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Northwest Missouri State University


The Wabash Train Depot with the new Fifth District Normal School in the background. Maryville's two railroads helped provide a tangible inducement to the State Normal School Committee.The Burlington Train Station.  Passenger trains arrived 6 to 10 times a day in Maryville.Nodaway Valley Bank President, James Robinson, was instrumental in getting the State Normal School Committee to Maryville, along with James Todd, editor of the Nodaway Democrat, Joe Jackson, president of the First National Bank and Nathaniel Sisson, President of Sisson Land and Loan Company.Born in Ohio on September 20, 1842, Joe moved to Nodaway County in 1843.  He served in the 12th Missouri Cavalry under General Thomas.  Joe was part of the Maryville Committee to get the Normal School.James Todd was the Editor-in-Chief of the Nodaway Democrat and one of the ringleaders involved in getting the State Officials to select Maryville as the location for the Fifth District Normal School.  The cartoon shows a caricature of James Todd using a whip.James B. Robinson was the President of the Nodaway Valley Bank and one of several influential merchants who wanted the Normal School to be located in Maryville.Flier letting people know that the law for a State Normal School in Northwest Missouri had been approved.  The flier urges the community to support efforts to obtain the Normal School in Maryville.Listing of time tables for Maryville's two railroads, the Wabash and Burlington.

Trains and Selections

A group of enterprising Maryville citizens took advantage of their train system to bring the State Selection Committee to town. The State Selection Committee was looking for a location for a state-funded Normal School. The citizens of Savannah were also vying for the institution and kept the State officials in their town past the time that the evening train would be traveling to Maryville. All seemed lost for a Normal School in Maryville.

However, Nodaway Valley Bank President James B. Robinson, The Nodaway Democrat Editor-in-Chief James Todd and Nathaniel Sisson, President of Sisson Land and Loan Company, were determined to make sure the state officials made it to town. Impressed with Maryville, its leaders, and particularly the Gaunt House and surrounding grounds for the Normal School location, the State officials did, indeed, decide to make Maryville the site for the Fifth District Normal School.