869-70 To 1879-80
RESEARCH REPORT- 20
DIVISION OF RESEARCH
Thomas D. Bailey
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
5375, 75-_ Tollahassee, Florida
F6I 3 r,,- July, 1962
NARRATIVE REPORTS OF COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS
1869-70 to 1879-80
Research Report 20
Division of Research
Thomas D. Bailey
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
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Research Report 20 is a compilation of County
Superintendents narrative reports covering
statistical and other school data for the ten
year period beginning in 1869.
The preparation of this report is one phase in
the implementation of Florida's plan for improv-
ing statistical services of the State Department
of Education under the Provisions of Title X,
National Defence Education Act,
Research Report 20 is a departure from the series of reports produced previously
by the research division since it was not prepared as the result of a survey or
study, It is composed of extracts from the file of State Superintendents' Reports
in the State Department of Education. The materials contained are not available
in other publications. A microfilm copy of the source documents is on file.
Probably the most interesting way to understand and appreciate the development
of an institution is to see it through the eyes of contemporaries. From 1869,
the year of the establishment of Florida's public school system, to 1924 each
county superintendent included a narrative report of educational progress in
his county with his annual or biennial report. The following pages present the
narrative reports submitted by the county superintendents for the first ten years
in which Florida had a public school system. There are gaps--years in which some
superintendents failed to file narrative reports and years in which such reports
were not requested by the State Superintendent. Some of the reports are quite
volumous but are reproduced in their entirety in order to present a complete
These reports reveal first-hand many of the trials and difficulties encountered
in the effort to establish a state-wide system of public schools. Some of the
problems faced by the educational pioneers of Florida are still with us--however
their severity may have lessened somewhat.
In 1869, C. Thurston Chase, State Superintendent of Public Instruction wrote in
his annual report to Governor Reed:
There are thousands of children in the State who are left utterly
friendless and dependent by the incidents of emancipation or the sad
casualties of civil strife. These should be looked after with tender
solicitude. To leave them in their ignorance would be to abandon
them to grope their way along a dark and dangerous path, where the
finest spirits might waste their energies in fruitless endeavors to
rise, where the most would never aspire, or, attempting, would finally
sink beneath an accumulating weight of discouragements, But the State,
by laying hold on the hand of the poor and ignorant child, can prepare
him for a life of usefulness and respectability. The men of vast
wealth in America are, with very few exceptions, those who were born
in poverty; and the highest offices of the nation are filled with those
who started in the race at the public school. A state can never know
how much it loses in the undeveloped talent of its chief pillars of
her strength. But there can be no assured peace, no guarantee of
security to private rights and interests, no pledge of continued pros-
perity nor perpetuity to popular government, where the constituencies
on which it rests are left to settle down into permanent ignorance and
unmitigated depravity, as these must do unless the strong arm of the
State goes down to their rescue.
In his report, dated May 1, 1870, covering the first year of operation of Florida's
public schools under the Constitution of 1868, Superintendent C. Tlbrston Chase
It is cause for congratulation that our system of popular education
has been successfully inaugurated; that it appears to meet the wants
of the State; that no organized or active opposition has been en-
countered, and that free schools are rapidly gaining favor with the
That obstacles would arise was not unexpected. What was more natural
than that owners of large and unproductive estates would be averse
to taxation for the education of children in whom they had no special
interest? Any innovation upon established usage challenges opposi-
tion. Ignorance and prejudice, the ready dupes of their own fears,
see many lions in the way.
The ulterior object of free schools was questioned, Might they not
be perverted, it was asked, for personal or political ends? Cautious
men entertained doubts concerning the management that should control
them. They feared that they might fall into the hands of bad or in-
competent men, and thus be made productive of discord instead of har.
mony in neighborhoods. There was a want of officers accustomed to
the work, and of precedents to guide them. Besides, a sort of odium
attached to free schools, as pauper institutions.
Schools were to be started in every neighborhood, school house built
and teachers employed; yet there was neither township or local organ-
ization, nor an available dollar for defraying even the incidental
expenses of creating an organization.
It is a mistake to levy a very light and insufficient tax. By do-
ing so, the odium of taxing is incurred, without obtaining the means
to accomplish anything worthy of defending. It is better to levy a
sufficient amount to establish good schools, and then establish them,
They will command respect, and be sustained by public opinion. But
poor schools can hardly be defended.
The property holders claim that there are many able-bodied laboring
men whose children are deriving the benefits of the schools, yet pay
no tax, and that they would be able and willing to contribute a small
sum annually were there a general provision on the subject. This view
is entertained by some good friends of education, who have noted the
interest of this class in learning, and the strong preference mari-
fested by laborers for those neighborhoods in which their children
could attend school.
Reports of county superintendents
are reproduced as printed without
editorial comment or revision.
First Reports of County Superintendents taken from the Report
of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, C. Thurston Chase,
Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1869,
Board of Public Instruction appointed May 18, 1869. Organized August 2, 1869.
Win. Edwards, Chairman; S. F. Halliday, County Superintendent.
Schools.--The number of youth in this county between h and 21 years of age is
2,100. Through the well-directed efforts of the county superintendent twenty-
two schools were put in operation early in October. There are in all twenty-
eight teachers employed in this county.
The names of twelve hundred and sixteen children have been registered. It is
worthy of note that of this number two hundred and six have no father, sixty-
nine have no mother, thirty-eight have neither father nor mother; and about
two hundred are reported as being too poor to buy their own text-books.
Of the twenty-eight teachers employed, fourteen have previously had experience
in their profession; four have been members of Normal Schools; three have
attended teachers' institutes. Total expenditure for the three months of school
during 1869, is about $3,850o Of this $2,550 are set apart for teachers'
salaries, No visits have been made to the schools by the Trustees; 15 by county
superintendents; 18 by others,
School-Houses.--No school-houses have been built by the Board. Sites have been
freely offered for the purpose.
Two buildings have been erected by the United States Government. One of them
is a large, spacious, and well-furnished edifice. The construction of two
more is contemplated.
About one half of the school-houses in use are comfortable and convenient. An
expenditure of $150 on each of the others would put them in good order. Twelve
have each a Bible, blackboard, and a chair and desk for teacher; ten have
primary charts; two have outline maps; fifteen have each a broom; twenty each
a water bucket and drinking cup; nine are comfortable seated for the pupils;
and eighteen have a supply of good drinking water convenient.
It is estimated that there are still about six hundred youth, who are not attend-
ing school for want of suitable accommodations.
Public Sentiment in Alachua is beginning to appreciate the school system, and
many of the people gladly avail themselves of its advantages. Although most of
the buildings are private property, yet no rent is charged, except in such a
way that the avails are appropriated to the payment of teachers.
Sixty dollars per month is contributed in the form of board for the teachers.
Obstacles in the way of progress.--"First, Apathy on the part of the patrons.
It is true~ hey manifest sufficient interest to send their children to school;
but when repairs or furniture is needed, they are disposed to get along as they
can rather than pay money.
Second, The want of suitable books. Most of the pupils have books of some kind,
but not such as are suitable for their age or degree of advancement. Many of
the patrons are satisfied if their children only have books, without at all
considering their suitableness or adaptation to the age and capacity of the
child. The schools hitherto have been transient. Different teachers have
recommended different books. Some have taught only long enough to make a
change in this respect. In my visits to the different schools under my super-
vision, I have been surprised at the great number of different readers, spellers,
geographies, grammars, and arithmetics in the same school. The teachers could
not classify their pupils to any advantage, nor properly economize their labor.
We are removing this obstacle as fast as we can by supplying them with the
regular series of text-books. When we shall have secured a uniformity in test-
books it will make a new era in the way of advancement. Then one teacher will
be able to accomplish as much as two with this confused state,
Third, The want of suitable school buildings is another serious obstacle.
Several of our school-houses in this county are made of logs, and that in the
coarsest and rudest manner. Some are destitute of fire-places or stoves. The
pupils during the inclement weather being uncomfortable, of course cannot apply
themselves closely to their studies.
Fourth, We have not a sufficient number of assistant teachers. School No. 2,
in Gainesville, now has 170 pupils with only two teachers. School No, 6
(Micanopy) now has 146 pupils with two teachers. School No. 4 (at Newnansville)
has 90 pupils with only one teacher, and school No. 18 (High Woods) has 90
pupils and only one teacher. All of our schools have increased since the
teachers made their reports."
The detailed account given of the affairs in this county applies with much force
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 24, 1869. Temporary Organization,
August 23, 1869. T. Jo Green, Chairman; ----------, County Superintendent.
In this sparsely settled county it has been difficult to find competent men to
take an active part in the duties of organizing schools, either as county
superintendent or members of the board. The assessor reports a partial enumera-
tion of the youth at 471, between the ages of 6 and 21 years. Several schools
are needed, and will, it is hoped, be established within the next few months.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 28, 1869. Organized November 26,
1869. F. N. B. Oliver, Chairman; J. R, Richard, County Superintendent.
The number of youth is estimated at 1,0OO.
The work was commenced at a very late day in this county, As soon as the super-
intendent was appointed he went through the county and conferred with the people
on the proposed establishment of free schools. On being apprised of the pro-
visions of the law they accepted it cheerfully. They not only appear to give
every assistance in their power, but also have taken a deep interest in the
As the board was unable to complete its organization until after the tax was
levied, the patrons of the schools sustain them at present. Fourteen have
been started int this way, A tax for their support will be levied and col-
lected without opposition.
The private schools already in operation have arranged to come in under the
The progress made is largely due to the support and encouragement of the members
of the Legislature from this county.
No recommendations have been received at this office in favor of any persons
for appointments on the board of instruction from this extensive but almost un-
There are a few settlements along the river where schools are needed; but it is
doubtful whether the provisions of the law will be made operative among them
for some time to come.
Board of Public Instruction appointed May 28, 1869. Temporary Organization,
September 8, 1869. John Richards, Chairman; ----------, County Superintendent.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 17 1869. Organized October 1, 1869.
Elijah Blitch, Chairman; Ozias Budington, County Superintendent.
Schools.--Number of youth between 4 and 21 years, 508. There are 10 schools in
operation, having each one teacher. Total attendance, 266; average attendance,
206. Of these 46 are reported as fatherless, 5 as motherless, 3 orphans; 52 are
unable to pay for their text-books. The average salary paid to teachers, besides
their board, is $32.17, Seven of the teachers have taught school before. One
educational magazine taken.
The schools are being continued three months, the term will probably be length-
ened to five. Total expenditure, $1,355. The sheriff has collected $15 in fines.
School-Houses.--The board of instruction owns two school houses, valued at $2,h10.
The General Government has erected one. Eight are furnished gratuitously by
citizens. No children are excluded from school for want of suitable accommodations.
Three of the school-houses have each a water bucket; two each a Bible, drinking
cup, and teacher's desk; one a broom and blackboard; five have good seats and
desks for the pupils. All have good water convenient. No apparatus of any kind
is reported, but an appropriation of $20 has been made for this purpose.
The sentiment, says the superintendent, of all who have taken the trouble to
make themselves familiar with our system of common schools is favorable. We have
but few wealthy people in the county and it is sparsely settled, yet the direct
contributions made by citizens in aid of the 10 schools for the past three
months amount to $661.
The chief obstacles in the way of progress are the poverty and idleness of a
portion of the citizens, who are too low down to appreciate blessings when
laid at their doors. A goodly number of the best citizens are zealous in the
cause of universal education, and it is believed that through united action,
patience, and perseverance we shall, year by year, make substantial advance-
The services of the venerable superintendent of this county seem to be worthily
appreciated by the citizens. Although nearly seventy-five years of age he has
given his personal attention to organizing the work, and has inspected the
schools in the remotest sections of the country.
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 2, 1869. Organized May 8, 1869.
Samuel T. Day, Chairman; P. A. Holt, County Superintendent.
Schools.--Immediately after the organization of the board, the county super-
intendent made a tour of inspection, selection localities for schools, address-
ing the people in the different settlements, and encouraging them to prepare
school-houses for the Autumn,
An excellent spirit was manifested. But with many the pressing claims of their
every day life left but little time to devote to other duties, and the school-
buildings promised were not ready for occupancy when Autumn came.
The number of youth reported is 1,7h4, between 4 and 21 years of age.
There were 9 schools in operation on November 15th, with a prospect of opening
6 more. The tax of one mill on a dollar was insufficient for the educational
needs of the county. The total number of pupils registered is $24, average
attendance h60. 100 have no fathers, 67are motherless, and 22 have neither
parent; 75 are unable to purchase proper text-books. Five of the teachers have
taught before, Two have attended a normal school.
School-Houses.-None are owned by the board. Six are supplied by citizens free
of rent, One was erected by the General Government. Three are considered
comfortable and convenient, the others are wanting school fixtures,
The superintendent remarks that the sentiment of the people toward the school
system is very good. Ignorance and poverty are the chief obstacles in the way
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 21, 1869. Organized December 6, 1869.
Octavius Aimar, Chairman; Wi. H. Benest, County Superintendent.
By the census returns there are only 27 youth between 4 and 21 years in this
county. It was the wish of the principal property-holders that a tax of one
per cent. should be levied to build a school-house and employ a teacher for
the children; but no organization of the board could be had in time.
The few settlers in this county are determined to establish a good school for
their children, and wish it understood that immigrants will have ample school
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 1, 1869. Organized November 24, 1869.
Alonzo Ruling, Chairman; W, L. Coan, County Superintendent: J, M, Daniel, acting
Schoolso--The number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age is reported at 2,1.8.
The board consider this number too low,
The work was not commenced in this county until the collection of taxes had been
well advanced. Then it was taken up in earnest. Judge Daniel, the acting
County Superintendent, in a hasty and incomplete report received at a late
hour, gives some of the leading points as follows: The total number of teachers
now employed is 22, Three more schools are soon to be opened. The attendance
is 7b2 pupils. Nearly all are able to buy their own text-books. Average salary
of teachers is about $40 per month. All have had some previous experience in
teaching; some are eminently well qualified. Schools will be continued until
A tax of one half of one per cent, was levied, amounting to about $15,000, with
which it was proposed to erect substantial school buildings in Jacksonville, and
elsewhere, Two school-houses have been erected by the General Government. In
concluding his report, Judge Daniel says the attendance is steadily increasing
and public sentiment for the most part is all that could be desired,
Board of Public Instruction appointed May 17, 1869. A. J. Pickard, County Super-
Only one member of the first nominated board accepted the position. The county
superintendent resigned and no organization was effected. A new board was
appointed December 2, The new appointees have accepted and will make no delay
in completing their organization.
The present county superintendent has been active in the discharge of his duties,
and will spedily improve the condition of educational affairs in Escambia. Six
schools have been conducted under his directions, with an attendance of 224
pupils. A tax of one mill on the dollar has been levied and collected. There
is yet a fund on hand for future work. The superintendent has taken the census
of youth and reports the number between 4 and 21 years at 2,107o
Some small neighborhoods throughout the county are not yet provided with school
facilities. The people express themselves as favorable to public schools, and
in the country, especially, manifest it by boarding the teachers, by furnish-
ing school-rooms, and by subscribing money to defray school expenses.
The chief obstacle is the want of funds.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 9, 1869. Organized September 9,
1869. Robert H. Goodlet, Chairman; F. M. Bryan, County Superintendent.
As there has been neither assessor nor collector of taxes in this county, the
board has not been able to make the substantial progress which it could have
done with a prospect of realizing funds to carry out their plans.
The school sustained in part by the Peabody Fund at Apalachicola is flourishing.
Four other schools are assisted by the General Government.
A report from the teacher of the Peabody school gives the total attendance at
106. Of these 27 are fatherless, 8 motherless, and 4 are orphans. Twenty-five
are unable to buy proper text-books. Many of the patrons of the school are
poor, but anxious to have the school continued.
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 17, 1869. Organized September 18,
1869. S. B. Love, Chairman; W. H. Crane, County Superintendent.
Schools.-'The number of youth in this county between 4 and 21 years of age is
3,473. There are 16 schools reported, having 17 teachers and 641 pupils.
Average attendance, about 500. Of these 71 have no father, tl no mother, and
12 are orphans. About 50 are not able to purchase their text-books. The esti-
mated expense for schools during the first three months is $2,000. Three-
quarters of which have been appropriated for teachers' salaries. It is proposed
to open thirty schools next year. Eleven teachers have taught school before;
five have attended normal schools; none have been members of teachers' in-
stitutes. No educational magazine is taken. Salary per month, 3d class, $30;
2d class, $45. Number of visits to schools by Trustees, 18; by county super-
intendent, 21. The schools in this county were opened about the first of
October and have been in operation three months. They will be reopened after
School-Houses.--There are three in the county which have been erected by the
General Government, Sixteen are supplied, free of rent, by private citizens.
None are owned by the board. Only four are considered convenient and com-
fortable. Sixteen have each a well, a broom, and Bible; six each a water-
bucket; eight a chair and drinking cup; three have blackboards; five have
desks or tables for teachers. None have globes, outline maps, or primary
With increased facilities twice as many children could be gathered into school.
Some of the smaller schools will be discontinued and others opened in order
to accommodate all.
The sentiment of the people is generally very favorable to the schools; but
there is a lack of lively interest manifested by them. The rent of all the
school-houses having been donated, and various amounts in board of teachers,
&c,, show that there exists a desire to co-operate with the board, Fines
imposed amount to $260; of this $190 is in the sheriff's hands for collection.
Bonds are held securing the payment of the remaining $70.25.
The chief obstacles in the way of progress are those which exist in every un-
educated dcomunityo Measures have been adopted to secure the assistance
proposed from the Peabody Fund.
The school lands should be examined, re-appraised, and graduated on a lower
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 24, 1869. Organized August 2, 1869.
A. W. Knight, Chairman ----------, County Superintendent.
Schools.--Number of children between 4 and 21 years of age 1,373.
Owing to the resignation of the county superintendent, near the close of the
year, the reports from this county are incomplete. It appears, however, that
a tax of one-third of one per cent. was levied, from which a thousand dollars
Five schools were opened early in the autumn; as many more are needed. The
difficulty of procuring competent teachers has retarded progress; but the
chief obstacle is the want of funds. All the school-houses are supplied free
of rent by private parties.
The sentiment of the people is good, and would grow more favorable, provided
there could be funds enough realized to maintain the schools as they should
It is recommended that the board of instruction be authorized to regulate the
price of the school lands according to their value.
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 24, 1869.
No census of the youth has been taken0 All attempts to organize the board
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 13, 1869,
The appointees not having accepted, a new board was appointed on the 19th of
November. From these, no acceptance have come to hand,
The assessor returns the number of youths between 4 and 21 years of age, at 895.
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 24, 1869.
No returns have been received showing the result of the census. It has been
difficult to procure a competent and satisfactory board; but the prospect is
improving, and good results may soon be gained.
Board of Public Instruction appointed August 2, 1869. Organized September 4,
1869. John Pope, Chairman; Theophilus West, County Superintendent.
Owing to the unfortunate disturbances in this county the organization of the
school work has been deferred. It is believed there is no general opposition
to free schools. On the other hand, the board feel assured they will be
sustained in carrying out the prudent and conciliatory course which they have
determined to pursue.
One school-building will be erected by the General Government. The board hope
to organize 20 schools.before the close of the present scholastic year. An
appropriation has been set apart from the Peabody Fund in favor of a school
The census of the youth was cormenced but not finished.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 26, 1869. Organized May 15, 1869.
J. W. Johnson, Chairman; Robert Meacham, County Superintendent.
The report from this county was received late, and is necessarily incomplete.
Schools.--Number of children between I and 21 years of age, 2,640. Ten
schools are or soon will be in operation in this county. Reports have been
received from the four that were first opened. They had a total attendance of
290 pupils. Average attendance, 10. Thirty-five of these were fatherless,
10 motherless, 6 orphans. All the teachers have had experience in their pro-
fession, and receive an average salary of $45 per month. Visits by trustees 3,
by superintendent 5, by others 20.
School-Houses-,-Six acres of land have been offered as school sites, but no
buildings hve been erected by the board. The citizens supply two free of rent;
one has been erected by the General Government. The supply of furniture and
necessary apparatus is very limited.
Fines to the amount of $75 have been collected by the sheriff, and paid to the
Board of Public Instruction appointed February 5, 1869. Organized Auguse 2, 1869.
R. B. Hill, Chairman; Henry R. Holmes, County Superintendent.
Schools.-.Number of youth between I and 21 years of age, 777,
Soom after the organization of the board four schools were opened. A tax of one-
fifth of one per cent, was levied and collected. Owing to obstacles beyond ,the
control of the board nothing further has been done. These obstacles will soon
be removed, and the work will go on satisfactorily in future.
Board of Public Instruction appointed February 25, 1869. Organized April 16,
1869. C. H. Edwards, Chairman; Chas. H. Pearce, County Superintendent.
No report has been handed in by the superintendent of this county. The chairman
of the board, who has devoted much time to the work, with rare good judgment,
furnishes the following information:
A tax of one-fourth of one percent realized about $8,000. It is proposed to ex-
pend in teachers' salaries $6,000; on buildings '$1,500, on libraries, apparatus,
Eighteen teachers at an average monthly salary of $h2.22. Total members of
pupils reported, 689; Proposed duration of school session, five months;
School-Houses.--Thirteen are furnished by citizens free of rent. Two have been
erected by the General Government, in which there are rooms for five teachers,
besides two recitation rooms.
About the best comment that can be made on the sentiment of the people in regard
to free schools is, that the citizens, with great unanimity, seem anxious to
have schools established near them, and promise liberal contributions. The
owners of large estates offer land, lumber, and labor for school-houses. They
have paid their school taxes promptly, and now seem desirous of having good
schools for their own children and others. Since the first of December nine
neighborhoods have made direct application to the chairman, and voluntarily
organized under the law and secured the establishment of schools.
Amount of fines paid to the State Treasurer, $199.
Number of youth between 4 and 21 years, 6,120.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869. Organized June 8, 1869.
W., A. Shands, Chairman; George So Leavitt, County Superintendent.
Schools.--Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age 650. There are twelve
schools, employing 14 teachers. Total attendance about 400, one-third of whom
are not able to purchase text-books. Lenght of session of schools, four months.
Visits by superintendent, 12,
School-Houses --None are owned by the board, nor have any been erected by the
General Government; all have been supplied by private citizens. None are
considered entirely comfortable and convenient, although they have served the
purpose reasonably well. Six have each a water-bucket, drinking-cup, and
chair; two report each a Bible and blackboard; ten have dictionaries. All
have water convenient. No primary charts or needed appliances for general
instruction are reported,
School lands are held at too high rate for sale at present time,
Soon after the organization of this county board, the superintendent commenced
the establishment of schools, A hostile spirit manifested itself at first, and
became more virulent with the collection of taxes for the support of schools;
but as the schools have progressed the opposers have had an opportunity of
judging by results, and have been so favorably impressed that their prejudices,
yielding to their better judgments, are fast dying out. The school-houses
and all improvements upon them have been furnished by the citizens gratuitously.
They have also boarded the teachers without charge.
Some of the settlements in this, as in many other counties, are remote from
any public thoroughfare, and are in great want of facilities for general infor-
mation. To them the teachers, the schools, and the school libraries will be-
come valuable aids in the training of their youth.
Board of Public Instruction appointed June 10, 1869. A temporary organization
has been entered into, and a selection of a County Superintendent made.
Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 424,
Measures are in progress for the speedy organization of this board.
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 13, 1869. Organized April 21;
Simon Katzenberg, Chairman; Dennis Eagan, County Superintendent,
Schools.--There are six schools in operation. Nine more are needed, and will
soon be opened. Total number of pupils registered, 350; average attendance,
300. Of these, 75 are fatherless. One hundred and fifty are unable to buy
the proper textbooks. Total number of youth between 4 and 21 years, 5,000
(estimated,) The schools will be continued about seven months.
Six teachers are employed at an average salary of $30 per month. All the
schools organized are in a flourishing condition. Visits by Trustees, four;
by County Superintendent, four.
Estimated expenditures for the scholastic year are as follows: Construction,
rental, and repairs of school-houses,9 5,000; teachers' salaries, $3,000;
furniture, apparatus, libraries, &c., 600.
School-Houses.--Three school-houses belong to the board of instruction, valued
at $2,000. The United States Government has provided one. Citizens furnish
one gratuitously. Rent paid by the board, $50. Four are in the main comfortably
and conveniently seated for the pupils. Two have tables for the teachers; one
has charts, blackboard, &c.
Public sentiment is generally in favor of the system of popular instruction.
Citizens have contributed in land, lumber, labor, &c., to the estimated amount
The contribution of this county to the school-fund in fines amounts to $169.
Arrangements have been made for securing the proffered benefits of the Peabody
Fund in favor of Madison.
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 1, 1869. Organized October 6, 1869.
l. H. Goss, Chairman; H. E. Russell, County Superintendent.
Schools.-.Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 2,197.
A variety of causes prevented early action of the board. A tax of one-fourth
of one per cent, was levied and collected, It is intended to establish 21
schools and to continue them from 4 to $ months. Since it is so difficult
to obtain the services of good teachers, it is proposed to employ six or seven
first-class teachers, and by transferring them to the different schools give
them continuous employment during the entire year.
There was at first some opposition manifested by a few; but the mass of the
people are in favor of free schools. The objection to educating those who
were recently in bondage is yielding to better counsels, which shows that the
general prosperity is promoted by the education of all classes.
None of the board receives compensation for services rendered. It is hoped
that by a course of prudence, economy, and good management all obstacles will
soon be overcome.
