History of Public School Education in Arizona/Chapter 4
THE SUPERINTENDENT MADE AN INDEPENDENT OFFICER—ADMINISTRATIONS OF SHERMAN AND HORTON, 1879–1885.
As shown in an earlier chapter of this study, the development of the public schools began with the administration of Gov. Safford. He created the Arizona schools and then became the Moses to lead them out of the wilderness toward a better organization, with increasing appreciation of their value, growing attendance, and developing resources. Unfortunately his work was retarded by ill health, so that he resigned the governorship about April, 1877, and was succeeded by John P. Hoyt as acting governor. Then came, on June 12, 1878, the appointment of John C. Frémont as governor. It has been said that Frémont never regarded this appointment “as worthy of his ability and fame,” but, however regarded, the evidence is that Govs. Hoyt and Frémont were of little direct service in advancing the cause of the schools.
I. THE ACT OF 1879 AND THE NEW DEVELOPMENT.
The progress of education in Arizona during the period beginning about 1878 was, as McCrea points out (p. 101), more closely connected with the material development of the Territory than with the personnel of the officers, as had been the case during the earlier period. Rich mines were being discovered, and two railroads now traversed the Territory from east to west. These roads made its mines accessible, opened its resources, and led to great immigration. The population more than doubled in the eighties, and more people meant more school children, more school revenue, and of necessity better schools.
The law of 1879 made it more possible to collect this increased revenue. This act was itself an innovation and improvement on the earlier school acts. Its most important change was one which provided that a superintendent of public instruction should be appointed by the governor “by and with the consent of the legislative council.” In 1880 his successor was to be elected by popular vote; he was put under a $2,000 bond; was to hold office for two years; and received under this law a salary of $1,000, which in 1881 was increased to $2,000.
A Territorial tax of 15 cents on the $100 was to be levied, and the county board of supervisors was ordered to levy a county school tax of not less than 50 nor more than 80 cents on the $100, which “shall be added to the county tax and collected in the same manner and paid into the county treasury as a special fund.”
The Territorial board of education was reconstituted, and was now made up of the superintendent as president and secretary, with the governor and Territorial treasurer as the other members. Their duties were of the same character as those of the earlier board, while a bid for incoming teachers was made by providing that “such professional teachers as may be found upon examination, or by diplomas from other States or Territories requiring similar qualifications, to possess the requisite scholarship and culture” might have their diplomas countersigned by the Territorial superintendent and these then became valid for life unless formally revoked.
The superintendent was required, among other duties, to apportion Territorial school funds according to the number of children 6 to 21 years of age; he was to make an annual visit to each county and publish an annual report. It was made the duty of the county superintendent to distribute the county funds to the school districts in proportion to attendance during the three months previous.
In other respects the school law remained largely as it was, except that the salary of the probate judges when acting as county school superintendents was raised from $100 to $250 per year, and in 1881 (ch. 33) this was still further increased by dividing the counties into four classes according to the number of school districts and paying the superintendents from $250 to $1,000 per annum, according to the size of their territory.
Another section of this law—an echo of the struggle in 1877 against the proposed union of church and state—was the thirty-eighth, which declares:
No books, tracts, or papers of a sectarian or denominational character shall be used or introduced in any school established under the provisions of this act; nor shall sectarian or denominational doctrine be taught therein; nor shall any school whatever receive any of the public school funds which has not been taught in accordance with the provisions of this act.
It is clear that this new law reorganized the school system in a way which looked toward greater centralization and efficiency. The Territorial superintendent was now a separate official, with large supervisory powers. The county superintendency was not yet a separate office, but large supervisory powers were put into the hands of the probate judge, if he could find time and place to exercise them, but under the circumstances and with the large counties this was a practical impossibility.
In each school district there was a local board of three trustees who provided for, controlled, and directed the school. Each set of officers made a report to the next higher. The funds came from Territorial and county sources. When these were insufficient to provide a school for three months, the local district was required to make up the deficit as well as provide the schoolhouse and furniture. In such cases anything more than the three months’ term depended on the will of the local district, which had to be expressed by a two-thirds vote. This was a weak point in the system and struck the scattered country districts most heavily. The school term in the towns soon ran up in length, but those of the country schools were low, often perilously close to the three months’ limit, or even below it.
