A. A Reform School

In 1893, the Seventeenth Arizon Territorial Legislature authorized a "Reform School" to be built to instruct boys (the Territory's "viscious youth") from the ages of eight to sixteen in the trades and in general education. The Nineteenth Territorial Legislature then decided to use the building, constructed by this time, as a ward for Arizona's mentally ill. However, an insane asylum had opened in Phoenix in 1887. Phoenix did not want a competing facility in Flagstaff. According to the Phoenix Enterprise, "[A]ll physicians were agreed that Phoenix was the proper place for all the insane people, and that no sane men would permit any of them to be sent to Flagstaff." Accordingly, in 1895, Governor Hughes recommended that the federal government should assist in creating a National Summer School of Science, with the empty building serving as its headquarters. The first summer session was in 1896, with Lowell Observatory serving as the major drawing card in attracting academics from around the country. Concurrently, Prescott, spurred on by the Territorial Normal School in Tempe, agitated for a normal school of its own. Amidst this parochial bickering, a Phoenix editorial suggested using Flagstaff's now-infamous building as a summer school or college, or, better yet, "sell[ing] it to some speculators to be used as a hotel; [it is] better to dispose of the structure as a sleep house than to keep it where it cannot be used profitably [by] the territory." Gortunately, and to Flagstaff's delight, Henry F. Ashurst, on February 9, 1899, introduced House Bill 41 allowing for the establishment of Northern Arizona Normal School. And the rest, they say, is history! (Source: Arizona Highways, vol.XLII, no. 3, May 1966, pp. 10-31.)