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Part 1. History and Status
Section I. History
A. Theodore Turner
Theodore Turner was born in Ringgold, Ohio, on May 4, 1868. He attended high school in Washington Court House and later entered Ohio Wesleyan University. Coming to Idaho in 1886, he immediately followed the example of his ancestors by entering into the field of education and public affairs. It was in 1889, while he was teaching at Oxford, Idaho, that this farseeing man confided to his wife that “if my adopted state ever honored me with a seat in the Legislature, I would work to establish a school of higher learning in Pocatello.”
In 1893, Turner became a resident of Pocatello, where he engaged in state and federal court secretarial work, and started an abstract title business. The experience he derived from this undertaking, combined with his insight into educational affairs, prompted him to launch a drive for a State institution of higher learning in the Gate City. In pursuit of his objective, he entered politics and was ultimately elected to the State Senate in 1900.
The young, energetic senator quickly gained supporters for his cause by means of the educational philosophy he promoted. The proposed Academy was to be a people’s school, open on an equal basis to all people.