Peru State College

Peru State College was founded in 1867 as Nebraska’s first college and was the third teacher education institution established west of the Missouri River. For more than a century, thousands of people have crossed the Campus of a Thousand Oaks to become teachers and leaders in Nebraska and throughout the nation.

1867-06-20 00:00:00

Became Nebraska State Normal School

Opened as the brand-new state's first state supported college, the Normal School was primarily established to train educators.

1867-10-24 19:27:54

J.M. McKenzie

J.M. McKenzie becomes the first principal of the Normal School.

1867-10-24 21:40:12

First Classes Held

First Classes Held at Nebraska State Normal School with 32 Pupils.

1870-05-01 00:00:00

Two students receive diplomas from the State Normal School

1871-01-10 13:01:12

Henry H. Straight

J.M. McKenzie was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Henry H. Straight succeeded McKenzie.

1871-09-05 06:45:36

A.N. Williams

Straight was relieved of his command and A.N. Williams arrived in Peru to be the next principal.

1872-09-21 22:00:00

Gen. Thomas J. Morgan

The Board of Education was displeased with William's performance so they hand-picked the next principal, Thomas J. Morgan.

1873-01-01 00:00:00

Normal "on the hill" was built

This building was known as the castle. It housed early education classes.

1874-04-17 10:04:30

W.E. Wilson (Interim)

Wilson acted as interim principal until the next principal was able to arrive.

1874-07-10 11:36:18

Azel Freeman

Principal Azel Freeman's stay at Peru was brief and was with the school only until the beginning of the 1875-1876 term.

1875-09-22 15:27:36

Albert Nichols

Following Freeman was principal Albert Nichols. His stay was also short and left the school in October 1875.

1875-10-07 03:18:36

S.R. Thompson

S.R. Thompson was superintendent of the Agricultural College at Lincoln before he was elected principal at Peru. His stay ended in 1877 when became State Superintendent.

1877-01-01 21:40:12

1877 Tuition Bill

A bill is pushed through to charge all students a $5 matriculation fee to buy more books. This was the only tuition at the time.

1877-02-07 23:38:24

Dr. Robert Curry

Dr. Robert Curry came from the post of deputy state superintendent of public instruction in Pennsylvania. He retired in 1883 when the enrollment totaled 318.

1883-01-17 16:47:06

George Farnham

Farnham left his superintendency of the Council Bluffs Schools to lead Peru for the next ten years.

1885-01-01 21:40:12

"Golden Years"

Due to the school's rapid growth, these years were considered the "Golden Years"

1889-01-01 21:40:12

1889 New Library and Heating Plant

The Legislature appropriated $13,000 for a library building and a new heating plant.

1889-01-01 21:40:12


Out of the 556 students attending Peru's college, 382 were women.

1893-01-05 12:42:18

Prof. A. Wellington Norton

Norton came to Peru all the way from New York. He was previously staffed at the Normal School at Oswego. Under his leadership, music became a prominent offering.

1896-01-06 06:09:54

James A. Beattie

Under Beattie's leadership and administration, summer school resumed and the first telephone line came to town.

1897-01-01 21:40:12

Mt. Vernon Hall Rebuilt

The Mt. Vernon Dormitory was reconstructed after a fire destroyed much of it.

1899-06-17 08:32:42

1899 Summer School

160 students were enrolled in summer school.

1900-06-14 16:47:42

1900 Summer School

331 students were enrolled in summer school.

1900-08-10 05:24:36

Dr. W.A. Clark

Before becoming principal of Peru, Clark was a teacher from 1895-1898.

1902-01-01 00:00:00

1902 Golden Rod Yearbook

1904-08-24 16:32:24

Prof. J.W. Crabtree

Crabtree graduated in 1887 and was the first Peru graduate to head the College.

1907-01-01 00:00:00

1907 Oak Leaf Yearbook

1910-01-01 00:00:00

1910 Peruvian Yearbook

1910-06-06 10:17:06

D.W. Hayes

Replacing Crabtree after his resignation was D.W. Hayes. He was a member of the Board of Education and superintendent of the Alliance schools.

1911-01-01 00:00:00

1911 Peruvian Yearbook

1911-04-17 00:00:00

New Administration Building Finished

The completion of the new administration building was finished.

1913-01-01 00:00:00

1913 Peruvian Yearbook

1914-01-01 00:00:00

1914 Peruvian Yearbook

1915-01-01 00:00:00

1915 Peruvian Yearbook

1917-01-01 00:00:00

1917 Peruvian Yearbook

1917-01-10 16:44:24

T.J. Majors Building Completed

The T.J. Majors Campus School was completed in January, 1917.

1917-04-06 03:37:30

U.S. Enters World War I

1918-01-01 00:00:00

1918 Peruvian Yearbook

1918-03-25 21:35:42

Prof. E.L. Rouse

Prof. E.L. Rouse was already a member of the faculty when he became president.

1919-01-01 00:00:00

1919 Peruvian Yearbook

1920-01-01 00:00:00

1920 Peruvian Yearbook

1921-01-01 00:00:00

1921 Peruvian Yearbook

1921-06-01 21:40:12

Nebraska State Teachers College at Peru

Nebraska State Normal School changed its name to Nebraska State Teachers College at Peru.

1921-06-06 19:56:42

Peru Summer School

Summer school courses for State Normal School, June 6-July 29, 1921. Includes panorama of campus.

1921-12-18 17:16:48

Prof. A.L. Coviness

Succeeding Rouse was Prof. A.L. Coviness, superintendent of the Kearney schools.

1922-07-14 00:32:06

New Auditorium Built

1923-01-01 00:00:00

1923 Peruvian Yearbook

1923-02-27 23:33:54

W.R. Pate

W.R. Pate is the longest serving president of Peru State history.

1924-01-01 00:00:00

1924 Peruvian Yearbook

1926-01-01 00:00:00

1926 Peruvian Yearbook

Peru State College

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