There was as yet no general law under which towns or school districts might issue bonds for use in building schoolhouses. The first of such issues seems to have been that of Prescott, in 1877, for $7,200, made under a special act. In 1879 similar special acts were passed in favor of Phoenix for $15,000, and Tucson for $20,000, and in 1883 Tombstone secured an issue for $15,000.
The only other enactment of the session of 1879 bearing on education was one chartering the Arizona Development Co., which, under color of aiding “in the construction of capitol buildings and for the support of the public schools of the Territory,” provided for the running of a lottery in the Territory, the governor being made commissioner to superintend the drawings, while 10 per cent of the prizes distributed were to be reserved for the use of the Territory. It was perfectly evident, however, that the real purpose of this act was not to build the capitol nor to advance the schools but to permit the existence of a lottery.
It is now desirable to follow so far as possible the fortunes of the schools under the act of 1879. It may be noticed at once that the school system so patiently and laboriously built up by Gov. Safford did not command the respect of Gov. Frémont sufficiently to give it a place in his message to the assembly, either in 1879 or 1881. McCrea remarks that although Gov. Frémont was a man of liberal education “he exhibited but little interest in the question of schools in Arizona.” McCrea found but one reference by Frémont to the school system, which he then generously characterized as being in “admirable condition.”
II. SHERMAN BECOMES THE FIRST INDEPENDENT TERRITORIAL SUPERINTENDENT.
Closely following his own accession to office, and within a few days after the enactment of the law of February 14, 1879, Gov. Frémont appointed Prof. Moses H. Sherman as his representative to take over the work of the Territorial school superintendent, which, in earlier years, had been performed by the governor himself—for the purpose of the act of 1871 had been to add this school supervision to the duties of the governor, with no extra pay except an allowance of $500 for traveling. The governor was now relieved of the duty, and the $500 allowed him for expenses was given to his successor as salary. Prof. Sherman was a trained school man; he had been for five years at the head of the Prescott schools, was already at the head of his profession in Arizona, and his entrance on the Territorial superintendency was recognized as an advance by the United States Commissioner of Education, who said in his report for 1878 (p. 268):
Even the few statistics received show the advantage of having a superintendent who can give his whole attention to school work, as was the case for the first time in 1878.
Prof. Sherman’s term of office extended from February, 1879, to January 11, 1881, and was continued—by a popular election, in 1880—from January, 1881, to January, 1883. During these years Supt. Sherman did not, however, devote all of his time to Territorial education. He remained principal of the schools of Prescott, and he gave to the Territorial schools such time only as he could spare from his local school duties. Certainly Territorial duties were of less importance from the financial side, and it has been said even that the Territorial superintendency was during this administration little more than a sinecure.
McCrea remarks that the duties of the Territorial superintendency “were mainly of a clerical nature;” and, therefore, that Supt. Sherman was not compelled to relinquish his position as principal of the public schools of Prescott, but continued to serve both the town and the Territory until 1883. McCrea believed that Supt. Sherman’s “reputation for efficient work for educational interests in Arizona would no doubt have been greater had he confined his services to one or the other, instead of trying to serve both.” The Territorial work may have been made clerical from choice, but was not so from necessity. There was sufficient authority under the law of 1879, for the superintendent to travel throughout the Territory and to supervise not in name and form merely, but in reality.
Indeed, the progress, which was soon apparent, following the appointment of Sherman, seems to prove that there was at least some supervision, for the slump of 1876–77 was soon overcome, and as early as 1877–78, the superintendent could show that the schools were already on the upward grade. In the latter year he reported 3,089 youth of school age, of whom 2,740 were enrolled, giving a percentage of 88, although the average daily attendance was put down at 890, or 32 per cent of the enrollment. The length of the term was 124 days, as against 190 for 1876–77; the teachers numbered 37 as against 31; the pay of the men fell from $100 per month to $91; but that of the women rose from $50 to $74. The total expenditures equaled the total income, which was $21,396.
If comparison should be made of the school situation in 1873 and 1880, great progress would be noted. The school enumeration was 4 times as great, the enrollment 10 times, and school property 16 times. Schoolrooms had increased from 11 to 101, and teachers from 14 to 101, but salaries had fallen from $100 per month to $83 for men and to $70 for women.
Of Sherman’s work for the Territorial schools, McCrea continues:
The new superintendent of public instruction entered upon his duties with energy and enthusiasm, and the schools in the next two years showed a wonderful growth. It is difficult to say what part of this was due to the efforts of the superintendent and what part was the result of the favorable industrial conditions in Arizona and the considerable immigration into the Territory.
