This is the report at the time we were moving into our current location.
Taken from the State Archives - the superintendent's report from 1917-1918
"Had a visit from “George B. Fryer, the superintendent of the School for the Blind of Shanghai, China, and his equally bright and distinguished wife. They spent three days with us in April, 1918. We were working under great difficulties, as our kindergarten building and Cottage G were not completed until some time afterward, and Cottage F was used for both dormitory and hospital; but they carefully inspected our school in all departments, Although they were not given to flattery, and after they had already inspected twenty-eight schools in America, they pronounced our work in the literary department about the best they had seen, our industrial instruction and physical training unexcelled, our music department second only to that of the New York Institution for the Blind, and our home life and the earnest effort and spirit of our pupils and teachers the very best and most worthy of praise.
“The new Texas School for the Blind is located on the north edge of the city of Austin, on a hill overlooking the city, and consists of fourteen buildings, to wit: the administration building, six cottage homes, A, B, C, D, E and F, a kindergarten, Superintendent’s cottage, employees’ cottage, powerhouse and laundry, farmer’s cottage, barns and garage. These are all constructed o reinforced concrete with brick veneer and stone trimmings, except the farmer’s cottage and barn, which are of yellow pine.
“The administration building faces south 30 degrees west, is two hundred and ninety-four feet long, and contains basement and two stories. In the basement are located the boys’ industrial department (Seven large rooms), gymnasiums with locker and bath rooms (four large rooms), piano tuning department (one teacher’s studio and eight practice rooms), the main storerooms (six large rooms and one large room for costumes), elevator, lavatories, closets and hall.
"The first floor contains, beginning on the right of the main entrance, reception room, stenographer’s office and vault, Superintendent’s office, trustees’ room, library (the entire east end), elevator, storekeeper and accountant’s office, auditorium, seamstress department for making girls’ uniforms (one large room and two storerooms), boys’ music department (the entire west end, containing five teachers’ studios and twelve practice rooms), girls’ industrial department (four large rooms), lavatories and hall.
"On the second floor we have the literary department (eleven recitation rooms), principal’s office, printing room, typewriting room, voice teacher’s room, girls’ music department (five teachers’ studios and twelve practice rooms), two restrooms, lavatories, closets and hall.
“Our six cottage homes for the pupils, A, B, C, D, E and F, are all alike in size, arrangement and conveniences. They are each managed by two resident teachers, one housekeeper and one maid. A description of Cottage A suffices for all. The building is two story, with living room, study hall, housekeeper’s room, kitchen, dining room, and three rooms for students on the first floor, and with nine rooms for students, baths, lavatories, and two teacher rooms on the second floor. The crippled students live on the first floor. Students care for their own rooms and do all the upstairs cleaning. They take turns setting tables, serving, and washing the dishes, six going on duty each week.
"The teachers have charge of the discipline, study, reading of the mail, and act as escorts for the pupils when away from school. The housekeeper, with the assistance of a maid, prepares on the gas ranges and fireless cookers the meals and attends to extra cleaning. The only literary work done in the cottage is one and one-half hours’ study period in the evening. The children enjoy their home life and take great pride in keeping their cottage in order.
“The new kindergarten building fulfills a need the school has left for a long time. It is ideally planned for the comfort and health of the little ones. The upper floor is composed of two long airy dormitories for the children, apartments for the housemothers, and long corridors for the children to play in. On the ground floor, grouped around the patio are the school rooms, offices, play rooms, and culinary department."
“The site consists of 73 acres, donated by the citizens of Austin. About fifteen acres are still occupied by nursery trees belonging to the former owner, who compensates us by setting out trees and shrubbery where we want them. About twenty-five acres have been cultivated by our farmer, on which he raised 225 bushels of corn, 6 tons of oats, 2 tons of feterita, 6 tons of sorghum cane, and 2 tons of fodder. The greater part of the farmer’s labor has been taken up with killing out the Johnson grass, which infested all our grounds. For the one season that we have had charge the results are encouraging. A large barn and shed room for tools and implements are imperatively needed.”
“About ten acres had been given to gardening. There were raised, after strenuously fighting the Johnson grass, as follows: 1315 pounds beets, 342 pounds English peas, 458 pounds mustard, 517 pounds radishes, 540 pounds onions, 22 bushels tomatoes, 2-1/2 bushels squash, 300 pounds lettuce, 50 pounds snap peas, 117 pounds rape, 827 pounds shallots, 6 bushels okra, 1 bushel cucumbers, and 32 dozen cantaloupes.
“These garden products were greatly enjoyed by the pupils and afforded a great saving in our grocery bills.
“Hereafter we shall do a great deal better in both garden and farm. It should be noted that many of our boys, who had some vision, were very useful in helping the framer and the gardener, and besides they learned much of value to them in their home life."
“The task of moving into our new quarters was immense, which can be appreciated by those only who have had similar experiences. Before we could get out of the old buildings they were being torn to pieces and reconstructed for the use of the School of Military Aeronautics. Our new buildings were not ready for occupancy until October 15, 1917, and even then only five cottages, A, B, C, D and E, were completed. The sixth cottage, F, had to be used partly as a home for little boys and partly as a hospital, even while the workmen were still working on it. The opening of school was, therefore, deferred till October 23. Many difficulties had to be overcome before we could begin work in our laundry.
"The upstairs portion of this building was at first planned for a dormitory for our employees, while the downstairs portion was intended for the boiler room and laundry. The part designed for the laundry was entirely too small, and the upstairs over the boiler room was not a suitable place for a home for the employees, besides it did not provide a kitchen and dining room. There was nothing to do but to build a separate cottage for the employees, as was provided in our appropriation bill, and to place the laundry in the larger upstairs portion over the boiler room.
"The employees’ cottage was planned and completed April 1, 1918, and in the meantime the employees were given sleeping quarters in the basement of the administration building, crowding out our tuning department. But the necessary changes for the laundry to be placed upstairs over the boiler room were not made until after we had moved. The delay and inconvenience thus caused in getting our laundry in operation were mostly kindly relived by Dr. John Preston, superintendent of the insane asylum, who gave our force permission to do our laundering in his splendid up-to-date laundry.
"The kindergarten building was also not completed until April 1, 1917. The grading of the grounds and sidewalk construction were still going on for about six weeks after we moved. Fortunately, the drought, which did so much damage everywhere else, was in our favor; for a rain would have done great damage as well as made the black mud impassable. The highest praise is due our employees, teacher and pupils for the cheerful energy and industry with which all met these difficulties.
"Paragraph about 54-hour per week law and how it would cause extra expense and difficulty for houseparent and housekeeping staff in cottages. “Our aforesaid teachers, housekeepers, maids and employees do not have more to do than most public school teachers who have family duties to perform and the hundreds of thousands of mothers and housekeepers in private homes everywhere.
"Two supervising teachers reside in each cottage, who have control alternately of the pupils before and after school hours and on Saturdays and Sunday, their only compensation being board and laundry.
"Speaks about the good and careful attentions of the doctor, oculist, and dentist. “It is worth remarking that, since beginning this report, the influenza epidemic has been a dreadful scourge of the State institutions with the notable exception of this school, not a single case occurring among our pupils.
“I am happy to say that our entire school gladly complied with every food regulation of the government, and still everyone was well fed.” Garden was a big help. “We also canned quite a nice supply for winter use, to wit: 32 gallons beans, 41 gallons beets, 33 gallons chowchow, 40 gallons tomatoes, 30 gallons corn, 8 gallons carrots, 5 gallons okra, and 12 gallons dried corn.” Matron is a dietician by training and experience. “…our cottage system, by the care of our matron and the housekeepers, has practically eliminated waste. The meals are balanced, well prepared, and have full caloric value, averaging between 2900 and 3000 calories.”
Gives menu for a week.
Monday: breakfast: oatmeal, sweet milk, sugar, biscuit, syrup, coffee; dinner: string beans, corn bread, creamed potatoes, evaporated apples, rice pudding; supper: steak and gravy, grits, sweet milk, evaporated apples, light bread, syrup. Several meatless meals (beans, potatoes, corn, bread instead)
- Better salaries for teachers and employees. “We can not maintain our present high standard of efficiency on such small wages, when the cost of living has more than doubled.”
- Certain necessary repairs and improvements in the administrations building. “Our broom shop and gymnasiums are in an underground basement, and the seepage of water through the underground walls, although they are water-proofed, has done great damage in our broom shop and is ruining the maple floor in the boys’ gymnasium. An area will have to be constructed. Moreover, the basement windows should have wire window guards, not only for protection against breakage of the glass, but for safeguarding our stores and supplies. These repairs and improvements will cost about $4000.”
- A pipe line connected with insane asylum line to pump fuel oil.
- A hospital. “This was included in our plans, for which the Thirty-fifth Legislature made appropriations, but owing to the declaration of war shortly afterwards and the enormous rise in prices of all building materials, before the contracts were let on July 1, 1917, the bids on the contemplated buildings exceeded the appropriations by about $50,000. Therefore, the construction of the hospital had to be postponed. We are now using one of our cottages for a hospital, but his arrangement should not be continued, as we need this cottage for dormitory purposes. Such a building for hospital purposes with equipment will cost $50,000.”
- “For chicken houses, coops and fences, and for a surface well for irrigation with pump and swimming pool. Many pupils can be taught the poultry business and gardening, and they should have the opportunity to learn this additional means of self-support. These improvements will cost $5000.”
- “For grading and traviating driveways, curbing, sidewalks, fencing and improving the grounds, $15,000.”
- “To exchange one delivery car and one five-passenger car for new ones, $1600."
Lists supervising teachers in cottages. Lists teachers absent during the year.
“Since our pupils, among other domestic duties performed by them, wash the dishes, it might be gratifying to know how many they break.” Cottage A broke 16 cups, 3 glasses, 12 deep dishes, 13 dessert dishes, 17 plates, 10 platters, 3 vegetable dishes, 1 saucer." Rest are similar.
Gives enrollment figures since 1872-73 to 1917-18, including dropped from last enrollment, old pupils readmitted, new pupils, total.
Cases treated by physician: abscess, bilious attack, diarrhea, fracture, hysteria, etc. Eye condition treated by oculist.
Lists provision furnished the superintendent during the year with it cost: e.g., allspice, beets, cabbage, candy, etc. $50 for butter, $53 for cream, $17 for ham, $43 for beef, $.40 for corn, $.90 for kidney beans, $1.28 for navy beans, $3.15 for green beans. Lists groceries issued to each cottage. Number of meals served: 25,971 (@11.08 cuts.) to Cottage D, 48,387 meals (@6.75 cuts.) to Cottage C.
Lists work done in laundry (items washed) 725 corset covers, 6,319 drawers, etc.
The buildings behind the men were the old girls dorms, D and E
Workers lined up in front of the old main building
The Superintendent's cottage (that still exists) is the building behind these guys.
These men are lined up at the end of the old administration building.
54th annual report Supt. EE Bramlette
Completed new Industrial Building, thereby alleviating danger of having Boys’ Industrial dept. from lower floor of boys’ dorm. Added additional fire escape, and new fire appliances. Most of wooden galleries of old building will have to be replaced—recommend with iron or concrete instead of wood.
Enrolled 99 boys and 129 girls—228 pupils. Of this 42 boys and 66girls=108 pupils were indigent. 46 boys and 52 girls=98 totally blind. 53 boys and 77 girls= 130 could see somewhat but not well enough to attend public schools. 2 boys and 9 girls returned home with good vision.
Breakdown of pupils in each dept.
“Present enrollment does not represent half the number of blind and partially blind children who should attend. “Again, the sentimental fondness of parents often keeps at home their afflicted child without training and without education.” Therefore recommend a field officer to look after (for) blind children. As well as to keep up with graduates, ex-students and adult blind. “….parents [should] be instructed as tot their duty to educate their blind children, but they must even be persuaded and induced to do so.” He would also help graduates and ex-students and adult blind be self-supporting and find buyers for their wares and emplowment [sic] for the worthy.
12 grades in literary dept., 5 grades in music and 3 grades in industrial dept. Foreign languages not taught. Industrial work required of all students.
13 graduates from literary dept.
Certs of proficiency in music: 14. (some overlap)
30 pianos in inst., including 5 of no value for playing but used for tuning. Lists pianos, locations, age, and condition.
Typing taught and permitted for all pupils above 6th grade. –use 10 machines.
Every morning begins with chapel service conducted by some member of the faculty: read a selection of scripture or other writing of ethical value, with short inspirational talk on morals, conduct, character, etc., and singing of songs. Every Sunday Sunday school with international lesson printed in NY point.
Health as a whole good. “notwithstanding the fact, that our pupils lead sedentary and inactive lives at home, and their bodies therefore are weak and easily subject to contagion, infection, or any prevailing disease…” Only 2 serious illnesses: 1 girl of frail constitution died of internal hemorrhage, one boy had a serious case of pneumonia, but recovered.
Legislature granted two physical directors instead of one (in gym).
Lists ocular surgeries and names. Incl. Iridectomy, needling for cataract, lid operation, 2 removals of eyes.
Needs: field officer, hospital, new power house and additional machinery, remodeling old buildings and making them fireproof.
Fire-proof industrial building $10,000
Dorm roof repairs $2000.
Fire protection $1715
Repair and reset pipe organ $550
New ranges and equipment of kitchens $500
Physical director for boys $540, swimming pool $2000.
Choosing items for the timeline was tough - only eleven items about our school would fit the design - So much history in the 162 years we've been in Austin. This doesn't begin to cover it all, but is a good representation of why we are who we are where we are.
What's on the timeline:
1. Our school's first home - the Neill-Cochran house. This was first occupied by Washington Hill. It was out of town, of course (like all our campuses). Hill was a surveyor and was gone for many days, leaving his wife at home. Mrs. Hill, afraid of the Commanche Indian horse trails that were a mere 15 yards behind her home, moved into a location that was safer, close to the Capitol. The Neill-Cochran house lives at 23rd and San Gabriel - now considered part of the heart of downtown Austin. Washington Hill rented his house for $900.00 a year to the state so that it could establish a blind school.
The school opened in 1856, but only had one student who arrived on December 29th - Robert McEachern. The first three students were named, 'Robert'. The next year a handful more joined the school.
2. Custer's occupation - Our school was closed during one year - at the end of the Civil War. General George Custer and his troops occupied our second home, located again out of town on land that would become the property of UT. The Blind Institute moved in 1858 after the grand school was built. Custer occupied this location during an 'uneventful' five months.
During his time in Austin, he used our FIRST home - what would become the Neill-Cochran house, as a hospital. Many ghost stories arose from that house because many soldiers died there. Custer left both places a mess, despite his strict intolerance for destruction of property within his rule over his men.
3. In 1887, at the very end of the session of Congress, a bill was introduced that created the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute for Colored Youths. This would later become the Deaf, Blind and Orphan school and in the 1960s, it would disperse its pupils to the Blind and Deaf schools, respectively. From this place came many talented teachers and students, one of which is Arizona Drane(s) who arrived with her mother (who stayed with her at school). She would later create the booming sound of Gospel music, a precursor to rock 'n roll. The school was the home of the BDO tigers, an unbeatable basketball team led by 'coach' Matthew Caldwell. The newspapers accused the players of being on steroids, but this wasn't the case. The deaf winning basketball team, however, was split up in the 60s when Caldwell was placed at the Blind School.
4. Mattie White, a black teacher for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind School was probably one of the most respected women in town at that time. She also started a school for girls.
5.Frank Rainey - who was a fine physician, appointed to his position by the governor, brought us books and expanded the Broom-making and other such trades areas for the students. However, it was E E Bramlette who was not a physician when he was nominated for the superintency, that brought a change to the 'Blind Institute' and truly made it into a school, moving us onto this piece of land in 1917. While he was superintendent, he had the name changed from the Texas Blind Institute to Texas School for the Blind, as well. He created a bigger library and filled it with books that were Braille, New York Point and Moon Type. After his stint as superintendent, he became the head of the American Printing House.
6 and 7.The opening of our school. The school was almost finished when we moved into it on October 23, 1917, but it was close enough. Bramlette talks about the task of moving from our second home - which we occupied for almost 60 years to the new one, on the spot where the school rests today. Yet the doors opened and classes started, although a little late. The structures were in the 'cottage' style, three buildings on one side the main building and three on the other side. The main building separated the boys' dorms from the girls' dorms. A new kindergarten as well as a farmer's cottage would be finished in the next few years. Bramlette made a statement about the school not being an asylum, but a school. His influence and the buildings that were created under his tenure remained until 2009 when the old campus was destroyed and new buildings with a new design replacing them. The construction project ended in 2012.
8. The time line lists these items, but of course, there are many more milestones for blind education than what is listed here.
- 1921 - The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is founded with the help of philanthropist M.C. Migel. Here is a little history of AFB from the site itself.
- 1940 - The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) was established. A blind faction felt like the AFB wasn't always working for their best interests and thus a change was needed. Now, both organizations work for more independence, greater education and resources and providing a sense of community.
- 1944 - Richard E. Hoover at the Valley Forge Hospital and Russell Williams at Hines Hospital and others develop long-cane mobility techniques. A good resource on the history of why these men were so important, read: "O&M Living History -- Where Did Our O&M Techniques Come From?" by Dona Sauerburger, COMS
- 1953 - The Nemeth Braille Mathematics Code is established. Abraham Nemeth created a special code for himself, but passed it on to another interested professor who then helped it become a good writing system for mathematics for the blind. Nemeth used it to calculated extensive formulas and worked out how standard Braille code could also be used for these complicated mathematical problems.
- 1970 - CCTVs become commercially available. Closed-Circuit Television Systems, when the camera is aimed at an object, it magnifies it for a screen attached to it. CCTVs are usually known as cameras that record in places where recording events or people is considered 'necessary'. In this case, the term is being replace with 'Video Magnifier' and refers to newer technology that allows for greater magnification much easier. Check AFB's site for a better understanding.
- 1989 - The World Wide Web revolutionizes communication through the Internet. Internet accessibility for all is still in progress, but working on this, along with a crackpot group of programmers and business leaders, is Jim Allan, the original webmaster and accessibility guru for TSBVI. In the earlier days, web accessibility was not on the radar of those who created web pages. These days, accessibility on the World Wide Web is a challenge and responsibilty for web designers and those who program for the web.
9.. Retrolenta Fibroplasia - Most theories of this particular national anomaly is that there was an idea that extra oxygen in premature babies would help them survive. This didn't work and the result was that these children were blinded or died. In fact, a large number children across the US were, in fact, blinded by this oxygen 'therapy'. This 1942 anomaly was not resolved until the early 50s, when British scientists theorized and then confirmed that the babies had been 'oxygen poisoned'. The populations of blind children grew and many schools for the blind saw a great increase in their blind populations.
10. In 1964, a Rubella (German Measles) epidemic in the United States caused children of mothers with this affliction to be born deaf and/or blind, with other problems such as heart problems, delayed growth and other medical conditions. This is the main reason that TSBVI began their Deaf-Blind program - because the population of Deaf-Blind children had increased substantially.
11. 1975 and beyond. Up until the mid-Seventies, schools for the blind mostly served only blind students. But the increase in 'other disabilities' became the responsibility of these schools when blindness was the predominant affect. In 1979, TSB changed to TSBVI and served the 'visually impaired' children as well as blind students, but the school now serves many populations and has grown exponentially within the last few years - as our Outreach department now serves close to 10,000 students through educational support for teachers and parents - across Texas.
At the same time, legislation, promoted by Natalie Barraga and signed into law by Dolph Briscoe, spelled out that children shoul learn in the 'least restrictive environment' leading schools like TSBVI to create programs for sending students back to their districts and into a regular curriculum for sighted children.
This backfired, in a good way, when later, Ann Corn and Phil Hatlen (with others) created an Expanded Core Curriculum to serve visually impaired students and to provide necessary skills for those students to flourish in the world. These skills are spelled out in the National Agenda and include orientation and mobility, socialization, technology and others.
Board report 1890
Begins with letter to governor LS Ross noting that attendance has increased fourfold since supt. began. Requesting appropriation to add to the building in the west grounds which will exhaust ground room. “…the time is near at hand when the State, if it is desired to avoid the expense of creating a new Institution, must procure new ground.”
9/1/1889-8/31/1890 enrolled 144 blind persons: 82 males, 62 females. 6 graduated. The four women finished in music, educated to teach seeing persons, and also learned to make their own clothing. Mr. Francher learned to make brooms and mattresses and to cane chairs. Mr. Merriman learned to tune pianofortes. 4 others finished prescribed courses in the trades dept.. A fifth (Mr. Edward White) finished in the trades and would have graduated in school studies but he “went home, bought himself a complete shop outfit, got Mr. Frank Holtek (one of the 4 in trades) to work with him, got his material and set to work.”
The courses of study: orthography, reading in line letter and point system—the first raised letters, the second raised dots or point—mental and written arithmetic, descriptive and physical geography, ancient and modern history, etymology, natural philosophy, English literature, algebra and geometry.
Prof. RW Lowry, principal teacher, left to take up a private school (after 8 years). Mrs. Heflen and Miss Roenbeck left because of ill health.
About ½ pupils take music. Some of the males learn to play on 2 or 3 kinds of instruments. Girls rarely learn more than 2 (piano and organ) but they have talent for most all instruments. Intention to “instruct them on such instruments as will be most useful to them pecuniarily as well as socially.” All, except a few, learn to sing huymns and engage in class singing. Piano, 39, pipe organ, 6, cabinet organ, 9, violin, 7, cornet, 6, flute, 2, clarionet, 2, piano tuning, 9, orchestral, 11, vocal lessons, 13.
Women learn sewing and crocheting; we have abandoned bead work. “The children persist in using their teeth too much and the habit is injurious.”
Spent about $2,000 rearranging and repairing the leaky roof and tower of the central part of the main buildings. Not enough funds to repair roofs of east and west wings of the main building. Need $2,500. East wing is now overcrowded with female pupils, and not room for enlarging that part of the house, necessary to build another house in the block across the street for male pupils over 10 years, and the leave the west wing of the present main building for females and little boys less than 10 years. For this $15,000 will be needed. This improvement should last for 8-10 years.
Buildings will need repainting all over, plastering must be renewed, fencing of west block needs new material and paint. Present school rooms must be changed into bedrooms for girls if room made for boys across the street, and the rooms in the west wing and in the east block must be changed into school rooms. “Nearly everyone, strangers and all, who visit us are afraid of our present chapel when there is a crowded house. …and I think the legislature should grant us money enough for a new hall on the second or first floor. The members of the legislature are very fond of attending our concerts, and I hope they will appreciate the idea presented.”
Requested appropriation to have text books printed in raised point, the “line” letter, wich in shape is just like the letter used by sighted children. Claims that extended point reading “fingers get tender and become fatigued.” Point is okay for occasional reading and by those who never learned line print, but text books should be in line print. The two point systems (NY and brl) must be used for writing and for music. Libraries should furnish books in both point and line, 50-50.
“The inclination of some of our schools to abolish line letter is based upon a spirit of restlessness which characterizes our seeing educators, who are constantly reaching after and adopting unmatured, untired, so-called improvements.”
Argues in favor of a consistent system across the country, lamenting that some schools have abolished line type and gone solely to either NY point or brl.
Long discussion of mechanics of reading. Photo of girl reading with book on her lap: right finger reads, left keeps place. Second photo of girl reading with book at perpendicular angle, again with left finger holding place while right finger reads, moving toward body, and getting a sense of the word from the palm.
Newspapers received: Bonham News, Victoria Advocate, Waxahachie Enterprise, Goodson Gazette, Staunton, Virginia, West Virginian, Tablet at Rourny, Texas Mute Ranger at Deaf and Dumb Institute and the Plaindealer at Della Plains, in the Panhandle.
Made 709-2/12 doz. Ordinary brooms, 14-9/12 doz. Hearth, brush and ceiling brooms. Brooms left on hand 9/1/1890: 67-7/12 doz. Sales: $1611.82; expenses: $1751.31.
Monthly expenses include new carriage and harness $180.05, fire protection $41.66, raised print books $104.23, clothing for pupils, $85.36, binding $49.52, one vol. Of Bancroft’s history $5.50, 35 turkey gobblers, $28, Christmas presents for pupils, $24.60, cutting hair for pupils, $12, one milk cow $40, books for library $16.25, electrotype places of buildings and grounds $42.50.
Rules for the Government of the pupils
- The pupils must not go into the parlor, nor into the hall between the office and parlor, without permission from the superintendent or some officer of the institution.
- The pupils must be prompt to rise and dress when they hear the big bell ring at 6 o’clock. Those pupils who fail to attend prayers shall not be allowed to have breakfast.
- The male pupils must not visit the apartments set apart for the females, except in company with the superintendent; and the females certainly have that delicate sense of womanly propriety which forbids that they should go to the male apartments.
- The pupils must be careful not to go into the laundry, the kitchen, the dining room, the sick room and the bath rooms without permission from the superintendent, unless they should be sent to any of these places on business.
- Pupils must not visit the residence of any citizen of Austin, or go into any part of the city without permission, and then they must be in company with some officer of the institution.
- The pupils must be prompt to take their places at the table when the bell rings at meal time; and must not engage in general conversation when in the dining room.
- The male pupils must not chew or smoke tobacco inside of the building or grounds, or anywhere else.
- The use of snuff is abominable; therefore the female pupils must not be guilt of the ugly practice.
- Swearing, using indecent language and getting intoxicated are demoralizing, and debasing in their tendencies; therefore the male pupils must not indulge in such pernicious habits; the pupils must not bring alcoholic drinks of any kind into the grounds or buildings, for nay purpose, without permission from the superintendent.
- In the male and female apartments order shall be called fifteen minutes after the retiring bell shall have been rung; then the pupils must be quiet, and must not go out of their own apartments until they hear the bell for rising.
- It shall be deemed discreditable for any pupil to converse with servants, or speak to them, except on business.
- The male and female pupils must not communicate with each other by conversation, by writing or by sending messages.
- The pupils must not go into their dormitories during the day, after breakfast, without permission from the superintendent or matrons.
- Persons who do not live in the Institution will not be allowed to read to the pupils at any time.
Note: The rules, excepting the 7th, have been in force about 15 year consecutively.
Includes notes from (biannual) Alumni assn mtg. 6/16/90. Names those present. Opened with hymn, “Nearer my God to thee” and Lord’s Prayer.
Included an essay on “What Trades are Most Profitable for Blind Persons” by Mr. WW Higgason followed by discussion by Mssrs. Lewis, Schweers, and Mitchell. Another essay on “Flowers and House-room Ornamentation” by Miss Geneva McDaniel, discussed by Dr. Rainey. Second day, an essay on “Cottage system vs. congregation system” in educational institutions, followed by majority vote favoring cottage system. Essay “Can the blind successfully learn and teach elocution.”. June 18 an “address on the higher education of the blind by Prof. RW Lowery, in which he showed very plainly that the blind are capable of obtaining a education in the classics, and of putting their knowledge to a practical use.”
Rainey moved that none but graduates of the Institution shall be admitted; none but active members be permitted to take part in the program. Passed by large majority. Thence Mr. RF Taylor’s name was stricken from the roll book.
June 19, essay “The Benefits Derived by the Blind from Association with Sighted Persons.” Meeting ran until June 19.
Lists all graduates with town. Then lists Alumni assn constitution.
Lists books in raised print. Includes “Geometry without diagrams.” From APH
Another list of books from American Bible Society, and Kneass’ Publications for the Blind in Phila. And quite a few others plus Appliances and tangible apparatus from Perkins.
Act establishing instn approved Aug. 15, 1856: $10,000 to establish an Institution for the Education of the Blin dof Texas in Austin. 5 trustees appointed by the governor. Couldn’t spend more than $5,000 per year.
$12,500 granted to buy land and build permanent school. Approved 2/11/1858.