New Market Academy
BY CHARLES MARSTON FORMER PRINCIPAL
New Market is one of the most thriving country towns in East Tennessee. It is located on the main line of the Southern Railway, twenty five miles northeast of Knoxville, in a fertile agricultural section, and has about 500 inhabitants.
New Market Academy was founded in September, 1885, with the approval of the Board of Aid for Colleges and Academies, under the care and patronage of Union Presbytery, and at the solicitation of the citizens of New Market. Its object has been to fit students for college and to provide a good high school education for others. Its course of study has three departments-- primary, grammar, and academic, covering in all ten years. The instruction is thorough. The teachers are of the best to be found. The principals have all been college graduates, their entire time and energy being given to their work, some years one teacher doing the work of two.
Forty-three students have been graduated from the academic course. Over 1,500 students have been enrolled since the academy was established. They are industrious and persevering young people, who have come to learn, and are willing to work hard, and to make sacrifices in order to get an education. In 1889, the present building was erected at a cost of about $4000, more than half of which was given by citizens of New Market and vicinity.
The academy has no endowment. Until recently it has received aid from both the Home and College Boards. The Home Board, owing to its heavy debt, has been compelled to withdraw its aid. To keep expenses within the income, the salary of the principal has been reduced and the cost of tuition increased.
The present outlook is brighter than for two years past. The attendance is 120, quite an increase over that of last year. A cooperative boarding club has been organized by the students furnishing good board at about $4.50 a month.
Union Presbytery last spring appointed Prof John G Newman, of Maryville College, financial agent for the academy He was instructed to visit all the churches within the Presbytery to solicit contributions to build a dormitory and to start an endowment.
There have been pledged thus far about $1, 500, payable one third annually.
The academy :
1 A dormitory for boys. Rooms for students in private homes are hard to find. A house has been rented this year for the use of young ladies, but there are no accommodations for boys.
2 Books and money for our library. We have a few good books, but most of the volumes in our library are of little value-- donations that were made to relieve the donor. We need books of reference works, of standard authors, and good story books for children. If each one who reads this article would contribute one book of real merit, he would be none the poorer and our library would be richer.
3 Scholarships. There are bright boys and girls in reach of this school, anxious for an education who cannot pay for the tuition ($1 to $2.25 a month according to grade). Their parents are too poor to aid them. The academy cannot give them free tuition because the teachers salaries are for the most part dependent on the tuition fees. These worthy young people need aid now more than after they enter college. If they are helped through the academy, they can teach in the public schools and so put themselves through college. Twenty-two dollars a year would pay their tuition in the highest grade in the academy.
4. Endowment This would enable us to lower the tuition, pay our teachers promptly, double our attendance, and widen our range of influence. An endowment of $5000 or $10,000 given to a school like this will do as much good as ten times that amount given to some wealthy college.
NEW MARKET FOLK BY PROF JOHN G NEWMAN MARYVILLE COLLEGE
The class of people reached by New Market Academy is not what we call "Mountain Whites". This remark by no means indicates that we are better than they; indeed we are closely related to the "Mountain Whites", many of them are our first cousins. We are both mostly of Scotch Irish descent. But our geographical position will not permit us to claim their name. New Market, like Knoxville, is in the great Valley of East Tennessee To the south thirty miles away rise the Allegheny Mountains about as far north is the Cumberland range we are in the valley.
There are two general classes of our people the well to do and the poorer. This draws a line almost dividing the population into halves. The better class consists mostly of farmers who are educating their children in our schools. The other half is made up of a class who own their homes, such as they are, and a class who have nothing at all, but depend upon the wages they can make as farm hands. Many of these people appreciate the value of education and try to put their children in school. Some are careless and do not help themselves as they should. But most of this poorer half of our people are worthy of better advantages than they now have. They are earnest, hardworking, Christian people too poor however to pay the required tuition in our academy. Hence the need of an endowment.
(Source:The Church at Home and Abroad, Volume 19, edited by Henry Addison Nelson, Albert B. Robinson, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1896, pp. 157-158)