher of plain and ornamental penmanship; Mrs. Mary E. Smith, principal of preparatory department; Miss Lillie Buhl, teacher of instrumental music, and J. W. Forquer, teacher of vocal music. The second faculty, that for 1885-86, was as follows: G. A. Smith, A. M., president and professor of Latin, higher mathematics, mental and moral science; I. S. Smith, principal of business department; Grace Whaley, teacher of composition, language and literature; J. W. Clapp, civil government, algebra and mental arithmetic; Virginia I. Kussoll, elementary grammar, etc; J. H. Proctor, principal preparatory department, and J. W. Forquer, history and music. The faculty for 1886-87 was as follows: G. A. Smith, A. M., president, and professor of Latin, mental science and bookkeeping; J. W. Clapp, natural science; William Miller, languages and literature; J. L. Gallatin, mathematics; William Hartshorn, preparatory department; A. W. Hartshorn, penmanship; J. W. Forquer, vocal and instrumental music; Mrs. Anna Shearer, landscape, portrait and hand-painting; I. S. Smith, traveling agent The faculty for 1887-88 is as follows: G. A. Smith, A. M., president and professor of Latin, mental and moral science; I. S. Smith, principal of business department; E. H. Smith, mathematics; Flora St. Clair, language and literature; A. J. Cooper, natural sciences, and Mattie Gay, principal of preparatory department.

There are two departments to this college—preparatory and collegiate. The preparatory course comprises two years' study of four terms each and the collegiate course four years' study of four terms each. The studies of the fourth year in the collegiate course are Latin, logic, political economy, zoology, analytics, mathematical astronomy, geology, calculus, oratory and elocution. The graduate from the collegiate course receives the degree of bachelor of arts. The tuition varies in the departments according to the length of time paid in advance, but for a single term it is as follows: preparatory department $5; collegiate department $6.00; business department $12.50. Good board in private families and at the hotels can be obtained at from $2 to $2.50 per week. The institution is non-sectarian, and by the taking up of the 100 original fifty dollar scholarships the building becomes the property of the president, Prof. G. A. Smith. There have been three declamatory contests for gold medals in this college. The first was on May 1, 1885. The medal was worth $15, and was won by I. R. Doneho. The second contest was on February 22, 1886, and the medal was won by Miss Carrie Stringer, and in the third contest the medal was won by Miss Flora St. Clair. The enrollment in this institution of learning for the fall term of 1887 was 157, about thirty more than ever before. The college building will be enlarged in the near future.

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