1880s

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Events include: economic boom, Prohibition movement, advent of electric lighting, Great Blizzard of '88, division of Africa (Berlin Conference), commercial production of the phonograph, invention of Coca-Cola, motion pictures, and the automobile

1880: Women make up 80% of elementary school teachers in the U.S.

Cottey Presidents:
Virginia Alice Cottey (1884-1922, 1923-1929)

Students in front of Main Hall, c. 1980s Students in front of Main Hall, 1880s.

Virginia Alice Cottey, c. 1890 Virginia Alice Cottey, c. 1890.

1883

Cottey Sisters Visit Nevada

Virginia Alice Cottey and her sister, Dora, travel to Nevada, Missouri to inspect the town and convince business owners to donate land for a new girls' school.

Main Hall, 1884 Main Hall, 1884.

1884

Vernon Seminary Opens

Main Hall opens its doors as "Vernon Seminary," a day and boarding school for girls, on six acres of Major Prewitt's land on the west side of town.

1885

First Nutting Party

October: The school's first nutting party takes place at Marmiton bottoms, where students pick pecans and black walnuts. This becomes an annual tradition.

Note Smuggling

Student Kate Wight smuggles a note from a boy to fellow student Molly. The note, which asked Molly out to see Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is confiscated by Dora Cottey. From then on, no one may visit a boarder's room without written permission from V.A. Cottey.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Two students ask to see Uncle Tom's Cabin but V.A. Cottey forbids it, believing that actors lead immoral lives.

1886

Name Changed to "Cottey College"

The name of the school is officially changed to "Cottey College." (Nevadans had been calling it that for years.)

Honors System Instated

An honors system is established. Any student with an average grade of 95 or above receives 50% off next year's tuition.

Sam Stockard Comes to Cottey

V.A. Cottey meets Sam and Katie Stockard, her future husband and stepdaughter, when Sam takes Katie to attend Cottey. Katie is very young and Virginia Alice takes care of her personally.

1887

First Graduate

The first graduate of Cottey College is Olive Gatewood of Nevada.

John & George Stockard Come to Cottey

John and George Stockard (Alice Cottey's future stepsons) begin attending Cottey.

A Nevada street car, c. 1910 An electric street car heads to Lake Park, c. 1910.

Nevada Gets Electricity

Electricity comes to Nevada.

Street Cars

Horse-drawn street cars begin running past Cottey to the springs. (They switch to electric cars at the turn of the century.)

1888

Scarlet Fever Epidemic

February: An epidemic of scarlet fever hits Nevada. The school is quarantined from February 1 to 16.

Christmas Holidays Canceled

Alice cancels this and future Christmas vacations. She is troubled by students playing card games and going to dances during winter break, as well as returning to school with colds and indigestion. Winter breaks would not return until 1902.

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