Excerpted from Minute Book #55 of the State Board of Education, pages 145-155, transcribed by Kathy B. Lauder.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the role of the Tennessee State Board of Education was to oversee the finances and administration of Peabody Normal College, formerly the University of Nashville. The Board met in the office of the governor, who served as board president. Members included Governor William Brimage Bate, John Berrien Lindsley, Frank Goodman, W. P. Jones, J. W. Hoyte, George H. Morgan, and Leon Trousdale. Eben S. Stearns, Chancellor of the University of Nashville and President of the Peabody Normal School from 1875 to 1887, was also present on this occasion.
Office, State Supt. of Public Instruction, Oct. 27, 1883.
The Board met at 3 o’clock P.M. Present, Gov. Bate, W.P. Jones, Geo. H. Morgan, Leon Trousdale and Frank Goodman, also Dr. Stearns by invitation . . ..
Gov. Bate stated that the graduating class of last year had called on him in a body and asked to be allowed to present a memoreal [sic] in the interest of the College. — The Senior Class of this year had made a like request. He had told them they must present their memoreal in the most respectful terms and furnish a copy to Dr. Stearns. They had done so, and a committee representing the Alumni and another the present Senior Class, had asked the privilege of appearing before the Board, and were now in waiting; he therefore favored admitting the Chairman of each committee and allowing him to read his petition before the Board.
Dr. Jones thought no notice should be taken of the petitions and moved they be laid upon the table. Lost, for want of a second . . .. Dr. Stearns also opposed hearing the students, as he thought it would encourage insubordination and asked the Board if it was going to allow the students to be judges. Col. Trousdale thought they should be heard, as did also Gov. Bate and Messrs. Morgan and Goodman, and on motion of Senator Morgan the Board ordered the petitioners be heard, through their chairmen. Dr. Jones voted in the negative and prepared [a] protest in writing . . ..
The Board then admitted Mr. J. C. Shirley who represented the Alumni. He read the following:
Memoreal of the Alumni of State Normal College
To the State Board of Education. — Gentlemen.
We the undersigned members of the graduating class of 1883 of the State Normal College, would respectfully present to you as follows:
First. — That as to the past we have been more or less disappointed in the College in every respect.
Second. — That as to the present we feel deeply aggrieved by the action of the College toward us as students.
Third. — That as to the future we are without home as to the success and permanence of the institution unless immediate and radical changes are made.
Therefore, in all humility as becomes our youth and with the greatest consideration for Chancellor Stearns, for whom we have the highest personal regard, and with a deep and abiding interest in the welfare of our Alma Mater, we ask — nay in the name of right and justice we demand the following measures:
First. — That only teachers of well known reputation, experience and ability be employed – those who are not only specialists in their several departments, but those who enter heart and soul into the Public School and Normal School work. – representative teachers of the new education and the Public school spirit of the times, – men and women of the highest attainment and the broadest culture.
Second. — A supply of text books suitable to the needs of a Normal College, plenty of text and reference books of the most approved kinds and a reasonable adherence to them in instruction, in place of random lectures or stereotyped note-taking.
Third. — A supply of apparatus to enable students to prosecute successfully, the study of the sciences; and at the same time access to the cabinet and library, and that the library be to represent the advanced spirit of education in all departments pertaining to our professional work.
Fourth. — Facilities for publishing a paper, either by the faculty of the college or by its students and alumni, this especially, that the gross ignorance, which breeds a deep and almost unconquerable prejudice against our college may be removed.
Fifth. — That co-operation and harmony be secured between the various boards of trust connected with college.
Sixth. — That the immediate administration of affairs be placed in the hands of a regular faculty of eminent professors.
Seventh. — That co-operation and harmony be secured between the President and teachers and that regular and frequent meetings of the faculty be held in order to secure such result.
Eighth. — That co-operation and harmony be secured between the students and the teachers and that facilities be provided for daily as well as social intercourse between pupils and teachers.
Ninth. — That measures be taken to secure the co-operation and sympathy of the community and general public.
Tenth. — That measures be taken to secure the co-operation and influence of the alumni of the College.
Eleventh. — That stricter regulations be had in order to secure benefits of the college to professional teachers only.
Twelfth —. That the so-called teaching exercise be either abolished or entirely changed.
Thirteenth. — That the Literary Societies be recognized and given proper encouragement.
Fourteenth. — That the standing and marking of examination papers be made known to the students respectively.
Fifteenth. — That measures be taken to extend the benefits of the college to a wider circle and to a greater number.
Sixteenth. — That a suitable course of study and lectures be provided in Pedagogics and kindred subjects.
Seventeenth — In a word, that our College be made what the people, its students and the times demand – the center of Public Schools – and Normal education in the South and South West.
And, finally, we ask a favorable and early consideration of the above petition and have requested a reply from Chancellor Stearns, in writing, to each specification before a lapse of time should make it necessary for us to seek elsewhere for reforms, in regard to which we have already been silent too long.”
After Mr. Shirley had finished reading the above, the Chairman asked Dr. Stearns if he had any questions to ask Mr. Shirley; as he had none, several members of the Board questioned Mr. Shirley, after which he retired. –
Mr. Brandon of N.C. a representative of the present Senior Class was admitted and read the following memoreal which was signed by every male member of the class except one who was sick. – it was as follows:
Memoreal of Senior Class, 1883. State Normal College
To the Honorable State Board of Education. –
Gentlemen. — We the undersigned, members of the Senior Class of 83-4 of the State Normal College of Tenn. Do hereby respectfully memorealize your honorable body in regard to the status of affairs of said Institution.