In 1880 the favorable report of the year before was improved upon in most particulars. Though the number of pupils seeking to attend school was far greater than the accommodations afforded, no effort was made to enforce the compulsory law. The short school terms in many of the schools seriously interfered with their usefulness. Most of the town schools were taught from 150 to 200 days, while the county school terms seldom exceeded 100 days, and were sometimes as brief as 40 days. The lack of sufficient funds in the rural schools, and the too frequent changes of teachers and of the county superintendents, were reported by the superintendent to be the greatest obstacles in the way of the progress of the public schools.
It will be recalled that while public lands had been set aside by Congress for the endowment of the schools when the Territory became a State, none of this land had as yet become available for schools. Gov. Safford had sought authority for the Territory to sell some of these lands, but had failed. Supt. Sherman now sought to bring the matter again before Congress, with the idea of selling the lands and reinvesting the proceeds in productive securities, but failed. Under the act of April 7, 1896, the Territory was first given authority to lease its lands; authority to sell came only with statehood.
Supt. Sherman made reports on the public schools under his authority for the years 1879 and 1880. These are summarized in the reports for the United States Commissioner of Education for 1879–80 and 1880–81. The progress reported for 1879–80 over 1878–79 was very gratifying and more or less uniform, except in length of term. In 1878–79 the latter is given as 165 days, while the next year it went down to 109. In explanation it was said that the city and village schools were taught from 150 to 200 days, while the terms of the country schools were seldom over 100, and sometimes as low as 40 days. There was also a decrease of $1 in the average monthly salary, from $84 to $83. The income under the law of 1879 was more than twice what it had been under the old law. In 1878–79 the income and expenditures were, respectively, $32,421 and $29,200; in 1879–80 they were $67,028 and $61,172.
The enrollment in 1879–80 was one-fourth larger than in 1878–79; the average attendance was one-half larger; and the per cent of attendance on enrollment rose from 63.4 per cent in 1878–79 to 67.7 per cent in 1879–80.
In some districts there were no schools, and large numbers of children never attended school at all, and yet the accommodations were so poor and so meager that it was impossible to take care of all who applied for admission; it was therefore still impossible to enforce the compulsory law of 1875.
Sherman’s report for the period of his administration as a direct representative of the people, 1881–1883, has been seen. Like all other officers engaged in similar work, he has the usual complaint that reports to him were incomplete, and that the county superintendents, tied down as they were by their duties as probate judges, could not go out among the schools and learn for themselves, but must depend on such information as might be sent in by individual teachers; hence the general report necessarily fell short of showing the actual condition of schools, but with the aid of reports from the various counties, he is able to give a general survey of the Territory as a whole. He points out that the main difficulty was in the sparsely settled rural district, with its short term. This term was often only three months, the minimum requirement to meet the law, and was not only too short for the good of the child, but was in proportion unduly costly.
In 1882 the superintendent reported “good progress,” but the difficulties were the same as ever. The probate judge’s time and attention were too much filled to make him a good school officer; besides, this office demanded a man particularly trained and qualified. Progress had been made in the erection of schoolhouses, but the expense of good buildings had fallen on those directly interested, and this indicates that houses were built either by private subscription or by a local tax authorized by a two-thirds vote.
Nor was the method of apportioning the Territorial funds producing the best results. Under the law these were apportioned according to school population, and in consequence—
the bulk of it goes to the larger towns, and the outside districts seldom have enough to keep their schools going for more than three or four months in the year. I would suggest that the Territorial school money to which each county is entitled be divided equally among all the districts. This plan would aid very materially the outside districts, and would work no injury on the schools in the towns and villages. In nearly every town of any importance in the Territory, such as Globe and Tucson, there is an abundance of school money, far more than will be required for school purposes for the present year. Such an amendment, changing the manner of apportioning the Territorial school funds, would work no hardship on populous towns, and would build up the outside districts.
It was urged that boards of school supervisors were sometimes indifferent to expenses, and even in this uncontaminated region it was felt necessary to warn districts to get the best men possible for school trustees and “that they do not change for the mere sake of rotation.”
