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Scott County, Virginia
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Reid's Normal School
Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, Vol. 31

Omar Addington

Come September 9, 1997, it will have been 106 years since John M. Reid held a normal school at Greenwood.

Greenwood was seven miles east of Gate City , VA. It stood where the Roadside Mission now stands on Route 71. At that time it was said to be the largest, most commodious and best schoolhouse in Scott County. It was a two-story building with two rooms on the first floor. The partition could be raised to form a large auditorium and two classrooms on the second floor.

The term "Normal School" probably originated from the word norm. Norm means a set of developments or achievements, also the average achievements of a large group.

Not much is known about John M. Reid. We know that Reid is the Scottish spelling of the word. He had a Master of Arts degree. At one time he had taught at Milligan College and had 24 years of teaching experience. He said, ""Concerning myself could be given at length, but I am no stranger. There are many students throughout Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee who were in my classes at Milligan College; to them you are referred. My students are my best advertisements."

Nothing is known of the other faculty members, who they were or where they came from nor of the students who attended the normal school.

The building was also used as a place of worship. Two congregations met regularly. Preaching and Sunday School continued the entire year. Professor Reid said, "The citizens of this community have long been known for their kindness, hospitality and good morals."

In a circular sent out about the school the following criteria were listed:

1. A popular school that meets the popular idea, progressive and up with the times. Practical, economical, thorough, theoretical and thought­ful.
2.
You will get practical knowledge by method.
3.
You will be taught to be Americans, loyal and patriotic.
4. You will be taught principles not books.
5. You learn to be calm, thoughtful, self-reliant, manly, noble and true.
6. All long and laborious methods are discarded providing shorter, easier ones. You will see how the classes sparkle with short concentration, definitions and methods.

For 24 years we have continuously labored to lighten the teacher's labor and enable them to do more work in a given time and do it better than many of our fellow teachers.

The object of this school is to train students to think and investigate for themselves. Every person must stand on their own merits and push their own way through the world. Otherwise they are failures, and the institution that does not impart this power is of little benefit.

We do not claim to make doctors, dentists, nurses or pharmacists, but Reid's Normal School will in the shortest time and in the most effectual manner, prepare young men and women to make of them­selves successful merchants, teachers, ministers, farmers or leaders in any honorable business or profession.

School calendar for 1891-92 is as follows:

First term begins September 9, 1891 Second term begins December 1, 1891 Third term begins March 2, 1892

Holiday vacation begins December 24 and ends January 4. Final examination begin May 18

Sermon Sunday, May 22

Literary exercises Monday, May 23,7:30 p.m. Tuition to end of term must be paid in advance.

Students may enter at any time. No reduction in tuition because you enter two or three weeks after the term begins.

Courses taught were:

Orthography was the art of writing words with the proper letters, according to standard usage, correct spelling and grammar. Arithmetic, geography, grammar, history, (both Virginia and U.S.

History), higher mathematics, civil government, physiology and hy­giene, drawing, theory and practice of teaching.

Instrumental music, musical department: No pains will be spared in this department. We believe in thoroughly earnest work and a careful understanding of the rudiments of music. Particular attention is given to touch and tone, proper position of hands, correct system of fingers and other details that go to make up a good and correct style of playing.

The business department courses include plain penmanship, single and double entry bookkeeping, commercial arithmetic, commercial law, rapid calculation, business correspondence, contracts, deeds, liens, retail, trade, partnership, jobbing, commissions, brokerage, importing, farming, administrative business and agencies, shorthand and typing (the typewriter was not invented until 1872, I would guess

that the ones they used were large clumsy contrivances.)

No young man or woman in this busy hustling age cannot afford to lose the opportunity now offered to learn stenography and typewriting. We use the new rapid method. This system is so simple any person of ordinary skills can acquire a speed of 75 words per minute in two months time.

Tuition primary department 12 weeks $6.00 tuition, Intermediate Department 12 weeks $8.00 tuition, Higher Department 12 weeks $10.00 tuition, Instrumental music 12 weeks $10.00, Full Commercial Course and Diploma $30.00, Commercial Course per term $20.00, Full Shorthand Course and diploma $35.00, Full Typewriting Course $10.00.

We have no boarding hall that students may be herded together as in the custom and manner of some schools. It is a well known fact that the boarding hall is the place for fun and the breeder of mischief. Our citizens will board and room the students for $7.00 per month, thus making school life more like home life and identifies the whole commu­nity with the interest of the school. In this home boarding situation if there should be sickness, the patient can be better nursed and supplied with delicacies so essential to speedy recovery.

A great mistake is often made by parents in supposing that because their sons and daughters are very backward or quite young, they can learn very much yet in the free schools, before going to Normal or High School. In many cases a mass of rubbish is piled up which needs to be torn away before any true education can begin. It is much cheaper and better in the end to send to a good school at first and have a good foundation laid for all time to come.

Will your child be one of the many who ten years hence will lament because he or she are unable to secure position of trust and profit? They surely will unless they prepare for life's great work. Let them begin now and be a charter member of the new school at Greenwood. The first always have the advantage.

How successful and how many years Reid's Normal School was in operation is not known.

The school was called Greenwood because of the green foliage on Clinch Mountain and Moccasin Ridge.

 

Home ] Up ] 5-Confederates ] Kilgore Ft. House ] Catholicism ] Rafting ] Long Hunters ] Dr. McConnell ] Spartan Band ] Hanging Sheriffs ] W.D. Smith ] Frontier Forts ] Chief Benge ] James Boone ] Old Mills ] Whites Forge ] Whiteforge Post Office ] Samuel Smith ] James Shoemaker ] Jane and Polly ] Indian Missionary ] Patrick Porter ] Phillips Killing ] Boone Trail ] Stoney Creek Baptist ] Methodism ] Daniel Boone ] Estil Cemetery ] Scott Co. Names ] Confederate Soldiers ] Drayton Hale ] [ Reids Normal School ] Dr. N. Stallard ] Indian Forays ]