Speeches of J. Charles Linthicum


Normal School  BuildingsDedication Speech

HON. J. CHAS. LINTHICUM, Member of Congress.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We are assembled in this spacious hall for the purpose of
performing not only an official duty, but one which is indeed
pleasant and agreeable. We are here for the purpose of transferring
the custody of this group of buildings consisting of
this administration and academic building, Newell Hall (the
dormitory) and the power house. It is unnecessary for me
to go into details, as you can readily see depicted on all sides
the artistic taste, substantial structure and the commodious
rooms of the building which you occupy, and suffice it to say
that the other two are no less ornate and adapted for their
respective purposes than this fine structure with its great
assembly hall, second alone in college halls in this country to
that of the University of the City of New York.


Normal Education.
I feel that this is not only the proper but the most appropriate
time to say a few words in connection with normal
education, its origin, growth and history, and while I do not
desire to occupy much time, yet I beg of you to bear with me
for just a few minutes until I outline this method of education
and thereby show you the important relation occupied by our
native State in this splendid and comprehensive work.
In 1743, when Benjamin Franklin proposed the founding of
the Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia, he suggested
as one of the reasons for founding such an institution
that some of the students of the lesser sort might be trained
as teachers. Those of the greater sort, I presume, he imagined
would become doctors, lawyers, etc.
In Germany the first attempt to provide special training for
teachers is attributed to August Herman Francke in 1704, and
even earlier to La Salle in France.
The term Normal School seems first to have been applied
to an institution for the training of teachers established in
Paris in 1794 (Ecole Normale).

 

First Normal School in America.
The establishment of the first Normal School in America
seems to be due mainly to the efforts of James G. Carter, of
Massachusetts. In 1824 he began the publishing of numerous
articles and appeals for the establishment of schools for the
training of teachers. In 1827 he opened such a school at
Lancaster, Mass., which he was a little later forced to close
for want of financial support. In 1835 he became a member
of the Massachusetts Legislature, and a year later chairman
of its Committee on Education. He secured the passage of an
act establishing a State Board of Education in 1837 and the
passage of the Normal School Act in 1838. He was supported
in his efforts by Charles Brooks, who had visited the
Normal Schools of Prussia; Edmund Dwight, who contributed
$10,000 toward the establishment of a Normal School
under the new act, and the famous schoolmaster, Horace
Mann, who was appointed secretary of the State Board of
Education. The first Normal School was actually opened on
July 3, 1839, at Lexington, Mass., another at Barre the same
year, and still another at Bridgewater in 1840.
Other States followed the example of Massachusetts by providing
means for the training of teachers, but it was for the
most part in connection with educational institutions, the main
work of which was devoted to providing instruction along
other lines.


Maryland First Independent Normal School.
To Maryland we believe is due the credit of making the next
serious effort for the training of teachers by the establishment
of an entirely independent educational institution by the
founding of this school on January 15, 1866.
The Maryland Constitution of 1864 included a comprehensive
article on public education, providing for the appointment
of a State Superintendent and the establishment of a system
of education embracing the whole State.
Dr. Libertus Van Bokkelen. a man famous both as a scholar
and a teacher, was appointed as the first State Superintendent.
To him is due the credit of having planned our unique State
system of education with the county as a unit of supervision

and administration, as well as having conceived the organization
of this school as an essential factor in his State system
of education. He was extremely fortunate in having in Maryland
at the time as a counselor Henry Barnard, then president
of St. John's College at Annapolis, an educator of national
fame, who, as secretary of the Board of School Commissioners
of the State of Connecticut, had advocated the establishment
of a Normal School there in 1839, and who in 1867 was
appointed from Maryland as the first United States Commissioner
of Education.
The career of the Maryland State Normal School, which
has now extended over a period of half a century, is so interwoven
with the lives of Libertus Van Bokkelen, the first State
Superintendent of Education ; M. Alexander Newell, the first
Principal and second State Superintendent; E. Barrett Pretty-
man, the second Principal and third State Superintendent ;
M. Bates Stephens, the fourth State Superintendent, and
Sarah Elizabeth Richmond, a first graduate, the school's most
famed teacher and its present Principal, that I wish I might
give the biographies of these splendid men and this lady who
is so dear to us ; but as time is of the essence of this speech,
I fear I shall be compelled to forego this pleasure and to proceed
with the history and the construction of the group of
buildings which we have mentioned.