The superintendent was able to show clearly marked evidence of progress. Yavapai County, with its 28 school districts and its 2,086 pupils, claimed to be the leader in matters educational. In 1882 the Territorial board adopted a uniform series of textbooks. “Heretofore, in some districts, there were often as many as three or four different kinds of readers. This made the labor of the teacher much harder and the number of classes greater.” The report for 1882 adds the gratifying information: “In nearly every district in the Territory a cheap, uniform set of books is now in use.”
In January, 1882, a printed list of questions was furnished by the superintendent to each of the county boards of examiners, which served as a general and uniform Territorial examination for all teachers, and showed that the school courses were expanding. It included geography and “other natural sciences,” grammar, botany, theory and practice of teaching, arithmetic, United States history and constitution, reading, physiology and the laws of health, and orthography.
About the same time, and under the same authority, the superintendent published a manual of school work which was to serve teachers as a guide in their duties. The school course there outlined covered a total school period of 8½ years of 10 months each. It was divided into what may be called the primary and grammar-grade courses. The primary work began with what was called the fifth grade and went backwards. The first grade covered two and a half years, or five terms, and was followed by an advanced grade that covered two years. The last term of the first grade included reading, spelling, arithmetic, language, geography, writing, drawing, history, physiology, and philosophy. The first term of the advanced grade dealt with reading, writing, history, composition, physiology, algebra, and philosophy; while the third and fourth terms of this course covered reading, drawing, history, composition and literature, physiology, algebra, geometry, political economy, chemistry, and bookkeeping.
It is evident that the pupils who were able to follow these courses to their completion would be well prepared for real high-school work. Along with this guide went a series of suggestions to teachers on methods of teaching.
At the time covered by this report (1881 and 1882) the town situation seems to have been in general very satisfactory. In Prescott the attendance was larger than ever before; “the scholars seem to study for the sake of learning”; but there was a great drawback in the irregularity of attendance, “as is the case in all frontier towns” and others as well. “The school is being graded as rapidly as possible.”
In Tombstone the session of 1881–82 was the second, and started off with 135 pupils the first day. The schoolhouse was divided into two rooms for two teachers, but was not big enough; the Turnverein Hall was rented, and a third teacher employed; then the Presbyterian Church and a fourth teacher were secured. The average attendance that year was 188; the several private schools opened the year before now gave place to the public schools, and patent benches were put into the schoolhouse owned by the district. On December 28, 1882, the enrollment was 276, with an average attendance of 240. There were then five teachers in the school, counting the principal. The six grades, as required in the public-school manual (five primary and one advanced), were provided, and the advanced grade “is prepared for high-school work, which it is now doing in part.” In this connection Prof. M. H. Sherman, then superintendent of Tombstone, recommended the establishment of a high school, and this seems to have been and is perhaps to be properly counted as the real beginning of advanced educational work in the Territory.
In 1881 Prof. George C. Hall reported the Tucson schools as organized into three divisions: Primary, with four grades; grammar, with four; a high school, with literary and scientific courses covering three years. The pupils were graded, and separate schools for boys and for girls had been abolished. It now has four regular and two special teachers—in Spanish and music. In 1883, $40,000 of short-time bonds for a new schoolhouse were issued. The high school at Tucson dates from 1880; in 1887–88 there were 21 pupils, but no class was graduated till 1893.
At the expiration of his term of office in January, 1883, Prof. M. H. Sherman surrendered the duties of superintendent of public instruction to Prof. William B. Horton. After he left school work, Supt. Sherman was appointed by Gov. Tritle, in 1883, adjutant general to provide against a threatened Apache uprising. Later he became president of a bank in Phoenix, and amassed a fortune from Arizona and California investments. He is still living (1917). McCrea’s estimate of Sherman’s educational work is somewhat evasive. He says that Sherman’s work—
for the schools of the Territory is somewhat difficult to estimate. Coming into the Territory in 1873 at the request of Gov. Safford, he soon impressed the people of Arizona with his ability and energy, and was given honorable and lucrative employment in school work for many years. His superior business insight, coupled with the excellent opportunities in that early period, enabled him to lay the foundation of a fortune, and to become one of the best-known men of the Territory. He did good work for the public school of Prescott, winning for it a reputation which made it preeminent in the Territory. His work as superintendent of public instruction was mainly clerical, though to some extent administrative. With his constant duties at Prescott for the greater part of the year, there was no chance for visiting the various schools and inspiring the teachers and communities with the enthusiasm so much needed to sustain them in their work. The extent to which he influenced legislative action, for other than his own ends, is somewhat problematic. In some respects he was a worthy successor of Gov. Safford, even if lacking in the disposition to make any considerable sacrifice for the cause of education, as was common with the great executive.