First. — However, we desire to say that we are actuated by no spirit of malice, dissention or insubordination whatever. For the Chancellor and Faculty, personally we have the highest regard. We are moved only by a desire to see the College raised to that position which it should of right occupy, so that those who come after us may have and enjoy the advantages of which, we feel, we have been deprived.
It is an open secret that there has existed all the while great dissatisfaction and discontent among the students of said College, and why?
1st. Because the College is not what the catalogue advertises it to be.
(a) The course of instruction is said to include the general management of classes and schools, organization, government and discipline &c. (catalogue p 6). In these most essential particulars we have had no instruction whatever, either from the chancellor, any member of the Faculty, or any paid Lecturer.
(b) The following studies have never been taught according to catalogue since our connection with the College; to wit: Moral Sciences, Spherical Geometry and Trigonometry, Calculus, French.
(c) A system of espionage is practiced in times of examination, and constant aspersions are cast upon the honor of those “who are expected to conduct themselves as cultivated ladies and gentlemen.”
(d) The Library of the University has been entered by only one member of our class. There is no Librarian, nor has the Library been opened to the College since our connection with it. Hence we have access to no technical books, pertaining to our profession, pedagogical or otherwise.
(e) The “large collection of well selected apparatus” is actually insufficient to afford us any practical knowledge of the sciences, first, – because there is a lack of such apparatus, and secondly, – because what there is, is old and imperfect.
(f) The Museum has never been open to us for class purposes.
2nd. An excessive amount is charged for the use of text books and for incidental fee. In regard to text books, there is not a sufficient number of the kinds in use, while many of those furnished are not suited to Normal class purposes.
3rd. Because of the anonalous [sic] attitude assumed by the Chancellor toward the Literary Societies. These are regarded as in no wide factors in college work, have never been taken under its auspices, and hence have never received any sort of official recognition or support. — The use of the College audience room for public literary exercises is denied us; also the privilege of securing a suitable hall elsewhere. Thus, the Literary Societies are without the College and yet within the reach of its authority.
We would respectfully submit these as a few of the grounds for dissatisfaction and discontent, and while we are not disposed to quibble at small matters, yet these and other things have served to break down class enthusiasm and college spirit, thereby rendering successful work well nigh impossible.
We, as members of the outgoing Senior Class, and as parties to a contract, feel that the conditions, on part of the college are carried out, not as we could wish nor as we feel we have a right to expect. — Hence we memorealize your honorable body to the end, that the evils herein set forth may be righted as seems best to your wisdom. — Your most earnest consideration of the matter we pray &c.
(Signed by 21, of the 22 male members of Senior Class.)
After Mr. Branson finished reading the above, and Dr. Stearns having no questions to ask or anything to say, each member of the Board questioned Mr. Branson closely, and elicited suggestions from him.
No action was taken in reference to the papers; but the chairman of the Board suggested that Dr. Stearns should carefully examine the papers and see what remedies could be had and report to him in writing.
The Board suggested that it would be well for Dr. Stearns and the chairman to consider the suggestions embraced in the petitions, before appropriating the money in the Treasury, as hertofore [sic], and make their first expenditures accordingly.
Having been in session nearly three hours, the Board adjourned to meet at the call of the President.
Primary Source Document, transcribed by Kathy B. Lauder.
On November 9, 1889, members of the State Board of Education and the University of Nashville Board of Trustees met in the office of Governor Robert L. Taylor to plan a banquet in honor of the Peabody Board of Trustees. William H. Payne had been Chancellor of the University and President of the recently-named Peabody Normal College for two years. One of his frequently stated goals was for the college to become the sole recipient of Peabody funds, which would allow it, as he said, to become the major educational institution in the South.
Following a recent conflict with the Tennessee Legislature over educational appropriations, Payne was also eager to secure a permanent, dependable source of funding for the school. Having hung large portraits of Peabody Board members in prominent locations in the chapel, he now persuaded the State Board of Education to produce a huge banquet for visiting Peabody Board members. The State Board rushed into action, checking on rates at both the Maxwell House and the Hotel Duncan and arranging for lodgings and carriages for the visiting Peabody representatives.
By November 12, arrangements were nearly finished. A banquet for 100 of Tennessee’s most prominent citizens would take place at the Duncan (which finessed the Maxwell House by offering the meal at $3.00 a plate), on November 21, 1889, at 8:00 p.m. Committees rushed around arranging details. It is interesting to note that, although the male faculty members of Peabody College were invited to take part in the festivities, no women, including the female faculty members, were present.
On November 22 the Nashville Daily American carried this comprehensive description of the evening:
Compliment Extended the Visiting Peabody Trustees. The Hotel Duncan a Scene of Brilliancy.
Who Were Present, Who Made Speeches and What They Ate – The Meeting Yesterday.
It was a most distinguished gathering of gentlemen who met at the Duncan last night at a banquet given by the trustees of the University of Nashville and the State Board of Education in honor of the committee from the Peabody Board of Trust. Nashville has known few such assemblages, and has extended the hearty hand of genuine welcome to few such visiting delegations.
The occasion illustrates, if nothing else, how dear to the heart of this city is the cause of education, and how eagerly our people grasp at every opportunity that is offered to make manifest their earnestness in the cause.
The honorees of last night were ex-President Hayes, Bishop H.B. Whipple, of Minnesota; Hon. Samuel A. Green, of Massachusetts; Hon. J.L.M. Currey, ex-Minister to Spain; Hon. James D. Porter, ex-Governor of Tennessee.
