1870s1870s

1870s

A black and white photo of how Old Main looked when it was first completed.

Oct. 1870 - Main Hall construction completed.

Nov. 1870 - President J.C. Gilchrist resigns before the first term in the new building starts to take a position in West Virginia.

Jan. 1871 - Three trustees (B.C. Jackman, L.W. Morgan, and J.W. Stephens) go to Harrisburg to try to gain state recognition despite lack of state-mandated dormitories and are turned down.

A black and white photo of a lightbulg from the 1800s.May 8, 1871 - Dr. Charles Lewis Ehrenfeld accepts principalship.

July 1, 1871 - Dr. Ehrenfeld assumes duties as principal.

Aug. 1, 1871 - Trustees meet, resolve to go forward towards completion, but cut dormitory length in half.

Feb. 5, 1872 - Dr. Ehrenfeld goes to Harrisburg to attempt to get $10,000 to help complete the South Western Normal College.

Feb. 7, 1872 - Ways and Means Committee appropriates $10,000 for the completion of the South Western Normal College; the bill becomes the center of a debate over whether the Commonwealth should support the Normal schools, and to what extent.A photo of a poster for Ringling Brothers Circus from the 1800s.

April 2, 1872 - Bill passes, giving Southwestern Normal and Mansfield Normal each $10,000.

1874 - North Hall completed.

May 26, 1874 - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sends a committee to inspect the South Western Normal College campus and finds it satisfactory, but also finds that the school is $25,000 in debt, $5,000 more than the state would allow. John Dixon assumed $5,000 of the debt in behalf of the trustees, thereby allowing the school to finally be recognized by the state as the Normal School for the Tenth District.

June 1, 1874 - The stockholders hold elections, electing twenty stockholders to be trustees.

June 18, 1874 - Letter from Harrisburg changes election procedure, so the trustees have to hold elections again, save that the state would appoint seven members and the stockholders would elect eleven.

Dec. 7, 1874
- Professor Phillips protests G.G. Hertzog's dual position as teacher and trustee and is fired.

Dec. 14, 1874 - Student protests result in the rehiring of Professor Phillips.

Feb. 1875 - Board adopts policy that a trustee may not be a teacher, and will adopt this "at the earliest time practical."

June 1875 - G.G. Hertzog is not elected as a trustee in the election.

July 14, 1875 - First graduating class as a state normal school is made up of two students.

Oct. 24, 1875 - Hertzog is elected as a trustee to fill a vacancy. Principal Ehrenfeld protests, but to no avail.

Feb. 1876 - Trustee President John Dixon pays $500.36 to put a roof on South Hall, the men's dormitory.

July 1876 - Finances become so desperate that the college requests aid from the state, but to no avail; the nation is in the midst of depression.

Sept. 4, 1876 - Creditors have a sheriff's sale on household and kitchen furniture owned and used by SWSNC. John Dixon and other trustees purchase the items and rent them back to the school to keep the school alive for the next term.

A photo of the sign for the first commencement held at California University, then the South Western State Normal School.

Nov. 1876 - Committee of members of the Teacher's Association meets in Harrisburg and drafts an act for state ownership of the normal schools. The proposal never reaches the legislature.

Jan. 12, 1877 - Ehrenfeld resigns as principal, effective February 1. The trustees were unable to meet his demands to remain in the position.

Feb. 22, 1877 - Board of Trustees hires Dr. George Beard as Ehrenfeld's replacement.

Oct. 1877 - Board receives letter from the state instructing them to reduce current debt to the permitted maximum to receive a state appropriation. The board negotiates with its creditors to reduce its debts and board president John Dixon pays $750 out of his own pocket. This allows the school to receive $1000 from the state and obtain a new loan of $5000.