Sunday, March 30, 2014

Essay on the OSA

This essay is taken from the Peter Simon Jensen, 1872-1896, collection at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Note: This article has been typed in using the grammar and spelling used by the author. It is hand written on three sheets of paper, a sample of which is pictured above.

Essay on the Oneida S. Academy and its founders

Church Academies are constructed according to divine revelation, given to our beloved Prophet Brigham Young, in making special reference to the O.S. Academy and its founders I will give a few items gleaned from the minutes kept by the secretary of the Board of Education of this Stake, which reads as follows.
            This was done in accordance with instructions in circular No. 1, issued by the general Church Board of Education. Our first Stake Board consisted of the following named Brethren.
            Geo. C. Parkinson, Wm. H. Parkinson, Chas. M. Squires, Jas. Chadwick, and Parley P. Willey. Among the first moves made by the Board was to plan for a suitable school Building. Public meetings were held to determine when to build it in the several Wards. Delegates were elected to meet in convention and decide the matter by majority vote. This convention met in Franklin Tithing office July 27, 1889. Several Wards were voted upon as suitable place for the erection of the building. And while there were a majority of the Delegates perferred other Wards to Preston it was thought those in favor of Preston represented a majority of People.
            In order to avoid any ill feelings whatever in this matter it was decided to have the judgment of the first Presidency of the Church.  Prest. Lorenzo Snow was sent to visit the different wards and investigate in behalf of the Board and soon after his report it was decided Preston was the most suitable place in the Stake. Through the kindness of Pres. Wilford Woodruff and councilors the church architect D.C. Young was instructed to draft a plan. This he did and the plan was highly recommended by Dr. Carl G. Mayer and others.
            Desiring the hearty support of all the people throughout the entire Stake. Letters were sent to the Bishops of different wards requesting that from three to five men be appointed to represent the subject in a general Priesthood meeting held in Preston. At this meeting wich occurred July 7, 1898. The Plan drawn on paper By Bro. Young was fully exhibited to all present; and all were in favor of accepting it, contribute there means and use their influence with others to contribute their means to this worthy enterprise. Prest. Solomon H. Hale was engaged to supertend the job work wich was soon commenced. The basement excavated and on July 2nd 1890 late in the afternoon Prest. Geo C. Parkiinson dedicated the corner Stone wich was laid by himself and others under direction of master mason ??? Sommars. From that time the work steadily progressed and in Dec. 16, 1892 they commenced or was in the act of putting on the roof. the dimensions of the Building are 48X60 on the inside. Three stories high including the basement. The present condition of the School is favorable the last winter it has had an average attendance of about 200 a quite a large pescent of those being Academic Students. Owing to busy times wich come on in the spring season the amount of students have greatly decreased.
            By close observation we ned not be left in doubt as to this and similar Institution being of a Divine origin. As the sole object of building them is that all of a moral chacter who wish and are able to persue its courses with profit may be benifited and develop their mental facilities in every direction. Everything that terminates to elevate us originates from God our Eternal father, development of the head and mind is necessary. And Church schools are the agency wich this shall be brought about. We shall in some future time head the world in Education. While we do not wish to ignore the district School in any way, we hold the Academies in preference as we firmly believe they are conducted more in accordance with the principles of revealed religion. As for instance we have among the other branches of study one half an hour devoted to the study of Theology and all are requested to participate.
            A student is capable of learning more easily under the influence and guidance of the Spirit of God We hold that those who attend these schools are under a better influence than those who attend schools that are not conducted upon this basis.
            Great credit is due the People of this Stake who have so Liberally appropriated of their means to complete this Building. When taking into consideration that it has or will when comp finished cost in the neighborhood of $40,000. For all this I do not think for a moment that People feel any the poorer.
            What are the worth of the means contributed to compare with the Blessings that will be derived from this Enterprise. Yes we can already see its blessings being showered among the Youth of this Locality who attend this School. I will also add that the teachers employed are good energetic workers who work for the advancement of those in attendance. The last winter five teachers have been employed including the Music Teacher.
            May God bless and prosper this institution and increase in the hearts of the young the desire to attend it. And may the Parents see its necessity of encouraging their children to this effect.

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