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Brief history of the Vernon County Teachers Training School, 1907-1920

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Author(s)
Weber, O. Audrey
Advisor(s)
Altman, Burton
Degree
MS
Date
Jan 17, 1969
Subject(s)
Teachers -- Training of -- Wisconsin -- Vernon County -- History; Vernon County Teachers Training School (Viroqua, Wis.) -- History
Abstract
Statement of the problem. It was the purpose of this paper to report on the establishment and first thirteen years of a teacher training institution, the Vernon County Teachers Training School, located at Viroqua, Wisconsin. Method and procedure used. Microfilmed copies of the two local newspapers, The Viroqua Republican and The Vernon County Censor, provided by the Wisconsin State Historical Society through the Main Public Library in La Crosse, proved to be the most plentiful source of information for this paper. Interviews with Mr. August E. Smith, the principal of the Vernon County Teachers Training School during 1907-1920, corroborated information obtained through the newspapers. Additional information was obtained through interviews and correspondence with seven graduates of the school's first thirteen-year period. Summary of the findings. The need for some agency to train teachers for the rural elementary schools of Vernon County became increasingly evident after 1900. The Vernon County Teachers Training School, located in Viroqua, Wisconsin, opened in September, 1907. The purpose of the institution was to prepare teachers for working in the rural elementary schools of the county. During its first thirteen years of operation 338 students were graduated; there were not more than four faculty members at one time. The school was guided through those first thirteen years by one principal, Mr. August E. Smith. To accommodate the increasing number of applicants within this period, a new building was constructed. The citizens of three Vernon County villages, Westby, La Farge, and Viola expressed their desire to have the school located in their village. It is the opinion of this researcher that this desire stemmed from the convenience and prestige factors rather than from a hope of economic gain. This controversy existed for ten years until the members of the county board of supervisors voted unanimously to locate the school in Viroqua, the centrally located County seat of Vernon County. It is the opinion of this researcher that the Vernon County Teachers Training School served the specific function for which it was intended; that is, to train teachers for working in the rural elementary schools of Vernon County. It is not to be assumed that graduates of the school confined their work to rural elementary schools of Vernon County.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/46523 
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