Board of Public Instruction appointed February 4, 1869. Organized September 6,
1869. Wm. F, Turner, Chairman; John F. Bartholf, County Superintendent.
Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 328.
Soon after the organization of the board two schools were opened through the
influence of Asbury Sellers, Esq., one of the members. One school has 16 pupils,
the other 2$. They are situated 18 miles apart.
The county superintendent states that at a recent meeting of the board arrange-
ments were made for opening and maintaining 6 schools during the present year.
The two that have been in operation during the past three months were sus-
tained by the patrons, at an expense of about $250.
"We labor under great disadvantages here in establishing schools,
and the most serious is that the people are so widely scattered
over a great extent of territory, making it impossible, with-
out heavy expense, to establish a sufficient number of schools
to accommodate all, and many of the people are too poor to board
their children in the vicinity of the schools. But we are labor-
ing earnestly, steadily, and faithfully in this good cause. We
are encouraged by the general disposition which the people begin
to manifest in favor of the system of popular education, by their
willingness to render all the assistance in their power, We
have the satisfaction of knowing that we are working in the best
cause to which a man can devote his time; particularly true does
this seem here, where among some portions of the people so much
ignorance and degradation prevail."
Board of Public Instruction appointed May 26, 1869,
There has been no county superintendent in this county and no organization
of the board. No returns of the census have been received,
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869. Organized April 24, 1869.
N. Brownson, Chairman; J, C, Emerson, County Superintendent.
Schools.--The census of youth by mistake included only those between 5 and 18
years of age. Their number is returned at 916. There are seven schools in
operation. It is proposed to open eight more; all to be continued three months,
beside such extension of time as the State aid willwarrant. The total enroll-
ment of pupils is about 400, and the average attendance 300.
Total expenditure $2,800. Of this, $900 are devoted to teachers' salaries,
and $1,400 to construction.
Seven teachers are employed at an average salary of $40 per month. Four of
these have taught previous to their present term of service.
The county superintendent has visited each school once.
School-Houses.--The board of instruction has erected one school-house, valued
at h00. One was erected by the General Government. Three are furnished by
the citizens free of rent. The board has paid for rent $25.
Two are considered comfortable and convenient; the others need furniture,
blackboards, and most of the appliances usually employed as aids to instruction.
With the establishment of schools the communities come to recognize the value
of popular education. But few difficulties have arisen, and these have been
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869, Organized December 11,
1869 Win. C. Roper, Chairman; W. A. Lovell, County Superintendent.
Schools..--A permanent organization of the board could not be effected until
after the levy of taxes had been made. But many of the citizens were so
desirous of securing the benefits of the system for their children, that
they started 8 schools in the different settlements throughout the county,
sustaining them at their own expense, and placed them under the control of
the board of instruction.
Many of the settlers in this county have recently immigrated from adjoining
Southern States, They are represented by their Senator as being unanimous in
favor of the system of public instruction.
Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age is 385.
Board of Public Instruction appointed May 26, 1869.
The census returns of the youth give the number of 755 between the ages of
4 and 21 years.
By information received from private sources it appears that more has been
done in this county than has been officially reported. A school tax of over
six hundred dollars has been paid.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869. Organized July 3, 1869.
G, W. Pratt, Chairman; W. C. Snow, County Superintendent.
Schools.--From some cause the educational affairs of this county have been
allowed to lapse until it was too late to levy a tax in their behalf. Measures
may yet be instituted by which a portion of the 1,048 children reported as
residing in the county, may obtain a share of instruction in public schools,
One good school-house has been erected by the General Government in this county,
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 25, 1869.
No census of the youth was taken. No movements looking toward an organization
of the schools of the county reported.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Board of Public Instruction appointed Feb. 23, 1869. Organized April 30, 1869.
N. D. Benedict, Chairman; 0. Bronson, County Superintendent.
Schools,--Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 910. There are four
school in operation, employing three teachers; three new ones are preparing
to commence. Two hundred and twenty-nine pupils are registered; average atten-
dance, 204. Of one hundred pupils 19 have no father, 9 have no mother, and
Vtare orphans. About one-third of the whole are represented as being unable
to purchase the needed textbooks.
Each of the teachers has taught previously, One is a graduate of the New York
State Normal School, and has been a very successful teacher in that State for
Visits by school trustees, 37; by county superintendent, 20; by others, 85.
School-Houses.--One good school-house has been erected by the General Govern-
ment. Another in use, probably the oldest in the State, was built by funds
left for the purpose many years ago by a benevolent gentleman. This has been
recently refitted and newly furnished. Each house is well supplied with black-
boards, charts, and other useful and convenient articles.
One school receives $1,000 from the Peabody Fund. Although recently organized,
the patrons and friends of this school are highly pleased with the progress
thus far attained. It is indeed a model school, and is steadily increasing
in numbers. Another school is liberally aided by the American Missionary
Association of New York.
Both these schools are the centres of much interest and are visited by large
numbers of guests from abroad.
The county superintendent and the board have been zealous in their endeavors
for the establishment of schools of high grade in St. Augustine, under such
auspices as would insure the co-operation of all the citizens. Their labors
have been gratuitously performed and have been crowned with success, which is
the highest reward.
Board of Public Instruction appointed June 11, 1869. An informal organization.
John B. Tillman, Chairman.
For the want of a county superintendent this board has not been able to per-
fect its organization, No official action has therefore been taken in regard
to schools, although several have been started, with the expectation that they
will be received under the board when that body is ready to proceed. They are
sustained entirely at the expense of private individuals.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869. Organized July 9, 1869.
J. F. White, Chairman; J. J. Taylor, County Superintendent.
Schools.--There are 878 youths between 4 and 21 years of age. Two schools
are in operation, with an average attendance of 30 pupils each. Two teachers
are employed; average salary $30 per month. Four more schools are to be
opened and continued three months each. Total estimated expenditure, '$900;
two-thirds of which is for teachers' salaries. At the next meeting of the
board measures will be adopted to secure uniformity in text-books. Visits
by Trustees, 1; by County Superintendent, 1.
School-Houses.--The citizens furnish one building rent free. The General
Government has assisted in the construction of two, and is erecting one more.
In each of these, schools will be opened. The supply of school-furniture,
&c., is meagre.
Public sentiment is generally favorable to the system of popular education.
Time and perseverance alone are required for all reasonable furtherance of
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 7, 1869. Organized June 26, 1869.
W, C, Carlton, Chairmant James H. Wentworth, County Superintendent,
Schools.--Number of youth between 4 and 21 years is $40. There are 8 schools
in operation, with 230 pupils in attendance. Total average attendance, 191.
Eighty-three have no father; 10 are orphans; not half are able to buy the
Eight teachers are employed, with an average salary of $25.37 per month, be-
sides contributions from citizens.
Seven other schools are to be started. Each is to be continued three months.
Of the $500 being raised, $300 are to be expended on teachers' salaries.
Visits by Trustees, 14; by county superintendent, 10,
School-Houses.--The 8 in use are provided by the citizens free of rent. Each
has a broom, a drinking-cup, and well of good water. Four have water-buckets;
three have chairs and tables for the teachers; one is well seated. None
have any apparatus or black-boards. All are without outhouses. Very con-
siderable repairs are needed.
Public sentiment is indicated by the citizens furnishing all the school-houses
gratuitously, and contributing in various ways to the amount of $300 to sustain
the schools, There are a few who would like to make belligerent manifestations,
but their opposition is gradually weakening, and would soon disappear if we
could afford free school facilities for all, which we hope to be able to do
The chief obstacle in the way of progress is want of means.
None of the teachers take any educational magazine, from the fact that the county
has no mail facilities, there being only one post-office in the county, and
some of the schools are 30 miles from that.
This is a "range" county. Much of the school land in it is not valuable,
Squatters and trespassers occupy portions of it, who could be induced to buy
if the management was placed in the hands of the county board, It should be
sold low, so as the sooner to be brought under cultivation and be in the way
to pay taxes for the support of schools.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 24, 1869. Partial Organization
September U, 1869. J, C, Maley, Chairman; Wn. F, Buckner, County Superintendent.
Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 421. A light tax was imposed,
from which it was expected to realize $500, a sum inadequate to the wants of
There are school-houses in ten settlements, Most of these are built of logs.
One school was opened early in the Autumn, with an attendance of 29 pupils.
The General Government, about two years since, supplied the materials for a
school-house, and the neighbors united in putting it up. After itwas erected
one of them took down the building and moved it away.
Board of Public Instruction appointed March 13, 1869, Organized August 1k,
1869. Silas D, Alien, Chairman; D. W. Core, County Superintendent,
Schools.--Number of youth between 4 and 21 years of age, 788. Five schools
have been organized and five teachers employed. Total attendance, 125; average,
83, The schools have been in operation three months. It is proposed to open
two more, Nine children in attendance are reported as-having no father, four
are motherless, and three are orphans. Sixty-six are reported unable to pur-
chase text-books, All the teachers have had some experience in their profession,
The superintendent has made one visit of inspection to each school,
School-Houses.--These are all furnished by private citizens free of rent. They
are reasonable well supplied with requisite utensils; but are dificient in
apparatus and school furniture.
Estimated expenditures for the year, $1,000; of which $735 are devoted to
teachers' salaries, $150 to repairs, &c., $75 to furniture and apparatus.
The sentiment of the people is in favor of free schools. Generally, when
one class needs help they receive it from others. Citizens have contributed
according to their means. Our chief obstacle in the way of progress is want
Educational addresses would be listened to with interest and tend to stimulate
Fifty dollars have been collected by the Sheriff for fines and paid into the
Board of Public Instruction appointed July 12, 1869. Organized September 4,
1869. Sam'l Rutan, Chairman; ----------, County Superintendent.
Fourteen schools have been in operation; but the recent death of the county
superintendent, John Gillis, has produced a deep sensation among the friends
of education. He was an upright, capable, and efficient officer. By his
judicious and manly course, he secured the confidence of all parties. Owing
to his sad demise the returns from this county are imperfect.
Board of Public Instruction appointed April 9, 1869. Organized July 28, 1869.
John F. White, ChaLrman; J. L. Russ, County Superintendent.
Seventeen locations were selected, at each of which was a building suitable
for a school-house. The people manifest much interest at the prospective
opening of schools; but not much substantial progress has been made.
Taken from the Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, C. Thurston ase, Superintendent of P blic
Superintendent of Schools, Rev. S. F, Halliday, Gainesville. Whole number of
Schools 23, or counting departments of Gainesville Schools 27; total enrolled
pupils 1,239; whole number of days teaching as per last report 1,848; do, as
per present report 2,697; gain 849 days Received from the State $1,125,
from the county $6,198.51, from private contributions $1,305; whole expenditure
for Schools $6,847.49.
The East Florida Seminary is in a flourishing condition, but the report is
not received in season for insertion here. We give the following letter
Gainesville, Fla., Dec. 2L, 1872,
Rev. Charles Beecher, Superintendent Public Instructiont
Sir: The 30th September last closed the third year of our school operations
in Alachua county since the organization of the public school system in Florida.
Although our annual statistical report does not show a greater number of schools
or a greater number of pupils taught therein than our report for the preceding
year, yet there is a considerable gain in the time for which the schools have
been continued and corresponding increased progress and advancement on the part
of the pupils. There has perhaps been too great a desire on the part of County
Superintendents and Boards of Public Instruction to multiply the number of
schools. It is a question for serious consideration if the cause of education
would not be better promoted by fewer schools of a higher grade and continued
a greater length of time. The Trustees and General Agent of the Peabody
Education Fund seem to be of this opinion, from the manner in which their ap-
propriations are made. A school of only three months, with an interval of nine,
can be of little lasting benefit, though much better than noneo-From our
experience of the two preceding years, at the commencement of the last year,
it was thought best to proceed gradually and continually in the employment of
teachers lest at the expiration of their terms we might not, from the tardi-
ness of tax-payers, be able to pay their salaries, Besides, we found some
difficulty in procuring competent teachers. We at first endeavored to enforce
a high standard of qualification, but before our schools were all supplied, we
were obliged to lower the standard, and the question with us was, in some
instances, not is he fully competent? but is he better than none? We have, in
some instances, employed teachers believing that they would improve with the
progress of their pupils, We have in this county a respectable number of well
qualified and successful teachers, who compare favorably with teachers in other
States, but there are some who manifest very little pride in or a fondness for
their profession who are deficient in that "esprit du corps" so essential to
success in any profession. To remedy this evil, we need the influence of a
Teacher's Institute, and we should give the preference to successful incumbents,
holding out the prospect of increased pay and higher position.
In this county, our chief dependence for competent teachers is in the graduat-
ing pupils of the East Florida Seminary and the Union Academy,
We have made considerable progress to this desirable end during the last year.
The books adopted by the State Superintendent are generally in use in our schools.
We have no difficulty in this respect with our colored schools, as, with them,
we have neither prejudice nor conceit to encounter. They willingly adopt
whatever is prescribed by authority, so that in these schools, the entire
Union Series of books are used with great results. Sanders' Readers and Felters'
Arithmetics, so well adapted to the different ages, capacity and advancement
of the pupils. We cannot conceive of anything better adapted to the ends in
view than these progressive readers and arithmetics. We have in use in four of
our best schools Jeffers' Panoramic Charts, and the teachers who use them are
well pleased with the success of the experiment of their use. There are still
some schools that have not a uniformity of books. This is owing, in a great
measure, to the prejudices of parents and guardians, who are disposed to give
the preference to such books as they were accustomed to in their own school days,
This want of uniformity increases the labor of the teacher and is a great
obstacle in the way of his success.
School-Houses,--There are in this county twenty-eight school-houses. Of these,
about one-half are comfortable and convenient. The remainder need much improve-
ment, although for the present they are made to answer the purpose. They
have all been erected by the patrons, excepting Union Academy, at Gainesville,
the school building at Archer, and the colored school at Newnansville, which
were erected by the United States through the agency of the Freedman's Bureau.
The buildings of the East Florida Seminary were erected by the Seminary Funds,
and by private donation. Two of our school buildings, one at Newnansville and
one at Jamestown, were erected by Masonic funds. With the exception of these
and one at Waldo, the most of our school-houses are log-buildings. These
school-houses would not furnish accommodation for one-half of the children and
youth of this county between the ages of four and twenty-one, if they should
attend, but many of them reside in remote and sparsely settled portions of
the county, where it seems impossible at present to furnish them with schools.
Many families have chosen their residence from other considerations than
the education of their children. The Board of Public Instruction of this
county have not yet expended anything in the erection of school buildings,
deeming it better in the present state of the free school system to expend the
entire amount of the school fund for teachers' salaries and other unavoidable
expenses, requiring the people to furnish school-houses and school furniture,
and they are generally willing to do so. During the last year, four additional
school-houses were erected and as many more since the 30th September last.
Public Sentiment.--There has been a decided improvement in public sentiment on
the subject of free schools in this county during the last year. That dia-
bolical spirit that has in some portions of our country manifested itself in
the burning of school-houses, and the persecution of teachers, is.unknown in
Alachua. All classes manifest an interest in the education of their children
and in the promotion of common schools, and there are few, if any, who are
opposed to the extension of their benefits alike to all classes. The inter-
est manifested by the colored people in the cause of education is not a
little remarkable when we consider how little they have hitherto experienced
of its advantages. In their minds there seems to be associated "education"
For the perpetuation of their freedom, which they so ardently desire, they
very properly consider education indispensable. They therefore manifest a
great willingness to build school-houses and make other sacrifices for the
education of their children.
S. F. HALLIDAY,
Superintendent, J, W. Howell, Sanderson. Whole number of Schools 2; enrolled
pupils 45; whole amount of School assessments $257.28. Small as this work may
appear, it is double that of last year.
Superintendent, J. R. Richard, Providence. Whole number of Schools 14; enrolled
pupils 326; loss of Schools 1, of pupils 180. Received from State not reported,
from county not reported; amount expended none, amount due $1,210.
The following correspondence is given as throwing light on the condition of
things in the largest county in the State, and the difficulties with which the
common school system must cope in many parts of the State:
Indian River, Fla., April 9th, 1872.
Rev, Chas, Beecher, Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sir--Your letter of March 21st in relation to county schools, &c., reached
me on the 3d of this month. In reply I beg leave to answer your interrogatories
1st. There never has been a school, within my knowledge, kept or taught in this
2d. I an unable to inform you as to the exact number of children between four
and twenty-one years, but from the opinion of others in the way of knowing there
must be between eighty and one hundred.
3d. At present I am unable to give you the names of any who would serve as a
Board of Education., nor can I name a suitable person as Superintendent, but will
give the matter due consideration and assist you all I can. Our county has more
extent of territory than any other in the State, having a length of about one
hundred miles and from sixty to one hundred in breadth, very thinly settled, so
much so that we have never had a county organization, and consequently no taxes
have ever been collected. I am now at work trying to get county officers appointed,
and have hopes of success, so that taxes can be collected, courts opened and a
better state of things take place.
I feel a deep interest in the cause of education, and trust your efforts in the
good work will be a success. As soon as I can get proper persons to take the
positions you desire, I will inform you.
I am, very resp'y, your obd't serv't,
JAMES PAINE, Sr.
Indian River, Fla., July 12th, 1871.
Rev. Chas. Beecher, Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sir--I have delayed an answer to your note of June 2d in relation to our
county school, as I was anxious to make an effort and try if possible to get
one organized and under way, and thereby carry out your benevolent desire.
I have put myself to some trouble, feeling it important to secure the appropria-
tion (though small) for the county, but have met with very little encourage-
ment from our people. They seem to look upon "ignorance as bliss," and edu-
cation as a waste of time. Our county is so thinly settled that it is difficult
to get at the people to bring the subject properly before them, and with only
one school, it would benefit but one or two families, which would cause dis-
satisfaction with the rest.
I have urged upon our sheriff, (who is tax assessor and collector,) in his
tour through the county, to bring the matter before the people, and request
them to subscribe according to their means, so as to raise a school fund in-
dependent of the aid from the State, He has promised me to do so. I regret
that circumstances will compel me to give up the attempt for the present, but
indulge the hope that when the county is more thickly settled I shall meet
with better success,
I am, with much respect, your obd't serv't,
JAMES PAINE, Sr.
Indian River, Fla., May 18th, 1871
Rev. Chas. Beecher, Superintendent of Public Instructiont
Sir--Your favor of April 25th reached me by last mail, and in answer I beg
leave to say that to facilitate your desire to have a school organized within
the time prescribed by law, so as to secure the portion of the fund allowed
to our county, and to make a beginning in the matter, I have concluded to- ac-
cent the appointment pf Superintendent until I can find one more competent to
At present there is no officer in our county before whom I can qualify, and
I will be compelled to wait until one is appointed. I am now making the effort
and think there is no doubt but a school will be in operation in a week or two.
Hoping soon to report it a success,
I am, very resp'y, your obd't serv't,
JAMES PAINE, Sr.
Indian River, Fla., August 4th, 1871
Rev. Chas. Beecher, Superintendent of Public Instructions
Dear Sir-.Yours of July 4th, in relation to a package of school books sent to
my care, with instructions, &Co, reached me on the 24th, and on the 31st July
I received a large box and small bundle. I have not opened the box; the
bundle contained books for beginners.
I will hold them subject to your orders, as we have no school or schools to
appropriate them as you have directed. I shall attend the sitting of the
Legislature the coming winter, when I will see you and confer togetheron the
subject of our county school.
I am, very resp'y, your obd't serv't,
JAMES PAINE, Sr.
Superintendent, H. J, Yearty, Abe's Springs. Whole number of schools 7; gain
2; pupils 192; gain 92. Received from the State $224.79, from county none,
private contributions, board of teachers $141, Expended on schools $102,66.
Superintendent, Ozias Buddington. Schools 6; gain 1; pupils 168; gain 78.
Received from State $212.65, from county 218.75, private contributions about
$419. Total expenditures for schools $5L4455.
Superintendent, A. H. Hutchingson, Lake City. Schools 39; gain 27; pupils 825;
Hon, Charles Beecher,
Sir: I beg leave to report that I have visited thirty schools during the year
and delivered lectures to each school, Much interest is being manifested by
the patrons and scholars, and the system is rapidly growing in general favor.
The unusual amount of sickness throughout the county this year prevented a
full attendance of pupils.
I respectfully beg leave to submit the following extract from the General present-
ment of the grand jury for Columbia county at the October term of the Circuit
Court, as containing matter of interest in reference to our school operations,
"Onexamination of the books and papers of the Board of Public Instruction
and the Treasurer accounts with the sums we find accounted for with
propers vouchers and amount of State school scrip coming into the hands
of the Treasurer up to date: and the State and county school Tax for
$3,277.29 of the State and county school tax for the year (1871), We
also find that the board have secured titles to land for twenty-two
schools--that they have established thirty-nine schools within the county,
nineteen of which have been taught during the present year, This refer-
ence of the grand jury is for the year since January, 1872, eleven
being taught at present, and contracts being made for the teaching of
five others, and negotiations pending for securing teachers for four
(Signed) PRIMUS HARRISON,
Chairman of the Committee of Grand Jury."
A. J, HUTCHINGSON
County Superintendent of Public Schools for Columbia County,
No report. It is believed that no schools have been maintained by the Board
the past year in this county. The number of youth is small, families scattered,
and, as in Brevard, the obstacles to educational progress are very great.
Wo H. Christy, Superintendent, Jacksonville, Schools, 25; gain 20. Whole
numberof pupils not reported. The following letter will be read with interests
Rev. Chas. Beechert
Dear Sir--In behalf of the Board of Education of the county of Duval, I have
the honor and pleasure to report twenty-five Public Schools in the county in
successful operation. In these are employed thirty-five teachers.
But, it is to call your attention especially to the Duval Graded High School,
that I now write. This school is organized with a full corps of competent
teachers. The President, Hon. J. W. Tucker, has had long experience in teach-
ing and has been most successful in the present organization. We have now in
this school one hundred and eighty pupils, and if they continue to come in as
they are now daily doing, by the first week in January next, we shall have
over 200 or 225 pupils. In order to remove the prejudices existing in the
community against public schools, we have made special effort to get a school
of high grade. It is rapidly winning the confidence of our best citizens,
and many of them are sending their children, and are highly pleased with their
progress., The expenses of this school are now $400 per month. We would be
glad to pay off our teachers monthly, and have paid them the first month,
Our treasury is now exhausted and will likely remain empty for awhile, as the
tax-collector has been delayed in making his collections by Injunction. The
Injunction has now been removed. We need financial help now more than we shall
need it any future time.
We wish to make this school a model school, both for the good results which
may follow here, and for the influence it may have on the general cause of
education throughout the State, Heretofore the cleverest of our citizens have
paid their taxes grudgingly to the school fund, supposing they were only throw-
ing away their money,
The other school, Staunton Institute, is again in successful operation, having
seven teachers and nearly four hundred pupils; at present rate of increase
will have 450 or 500 by middle of January. Some of our citizens are encourag-
ing us with the promise of liberal subscriptions to enlarge the grounds and
buildings of the Duval Graded High School.
Wishing you great success in your important work of superintending the cause
of education throughout the State, &c,,
I remain, yours truly,
T, W. MOORE, Ch. Board P. I.
DUVAL GRADED HIGH SCHOOL--JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
Board of Public Instruction--Capt. C. B, Wilder, Mr. Samuel Spearing,
Hon. J. S. Adams, Hon. J. M. Daniel, Rev. T. W. Moore, Chairman.
Corps of Instructors--J. Wofford Tucker, Principal and Professor of English Lit-
erature; Rev. L. Webb, Professor of Languages and Mathematics; Miss J. A. Tredwell,
Instructor in Vocal Music and English Branches; Miss Nellie Murdoch, Assistant
in English; Mrs. Julia Livingston, Assistant Preparatory Department.
The Scholastic Year embraces two Sessions--from the first of October to the first
of February, and from the first of February to the first of June.
No tuition fees are charge.
The order and classification of the School are as perfect as practicable, and
the work of instruction is most carefully and accurately done.
It is the design of the Board to furnish to the youth of this county the most
favorable opportunity to acquire either a liberal English education, or to fit
themselves for any college,
COURSE OF STUDY IN DUVAL HIGH SCHOOL.
First Year.--lst Session--Written Arithmetic, Physiology, Latin Grammar, English
Composition, History of United States.
2d. Session.--Algebra, Chemistry, Latin Reader, English Grammar, Goldsmith and
Composition, History of the United States.
Second Year.--lst Session--Algebra, Chemistry, Ceasar, Sketch Book, Irving,
Composition, History of England.
2d. Session.--Geometry, Bookkeeping, Ceasar, Latin Composition, Milton and
Composition, Ancient History, Ancient Geography.
Third Year.--lst Session--Trigonometry, Geology, Ovid, Latin Composition, Ancient
History, ancient Geography.
2d, Session.--Navigation, Surveying, Zoology, Virgil, Greek or French, Rhetoric,
Fourth Year,.--st Session--Analytical Geometry, Botany, Cicero, Anabasis or
French, Logic, Moral. Philosophy.
2d. Session.--Philosophy and Mechanics, Astronomy, Horance, Herodotus or French,
Political Economy, Constitutional Law.
Music to be taught throughout the course.
Superintendent, F. B. Wakefield, Apalachicola, No report has been received.
Number of schools the previous year 2; pupils 200.
Superintendent, A. J. Pickard, Pensacola. Schools 16; gain 10; pupils 563;
gain 339. Receipts from the State and county, not reported; private contri-
butions $540.--Total expenditure for schools $4,111.58.
