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Crew Normal College

was located in Lamar County, Alabama at Crews Depot.

Crew Normal College - was established in 1889 when Dr. W. M. Blalock from Tennessee came to the area looking for a site suitable for a college where the temperature was mild and the water plentiful. He found the site at Crews Depot and began construction of the college, with aid from the local citizens, who raised $2,500. It was decided by the people that the college should be named for the person who contributed the most money. Tidance Crew donated the most, which was $600.00, so the college was named Crew Normal College after him.

Crew Normal College’s first term began in October, 1890. Courses were taught for preparation for careers such as business and teaching. There were other classes taught such as art. There was a boardinghouse for the students who paid from 7 to 10 dollars per month. Professors at the first term were all sons and daughters of W. M. Blalock who served as principal.

In February of 1891, Crew Normal was incorporated and sold to T. Jack Young and Ed L. Young. They opened the second session. Improvements were made by the Youngs and enrollment increased to sixty in 1891.

In 1893, Crew Normal offered instruction in science, math, English, languages, music, art, bookkeeping and telegraphy. The cost for a term was $75.00 to $100.00, which included board, tuition and books.

In 1895, a new administrator assumed duties at the college. His name was John M. Walton. He was assisted by his wife, Addie. The Waltons changed the name of the college to Trideka, which is Greek for the number “thirteen” and  it represented the thirteen gentlemen who had donated money and time to the college. It remain Trideka until it burned in 1904.

From the Vernon Courier , May 29, 1895. “ Continental Concert” - The closing concert of the Crews Normal College came off last Friday night, in presence of an appreciative audience. The students were in costume of from one to two hundred years ago. Mr. Lee Henson and Miss Annie Elliott personated George and Martha Washington, and did some excellent singing. They made splendid showing in these characters. Miss Tollie Henson, as an Irish peasant girl brought down the house singing, “Coming thro’ the Rye”. Miss Mamie Brock and Master Frank Wise in highland costume, sang  "Blue Bells of Scotland", the rendering was most artistically done. Miss Lizzie Henson as Mary, Queen of Scotts, gave a fine rendition of “The Last Rose of Summer”. Miss Henson in dress and features would have taken a picture at same time it would have been hard to tell which was the Queen. A minuet of 1776 was nicely executed by Blackman and John Walton, John was dressed in costume of a young lady of Miss Ella Crew as Marie Antoinette, sung "Robin Dair", with a well-trained voice which for sweetness and clearness is not heard, save from professionals. Lillie Brock as a Bavarian maid sang :Buy a Broom”, with a telling effect. Mr. James Crew, as Andrew Jackson and Tollie Henson as the peasant girl regaled the audience with a humourous song. Miss Bessie Stanford as Pocahantus gave a nice recitation, and with Tidie Crew as Powhattan did some clear acting. Poor old maids of 1876 by Misses Mamie Brock, Annie Elliott, Tollie Henson, Lillie Brock, Bessie Stanford Zula - - with song and acting brought down the house. “Things I don’t like to See”, a song by Blackman Walton, was highly appreciated by the audience. Lord Lovell by Mrs. Usery, as Lady Nancy Bell, was a plaintive air well rendered. To these were added a number of pieces and characters equally as entertaining. The costumes of Powhattan, Pocahontus, George Washington, General Jackson and the highland Lad and Lassie was artistically gotten up. None were more natural and life like than Miss Zula Clearman, who as Japanese girl looked demure and natural as one of the native beauties. Special mention ought to be made also of the singing and acting of John Walton, little Rena S. Bankhead and several others. The affair was somewhat new and novel and reflected very great credit on the teachers of the school. Of Mrs. Walton who has charge of the music department, each patron and the general public are unstinted nice sayings.

An effort will be made to have the concert repeated at Vernon at an early day where they will be greeted by a large and appreciative audience".


Note from MS B:  If you have a better picture of the college, I would like a copy.

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