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    Names of Teachers & Students Names of Teachers & Students
Parents in 19th century Gainesville preferred private, fee-based schools by far to public schools. In fact, there was an abundance of private schools and people trusted them. Public schooling, on the other hand, was a relatively new concept and the facilities were woefully lacking. According to Charles W. Hildreth in "History of Gainesville Florida 1856-1979," "…little provision was made for the comfort of either teacher or student…under such conditions average attendance in 1882 was only 13 students." That year, 1882, William N. Sheets, Gainesville's Superintendent of Public Instruction, began to campaign for a suitable public school building. Sheets met with considerable opposition, but in 1885 the first public school building was erected. It was built on the south side of East University Avenue at 4th Street, just west of Sweetwater Branch. Students and teachers posed for the photographer in front of their school, and someone wrote names on the back when they received their copy.
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