Superintendent, Samuel Galloway D, D., Quincy. Schools 30; gain 24; pupils
1,116; gain 891. Received from State $l61.21, from county $2,752,30. From
private contribution, board of teachers $2,330. Total expenditure for schools
Superintendent, Samuel McInnis, White Springs.--Schools 24; gain 19; pupils
679; gain 579. Received from State $596.41, from county $1,192.81. Under
date of October 7, 1872 the Superintendent writes "several new and comfortable
school houses are being built in the county, entirely at the expense of the
citizens. At some of these localities the people, I think, contemplate giving
the houses to the Board, We have no funds, nor have we had, except the small
sum raised by taxation in the county. The assistance rendered by the State
has done us no good. No one willreceive the warrants or bonds in payment
of claims against the Board. Their orders, however, have never failed to bring
100 cents on the dollar."
Superintendent, T. S. Coogler, Brooksvilleo Schools 10; gain 3; pupils 287;
gain 43. Amount assessed for 1871 4972.04--this tax was paid by the Collector
into the State Treasury and the Board of Public Instruction does not appear
to have received it. Total expenditures for schools $511.12. Under date of
April 25, 1872, Mr. Coogler writes:
The Board of this county has been very careful in opening schools and has
limited the number to that only which our funds could warrant, We have fully
paid every obligation and contract with our teachers, and all the debts to
become due, we have the means of paying. All of our payments have been, and
will be made, in current funds. We have received only six hundred dollars
($600.00) of the school tax of 1871--to wit--considerable amount due us, but
owing to the expiration of the term of office of our Collector it could not
be collected. This evil, I hope, will soon be remedied, and we may get the
money due us in time to meet our obligations of the coming fall.
We have progressed very harmoniously and satisfactorily during the present
year, and teachers, parents and pupils seem perfectly satisfied with our
course of management.
We have had only four schools in operation during the past three months, but
they have been well attended and ably taught. Three of them have ceased, and
the fourth terminates in a few days. Owing to the fact that all of our people
are poor, and during the working, or farm season, are compelled to retain their
children at home to aid them in their farm work, we have permitted the majority
of the patrons of each school to select the time, when they prefer the school
to be taught. Hence six out of ten schools have selected the months of June,
July and August, as during these months, they can send all their children.
We have but one school at this place (Brooksville) and it is a colored one,
It is the largest and best attended school in the county. The second term
of this school has just ended, thq number of scholars having been 72. And
it has been taught by a Southern white lady, who has discharged her duty
faithfully and well. I attended the examination of the pupils on the last
day of this term, and having attended the examination of the first term, I
was enabled to form a just estimate of the progress made by the colored
pupils, and I am free to admit, that my former belief (having been a slave-
owner) of the mental incapacity of the negro, underwent a complete change,
and I am convinced that all they need is half of an opportunity, and they
will develop as much mental calibre as any other race,
Any suggestion, recommendation or advice which you may be pleased to give
me, will be gladly received and promptly acted upon.
Very truly yours &c.,
T. S. COOLER,
County Superintendent of Hernando county.
W, F, White, Superintendent, Tampao Schools 14; gain 7, Pupils 436; gain
287. Received from State $379.06; from county $758.12; from private contri-
butions the balance not paid by board. Total expenditure for schools $1,1252
The cause of education in this county is believed to be in a prosperous
W, W, Brown, Superintendent, Cerro Gordo, No report from this county this
year or the year previous.
D. L. McKinnon, Superintendent, Mariannao Schools 18; gain 8, Pupils
(estimated) 1,100; gain 200. Received from State $735.75; from county
$2,136.67. Total expenditure for schools $2,364o50o
The progress of the good cause of education in Jackson county is quite marked
and is matter of rejoicing to all, Let all the citizens of the county take
courage and redouble their efforts,
Ro C, Loveridge, Superintendent, Monticello, Schools (estimated) 25; gain
3. Pupils about 1000; gain 100. Received from the State in Warrants 42,600;
from county, about $2,750.
Wo D. Sears, Superintendent, New Troy. No report.
Revo Josephus Anderson, D. D., Superintendent, Tallahassee. Schools 35;
gain 4o Pupils 1,h49; loss 40. Received from State $1,501,74; from county,
not reported. Total expenditure for schools $11,767.84.
The West Florida Seminary the past year was placed under charge of the County
Board, as the Tallahassee High School. Mr. Edward Aikin was employed as
principal of the male, and Miss Sara Horner of the female departments, with
a corps of able and experienced assistants. Under these auspices the school
for a time flourished in a most gratifying manner. The closing examinations
particularly in the female department passed off agreeably, reflecting credit
both upon the pupils and upon their accomplished instructors.
The cause of education in this county suffered a severe loss in the accidental
burning of the colored school building. This was a substantial two-story-
edifice, with four large rooms, amply accommodating the colored schools of the
city. Since that time these schools have been inconveniently kept in churches
and other buildings such as could be obtained. It is to be hoped that the
public spirit of the community will soon replace a structure so deeply needed,
W. A. Shands, Superintendent, Bronson. Received from State $224.24; from
county $162. Whole amount assessed $1,672.20. Under date of December 16, 1872,
the Superintendent writes
I mail to you to-day, a summary, not hardly to be called an accurate report,
for that would be impossible where so many negligent officers are concerned.
As you will see in the report as made by the Assessor of Taxes, and also by
the Treasurer, only a very small portion of the taxes assessed have been paid
to the Treasurer, You ask, why? One reason is, that there have been three
incumbents of the Collector's office. Roger resigned, Leavitt was appointed,
then removed, I think any way. Wimberly was commissioned, then he is ordered
to return his commission and Leavitt re-appointed. Wimberly refuses to give
up and they have left it to the courts to decide, which is not yet decided,
Also the Railroad has filed an injunction against the Collection of Taxes due
for this year; therefore, the Board, I think, has wisely concluded to have
no schools until the warrants of 1870 are paid and the money is in the treasurer's
We are, and have been without schools this year, and will be until there is
funds collected to pay teachers; for our former superintendent recklessly estab-
lished schools and has got us into this dilemma. Yours,
WM. A. SHANDS, Co. Sup't, Levy county.
Niel Black, Jr., Superintendent, Blue Creek, No report.
D. Eagan, Superintendent, Madison. Schools 2$5 gain 14. Pupils 1153; gain 396.
Received from State $746.39; from County, $3,150. Total expenditures for schools,
including indebtedness for 1871, $4,778.
Under date of November lh, 1871, Mr. Eagan writes:
The present scholastic year opens under more favorable
auspices, and the friends of popular education are using every effort to recover
lost ground, and endeavoring to get all interested in schools, so that our free
school system may be considered as a permanent fixture in our State.
The white school at this place opened on the 1st inst., in charge of Mr. John
Brass, a teacher of great experience and fine culture. He is assisted by Miss
Moseley, a lady of good learning, and said to have been a very successful teacher.
Mr. Brass informs me that the school is largely attended, and the number of scholars
daily increasing. It is the intention of the Board of this County to make this
a first class school and bring it up to that standing, so that we may be able to
avail ourselves of the benefit of the Peabody fund so kindly offered by Dr. Sears.
The colored school here has not yet opened but will on the first Monday in De-
cember. Two Northern lady teachers have been engaged for this school. They
come highly recommended from New York. This school has made great and wonderful
progress, the children manifesting great eagerness to learn. I doubt if there
is a better school in the State. Probably the rapid progress made by the scholars
of this school is owing to the fact that they have been favored with the best of
teachers. I have also engaged another Northern lady teacher for the school at
Ellaville, who will be here in a few days. I find the men who persistently
opposed the introduction of free schools at first, begin to reflect and now man-
ifest great interest in the schools, and they cheerfully furnish school houses
and comply with all the conditions exacted of them by the Board of Public Instruc-
tion of this county. But the houses furnished are anything but comfortable,
many of them having no desks or even comfortable seats for the children. I
would suggest that a plain, simple, and comprehensive manual on school houses be
prepared and distributed among the people of this State.
The Board have taken the necessary steps to locate twenty schools throughout the
county for the present year. This will place schools within the reach of all,
excepting a few who live in the remote and sparsely settled portion of our county.
Dr. Sears has donated 1000 primary school books to this county, which will be
distributed gratuitously among the poor and indigent pupils of the county. Thus
you see there will be no excuse for parents, &c., to have their children grow up
in ignorance and poverty. Although a great deal has been done by the friends
of the cause for the benefit of both classes, yet much remains to be done, and
it becomes us who have seen and realized the benefits of free schools to use
our most earnest efforts to make the system effectual in the State. Until this
is done, our State will not be what nature intended it should be.
I am, sir, very resp'y, your obd't serv't,
D. EAGAN, Co. Sup't.
John F. Bartholf, Superintendent, Manatee. Schools 4; gain 1; pupils 119; gain
59. Received from State (warrants) $153.74, from county $788.71. Private con-
tribution (board &c.) $180. Under date of September 30, Mr. Bartholf writes
Accompanying find report of school operations in this county during the past
scholastic year. I regret very much that it does not present a more encourag-
ing state of affairs, so far as the establishment of schools is concerned.
Financially, matters are much improved, as unlike most of the counties in the
State, we did not sacrifice the warrants we received in a settlement of our
apportionment of the School Fund, but held on to them, and now are benefitted
by them as tax-paying scrip. This will help us out very much the coming year,
as the accumulation of the fund amounts to about one thousand dollars, worth,
I presume, about seven hundred in cash, and in addition, we have the taxes of
this year, a balance from last, on hand, and are clear of debt, so that you
perceive, financially, our prospects, our condition is good, yet still we
labor under many obstacles, and chief among these is the scarcity of competent
teachers and unfortunately, we cannot offer inducement sufficient to cause
competent persons to come here and take charge of schools. The people are so
widely scattered, and there are so many children, that we are unable to establish
schools for a sufficient length of time to justify persons to incur the expense
and inconvenience of travel from a distance to come and conduct them. From a
careful survey that I have made, I find that twenty schools can be established
in this county this winter, with an average attendance of fifteen pupils, making
a total of three hundred that will be benefited; but that is only half the
children of school age in the county. The remainder are living so remotely
and in out-of-the-way places, that they cannot receive any benefit from the
I am making every possible effort to put the number of schools designated in
operation, but fear very much I shall not be able to obtain teachers. What
we are to do, I do not know. The utmost amount of funds that we can realize
will scarcely enable us to establish even three months' schools; (so many are
needed) and even if we had the means, I doubt very much if the attendance
would be sufficient to justify the expense, as people here will not send their
children to school during the cropping or cow-pen season, and owing to the
country being flooded with water from about the first of June until the first
of October, it is extremely inconvenient for them to send during that time.
In some neighborhoods, I am happy to say this is not the case, and the people
show a disposition to make any sacrifice, submit to any inconvenience, in order
to send their children regularly to school.
Ho W. Lang, Superintendent Ocala. Schools 30; loss h; pupils 1,277; loss
223. Received from State L478.87, from county $6,700. Total expenditures
for schools $7,9L7.65.
This is one of the best counties in the State for its schools, and although
the number this year is somewhat less than that last, owing to some un-
explained causes, there is no diminution of zeal on the part of officers or
of interest among the citizens.
J. W. Locke, Superintendent, Key West. Schools 11, considered in report as 2,
but equivalent to what in ordinary cases would be 11 schools; pupils t48.
Received from State, bonds, $1,799, scrip $578, from county $5,145. Total ex-
penditure for schools $5,677.27.
The only schools in the county are located at Key West. They are well graded,
ably conducted, and successful.
J. C. Emerson, Superintendent, Fernandina. No report.
N. W. Prince, Superintendent, Orlando. No report.
W. B. Varn, Superintendent. Schools none; loss 9; pupils none; loss 252. Amount re-
ceived from State, warrants, $604, from county nothing.
E. R. Chadwick Superintendent, Palatka. Schools 12; gain 4; pupils 332; gain 32.
Received from State $U62.74, from county $1,031.,7. Total amount public moneys
expended by Board $1,325.18. The Superintendent writes July 11, 1871:
There seems to be an increasing interest in schools among the people
of this county, and we only lack money in order to make free schools
a grand success."
"I wish, if possible, to induce our Board to erect in Palatka a good
school-house, capable of accommodating 100 pupils. We have a school-
house for the colored children built by the U. S. Government but none
at all for white."
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
J. A. Chaffin, Superintendent, Milton. Schools 8; gain 6; pupils 237; gain 162.
Received from State nothing, from county $608. Expenditures for schools $600;
amount paid Superintendent none; Board of Pub. Instruction none; expenses none.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
0. Bronson, M.,D., Superintendent, St. Augustine.--Schools 9; gain 3; pupils 350;
gain 50. Received from State $246.49, (warrants), from county $2,698.86, from
private sources $1,300.
The following letter from the Superintendent is worthy of general attention:
My Dear Siri--The schools in our city are doing very well. Mr, Waterbury,
Principal of the Peabody School, says his school has never been in a better
condition. His opinion is confirmed by the visiting committee of the trustees
of the school, who make a careful inspection of the school weekly. Mr. Water-
bury's qualifications are so well known to you that it is not necessary for me
to speak of them. The principal of the primary departments is faithful in the
discharge of her duties. The principals are aided by two competent female assist-
ants. The discipline of the whole school will compare favorably with the best
regulated schools in any part of the country.
In this connection, it may be proper to give our experience on a subject of much
importance and one which has been a good deal discussed in works which are de-
voted to the practical matters in education, I refer to the expediency of
having boys and girls taught in the same room together. There is some diversity
of opinion on this subject among teachers and school trustees. I believe a
majority, if not a very large number in proportion, of those who speak from
actual experience would confirm our opinion that there are great advantages in
the plan we have adopted of having the two sexes in the same room. I speak
only of schools of moderate size, where there are not more scholars of both
sexes than could be accommodated in one room. The bringing the sexes to-
gether in the school room transfers to it some of the benefits enjoyed in the
family circle, where brothers and sisters exert so happy an influence on each
other's character. Our children are to live together in society as men and
women, and they cannot be too early trained in the exercise of that mutual
deference and respect on which all higher civilization is founded. I am not
aware that anything has occurred to cause us to regret that we have brought
our boys and girls together in the same room. The happy influence of our
practice is very manifest.
In large towns or cities, in schools of the higher branches of education and
in colleges, the question assumes another aspect. Confining our remarks to
such schools as we have in this State and such as we are likely to have for
some time to come, I have no doubt that the same system which so largely pre-
vailed in New England is the best for us to adopt.
I might add that our school house and grounds are so arranged that the boys
and girls have separate entrances and separate play grounds.
There have been objections made to placing boys and girls in the same room,
but all that I have heard have proceeded from persons whose views on free
public schools are entirely at variance with those entertained by the Board
of Public Instruction.
School instruction in our county outside of the city of St. Augustine, has
many difficulties to contend against, chiefly derived from the sparseness of
the population and the poverty of the people. Reasonable efforts are made by
the inhabitants of the rural districts to enjoy the benefits of education.
Where schools have been established, the attendance of the pupils has been as
good as could be expected.
There is no building in the county outside of St. Sugustine at all adapted to
the purposes of a school house. I do not know of one provided with desks and
seats. Until there is an increase of population, there will not probably be
any substantial improvement. Another difficulty is the want of uniform books,
and in some cases of a sufficient supply of books of any kind. Until the school
fund is much larger than it is at present, it will be impossible to render the
inhabitants of the school precincts sufficient aid to enable them to supply the
deficiencies referred to. However, there appears to be a commendable desire
among the people that their children should receive the benefits of an education,
and whBre there is a will a way of some sort or other is generally found.
Yours respectfully and sincerely, 0. ERONSON.
Superintendent, A. P. Roberts, Leesburg. Schools 7 loss 1, pupils 215; gain
98. Received from State in warrants, $247.2L, from county $543.58. Total
expenditure for schools $676.75.
Superintendent, M. M. Blackburn, Live Oak, Schools 9; gain 7; pupils 302;
gain 211. Received from State in warrants $300, from county 1,$568.29. Total
expenditure for schools $1,795672.
Extract from letter of Superintendent Blackburn.
"About 33 per cent, of the school funds expended was used to pay
the old Board for services before the present Board come into office.
This expense will not occur again, as the new Board will draw their
pay from the county funds as other county expenses are provided for.
We may be mistaken, but we are confident in our own estimation that
we will be able to present you with a more favorable report from this
county at the end of the present year."
Superintendent, James H. Wentworth, Shady Grove.--Schools 7; loss 3; pupils 193;
loss 131. Received from State (warrants) $130.49, sold for $75, from county
$313.75; from private sources $195. Total expenditure for schools, $55,40.
Superintendent, Champ H. Spencer, Port Orange.'-Schools 10; gain 7; pupils 193;
gain 11. Received from State nothing, from county nothing; from private sources
$62.50. Expenditure $467.50.
Extract from letter of Superintendent.
The Board of County Commissioners complain that they can never get sheriff, collector
and assessor of the county to a settlement. I have inserted in the report what
I believe the County School Board will apportion to the various schools. One
thing you will be able to gather from the number of schools in a county so scarcely
populated, A healthy public opinion will soon manifest itself in looking after
the schools, The school Board and Superintendent serve gratuitously. It is almost
impossible to get anybody to pay attention to attending school board meetings and
if Thayer persists in declining as school Treasurer, I know not where to look for
John. S. Moring, Superintendent, Crawfordville. Schools 6; loss 1; pupils 156;
loss 102. Received from State, (warrants) $721.69, from county $424.84. Total
The Board have wisely determined to establish no more schools than they have funds
to sustain--hence, for a time, a diminution in number of schools. It is hoped
soon to bring matters upon a cash basis.
Duncan G. McLeod, Superintendent, Eucheeana. No report.
Thomas Hannah, Superintendent, Vernon. Schools 7; pupils 195, same as previous
year. Received from State in warrants $249.24, from the county $362.79, con-
tributions by citizens $433.20. Total expenditure for schools $$93,25.
Taken from the Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, the Hon, J. C. Gibbs, Superintendent of Public
Superintendent, Hon. W, K. Cessna, Gainesville. Schools, 36; gain, 13; pupils,
1,953; gain 714. Total amount of public money received from the county,
$4,879,83; total amount from the State, $1,945; total amount expended by the
board, $7,298.48; total cost, $7,648.h8.
The total number of children in attendance on the public schools of Alachua
county, for the scholastic year ending September 30, 1873, was 1,953; the
general average attendance was 1,121. Total amounts of salaries paid teachers
was $6,400. There were 36 schools taught in the county, of which 3 were con-
tinued during the entire year; 8 were continued for six months, and the bal-
ance for three and four months each.
Superintendent, J. W, Howell, Sanderson, Schools, 2; pupils, 75, Received
from the county one mill tax, $119.85; received from the State, $134. The
Superintendent writes as follows:
Sanderson, Fla., October 30, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Tallahassee, Fla.t
Sirt Owing to the expense incurred in organizing the free school system and
establishing schools in 1871, we have only been able to support a very limited
number of schools since, but I feel confident that we will be able to pay our
entire indebtedness this year, and begin a new era.in the school interest in
Very respectfully, J. Wo HOWELL,
Superintendent County Schools, Baker dountyo
Superintendent, A. Lawrence, Starke, The following letter is from the Chair-
man of the Board of Public Instruction, Mr. Isaac J, Hatch, an earnest friend
of public schools
Starke, Fla., November 7, 1873
Hon, J. C. Gibbs, State Superintendent Public Instructions
Dear Sir: On inspection our itemized blank will be found incomplete, not,
however, from any apathy on our part, but from prohibition on the part of
some of the heretofore leaders of the county in financial as well as political
circles. We have been obliged to get all the information we have obtained by
going over the county and making personal inquiry of citizens in regard to the
progress of free schools, which we have found entirely unsatisfactory to every
tax-payer, and an entire disgust of the free school system prevails, except
among those who have been made acquainted with the distribution of the school
funds by our predecessors in office. You ask why? Because the laboring classes
have derived so little benefit and seen so little diffusion of knowledge from
public resources. We have had a good many pretended free schools, but the
teachers were always paid by the patrons, with a promise from the school officials
that the amount paid for tuition would be refunded when collected from the State
or tax collector; and they have been waiting patiently from 1871 until now, when
they are told that each school year's fund received from the State and county
cannot be taken to pay debts of the previous year. Money has been received from
the old treasury for the payment of the patrons for tuition paid teachers, but
from apathy, the money crisis, or the decline of the price of "turpentine," or
"forgetfulness," the losers have not been remunerated. But with a great deal
of exertion on the part of the members of the board, the prospect is much more
cheering now than it has been for six months past. With the amount of funds on
hand, and that which will soon be received from the collector, we expect to
start between 6 and 12 schools, and have sufficient money at the end of each
term to pay the teachers for their services, and not run the county or school
board in debt by employing more teachers than we have means to pay, and have to
issue scrip, as has been done, or in some cases issue scrip and keep the money
November 8, 1873.
I this day received a line from you regarding a school at Trail Ridge. There
are about 15 children at Trail Ridge, in this county. The rest of them live in
Clay county. We have sent our Superintendent down to-day to see what can be
done. Cur great desire is to have the schools in this county in a prosperous
condition as soon as possible.
I remain yours very respectfully,
ISAAC J. HATCH,
Chairman County Board Public Instruction, Bradford county, Fla.
Superintendent, Alexander Hawkins, Abe's Springs. Whole number of schools, 8;
gain, 1. Received from the State, $78.06; one mill tax, $88.35. Tax assessed
for schools not reported.
This report is incomplete. The Superintendent writes:
"We have established schools as above reported. There are several
private schools in successful operation, which will be adopted as public
schools as soon as the board can obtain means."
Superintendent, Ozias Buddington, Middle burg. Schools, 4; pupils, 60. Total
amount received from the State, $127; total amount received from the county not
stated; total amount expended, $2,55.75.
Superintendent, A. H. Hutchinson, Lake City. Schools, 25; enrolled pupils, 1,231;
average attendance, 860. State aid, $804.47. Number of days taught, 66.
Total expenditure for schools, $2,910; total amount received from the county,
E. T. Sturtevant, Superintendent. No report. It is believed that no schools
have been maintained by the Board of Instruction. The number of youth is small,
and the population widely scattered, as in Brevard.
W. H. Christy, Superintendent, Jacksonville. Schools, 25; whole number of
pupils in attendance, 1,252. Treasurer's account shows by receipt and ex.
penditures from March 1, 1872, to July 1, 1873, an outlay of $20,472.30CState
and county tax, not including the apportionment of the interest from the school
fund for 1873, $912.50, which was not drawn until October, 1873. The above
$20,572.30 was derived from the following sources:
From J. J. Month, collector of revenues
General State and county tax, $1359318
From P. Jones, collector of revenue, as above, 5,479.12
From Peabody Fund, o00.00
Duval Graded High School, Jacksonville, Fla,
Board of Public Instruction--Captian C, B. Wilder, Mr. Samuel Spearing, Hon.
J. S. Adams, Hon. J. M. Daniel, Rev. T, W. Moore chairman.
Corps of Instructors--J. Wofford Tucker Principal and Professor of English
Literature; Rev. L. Webb, Professor of Languages and Mathematics; Miss J. A.
Treadwell, Instructor in Vocal Music and English Branches; Miss Nellie
Murdoch, Assistant in English; Mrs. Julia Livingston, Assistant Preparatory
The scholastic year embraces two sessions--from the first of October to the
first of February, and from the first of February to the first of June.
No tuition fees are charged.
The order and classification of the school are as perfect as practicable,
and the work of instruction is most carefully and accurately done.
rt is the design of the board to furnish to the youth of this country the
most favorable opportunity to acquire either a liberal English education, or
to fit themselves for any college.
Course of study in Duval High School
First Year.--lst. Session--Written Arithmetic, Physiology, Latin Grammar,
English Composition, History of United States. 2d Session--Algebra, Chemistry,
Latin Reader, English Grammar, Goldsmith and Composition, History of United
Second Year,--lst Session--Algebra, Chemistry, Caesar, Sketch Book, Irving, Com-
position, History of England, 2d Session--Geometry, Bookkeeping, Caesar, Latin
Composition, Milton and Composition, Ancient History, Ancient Geography.
Third Year,--lst Session--Trigonometry, Geology, Ovid, Latin Composition, Shake-
speare and Composition, Ancient History, Ancient Geography. 2d Session--Naviga-
tion, Surveying, Zoology, Virgil, Greek or French, Rhetoric, Mental Philosophy.
Fourth Year.--lst Session--Analytical Geometry, Botany, Cicero, Anabasis, or French
Logic, Moral Philosophy. 2d Session--Philosophy and Mechanics, Astonomy, Horace,
Herodotus or French, Political Economy, Constitutional Law.
Music to be taught throughout the course,
George W. Lindsay, Superintendent, Pensacola. Schools, 11; total attendance,
1,219. Total amount of public money received from the county, $3,548; received
from the State apportionment, from interest on school fund, $588.84. Total ex-
penditure for schools, $3,290.
F. B. Wakefield, Superintendent, Apalachicola. Schools, 2; total attendance,
135. Public money from the county, $884.49; State interest on school fund,
$97.94; balance from 1872, $211.92. Total expenditure for schools, $1,021,
Samuel Hamlin, Superintendent, Quincy. Whole number of schools, 30; attendance,
1,151. Total amount of public money received from the county, $3,9946.94; from
State, interest on school fund, $436.,8. Total amount expended by the board for
the year 1872--73, $5,302; total cost for the year 1872-73, $6,585, Private
S. L. Taylor, Superintendent, Jasper. Schools, 23; attendance, 664. Total
amount received from the county, of public money for the year 1872-78, not stated;
total amount of public money received from the State, $32L481. Total amount ex-
pended by the board, $1,018.80. Total cost, $2,044.
