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The following information was extracted from the book, History of Perry County Pennsylvania; H. H. Hain; Hain-Moore Co.; Harrisburg, Pa.; 1922.  Chapter XVIII.

That a State Normal School was not located somewhere in Perry County is not the fault of Prof. Silas Wright, but rather of the citizenship of the communities; for Mr. Wright strained every effort to have it done.  The general apathy--sometimes even yet displayed towards incoming things, industrial plants, etc.---was the barrier against which Prof. Wright's efforts spent their force, and the project failed.  Looking towards the establishment of the State Normal School of the Sixth District within the borders of the county, the Juniata Valley Normal School was opened on April 8, 1867, in the new brick schoolhouse at Newport, for which $ 12.50 a month was paid as rental.  The attendance at the first term was 141, a remarkably good showing.  Two terms were conducted, the first being from April 8 to June 28, and the second from July 29 to September 17.  The second session had an attendance of ninety-seven; of these twenty-two were to attendants the first time.  During the first session, on May 3, the Normal Echo Literary Society was organized.

Newport not having displayed as much interest as Millerstown, which offered its school building rent free for the school, the sessions of 1868 began in the Millerstown school building on April 8, with an attendance of 140.  At the very first term (in Newport) the theory class numbered forty-one, a number which it always exceeded in later years.  The instructors were teachers of prominence, and beside Professor Wright were Nannie J. Alexander (Millersville, '66), a cultured musician; M. M. Rutt, of the same class at Millersville; Mina Kerr, and Prof. Charles W. Super, who taught ancient languages and German, and who later became president of the Ohio University.  During 1875 Professor Super got a temporary leave of absence from his position as head of the department of Ancient Languages and German in Wesleyan College in Ohio, in order to teach the languages for Mr. Wright.

A list of textbooks in use in the Juniata Valley Normal School at Millerstown in 186, follows:  Raub's and Sander's Union Spellers, Sander's Union Readers, Kidd's Elocution, Kerl's Grammars, Trench's Study of Words, Brook's Arithmetics and Geometry, Ray's New Algebras, Payson, Dunton & Scribner's Penmanship, Bartholomew's Drawing, Coppee's Elements of Rhetoric and Map Drawing, Seavey's and Goodrich's History of the United States, Sheppard's Constitution, Gray's Botany, Hillside's Geology, Quackenbo's Natural Philosophy, Wickersham's School Ecomony and Method's of Instruction, Haven's Mental Philosophy, Hickok's Moral Science, Harkness' Latin, etc.

A 'calendar" of the Juniata Valley Normal School at Millerstown for 1868 follows:

"First term of twelve weeks, opens April 6; closes June 26, 1868.
"Last term of eight weeks, opens August 3; closes September 26, 1868.
"The Faculty:  Silas Wright, M.E., principal; Nannie J. Alexander, B.E.; Mina J. Kerr, and O. P. Wright (pupil assistant)."

The location is described as being "easy of access by private conveyance or stage from every section of the county, and from east or west on the Pennsylvania Central Railroad."  The price of boarding for the session of five months is named as $ 60.  Prof. Silas Wright organized this school and was always its principal, save for a few weeks of the second summer term of 1871.

A glance over several old programs of the Normal Echo Literary Society recalls names of others days, many of whom attained distinction, with a few still living and active in business.  The first anniversary of the society was celebrated Friday evening, May 29, 1868, the officers being:

A. M. Markel, Markelville, President.
Amanda Passmore, Newport, Secretary.
Mina J. Kerr, Donally' Mills, Editress.
Charles H. Heffley, Duncannon, Critic.

On the program were P. S. Lesh, May N. Donally, Mina J. Kerr, and Alfred M. Markel.  A debate was a part of the program, the question being, "Resolved, that human language is of Divine origin."  The speakers on the affirmative side were S. B. Fahnestock, Wm. N. Ehrhart, O. P. Wright, and H. C. Magee; those on the negative side were H. C. Gantt, W. W. Haines, C. A. Frank, and J. R. Runyon.

The second anniversary was celebrated Friday evening, May 28, 1869, the following being the officers:

S. B. Fahnestock, Millerstown, President.
Josephine Debray, Millerstown, Secretary.
L. C. Zimmerman, Editor.
M. E. Haines, Critic.

On the program were H. C. Magee, Laura E. Goodman, Haly L. Kerr, H. C. Gantt, L. C. Zimmerman, and P. S. Lesh.  The question for debate was:  "Resolved, that the crusades were beneficial to Europe."  Those assigned to the affirmative were O. P. Wright and Perry K. Brandt, and those assigned to the negative were Wm. N. Ehrhart and J. S. Runyon.

Prof. John S. Campbell, long one of Perry County's prominent educators, with the terse comment, "It did a good work," expresses the opinion of all who have any knowledge of the great work of the Juniata Valley Normal School.  Dozens of its students became educators, lawyers, physicians, ministers of the Gospel, bankers, business men and intelligent farmers and homemakers.



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