The hosts of the occasion were the members of the State Board of Education: His Excellency Robert L. Taylor, President; Frank Goodman, Secretary and Treasurer; Dr. W. P. Jones, Hon. Frank M. Smith, Hon. Thomas H. Paine, Rev. J.W. Bachman, Superintendent Charles S. Douglass.
Also the following Trustees of the University of Nashville: Hon. James D. Porter, President; Edward D. Hicks, Secretary and Treasurer; Hon. Edwin H. Ewing, LL.D., Hon. Abram Demoss, Hon. John Overton, Hon. Edward H. East, LL.D., John M. Thompson, Hon. Mark S. Cockrill, Hon. Campbell Brown, C.D. Berry, H.M. Doak, Edgar Jones, Hon. William B. Reese, Hon. W. F. Cooper, LL.D., Hon. Frank T. Reid, Hon. Robert B. Lea, Hon. Charles G. Smith, LL.D., Hon. Samuel Watson, John M. Bass, Hon. Thos. D. Craighead, and William H. Payne, LL.D., Chancellor of the University and President of the Peabody Normal College.
The very handsome new hotel was the fitting scene for such a gathering. The parlors on the second floor were thrown wide open for the reception of the guests. They and the hallways and the dining-room were brightened by a tasteful and bounteous array of potted flowers and chrysanthemum decorations.
In the dining-room covers had been spread for more than 100 guests and nearly every seat was occupied.
There were two long tables and one cross table. At the head of these sat ex-President Hayes; at his left was Gov. Taylor, and on his right was Hon. J.L.M. Currey. At one foot of the table sat ex-Gov. Porter, with Hon. Mr. Green to his right; at the other foot sat Judge D.M. Key, with Bishop Whipple to his right.
The guests were all seated at 9 o’clock. From that hour until about 1 o’clock in the morning when the last toast was spoken the royal banquet proceeded. During those hours the speeches were spoken and wit and wisdom was the order.
The following is a full list of the invited guests: Senator Wm. B. Bate. Hon. Benton McMillin, member Congress. Hon. J. E. Washington, member of Congress. Hon. D. M. Key, United States Federal Judge and ex-Postmaster General. Hon. Howell E. Jackson, United States Circuit Judge. Hon. H. H. Lurton, Justice of State Supreme Court. Hon. Andrew Allison, Chancellor. Hon. G. S. Ridley, Judge Criminal Court. Hon. W. K. McAlister, Judge Circuit Court. Hon. N. Baxter, Sr., Clerk Supreme Court. State Treasurer M. F. House. State Comptroller J. W. Allen. Secretary of State Charles Miller. Hon. B. M. Hord, Commissioner of Agriculture. Gen. Laps D. McCord, Adjutant General. Chas. L. Ridley, Coal Oil Inspector. Hon. John Ruhm, United States District Attorney. Maj. A. W. Wills, Postmaster. Hon. Carter B. Harrison, United States Marshall. Maj. J. W. Thomas, President Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. Maj. W. L. Danley, General Passenger Agent Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. Maj. E. B. Stahlman, Vice President Louisville & Nashville Railway. Hon. W. L. Clapp of Memphis, Speaker House of Representatives. Hon. Benj. J. Lea, of Brownsville, Speaker State Senate. Hon. J. B. Killebrew. Hon. Leon Trousdale, Sr. Gen. W. H. Jackson. H. C. Hensley, President Merchants’ Exchange. Lewis T. Baxter, President Commercial Club. Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley, Secretary State Board of Health. Col. P. P. Pickard, ex-Comptroller. Dr. Wm. Morrow. Col. A. S. Colyar. Judge John M. Lea. Wm. M. Duncan. Hon. T. O. Morris, Chairman of Legislative Educational Committee. Dr. C. D. Elliott. Geo. W. Fall. Roger Eastman. Gen. G. P. Thruston. Dr. J.P. Dake. Hon. Robert Ewing, President Board of Public Works. Col. E. W. Cole. Jos. S. Carels, Librarian Howard Library. Hon. Nathaniel Baxter, Jr. Anson Nelson, ex-City Treasurer. Col. Jeremiah George Harris, Paymaster United States Navy. Judge Jas. Whitworth. Judge Thos. J. Freeman. Hon. Jere Baxter. Gen. Jno. F. Wheless. Hon. Jno. Allison, ex-Secretary of State. Dr. J.H. Callender, Superintendent State Insane Asylum. Col. B. F. Wilson. J. W. Childress, E. W. Carmack, Walter Cain, J. D. Campbell and W. H. Peck, of THE AMERICAN. G. H. Baskett, Robt. J. G. Miller, David G. Ray and James Clark, of the Banner. Col. Duncan B. Cooper, Geo. H. Armistead, R. A. Halley and W. B. Palmer, of the Herald. Rev. O. P. Fitzgerald, of the Christian Advocate. Dr. D. M. Harris, President Art Association and editor of the Cumberland Presbyterian. Rev. David Lipscomb, of the Gospel Advocate. A.H. Landis, Jr., of the National Review. J. H. McDowell, of the Toiler. Geo. W. Armistead, of the Issue. Rev. B. J. Moody, of the Baptist and Reflector. A. E. Baird, of the Southern Lumberman. Dr. Chas. W. Dabney, Jr., President University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Chancellor L. C. Garland, of Vanderbilt University. Judge N. Green, Chancellor Cumberland University, Lebanon. Dr. W. J. Darby, General Manager Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House. Rev. Telfair Hodgson, Vice Chancellor University of the South, Sewanee. Dr. Geo. W. Jarman, President Southwestern Baptist University, Jackson. Dr. John Braden, President Central Tennessee College. Dr. A. Owen, President Roger Williams University. Dr. E. M. Cravath, President Fisk University. Dr. J. N. Waddell, President Clarksville Presbyterian University. G. M. Fogg, President Nashville Board of Education. Z. H. Brown, Superintendent Nashville Public Schools. Capt. W. R. Garrett, Secretary National Educational Association. Rev. Geo. W. F. Price, President Nashville College for Young Ladies. Prof. J. B. Hancock, President Ward’s