Decatur County Normal Schools

The first college in Decatur County was South Western University Normal College, which was located in Garden Grove. It was established before there were high schools within the county for the purpose of training future teachers and to serve as a junior college. At the time, very few students continued their education beyond the Eighth Grade. Fewer still attended college.

As the Normal School continued to grow, an addition was built. Some of the superintendents were: Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Latta, Mr. Hill, Mr. A. N. Smith, Professors J. M. Howell, J. N. McIntosh and H. J. O'Neil.

Normal School

Garden Grove, 1895

Normal Institute

Leon, early 1900's

Normal Institute

Leon, June 06, 1910

Normal Institute

Leon, June 24, 1912
Mary Brandt, Mrs. Frank Mendenhall, Susie Sears, Prof. Beard, Miss Beard, Nora Northrup Gill Lelah Sutterlin, Lineville; Della McCarty, Lineville, Elva Shutts, Weldon, Merle Boegar, Grand River, Marie Baker, Leon, Maggie Daughton, Grand River, Fannie Jamison, Lamoni, Lottie Hauestein, Grand River, Karl (sic) Wilson, Lineville, MRs. Parilea Moore, Leon, Mrs. & Mrs. Wass Beck   Jessie Caldon, Lola Shelton, Ester Jones, Banche Hanner, Merle Crees, Hettie Euritt, Ona Rilly, Sylvia Springstreen, Louva Hanner, Professor Riggle.

The Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, August 16, 1883

SCHOOL HOUSE, LEON, IOWA, Friday, Aug. 17, 1883.

Institute was called to order by Prof. SAMSON.

On motion Mr. HASTY was elected chairman and Mrs. CRICHFIELD secretary.

The opening exercises consisted of music by the choir and prayer by Rev. Johnson, followed by another song by the choir.

Miss ELLA COMLEY then read an essay, the subject being "Our Work," in which she portrayed the responsibilities devolving on the teacher. The product showed careful preparation and contained some excellent thoughts.

We were then entertained by a comical recitation from Mr. FLANAGAN called The Irishman," who surely displayed mother wit in the execution, and not had logic in the composition.

Mr. CORNELL's paper set forth the more modern idea that education should not be confined to intellectual culture alone, but urged that the physical and moral natures should be attended to as well as the intellectual, as "No education is worth the cost, if gained at the expense of health," and, 'tis no detriment to positions of fame, either intellectually or politically, in verification of which fact he cited us to Milton, Gladstone and Garfield.

"A Tribute to Howard Payne" was recited by Miss MAY WILSON. Our minds were prepared for this rendition by the music set to his beautiful ballad "Home, Sweet Home."

The choir sang one more song and there being no further business before the house the Institute adjourned.

-- T.J. HASTY,



  Names of teachers enrolled since first day:

L.D. BROOK, Leon   T.J. HASTY, Leon   J.D. BURNS - Garden Grove
    AARON HAMMER, Leon  


A.W. BOWMAN, Davis City    VIRA BURNETT, Decatur City    ELLA V. CAMPBELL, Leon
J.E. SMITH, Crown    LIZZIE MARTIN, Leon    HANNA MILLSAP, Decatur City
FLORENCE MCKEE, Grand River    J.M. MCKEE, Grand River    E.D. BAILY, Lamoni
EMMA H. SMITH, Garden Grove    A.L. BROWN, Westerville    LIDE F. COMBS, Leon
ELLSWORTH DYE, Leon    Mrs. DEBORAH OWENS, Van Wert    JANE THARP, Garden Grove


NANNY FRAZIER, Davis City    W.G. BECK, Leon    MARY MARTIN, Davis City

Whole number enrolled, 156.

Copied by Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert
January 7, 2010

Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, June 19, 1902


The Decatur County Normal Institute is in session this week, the second floor of the Biggs block, the K.P. Hall and the Court House being used to accommodate the 173 students who are enrolled. The Institute is under the general supervision of County Superintendent McIntosh, and he has surrounded himself with an able corps of instructors. Decatur County has the reputation of having one of the best Institutes in the State, and the reputation will be fully maintained this year.

The term lasts two weeks, one session a day being held from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the afternoons being devoted to study. The following are the instructors and the branches taught by each:

Prof. J. Rolla Cash, New Market
History, civics and Grammar.
  Prof. J.L. Latta, Weldon
  Didactics and geography.
Prof. S.W. Stookey, Cedar Rapids
Physical geography, botany and physiology.
  Prof. R.A. Harkness, Fairfield
  Grammar, arithmetic and algebra.
Prof. J.H. Drake, Leon
Orthography, physics, algebra and economics.
  Prof. Tillman Smith, Leon
  Grammar, civics, economics and algebra.
Prof. J.E. Cummins, Leon
Music and geography.