Superintendent, T. S. Coogler, Brooksville. Schools, 16; gain 6. Total amount
of public money received from the county, $1,127; total amount from the State,
$204.50; total amount expended by the board for 1873, $1,119.01; balance public
money on hand, $451.04.
The following letter is from the Superintendent:
Brooksville, Fla., October 1, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Superintendent Public InStruction:
Dear Sir: Our board met yesterday and located fifteen schools for the ensuing
year. We do not owe a dollar on account of past operations, but on the con-
trary, as you will observe from the report, we have a considerable sum to our
credit, and the tax collector is due us a few hundreds on account of school
taxes for 1872. The Comptroller's warrants have not been disposed of, because
we did not need the money and hoped that we could realize more by retaining
them. With this as a starting point, I see no reason why the school operations
for the incoming year cannot be carried on satisfactorily and well.
Hoping that the same may meet your approval, I am, very respectfully, your
obedient servant, T. S. COOGLER,
Superintendent for Hernando County.
Superintendent, W, F. White, Tampa. Schools, 19; gain, 5; average daily at-
tendance, 400. Total amount from the county, $1,874.40; total amount from
the State, $288.80; total amount expended by the board for 1872 and 1873,
$1,990.52; balance on hand, $172.68,
Superintendent, C. E. Harvey, Marianna. Schools, 20; gain, 2; daily average,
00. Total amount received from the county for 1871 and 1872, $4,529.15;
total amount received from the State for 1871 and 1872, $3,601.37; total
amount expended by the board for 1871 and 1872, $7,447; balance on hand,
The progress of public sentiment in relation to the cause of public education
is marked, and a matter of rejoicing to all. Several donations have this year
been presented to the Board of Public Instruction by the citizens of the county;
one instance a handsome tract of land, and in another a substantial building
for school purposes,
The following letter will be read with interest:
Marianna, Fla., November 21, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Dear Sirt Your communication of the 12th inst. received, and in reply would
take pleasure in stating that the schools of our county are in a flourishing
condition, numbering in all some twenty-eight schools, fourteen of which are
constantly in operation. Since the School Board of Education has been under
the control of its present members, it has grown rapidly in confidence of
patrons and children, and all show marked improvement. The chairman of the
board, Mr~ Lo M. Gamble, seems to take a most lively interest in the education
of our poor and ignorant children, and has donated forty acres of land to
build a large colored school at Bethlehem District, and says he intends to
open a contribution list among the people next year in order to assist in
building the house. This site is in a large settlement, good location, and
a fine healthy spot, and plenty of timber to assist in keeping it in order and
enclosed. Another citizen, Mr. J. W. Cook, has given one acre of land to the
school in the Mount Tabor or Killgore District. The Board of Education have put
up a good comfortable log school-house on it, and it will be put in operation
on the 1st of January next.
In a few words I would assure your Honor that the educational interests of this
county are watched over and guarded by a board whose whole interest is for its
advancement to the highest standard. It is true we have among us enemies to the
advancement of our colored children, but these are such that they are neither
feared or noticed at all. Most of the schools have now closed until January 1st,
having finished the scholastic year (nine months), but we all hope next year will
be ushered in with a fresh burst of enthusiasm, and a higher appreciation of the
education of our children, for there is nothing truer than your maxim sent us,
that "What ye would have appear in the life of a nation must first be incorporated
into its common schools."
With kind regards for myself and Mr. L. M. Gamble, who asks to be remembered to
you, I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. E. HARVEY,
Superintendent Public Instruction, Jackson County.
Superintendent, Rob't Meacham, Monticello. Schools, 38; gain, 13; pupils, 1,414.
Total amount received from the county, $4,900; total amount received from the
State, $2,163. Total amount expended by the board for the years 1872 and 1873,
A large, convenient, handsome school-building has been erected this year in Mon-
ticello, chiefly by donations of the citizens, and some of the best teachers in
this States employed.
The board expect to erect several plank school-houses this winter. The new
building has four rooms; each room accommodates eighty pupils. Well done,
Superintendent, J. P. Apthorp, Tallahassee, Schools, 43; gain, 8; pupils, 1,419.
Total amount of school tax collected for 1872, $4,158.44; total amount received
from the State, $2,079.22 cash, $1, 21.13 scrip; Superintendent of Peabody Fund,
$800; West Florida Seminary Fund, $467.98. Total amount expended by the board
for 1872, $9,085.78.
The following letter will be read with interest:
Tallahassee, Fla,, November 12, 1873.
Hon, J. C. Gibbs, State Superintendent of Education:
Dear Sirt In regard to school operations in Leon county I have to report that
during the years 1872 and 1873 there were organized in this county forty schools.
These were continued for terms varying from one to eight months in length, with
very uniform success, Ten only of these reported an attendance of less than
twenty pupils. The rest numbered from twenty up to seventy, daily average.
These schools were established where the need seemed most pressing, and the
people manifested most interest in having them. This number of schools,
however, by no means supplies the demand. Where the means at hand for paying
competent teachers, their number might be largely increased.
Respectfully, J. P. APTHORP,
Superintendent of Schools, Leon County, Florida.
Superintendent, Thomas B, Faitoute, Bronson. Schools, 21; gain, 21; pupils,
478. Amount received from the county not stated; total amount from the State,
$153.77, Total amount of school tax assessed for 1873, $2,806.95.
The Superintendent, under date of October 1st, writes as follows:
Bronson, Levy County, Fla., October 1, 1873.
Hon. Jo C. Gibbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.
Dear Sirt Inclosed please find the annual report of school operations for
Levy county, for the scholastic year ending September 30, 1873, It is not as
full as I would like to have had it, but it is the best I could do under the
circumstances. The financial condition of the county school treasury being
so low, we were obliged to accept any one for teachers who were willing to
teach on promises, so that most of our teachers were inexperienced, though we
had some very good teachers, who took an interest in the work, The citizens
are beginning to see the benefit of free schools, and most of them are will-
ing to assist in paying teachers, though most of the patrons are too poor to
do much. People live too scattering in the country to have large schools,
which makes it very expensive to employ good teachers for all. The children
are allowed to go astray at home, as suits them best, so that it is almost
impossible to keep a full school, and we were obliged to pay our teachers for
them all, whether they attended or not. We could!not get teachers for all the
schools, because we could not promise to pay in full at the end of the quarter,
and but few good teachers wish to take a school for only three months, and we
could not promise a longer term.
We have decided to close our schools for the present, and get square, and have
some money on hand before we commence again. If taxes are collected, and the
money paid over promptly, there is no reason why Levy county cannot have as
good schools as any county in the State, and for as long a term. The citizens
are willing to pay their taxes and help support the schools besides, and I
hope the scholastic year of 1874 will close with a better record than any since
the free school went into operation. There should be at least six months
school a year to be of much benefit to the children, and it is useless to
spend so much money, year after year, without benefiting them.
T. B. FAITOUTE,
Superintendent of Schools, Levy County.
Superintendent, J. W, Hosford, Coe's Mill, Schools, 5; gain, 5; pupils, 372.
Total amount received from the county, $272; amount received form the State, $89.89,
The following letter is from the Superintendent:
Coe's Mills, Fla., November 20, 1873.
Hon. Jonathan C. Gibbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sir: Thus you see that our finances and treasury are very poor. The county
commissioners do not put but the one-mill constitutional tax for school purposes.
I cannot give you the exact amount of funds we ought to have in our treasury,
from the fact that our tax assessor and collector have failed to make settlements
with the treasurer for the last several years.
We are careful not to promise to pay teachers only when we know we can pay them,
and by this means we are not in debt. We manage to employ teachers whenever and
wherever we can, paying them as much as our funds will allow, and the patrons
make up the salary by subscription. We do not attempt to employ a teacher for
more than three months in the year, at the same place, and allow the patrons to
choose the time in the year.
I have just returned from an extensive tour over the country, consulting with
the people with regard to schools, and find considerable interest, Nothing but
poverty is detrimental to schools in this county, for those who live out of
reach of schools would board their children if they were able. This county is
sparsely settled, the people generally poor, and farm for a livelihood. Many
live entirely out of reach of schools.
There is a better ratio of colored children in schools in this county than white,
from the fact that the colored people generally live in the settled portion of
the county. There are now three colored schools in operation, well managed; one
at Bristol, being taught by a white man of fine culture. I have just visited all
the schools, and I am pleased with their progress.
Hoping this report will be in time, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
J. W. HOSFORD,
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Liberty County, Fla.
Superintendent, Hon. Dennis Eagan, Madison. Schools, 22; pupils, 1,298, Total
amount received from the county for 1872 and 1873, $3,726.39; total amount re-
ceived from the State, $1,591.31; total amount expended by the board for the year
Superintendent writes as follows:
Madison, Fla,, November 3, 1873.
Hon. J. C, Gibbs, Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.t
Dear Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a detailed report of schools in
operation in this county for the scholastic year ending September 30, 1873, I
regret that I have been unable to forward the report earlier, but trust that it
is not too late to be used in preparing your annual message. The friends of
popular education in this county have every reason to congratulate themselves
upon the progress made by the public schools during the scholastic year just
closed. The number of schools and scholars in attendance have not only in-
creased, but the schools were of a better order, having been brought to a
higher standard by the employment of more competent teachers, which has had
the desired effect in securing the sympathy and assistance of all classes of
citizens, and from the impetus thus secured we may hope for good results in
the future. The school officers have been judicious in their action in not
overdoing themselves, and have limited the number of schools to that which
our funds would warrant. By this course they have been able to pay promptly
when due every obligation or contract with teachers or others in United States
currency, thus securing the best of feeling between the board and those
brought in contact with it, and all seem satisfied with the management.
The colored school here (in Madison) is all that its friends could wish. The
progress made by the pupils of this school, when compared with others, is truly
wonderful, and can only be accounted for from the fact that they have been
favored with the best of teachers. Miss Ferguson, a lady who had had many
years' experience as a teacher in the public schools of New York, has had the
management of the school for the past year, and to her and her able assistant
is due the credit of bringing the school up to the highest standard of morality
and scholarship. They not only done their duty as instructors in the school-
room, but visited the scholars at their homes,'thus exercising a wholesome
influence over the parents as well as the children, and the entire community
has been greatly benefited by this work. The interest they have manifested
in their duties has done much towards removing the suspicion and distrust with
which a certain class of our citizens look upon any Northern lady who might
come South for the purpose of teaching colored schools, and by their noble acts
they have gained the respect and esteem of even those who have always regarded
the Yankee school marm as an evil and something to be dreaded.
After repeated efforts, we finally succeeded in establishing a colored school
at Ellaville, with a Northern lady, Miss Simon, as teacher. Strange as it may
appear, this lady met with every opposition from the white people of the place,
but, notwithstanding such opposition, she succeeded in laying a foundation for
a school that she may well feel proud ofo
It has been the policy of the board to interfere as little as possible with
the selection of teachers for the white schools, allowing the patrons in each
school district to select their own teacher, the board only asking that such
selections be of competent teachers who were able to stand the required ex-
amination. The school fund is distributed to each school district in propor-
tion to the number of children residing in such district between the ages
of six and twenty years, the board exacting one months' free school for every
$25 of the public fund paid to each district. Special provision in regard
to the distribution of funds were made for the white schools here (Madison),
and the trustees had always been allowed to engage teachers, the board never
interfering more than to pay all orders for salary of teachers, which was gen-
erally large. The school had not succeeded as well as we had reason to expect,
the teachers employed had most always given general dissatisfaction, and the
result was that no pne took any great interest in the school. The attendance
was generally very small. At the close of the last term I was instructed by
the board to inform the trustees that they would take immediate steps towards
procuring a gentlemanoteacher for the coming session, and in compliance with
instructions from the board I engaged a gentleman who had long taught in the
public schools of New York, and one who was highly recommended. He opened school
on the first Monday of the present scholastic year with a fair attendance, and
the number has daily increased, and his average attendance now exceeds sixty
scholars, while at no time during the last two years has the average been greater
than thirty. Both patrons and scholars are highly pleased with the school, and
I have every reason to believe that I shall be able to make a favorable mention
of the school in my next report.
The board have adopted the system of text-books recommended by your department,
and are making considerable progress in introducing them into the different
schools. We find no difficulty in introducing them into the colored schools,
but the children of the white schools object to them because they are the same
kind of books as those used in the colored schools. Teachers have been instructed
to insist on the introduction of the books into their schools, providing the
scholars have not a sufficient uniformity of other books to allow them to be pro-
perly classed, and we hope to see, at the close of the present school year, the
same series of books used in every school in the county.
The assessor has prepared and turned over to me a careful and correct census re-
turn of the children residing in the county between the ages of five and twenty-
one years, giving the name and age of each one reported. The returns show that
we have fifty-two between those ages, showing an increase of three over that of
There has been a great change in public sentiment on the subject of free schools
in this county during the last year. Men who bitterly opposed the system a few
years ago, and who regarded it as a political hobby to be used for party purposes,
begin to reflect and see the necessity of educating the masses. They now will-
ingly co-operate and render me all assistance possible. So great has been the
change that we have six Northern ladies teaching colored schools outside of
Madison, and have been able to obtain board for them with the best of families
living near their respective schools. This is something that but few counties
in the State can boast of. I am, sir, very respectfully, your affectionate servant,
DENNIS EAGAN, County Superintendent.
The following is a list of names of teachers employed in Madison county, Florida,
with post-office address, for the scholastic year ending September 30, 1873:
Miss Hattie Ferguson, Miss Kate Livingston, Miss Kate Lunan, Donald Patterson,
C. S. Hadley, S. H. Howe, B. D. Wadsworth, F. W. Aggnew, Columbus McLeod, Miss
Julia McLeod, Mrs. M, E. Lester, Mills Elliott, George W. Overstreet, C. N.
Richardson, J. W. West, George Washington, J. S. Sutton, Mrs. M. A. Moye, Miss
Carrie Bryan, Madison, Fla.; Amos DeGaughtes, Mosley Hall, Fla.; E. J. Alexander,
Isaac Cook, Paris Singleton, Station No. 5, Fla.; J. H. Hoover, Shady Grove, Fla.
Superintendent, John F. Bartholf, Pine Level. Schools, 9; gain, 5; pupils, 200.
Total amount from the county, $550; total amount from the State for the year 1872-
73, $330. Total amount expended by the board, $814.81. Contributed in board
by the citizens, $230; cash in hand for the year ending September 30, 1873,
The following interesting letter is from the Superintendent:
Pine Level, Manatee County, Fla., October 8, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbst
Dear Sir We have adopted an entirely new system. Our experience in the past
has been that where teachers are employed at a fixed salary, and that a liberal
one, the attendance is too frequently not enough to justify the expense. Ac-
cordingly, this year, upon my recommendation, the school board decided to allow
every neighborhood that could make up a school of at least ten pupils, to
(upon consultation with the County Superintendent) employ a teacher upon terms
most advantageous to themselves, and start a school, which was to be conducted
strictly according to law; the teacher making his regular monthly returns,
which were to be sworn to by him, and certified to by a majority of the patrons
as correct, and upon which returns the county allows one dollar per month for
each pupil shown to have attended regularly, not to exceed twenty-five dollars
per month to any one school for a term of five months.
It is hoped by this plan to secure a greater interest on the part of parents
in sending their children regularly to school, in order that the amount that
they will have to pay may be lessened, and it will also induce the teacher to
greater efforts in the discharge of his duties, Moreover, remote neighborhoods,
thinly populated, will be enabled to have the benefit of the free school fund,
We are erecting some fine frame school-houses, well filled up with desks,
seats, teacher's stand, &c., the first in this county--as heretofore our schools
have been kept in some old log outbuilding or other, badly exposed to the wea-
ther, and almost entirely destitute of proper desks and seats.
We still labor under great difficulty in procuring fit and competent teachers,
I am satisfied that a dozen or more persons competent to instruct in the pri-
mary branches, could find employment here from September until March, at
salaries ranging from fifteen to twenty dollars per month. What an opportun-
ity does not this afford to Northern people (especially invalids) to escape
the cold, enjoy the benefits of our delightful climate, and realize plenty to
defray all expenses here and return, and have in addition the satisfaction of
knowing that they are aiding the education of the rising generation.
There is about to be erected at Manatee, as I am informed, a handsome school-
building for the education of the colored children at that place, by means of
funds contributed by benevolent people at the North, and also a residence for
the teacher. This has been effected through the efforts of a Miss E. Garrison,
and another lady, agents of the American Missionary Society, who, happening
at Manatee, and observing the ignorance and degradation prevailing among the
colored people at that place, went bravely to work and notwithstanding the
most bitter persecution on the part of the white population of the place, be-
ingtotally discontenanced and shut out from society, every door closed against
them, and compelled to accept an old outhouse, and finally erected a shelter
by their own labor, they organized a colored school and conducted it through
the winter. I gave them all the assistance in my power, and succeeded in
having an appropriation made, which, however, but poorly paid them for their
valuable services and what they had to undergo. I look for their return this
winter, and hope to aid them much more, The establishment of this school at
Manatee will be a great advantage to the colored population at that place9
and a great inducement to immigrants--not, however, the only one which the
place affords, It is beautifully located on the Manatee river, a thriving
little village, with several stores, saw-mill, churches, &c. The best of
hammock land abounds, which can be bought cheap, or homesteaded. Health is good,
fish and oysters plentiful, labor in great demand at good wages.
JOHN F. BARTHOLF.
Superintendent, W, J. Tucker, Ocala. Schools, 30; pupils, 1,300. Total amount
of school tax assessed for 1872, $4,562; total amount school tax collected in
1872, $4,176.28; total amount school tax assessed for 1873 $5,896.47. Total
amount of public money received from the county for 1872, $4,176.28; total amount
received from the State, $629.85. Total amount expended by the board for 1872,
$4,758.73. Total expenditure for schools, '$4,758.73.
Superintendent, Hon. J. W. Locke, Key West. Schools, 10--considered in the
report as 2, but equivalent to 10; pupils, 586. Total amount received from the
county, $5,121.23; total amount from the State, $1,564.04. Amount paid Board of
Public Instruction, O! Total amount expended by the board, $5,678,02. Cash
on hand, in addition to 18 bonds of 1871, $1,007.28. Private contributions,
reserved for building, $1,000.
The following letter is from the Hon. J. W. Locke, United States District Judge,
Key West, Fla., October 4, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction;
Dear Sirt I have the honor to forward annual report for the past year. Our
schools are flourishing finely, and although we have not such an array in num-
bers, yet in character of the schools I do not consider ours are surpassed in
the State. For the past year we have had in operation two schools, with eight
teachers, for ten full months. Our teachers are paid annual salaries, and
paid promptly in United States currency at the end of every quarter.
We have purchased a house lot for the building of a new school-house, for which
we have paid $1,000, and soon intend erecting a building capable of accommodating
from 500 to 600 people, in ten or twelve divisions. I consider the system of
large schools subdivided preferable by far to numerous small, independent schools.
We have this year (October I) started, in addition to those in operation the past
year, two schools, one a primary school, the other especially for the benefit
of the Cuban population.
We have been fortunate in obtaining excellent teachers, both principals and
assistants, who have taken a deep interest in their work, and gained the con.
fidence of both pupils and parents, which fact has greatly increased the popularity
of public school education.
There has been in attendance on the common schools a full number of 585. The low
average shown in the report was caused by the prevalence of sickness among the
scholars, interrupting the regularity of attendance.
Feeling desirous that the school tax should not be more burdensome than absolutely
necessary, and believing that with the strictest economy they could get through
the year, the board of education reduced the amount to be levied for county
school tax from five mills, which it had been, to three mills.
Trusting that the cause of common school education will continue to prosper
sufficiently to gratify the wishes of its most ardent friends, I have the honor
to be, truly and sincerely yours, J. W. LOCKE.
Superintendent, J, C. Emerson, Fernandina. Schools, 10; pupils, 342. Total
amount of public money received from the county, $1,394.25; total amount from
the State, $1,354.76. Total amount expended by the board, $1,741.87. Balance
of public money on hand for 1873, $2,530.64.
Superintendent, N, W. Prince, Apopka. Schools, 8; pupils, 200. Total amount
of money from the county not stated; total amount from the State for the years
1872 and 1873, $233.34; total amount expended by the board for the years 1872
and 1873, $1,731.46.
Superintendent, W. B. Varn, Bartow. Schools, 4L pupils, 100; gain, 4. Total
amount of money received from the county not stated; total amount received
from the State, $170.32; total amount expended by the board for the year 1873,
$516.65. Balance of public money on hand for 1873, $839.79. Source of this
balance is not stated, -Total expenditure, $730.45,
The following is from the Superintendent:
Bartow, September 19, 1873.
Hon. J. C, Gibbs, Superintendent Public Instruction:
Dear Sirt In addition to schools reported, I beg leave to state that we have
contracted with teachers to teach three others, two of which are now in success-
ful operation, and the third will go into effect on the 20th of next month.
Could competent teachers have been obtained to the extent of schools applied
for, our report would have presented a more favorable appearance. Our citizens
generally are anxious to avail themselves of the benefits of the system,
In addition to the want of a competent corps of teachers, is the necessity of
a uniform series of text-books. It has been suggested by some of the friends
of education, whose judgment is entitled to the highest credence, that we pay
individually tuition one year so as to allow an accumulated fund to purchase
the necessary globes, maps, books, &Co This would doubtless be a good move
if met with universal favor. We find the citizens generally willing to con-
tribute liberally in the support of schools.
In the hope of the continued growth of education in our county, we are yours
very truly, W, B. VARN, Superintendent
N. So BLOUNT, Chairman
Superintendent, Hon. E. R. Chadwick, Palatka. Schools, 12; pupils, 350; gain,
22. Total amount of public money received from the county, $2,000; from the
State $437.90; total amount expended by the board, $2,074.83. Public money on
The following letter is from the Superintendent:
Palatka, Fla., November 23, 1873.
Hon. J. C. Gibbst
Sir: The school records of Putnam county date as far back as 1856. At that
time the number of school children in the county was 504, and the amount of
school money received for that year,$17, 7.4; and, according to the records the
total amount of school money received by the county from 1856 to 1869--thirteen
years--was $707.24, and the total number of free schools established during that
period was seven, each for a single term of from three to six months. With such
a limited amount of funds, of course it was impossible to accomplish much towards
maintaining free schools.
In 1869 the Board of Public Instruction of Putnam county was organized under the
present law, but not until 1870 were any schools established. Since that time
from eight to twelve free schools have been in successful operation for the term
of three months in each year. The number of school children in the county at
this time is officially reported to be 1,459, and the amount of school tax levied
for this year is $2,313.93.
During the past year a new and comfortable school-house has been built in Palatka
at a cost of about $1,000, capable of accommodating 75 pupils, in which is now
in successful operation one of the best schools in this part of the State. The
number of schools for the present scholastic year will be increased to not less
than fifteen, and the length of the school term fixed at five months, instead of
three, as heretofore. It has been difficult to engage competent teachers for the
short term of three months, but with the lengthening of the term I am confident
that a better class of teachers can be secured, and in every way the result of
the longer term will be an improvement. Some of the teachers, however, hereto-
fore employed, have been both faithful and competent, and deserve much credit
for the success they have attained.
The financial affairs of the School Board of this county have been managed on a
cash basis, and this inspires confidence and respect in all who have dealings
with the board, either as teachers or in any other capacity.
Public sentiment is much more favorable than formerly towards the free school
system, and we have much encouragement to continue the work. And while there
yet remains much to be done in order to secure the full benefit of our free
schools to all the children of the county, yet we think that, under the circum-
stances, commendable progress has been made. Very respectfully,
E. R. CHADWICK
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Superintendent, J. A. Chaffin, Milton. Schools, 8; pupils, 353; gain, 116.
Total amount of money received from State and county, not stated. Total ex-
penditure for schools, $600. Cash on hand, $29.69.
The Superintendent writes as follows:
Milton, Fla., August 25, 1873.
Hon. J, C. Gibbs, Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Dear Sir: You will see by the report that eight schools have been in operation
in this county each for three months. They were very well scattered over the
county, where, in my opinion, they were most needed, as a great many children
had the advantage that never attended school before. There was but one school
that taught higher branches than Spelling, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geo-
graphy, and Grammar, and very little of the two last. I could have carried
on several more schools had I the money. The money that has carried on the
schools mentioned in this report was paid to me by the collector June 4, 1873,
as the State and county school tax collected in and for the year 1871, and
no county school tax for 1872. Now, if the State and county school tax is
due the county, there are two other years that ought to be paid. Please let
me know about it.
Your obedient servant,
J, A. CHAFFIN, County Superintendent.
Superintendent, A. P. Roberts, Leesburg. Schools, 7; pupils, 203. Total
amount of public money received from the county not stated; received from the
State, $233.97; total amount expended by the board for 1873, $750; total ex-
penditure for schools, $750.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Superintendent, 0. Bronson, St. Augustine. Schools, 10; gain, 1; pupils, 337.
Total amount from the State and county, $2,292.98. Contributions from citizens,
including $1,200 from Peabody Fund, $2,763. Total cost, $4,183.06; balance on
The following letter is from the Superintendent:
To the Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sirt I herewith submit my report of the schools in this county for the
last scholastic year. There has been six schools in operation. In all in-
stances where application has been made for the establishment of a school,
and a teacher recommended by the trustees, a school has been opened.
