News From 1917

The Vinton Eagle
June 1, 1917


Defeats Minnesota Blind School
By Score 60 to 39—Tom Tierman
Wins Most Points
in Contest.

The Iowa College for the Blind won the track meet from the Minnesota College for the Blind held Monday afternoon at the two schools by a score of 60 to 39. Only two of the events were won by the Minnesota school, those being the standing broad jump and three standing broad jumps. Last year Minnesota won the contest by four points.

Although all of the blind athletes entered in the contest showed themselves capable of making good scores in an event of this kind, Tom Tierman, of Vinton, who is totally blind, was the largest individual member of points in all events and is thus the best athlete of the two schools.

There were nine events in the contest, which was held at the two schools and decision of the meet judged by comparison of scores made by the teams in each event.

The judges of the contest here were Rev. T. H. Temple, Hugh Mossman, and Joe Carrier. These three judges passed on the nine events and sent the results to the Minnesota school for comparison. The same was done by the judges of the contest at the Minnesota College for the Blind.

Each school placed four in each of the nine events, chinning, standing broad jumps, standing hop, step and jump, 12-pound shot put, standing high jump, fence vault, high kick, and fifty yard dash, and placed in the following order:

Chinning—Tom Tierman, I. C. B. 1st, 45 times; Don Martin, I. C. B. 2nd, 31 times; Minnesota 3rd, 29 times, Arthur Greene, I. C. B. 4th, 23 times.

Standing broad jump—Minnesota C. B., 1st, 9 ft. 1 1-4 in.; Tom Tiernan, I. C. B., 2nd, 9 ft. 1 in.; Minnesota, 3rd, 9 ft.; Minnesota, 4th, 8 ft. 11 3-4 in.

Three standing broad jump—Minnesota, 1st, 29 ft. 9 in.; Tom Tiernan, I. C. B., 2nd, 27 ft. 7 in.; Arthur Greene, I. C. B., 3rd, 26 ft. 11 in.; Minnesota, 4th, 26 ft. 6 1-2 in.

Standing hop, step and jump—Tom Tiernan, I. C. B., 1st, 25 ft. 3 in.; Minnesota, 2nd, 23 ft. 9 1-2 in.; Minnesota, 3rd, 23 ft. 4 in.; Minnesota, 4th, 22 ft. 3 1-2 in.

Twelve-pound shot put—Charles Luhmann, I. C. B., 1st, 31 ft. 8 in.; Minnesota, 2nd, 30 ft. 3 in.; Tom Tiernan, I. C. B., 3rd, 29 ft. 7 in.; Minnesota, 4th, 29 ft. 3 1-2 in.

Standing high jump—Tom Tiernan, I. C. B., 1st, 54 in.; Arthur Greene, I. C. B., 2nd, 52 in.; Don Martin, I. C. B., 3rd, 50 in.; Minnesota, 4th, 49 in.



The Vinton Eagle
September 11, 1917


College Has Grown Since its
Establishment in Vinton
October 1862—Some Past
History of the School.

The Iowa College for the Blind opened its fifty-fifth year in Vinton last Wednesday morning. There were 130 students present at the fifty-fifth opening of the school year, while at the time of the opening for the first year’s work in this city, October, 1862, only twenty-three students were enrolled in the college.

The first of the existence of the college in this city there were only two teachers on the faculty. This year there are twenty teachers and four matrons, besides the superintendent, George D. Eaton, and the steward, Clarence P. Moon, making twenty-six members of the staff of the college in all.

The present year is the ninth year of Mr. Eaton’s superintendency of the school, he having begun

his work here in the fall of the year 1908. Since that time many changes and improvements have been added to the courses and equipment of the college.

The Iowa College for he Blind, is distinctly a school, and not an "asylum" as so many people poorly informed, even in Iowa are inclined to call it. It has not been designated as asylum since its removal from Iowa City in 1862, fifty-five years ago, so that those who still call the school by that name are fifty-five years behind the times in their information concerning the school.

A little of the history of the Iowa College for the Blind may prove of interest to many.

The foundation of the school was laid in August, 1852, when Professor Samuel Bacon, who had been blind since he was eleven years old, started a small school for the blind of this state at Keokuk. The next year, with state aid, the school was opened at Iowa City then the capital of the state. After its removal from Keokuk to Iowa City and while still under the management of Professor Bacon, the institution was designated as the Asylum for the Blind, although instruction was given the blind, although instruction was given the blind students and the name was a misnomer, as the word "asylum" would indicate.