III. HORTON BECOMES SUPERINTENDENT, 1883–1885.
Prof. William B. Horton, the successor of Prof. Moses Hazeltine Sherman and the second Territorial superintendent of public instruction for Arizona, was the first to devote the whole of his time to the duties of his office. He came to Arizona in 1874, where he became a successful teacher. His period of administration as Territorial superintendent was from January, 1883, to January, 1885, and his one published report covers the period from September 1, 1882, to August 31, 1884.
This period was marked as one of renewed activity in school affairs. It began with Gov. Tritle’s message to the assembly in January, 1883, when he pointed out that many small communities received no aid because of “the necessity of only organizing schools with large numbers of pupils.” He thought that this situation was due to lack of funds, and this to failure to derive any income from school lands.
The most important legislative action in 1883 was the school law, which should be considered rather a revision than a new law. McCrea thinks the new provisions were due to Supt. Horton and that they were borrowed from the California law. They are summarized as follows:
The presidency of the Territorial board of education. was transferred from the superintendent to the governor; the superintendent was given $500 for traveling and $500 for printing and office expenses, and was to visit each county; the salary of the county superintendents was increased. They were started on a basis of $300 pay for 10 districts, and to this as a basis $25 was added for each additional district, but the office was not yet made distinct from that of probate judge. Particular efforts were made to guard and hedge about the spending of school funds. It was provided that in counties where the school districts numbered 20 or more the superintendent might, in his discretion, hold a teachers’ institute of three to five days each year at a total cost of not over $50. All public-school teachers were required to attend, and if school was in session their absence was not counted as time lost. Every county, city, or incorporated town, unless subdivided, formed a school district, but none might be organized with less than 10 pupils or until school had actually commenced in the new district. The local district school trustees were elected annually, and no person was ineligible either to vote or hold the office because of sex. The census marshal took the census every odd year. Unless otherwise provided, all schools were to be divided into primary and grammar schools and were to give instruction in English, in reading, writing, orthography, arithmetic, geography, grammar, history of the United States, elements of physiology and of bookkeeping, vocal music, industrial drawing, “and such other studies as the Territorial board of education may prescribe,” and in manners and morals during the entire course. The school day was fixed at six hours, but no pupil under 8 was to be kept in school more than four hours.
The sections on district libraries were new. They provided that 10 per cent of the Territorial school fund up to $200 be apportioned to each district and constitute “a library fund.” This fund and “such moneys as may be added thereto by donation” should be spent “in the purchase of school apparatus and books for school libraries.” The latter were kept in the schoolhouses and were open to pupils and residents of the district.
The rate of taxation for schools was unchanged, but funds were increased by giving the proceeds of escheats to the Territorial school fund, and the proceeds from fines, forfeitures, and gambling licenses, except in incorporated places, to the county school fund. The right of voting on special district taxes was shifted from “qualified voters” to “taxpayers.”
Supt. Horton’s published report, covering the period September 1, 1882, to August 81, 1884, shows an essential differentiation in its review from earlier ones. There were signs of general improvement:
Our teaching force has also increased, there being 45 more teachers than reported last year. Many of our teachers have had the advantages of a normal-school training, and it is a noticeable fact that at least one-half of those who have applied for certificates during the last two years [25 were granted] are graduates of universities or normal schools. The standard of scholarship required for license to teach is being gradually raised throughout the Territory. The county examiners are using commendable zeal in the matter, and are more careful in granting certificates, and the consequence is better teaching ability is coming to the front.
This desirable result was attained notwithstanding the examiners were unpaid and gave their time at financial loss to themselves. Examinations were held three times a year; there were two grades of certificates given, and 75 per cent was the passing mark. For the second grade the applicant was examined on arithmetic (oral and written), grammar (oral and written), orthography, geography, history, methods of teaching, penmanship, composition, and word analysis. To these subjects there were added, for the first-grade certificate, physiology and algebra. These were county certificates; the first grade was good for four years; the second grade for two. A first-grade certificate was necessary to teach the grammar grades.
