Grants Pass Schools Offer Typing Classes in 1906


Friday, Dec. 2, 2016


Lynda Demsher


3 073

The Josephine County Board of Education in 1906 deemed it necessary to offer typing classes in high school after businessmen complained about the poor quality of typewritten correspondence.  Hand-written correspondence, they said, could conceal spelling and punctuation mistakes, but typewritten letters gave them embarrassing prominence. 

The board realized that not all students would have access to business college, so it decided it was best to provide the training in high school.

At the same time, the district added drawing to the curriculum, but with low expectations of creating many artists.  The board decided every man and woman should be able to sketch out a house plan or further explain something with a picture, so it hired a prominent Chicago artist living in Grants Pass to teach the class. 

Enrollment in the county schools had reached 600 students, but more were expected after the hop harvest and when the sawmills and mines closed for the winter.

Superintendent R.R. Turner noted the late-starting students had a dropout rate of about 80 percent.  He said a student lacking the ambition to enroll when school starts rarely had the energy to keep up with studies.

Source:  Grants Pass Schools Lead Southern Oregon." Rogue River Courier, 14 Sept. 1906 [Grants Pass Oregon] , p. 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers. Accessed 18 Nov. 2016.



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