Seminary. Prof. S. M. D. Clark, Principal Montgomery Bell Academy. Dr. Duncan Eve, Dean Medical College, University of Tennessee. Dr. W. T. Briggs, Dean University of Nashville Medical College. Dr. Thos. Menees, Dean Vanderbilt Medical College. Dr. Wm. H. Morgan, Dean Vanderbilt Dental College. Prof. S. A. Link, Superintendent Tennessee Blind Asylum. Dr. J. S. Cain, University of Tennessee Medical College. Dr. R. E. Freeman, Vanderbilt, Dental College. Col. J. W. Barlow, United States Army. Profs. B. B. Penfield, J. L. Lampson, A. L. Purinton, E. C. Huntington, Geo. F. James, H. A. Vance, Peabody Normal College. J. L. Pearcy, Warden State Prison. Hon. T. B. Harwell, member Legislature from Giles County. Dr. T. A. Atchison. Col. J. W. Stone. Gen. H. B. Lyons, member of Congress from Kentucky. Col. J. M. Hamilton. Dr. T. L. Maddin, of the Medical Department of Vanderbilt University. Capt. John Demoville. Prof. Wharton S. Jones, Memphis.
The following was the menu:
Blue Points on Shell. Boston brown bread. Olives. Celery. Bouillon. Cutlets of chicken aux truffles. Sliced tomatoes. Baked sweet potatoes. Fillet of beef, larded, mushroom sauce. Potato croquettes. French peas. Punch, a la Cardinal. Mallard duck, currant jelly. Asparagus. Lobster salad. Plum pudding, brandy sauce. Neopolitaine ice cream. Assorted cake. Florida oranges. Grapes. Pears. Cheese. Cafe Noir.
The toasts were introduced by ex-Gov. Porter, who presided over the banquet and introduced each speaker in that happy manner characteristic of him.
In introducing the first speaker he extended to the visitors the hospitality of Nashville and of Tennessee in most graceful style. “Among our visitors,” said he, “is a man who has filled the most exalted place in the gift of his countryman, a man who has been distinguished in all the walks of life, as a private citizen, as a member of the bar of his State, as a Representative in Congress, as a distinguished soldier, twice the Governor of his State from which high place he was called to the highest within the gift of the people, where he signalized himself by a display of honesty of purpose, by maintaining the dignity of his high office, by furnishing a clean administration, by restoring their citizenship to the disfranchised people of Louisiana. In his retirement he has maintained the same dignity, and has attached himself to the people of Nashville and the South by his efforts in the great educational work upon which he is now engaged. I introduce the Hon. Rutherford B. Hayes.”
Mr. Hayes was roundly applauded as he arose. Addressing himself to the “Peabody Trust,” as the toast propounded, he referred to the donation of Mr. Peabody made twenty-three years ago, and repeated his grand words when he said: “I make this gift to the suffering South for the good of the whole country.”
He referred in the highest terms to the President of the Board of Trustees, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, and complimented the great work of Dr. Sears, the first agent of the fund. He alluded to the visit of the Prison Congress to Nashville and asserted that every member left Nashville with feelings of unmixed satisfaction at having been present. He said he ought to make acknowledgements for the kindness which he had received while here.
The committee of the Peabody Board had with unanimity made the largest appropriation to the Peabody Normal College in Nashville that it had ever made for such a purpose.
This could not be taken as a pledge of the action of the Trustees in disposing of the fund amounting to $2,000,000. The trust might run six or seven years and “if it shall be that this structure authorized to be built in Nashville shall turn out to become the first step towards the establishment of a final monument to Mr. Peabody by the donation of the whole sum to the institution in Nashville, I have to say that not one of the committee who are your guests will ever regret that fact.”
This declaration was received with much applause.
Judge Edwin H. Ewing, who had been announced to respond to the toast “The University of Nashville,” was absent, and Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley was called upon to supply his place.
“No one better than myself,” said Dr. Lindsley, “recognizes the difficulty of supplying the place of such a man as Judge Ewing. The University of Nashville, so far as age goes, can claim renowned antiquity. For twenty-six years its existence shone with brilliant classic light. Its graduates took high honors at Harvard, Princeton and elsewhere. In 1861 in method of work and equipment it was second to no institution in the land. Its Board of Trustees have now placed the citizens of Nashville and Tennessee under sacred obligations and raised a monument to the memory of that great man, who will always be remembered in his efforts to advance the cause of education-George H. Peabody.” [Applause].
The next speaker was Dr. W. P. Jones, who responded to the toast, “The Tennessee State Board of Education.”
“It is said that honest confession is good for the soul,” he remarked, in beginning his address. “The vitalization of the public school system of Tennessee comes, in a great degree, through the Board of Trustees of the Peabody Educational Fund. Dr. Sears, Agent of that Fund, gave the State Teachers’ Association soon after his arrival here $1,500, to obtain a man to canvass the State in the interest of public education. James Killebrew in this capacity did great good for the people, but received little thanks.”