The new schoolhouses erected during this period were said to be very substantial and well adapted for their purpose:
Several of them have been built with an eye to beauty of design and finish, as well as to comfort, and are supplied with the latest improved furniture and apparatus. The public-school buildings in Prescott, Phoenix, Tucson, and Tombstone will compare very favorably with those of many of the States or Territories. Florence has nearly completed a substantial school building, and Yuma will soon begin the erection of one. The rural districts have shown an equal desire to have comfortable and attractive school buildings. This is particularly noticeable in the counties of Cochise, Graham, Apache, Yavapai, and Maricopa. The majority of the country schools are now supplied with the necessary school apparatus.
In his report to the Secretary of the Interior, dated September 30, 1883, which may be taken as substantially representing the school year 1882–83, Gov. Tritle gave the number of the schools as follows: Yavapai, 29; Apache, 15; Cochise, 11; Pima and Maricopa, 10 each; Pinal, 7; Graham, 6; Gila, Yuma, and Mohave, 3 each.
By reason of the negligence, indifference, or ignorance of some of the local school trustees, the schools got little supervision from them, and the duties of the county superintendent were such as to leave them “virtually without supervision,” for the duties of the probate judge prevented him from being absent from his office for any length of time, even on school duties. The result was that much school money was dissipated or wasted because of this lack of supervision. It was declared that there was “no bar or hindrance to a vast expenditure of school money by dishonest trustees” and it was considered “of the utmost importance that every possible guard be placed around our school fund.” The law of 1883 sought to remedy this situation.
The necessity of this will be realized more clearly when it is remarked that in Pima County, for instance, the tax collected for schools “was far in excess of what was necessary.” The law required a county tax of not less than 50 cents on the hundred; the Territorial tax was 15 cents; to the county fund was to be added under the acts of 1879 and 1883 the income from fines and gambling licenses, and to the Territorial fund the income from escheated estates. The total income in Pima County in 1882–83 was $26,872, and the school term was five and one-half months. In Pima in 1883–84, $40,000 was raised by district or local taxes, and the total receipts were $85,812. The total expenditures were $62,551, and there was a surplus of more than $24,000. This was the best report from any county; in general the balances were small and not beyond the margin of safety.
Because of the difficulties of travel, no teachers’ institutes had been held during the two years, but the superintendent’s opinion was that in most of the counties institutes could be held with marked advantage. He thought that in few States or Territories were better salaries paid to teachers in rural districts than in Arizona. No printed report covering the rural districts alone is available, but salaries paid in the counties varied from $60 per month in Apache and $75 in Maricopa and Graham to $95 in Cochise and $99 in Gila. The average for 1882–83 was $80.75, and in 1883–84, $84.90.
The total income of the public schools in the Territory for 1883–84 was $205,901.28, and the expenditures were $161,861.57. In 1883 seven libraries were reported. They had 451 volumes, worth $1,079.10, and an annual expenditure of $114.21. In 1884 there were 32 libraries, with 909 volumes, worth $1,685.47, and an annual expenditure of $618.33.
The textbooks adopted by the board of education on March 21, 1881, and still in use, included Appleton’s readers, geographies, and arithmetics; Webster’s speller, model copy books; Quackenbos’s language lessons, grammar, histories, philosophy, and Composition and Rhetoric; Krusi’s drawing; and Appleton’s series of Science Primers for chemistry, physics, physical geography, geology, physiology, astronomy, botany, logic, inventional geometry, piano playing, and political economy.
These books were reported to be in general use in the Territory, and in most cases gave satisfaction. They were not furnished free, but “in a number of instances the districts have supplied the children with textbooks from the school fund,” and from this custom was deduced an argument for free textbooks in general, which was favored by the superintendent.
During this administration the question of school and university lands became acute. Supt. Sherman had located (December, 1882) the 72 sections of university land in the San Francisco Mountains in a region heavily timbered with pine and valuable only for its timber. These lands had been withdrawn from market, but were subject to depredators, and had been denuded to a certain extent. It was pointed out by the superintendent that they should be placed under the control and management of the proper Territorial authorities to prevent depreciation. It was said that in many cases the public-school lands were of no value, and that steps should be taken to have these worthless sections replaced while timberlands were still unoccupied.
Prof. McCrea thinks that—
from a financial standpoint the schools of Arizona were probably never in so good a condition as during their administration by Supt. Horton. There was a substantial growth of the population, and the development of the natural resources went forward at a rapid rate. The burdens of taxation had not yet become so apparent, and the people were willing to spend money liberally on the education of their children.
