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Education > First Public School,
In 1882 William N. Sheets, Gainesville's Superintendent of Public Instruction, began an active campaign to bring decent facilities for public education to Gainesville. At that time, public school facilities were terrible if nonexistent—no proper buildings, desks, blackboards, books, no heat in the building. And there was no support from the public because effective public education, as we know it, was a budding concept. Mr. Sheets had vision and was persistent and unrelenting, and he continued to fight for what he knew would profit the entire community. Finally taxpayers agreed to somewhat minimal support, and in 1885 a two-story wood frame school was opened on the south side of East University Avenue at 4th Street, just west of Sweetwater Branch. In 1893 students and teachers posed in front of their school for this photograph.
On the back of this photograph is written "Gainesville Public School No. 26 Alachua Co., 1893." There are many names listed, along with Miss Emily Robb, Teacher.
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