Prospects are very favorable for the coming year. The chief difficulty in
this county, which will take time for its removal, is the sparseness of its
population and the distance of the families from any common centre.
The people feel their want of education, and are almost universally anxious
that their children should not grow up under the same disadvantages which they
experienced themselves. There is manifested in most of the precincts a com-
mendable interest in the cause of education, I never heard but one person
say that he did not want a school-house near him, for that would bring in settlers,
and then what should he do for a range for his cattle.
What the State needs is an educated people, and for that the State should provide.
The first requisite is the establishment of school-houses. I would suggest that
all moneys belonging to the school fund should be used for that purpose and no
other, as the simplest method of reaching the end in view and promoting the in-
terest of education in the State until schools are built. While every one imbued
with American principles feels that the State cannot be too closely allied to the
schools, at least so far as to give to every inhabitant the benefit of an educa-
tion qualified to make him a useful citizen, and enable him to employ his natural
faculties to advantage. For this purpose the schools should be free to all.
Nothing should be taught in the schools but what the State judges to be proper,
and within their legitimate functions.
If the public free school system is to be carried out in this State (and we be-
lieve the American people, claiming the right to judge for themselves in this,
one of the most important of all their rights, will carry it out), we must be-
lieve the schools discharge their duties and perform the functions entrusted to
them, when they prepare their pupils to fight the great battle of life, in
obedience to the laws of the State. We cannot be too careful that we do not at-
tempt, or even allow, anything that would prevent any person from participating
in their advantages. We believe in the duty of every person to be religious and
to owe supreme allegiance to their Creator, and any school that teaches anything
contrary to the laws of God we would cordially join in condemning. But teaching
religion in any form is not one of the functions of a free public school, and
this is the only form of school that the State intends to establish. It would
be a manifest departure from the object for which they are established, and could
only be proposed by those who would willingly see the whole system of public
The Peabody school, in this city, retains its good reputation, and is in a very
satisfactory condition. It well deserves the encouragement that it has received.
It is patronized by our best citizens, without distinction. The Board of Trustees
consist of all denominations, and perfect harmony has characterized all of their
proceedings. Their children are, or have been, all members of the school. I
have heard of no objection to the school, except from those who object to the
whole system on which our public schools are founded.
When a free public school was first spoken of in St. Augustine, Mr. Sears, the
agent of the Peabody Fund, visited this city. The prospect was rather discourag-
ing. Mr. Sears remarked, "You cannot have a school without scholars." The
friends of the system about to be inaugurated carefully canvassed the city and
came to the conclusion that not more than thirty pupils could be counted upon.
On this calculation they borrowed money to enlarge the building which was used
for public offices, and which had been given to the city for the purpose of a
public school. Provision was made for 120 pupils, to meet any emergency. To
their agreeable surprise the school opened with a much larger number than was
expected. The school has steadily increased in size till now it becomes necessary
to increase its accommodations, both as to room and teachers. Instead of peti-
tioning for additional separate schools and division of the small allowance re-
ceived from taxes, we greatly need increased funds to make this school what it
should be, a model institution, capable of accommodating the whole city, and
giving a complete education in those branches which it proposes to teach. It
is only by the assistance of the Peabody Fuhd that our city schools are able to
accomplish what they have. We do not fear that any such attempt as has been
made to impair their resources will be received by the people, or their repre-
sentatives, the Legislature, with any favor until a system of free education
The colored school occupies a commodious building erected by the Freedman's
Bureau, and to it is attached a convenient cottage for the teacher's residence,
owned by the American Missionary Association, in New York. This school has
always maintained a high reputation. It has been a great blessing to those
for whom it was established.
This city enjoys exceptional advantages for education. Its healthiness at
all seasons of the year is such that schools could be kept open in summer as
well as winter, with only the necessary vacations. The prospect of a greatly
increased population and its facility of access when railroad communication
shall-be opened to Jacksonville, will conspire to make it a place of great
The State needs a school of the highest character, sufficiently large to re-
ceive all that apply, and provided with a competent corps of teachers. I
trust the time is not far distant when this need will be supplied.
Mro Waterbury, the principal of the Peabody school, who is enthusiastically
devoted to its interests, has collected over 150 volumes as a beginning of
a well-selected library for the use of the school. As soon as a suitable
building can be procured we hope to see this grow into a large public library,
Superintendent of St. Johns County, Florida.
Superintendent, M, M. Blackburn, Live Oak. Schools, 21; gain, 12; pupils,
803; gain, 501. Total amount of public money received from the county not
reported,: total amount from the State, $302.10; total amount of school tax
collected for 1872, $1,616.L5; total amount of public money expended by the
board, $1,828.50. Total expenditures for schools, $2,381.70, and of this
amount $907.40 was contributed by the citizens.
OFFICE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Live Oak, Fla., November 15, 1873,
Hon. J. C. Gibbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Florida, Tallahasseet
Dear Sirt r herewith hand you my annual report of the operations of the Board
of Public Instruction for Suwannee county for the year ending on the 30th of
The report shows that twenty-one schools were taught during the year, being
an increase of twelve schools over the year previous; and the whole number of
pupils attending school was 803, being an increase of 501 over the previous
year. The average cost of each pupil to the school fund was $2.28, while the
average cost of each pupil for the same time the year previous was $5.81,
showing a reduction in the average cost of $3.53 in favor of the year just
closed. You will observe, however, that the patrons contributed liberally in
some places to the support of the public schools, but when we include the :
amount contributed by patrons with that used by the board, the average cost
of each pupil is still $2.59 less than it was the previous year,
I am gratified to be able to report that all classes of our people are becoming
more interested in the cause of education; and as an evidence of this fact, we
have about ten applications for schools where no public schools have yet been
taught. The board desire to extend scholastic aid to all the children in the
county, as far as practical, believing that to be the meaning and intent of the
But, on account of the stringency of the times, they have only assessed the same
amount of school tax that was assessed the previous year; and this has made it
necessary to undertake the establishment of "aid schools," as a pro rata dis-
tribution of the funds will not be sufficient to pay a teacher for the term of
three months at ary one place. To obviate this difficulty they have adopted a
form of contract to be signed by patrons and teacher (a copy of which is here-
with attached), before organizing a public school,
The board proposes to organize twenty-six schools during the next scholastic
year on the plan proposed. They worked very well last year on a smaller scale,
and we have hopes of greater results the coming year.
Very respectfully yours, &c., M. M. BLACKBURN,
County Superintendent of Schools.
Suwannee County, Fla., November 1873.
School No. at
We, the undesigned patrons of said school, agree to pay to
for teaching a public school for three months in this scholastic
year such an amount for each of our children, wards, or beneficiaries, subscribed
as, when added to the sum of dollars, received by him from the public
fund, shall raise his compensation to dollars for school month, it be-
ing understood that this obligation is several and binds each of us only for his
or her proportionate part.
I, agree to teach and govern said school according to the
public school laws and the regulations of the Department of Public Instruction
of Florida, commencing on the day of November, 1873.
NAMES. NO. NAMES. NO,
Superintendent, Joseph S. Howell, Shady Grove. Schools, 9; gain, 2; pupils,
176. Total amount of public money expended by the board, $498.32; contributed
by the citizens, $488.50; total expenditure for schools, $986.
No report this year, some change having taken place upon the board.
Superintendent, Gustave Jaenicke, St. Marks. The late Superintendent, John
Hogue, having died a few weeks since at Crawfordville, the county site of
Wakulla,, and no definite information in relation to the schools for the year
ending September 30, 1873, has been received.
The following Statement in relation to the work of the ensuing year is made
by the Superintendent:
I entered upon the duties of my present office the first day of September
this year. The whole school year had nearly elapsed; therefore, I am only
able to describe so far as progress and management of business is concerned,
what I found in the records.
There were necessarily some schools established and no funds to pay the
teachers with, who have performed their duty well and faithfully, and the
schools were well attended by an average number of 250 pupils throughout the
county. By overhauling the books I found $2,000 debts due to teachers, and
other arrearages. Considering it a great evil to open more schools than the
funds allow, the board wisely concluded to have no school at all until there
is money in the treasurer's hands.
The new scholastic year will open under more favorable auspices; there is a
fresh hope and greater confidence in the present leader and manager of the
school business in this county. All friends of popular and national educa-
tion endeavor to get everybody interested in schools, so that the system of
our free schools may be thought and considered as the vein of life in our
State. Most all the citizens manifest the greatest interest in schools,
and in fact they cheerfully co-operate and try to render me all assistance
There will be school-houses freely offered and furnished by patrons, and
they will comply with all the conditions exacted of them by the Board of
Public Instruction in this county. I have had the opportunity to visiting
various school-houses, but they are not as they should be. There were no
desks or seats for the children, &c.
I admire the great zeal among the colored people to learn and to progress.
They feel that education is bliss and economy, and ignorance is waste. They
feel that a skilled workman will do more work, and in a better manner, than
an uneducated man, who can only use his brute muscle.
Next year there will be at least four schools in operation, all the debts
will be paid, and at the end of the year there will be a surplus of
The following will show how the finances stand:
Income by the one-mill tax for 1873 . . . . . . .
Income by county tax for 1873 . . . . . . .
Aid of the State . . . . . . . . . .
Due to the school fund by Robertson, late tax collector . .
Old taxes from 1872 . . . . . * . . ., .
On hand . . . . . . . . . . .... . .
Total . ,. . . . . . . .
Itemized estimate for 187 . . . . . . . . . .
Balance. . . . , . . . .. . , . . $ 36.83
We will be out of debt, and that is to be considered the greatest advantage and
the greatest step; yet we labor under many other obstacles, and chief among
these is the scarcity of competent'teachers. The rough material we have to use
for that purpose, and unfortunately we cannot offer inducement sufficient to
cause competent persons to come here and take charge of schools, The people are
so widely scattered, and many are living in so remote and out of the way places,
that it is impossible to benefit everybody, particularly in the next year, where,
upon an area of about five hundred square miles, only four schools can be estab-
lished. We must have competent teachers, and I shall make every possible effort
to obtain them. What we can realize for next year (as shown above) will enable
us to establish only three month's school. The schools will be established
where the population is the thickest, and I am happy to state that most of the
people would make any sacrifice and submit to any inconvenience in order to
send their children regularly to school.
In conclusion I have to remark that the so-called school scrip will be destroyed
before the board, as it might come into the treasury; that next year such a
thing will not exist any more, and matters will be on a cash basis.
Superintendent of Schools
St. Marks, November 3, 1873
Superintendent, Hon. J. L. McKinnon, Ucheeana, Schools 12; pupils, l27. Total
amount of public money received from State and county, $897.84; received from the
citizens, private contributions, $895; total amount of school tax collected in
1872, $1,063.94; total'expenditure for the schools, $3,295.
Superintendent, Hon. Thomas Hannah, Vernon. Schools, 10; gain, 3; pupils, 283;
gain 88. Total amount of public money received from the county, $974.33; from
the State, $432.60; contributed by the citizens, $651.32; total expenditure,
Taken from the Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, Samuel B. McLin, Acting Superintendent of
Public Instruction, 1874.
Superintendent, Hon. L. G. Dennis, Gainesville. Number of schools, 20; loss,
16; total daily attendance of pupils, 1,647; total daily average, 1,190;
amount of money received from county, $5,350,00; amount of money expended for
school purposes, $12,800.
Superintendent, J. W. Howell, Sanderson, No report.
Superintendent, J. M. Johns, Starke. Number of schools, 14; gain, 13; total
daily attendance of pupils, 612; total daily average, 381; amount of money
received from county, $1,164.34; amount of money received from State, $280.15;
total amount of money received, l$,l444.9; total amount of money expended for
school purposes, $1,213.32.
Superintendent, William Sharp, Fort Pierceo No report
Alexander Hankins, Abe Spring Bluff. No report.
Superintendent, 0. Budington, Middleburg. Number of schools, 7; gain, 3;
total daily attendance of pupils, 191; total daily average, 169; amount of
money received from county for 187h not known; amount of money received from
State, $108.93; total amount of money expended for school purposes, $1,080.70.
The Superintendent writes as follows:
OFFICE OF BOARD PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
for Clay County, December 8, 1874.
Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Flao
Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of December 4th, 1874, and in reply to
the same will say that we have twenty-three public schools in Clay county, and
the Board, at their last meeting, ordered two more to be organized, which will
be done in a few days, where they have had no schools before. We have not
the funds to keep all the schools in operation at once, nor the teachers to
supply them with. We run from four to nine of the schools at a time, giving
each place its regular turn. The Board pays the same price for each scholar,
or the average attendance of the same, so if the school is as large in attend-
ance as the complainants state theirs is, why they get more pay than a small
school. The school (No. 2) at Green Cove and the school (No. 4) at Magnolia
both were organized the last year and the teachers paid for their services.
Respectfully yours, OZIAS BUDINGTON,
Acting County Superintendent of Schools,
Superintendent, A. A. Hoyte, Lake City. No report,
Superintendent, E, T. Sturtevant, Key Biscayne. No report.
Superintendent, J. F. Rollins, Jacksonville. No report.
Superintendent, Geo. W, Lindsay, Pensacola. Number of schools, 14; gain 3; amount
of money received from county, U,858.74; amount of money received from State,
$930; total amount of money received, $5,788.74; total amount of money expended
for school purposes, $4,263.90.
The Superintendent writes as follows:
Pensaeola, December 12, 1874.
Hon. Samuel B. McLin, Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee,
Dear Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a detailed report of schools in
operation in this county for the scholastic year ending September 30th, 1874.
The friends of popular education in this county have every reason to congratulate
themselves upon the progress made by the public schools during the scholastic
year just closed.
The number of schools and scholars in attendance have not only increased, but the
schools are of a better order, having been brought to a higher standard by the
employment of more competent teachers, which has had the desired effect in secur-
ing the sympathy and assistance of all classes of citizens, and from the impetus
thus secured we may hope for good results in the future. The school officers
have been judicious in their action in not overdoing themselves, and have limited
the number of scholars to that which our funds would warrant, By this course
they have been able to pay promptly when due every obligation or contract with
teachers or others in U. S. currency, thus securing the best of feeling between
the board and those brought in contact with it, and all seem satisfied with the
Pensacola has been visited with an epidemic last summer, which made serious
inroads among the inhabitants of Pensacola, but I can safely say that the
health of Pensacola at present was never better.
Yours, most humbly, GEO. W. LINDSAY,
Superintendent of Schools.
Superintendent, John Howe, Apalachicola. Number of schools, 2; gain, 0; total
daily attendance of pupils, 209; total daily average, 155; amount of money re-
ceived from county, $l,01.38; amount of money received from State, $256.94;
total amount of money received, $1,271.32; total amount of money expended for
educational purposes, $1,171.32.
The following letter will be read with interest:
Apalachicola, November 25, 1874.
Hon. S. B. McLin, Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sir: The total destruction by the recent fire of all of our school re-
cords in this county renders it impossible for me to make out with a satisfactory
degree of accuracy the annual report of the operations of our schools during
the past scholastic year.
Notwithstanding this difficulty I have attempted the task, and I think the re-
port may be relied upon to express very nearly what the true figures would
have done if they had been obtainable. I am also glad to report a marked im-
provement in our public schools, and also an increased interest in them on
the part of their patrons.
Yours very respectfully, JOHN HOWE,
County Superintendent, Franklin County.
Superintendent, Samuel Hamblen, Quincy. Number of schools, 30; total attend-
ance of pupils, 1,133; total average attendance, 1,047; amount of money received
from State, $779.83; amount of money expended for school purposes, $5,622.78'.
Superintendent, J. H. Roberts, Jasper. Number of schools, 23; total attendance
of pupils, 588; total average attendance, 477, amount of money received from
State, $229.82; total amount of money expended for school purposes, $2,032.25.
Superintendent, T. S. Coogler, Brooksville, Number of schools, 17; gain, 1;
total attendance of pupils, 475; average attendance, 338; amount of money re-
ceived from county, $1,259L.4; amount of money received from State, $1i5.72;
total amount received, $1,405.16; total amount of money expended for school
The Superintendent writes as follows
Brooksville, Hernando county, Fla., November 14, 1874.
Hon. S. B. McLin, Acting State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee,
Dear Sirt Accompanying this you will please find "Annual Report of School Oper-
ations" in this (Hernando) county for the year ending September 30th, 1874. The
"Report" as printed is so badly arranged that I have had to make several inter-
lineations to make it intelligible.
A word as to the progress made and the interest manifested in the public schools
of this county may not be inappropriate, and therefore I will give you a short
history of them.
The County Board organized on the 5th of July, 1871, and for that year we suc-
ceeded in organizing and having taught only three (3) schools. The doubts of
success entertained for and the opposition to the entire system seemed almost
hopeless of being overcome, but we determined that if failure should result it
should not be laid at the door of the County Board. A meeting of the Board was
therefore called on the ist day of January, 1872, and after a careful survey of
the field and estimating the resources at our command we determined to establish
ten (10) schools and trust to the reason and good sense of our people to aid us
in conducting them successfully. We were not disappointed, but, on the contrary,
met with increasing encouragement month after month, as the people began to see
and realize the usefulness of the system and the benefits to be derived from
its success. As our teachers' salaries became due they were promptly paid in
full in United States currency, and, when our treasury became empty, sooner than
issue scrip, I advanced from my private funds enough to make good the deficiency.
At the conclusion of that scholastic year (1872) we felt satisfied that we had
crossed the Rubicon, and our final success no longer doubtful.
For the year commencing October 1st, 1872, we established fifteen (15) schools,
of which eleven (11) were well and acceptably taught.
The salaries of the teachers were fully paid, when due, in United States currency.
For the year commencing October 1st, 1873, so great was the demand upon the part
of the people both white and colored, for schools that the Board established
seventeen (17) for that year, of which sixteen (16) were faithfully taught by
For the year commencing October 1, 187,, so great was the interest of the people
from every section of the county in the school system and so satisfied of the
good results accruing from it, that every section sent deputations to the Board,
praying for a school or schools, and so great was the demand that the Board had
to establish twenty-two (22) schools, and still were compelled to refuse two or
three applications for fear we would not have the means for paying the teachers.
We have invariably paid all demands against the Board at their maturity, and, as
you will perceive by the "Report," have $37.08 left in our treasury for the next
year, besides a considerable amount due by the Collector of Revenue for the year
We have never issued scrip, nor do we intend to do so.
Our School Board is composed of good and intelligent men, fully alive to the in-
terest of education.
We have some of as good teachers, male and female, as any county in the State
can boast of, and we will hold our first "Teachers' Institute" in December.
I will close this hastily writtenreport with an extract from the "General
Presentment" of the Grand Jury (composed of some of our best citizens), made
at the fall term, 1874, of our Circuit Courts
"The education of our children seems to be advancing, and under the
management of our efficient Superintendent, Col. T. S. Coogler,
with the aid of the Board of Education, is in a much more prosperous
condition than formerly."
Your ob't s'v't, T. S. Coogler, Sup't.
Superintendent, W, F. White, Tappa. Schools, 22; gain, 3; total attendance,
606; average attendance, 479; amount of money received from county, $2,312063;
amount of money received from State, $633.58; total amount of money received,
$3,946.21; total amount of money expended for school purposes, $2,w42.53.
Superintendent, J. A. Vaughn, Cerro Gordo. No report,
Superintendent, Co Eo Harvey, Marianna. Schools, 30; gain, 10; amount of money
received from county, $2,690o.44 amount of money received from State, l1,792.14;
total amount of money received, $4,482.58; total amount of money expended for
school purposes, $3,800.
Superintendent, Robert Meacham, Monticello. Schools, 29; decrease 0; total
daily attendance of pupils, 1,483; average attendance, 1,358; amount of money
received from county, $4,497; amount of money received from State, $558,67;
total amount of money received, $5,885.67; amount of money expended for school
Superintendent, J. C. Ramsey, New Troy, Schools, 1; amount of money received
from State, $160; total amount of money expended for school purposes, $1.
The following letter will be read with interest:
New Troy, Lafayette County, Fla., November 15, 1874.
Hon. Samuel B. McLint
Dear Sirt When I was appointed County Superintendent of Schools I found the
business of the public schools of this county in a bad condition, the school
records all burned up and the former Superintendent and the old Board unable
to give me but little information about the business. Besides this, there was
not a dollar in the treasury, and the County Board badly in debt. I gave no-
tice to all holding claims against the Board to render them at once, and when
I investigated the matter I found that the Board owed for claims to teachers to
the amount of $700, and since that time I have found something about $100 more,
besides other claims amounting to near $1l,400. This will amount to more than
this year's school tax for the county, therefore we have had no public schools
in operation in the county since I havq been in office. There was one public
school taught in the county in the first of this year, before my appointment.
We have agreed to pay for five colored scholars who went to school in the
adjoining county, to a school established there. We are aiming to try and
pay up the debts before making any further contracts.
J. C. RAMSEY,
County Superintendent of Schools.
Superintendent, John P. Apthorp, Tallahassee, Schools, bl; decrease, 2; total
attendance of pupils, 1,399; average attendance, 1,043; amount of money re-
ceived from county, $6,055.56; amount of money received from State, $809.98;
received from Peabody Fund, $800; total amount of money expended for school
The following letter is from the Superintendent:
Tallahassee, Fla., January 4, 1875.
Hon. S. B. McLin, Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Floridar
Dear Sirt In regard to school operations in Leon county during the year end-
ing September 30th, 1874, I have to report thirty-two schools in operation.
Twenty of these were continued for aterm of four months, five for one and two
months, and the remainder, being in the city, were extended to a term of eight
months through aid received from the Peabody Educational Fund. These schools,
with the exception of one or two taught for only a month or two, met with very
uniform success. Our great want, however, is for accomplished teachers to take
charge of the country schools, A State normal school for the training of such
teachers would be the readiest and most satisfactory way of meeting this want.
May we not hope that ere long the educational plans of the State may include
such an institution?
The colored schools of the city still suffer greatly from the want of a suitable
building in place of the one burnt three years ago. Without such a building
the most faithful efforts of our teachers can meet with but partial success,
There is one point in the educational field to which we turn with peculiar
The West Florida Seminary, situated in Tallahassee, has been during the year
in a condition of increasing efficiency and prosperity.
Under Mr. James D. Wade, Principal, assisted by Mr. W. W. Woodward, the Male
Department, and under Mrs. S. S. Williams, Principal, assisted by Miss E. L.
Bithewood and Mrs. S. F, Stow, the Female Department, have together reached
an average attendance of 132 pupils. By passing through the different grades
of this school pupils may advance from the first lessons of the alphabet
taught in primary schools, through the usual grammar-school studies, up to
the modern languages, higher English and classical pursuits of the high school.
The year closed under the brightest auspices, and, continuing under the same
management during the coming year, there are good grounds to hope for a large
increase of pupils from the surrounding country,
Respectfully yours, J. P. APTHORP,
Sup't 'Schools Leon County, Florida,
Superintendent, T. B. Faitonte, Bronson. No report.
Superintendent, M. J. Solonion, Bristol. Schools, 11; gain, 6; total atten-
dance of pupils, 227; average attendance, 163; amount of money received
from county, $200; amount of money received from State, $275; total amount
of money received, $475; total amount of money expended for school purposes,
Superintendent, D, Eagan, Madison. Schools, 20; decrease, 2; total daily
attendance of pupils, 1,632; average attendance, 1,272; amount of money re-
ceived from county, $4,735,43; amount of money received from State, $947.04;
total amount of money received, $5,682.47; amount of money expended for
school purposes, $6,831.
The following letter accompanies the report:
Madison, Flao, November 18, 1874.
Hon. S. B. McLin, TaLlahassee, Fla.t
Dear Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith my annual report of schools
in Madison county for the year ending September 31, 1874.
Owing to the short time you have in which to prepare the annual report of
your Department, I will not delay forwarding this by giving you a detailed
statement of each school, but will close by tendering to the teachers, school
officers and citizens of the county my sincere thanks for the uniform courtesy,
kindness and encouragement which I have received from them in discharge of my
Superintendent, J. F, Bartholf, Pine Level. No report.
Superintendent, Wm. J. Tucker, Ocala. Number of schools, 34; gain, 4; total
attendance of pupils, 1,624; average attendance, 1,047; amount of money received
from county, $5,794.39; amount of money received from State, $1,021; total
amount of money received, $5,815.39; total amount of money expended for school
The following letter from the Superintendent will be found to contain matter of
Ocala, Fla,, November 18, 1874.
Superintendent of Public Instruction for State of Florida, Tallahassee:
Dear Sir: Herewith I enclose my annual report for scholastic year ending
September 30th, 1874. During the year we had thirty-four schools in operation
in those parts of the county most thickly settled, but were compelled for the
want of funds to refuse a number of otherapplications.
Two of the schools at Ocala, one white and one colored, were continued in session
for nine months; the balance all for five months each, except two, where there
were not enough scholars to warrant the teacher in continuing the school for more
than three months each.
We have at this date paid up all of our last year's indebtedness, but were com-
pelled to borrow some funds, and a few warrants were not honored until the new
taxes began to come in.
This year we have reduced the number of schools and also the salaries very
slightly, so that we hope to meet all of our engagements promptly. We have
endeavored to raise the standard of our teachers this year over that of last.
The schools have filled up much more rapidly this season than last.
