outstaters could not agree on a location. In the 1911 session H.C. Filley, representing Gage County, introduced a bill to establish agricultural and domestic science courses in Nebraska high schools. Such courses, he said, would be of much more benefit to the farmers and their children than another agricultural college, no matter where it was located. Leaders in agricultural education agreed that the time to extend agricultural courses into the high schools had come, but whether the best course of action was to encourage existing high schools to add agricultural courses to their curricula or whether special high schools should be created was to be a continuing subject of debate. the 1911 legislature finally agreed to finance a single agricultural high school which was to be located in the western, dry-farming section of the state, and it appropriated one hundred thousand dollars for the project. The legislators handed the administration of the new school over to the Board of Regents, because of the University's years of experience operating the School of Agriculture on the farm campus. Not unexpectedly, the hundred-thousand-dollar appropriation for the high school touched off a scramble among the Nebraska towns for the prize. Broken Bow launched an intensive campaign, its advertisements declaring that Broken Bow "is just such as town as you would select for your boy when he goes away to school." Supporters of Curtis, in Frontier County, also made a forcible campaign. The decision was up to the State Board of Public Lands, which, after thirty-three ballots, voted to locate the school at Curtis. In 1913, the Curtis School of Agriculture began operations, offering courses in agriculture and the domestic sciences, as well as traditional secondary-level courses.
Although the regents knew that the founding of the Curtis school had taken considerable steam out of the drive for an agricultural college in western Nebraska, they continued to argue that secondary instruction in agriculture should be developed in existing high schools. The legislature did turn down this path in 1913, passing the Shumway Act, which provided state aid for agricultural course, manual training, and domestic science work in the high schools; and in 1917, Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act, which provided a great incentive for vocational and agricultural training in the secondary schools. But these measures were still in the future, and in the meanwhile the regents were most unhappy that the legislature had dropped the Curtis school in their laps. They were even more concerned by the legislature's hasty creation of new substations. In 1909, the Board had initiated a Supreme Court case to test whether or not the legislature could force the University to assume direction of the Scotts Bluff substation, and the court had ruled in affirmative. Although, as has been mentioned earlier, the Board urgently requested the 1913 and 1915 legislatures not to hand the University any new duties, by 1917 the University "enjoyed" control over a fruit farm near Union and agricultural substations at North Platte, Valentine, and Scottsbluff, as well as the school at Curtis.1 in 1915 the legislature ordered the University to begin production of hog-cholera serum, and a plant was opened. Late in 1916, however, when the hog cholera outbreak seemed under control, the regents asked to be relieved of the work. "Teaching, investigation and the general diffusion of knowledge, not manufacturing or police inspection are the prime purposes of the University," the Board declared. They argued further that there were plenty of commercial plants, and that the University plant would have to be remodeled to produce serum of as high a grade of purity as that produced by commercial plants. They planned to
1 The station at Culbertson, authorized by the 1911 legislature, had been ordered sold by the 1915 legislature, and accordingly was sold in 1916.
Nobody has written a note for this page yet
Please sign in to write a note for this page