Dr. Jones referred to a bill prepared by Superintendent S.Y. Caldwell and himself, and revised by Dr. Sears, which passed the Tennessee Legislature and led to the foundation of the State Normal School.
“This Normal College of Tennessee has outgrown the expectations of the first agent of the Peabody Board, as well as of the people. It is not now only a State school, but of right should be the Peabody College for the whole South, and the State Board of Education recognizes the idea that the Peabody Board should have supervision over the institution. Between the State and the Peabody Board there is harmony, and will likely continue so. We of the State Board may wish that the school may be developed and nourished to be worthy of that renowned philanthropist, Geo. Peabody, who, in giving $2,000,000, said, ‘This I give to the suffering South for the good of the whole country.’ He desired that the education and elevation brought about by it should have a national reflex action. He was a patriot as well as a philanthropist. I am looking in the face of one who when occupying highest position in the country, with thousands asking what can be best done for the party, said: ‘He serves his country.’ Few more important truths have ever been uttered. Twenty years ago Dr. Sears said Nashville had all the improved means of education. If that was true, then what can be said of Nashville to-day? The tented fields around Nashville have been converted into classic grounds. I hope the visitors to-morrow will view the educational advantages for colored people, nowhere surpassed in America; the female schools, then Vanderbilt, and tell their advantages to the other members of the board. The educational centre of the South should of all places be selected for the Peabody Normal College. Build upon the beautiful campus a building which shall be a monument to George Peabody, and write upon it his immortal words. ‘This is a gift to the suffering South for the good of the whole people.'” [Applause.]
In the absence of Senator W. B. Bate, Dr. J. L. M. Currey responded to the toast, the “United States.”
“It is a high honor,” said he, “which ought to be duly appreciated to be called to stand in the shoes of the Senator of Tennessee, and a still higher honor to respond to the sentiment proposed; but as the young man who was about to be married said, I hope I will have your sympathies. I am probably more of a cosmopolite than many of you. I have been in every State of the Union except three and love our country and honor it. Patriotism begins at home, and begins with the State which throws the aegis of its protection over the dearest relations of life, and I believe in an indissoluble Union of indestructible States. While one may be a patriot at home and have his affections centered upon his own State, when he goes abroad the horizon of his patriotism widens and he looks up, not to a single star, but to the stars and stripes. I have wandered through the dilapidated streets of Palos, and I must confess that I never had before in looking upon a material object such thrilling, overpowering and tearful emotions as when I looked in imagination across to the country where have been wrought out the most beneficent questions of civilization, humanity, and good government. The foundation of our government and something which is next to Christianity, the best preservative of our free institutions is universal education, for without intelligence of the masses there can be no freedom of the masses. Before the Government it was declared that freedom of institutions depended upon education, and the Government should aid the schools.”
The speaker referred in glowing terms to Mr. Peabody’s gift, and said he could not think of anything that contributed more to the establishment of friendly relations between the sections. His act was the first to bring about a reconciliation. It would be one of the justest and most magnanimous acts for the Southern States to erect in the hall of the National House of Representatives a monument more lasting than brass to their greatest benefactor. Referring to the Peabody memorial school, he inquired why should there not be in Nashville, in the centre of this great country, established the great normal school of the United States? Applause followed his remarks.
Gov. Robert L. Taylor responded to the toast “The State of Tennessee.” “Tennessee,” said he, “lies on the happiest lines that girdle the globe, on the golden lines of God’s favor to man. I have thought that when God turned our progenitors out of the Garden of Eden, loth [sic] to destroy the beauties of Paradise he transplanted them to Tennessee. Our mountains are higher than other mountains, our valleys more fertile, our sunlight as beautiful as Mahomet’s vision of heaven. Our men are brave in battle, and our women are the sweetest that ever presided at home except the women of Virginia, and New York and Ohio and North Carolina, where I got my wife. [Laughter.] Tennessee is the richest country in the world. She has never had her proper place in public estimation. Her resources, capabilities, and possibilities have never been measured. Lying between the great cereal and cotton regions, their peculiarities are wedded on her own fertile soil where each is produced in profusion.
“The chemical forces elsewhere at war, here in harmony blend and produce results nowhere else reached. We have the happiest people in the world and the brightest atmosphere except about this time in November. Beneath the rich soil you find mines of wealth never dreamed of even here in Tennessee. More mineral wealth is found here than in any other State in the Union.
“A State of universities and good common schools-only one thing was needed to make Tennessee’s people happy. That was a great central normal college at Nashville, where teachers might be turned out to instruct the land, and live a monument to the memory of George Peabody. He did not believe the day was far distant when the visitors present and their fellow members of the board would in this great school complete the school system in Tennessee.” [Applause.]
Judge D. M. Key, of Chattanooga, was called upon and responded by saying that he thought he was on a side-track, as there was nothing on the programme set down against him. To Mr. Porter he had past obligations, but the force of the present ones he did not feel. There was a kind of honorable rivalry between Federal and State courts, and he did not think it would be kind for him to praise the Federal judiciary system in the presence of one of the State’s most honored justices who sat in silence. Like Webster “Here are the Federal officers. Behold them; they speak for themselves.”