Very respectfully, W. J. TUCKER
Sup't Public Instruction Marion County,
Superintendent, James W. Locke, Key West, Number of schools, 4; total daily
attendance of pupils, 634; average attendance, 614; amount of money received
from county, $3,090; amount of money received from State, $1,025; received from
Peabody Fund, $1,300; total amount of money received from State and county,
$5,415; amount of money expended for school purposes, $12,542,59,
The following letter will be read with interest:
Key West, December 21, 1874,
Hon. S, B. McLin, Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee:
Dear Sir: Enclosed please find report of school operations in this county for
the past year.
We have been building, and have been compelled to use all available funds, be-
sides borrowing largely from private parties, who have so kindly favored us as
to enable us to erect a very fine three-story building, containing nine large
school rooms, capable of accommodating about seven hundred children, and
thoroughly finish the same throughout.
The schools have been supported for ten full months in the year with a full
corps of able teachers.
In spite of our somewhat embarrassed situation pecuniarily, on account of
building, we have managed to pay the teachers promptly in full and so arrange
our loans and future payments thereon as to prevent any injurious result from
We have established one new school at Fort Myers and increased the attendance
We trust that in your recommendations for continued favors from the Trustees
of the Peabody Educational Fund you will kindly remember us and advise a like
contribution as last year.
Truly and respectfully, Jo W. LOCKE,
County Superintendent of Schools.
Superintendent, Charles W. Lewis, Fernandina. No report.
Superintendent, W. C. Roper, Orlandoo No report.
Superintendent, E. R. Chadwick, Palatka, Schools, 19; gain, 7; total attend-
ance, '616; average attendance, 448; amount of money received from county,
$1,600.o9; amount of money received from State, $293.23; total amount of money
received, S1,893.72; total amount of money expended for school purposes,
Superintendent, J. A. Fortner, Bartow. Schools, 12; gain, 8; daily average
attendance, 290; amount of money received from county, $376.50; amount of
money received from State, $l51.4i2 total amount of money received, $917.92;
total amount of money expended for school purposes, $653o12,
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Superintendent, J. A. Chaffin, Milton. Number of schools, 12; gain, 4; total
daily attendance of pupils, 364; average attendance, 277; amount of money re-
ceived from State aid county, not given; Superintendent received Aug. 6th, of
present year, $877.44 from taxes collected in 1872; total amount of money
expended for school purposes, $987o50.
ST. JOHN'S COUNTY
Superintendent, 0. Bronson, St. Augustine. Schools, 11; gain, 1; total daily
attendance of pupils, 498; average attendance, 212; amount of money received from
county, $3,523,43; amount of money expended for school purposes, $3,801.75.
Superintendent, Arthur Fox, Leesburg. No report.
Superintendent, Adam Young, Live Oak. We give below the report as transmitted
to this office:
Office Superintendent of Schools
Live Oak, Fla., October 27, 1874.
To the Honorable Board of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
I have the honor to submit my annual report of the operations of the School
Board of Suwannee county for the scholastic year ending the 30th day of Septem-
No annual report has been received from the Treasurer of the School Board. His
quarterly report shows that he had on hand at the close of the first quarter:
Cash on hand . . . . .
State scrip . . . .
Account on Suwannee county .. a .
State coupons .. . .. * o o ..
Received of George W, Allen, Tax Collector . .
Total on hand and received first quarter
No disbursements first quarter.
o0 0 0 0 0
0 0 9 0 o 0 0 0 0
$ 78 78
Received of George W. Allen, Tax Collector . . . . .
Disbursed * * * * *
Received of George W. Allen, Tax Collector .
Disbursed . o . . . . . .
* 0 0 9 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
Received of J. C. Gibbs , . , .. . ,
State warrant . . . *
Received of George W. Allen, Tax Collector . . . . .
Total . . . . .
Disbursed . 0 0 . .0 . . . 0 0 . 0 0
* .. 1062
S. ,. 282 l1
. . 210 00
. 0 0 $503 03
, . 216 83
Leaving a balance on hand of:
State scrip . . . . . . .* 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 $73 41
Account on Suwannee county o . 0 o o o * * o 321 09
Cash in Treasury . o* 0 a o o * * 9 # 5 96
Total . . * * o * * * o o 1 . * 900 46
The minutes of the School Board for July 23d, 1874, show a statement of George
W. Allen, Tax Collector for Suwannee county, as follows:
Due the School Fund for 1871 * * * * * $ 370 95
Due the School Fund for 1872 . . . . o . * 1,463 69
Due the School Fund for 1873 0 0 * * * * * 2,218 77
The Treasurer's quarterly reports show $746.23 paid by George W. Allen, Tax
Collector on the School Fund during the scholastic year ending September
The number of schools organized was 27. The number of pupils on teachers'
register is 1,005. Of that number 33 were under or over age or non-residents.
The average attendance was 37 235 1767.
Salary of teachers was .. o * *1,681 00
Amount paid Superintendent of Schools .o . . o . . 283 00
Treasurer's commissions 0o . . . o o o 0 55 71
I am unable to state the amount of school warrants unpaid.
The accounts of all the teachers have not been submitted to the Board.
Your obd't serv't, A~AM YOUNG,
County Superintendent of Schools.
Superintendent, J. H. Sappington, Perry. Number of schools, 10; gain, 1;
total attendance, 300; average attendance, 142; amount of money received
from county, $2; amount of money received from State, $630.t7 total amount
of money received, $65$.7; amount of money expended for school purposes,
Superintendent, C. G. Selleck, Enterprise. No report.
Superintendent, Gustave Jaeknicke, St. Marks. Schools, 4; total attendance,
200; average attendance, 158; amount of money received from State, $166.66;
amount of money expended for school purposes, $2,002.
Superintendent, John L. McKinnon, Eucheeanna. A letter from the county Super-
intendent informs us that there is 18 schools in operation. He says "The
public system is rapidly gaining friends in that county, and many are now giving
it a hearty support who at first manifested some opposition."
Superintendent, Hon. Thomas Hannah, Vernon, Schools, 15; gain 5; total attendance,
350; average attendance, 275; amount of money received from county, $480; amount
of money received from State, $395.35; total amount of money received, $875,53;
total amount of money expended for school purposes by the board, $l,0la.75,
Taken from the Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public
Gainesville, Alachua Co., November 26, 1878.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Sir: Perhaps the tabulated report of the educational interests of this county,
heretofore forwarded to your office, will be less satisfactory than a more
liberal and general statement. If so, I will attempt to present our progress
in this great field of effort in another form.
The common school system is new to our people, and while many think it the
best, others submit to it without dissent, and a few antagonize it outright,
t take it that the system is a fixture for all time in our educational ma-
chinery. Being but in a formative state, results are not all that the sanguine
have counted on seeing or realizing.
Under the management of the County Boards preceding the one having had charge
of public education in this county since February 17, 1877, little is known
of the progress and the expenditures. Generally I can state that many children,
of both colors, were somewhat advanced--a few so far as to enable them to ob-
tain employment as teachers from the present Board.
The Union Academy in this place, erected and conveyed to colored trustees by
the Freedmen's Bureau, has enjoyed the largest advantages of any public school
under the management of the Boards from the beginning. It has been carried
on for full terms each year under the instruction of well-educated teachers.
But results have fallen far short of what the friends of education had grounds
to hope for,
The last term of ten months was fruitful of a better issue. The County Board
and yourself, as agent of the Peabody Fund, united, carried on this Academy
for the last scholastic year under three efficient teachers, with more success
than has heretofore been attained.
Several prominent and educated gentlemen attended the examination, and expressed
great gratification at the advancement made by the scholars, It encourages
us to hope that this central and well-sustained school will realize our main
purpose--to make it yield competent teachers to supply all the schools of the
freedmen in this county. This is the only school for this purpose ih our
bounds which has adopted a uniform catalogue of text books and been graded.
On this account the regular daily attendants have been advanced with com-
parative ease by the three teachers employed.
The Board spares no effort to induce all the schools to adopt uniform text
books and the graded system.
Throughout the county there is a growing interest in education. In the ad-
vancing towns and enlarging neighborhoods we have the best teachers we can
secure; and in these, happily, there is a general awakening to the necessity
of carrying on their schools for a school year. Our Board encourages this
disposition by every available means. In such places there can be greater un-
iformity of attendance; and by the union of the Board with the patrons in pro-
viding the means, a large number of our children can get a thorough English
For the purpose of securing full terms, the Board favbrs the union of two or more
small schools into a central one. This has been effected at some points, and
will be adopted at others. These larger and more permanent schools are adopting
uniform text books, and reducing numbers to the order of grades.
The Superintendent has been highly gratified with the marked advancement of the
pupils in the schools he has had the pleasure of visiting.
The school operations up to March, 1877, accumulated a floating debt of some
$2,500, so far as can be ascertained. This was not required to be taken up last
year, and although school revenues were much reduced, the income and outlay
were pretty nearly equal.
For the present scholastic year more liberal things have been devised by our tax
assessor, and the Board are satisfied that the debt spoken of will make no material
impression on the value of school warrants,
0, A. MYRS,
Superintendent of County Schools.
Jacksonville, Fla,, November 20, 1878.
Hon. W. P. Haisley,
Dear Sir--rn compliance with your request made in a letter dated Nov. 7, 1878,
I present a statement of the progress of schools etc., since the date of my
appointment, Jan. 25, 1877.
Upon entering on the duties of my office, I found 50 schools in operation in
the county. These were continued in operation until April 1, 1877, the Duval
High and Jacksonville and Stanton until May 1,
At the beginning of the next scholastic year Oct. 1877, it was deemed advisable
to consolidate several schools, so that during the year ending Sept. 30, 1878,
there were 45 schools taught in the county. The Board found that the consoli,
dation had worked injustice in some localities, some of the old schools were
re-opened and the present scholastic year beginning Oct. 1, 1878, the number
of schools was 49,
I found upon visiting the schools that little attention had been paid to a
proper grading and classification of the pupils in the larger schools, which I
considered very essential to their progress.
I prepared a course of study for graded schools, at the request of the Board
of Public Instruction, after the matter had been brought to their attention, and
in the beginning of the last scholastic year Oct. 1, 1877, it was introduced into
the Jacksonville and Stanton Schools of the city of Jacksonville and six other
schools of the county, eight in all, four white and four colored.
The course of study contemplated a term of nine months. The shortening of the
term the reasons for which will be given further on, interfered with the work-
ings of it during the past year, but upon the re-opening of the schools, I
found to my great satisfaction that the work of grading the pupils was accom-
plished with comparative ease, and the schools are to-day in a better condition
than they have ever been before.
At the beginning of the present scholastic year, every teacher in the employ
of the Board of Public Instruction was required to pass an examination.
Great good resulted therefrom not alone from the examination, but the study
and application of the teachers in preparing themselves therefore, made them
much better qualified for their work.
We have as fine a corps of teachers as can be found anywhere. I think their
improvement has been marked during the past two years.
At the beginning of the scholastic year Oct, 1, 1877, the Board found itself
encumbered with a debt of about $4000.00.
In order to liquidate this the Board.decided to close all the schools at the
end of four months. An exception was afterwards made in favor of the Jackson-
ville and Stanton Schools. By an arrangement with the teachers a reduction
of 25 per cent. was made on their salaries and two months longer given to
these schools, and the opening of them this year delayed until Nov. 1.
It gives me pleasure to state that every warrant issued prior to Oct. 1, 1877,
covering the period of the old debt is marked paid in the Warrant Book ex-
cept one for $2.21 which has never been called foro
Of the warrants issued the past year the amount outstanding Sept. 30, 1878,
was $1418.78 which will be about met by the shortening of the term of the
two city schools one month.
Reductions have been made in salaries in some instances in order to a more
equitable adjustment of the same so that there may be equal justice done
We pay more than a great many counties do for the services of teachers but I
am convinced that it is cheaper in the end.
The amount of tax assessed for school purposes for the present scholastic
year 1878-9 is $2251354.S
The Board asked for a 5 mill tax.
There are several changes in the law that would be advantageous for us in this
county, but could not be made to work well in the State at large.
I think in the description of the duties of the Superintendent of Schools,
Board of Public Instruction and Trustees, that they are not distinct enough
as in several cases it is made the duty of all three to attend to the same
If it were possible it would be a great advantage, if the Boards of Public
Instruction could be allowed to district the counties wherever practicable
letting the general law remain the same,, "viZo" the whole county be a school
district, it would help us here.
I think that the certificates of teachers of the second class should run two
If I have not touched upon all the points necessary please let me know.
Superintendent of Schools.
"Statement of Progress, present Condition, and prospect of Public Schools in the
County of Escambia."
lo During the past two years there has been a noted improvement in all the public
schools of the county. School operations have been reduced to a much better sys-
tem, new schools have been organizedd. more competent teachers have been employed,
and the attendance of pupils has been increased nearly 100 per cent. Public
schools and the public school system command a respect from all classes which
they never enjoyed before. The more intelligent and wealthy have stood aloof
from public schools, and have paid school tax more as a matter of compulsion
than of duty and pleasure. These are now the patrons of public schools, and the
friends of free public instruction The schools in the county at this time are
progressing very favorably under competent teachers, and with a good average at-
We have in the city of Pensacola a thoroughly graded school, and a student who
passes successfully through its curriculum is creditably educated for all practi-
cable purposes at least. In this school we have an average daily attendance of
2. The prospect for public schools in the future, I think, is encouraging. Public
schools are a public necessity as well as a public blessing,
In many places children must grow up in profound ignorance if the State does not
provide free public instruction for them.
Several new school-houses have been erected recently, and many more are needed,
and will doubtless be built gradually as the means are provided, The Board
of Public Instruction is out of debt, no warrants outstanding which the treasury
is not able to meet.
3, In regard to legislation I would suggest the following, viz: 1. That the
same teachers (already holding certificates) be not required to undergo annual
examination, at the discretion of Boards of Public Instruction. 2. That more
discretion be allowed, or if already allowed be made mandatory in favor of
small schools in sparsely settled neighborhoods by Boards of Public Instruction
in making out annual appropriations. The reason for this is that in many in-
stances the appropriations is so small that a competent teacher cannot be ob-
tained. 3. That some provision be made to purchase text-bbcoks for the poor
and indigent. Respectfully, &co,
W. Bo DENNIS,
County Superintendent Schools,
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.t
Sirt The public schools of this county are growing more and more in favor
with the people notwithstanding the Board of Public Instruction, owing to in-
debetedness, have been compelled to run the schools only three months instead
of six as formerly. The patrons in many places, although sorely pressed by
the stringency of the times, and their inability to employ labor to fill the
places of their children on their farms, are co-operating with the Board of
Public Instruction and extending the time by private aid. Even the colored
people are appropriating a portion of their scanty means for this purpose.
While this is true, and while it may also be stated that our people are more
alive to the importance of education than they were two or three years ago,
yet I am fully convinced that our public school system will never succeed so
well on the present plan until our population becomes more dense than it
promises to be for a long time to come, as it would on the plan started in
the town of Quincy last year, but was decided to be in conflict with the pre-
sent school law and had to be abandoned in consequence.
Our population is not sufficient to separate the common schools proper from
those of higher grade. Our school fund is not sufficient to give any more
than a common school education, yet our people are prone to depend solely on
the public school fund. We are it is true, running the schools on a sort of
a combination plan, but there is a want of system, too much uncertainty, it
is too much dependent on the particular mood of individuals or communities
to build up permanent flourishing schools. But if the law was so modified as
to allow establishing a common school class free to all and admit of charging
extra all who enter higher classes, I am satisfied there will be but little
difficulty in building up permanent schools with better salaries for teachers
and as a natural sequence a better class or teachers, both of which are im-
portant factors to build up good schools. We have some teachers in this
county who are an ornament to the profession. We have others wholly unfit
for teaching. Trustees are not always good judges of necessary qualifica-
tion for a good teacher. Among the colored people they seldom are competent
to select. A teacher may pass examination before the Board of Public Instruc-
ion so as to obtain a certificate and yetbe altogether unfit for an instructor
of youth. But if a teacher duly recommended by the trustees is rejected by
the Board of Public Instruction, the trustees, and perhaps the patrons, feel
aggrieved. Perhaps the difficulty in supplying the schools with proper
teachers might be remedied to a very great extent by requiring teachers to
produce a certificate from the Teacher's Institute in those counties where
Teachers' Institutes can be established, or giving those the preference who
hold such certificates. At all events I feel assured that owing to your zeal
in the cause of education that you will spare no pains to perfect our public
school system as far as possible, and I consider that your ability and ex-
perience as an educator eminently qualify you for the task, And if I can at
this time or on any other occasion make any suggestion that will aid you in
the least, I will be glad to contribute my mite in furtherence of an under-
taking of so much importance to the people of Florida.
Respectfully submitted, JESSE WOOD
County Superintendent Schools.,
Office Co. Sup't. Schools, Marianna, Fla., Nov. 18, 1878.
Hon. W, P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida.
Sir: Your favor of the 7th inst. was received some days ago, but being engaged
in visiting the schools of this county, I have delayed answering that I might
reply more understandingly regarding their general condition. You will observe
by my annual report an increase, both in the number of schools and attendance,
notwithstanding the sickness and large increase of crops in the county, both
of which tend to diminish the attendance,
I will now give you my observations of the present condition of the schools.
Eight schools are making very good progress, eight good, twelve fair, five toler-
able, a few moderate and the remainder poor, making twenty-eight schools above
an average. The slow progress of the others can readily be accounted for, when
the qualifications of the teachers are considered. We have sometimes been
compelled to employ inferior teachers or let the schools go untaught. The pro-
priety of this course may be doubtful, yet our Board have seen fit to adopt it
under all the circumstances which you no doubt can appreciate.
The University series of text books was adopted by our Board and I have used
every effort to introduce them into our schools with tolerable success. The
teachers using them are highly pleased and inform me that the classes using them
advance more rapidly than those using the old works, this however, is probably
owing to the fact that there are so many editions of the old ones that it is
almost impossible to have more than two or three alike, consequently more classes
are necessary. A few colored teachers have refused to use them and a few whites
have neglected them, but upon the whole I have no reason to complain of the success*
I am fully satisfied that further success awaits the efforts of this department
as our people generally favor Public Schools, though at the same time I am aware
that there is opposition to the levying of taxes on property to raise the necessary
funds. As regards a change in the School Law, I must confess that I see no rea-
son to alter the present, unless it be in the manner of raising funds, and I do
not feel competent to make any suggestions knowing the difficulties in the way
of important changes. I will however, suggest one alteration--that is in making
a census of the children of the county. This duty I think should be required of
the County Superintendent. During the three years preceding 1877, there was paid
by the School Board of this county more than six hundred dollars for this work,
performed by the Tax Assessor which was not worth one farthing to the schools
no record having been filed in the office and even had there been a record it
was worthless, because the children were not located. I had to make a reckoning
of them myself; and every Superintendent will have to do the same for his own
use if he expects to act intelligently.
The foregoing embraces I believe all the points in your letter but should there
be anything omitted, please notify me and I will endeavor to make my statement
Very respectfully your obedient servant.
(Signed) SAMUEL Jo ERWIN
County Superintendent of Schools, Jackson County.
Office Board Public Instruction,
Jefferson County, Dec. 4, 1878.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent Public Instruction:
Sir--I have already given the school statistics of this county in my annual report
now on file in your office, In addition, incompliance with your request, I
will offer some further reflections on the progress of the public schools in
this county for the past two years, their present condition, and promise of
I do not hesitate to say, and I think the facts will bear me out, that public
interest has increased, and is growing in favor of popular education in this
county within the last two years. It will be noted in my annual report that
the number of schools has been increased one hundred per cent., while the
school terms have been advanced from three to nine months, while at the same
time a considerable debt, bearing twenty-five per cent. interest, has been
liquidated, and the burden of taxation materially lessened.
There were high hopes entertained by the Board, at the beginning, of effecting
a much needed reform in another important feature of the free school system;
namely, the enforcement of a higher standard of qualification in respect to
the teachers. But alas! experience soon taught that in many instances the
standard would have to be lowered or very many schools would be without teachers,
In these instances great pains were taken to impress upon them that careful
study and decided improvement would be required of them, else they would be
discontinued. In some of these cases improvement has been manifest, while in
others none whatever has been noted.
There are quite a number of faithful and competent teachers, both in the white
and colored schools, who are doing much to advance the cause of a thorough
education in this county. Among these are several colored teachers, grad-
uates of Colleges, who are engaged in teaching the higher branches and teach-
ing them well and successfully.
The colored school at Waukeenah, taught by W, H. Slater, a colored man, the
only school in the county promised aid from the Peabody fund, and which has
met the conditions needful to obtain said aid, is in many creditable respects
a model school, as to good order, system and neatness.
The establishment of a normal school, for the uniform and through training
of teachers, should the time ever come when such an enterprise would be feasible,
would meet a manifest deficiency in the system of education.
My experience and observation for the two years now nearly completed, have
confirmed me in the following opinions, namely that the free school system,
conducted with skill and judgment, conbines in an eminent degree every element
needful to a meet successfully the wants of populalar education.
As a compact sysmatic organization, is infinitely superior to the old desultory
methods known as private or pay schools.
The limits of this letter will not allow of elaboration on this point.
Another observation is, that while it has grown in popular favor, its place
in popular confidence is not yet fully established. Its advocates and friends,
together with those who conduct its operations have every incentive to be
active and aggressive in establishing upon a permanent and enduring basis an
enterprise upon the success of which the future prosperity not only of our
country so largely depends.
The fact that it was the offspring of a political party not in favor in this
section of our country, did not commend it to the favor of the so-called
Bourbon element among us. Then there were others who regarded its organization,
the Board of Public Instruction with its Superintendent, as a useless expense,
the duties of which could just as well be attended to by the Board of County
Commissioners. Others were opposed to the whole system straight out, on general
principles, while not a few were profoundly indifferent upon the question of
I think I have stated correctly popular sentiment on this question when the pre-
sent Board began its operation.
Time and the logic of events have brought changes in public sentiment, and much
of this prejudice and opposition is slowly but surely passing away. The manifest
benefit it has brought to many communities who heretofore had never enjoyed edu-
cational advantages, have caused them to regard with less disfavor the system
because of its paternity; while the rigid economy, which has been practiced in
its operation, has silenced opposition to a machinery indispensable to its success-
Another fruitful source of dissatisfaction and opposition, is that another class
of citizens, than those who bear the largest share of the burden of taxation,
reap the greatest benefit from the public school fund.
I would respectfully suggest that this difficulty might be removed by changing
the Constitution so as to raise the greater portion of the school revenue by
means of a per capital tax, thus equalizing the burden of taxation. The tax levied
in this county for school purposes is $2,100.00. There are about 2,500 legal
voters in the county. It is manifest that a pole tax of $1.00 on each voter
would give a larger revenue than is now imposed a mere nominal "ad valorem" tax
to make good any deficit under the per capital method.
There are about 38 school houses in the county, including a few church build-
ings used for this purpose. Four of these belong to the Board of Public
Instruction. A small per centage are comfortable for winter, and well equipped
with school furniture, writing desks, black-boards, &c., while very many are
log buildings, which are by no means suitable for use during the winter months.
* * *
The deep interest manifested by the colored people at their emancipation in the
cause of education, as was predicted, has not abated, but grows, and on the part
of many, has become an all absorbing passion to have their children educated,
And in the few exceptional cases (pity there are so fewl) where they have good
competent teachers, are making commendable progress towards a thorough education.
The South owes it to her Christian civilization to do what she can to lift these
people to a higher plane of manhood, in doing which in my opinion, it will be a
long stride towards the solution of many of the political evils which at present
afflict her. The thoughtful mind can contemplate no greater menace to popular
liberty than ignorance among the masses. The words of Plato are as true to-day,
as when in the centuries back, he gave utterance to them: "Man cannot propose
a higher and holier object for his study than education and all that appertains
Tallahassee, Fla., Oct. 1st., 1878.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida:
Dear Sir--In submitting my statistical report for the scholastic year ending
September the 30th, 1878, I add in accordance with your request a statement
in reference to the school operations in this county under the present manage-
Among the difficulties with which the Board of Public Instruction has had to
contend during the past two years, was that of having to carry a debt amount-
ing to nearly ten thousand dollars which had been contracted under the former
administration. It was impossible to pay the whole of this at once, without
discontinuing our schools altogether, and as we were unwilling to do this our
first object was to control the claims in such manner as to prevent them from
exercising a depreciating influence upon our warrants. This we succeeded in
doing by agreeing to pay by installments. In this way we have managed to
keep scrip very nearly at par and at the same time by strict economy have re-
duced the old indebtedness until there is now only one claim of $2900.00 left
This debt as a matter of course has had the effect of shortening our school
With the exception of the Lincoln Academy, for the first term a few of our
schools were allowed four months, and the others but three, and for the second
term all, with the exception named, were limited to three months.
With terms so short it was impossible to do all that was desired, but we have
not on this account given less attention or felt less interest in the cause
in which we are engaged. It was believed that reforms and improvements could
be made even if we were seriously embarrassed, and we set earnestly to work
endeavoring to effect them. There is a great deal that we have not yet
been able to accomplish, but on carefully reviewing the past, I do not hesitate
to say that we have been to some extent successful in our efforts.
