Mail Tribune 100
Oct. 25, 1914
The several women's clubs of the city are uniting in a plan for a monster rally in behalf of the Southern Oregon Normal School to be held at the Library next Thursday night. A splendid program of music and speakers is being arranged. The women of Medford are awake to the fact that this school belongs to all in this part of the state and has an important bearing on the efficiency of our schools, those of Medford in particular.
"Not because it is a Southern Oregon institution, but because we want better common schools," was the key note of a strong address by Ben Sheldon before a meeting held under the auspices of the Parent-Teachers association at the Presbyterian church last night.
"Normal schools are a fundamental part of our common school system and regulate its efficiency," declared the speaker. He analyzed the normal school's function and pointed out how its influence was brought to bear powerfully on the rudimentary schools. He quoted C.E. Spence, master of the state grange, in saying: "The normal school comes closest to the average citizen, for it trains the teachers who train our children. Good schools are only possible by having trained teachers."
The speaker emphasized the fact that a simple consideration of economy required that the $5,200,000 spent in Oregon annually on common schools must be through trained teachers to bring the taxpayers an equivalent in value. The experience of other states that have proven that a normal school's field of service is necessarily limited were mentioned.
A comparison was made between Oregon with one normal school where 80 per cent of the applicants for teachers licenses had had no education above the eighth grade, and California, with eight normals, where 85 percent of the teachers are normal trained.
The speaker concluded with a rousing appeal for a united front by Jackson County in support of the measure, No. 12, to reopen the Southern Oregon Normal at Ashland.
Through Democratic newspapers and Democratic politicians and office-holders, the public continues to hear of the secret and sinister program for doing violence to the direct primary of Oregon.
But let us see how the primary has been or is being violated. The spirit of the direct primary has been most grossly wronged by Dr. C.J. Smith and his crowd. His nomination is the direct result of a put-up job by the West-Chamberlain machine. He was nominated by a backroom assembly. He was hand-picked to run the little gang that seeks to run Oregon politics. He was forced upon the Democratic party. His nomination is the genuine fruit of ring methods. Chamberlain names West and West names Smith. There was never a bolder deal in Oregon.