loosa; the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (agricultural and mechanical) established in 1872, is located at Auburn; the Alabama Girls' Industrial School, at Montevallo; four normal colleges, for white pupils, at Florence, Troy, Jacksonville, and Livingston; three normal schools, for Negro pupils, at Montgomery, Tuskegee, and Normal, and nine agricultural schools and experiment stations at Jackson, Evergreen, Abbeville, Sylacauga, Wetumpka, Hamilton, Albertville, Athens, and Blountsville. The common schools are directed by a State superintendent of education, and the local machinery consists of county boards and district trustees. There are fifty separate school districts, self-governing or regulated by special Acts, as Montgomery, Birmingham, etc. Separate State institutions for both white and Negro deaf, dumb, and blind are located at Talladega. A Reform School for white boys is conducted at East Lake. A separate agricultural experiment station is maintained at Uniontown. Expenditures have been made by the State for educational purposes for the fiscal year ending 30 September, 1906, as follows: public, or common, school system, $1,215,115.92; Alabama Polytechnic Institute, $20,280.00; University of Alabama, $27,000.00; Deaf, Dumb, and Blind institutions, $71,322.50; Alabama Girls' Industrial School, $25,000.00; Alabama Industrial School for White Boys, $8,000.00.
In addition to the institutions maintained from the public treasury, there are the following higher institutions supported and controlled by religious denominations: Spring Hill College, near Mobile; St. Bernard College, Cullman; McGill Institute, Mobile; St. Joseph's College for Negro Catechists, Montgomery (Catholic); Southern University, Greensboro; North Alabama Conference College, Birmingham; Athens Female College, Athens; and Alabama Conference Female College, Tuskegee (Methodist Episcopal Church, South); Howard College, East Lake; and Judson Female College, Marion (Baptist); Noble Institute, Anniston (Protestant Episcopal); Synodical College for Men, Anniston, and Isbell College, Talladega (Presbyterian). Several institutions of high grade are conducted as private enterprises, notably the Marion Military Institute. Colleges of medicine and pharmacy are located in Birmingham and Mobile; and a school of dentistry at Birmingham. Theological courses are offered at Howard College (Baptist); schools of music and art, and business colleges are in operation in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile. A law department is maintained at the State University.
Co-education obtains in all State institutions, except in the Alabama Girls' Industrial School and the Livingston State Normal School. There are several schools for the higher education of Negroes in addition to the three normal schools above noted, namely: Talladega College, Talladega; Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School, Selma; Academic and Industrial Institute, Kowaliga; Calhoun Colored School, Calhoun; and Normal Industrial Institute, Snow Hill. The Theological School at Selma, as the name implies, has a theological department; the Stillman Institute is conducted under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church (white) for the education of Negro preachers, and St. Joseph's College, at Montgomery, is a Catholic institution for the training of Negro catechists.
Religion.—The Catholic Church on the Alabama Gulf Coast dates from the coming of Iberville's colony in 1699. He was accompanied by Father Anastase Douay, who had once been an explorer with La Salle. Catholic missionaries were abroad in the Mississippi Valley prior to this date, and Biloxi had hardly been located when Father Antony Davion made his appearance. He and Father Dougé ministered to the spiritual wants of the colonists until 1704, and even after, but in this year came the induction, by Davion, of De La Vente as priest of a church formally set up at Fort Louis. This step was taken in consequence of the erection of Mobile into a canonical parish by the Bishop of Québec. From this time on the Church has a continuous history in Mobile. La Vente alternated with Alexander Huvé, his assistant, until 1710, while the later continued to about 1722. Father Jean Mattheu, of the Capuchin Order, officiated at Mobile, 1721 to 1736; while Father Jean François and Father Ferdinand, also Capuchins, as well as Jesuits, were here from 1736 to 1763. From time to time numbers of other names appear as officiating priests. The quaint manuscript records, showing births, deaths, marriages, and baptisms, are preserved in the church archives at Mobile. Excellent summaries and details from these records are to be found in Peter J. Hamilton's "Colonial Mobile" (1897). After the occupation of Mobile by the Spanish, in 1780, and the expulsion of the British, the church was called the Immaculate Conception, a name it has since borne. After American occupation, in 1812, for a number of years no substantial advance was made, and in 1825, when Bishop Portier entered upon his office, the church in Mobile was the only one in Alabama, and he was the only priest. The church building was burned in 1827.
The early priests were zealous missionaries, and with consecrated zeal they labored to bring the untutored child of the forest into the fold of the Church. Father Davion, above mentioned, was first a missionary to the Tunicas. In 1709 churches were erected at Dauphin Island, and also ten miles above Mobile for a band of Apalache Indians, who had been earlier converted by Spanish missionaries. Father Charles, a Carmelite, was a missionary among them in 1721. There were missions at Fort Toulouse and Fort Tombecbé, and also at Chickasawhay. Father Michael Baudouin was for eighteen years among the Choctaws. These missions were largely abandoned after 1763, owing to British occupation. Until 1722 the parish of Mobile was a part of the Diocese of Québec. In this year, with the subdivision of the southern country for administrative purposes by Law's Company, there was a parcelling out, or assignment, of the divisions to the different orders of the Church. The Illinois country went to the Jesuits; New Orleans and west of the Mississippi to the Capuchins, and the Mobile district to the Barefoot Carmelites. In a very short time a change was made, and Mobile was given over to the Capuchins. During Spanish occupation Mobile was in the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba. Later the northern part of the territory now embraced in the State was under the Archbishop of Baltimore, while the southern was under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Louisiana and Florida. In 1825 the Vicariate-Apostolic of Alabama and Florida was created, and the Reverend Michael Portier was appointed bishop. He was consecrated 5 November, 1826. On 15 May, 1829, the Diocese of Mobile was created, embracing in its bounds West Florida and all of Alabama. Bishop Portier was continued in his office, and served until his death, in 1859. His successors in order were John Quinlan (1859–1883); Dominic Manucy (1883–1885); and Jeremiah O'Sullivan (1885–1897). These men possessed marked ability and were positive and uplifting forces in the life of the State. The incumbent bishop is the Right Reverend Edward P. Allen (1897). During the life of the Church in the State it has been served, in Mobile and at other points, by many priests of deep piety and extensive learning, and men who have contributed their part as well in shaping the growth of the commonwealth in high civic ideals. In addition to the above-named clergy, the following prominent members of the Catholic Church in Alabama should be noted: