Days Gone By - stories from the past

Daphne State Normal College – [see film] was a college specifically for teachers

Daphne State Normal College ca. 1900 – main building

Daphne State Normal College ca. 1900 - main building
Daphne State Normal College ca. 1900 – main building

 Normal School established to educate teachers

Daphne State Normal School was a “Class B” Normal School, permanently established in the town of Daphne, Baldwin County, “for the education of white male and female teachers.” The governor, superintendent of education and the president of the school, ex officio, and six trustees appointed by the Governor, were named as a board of control. Permission was given to establish, in connection with the institution, a public or another school.

An appropriation of $2,500 annually from the State treasury was made for support and maintenance, “upon condition that the court of county commissioners of Baldwin County shall furnish free of charge a suitable building and grounds for said normal school, and place said building and grounds under the complete control of the board of trustees.” To meet this condition Baldwin County deeded to the State the old county courthouse, a large two-story brick building, slate roofed, of modern construction and well located. The citizens of Daphne made cash and pledged contributions aggregating $5,500. The moving spirits in securing the establishment of the school were Dr. J. A. B. Lovett, who subsequently became president, Captain James W. O’Neal, and Hon. S. C. Jenkins.

A Graduate talks about Daphne State Normal School

Opened in 1907

The school opened on October 1, 1907. It has carried on its work continuously, following the regulations and ideals projected by the State board of trustees, appointed under act of April 18, 1911. A summer school was maintained, in order to afford teachers and students an opportunity for restful study, in a wholesome and healthy environment, and to provide, by means of lectures, inspiration and healthful stimulus.

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Academic, business and music departments were maintained. A training school was conducted, consisting of the seven grades of the public school of the town of Daphne. They afford an opportunity for observation work by the senior normal students. A lyceum course was offered annually to afford diversion and instruction. The “Washington” and the “Lee” literary societies were conducted by the students, and through them was given an opportunity to develop ease and grace in public speech, power in debate, and exercise in parliamentary procedure.

The legislature, April 13, 1911, made an additional supplementary appropriation of $2,500 annually for four years to be used for the purchase of necessary lands, for the erection of new buildings, and for their furnishing and equipment. At the same session ,an amendment was adopted to the general provision for the maintenance of the State normal schools, directing an annual appropriation of $5,000 to be set aside for the school at Daphne. Following this additional aid, a department of manual training was added. A dormitory was also provided in 1911.

College Annual called the Nymph

A small but well selected library has been built up. The college annual, the first number which appeared in 1912, is called “The Nymph.”

On September 30, 1917, its reports to the State Superintendent of Education showed buildings and site valued at $35,000; equipment, $5,000; 7 teachers; 125 pupils, of which 75 were in the model school, and 50 in the normal work; 2,500 volumes in library, valued at $2,500; 9 Alabama counties and 5 states represented among pupils; and State appropriation of $5,000.

Presidents.—Dr. J. A. B. Lovett, 1907-08; Prof. B. B. Baker, 1908-15; and Prof. Hilary Herbert Holmes, 1915—.

Daphne State Normal School continued to operate until 1940 when it closed and all files transferred to Livingston State College in Alabama.



  1. Constitution, 1901, sec. 73;
  2.  Code, 1907, sec. 1761;
  3. General Acts, 1907, p. 327; Local Acts. 1907, p. 414; 1911, pp. 404, 416, 494; 1915, p. 846;
  4. Catalogues, 1907-1917;
  5. Summer school announcements, 1912-1917;
  6. The Nymph, 1912 and 1913.

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FreeHearts: 2nd edition A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love Series Book 3)Inspired by true events, Col. John Washington (ancestor of President George Washington), Randall Revell, Tom Cottingham, Edmund Beauchamp ward off Indian attacks and conquer the wilds of Maryland’s Eastern shore in 17th century colonial America in this historical novel.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. This is wonderful. I never heard of this school. Thanks for sharing.

  2. my grand dad and a brother of his went there after WWI . both taught Ag. another brother taught 6th or 8th grade.

  3. My Aunt Mary went there, don’t know the year but it was probably in the 20’s.

  4. My mother attended that school and told me many stories about both it and how she had to get to it from her home in Washington County. I’m not sure what years she would have attended, but do know she was born in 1901. Her name was Ruth Beech.

  5. […] code of 1907 and is the third county seat the county has had since 1809. Blakely was the first, and Daphne the second. Bay Minette was chosen by the legislature, February 5, 1901. In 2001, the Baldwin […]

  6. my grand dad attended this school

  7. Amazing post very informative

  8. Does the building still stand?

  9. My grandfather was an instructor there.

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