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"Greenville Winner of Training School", Daily Reflector, 12 July 1907
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A Hard Fought Battle Goes to the Progressive Capital of Pitt County
Greenville has won the location of the East Carolina Teachers Training
School after a long drawn out contest in which eight of the best towns in
Eastern North Carolina participated. It was a contest worth winning, and
that Greenville was chosen is proof that in Pitt county there is progress
and prosperity, and a determination to succeed.
The decision came yesterday afternoon after the State Board of Education
held a morning and afternoon session, and the news was heard with delight
by Senator J.L. Fleming, ex-Senator F.G. James and County Superintendent
of Public Instruction W.H. Ragsdale who were here in charge of the
interests of Greenville and Pitt county; the town having voted $50,000 and
the county 50,000 to secure the location of the school. The good news was
at once wired to Greenville and other places in Pitt. The representatives
of the places which had lost stood defeat gamely and are not sore over the
The State Board of Education -- there being present Governor Glenn, Lieut.
Governor Winston, Secretary of State Grimes, Auditor
Dixon, Treasurer Lacy and Superintendent of Public Instruction Joyner with
Attorney General Gilmer absent -- during the morning
session heard presented briefly the claims of Greenville, Kinston, Rocky
Mount and Washington, which also presented written bids, while written
bids were also on hand from Edenton, Elizabeth City, New Bern and Tarboro.
For over an hour after this the Board was in executive session and at 1:15
adjourned, one member saying, "We are all up in the air." It was learned
that the choice had narrowed down between Kinston and Greenville, with
three votes each, and that at one time Rocky Mount had received two votes.
The Board met at three o'clock again and by four o'clock it was announced
that Greenville had won. No report as to how the members voted could be
obtained, but it is said that one member finally came over to Greenville,
this giving it four votes to Kinston's two and winning for Greenville, the
vote being then made unanimous. When the vote was a tie Governor Glenn as
chairman, having voted as a member, of course declined to untie the knot.
The first vote is said to have been Rocky Mount, 1; Kinston, 2;
To secure the location Greenville voted $50,000, Pitt county $50,000. From
this $100,000 the expenses of the election are to be deducted and the cost
of the site of 43 acres, at $200 an acre to be deducted, this making
Greenville offer about $90,000 and a site, which is said to be a most
The State Board of Education had before it eight propositions to vote upon,
some of these double barrelled ones. In brief these were as follows:
Edenton -- $25,000 cash and 88 acres.
Greenville -- $90,000 cash and a choice of four sites of from 25 to 48
Kinston -- Two propositions; (1) $25,000 cash, $10,000 in lights and water,
87 acres, the Rhodes and Rountree buildings; (2) $61,000 cash, $10,000 in
lights and water, 51 acres, the Rhodes and Rountree buildings.
New Bern -- $25,100 cash, with sites ranging from 25 to 60 acres.
Tarboro -- $30,000 cash, $10,000 in lights and water for 10 years, and site
of 46 acres.
Washington -- $95,000 cash, and site of 150 acres and 200 acres.
Rocky Mount -- $25,000 cash and site of 40 acres.
Elizabeth City -- $62,500 cash and choice of six sites of from 25 to 45
Lieutenant Governor Winston made the announcement of the final outcome to
an anxious company of representatives from the several contesting towns on
the capitol grounds at 3:30 o'clock. Indicative of the good feeling
prevailing among all the towns it was noticed that as soon as the
announcement was made, the three Greenville representatives,
Superintendent W.H. Ragsdale State Senator James L. Fleming and ex-Senator
F.G. James, of Pitt county, were the recipients of cordial
The truth is, the warmth of the hand shaking congratulations from Messrs.
E.L. Daughtride, R.B. Davis, Jr., and W.S. Wilkinson, of Rocky Mount; J.W.
Grainger and Plato Collins, of Kinston, and Superintendent Harry Howell,
of Washington, all representatives of rival towns, was suggestive of a
feeling of relief from a burden no less than philosophy under defeat.
