The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50
Evening School. — At The Polytechnic Building, — Cor. Seventh and Chestnut Sts
At The Polytechnic Building,
Cor. Seventh and Chestnut Sts.
In an early action the O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute, as a department of the University, established free evening schools in St Louis, to meet the pressing demands of the community for general education, although its original design was merely to furnish technological instruction. Under the pressure of an existing need, it then extended educational facilities, through its evening schools, to all worthy applicants, in every branch of study, trusting to the Public School Board to relieve it finally of those studies which more appropriately belong to the common-school system. In the course of a few years that Board entered upon the work with efficiency, assuming for a time one half, and subsequently, the whole expense of the enterprise. The free evening schools of St. Louis are the direct outgrowth of the O'Fallon Institute.
During the year 1868 a fuller and permanent arrangement was made with the Public School Board whereby the elemental and popular technological studies are taught free to all applicants. The school so established is known as the "O'Fallon Polytechnic School," and is one branch of the "O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute."page 66
The O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute, therefore, as a department of the University, has a two-fold organization—the higher or more advanced studies being taught in the University buildings, corner of Washington avenue and Seventeenth street, and the more elemental at the Polytechnic building, corner of Chestnut and Seventh streets.
The University instruction is under the exclusive direction and management of the Directors and Faculty of the University, and, as a school of pure and applied science, covers the whole scientific work of the University, including such elemental instruction as circumstances may require. The Evening School is under the immediate supervision and control of the Board of Public Schools of St. Louis.
There are no fees for adimission to the evening classes, inasmuch as, through the liberality of some of our citizens, the University has been enabled, by a permanent agreement with the Public School Board, to secure perpetually free instruction, enlarged class-room facilities, and increased library and other priviliges, to all the pupils of the O'Fallon Polytechnic School, "with special reference to the wants of those engaged in, or preparing for, mechanical or other industrial pursuits."
The Institute, therefore, is now on a firm and enduring basis, effecting, even beyond the most sanguine expectations of its patrons, the early and permanent success of their beneficent views. Every apprentice, journeyman, clerk, or other person, who wishes instruction in the elements of technology, as needed for the work-shop, mines, etc., can now have page 67 the same, free of charge, in the Polytechnic School, established for the purpose, and may secure for himself library and advanced educational facilities in one or the other divisions of the Institute.
There has been no change in the plan of the Institute, but its efficiency is increased. Working in cordial co-operation, the University and the Board of Public Schools have, by a permanent contract, given to the common schools higher elevation and more enlarged usefulness, and to the University itself a closer connection with the educational needs of the times. The title of the Polytechnic building is vested in the School Board, and that odifiee is devoted to popular education—the cause for the promotion of which, in a somewhat limited sense, it was erected. All who were originally to have the benefit thereof are still included and provided for within the organization, and thus they have obtained at once what otherwise might have been postponed for an indefinite period, through lack of means.
The Ames Library remains as before, except that by its connection with the Public School Library it has more than twofold its former advantages. It will continue to bear the name of one who, in his sincere devotion to the work of educating properly the laboring classes, furnished means for effecting the end—a name which, with that of O'Fallon, will ever be associated with education in America, in every department thereof, from the common schools to the higher walks of University culture.