The toast “The Schools and Colleges of Tennessee,” was responded to by Dr. G. W. F. Price, who said the gentlemen who had spoken seemed to have preempted and preoccupied the territory. He did not know what ground to stand upon unless he stretched a hawser from the Rocky Mountain peaks to the blasted projections of the moon, and performed aerial Blondin feats among the blazing stars and wheeling comets. He referred to Mr. Peabody in the highest terms and commended the Peabody Normal College as an institution of magnificent design and worthy of the most extended development.
In the enforced absence of Mr. E. A. Carmack, Mr. G. H. Baskette responded to the toast “The Press.” He said the weary, dry hours of the night had been reached and the party could, no doubt, appreciate the ingenuity of the man who tacked the Lord’s prayer over the wall and on cold nights jumped into bed, saying, “Lord, them’s my sentiments.” The press was a tremendous engine for potency and influence-one which had a great field for opportunities. It was, however, open to abuses. It was courted and feared, praised and denounced. It is the moulder of sentiment, the framer of public policy. It was a great educational power.
It has not done its whole duty in the uplifting of a Christian civilization, but is doing much for education, and with a united influence, will contribute to an educational development of the country more rapid than ever before seen. His remarks were liberally applauded.
The company dispersed at 1:30 o’clock. The following are the committees who were in charge of the banquet. Committee on Reception – Gov. Robert L. Taylor, Hon. William F. Cooper. Committee on Visitations – Hon. William B. Reese, Hon. Frank M. Smith. Committee on Invitations – John M. Bass, Frank Goodman.
To all is due the very highest compliment for their success. Especial mention is tendered Prof. Frank Goodman, the very efficient Secretary of the State Board of Education and Secretary also of the local Peabody Board for his interest in the work of making the affair a success.
Frank Goodman, an expert accountant and one of Nashville’s hardest-working educators, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Christmas day 18541 to blacksmith Vincent L. Goodman and his wife, née Jane Lewis, whose Welsh Quaker ancestors had followed William Penn to Philadelphia.2 Jane died shortly after Vincent’s return from the Civil War, and young Frank worked his way through Bryant & Stratton’s Business College, where he and Platt Rogers Spencer Jr., son of the developer of Spencerian script, became lifelong friends.3
Around 1874 Goodman arrived in Nashville to teach penmanship4 and was soon employed by Ward’s Seminary5 and by Toney’s Nashville Business College, which then served as the business department of Cumberland University.6 In 1878 the college’s board of directors removed the Rev. Thomas Toney as principal, appointing 24-year-old Frank Goodman to reorganize the failing establishment.7 Incorporated in 1881 as Goodman’s Business College (sometimes called “Goodman & Eastman”), it was a respected Southern institution for over twenty years, with a branch college in Knoxville.8Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified became a widely used textbook,9 and author Frank Goodman was credited with introducing bookkeeping as a course of study in the Nashville public schools.10 In the margin of his personal copy of Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified, William Alexander Provine, renowned Cumberland Presbyterian minister and official of the Tennessee Historical Society, noted that many of the names used in the book’s exercises were those of fellow Nashvillians, including the ten-year-old boys Frank had taught in Sunday school . . . one of whom was the young Provine himself!
A member of the State Board of Education from 1880-1903, Frank Goodman replaced John Berrien Lindsley as secretary after 188711 and served on the committee which named Peabody Normal College.12 He represented an Edgefield district on the Nashville City Council from 1894-190013 and served as auditor of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.14 Secretary-treasurer of the State Teachers Association for seventeen years,15 he also chaired the finance committee for Nashville’s first Labor Day observance in 1894.16
In July 1880 Frank Goodman married Pattie Sims,17 daughter of Edgefield insurance agent Leonard Swepson Sims. All four of their sons would eventually become successful businessmen. Active in the Masons and the Knights Templar,18 Frank was treasurer of the United Order of the Golden Cross,19 a temperance-based insurance fraternity, and taught Sunday school in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.20
By the end of the 1890s, his hearing failing, Goodman closed the college and worked as an expert accountant, appearing as a witness in court cases across the country. His testimony resulted in, among others, the conviction of the Mississippi State Treasurer for embezzling $315,000 from the state coffers.21 He audited the Tennessee State Comptroller’s and Treasurer’s records at least seven times,22 helped the city of Chattanooga reorganize its financial records,23 and reportedly audited the books of the U. S. Treasury in Washington, D.C.24
When the Reverend John B. Morris of St. Mary’s Church in Nashville was selected Bishop of Little Rock in 1906, he took Frank Goodman with him as diocesan auditor.25 Pattie, quite ill by then, received medical treatment in Hot Springs but died in 1909.26 Her body was brought back to Nashville for burial. Eight months later Frank himself died mysteriously on July 28, 1910, following an excessively hot mineral bath at Hot Springs.27 On July 30 the body of the man St. Louis Magazine had described as “the rising young businessman of the South”28 was brought home to Nashville by his young sons and laid to rest beside Pattie in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.29
Frank Goodman’s pallbearers included Tennessee Secretary of State Hallum W. Goodloe; George W. Stainback, Chairman of the Nashville Board of Public Works; Nashville City Assessor Roger Eastman, a longtime business partner; John W. Paulett, newsman and Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction; Dr. William H. Bumpus, President of the American Local Freight Agents Association, renowned orator, and past Grand Master of the Tennessee Masons; Dr. William E. McCampbell, the Edgefield physician who had delivered the Goodman children; Marcus B. Toney, Civil War veteran and author; and Sumner Cunningham, fractious editor of theConfederate Veteran, who wrote his friend a tender eulogy in “The Last Roll,” despite the fact that, at the outbreak of the Civil War, his subject had been a seven-year-old Yankee boy! (2014)
NOTES AND SOURCES:
1 Richard, James Daniel. Tennessee Templars: A Register of Names with Biographical Sketchesof the Knights Templar of Tennessee. Nashville: Robert H. Howell & Co., 1883, 78.