History of the Maryland State Normal School.
In 1866 the Maryland State Normal School was organized
with 11 students present. For several years the classes were
taught in one room, no more being available. As the number
of students increased conditions became intolerable. Through
an increased appropriation the school was enabled to secure
more comfortable quarters the Athenaeum Building, at the
intersection of Charles and Franklin streets. Its stay here
was but a short one, as the Legislature of 1874 gave the school
a permanent home at Lafayette Square.
That building at the time of its erection was considered one
of the best school buildings in the country. Dom Pedro, the
Emperor of Brazil, at the time of his visit to the United
States inspected the building and pronounced it the finest
that he had seen. In the last twenty-five years school architecture


has so improved in design and methods of construction
that the model building of thirty or forty years ago is only
tolerated now for want of means to tear it down and reconstruct
another. Thirty-five years ago the one aim in public
education was economy; classes were large and teachers few,
therefore large classrooms were needed. Today the individual
counts for a great deal and fewer pupils are assigned to one
teacher, necessitating a large number of classrooms. So it
was soon apparent that the number of classrooms in the Normal
School Building were not sufficient to accommodate the
larger number of classes. With the better organization of
the State school system the demand for the professionally
trained teachers has constantly increased. It was found that
about 350 new teachers are needed annually to take the place
of those who abandon the work and to meet the demands
resulting from increased enrollment.
The school with its plant was not able to give us more than
about 75 graduates annually. These, with about 20 from the
Normal School at Frostburg, were less than one-third of the
number required to meet the annual needs.
The State Superintendent of Education was quick to comprehend
the situation, and a number of the publications of his
office urged that something be done to increase the supply of
trained teachers. The plan of establishing training classes in
approved high schools was given some consideration, but the
great majority of our school officials as well as the leading
teachers of the State took the position that the demand for
trained teachers should be met by increasing the capacity of
the Maryland State Normal School.
In 1909 the matter was fully discussed at the annual meeting
of the Alumni Association of the School, and a committee
was appointed, including such prominent members as Miss
Sarah E. Richmond, Dr. William S. Love, Dr. Robert Fawcett,
Richard M. Browning, В. К. Purdum and Robert Farring.
This committee, through sub-committees in each county, con-"
ducted a diligent campaign, which informed the general public
throughout the State as to the true situation.
It was my good fortune through the grace of Providence
and a devoted constituency to be a member of the State Senate
at this time and to be able to co-operate with this committee.
I introduced a bill providing for a bond issue of $400,000, but

realizing the fact that owing to the enthusiasm for good roads
and the large sum of money necessary for that purpose the
School Bill could not pass, we redrafted the School Bill in
the closing days of the session and provided for a Commission
to study the question and report to the next Legislature. This
bill was passed, signed by the Governor and became a law.
The Commission provided for by this act consisted of the
Governor of the State, the Comptroller, the Treasurer, the
State Superintendent of Education, the Principal of the Normal
School, myself, and John S. Biddison, of the Senate, and
Carville D. Benson and W. Mitchell Digges, of the House. It
organized on June 10, 1910, with myself as president, John S.
Biddison vice-president and В. К. Purdum secretary and
treasurer.
The Commission took up its work with enthusiasm, studied
carefully the whole question of Normal Schools, and let it be
known through the public press that it was in search of a
suitable site in the suburbs. More than three hundred were
offered, and approximately one hundred actually visited by
the Commission as a whole or by committees. It was early
decided that the site to be finally selected should contain not
less than 75 acres of land on a trolley line, making it easily
accessible to Baltimore City, on or near a steam railroad to
facilitate the delivery of supplies, near a town having churches
of all leading religious denominations, stores, physicians, etc.,
for the convenience of the girls living in the dormitory, and
near to sufficient population to furnish enough children of
elementary grade necessary for the organization of a practice
school.
The Commission, through its secretary, presented to the
Legislature of 1912 a report showing the result of its work,
giving a description and a map showing the location of the
best sites which had been offered and tentative plans of proposed
buildings prepared gratis by Theodore Wells Pietsch,
architect.
A bill was introduced providing for a bond issue of $600,000
and clothing the Commission with authority necessary to perform
the task proposed.
Governor Goldsborough let it be known early that he was
friendly toward the proposition, and the progress of the bill
did not encounter opposition unusual for one authorizing such