To the credit of the Greenville representatives it can be truthfully said,
that although their county of Pitt and town of Greenville had bid the
remarkable cash price of nearly one hundred thousand dollars, they were
jubilant as well as magnanimous in victory, and expressed the utmost
satisfaction at having the privilege of showing the balance of the State,
and the world that there would be no ______ in enthusiasm, no failure to
more than measure up to the exacting demands.
While Prof. Ragsdale and Col. James looked well pleased, Senator Fleming
was literally beaming with delight. He, it was, who officially stood the
brunt of the fight in the senate for the enactment of the law. Supported
by Governor Jarvis, Supt. Ragsdale, ex-Senator James and Blow and a
hundred other leading Pitt county men, Senator Fleming had a local backing
which practically stormed the legislature into passing the law.
One among the many moral effects of this decision will be the feeling of
contentment in all sections, that Greenville was a fair victor, because
she made a royal offer and royally sustained it: that a better knowledge
of this real empire, this eastern county of Pitt, one of the most
historical and financially massive in North Carolina's rich domain.
Contrary to the action of the session of June 5th, the board held an open
meeting at which not only representatives from the cities interested, but
all parties were admitted.
The towns were taken alphabetically, Greenville coming first,
Superintendent W.H. Ragsdale, speaking for Greenville, being ably seconded
by Senator Fleming and ex-Senator James, made a splendid presentation of
the claims of Pitt county. He said the original bid was unequivocal,
unobscure and could be understood by all men, and Greenville had no
further offer to make, to wit: $90,000 cash and the choice of four
splendid sites. He disclaimed responsibility on the part of friends of the
school for criticism of the board from failing to award the school at
regular advertised meeting in June.
Short arguments for Greenville were made by Senator Fleming and ex-Senator
Kinston was next to the bat, with Clerk of the Superior Court Plato Collins
and Capt. J.W. Grainger.
They offered cash $61,000, the Rountree site of land including the Rhodes
Military school, electric light and water free for ten years, the whole
amounting to $96,000.
Rocky Mount, through Messrs. R.B. Davis, Jr., E.L. Daughtridge and W.S.
Wilkerson, showed Rocky Mount's death record to be the lowest in the
State, its water fine, and stuck to the original offer of $25,000 cash and
a forty acre site, dwelling on it, and the fact of its being the Gate City
of the East.
Superintendent Harry Howell was the only representative from Washington,
but he counted for half a dozen. He presented the choice of two site, one
of 150 acres, one of 133 acres, and $95,000 in cash.
Although disclaiming credit of oratory, he suggested to the board that the
school should be located in the section where "there had been enthusiasm
from first to last and not enthusiasm recently born for local gain."
Greenville men smiled at this, while Kinston's delegates not only smiled,
but uncrossed their legs.
There was a lot of good natured badinage about the water, the
healthfulness, mosquitoes, the elevation above sea level, etc., of the
different towns, Rocky Mount claiming the banner health and water and
elevation record, Kinston the site and water and health, Washington the
best of all and Greenville out of sight.
But the contest was over at 3:30 and everybody accepted the result with
That Greenville should have won seems to fit in with the logic of event by
which the establishment of the East Carolina Teachers
Training School was authorized, for the bill providing for the school was
introduced by Senator J.L. Fleming of Pitt.
The Board of Trustees of the East Carolina Teacher's Training School are
State Superintendent J.Y. Joyner, chairman, ex officio, ex-Governor T.J.
Jarvis, of Greenville; I.T. Turlington, of Smithfield; Y.T. Ormond, of
Kinston; J.C. Parker, of Trenton; J.B. Leigh, of Elizabeth City; J.T.
Bannerman, of Burgaw; J.O. Carr, of Wilmington, and T.H. Battle of Rocky
Mount (resigned) vacancy not yet filled. -- Raleigh News and Observer.
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