The present public school edifice of Gallatin is a fine brick building, its exterior giving it a handsome appearance, and on the inside it is most conveniently arranged for school purposes.
The building was erected in 1872, at a cost of some $12,500, without furniture. The structure was put up under contract, the latter being let June 15, 1871, to A. F. Ely for the sum of $11,000. This included all but heating and the bell work. The contract for the heating was let to Lester, Heron, Smith & Co., of Chicago, for $800. They were the only bidders in that department. What the bell work cost is not stated, but the $12,500 above mentioned placed the school-building ready to receive its furniture. It has stood the test of time, and at this writing is an imposing structure, showing very little of the effect of ten years exposure to the weather.
The school is graded and there are four departments, being the High School, Grammar; Intermediate and Primary, the latter at this time being divided into first and second primary departments.
Report of 1873
A board of education manages the affairs of the school, numbering six in all: William M. Bostaph, Amos Poe, Richard Haynes, William McDowell, Alexander M. Irving and John Conover composed the board; William M. Bostaph, president; John Conover, secretary; and Alexander M. Irving, treasurer.
The number of children of school age in Gallatin in 1873 were, white, 280 and colored, 51; giving a total of 331. The colored pupils have a separate school. There was in the year 1873 four teachers employed, with salaries as follows: A. C. Burbank, principal and teacher of high school; salary, $850. Mrs. Mary E. Swisher, teacher of the grammar school; salary, $450. Mrs. Nellie Weston, teacher of the intermediate department; salary, $400. Mrs.. Ella Wynn, teacher of the primary department; salary, $400.
The School in 1881
The school has been in successful operation ever since and has achieved quite a reputation as a thorough educational institute. There have been more or less changes in the membership of the board of education from year to year, but the school has always been fortunate in having earnest workers and practical men upon the board. That the school has been con-ducted with enlightened zeal, and in a popular and practical way is well, known, as the standing of the school proves. The educational facilities have been kept up to meet the demand of the citizens who have an earnest desire to give their children all the advantages of a thorough education. The enumeration for the present year is as follows:
Number of white males between the ages of 6 and 20 206 .
Number of white females between the ages of 6 and 20 187-393
Number of colored males between the ages of 6 and 20 : 32
Number of colored females between the ages of 6 and 20 48- 80
The staff of teachers is an exceptionally good one, all being proficient and with a pride in their calling which has given them the high reputation they bear. The following are their names, etc.: D. M. Ferguson, principal and teacher of high school-salary, $720; S. S. Snyder, teacher of the grammar school-salary, $360; Miss Nellie Seaman, teacher of the intermediate department-salary, $280; Miss Ida Buchols, teacher of the first primary department salary, $240; Miss Mollie Earl, teacher of the second primary department–salary, $220.
The present board of education is composed of the following named gentlemen : T. B. Yates, J. F. Hicklin, William M. Bostaph, H. C. McDougal, D. Harfield Davis and J. T. Dunn. The following are the officers: T. B. Yates, president; William M. Bostaph, secretary; and D. Harfield Davis, treasurer.
They belong to the wealthiest and most practical business men of the City of Gallatin, but it is evident that they forget the old maxim that, ” The laborer is worthy of his hire.” The salaries of the teachers’ corps is not at all in accordance with the hitherto high standing of Gallatin’s educational institute, or the ability of its educational staff.
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