He comments further on the work of Supt. Horton:
Supt. Horton made an effort to inspect the schools of Arizona in order to learn their true condition. This kind of work had not been done since Gov. Safford left the Territory. On account of the size of the country, the scattered settlements, and the difficulties and cost of travel, many of the schools could not be reached. Then the other duties of the superintendent were heavy and demanded much time and attention. But he thought the inspection of the schools could be made of great value, and asked the assembly to amend the school law so that a deputy superintendent might be employed, to have charge of the office in the absence of the superintendent, and that double the annual allowance of $500 should be made that officer in order to meet his traveling expenses when visiting schools. As the schools were so scattered, the superintendent could not hope to give them a very close supervision. Besides, his efforts could be more profitably directed to the general management of the schools. As the probate judges, who were by law ex officio county superintendents of schools, had no time to devote to such work and no training which fitted them to do it well, the superintendent recommended that the office of county superintendent should be made a separate office, and that the duty of visiting and inspecting all the schools of the county should be made compulsory. He believed that in no department of the public service was supervision more needed than in the schools, and that those of Arizona had reached a point where this matter must be met and solved. Unfortunately the people’s representatives were not ready to solve the problem of school supervision thus early emphasized by Supt. Horton. Nor has much been done since for its solution. One town—Phoenix—now employs a superintendent of schools. In two others—Prescott and Tucson—the principals must devote a large share of their time to teaching, and in other large towns practically no time is allowed the principals for supervision. In the counties having the largest amount of taxable property the separate office of county superintendent has been established, and is now on trial. The office of superintendent of public instruction has lost rather than gained in importance, and a small salary and no appropriation for office or traveling expenses prevent it being sought by able men engaged in school work. The problem of supervision is one of the most pressing matters in education in Arizona to-day.
While Supt. Sherman had the honor of selecting the landed endowment for the university, it was owing to Supt. Horton’s persistence that a part of it was finally secured. To him is also due the law of the assembly to prevent any further destruction of the timber, which alone made the land valuable. He, too, saw the advantage likely to result to the Territory from further selections of unoccupied timber land in lieu of the school sections (16 and 36) when they should fall on worthless lands, and urged that steps be taken to get such authority from Congress.
He concluded his estimate of Horton’s work in the following language:
Supt. Horton was not a candidate for reelection at the close of his term, and with his retirement from the office the schools of Arizona passed from under the control of the men whose names can be linked with those of Gov. Safford, not only as having matured his policy, but as successful superintendents of public instruction, though not in equal degrees. In addition, both Sherman and Horton, by their ability as principals of the schools of Prescott and Tucson, so commended public schools to their towns and sections that the success of the system was assured. Without such help Gov. Safford, wth all his energy and enthusiasm, would have found it difficult to reach the larger success that marked school matters during his second term as governor.
- Session laws, 1881, ch. 33.
- Ch. 45, 1879, provided that one-half the money collected on licenses for gambling, other than village licenses, should go to the county school fund. The school act of 1883 gave all “fines, forfeitures, and gambling licenses” to the county school fund, except such as were collected in incorporated towns and villages. Escheats under this act went to the Territorial school fund.
- Session Laws, 1877, ch. 37.
- Session Laws, 1879, ch. 17.
- Ibid., ch. 25.
- Session Laws, 1883, ch. 13.
- Session Laws, 1879, ch. 16. It was repealed by Session Laws, 1881, ch. 20. A vigorous effort was made in 1887 to reenact a similar law, but it was defeated by the veto of Gov. Zulick. See Council Jour., 1887, pp. 199–203.
- There are indications that Sherman had acted in this capacity before his formal appointment, but ex-Supt. Long thinks that this was not the case.
- Rept. U. S. Commis. of Educ., 1880, pp. 352–355.
- Reports for 1881 and 1882, pp. 8–9.
- Session Laws of Arizona, 1883, ch. 34.
- See Report Tucson Public Schools, 1896–97, p. 5.
- McCrea, loc. cit., pp. 109, 110.
- Pima County reported $2,422 expended for school libraries, which is doubtless an error, for other items of furniture and apparatus are presumably included.
- In March, 1885, Prof. Horton was appointed by Gov. Tritle as clerk of the county court and clerk of the county of Pima to serve two years. After this office expired he removed to San Carlos, Ariz., and became Indian post trader, where he was killed not long after by an Indian policeman.