a large expenditure of money. During the course of passage
Andrew J. Cummings, of the House, and Peter J. Campbell
and Albert M Sproesser, of the Senate, were made members
of the Commission and proved later to be valuable additions.
The alumni of the school scattered throughout the State
kept up their earnest work by urging the necessity of the
passage of the bill upon the members of the Legislature of
their respective counties.
The bill passed in due course and was approved by the
Governor on April 7, 1912, in the presence of Miss Sarah E.
Richmond, the principal of the school, and a party of her
friends.
With the funds now actually available the Commission
again took up its work with an increased seriousness, met on
May 4, 1912, and decided to continue the Commission as originally
organized.
The selection of a site was again taken up, and a combination
of these properties, on the west side of the York road,
near Towson, which embodies all of the features agreed upon,
was finally selected August 21, 1912.
The Commission decided to make the inspection of the
leading Normal School plants throughout the country, and
various committees visited schools at the following places :
Charlestown, 111.
Macomb, 111.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Oswego, N. Y.
Greenville, N. C.
Greensboro, N. C.
Montclair, N. J.
The Commission decided to select its architect by competition
under the terms of the American Institute of Architects.
James Rush Marshall, of Washington, D. C., was selected by
the president as adviser and prepared the terms of the competition,
which was open to architects of the State of Maryland
only. The following leading architectural firms entered this
competition :
Wyatt & Nolting,
Baldwin & Pennington,
Ellicott & Emmart,
Theodore W. Pietsch,
Parker, Thomas & Rice, A. C.
Leach,
Otto G. Simonson.

The competition was won by Parker, Thomas & Rice, of
Baltimore and Boston. Charles L. Reeder was selected as
consulting engineer, and the preparation of plans and specifications
began in earnest.
Douglas H. Thomas, Jr.
At this juncture it seems befitting that I should mention the
young member of this architectural firm who became the
active architect of the Commission the one with whom the
Commission conferred and made its suggestions. The suggestions
were always received by Mr. Douglas H. Thomas. Jr.,
with the utmost consideration, the most exact courtesy and
the generosity of a great man. As you visit these buildings
and admire their architectural beauty, their color scheme and
delicate tones, their uniqueness of design and difference from
all other buildings, you may register it as a fact that they had
their origin in the fertile and productive brain of this enthusiastic
young architect, who at a time when they were nearing
completion was suddenly called by accident to the great
beyond. These buildings are a monument to his genius and
ability, and I cannot but believe that they were intended by
him to be the crowning efforts of a busy life. Young Thomas
was not only a great architect, a business man and one who
stood among the foremost in his profession, but he was likewise
of that tender and amiable disposition that when among
those pleasure seeking he was as though a boy in the ranks.
He has left his "footprints on the sands of time," and on these
grounds have been erected buildings which will ever remain a
monument to his memory.
The general contract for the construction of the Administration
Building was awarded to Morrow Bros., October 13,
1913 ; the Dormitory Building to Edward Brady & Son,
August 27, 1914, and the Power Plant to Sweetser Linthi-
cum, Jr., October 8, 1914. Leonard F. Fowler was selected to
represent the Commission in looking after the proper construction
and workmanship.
The Legislature of 1914 met in the meantime and made an
additional appropriation of $225,000. The work on these contracts,
with the exception of that of Morrow Bros., progressed
with unusual rapidity, and the buildings were ready for the
opening of the school, September, 1915, as originally planned. The buildings are Middle English in architecture, of fireproof
reinforced concrete construction throughout, faced with
a dull tone of red tapestry brick. They represent all the latest
features of modern school architecture.


Administration Building,
In the Administration Building is located the administrative
offices, recitation rooms and laboratories, the auditorium and
lecture rooms, the library and reading rooms, the practice
school, the domestic science department, and the cafeteria for
day students.


Newell Hall.
Newell Hall is a dormitory and will accommodate more than
two hundred young women. The living rooms are arranged
in suites of two, with bath between, and the accommodations
afforded are, we believe, as attractive in every way as those
offered by any school in the country.


Power House.
The Power House is a central unit from which all lighting,
heating, refrigerating, gas, water and electric service are supplied
through a tunnel system to all parts of the buildings and
grounds. The Manual Training Department and the Laundry
are also located in this building.


In the prosecution of this undertaking it has been my happy
lot to have the constant and energetic support of Mr. В. К.
Purdum, the secretary of the Commission. I have likewise,
as president of the Commission, been afforded every confidence
an.d every assistance by each and every member of the
Commission. Whenever called upon or whenever their duties
called them they have been ever ready to perform the same
with dispatch and promptness. The State has profited well
by the work of those gentlemen, who have given it without
stint and without pay, their whole desire being to save the
State every dollar possible, to construct the finest buildings
within the appropriation and to see that every dollar spent
should bring a dollar's return. All praise to these gentlemen
for their untiring work upon this Commission.

