|Dates of Creation||December 10, 1885|
|Scope & Content||
"Report Concerning The State Normal School at Farmville", House document #2, twelve pages in length.
The following narrative is taken from the website of the Virginia Historical Society, www.vahistorical.org/onthisday/22684.htm:
"On 26 February 1884 the Senate approved an act providing for the establishment of a State Female Normal School in Farmville. Although private schools designed for the education of women had been in existence for many years, this act paved the way for the creation of the first state-supported school of this type in Virginia.
Following the adoption of a new state constitution in 1869, efforts were made to develop a system of free public schools throughout Virginia. State agencies to regulate and ensure the effectiveness of these schools were also created. The Reverend William Henry Ruffner, the first state superintendent of public instruction, campaigned actively throughout the 1870s and early 1880s for the establishment of a normal school to train teachers. Ruffner claimed that the creation of a statewide system of public schools intensified the need for well-educated teachers in Virginia.
One month after the passage of this legislation by both houses of the Assembly, Farmville Female College in Prince Edward County was deeded to the commonwealth of Virginia. With funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the school opened later in the year. By October 1884, more than one hundred students were enrolled at the college.
Other state-supported normal schools would open throughout Virginia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These schools included institutions in Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg, known today as Mary Washington College and James Madison University respectively. The school created by the legislature in 1884, now known as Longwood University, remains a center for the education of teachers in Virginia."
|Year Range from||1885|
|Year Range to||1885|
State Normal School, Farmville, Virginia
House Document #2, Commonwealth of Virginia
Cameron, William E.
Taliaferro, William B.
Ruffner, W. H.
|Collection||History Museum of Western Virginia|
|Number of images||1|
|Extent of Description||1-booklet, 5 3/4" x 9 1/4", twelve pages long|