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East Tennessee State Normal School



  • Usage: 1911 - 1925

Historical Note

East Tennessee State Normal School (ETSNS) was one of four Tennessee normal schools (three for white students, one for black students) authorized by the General Education Act of 1909. Five East Tennessee counties competed for the location of the school and Johnson City in Washington County won with a bid of $75,000 in county bonds, $75,000 in city bonds, free lights and water, a promise of paved walkways and streetcar lines to the school grounds, and 120 acres donated by industrialist George L. Carter. The Normal school opened on October 2, 1911 with an enrollment of about 150 students.

The school offered two courses of study: a four-year Academic Course that was open to students who had finished elementary school; and a two-year Normal Course that was open to students who had finished high school. Tuition was free for Tennessee residents and twelve dollars per term for non-residents. The first campus buildings were the main academic building (now Gilbreath Hall), a women’s dormitory, a dining facility, a heating plant, and the president’s residence.

Effective in the fall of 1925, the three Tennessee normal schools for white students were converted to teachers’ colleges and East Tennessee State Normal School became East Tennessee State Teachers College. Sidney Gordon Gilbreath served as the president of ETSNS from 1911 until his resignation on March 15, 1925.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Franklin P. Baxter Papers

Identifier: AppMs-175
Scope and Contents The Franklin P. Baxter Papers include numerous commercial publications in several different languages, legal documents, correspondence, reports, pamphlets, and a periodical documenting the diverse collecting activities and interests of Franklin Baxter during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to these documents there are several miscellaneous records that were incorporated into the Baxter Collection by the staff of the B. Carroll Reece Museum prior to the...
Dates: 1797-1931

Elma Lillian Rankin Beeson Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-165
Scope and Contents

The Elma Lillian Rankin Beeson Papers contain newspaper clippings, class record books, and photographs pertaining to her teaching career at East Tennessee State Normal School. Also included are extensive photographs, postcards and a diary of her 1913 trip to Europe. The papers also contain part of the Rankin family history and several certificates and awards resulting from Beeson's activities involving Tusculum College and various ladies civic clubs.

Dates: 1904 - 1973

Lester Moore clippings - in Vertical File

Identifier: AVF-Johnson City (Tenn.)-History-Founding
Scope and Contents

The Lester Moore documents consist of a single file folder of photocopies of newsclippings about Henry Johnson and the founding of Johnson City.

Dates: 1930 - 1978