Our financial condition, as shown, is much more encouraging, the number of our
schools'has been increased, and a sum amounting to more than five hundred
dollars expended for the purchase of furniture and the construction of build-
ings. In addition to this, better and more efficient teachers have been em-
ployed, and the current expenses of the department reduced more than thirty
The Lincoln Academy is the only high school in the county under the control
of the Board of Public Instruction. This institution we have succeeded in
operating, by aid of the Peabody Fund, for nine months during each of the past
two years. It has a total attendance at this time of over two hundred and
fifty pupils and is provided with an efficient corps of teachers, consisting
of one principal and four assistants. The school is now in a more prosperous
condition than at any time since its commencement, and is justly an object of
pride to the colored people of our county.
As to our prospects of success in the future, I will state that for the pre-
sent scholastic year, we propose to give a term of six months to every school
in the county.
The great want of success in operating our schools has been that of a longer
scholastic term. In being able to give six months, therefore, we feel that
much has been accomplished, and that the prospect of success is much more en-
couraging than at any time in the past. I will also remark in this connection
that the time could have been made longer, had it been thought necessary, by
levying the maximum tax, but my experience teaches that during the season when
the crops are being cultivated and harvested, the schools are not attended except
by the smaller children who are too young to derive much benefit from them. I
therefore suggested to the Board when the time was being fixed that it would be
well not to extend it beyond six months.
As regards the changes in the school law which in my opinion should be made, I
would suggest: First, as a means of increasing our school revenue without adding
to the tax upon property, that the Legislature pass an act requiring the per cap,
ita tax.contemplated by the Constitution to be devoted to the support of the public
schools, and that such penalties be prescribed as may be necessary to enforce
the collection of the same. Secondly, that clause 4th of section 20 which requires
Boards of Public Instruction to employ such teachers as may be satisfactory to
the trustees be repealed, and that an act making the duty of selecting teachers
to rest entirely with the Board of Public Instruction be substituted for it.
I would further recommend as a change in the regulations that the scholastic
year be made to date from the 1st of September to the 31st of August, instead of
from the 1st of October to the 30th of September as is now the case.
In conclusion I would state that popular sentiment in this county is much stronger
now in favor of public schools than at any time since the organization of the
system. There are a few who oppose them from principle, and others who object
to them on account of the property tax necessary to their maintenance, but the
majority of the people do not hesitate to endorse them, and cheerfully lend them
In consequence of the heavy debt left us by the old Board, our work up to the
present year has been almost entirely of a negative character, but as we are now
comparatively untrammeled it is our purpose in the future to endeavor by every
means to make real educational progress. We believe this to be possible and no
effort on our part will be spared to accomplish it.
H. N. FELKEL,
Superintendent of Public Schools, Leon County,
Hon. Win P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Sir: I herewith enclose the annual tabular report of the public schools for the
scholastic year beginning October 1, 1877, and ending September 30, 1878; but in
order to understand the report of the progress of education in this county, and
the difficulties we have to overcome in operating our schools, one must know
something of the location of the county. For this information I would call
attention to the map of the State, where it will be seen that our county embraces
a series of keys, or islands, many of them remote from the mainland.
The population of the county consists of about fifteen thousand souls. Of these,
about fourteen thousand reside upon the island and in the city of Key West; about
five hundred live in the northern portion of the county, along the Caloosahatchie
river, a distance of more than one hundred and fifty miles from Key West; and
the remainder upon Key Lago and other islands. *
There are at present in operation in this county, six public schools Douglass
School, No. 1 coloredd) at Key West, under Mr. James Dean and three female
assistants (all colored), with an attendance of three hundred and fifty; Sears
School, No. 2, and Key West, under Mr. L, D. Barnes and eight female assistants,
with an attendance of about five hundred; San Carlos School, No. 3, at Key
West, under Mr. J. G. Toledo, with one male and two female assistants, with
an attendance of three hundred; Fort Myers School, No. 4, at Fort Myers upon
the Caloosahatchie river, taught by Mr. John Funck and sister, with an attendance
of about fifty; Key Largo School, No. 5, at Key Largo, under instruction of
Mrs.-M. Johnson, with an attendance of twenty-two; and New Prospect School,
No. 6, at NewProspect, on the Caloosahatchie river, under Miss Andrews, with
an attendance of twenty-two.
The report of the grand jury at the last term of the circuit court, fully ex-
presses the condition of the schools. I quote as follows: "We find the public
schools well attended, and in a flourishing condition, the system giving sat-
isfaction to both white and colored."
Owing to the employment of a large number of children in the cigar factories,
there will be a large falling off in the attendance in the schools for the
next year. Most of the children, however, attend night schools, of which
there are quite a number on the island, two of which are taught in the public
school buildings, the Board of Public Instruction affording all facilities
The school at Key Largo, although in a fair condition, will probably not
receive any increase of numbers during the coming term; and although there are
a sufficient numberof children upon the island to justify the establishment
of another school, the want of harmony among the people is so great, and the
traveling so difficult, owing to the rocky nature of the island, that the
Board, in their present cramped state, have not deemed it advisable to risk
The schools at Fort Myers and New Prospect, upon the Caloosahatchie river,
will, I believe, receive considerable accessions, and the Board contemplate
the establishment of another school at Twelve Mile Creek, as soon as the
patronstake the initiatory step of building a school house. *
Besides the public schools in the county, there are quite a number of most
excellent private schools, all well attended and in a flourishing condition,
among which are: Mrs. Coppick's, for boys; Misses Bethel and Lighburne's, for
girls; a school for colored girls, taught by the sisters of the Mary Immaculate
convent; and the school of the Convent of Mary Immaculate, one of the best
boarding schools in the South, for girls. This last school affords a rare
chance to persons living in a northern latitude having children in delicate
health, for placing them at school in a climate celebrated for its mildness
I have been much embarrassed as to the proper course to be pursued toward the
children of a large number of foreigners, who in my opinion are not entitled
to the benefit of our school system. I have permitted their attendance, how-
ever, believing it to be better and cheaper for the State to educate them than
to allow them to grow up in ignorance.
The plan of separate schools for white and colored gives satisfaction to all,
and I find that it works well with the colored schools to employ colored
teachers only; that is, when it is possible to do so.
My experience would suggest the enactment of a compulsory school and vagrant
law, providing that all children over a certain age be compelled either to
attend some school or to work at a trade. This measure would force thousands
of children into our schools and workshops, who are now growing up in idleness
and ignorance, and would do much toward the prevention of crime, as its annals
show but a small proportion committed by those constantly engaged, either in
mental or physical labor.
I would earnestly recommend that you appoint a small committee, say three, of
superintendents to correspond with the different publishers and thoroughly examine
the different series of school books, and from the whole form a combination series
to be adopted by every school in the State, and the enactment of a law prevent-
ing any change of text books except at the end of every twelve years. This
course would in all probability furnish our schools with the best books published,
and prevent the constant expense and annoyance of changing books.
I would also call the attention of the State Superintendent to the fact that the
fines collected in the different counties are not turned over to the school fund
of the counties where such fines are collected, as I believe was the intention
of the law, but are sent to Tallahassee, and turned into the general fund, I
think this should be changed?
Our people have been much depressed by the general financial distress which per-
vades the entire country, and in many instances have not been able to meet their
taxes, all of which has tended much to embarrass the operation of the schools,
yet I think we have ample reason to be thankful to the Giver of all good that
we have thus far been enabled to run our schools for the full term.
I am, very respectfully, etc.,
J. V. HARRIS,
Superintendent of Schools.
Office Co. Sup't Schools, Fernandian, Fla., Nov. 23, '78.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Floridat
Dear Sirt: have the honor to submit to you my second annual report of the
Public Schools of this county, the concluding one of my present official appoint-
ment. In doing so I take pleasure in stating that since my connection with the
Common School System, I notice a marked improvement in the educational interest
of the people. Yet, this interest is not so general nor so absorbing as it should
be to insure complete success. Several reasons might be assigned for this ap-
parent apathy, chief of which is perhaps attributable to the sparsely populated
school districts and the consequently impracticability of securing competent
teachers for the small.pay offered. To obviate this difficulty in a measure I
would respectfully suggest a change in the ages of receivable pupils from what
the statute now prescribes to that of from eight to sixteen years. This would
diminish the number of pupils, but this very decrease would result in furnish-
ing better instruction, and to those more capable of appreciating its advantages.
In my first visiting tour through the schools I found truly a heterogeneous mass
of books--no two alike on the same branch of study--and was at once impressed
with the importance of securing if possible, a uniform series of text books,
By diligent effort 3 prevailed upon our Board of Public Instruction t6 adopt
the "American Series" the best I know of at the time, and also to authorize
their Superintendent to keep a supply on hand to be furnished to the pupils
at publishers prices, freight added. This arrangement greatly facilitated
their introduction, yet there were worthy pupils here and there too poor to
purchase books even at their reduced rates, and I induced the Board to permit
me to supply all such indigent pupils gratuitously due care being taken to
guard against imposition. The actual cost of their timely benificence was
inconsiderable, but the Board thought otherwise and refused to continue it
longer than one session or term.
In this county the school revenue is inadequate to the work that should be
done, and yet under our present system there can be no increase of property
taxation without its becoming burdensome to our people, I would therefore
suggest the imposition of an uniform poll tax of two dollars on every voter
in the State with an enforcing penalty annexed to be applied to the public
schools of each county, and earnestly solicit your aid in securing from the
Legislature an act to this effect. The State of Virginia as you well know,
has derived material financial benefit from what is known as the "Moffet
punch act" the revenue of which is appropriated to the payment of interest
on her public debt. Georgia our sister State will make, as is believed a
successful effort based upon similar principles to introduce a law for the
benefit of Common Schools. Virginia receives nearly $600,000 from the opera-
tion of the Moffet Punch, and a pro rata estimate would give us about $50,000.
Could this sum of money much of which is wrested from suffering poverty, be
returned to aIncared for children in the form of so lasting a benefit as a
good education it would be a blessing indeed.
I am dear sir, very respectfully and truly,
County Superintendent of Schools.
Profo W, P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instructiont
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the "progress of the
public schools in Orange county for the past two years, their present condition,
and the prospect and promise of future success." The following figures will
furnish a basis for such a report:
SCHOOL YEAR. 187 5- 1876-7 1877-8-
Total number of schools 92 1i $1
Total number of schools taught 30 h8 45
Length of term allowed 132 days. 66 days. 66 days.
Average length of time 89 29-30 0 58 3-4 62 5-9 *
Total number of days taught 2,699 2,815 2.815
Total attendance 585 903 1,090
Average attendance 46h 7h7 788.35
Salaries of teachers $3,945.10 $3,202.12 $3,745.90
October 1, 1876.--Amount of indebtedness of Board of Public Instruction in
unpaid warrants, say .. . . . . . . . . $ 600.00
October 1, 1877.--Amount of indebtedness of Board of Public Instruction in
unpaid warrants, say . .. . . . . . . . . 1,635.74
October 1, 1878.--Amount of balance in hand by Board of Public Instruction $1,068,98
In the year 1875-6 5-7 of the schools were in operation.
In the year 1876-7 12-13 of the schools were in operation.
In the year 1877-8 15-17 of the schools were in operation.
In the year 1878-9 25-27 of the schools were in operation.
The total attendance has increased in the two year from 585 to 1,090, but the
average attendance which in 1876-7 was larger in proportion to the total at.
tendance than in 1875-6 was in 1877-8 a trifle less in proportion than in 1875-6.
The increase in the number of schools taught from 30 in 1875-6 to l4 in 1877-8
should be borne in mind, and also the facts that in 1875-6 an average of t61
were taught 2,699 days at a cost for tuition of 43,945.10, while in 1876-7 an
average of 747 were taught 2,815 days at a cost for tuition of $3,202.12, and
in 1877-8 an average of 788.35 were taught 2,815 days at a cost of $3,745.90.
I deduce from these'figures that there is an increased desire on the part of a
majority of the parents for schools shown by the increase in the number of the
old schools taught, the establishment of 13 new schools, and the maintenance of
private schools in continuation of the public school term to a greater extent
each year. That the average attendance does not keep pace with the increase in
total attendance arises in part from the lamentable fact that some parents will
allow their children to absent themselves from school on slight and wholly in-
There seems no remedy for this beyond the gradual education of the parents to the
importance and the value of school privileges for their children, except in com-
pulsory education, for which perhaps the people of this State are not ready.
Two serious obstacles have confronted me in the way of success: First. The want
of uniform text-books, and in a great degree the want of any books. This is over-
come by the purchase of books for the present year, which are loaned to scholars
unable to buy, so that all are, or soon will be, supplied. Second. The sparsity
of the population necessitating the establishment of small schools in new settle-
mento Our rule is to establish new schools within not less than three miles of any
existing school upon a guarantee of an average of 10 scholars. This difficulty
will continue till the whole habitable area of the county is supplied with schools,
but this is already nearly accomplished, and I look now rather for increase in
attendance upon schools already established by increase of population than for a
demand for new schools. In addition to greater interest on the part of parents, I
find the children more ambitious and consequently more earnest in application to
I have endeavored to elevate the standard of qualifications among the teachers,
and to that end for the present year, I have secured the adoption of a series of
examination papers, which, while wholly within the requirements of the law, are
yet much more rigid than examinations as thertofore conducted, securing also urn-
formity in the requirements,
I have urged upon the teachers the necessity of firm though not harsh discipline,
as essential not only to the greatest progress of the children in their studies,
but also to the formation of character, an object as earnestly to be desired and
striven after as the training of the mind.
We have three schools which will rank with the high schools in this or any other
I have had occasion to thank the Board of Public Instruction for their cordial
and hearty co-operation in my efforts to advance the interests of education,
The gratifying financial exhibit above at the beginning of the current school
year is due in great measure to the collection of taxes due on previous years
to the amount of over $1,000.
I had the satisfaction of congratulating the people of the county, in a re-
port to the Board of Public Instruction at the close of the past school year,
upon the improvement in the condition of the schools, as shown by the above
figures and facts, and the inferences I feel justified in deducing therefrom.
I have no suggestions as to changes in the school law, which I regard as
generally well adapted to its uses.
I beg respectfully and most earnestly to urge upon the Board of Education and
the Legislature the importance of devising some scheme for increasing the school
fund to such an extent as to put Florida upon an equality with her sister States
in the matter of educational facilities. Respectfully,
J. M. BURRALL
Superintendent of Schools.
Taken from the Report of the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public
Gainesville, Dec. 15, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida:
Sir--It affords me pleasure to comply with your request to make a short general
report of school operations for the past scholastic year in Alachua county.
For a population of 20,000 inhabitants, scattered over a county sixty-five miles
long, and nearly of the same breadth, many schools are required. Nearly four
years ago there were thirty-seven free schools put in operation, and each year
since the number has been increased. At the meeting of the County Board of Public
Instruction in September last, sixty-one schools were provided for. The Board
considered it less harmful to increase the number of schools loudly demanded by
the people, notwithstanding it forced them to reduce every school to a term of
only three months, than to decrease the number of schools and lengthen the term
to five months, after the reduction of the tax rate to two and a half mills. The
method of the Board has been to aproximate an appropriation of $1 per scholar per
month, taking the reports of average attendance during the preceding term as the
basis of calculation. By this method the gross appropriation has been a little
less than the gross income, which has enabled the Board to cancel and destroy
the outstanding school warrants issued prior to the 17th of January, 1877, amount-
ing to about $B,600, except to the amount of $688. For most of the time the
warrants of the present Board have been rated by buyers at .80 and .95 on the
dollar. The school warrants would be brought very nearly to par by a return to
the five mill tax, and the term also could be lengthened by such and other liberal
provision of means. The people have never complained, and will never murmur,
because of the, levy of ,a liberal school tax which is disbursed judiciously and
directly for their personal benefit,
As to the broadcast, beneficial results of the free common school system I can
only deliver the deliberate judgment that it is the only one adapted to the
education of our people. Doubtless, the details of the system require modifica-
tion and the machinery simplification, but the main thing, at last, which will
make it an inestimable benefaction to our whole population is the provision of
ample school revenue to command the services of the best instructors, and to
lengthen the school term to ten months, wherever the youth, in sufficient num-
bers, are in a situation to attend school for so long a time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
0. A. MYERS,
Superintendent Alachua County.
Office Board of Public Instruction,
Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 9, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction:
Dear Sir--I beg leave to submit the following as a very brief review of the
condition, mode of operation and the number of schools in the county of Duval:
The number of schools has varied from forty-five to fifty, the latter number
being that of the schools now in successful operation. The course of study
is so classified and graded that whether in a mixed school, (that is all
students in one room) as is the case in the country neighborhoods, or in the
graded city schools, there is required eight years to complete the course,
thus a child entering at the age of six years will, if constant and regular
in attendance, complete the course at the age of fourteen years. This course
completes them in Arithmetic, takes them through the English language,
through United States History and the outlines of General History, through
modern Geography, physical and political, reading, writing and spelling, Thus
a primary education is obtained, avoiding that cramming and consequent over
work so much inveighed against by eminent educators and medical men. The mode
adopted for teaching partakes largely of synoptical, involving the necessity
on the part of the pupil to write out upon the blackboard, or elsewhere, in
his or her own language, such knowledge as they may have obtained of the study
in hand, thus subjecting their thoughts as well as expression to the review,
criticism and correction of the teacher, and at the same time developing the
real attainments of the pupil, with however much of error may have found its
way into the mind with the truth; also fixing the lesson permanently upon
the mind, while an excellent opportuntiy is afforded to teach the rules and
practice of composition, Pupils thus completing the primary course, if upon
a written examination attain to a certain per centage in correct answers to
the questions propounded and subjects submitted, are graded, if desired, into
the County High School, in which, during a three year course, they are taught
Algebra, Geometry, Civil Government, Natural Philosophy, Phisiology elementary,
Chemistry, English Literature, General History, Word Analysis, Latin Grammar,
Ceasar and Cicero. All along with which is conducted a close review of the
primary studies, and graduating at the age of seventeen, qualified to com-
mence the learning of any of the usual vocations of business life. In this
High School the pupils are given an insight into the art of teaching, and
several of the graduates are now among the most successful teachers in the
employ of the Board in primary schools.
The qualification and efficiency of the teacher has been steadily advanced
during the last four years, and especially has this been the case during the
last two years. No applicant for work as a teacher is employed except he or
she is first submitted to a full examination upon such branches as are prescribed
in the school laws, both written and oral, with such variations in-advance of
those as the Board in its discretion may think the circumstances may warrant.
As a result of this many inefficient teachers, whom the present Board found
in charge of the schools, have been dismissed, and there are now as fine
a corps of teachers, both white and colored, employed as can be found any-
In regard to a change in the school law, I am of opinion that none can be
made to largely benefit the public school system in this State. Any attempt
on the part of the Legislature to make general laws for its regulation in all
counties and parts of the State is simply absurd. The only practical plan
is to fix the maximum amount of county tax at a liberal figure, and leave the
amount assessed to the respective County Boards, who should be selected with
regard to sound judgment, discretion and, more especially, their ideas of
progress as contrasted with the prejudices heretofore existing in the South
against what they, the people, were wont sneeringly to call the "free schools."
With this mode of county management each county would be able to meet and
provide for its necessities as their progress or advancement might demand.
The suggestion, made by some, to restrict by law the course in the public schools
to the mere elementary branches in the old time parlance to the three Rs goes
so nearly back to the old semi-heathen days of Rome, when the Plebian was re-
strained and the Patrician advanced, that I cannot contemplate it without disgust
and displeasure, Again, the rich and large property holders are taxed to educate
the poor and it would seem but simple equity that while this matter of education
was going on at the public expense, they who bear the burthens mostly would
have the opportunity of an advanced education without the additional expense of
a Private School, especially so when at the same time it affords a like oppor'
tunity for the children of the poor who would never have the opportunity but for
so munificent a plan.
The argument advanced by some that the existence of schools of a higher grade
excludes private enterprise, and prevents the incoming of men and women into our
State because they would find private schools sufficiently remunerative, is so
completely selfish as to fall far beneath the dignity of meriting a reply, So
interwoven with the affections and admiration of the people, and so absolutely
necessary to them that the Party or Administration who fails to foster the
Public Schools, much more to curtail or lessen them, will meet with a fate
equivalent to extinction, and justly so. Respectfully,
A. J. RUSSELL,
County Sup't Public Schools, Duval county.
Pensacola, September 30, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.t
Dear Sirt Thirty schools have been in operation in the county of Escambia
during the past two years, with terms running from four to seven months. During
this period there has been a marked improvement in all the schools, both as to
scholarship and attendance.
The system of free public instruction is gaining in popularity, and the convic-
tion is permeating the entire community that it is the duty of the State to
provide the means for educating her children and youth.
The present school system of the State, while it may not be entirely perfect,
upon the whole, we think as good as can be devised. Any legislation looking to
change, we should regard with the gravest apprehension. With faithful and com-
petent officers in each county to carry out, and efficiently work the present
system, it cannot fail to be a success and prove a public blessing to all classes.
The financial condition of the Board of Public Instruction of Escambia county is
of the most satisfactory character. We owe no debts, and have a neat balance
on hand. Every teachers' warrant is paid; every claim is promptly met, and we
are ready to erect school buildings in all parts of the county where they are
W. B. DENNIS,
County Sup't Schools Escambia county.
Quincy, Fla., Dec. 20, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee,
Sir--My knowledge of public school operations in Gadsden county is confined
to the year ending September 30, 1880, and subsequently, as I was commissioned
County Superintendent January 17, 1879, and by that time the public schools
for the scholastic year ending September 30, 1879, had terminated. Upon
assuming the duties of the office I found that the Board of Public Instruc-
tion was very much depressed as to the future of the schools, by the limita-
tion tax of two and one-half mills for county school purposes, passed by the
Legislature of 1879, so much so that during the months of May and June, 1879,
1 canvassed the county, talking to the white people by day and the colored
people by night, in the line of official duty. At the June meeting I submitted
an itemized estimate for forty-three schools, an increase of thirteen over
the past year, having secured a promise from nearly every single locality
where I proposed a school should be established, of board, extra, for the
teacher. This was deemed best, because, from ascertaining the views of the
people by mingling with them, it was very apparent that they thought a great
many children had not received the benefit of the school moneys in the past,
for the reasons, (1), the schoolhouses were too far; (2), in many parts of
the county little streams were, about half of the school term, flooded by
rains, and prevented the regular attendance of the little children; (3),
dissatisfaction in regard to teachers; (4), a general feeling in many localities
that there had been partiality in the distribution of the school moneys. The
patrons, by a large majority, were opposed to what is called the "consolidated
plan," and were willing to help all they were able to do with a just and fair
proportion of State and county aid.
By organizing committees, continually conferring with Trustees and urging them
to the discharge of duties, carefully selecting them, permitting such community
to operate its school at any time of the year it deemed best, giving it the
selection of a teacher, frequently visiting the schools and talking to the
children, looking to the efficiency of the teachers in the school-room and
strictly requiring of them a contract; keeping a register and making out a
monthly report and other exactions of the law as far as possible, by appeals
for private aid and advocating the benefits of the public school system, with
perfect harmony between the Board of Public Instruction and the County Super-
intendent. For the year ending September 30, 1880, there were in general
attendance in the public schools of this county 199 more white children, and
153 more colored children, than reported for any previous year; 4 frame and
2 log additional school houses erected and the average length of time taught
was three and one-third months.
The Board of Public Instruction estimated two and one-half mills county school
tax at the meeting in June, 1879, and the Board of County Commissioners ordered
a levy of one and one-quarter mill. It was deemed necessary for the mainten-
ance of the public school system, for a subsequent year, of this county, that
an appeal to law should be made; which was done, and the Supreme Court of
Florida ordered the Board of County Commissioners to levy the additional amount
of one and one-quarter mills, in accordance with the itemized estimate of"the
SChool Board, and there the matter ended; for the additional one and one-quarter
mill tax, obtained by order of the Supreme Court of Florida, has not been
placed on the books of the Tax Assessor or Collector of Revenue. By this de-
fault of compliance with the law, as expounded by the Supreme Court of the
State, the children of this county, so far, have been deprived of the benefit
of $1,005.27 *, which amount, if on the books of the Collector of Revenue for
collection, it is safe to say would place school scrip at, or very near, a par
value, a vitally essential consideration in the employment of teachers.
The present condition of the schools meets with general approbation, and the
prospect of future success is best answered by stating the fact that out of 49
public schools located for the year ending September 30, 1881, 48 of them have
been, and are, in operation, and there is reason to confidently expect that the
remaining one will be operated before the scholastic year expires.
For carrying out the objects of the public school system, vizt (1) Getting
out to the schools the largest number of children, (2) efficiency of the teachers,
it seems to me that the school laws ought to be so clearly defined that there
cannot be any misconstruction of them and they ought to be so positive as to
remove all impediments in the way of the success of the schools. No officer,
even in the remotest degree, should be connected with the operation of the
schools who is not an advocate of the public school system. It is but natural
to go to friends, not enemies, for advice and aid. The Governor, with a deep
sense of responsibility, should appoint the members of a County Board of
Public Instruction and County Superintendent with as much care and thought as
he does the members of his Cabinet, and the County Superintendent ought to
have an office at the Courthouse, so as to be found when wanted, and be in con-
tinual conference and consultation with Trustees, patrons and teachers, and
should learn to be as familiar with the social complexion of every school local-
ity in a county as though he was an intelligent member thereof. He should be
required to make a quarterly report of the amount of school scrip issued and
destroyed by the School Board. The County Auditor, who should keep the proper
books, and Tax Collectors should be made to conform accordingly,
I have stated, in part, what I thought would be of interest to the public
school system, which has grown to such a length as to preclude the mention of
other points, and I thank you for the courtesies extended in the official re-
lations we respectively occupy. Respectfully, C, EO ALLISON,
County Superintendent Schools, Gadsden Co.