The following is the complete enrollment at the Institute:

Bessie Moore, Leon.   Hallie V. Moore, Leon.   Rosa Burkhart, Grand River.
Fannie Gardner, Leon.   Lanie Meek, Leon.   Gertrude E. Sylvester, Davis City.
Harriet Kirkpatrick, Leon.   Addie Crawford, Leon.   Maggie Smith, Leon.
Adaline Hoadley, Garden Grove.   Ella Grogan, Leon.   Olive Nelson, Lineville.
    Emma Greenwood, Thurman.  

Chas. Newlin, Woodland.   Nellie Merrill, Leon.   Kathleen Ogden, Leon.
May Owens, Leon.   Bertha Watsabaugh, Leon.   Mabel Bradley, Davis City.
Ethel Gardner, Leon.   Nina Detrick, Leon.   Kate Lathrop, Leon.
Anna Shirley, Davis City.   Pearl Norman, Davis City.   Myrta Howell, Davis City.
Etta A. Trout, Leon.   Cleo Bryson, Woodland.   Margaret Mullen, Leon.
Nellie Grogan, Leon.   Lulu Miller, Garden Grove.   Katie Vail, Garden Grove.
Mrs. E.A. Butts, Van Wert.   Maggie E. Conwell, Westerville.   Ida M. Oliver, Henderson.
Silvia Vandel, Lamoni.   Lucy Ilsley, Leon.  

(The 2nd page is not readable - to show the others of the 173 enrolled.) sorry..

Copied by Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert
February 11, 2003

The Davis City Advance
Davis City, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, May 9, 1901

This office has received a copy of the Course of Study and Announcement for the Decatur County Normal Institute, to be held at Leon, Iowa, June 17th to 29th inclusive. The instructors are Professor R.A. HARKNESS, TILLMAN SMITH, S.W. STOOKEY, J.L. LATTA, J.H. DRAKE, GEO. W. BRIGGS and J.E. CUMMINS, County Sup't., J.A. MCINTOSH, Conductor.

Copied by Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert
November 8, 2003


Page 1, A

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Allen, Le May L.; Allen, Ruth; Anderson, Telori; Alley, Florence Dale Brooner, Ethel Bessie; Brenizer, Harold; Barrett, Vinton; Barrett, Lillie; Brackenbury, Helen; Barrett, Liliah; Bishop, Faye; Bolon, Elizabeth Ballantyne, Mildred; Bentley, Lillian; Bell, Vera Aden; Bierlein, Leona; Beverstock, Wathena; Ballantyne, Clint; Bierlein, Mamie Carlile, Mabel; Cracraft, Grace May; Corrine, Dickey Lucia; Campbell, Gladys; Chasey, Merle; Cole, Goldie; Campbell, Edna M.; Cole, Orpha

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Coffelt, Delta Dickey, Lucia Corrine; Dickey, Lorraine; Dickey Marguerite; Dobson, Margaret; DeVries, Vera; Devorak, Konrad; Doxtater, Violetta Ennis, Bertha Feldhahn, Elsie; Tesler, Gerata

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Gamet, Lora Gail; Gamet, Mabel L.; Guilliams, Ada Hartschen, Oren N.; Hiscock, Gladys; Hammer, Veta; Hicks, Celia, Howell, Lucia M.; Hartley, Emily; Horney, Iva; Hancock, Avis Jones, Eliza; Judson, Ramona; Jones, Vera; Jones, Eula; Johnson, Viola Keown, Naomi R.; Kelley, Loneita; Kline, Florence; Kaestner, Lura; Kline, Vera Evelyn; Kester, Olive; Kaestner, Almon M.; Kelley, Harl

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Leetum, Jeanette; Lasley, Maude Moon, Willard; Martin, Stella G.; Manchester, Marjorie; Mickelson, Viola; Martin, Bertha McWhinney, Beulah; McFarland, Zatha; McKim, Alice; McLees, Marian Nelson, Jennie; Nicholls, Anna; Norman, Velva; Needham, Daniel; Norman, Marie; Norman, Hattie; Nicholson, Kenneth G.

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Piercy, Inez Mary; Perry, Dorothy Roberts, Christine; Rhodes, Belle Smith, Beatrice A.; Scott, Darrell; Spencer, Vena; Spencer, Elizabeth; Stoll, Gertrude; Stemm, Theresa; Sandage, Ruby R.; Stevenson, Vesta Hope
Image cuts off the last entry.
Tapscott, Mark M., Teale, Louisa M.
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  Vandel, Nita Maud Wells, Lena; Wells, Edward H.; Wadley, Letha; Wight, Eva; Wightman, Rosella; Weable, Freda; Wightman, Mary; Woodmansse, Georgia  
Transcribed by Conni McDaniel Hall, Oct 2019.

Page formatted by Conni McDaniel Hall Oct 2019.
Schools Directory *** Decatur County IAGenWeb