Newspaper Archive of
Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
September 23, 1982     Cheney Free Press
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September 23, 1982

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100 years of history .,rvices 100 years is time. Long the course of of nation- ;ment of evolution of forms, not long enough, ible de- school now Washington prime ex- ago, Che- on the frontier. part of are inexorably intertwined. Where one leads, the other must inevitably follow. As either grows, the other grows. In 1881, Cheney honored an East Coast transportation czar, Benjamin P. Cheney, by changing the community's name. He, in turn, donated some $10,000 to establish a school -- something the com- munity desperately needed. The hand-in-glove relation- ship began. reaches out and The uni- disciplines when the The story k the university i : /i ii ii i  i ! : Eastern Washington University celebrated its 100th birthday last Oct. 23 with a special celebration. Above, Governor John Spellman cuts the cake with EWU President Dr. H. George Frederickson. Below, the two are by then Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bruce McPhaden in the planting of the Spell- man Spruce in the new mall area south of Patterson Hall. Over the years, both school and community have become far more than their founders imagined. Here then, in words and pictures, is a chronology of the develop- ment of Eastern Washington University: The 1880's lS82--Benjamin P. Cheney Academy opened, following a gift of $10,000 from the Amer- ican Express founder and donation of land from North- ern Pacific railroad. 1883--Mr. Cheney visits his namesake town and Aca- demy. 1884--James W. Dow of Spangle became the third principal of the Academy. , 1885--Tuition charges were raised: $6.50 per term for the primary courses, $9.50 for Common English. 1886--Enrollment in the lit- tle academy--really the com- mon school of its day--had grown to 200 students. 1887--The Town of Cheney decides to build and operate its own school, independent of the academy ...... 1888--The first clas - four - graduates from the Aca- demy. 1889--As Washington be- comes a state, plans to trans- form the struggling academy into a state normal school are formulated. The 1890s 1890--In January, the last term at the academy opens; by fall, the new state's first normal school opens with Mr. W.W. Gillette as princiPal. He had been superintendent of school in Tucson. 1891-The Normal School building is destroyed by fire, classes move into the Pom- eroy Building in downtown Cheney. 1892-The First class - three - receive degrees from the Normal. 1893-The Normal moves in- to a newly-constructed build- ing, courtesy of the Cheney Schools - the Normal's prob- lems with vetoes of state appropriations begin. 1894--Despite shaky fin- ances and a very uncertain future, commencement for the Normal was held as usual in the spring. 1895--The governor signs the appropriations bill for the Normal and construction starts on a new building. 1896--Classes open in the new building in September, following a community squabble over awarding of the contract and default by the contractor. 1897-Following a guberna- torial veto of the Normal's appropriations bill, the school closes its doors at the end of spring term. !i!i::,!ii: I Fire of 1912 "We shall have to send the students home and we shall probably never get them back again" was the reection of president Noah Showalter to the fire which destroyed the admlnistretion building early In the moming of April 24, 1912. The only remains of the structure, eventually replaced by Showalter Hall, are the "Herculean Pillars" at the end of "Hello Walk". The photo here Is the demolition of part of the building following the fire. 1898--After a year out of business - and with financial support from the community - the Cheney Normal opens for classes in the fall. lS99-Intense Olympia lob- bying brings an appropria- tions bill - and a signature from the Governor - the school's future seems assured. The 1900s 1900--J.H. Miller is appoint- ed principal of the Cheney Normal School. 1901--State appropriations hit the $45,000 level, which will triple by the end of the decade. 1902--First recorded foot- ball game - Normal defeats Davenport High School 53-0. 1903-The first annual - "Green and White" - is pub- lished at the Normal School. 1904-Henry E. Smith is hired - the first athletic direc- tor in the school's history. 1905-Kindergarten is added to the Training School opera- tions. Basketball for men be- .omes part of the athletic program. 1906--"A Pai of Specticals" - believed the first play pre- ;ented by the school - is staged. 1907-Two city blocks on the northside of the 13-acre cam- pus are purchased for future Normal expansion. 1908-The Normal's Train- ing School Building is com- pleted at a cost of $65,000. 1909--Legislature abolishes tuition for all students. A $5 library fee is required. The 1910s 1910--Noah D. Showalter named Normal School princi- pal. 1911-.The Normal starts the gradual phasing-out of high school level studies, only stu- dents from communities without high schools are now enrolled in such courses. 1912-Early in the morning of April 24, fire destroys the main building of the school. Cont. on next page