 

Work of Graduates Necessary.
I have told you of the history and origin of normal training;
of the idea, conception and completion of this group of buildings,
and have covered the subject, I believe, quite thoroughly
in the limited space. I wish, however, to impress upon each
of you, and especially those young ladies and young men who
go from this institution to teach in the public schools of the
State, that to train the youth in those principles which are
destined to make them good and efficient citizens is a high calling ;
that while the State through this Commission has provided
you with these buildings, it is not these buildings through
which the people of the State and nation will know the State
Normal School it is through the individual efforts and work
of those who go from its doors as graduates that the institution
will be best known. There are hundreds of people
throughout the State who perhaps will never see these buildings,
and who will judge the work only by the progress and
proficiency of its graduates. The greatness of its work and
the efficiency of the corps of teachers employed at this school
will be known through the work and efforts of its graduates
in the various communities. It is upon them that the greatness
of this institution will largely depend upon them will
depend the fame of their alma mater.


United States Constitution.
I feel that the teaching, not only in this institution but by
those who go to teach in the various schools of the State,
should not alone be confined to the lessons taken from the
various textbooks, but that it should include also teaching
upon those lines which will make the boys and girls who are
to become the men and women of tomorrow the best possible
citizens for the maintenance of this great Union. The Constitution
of the United States, the great bulwark of American
liberty and life, should be taught and its doctrines and principles
become well grounded in the youth of the land. There
has sprung up in the last few years a tendency to regard it
too loosely. It has made this Union strong and great. What
has made us the greatest democracy in the world of nations
has heretofore been the strict adherence to the Constitution of
the United States, which guarantees to all life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. Too much stress cannot be placed upon
this great document as the foundation and corner-stone of the
great Government of the United States.
In this connection should be taught the duty of each and
every citizen to become interested in public affairs, to see that
the best and most efficient men are elected to public office, and
when elected it should be impressed upon all that the men
whom they have placed in control should be recognized as the
authority in that office to which they have been elevated.


Property Rights.
We should also teach the recognition of property rights,
both individual and corporate. Corporations are but the aggregate
capital of perhaps thousands of large and small, rich and
poor investors. There has been a tendency of late to drift
from the old democratic principles taught us by our forefathers
into a more or less socialism, 'quietly it is true, but
nevertheless surely.' State rights in many respects have gradually
passed under national control, and while it is well that
the National Government" should have charge of many things,
individual effort and individual and corporate business should
be given as large latitude as the welfare of the people will
permit.
If you teach the adherence to the Constitution, the respect
for authority of those whom we have placed in office, respect
for 'the laws and Constitution of our State, and respect for
property rights of others. I feel that the teachers who go from
this institution will be performing that service to their State
and Union which will do much to continue this great Government
of ours from generation to generation, so that those who
follow us may have the same opportunities, the same benefits
and the same advantages as those who have gone before and
those of this generation. We are but the trustees of those
rights and privileges \which have been handed down to us by
our forefathers, and it is to us that future generations have
the right to look that they be handed down, to them unimpaired
and a vital living force.


Transfer of Buildings.
And now, Mr. Warburton. to you as the State's representative
I take great pleasure in saying that with the exception of
a little unfinished work, amounting to a comparatively small
sum, these buildings are complete in every detail, and as the
Commission has guarded them as though they were children
of the State, so we hope and know the State Board of Education
will be equally interested and protecting.
I take great pleasure, both as chairman of the Building
Commission and as a graduate of this institution, in delivering
you these keys and thus turning over to the State Board of
Education, through you, its chosen representative, the custody
and control of this group of buildings, subject to the Commission's
right to complete, hoping that they shall, through their
substantial construction, large dimensions and fine location,
serve the State of Maryland as part and parcel of its well-
famed educational system, until the generations to come shall
determine, as this generation has determined in reference to
the old building, that the number of students can no longer be
accommodated within their spacious walls.

 

(Editors note: In the accounting of construction costs is the following entry: Sweetser Linthicum, Jr. Construction of Building (Power House), $33,840.47)

-Report of the Maryland State Normal School Building Commission, December 31, 1915, Dedication of the Buildings, An Account of the Dedication of the Buildings November 19, 1915.

 

 

 

 

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