Rev. Orlando Clarke succeeded Professor Bacon as superintendent of the school and was its head in 1862 when the school was placed under complete control and supervision of the state and moved to Vinton. October, 1862, marked the opening of the school in Vinton, and twenty-four pupils were enrolled that year. One building, now the central part of the central, or administration building was the only building on the campus of the school at that time.

In 1864, Rev. Reed Wilkinson succeeded Rev. Clarke as principal of the school. That year there were 65 pupils in attendance, these being enrolled in the three departments then established in the school, those of music, literary and mechanical industries. Two teachers were employed on the faculty.

Rev. Wilkinson resigned June, 1867, and General James L. Geddes was appointed during the next September to take his place. Mr. Geddes was succeeded in September, 1869 by Professor S. A. Knapp to the superintendency of the school. The south wing of the central building was completed in November 1869, and the north wing was completed in November, 1873, four years later, completing the central building as it is today.

Professor Knapp resigned the superintendency of the school July 1, 1875, and Rev. Orlando Clarke returned to take charge, but died in office April 2, 1876, and John B. Parmalee, at that time assistant principal, was appointed to fill the vacancy. He resigned a few months later and in July, 1877, Rev. Robert Carothers was elected to fill the vacancy, as principal. At this time there were 135 pupils in the school.

Mr. Carothers was succeeded in 1882 by T. F. McCune, who continued in office for twenty-three years, or until 1906, when Professor J. E. Vance then county superintendent of schools of Linn county was appointed to take the place left vacant by the resignation of Mr. McCune. Mr. Vance held office for two years and then resigned and in 1908, George D. Eaton, the present superintendent was appointed and has been superintendent of the college for the past eight years, starting his ninth year of efficient service to the state, and especially to the blind of the state, with the opening of the school this year.

Under Mr. Eaton’s superintendency, the college has been made to embrace the administration, financially, supervisory, medical, nursing, literary, musical and industrial departments.

The literary department of the college provides a regular course of study covering all the branches of the eight grades as offered by the public schools as well as a fully accredited high school course of four years. The school has a library embracing then thousand volumes divided into point print (Braille), and ink print for the use of those attending who are not blind, but of defective vision.

The music department offers instruction in piano, pipe organ, vocal, violin, flute and other orchestra music besides the theory of music. An excellent orchestra is organized and gives concerts during the school year. Most of the students of the school, especially the more advanced students include music as one of their studies and prove themselves well qualified for this work. Piano and organ tuning is also taught the students who care to take up this line of work.

The industrial department teaches the students various trades such as the blind can readily pursue such as basket and broom making, carpet and rug weaving, cane seating, hammock weaving, typewriting, and other useful work. Each day the happy blind boys and girls, men and women attend these classes and with deft fingers apply themselves to their tasks of making beautiful baskets or rugs, hammocks, and other useful articles, and enjoy every minute of their work.

Athletic sports are also encouraged at the college. Gymnasiums for both the boys and girls are provided with apparatus and daily instruction is given to all, older and younger, who wish to take part. Each year a contest is held between the Iowa College and the Minnesota College for the Blind, and such sports as vaulting, broad jump, hurdles, dashes and other events of a track meet such as boys with their eyesight enjoy and remarkable records have been made in these events by boys attending the college.

A well-equipped hospital is maintained in conjunction with the school, with Dr. L. W. Dean, eye specialist, and dean of the College of Medicine at the State University, in charge of this hospital. Here such cases as may be helped are given the best of treatment, and as many of the students are not blind, but suffering from defective vision which might later lead to total blindness, many of the students are given treatment that restores their sight to practically normal, or are at least greatly relieved.

With the opening of the school this year, last Wednesday, 130 have already reported for work, and this number will be increased slightly before winter, making an estimated enrollment this year of perhaps 150 students. The faculty and matrons who will have the guidance and instruction of these men and women, boys and girls, who though afflicted with blindness are in school to learn to become useful, industrious and productive citizens of the commonwealth are as follows:

Superintendent, George D. Eaton.

Steward, C. P. Moon.

Music Department—Maud L. Manning, Jeanette Evans, Anna May Sansum,

Mrs. Flora Taylor, Louis Tibergheim.

Industrial Department—J. B. Jordan, Mark Nissen, Charles Olson.

Matrons—Stella Simmons, Emma Sheritt, Bell Hutchison and Leah Baldwin.

Grades—Sarah Caster, Helen Ridge, Bessie Arthaud, Anna Baldwin, Ida Southerland.

High School—Hattie L. Specht, English and preceptress; Maud T. Eaton, Latin;

Dale Welsch, science; R. F, Robson, Mathematics and history; Olive Jones,

English and industrial; and Nellie Knudson, typewriting.