Hernando County, Florida.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Schools, Tallahasseet
Sir--In submitting this my annual report of school operations in this county for
the scholastic year ending 30th September, 1880, I beg leave to call your atten-
tion to the fact that for the past two years the public schools in this county
have increased in number from thirty-three to forty-five, thus showing an in-
crease of twelve schools in two years, making in all forty-five organized schools.
Our population being scattered over so large territory as Hernando county necessi-
tates the organization of small schools, in order that all can receive the bene-
fits of the same. The Board has organized schools with as few as ten pupils,
and require the school houses to be at least four miles apart, unless some natural
impassable obstruction, such as deep streams or lakes, intervenes to prevent
children reaching the school house in safety, in which case schools are organized
at a nearer point to each other.
The public school system has grown in favor to a considerable extent the past
few years; in fact, it is nearly or quite all the school now taught in this
The increase in attendance will show, to some degree, the appreciation of the
advantages of the public school system. From an attendance of about three
hundred and fifty children in the public schools fdur years ago we have come
up to the number of seven hundred and fifty the past scholastic year, and
with a rapid increase in attendance on schools just opened for the present
The expenses attending school operations in this county have been confined
almost exclusively to the pay of teachers, as the Board has used every method
of economy to avoid falling in debt. The method of paying the teachers is in
accordance with the daily average attendance of pupils. This method is quite
satisfactory to teachers, and is very commendable for the following reasons
The teacher is thereby stimulated to keep up his school to a high average
attendance. The patrons do the same, as without a certain average attendance
the patrons generally have to make up an amount for the teacher under private
contract. Moreover, if the children do not get the schooling, the money re-
mains in the Treasury, and the teacher receives pay for the number of children
actually taught. This method, at first, would seem to inflict hardship upon
the teachers, but a little practical experience will soon show to the contrary,
When there are so many schools to teach, teachers are not to be had for them
all at the same time; consequently the best teachers generally procure the
largest schools first and after teaching two or three of the largest and best
paying schools for a term of three months each, they will then spend the
summer willingly in teaching smaller schools; so, in the aggregate, they make
as much money, teach more children and give more satisfaction than with any
other system I have seen tried, It certainly has the commendation of keep-
ing more children at school, through the stimulus of both teacher and patron,
than any other, For the past two years we have held Teacher's Institutes,
and will organize another this fall or winter. They are of infinite benefit
to the teachers, and particularly to the schools, as their effect can be seen
in isolated schools where few, if any, of the improved methods of teaching
would otherwise reach. I think it advisable to have them in every county
shortly after the commencement of the scholastic year,
We have six colored schools in the county, some of which have as many as fifty
pupils, others only twelve to fifteen, with a population of only about four
hundred and fifty colored citizens, The school opportunities are quite ample
and, in some instances, more than embraced by this class.
The average number of days taught in each school is sixty-one, at an average
cost of $63.15 per school of three months' term,
I see no reason why the present system of school laws should not give satis-
faction, if honestly and economically administered, provided the school tax
be increased as the'exigencies arise, and this, in my opinion, should be left
to the sound discretion of an intelligent School Board, subject to the super-
vision of the Grand Jury of the Spring Term of Court, said jury to be organ-
ized upon a basis of educational qualification, and to retain within its body
at least one-third of the number of its members for three successive terms of
I am of the opinion that the public schools should be left open to all grades
andages of pupils, for, to exclude the more ambitious and energetic student
because he has passed a certain curriculum, would be to dwarf his ambition and
to shut off the opportunity contemplated by the school law for his mental develop-
The object of our school system is to grant to the lowest and most humble citizen
an equal chance to occupy the highest place in life, "to stir the loftiest am-
bition and aspiration of which the soul is capacitated to enjoy." Therefore,
to cut off from the benefits of the public school any class of students, especially
on account of their advancement, would not only "crush the pupil into the depth
of hopelessness, but would make him a drudge indeed to the teacher of the in-
spiring thought that some one or more of the pupils of his class may become good
and great men," Very respectfully submitted,
December 12, 1880. County Superintendent Schools.
Tampa, Fla., December 14, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley,
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Dear Sir* In addition to my annual report, and in compliance with your re-
quest, I present a brief statement of school operations in Hillsborough county
for the year ending September 30, 1880.
The report shows that there were 39 schools taught during the year for a term
of three months, with a total attendance of 1,057 pupils, the average attendance
At the commencement of the year there was $882 indebtedness to teachers. This
amount has been liquidated. Funds on hand at the end of the year $953.66,
Three new schools were established during the year. It is evident from the num-
ber of applications for new schools that our people are becoming more interested
in the cause of education. Most of the applications for the establishment of
schools were at places where no public schools have been taught.
The patrons have contributed liberally to the maintainance of schools, and are
much stronger in favor of public schools now than at any time since the organi-
zation of the free school system.
Private schools are taught in many parts of the county where public schools are
not in operation, asr well attended, and have good and efficient teachers.
There are but few permanent school buildings over which the board has any con-
trol, and schools are often dependent and subject to the will of those owning
the buildings, and are not always conveniently located. This makes a necessity
for two schools sometimes, where one would be sufficient if the convenience
of the whole community was looked to by the trustees.
With the embarrassments the Board has had to contend with, I think, upon the
whole, our schools for the past year have been a success. A longer scholastic
term would be more encouraging, and would increase public interest in favor of
All the colored schools were taught except one, that being a very small school,
and I was unable to procure a teacher.
The schools, with few exceptions, have been taught by competent and efficient
In regard to changes in the school law, I will make no suggestions. The most
needful at present is a more dense population and more school funds.
As you have frequently visited our county during your term of office in the
interest of the public schools, you are fully conversant with our wants as
well as those of the whole State.
The ensuing year will be more prosperous in school operations than the past,
with a large increase of new schools,
Respectfully, H. L. CRANE,
Superintendent of Schools Hillsborough county.
Marianna, Fla., December 14, 1880,
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Sirt I have the honor to make the following statement of the operations of
the public schools in Jackson county for the past two years
The statistical report will show the number of schools in operation, the num-
ber of children who have received instruction, and the numberof teachers em-
ployed together with their salaries.
Since my reappointment to the office of County Superintendent, I have not
been able to visit all portions of the county, but have met and conversed
with prominent citizens of every section. From my own observation and the
reports of the above named persons, I am fully satisfied that the progress
of education is onward, I think I can safely report a decided improvement
in the progress of the pupils, and an increased interest on the part of parents.
This I know to be the case in the northern portion of the county, as several
neighborhoods are endeavoring to keep up the schools for a longer period than
the usual term of three months. This I regard as a decided improvement. All
sections are anxious for schools sometime during the year, and will avail
themselves of the fund appropriated to them. The progress is not so great
as it would be, had we sufficient funds to pay teachers higher salaries. The
small amount appropriated to the schools is sufficient to secure teachers of
only a low grade; yet both white and colored parents seem satisfied for the
present, hoping that they may do better in future. We have but very few
colored teachers worthy the name, These few, however, are kept constantly
employed, and are doing good service. We have but one white teacher of colored
schools. Would that we had more such as he. I can safely assert that this
old, gentleman has been of more real benefit to both colored parents and child-
ren than all the colored teachers ever employed in the county,
The future prospects of our educational system are not so flattering as could
be desired; for the low salaries necessarily paid to teachers and the other
school officers will not encourage us to expect the accomplishment of any very
great amount of work. The Board of Public Instruction receive each $2.00 per
diem (meeting once a month) in county scrip, worth forty cents on the dollar.
The Superintendent is paid $25.00 per month in the same funds, equal to $10.00
per month, out of which he must pay his transportation over 100 miles, at least
every two months. These amounts are not sufficient to induce men to neglect
their private business to serve the public. Cheap labor is seldom profitable.
I approach the subject of school laws with great diffidence, being well aware of
the tendency of the age to demand changes of doubtful utility. However, as you
asked- for such suggestions as, in my opinion, would be beneficial to the system,
I will call your attention to two subjects whibh I think ought to be examined
into by those who legislate for the public. First, the manner of raising funds
to support public schools. Would it not give satisfaction to tax payers that
the poll tax be appropriated to this purpose? and if not sufficient, add a fractional
part of property tax to make up the deficiency. Second, taking the school census,
considerable sums have been disbursed for this purpose, and I assert, without
fear of successful contradiction, that it has been done without the least practical
advantages to the counties. Every Superintendent who desires to perform his duty
properly must, before he begins his work, make out a list of all the children in
each school district. He may search all the census books to be found and he will
not find a starting point. Much money has been spent in this county in taking
this census, and I have never, until last week, seen a copy of the census, and
that is worthless to a County School Board or County Superintendent. As the
Superintendent has this work to do, let him be paid for it and required to for-
ward a copy to the State Superintendent, and it will then be useful.
I speak plainly on this subject, because I know the trouble of obtaining an
accurate list of children within the school age.
Respectfully, SAM J. ERWIN,
County Superintendent Schools, Jackson county.
Tallahassee, Fla., December 28, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida:
Dear Sir--In addition to my statistical report for the scholastic year closing
September 30, 1880, I herewith submit, in response to your request, a statement
of school operations in this county for the' past two years.
The reduction of the school tax by the last General Assembly has had the effect
of embarrassing, to a most hurtful extent, the operation of the schools of this
county. In 1878-9 we allowed our expenses to exceed the amount of revenue by
about one thousand dollars. The demand upon the Board of Public Instruction
for additional schools was very pressing, and, in a spirit of accommodation,
they established several more than were provided in our itemized estimate, sup-
posing they could readily cover the increased expense by the next year's assess-
ment. In the meantime, however, the reduction came and found us with the amount
named outstanding, and no means of meeting it, except by contracting operations.
The schools had, for that year, already been opened, so that the only way in
which we could retrench was to abridge the length of term. This we did, giving
five months instead of six as provided for.
Again in 1879-80 there was a still further expenditure, over and above the amount
assessed, which was made in order to provide for the pupils who were excluded
from the West Florida Seminary on account of the grade for entering said school
having been raised. The effect of the reduction, therefore, has been to render
it impossible for us to lessen materially the balance of indebtedness, reported
in my last statement, as left us by the former administration. In addition to
this the salaries of teachers has been reduced, and the school term limited to
I am, however, disposed to think that if we were once clear of debt that a tax
of two and a half mills would be sufficient for school purposes in this county.
For the present year the length of the school term has not been fixed. If
there are indications that the tax rate of five mills will be restored, when
the Legislature meets in January, the time will be continued to five months;
otherwise, it is the purpose of the Board to close the schools at the end of
the first quarter and pay off the indebtedness.
As an exception to the length of term stated above, I should mention the Lincoln
Academy. By means of the amount of aid allowed from the Peabody Fund, together
with a small extra appropriation, we have been able to operate this school for
nine months during each year. This institution is under the management of a
principal and four assistants, and is the only high school for colored youth
in the county.
The text-books used in the schools of the county are the same as adopted by
the former Board of Public Instruction, and are made up partly of the American
and partly of the National Series. I have sought to introduce gradually these
books, not requiring a change when there were enough books of any one denom-
ination in a school to form a class, but insisting, when ever a new book was
to be bought, that it be of the authorized series.
The changes in the law, which, in my opinion, would be of benefit to the schools,
are as follows: First, that the per capital tax be made a part of the school
fund and that such measures be adopted as will insure its collection; secondly,
that the Board of Public Instruction have entire control of the appointment
of teachers; thirdly, that Superintendents of Schools and Collectors of Revenue
be required to make quarterly reports to the Clerk of the Court; the one of
all warrants drawn and the purpose for which each was issued, the other of all
moneys collected on account of common schools; also that County Commissioners
be required to include these reports in their annual publication authorized
Very Respectfully Yours,
HENRY N. FELKEL,
Superintendent of Schools, Leon county.
Madison, Fla., December l1, 1880.
Hon. W..P. Haisley,
Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Sir: Yours asking me for a statement of school operations in Madison county
for the past two years is at hand. And I would state that while a republican
government needs the whole power of education, it has never found a very
striking application in this county as yet. The zeal for education seems not
to grow as the population increases. Since the introduction of the public school
system, there seems to be a general disposition among all classes, but more es-
pecially the blacks, to depend entirely upon the public fund to educate their
children. While the public school months are taught the school-houses are full
to running over, but let it be announced that the "pay school will now start,"
and the children will be found leaving the seat of learning like rats from a
burning barn. Another defect or drawback is to be found in the small amount of
tax assessed for school purposes. I find it is virtually running all the first-
class teachers "off the track." While the public school system hag become an
established law, and all are ready to acknowledge that schools and education is
the supreme guarantee of a country's liberties, the condition of its prosperity,
and the safeguard of its institutions.
If this be so, then it is the imperative duty of the law-makers to provide an
ample amount of funds to sustain it. Ant I would here call the attention of
the members of the next Legislature to increase the school tax to at least five
mills, or leave the matter of assessing the school tax in the hands of County
Boards of Public Instruction. They know, or should, the amount necessary to
run the schools in their respective counties.
I would further state that as Superintendent of Public Instruction, I find a
great hindrance to the elevation of the standard of education, and that is limit-
ing the public schools to simply primary instruction. I am fully of the opinion
that the public school law should declare free for all, not only primary, but
As to the school-houses and furniture of the public schools in this county, I
am loath to state is too sadly neglected. I find a large majority of the school
houses badly erected, and out of poor material. I am of the opinion that school-
houses and class-rooms should be made attractive to children.
We have found another very objectionable feature, one which has troubled us no
little for the past two years, and that is such a diversity of school or text-
books, which has beeh a fearful barrier to organization and classification.
But I am happy to state that this evil has been pointed out by myself to the Board
of Public Instruction of this county, and has been removed by the adoption of
a uniform series of school books, which has given great encouragement to patrons
and teachers, and we only hope it will be generally carried out. In looking
over the monthly reports of teachers for the last two years, I find that the
average daily attendance of the pupils, especially the whites, according to total
number on register, is not as good as it should be. This unsatisfactory result
is due, I think, in a great measure to the insufficient school accommodations,
the distances of the schools from the homes of the children, and the bad condi-
tion of the roads, or it may be from the defect in the principle of compulsion.
I am one that strongly advocates compulsory education. And I think the means
should be provided to make it effectual,
In conclusion, I would state that I see some improvement in the past two years.
If nothing more, public opinion is getting aroused, and beginning to feel more.
anxious for the fate of the educational interest of the county. The existing
evils in the system are being pointed out, which encourages the hope that vigorous
efforts will be made to remove them. I would urge especially upon the Legisla-
ture to provide sufficient means for educational purposes.
I am, as ever, your obedient servant,
E. S. TYNER,
Superintendent of Schools for Madison county.
Key West, Fla., Dec. 28, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee,
Dear Sir--During the term of office of the present Board of Public Instruction
much has been done toward advancing the cause of education in this county, and,
whilst the schools are not in as flourishing a condition as we desire, taking
into consideration the many disadvantages under which we labor, we have rea-
son to be satisfied at their present condition and hopeful of their future.
A large debt--necessarily incurred by the old board--has been paid, and the
new term has.opened with the School Board free from debt and eight hundred
dollars to our credit in the county treasury. In order to accomplish this
result, it was found necessary during the past scholastic year to continue
the schools in operation for three months--the shortest time allowed by law.
We did this in order to relieve the schools of the embarrassment occasioned
by this mortgage of our property, and to place us upon a sound basis, believing
that the accomplishment of this purpose would prove of much greater benefit
than the maintenance of the term for a longer period.
The establishment of a system of apprenticeship by the cigar factories of this
city has done very much to decrease the number of children attending the schools;
I believe it is only one-half what it would otherwise be. The great majority
of children in the schools belong either to the primary or intermediate de-
partments, for just as soon as the children are old enough to be serviceable
they are sent to the cigar factories, or go out collecting sponges, which pur-
suits are the principal industries of our island,
The present board, in addition to paying the debts contracted by the former
board, have established two new schools, one at New Prospect, on the Caloosa-
hatchie, and the other of Key Largos. Arrangements have been made to acquire
titles to the property where both these schools are held without subjecting
the Board of Public Instruction to any further expense. We have also acquired
titles to the school property at Myers, and improved it so that its present
value is about three thousand dollars.
The school at Key Largos has not been open for two terms, owing to the diffi-
culty of getting a teacher; but we have made arrangements for reopening the
school in a short time.
The reduction of the school tax by the last Legislature was a serious blow at
the cause of education. It caused much embarrassment in operating the schools
in this county, and prevented the establishment of new schools on Key Largos
and at Twelve-mile Creek, and other localities, where we contemplated establish-
I would recommend the repeal of the act passed by the last Legislature re-
ducing the school tax, which would leave the matter just where it belongs--
i. e., to the Board of Public Instruction of each county.
It has been proposed by some to place the power of assessing the school tax
in the hands of the County Commissioners, but this would be very injudicious,
as they would in most instances simply assess the smallest tax possible, not
caring whether it were sufficient to enable the Board of Public Instruction to
conduct the schools, as the latter would undoubtedly be held responsible by the
Tf the matter should be left as it formerly was--to the Boards of Public In-
struction--feeling the responsibility for carrying on the schools, they would
assess sufficient tax to do it properly; at the same time public opinion would,
in a great measure, prevent the assessment of any tax beyond what was sufficient
for school operations, and, under the old school law, it would be impossible to
assess more than the five-mill tax.
I would, in conclusion, earnestly recommend to you to impress upon our legislators
the importance of enacting some suitable school-vagrant and compulsory-education
law which would prevent the vagrancy of hundreds of children who now roam the
streets of our towns, and force them either into our schools or into useful trades.
Very respectfully, etc.,
J. V. HARRIS,
Superintendent Public Instruction Monroe County.
Callahan Fla., December 14, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida:
Dear Sir--This is the firstopportunityI have had to respond to your request
for a brief statement of school operations in our county during the last two
Two years ago the public schools in the county numbered thirty-six; last year
the number was increased to thirty-eight, and now we have forty-two. During
this time five school houses have been erected--all by private means. These
schools have accomplished a great deal already, and the system is becoming more
effective every year. Many of our people were once either opposed, or altogether
indifferent, to the education of their children; but now, when men away out in
the backwoods who cannot read and write, come to me and offer to board a teacher
free to aid in building a school house, or do almost anything in order to obtain
a school for their children, I am encouraged to believe that all efforts to edu-
cate the people to appreciate the importance of these schools have not been in
We have endeavored to procure good teachers for all of the schools, and believe
we have been successful to a certain extent, despite the low salaries we are
obliged to pay. The first teachers' institute for this county was organized
last year. It proved very interesting, and, the teachers say, beneficial.
A sufficient fund to operate all of the schools in the county successfully,
cannot be raised by a two and a half mills tax, and I trust that the law will
be changed, or allowed to remain as it was before the late alteration, limit-
ing the tax to five mills, and allowing the County Boards to make the assessments.
I think the salaries of school officers should be paid out of the school fund,
and suggest that the Legislature make the law so explicit on that point as not
to admit of such an interpretation as was given to it by the Supreme Court last
year. In consideration of the fact that it requires such a heavy tax upon the
property holders of our State to raise an effective school fund, and that so
large a proportion of the pupils in our public schools are children of those
who own no taxable property, I think there should be an amendment to the
Constitution which would require every man to show a poll tax receipt before
he is allowed to vote.
Very respectfully your obedient servant,
W. A. MAHONEY,
Superintendent of Schools, Nassau County.
Office Board of Public Instruction,
Orlando, Fla., December 30, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Floridat
Dear Sir--Your request for an additional report came during my absence visit-
ing the schools, hence some delay in replying.
We are glad to report having 66 established public schools in this county,
showing an increase in the number of schools of 22 in the past two years.
We are also happy to note a very healthy growth of interest in education, each
district looking forward with great anxiety to the beginning of our next term.
Under the present system our schools are very much scattered. Our county
should be districted properly and schools established central for each district.
Three trustees, selected on their merits, for each district. They to take the
census of their respective precincts, and the teacher employed upon that census
to be paid $---- per month per scholar, whether they attend school or not.
This will centralize all schools, stop strife and confusion, lessen the number
of schools, increase the length of term and number of pupils in each school,
enable the teacher to do his duty--vice the general average system, give to the
teacher better pay, enabling us to offer inducements to professors to take
charge of our schools, thereby giving our children a more thorough education.
We have in Orange county about 1,600 children of proper school age, For their
education we expend nearly $7,000. This considerable sum for our new county
should be used to the best advantage, hence the above proposed change, or some
plan that will aid us in the better education of our youth. Our people are
alive to their educational interest, would hail with rejoicing a plan that
would add to this interest. Our schools are doing very well in their studies.
We note a marked advancement since visiting them last year, with a steady
increase of a desire for a better education.
That this interest may become vast in its proportions, and mighty in its use-
fullness, is the desire of
I. T. BEEKS,
Superintendent of Schools.
Palatka, Dec. 23, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.:
Dear Sir--Your favor of late date received. In reply, will say that, while
the schools of this county are not as good as I could wish, still there is a marked
improvement. There has been a marked increase in the interest taken in our schools
by the parents. As a consequence, better and more efficient teachers have in
most instances been recommended by the trustees and patrons.
The school term has been increased to five months this year. This we will be able
to do without creating any debts.
There are now in operation and provided for forty-two schools. Three more have
appropriations made for them, but have not availed themselves of their privileges.
Teachers and scholars in most of the schools are working harmoniously, and good
progress is being made.
The indifference that has existed in regard to free schools is gradually giving,
and in some instances has given, way to a healthy interest in public schools. As
the schools increase in efficiency, that indifference will entirely disappear, and
we will have as efficient schools as any State.
The amount of money that will be expended for the public schools of this county
this year will exceed five thousand dollars. Yours truly,
E. S. CRILL,
Superintendent of Schools.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Milton, Dec. 18, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Fla.t
Dear Sir--Owing to the large area of our county and its sparse population, the
public schools, with the exception of those in Milton, have not been attended
by pupils as well as desired. The attendance is increasing, however, and it is
hoped that, with the growing interest in schools; will continue to increase,
Although in appearance the grants to the States by the General Government have
been equal, yet, in fact, the grants to the Northern and Northwestern States,
owing to the greater value of the lands, have far exceeded its grants to the
Southern States. I think that if this fact was properly presented to Congress
by memorial of the Legislature, and otherwise, further grants could be secured.
Respectfully, GEO. G. McWHORTER,
Superintendent of Schools,
ST. JOHN'S COUNTY
St. Augustine, Dec. 11, 1880.
Hon. W. P. Haisley, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tallahassee, Florida:
Sir: Yours of the 6th inst., calling for a written statement of the school
operations in St. John's county for the past two years, is at hand.
In reply, I beg leave to say that inasmuch as I have been but lately appointed
to the position of Superintendent of Public Schools, I am perhaps unable to
furnish a correct statement.
I find, upon examination of the late Superintendent's accounts, that in the year
ending September 30, 1879, there were established in St. John's county 21
schools, with 879 registered scholars, employing 26 teachers, the salaries
of which amounted to $4,531.43; with incidental expense of $355.94; total
Moneys received from all sources, including amount on hand
October 1, 1878 . . . . . . . . . . $.6,118.80
Amount paid out for support of schools . . $5,774.84
Amount in Treasury . . . . o 38.96
Amount in hands of the President of the Board . 305.00 -- $6,118.80
The increase of pupils over the preceding year was 208, and the number of
teachers increased by 1.
In the city schools several reforms were instituted.
In the year ending September the 30th, 1880, there were 22 schools, with 884
registered scholars, employing 27 teachers, the salaries of which amounted
to $3112.81; incidental expenses, $363.76; total expense, $3,476.57.
Moneys received from all sources, including amount on hand
September 30, 1879 . . . . . . . . . t$,649.20
Moneys expended for support of schools . . $3,76.657
Moneys expended for books purchased .. 234.00
Freight, incidentals, &c.. . . . . 11.81
Salary of County Superintendent . . .o o 100.00
Treasurer's commission . o . a . o 11.41
Amount in Treasury September 30, 1880 .. o 815.41 --$4,649.20
The increase of pupils over the preceding year was five, and the number of
teachers increased by 1.
The city schools are in good condition and give promise of accomplishing much
good. In view of our limited resources, a very creditable advance has been
made during the past year. The monthly reports of the different teachers for
the months of October and November, 1880, have been handed in, and I am
pleased to say that they compare well with those of the two past years. Hav-
ing been engaged myself in teaching for the past six years, I have had an
opportunity of judging as to the interest taken in education. I think that
I can safely say that the people of St. John's county seem to manifest a
greater interest in education than some few years back. I regret to inform
you that our much respected and highly exteemed friend, Mr. W. B. Clarkson,
who held the position of Principal of our Peabody School, has resigned his
position as such, and accepted a similar position in the High School of
Jacksonville, and while we regret the loss of one who is so eminently qualified
to fill that position, I am happy to say that in Miss W. Watkins, the lady
who has held the position of First Assistant, we find one who possesses all
of the necessary qualifications of imparting instruction, and the Board of
Public Instruction, in their deliberation, appointed her to fill the vacancy.
As refers to changes in the school law I have no changes to recommend. This
embraces everything, I think, you desire to know. For any further information
I will refer you to the annual report of the late Superintendent. Hoping that
the foregoing is what you desire, I have the honor to be
Yours very respectfully,
CHAS. F. PERPALL,
County Superintendent of Schools.