2 Glenn, Thomas Allen. Merion in the Welsh Tract: With Sketches of the Townships ofHaverford and Radnor. Herald Press, 1896, 236 ff.
3 Goodman’s son Leonard owned a photograph of the Goodman and Spencer families taken during a Nashville visit in the 1890s, according to an interview with Leonard’s daughter, Kathleen Goodman Bowman about 1995.
4Catalog of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, 1874-75. Lebanon, TN: R. L. C. White, University Printers, 1875.
5 Nashville City Directory, 1877 and 1878.
6Annual Report of the Department of the Interior, 1875, 605, footnote.
7 Clayton, W. W. History of Davidson County, Tennessee. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1880, 270-271.
8 Nashville City Directory, 1883, advertisement opposite p. 568.
10 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910.
11State Board of Education Minute Book #56, page 27, May 24, 1887. Tennessee State Library and Archives, Record Group #91, Vol. 56.
12State Board of Education Minute Book #56, page 53, February 15, 1888, and page 57, May 31, 1888.
13 Nashville City Directories.
14 Justi, Herman, ed. Official History of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Press of the Brandon Printing Co., 1898, 31.
15 “Tennessee Teachers: How the Association Feels About Prof. Goodman’s Resignation as Secretary.” Nashville American, August 1, 1897, 6.
16 “Prof. Frank Goodman: Labor Day Committee Thanks Him for His Efforts.” Daily American, September 7, 1894, 3.17 “The Nuptial Knot,” Daily American, July 21, 1880.
17A There were no wedding attendants (bridesmaids or best man), but the ushers were an interesting cross-section of friends:
Charles B. Glenn was listed in the 1880 Nashville City Directory as a bookkeeper for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway. He lived at 357 Broadway. By 1906 he was paymaster for the NC&StL. One wonders whether he might have been a Goodman graduate.
Robert T. Creighton was a surveyor at this time, but he later became city engineer and was a partner with Wilbur F. Foster in Foster & Creighton, civil engineers and contractors, #3 Berry Block.
Robert A. Fraley Jr. was a clerk at Collier, Fraley & Co., cotton factors and commission merchants, a business owned by his father. He was later bookkeeper for the National Manufacturing Company and may also have been a Goodman student.
Henry C. Jameson, originally from Hickman, Kentucky, was listed in the 1880 Census, along with Herbert W. Grannis, as one of Frank’s housemates at #7 Summer St. (5th Ave.). [Other residents in what was apparently a men’s hotel or boarding house included the brothers George and Robert Cowan (who owned Cowan & Co., wholesale notions & white goods at 36-37 Public Square), Van Buren Dixon (a dentist, with an office at 93½ Church), Porter Rankin (William Porter Rankin, with his brother David P., owned Rankin & Co., wholesale clothing at 57 Public Square.), W. S. Duckworth (who owned WS Duckworth & Co., books, stationery, cigars, tobacco, and railroad tickets, at 4 S. Cherry and also the corner of N. Cherry and Union), Samuel N. Warren (a bookkeeper who worked at 43 N. College), and Robert Fletcher (a salesman).] Goodman, Jameson, and Grannis all listed their occupation as “teacher,” and we know from Clayton’s History of Davidson County that all three were faculty members in Goodman’s Business College. Jameson was listed in the 1876 Cumberland University catalog as a student at the Business College there. The 1878, 1879, and 1880 Nashville City Directories say he was a professor at the business college in Nashville. The 1878 book terms it “F. Goodman & Co’s College”; 1879 lists it as “Goodman’s Nashville Business College”; and in 1880 it is simply “Nashville Business College.” In 1878 he boarded at 95 Church St., and in 1879-1880, at 24 S. Summer. In 1887 the City Directory describes him as a teacher at Goodman & Eastman’s Business College, living two miles from Nashville on Chicken Pike (today’s Elm Hill Pike).
17B The Goodman-Sims wedding in the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was somewhat unusual, in that it took place at 7:00 a.m. According to the news item in the American, many of the couple’s friends – including the youngsters in Frank’s Sunday school class, accompanied them to the train station to give them a rousing send-off as they left on their honeymoon trip to Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Chicago.
18 Richard, James Daniel. Tennessee Templars: A Register of Names with Biographical Sketchesof the Knights Templar of Tennessee. Nashville: Robert H. Howell & Co., 1883, 78.19 Nashville City Directories.
20 “Obituary: Funeral of Prof. Frank Goodman,” Nashville American, July 31, 1910; also mentioned in July 29, 1910, story; see footnote 21.
21 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910.
22 “Prof. Goodman’s Reappointment,” Nashville American, January 23, 1903, 1. At least two of his audit reports are reproduced in their entirety in Senate Records: Tennessee Senate Journal 1895, pages 89-100, and Tennessee Senate Journal 1903, pages 755-805.
23 “Chattanooga City Books to be Overhauled by an Expert.” Daily Journal and Journal andTribune (Knoxville), January 7, 1890.
24 “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, July 29, 1910. This is also mentioned in Cunningham, Sumner. “Frank Goodman,” Confederate Veteran, Vol. 18: 1910, 382.25 “Former Citizen of Nashville: Prof. Frank Goodman Passes Away in Little Rock – Interment Here Saturday,” Nashville Banner, July 29, 1910.26 “Mrs. Frank Goodman Dies in Arkansas,” Nashville Banner, November 1, 1909.
