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UW-Milwaukee's Predecessor Institutions.: Milwaukee State Normal School (1885-1927)

Explains the UWM's predecessor institutions, and explains our relationship to Milwaukee-Downer College. Offers further resources and research suggestions.

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The Archives has student yearbooks, newspapers, and directories, plus archival and manuscript material created during the time of the State Normal School.

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In 1880, the Wisconsin state legislature passed a law requiring the Board of Regents of Normal Schools to establish a normal school in Milwaukee. Five years later, in 1885, the Milwaukee State Normal School opened. It was located at Eighteenth and Wells Streets, but in 1909 moved to what is now Mitchell Hall, on Downer Avenue at Kenwood Boulevard. In 1911, Milwaukee State Normal School absorbed both the Milwaukee School of Arts and the Wisconsin School of Fine and Applied Arts. With this merger, the school began offering non-teacher training college courses, but in 1923, the State Normal School Regents decided to discontinue these college courses. By early 1927, the State Normal School Regents had authorized Milwaukee State Normal School to offer four year college curriculums for many of the education degrees. With this authorization, the school had officially become a college, and was renamed Milwaukee State Teachers College.

The Normal School, upon completion, 1908


1880 - State legislature passed law requiring Board of Regents of Normal Schools to establish a normal school in Milwaukee

1885 - Milwaukee State Normal School opened on 18th and Wells Streets

1909 - Normal School moved to new location on Downer Avenue at Kenwood Blvd, in what is now Mitchell Hall.

1911 - First non-teacher training college courses offered

1911 - Milwaukee School of Arts absorbed by the Normal School

1911 - Wisconsin School of Fine and Applied Arts becomes department of Normal School

1923 - College courses discontinued by decision of State Normal School Regents

1926 - Regents authorized four year curriculum leading to degrees in kindergarten-primary education, elementary education, and art and music

1927 - Regents authorized four year curriculum leading to secondary education degree

1927 - The Normal School became the Milwaukee State Teachers College