27 Special dispatch to the American, July 29, 1910. This follows the article, “Frank Goodman, Sr., Dead.” Nashville American, on the same date. Similar information appears in the article “Goodman Funeral Saturday Morning,” Nashville Banner, July 29, 1910.
28 Nashville City Directory, 1883, advertisement opposite p. 568.
29 Participants in Frank’s funeral, most (if not all) of whom were fellow Masons/Knights Templar:
Rev. George W. Shelton was the pastor of the Russell Street Presbyterian Church at the time of the laying of its cornerstone in 1904. The Cumberland Presbyterian described him as “a young man of energy and enthusiasm.”
Rev. William A. Provine (1867-1935) (who as a boy had been a member of the Sunday school class taught by Frank Goodman) assisted in the funeral. He had attended Vanderbilt and earned a Bachelor of Divinity from Cumberland University, which later awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. A widely respected minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he served as Superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath School Work and Treasurer of Mission Work for the Synod of Tennessee. He was for many years corresponding secretary of the Tennessee Historical Society and editor of its journal.
Sumner Cunningham (1843-1913) was a sergeant in Company B, 41st Tennessee Infantry. He was the editor and publisher of The Confederate Veteran and lived at the Maxwell House. He was instrumental in fundraising for the monument to Confederate hero Sam Davis that was unveiled near the Tennessee Capitol in June 1909.
Attorney Hallum W. Goodloe (1869-1956) was Tennessee’s Secretary of State at the time of Frank Goodman’s funeral. He was Clerk and Master of Crockett County Chancery Court (1891-1901); Chief Clerk to the TN Secretary of State (1901-1907); Secretary of State (1909-1913); Private Secretary to Gov. Tom C. Rye (1915-1918); Assistant to the Superintendent of Banks (1918-1929); Chief Clerk to State Treasurer (1929-1931); and Deputy Superintendent of State Banks (1931-1949).
George W. Stainback (1842-1918) was the chairman of the Nashville Board of Public Works and Affairs, a very powerful three-man group. Members were required to abstain from other active employment – they received a salary for their work – and were ex officio members of the City Council. They hired city laborers and department heads; oversaw streets, sewers, and public property; supervised the laying and removal of railroad tracks on city streets; and prepared an annual operating budget. Stainback was a lodge brother of Frank Goodman in the UOGC. He was honored by having a portrait of his face displayed in fireworks at the 1897 Tennessee Centennial.
Roger Eastman (1858-1938), youngest son of Elbridge Gerry Eastman and Lucy Ann Carr, was a banker, rising to the position of assistant cashier [in those days a cashier was a bank manager] with the First National Bank. He was Frank Goodman’s business partner in both the college and the accounting business. He was probably Frank’s closest friend – Frank named two children after him (Frank Eastman Goodman, 17 July 1881 – 29 December 1882, and Roger Eastman Goodman, 14 April 1895 – 29 April 1953). He served several terms as Nashville Tax Assessor, beginning in 1898. He was an active Mason (elected worshipful master of Phoenix lodge at the age of 23), a member and auditor of the Baptist Sunday-school board, treasurer of the First Baptist church, and vice-president of the Nashville Athletic Club. His biography was included in John Allison’s Notable Men of Tennessee (1905).
Dr. William E. McCampbell (1854-1924) had a medical office at 523 Woodland Street in East Nashville. He was the physician who had reported Roger Goodman’s birth in 1895 so had probably delivered him. He served on the Nashville City Board of Health for many years and was elected its chairman in 1911.
Captain Marcus Breckenridge Toney (1840-1929) was a convinced Methodist, Confederate, and slavery partisan who became an early volunteer for Confederate service. He served with the 1st Tennessee Volunteer regiment in campaigns in West Virginia and at Shiloh, Chickamauga, and the Wilderness, where he was captured. He was the author of The Privations of a Private (1905), which described his experiences as a Federal P.O.W. in the Union prison camp at Elmira, New York, as well as the war’s immediate aftermath and the growth and appeal of the Ku Klux Klan, which he had joined after the war. He was an active member of the Masonic fraternity and worked with W. H. Bumpus to found the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home, which was incorporated in 1886.
John W. Paulett, who was a Knoxville textbook salesman when he first met Frank Goodman in the early years of Goodman’s Business College, was Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction around the turn of the century, and later worked as a newspaper correspondent. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the Board of Visitors of the University of Tennessee.
Dr. William Hill Bumpus (1843-1926) one of Frank Goodman’s closest friends, is actually buried in the Sims-Goodman plot at Mt. Olivet. Trained as a physician and a lawyer, he was the local agent for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad for 52 years, serving for a time as the president of the National Association of Local Freight Agents’ Associations. An active Mason, he was the editor and publisher of the Tennessee Mason and a sometime-writer for the Nashville American. He and Marcus Toney were the driving force behind the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home. He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Free & Accepted Masons, on January 26, 1898.
[Note: Bumpus, Eastman, McCampbell, Paulett, and Stainback had also served as pall bearers for Pattie Goodman in November 1909.]
Clayton, W. W. History of Davidson County, Tennessee. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis, 1880.
Goodman, Frank. Goodman’s Book-keeping Simplified. A Work Thoroughly Explaining theTheory of Single and Double Entry. Nashville: Wheeler & Osborn, 1882. (A copy is available in the Tennessee State Library and Archives.)