Richard C. Norton becomes the fourth principal, serving in this capacity through 1893. Under his administration, the curriculum was enhanced to better prepare teachers, a postgraduate degree was added, a student code of conduct was established, student enrollment increased, and the school began to stabilize. While Norton was principal, the title of principal was changed to president.

Louis Houck creates his own rail line, the Girardeau Railway Comapny, running trains from Cape Girardeau to Delta, Missouri. He kept building and eventually was responsible for about 500 miles of railroad lines runnning throughout southeast Missouri.


Student conduct regulations are established. Studying for all students began at 8:30 a.m. in the Normal building. Evening study hours were from 6-9 p.m. during the first, second and third terms, and from 7-9 p.m. during the fourth term. The code also prohibited frequent visiting of other students’ rooms, “lounging about town during study hours and all unnecessary gallantry.” Also prohibited were profane language, going to a saloon or billiard hall, attending parties that deterred from schoolwork, drinking alcohol, and using tobacco in or around the Normal building.


"Photographs of the Normal School’s beauty elicited many comments, most notably from Mark Twain. “There was another college high up on an airy summit – a bright new edifice, picturesquely and peculiarly towered and pinnacled – a sort of gigantic casters, with the cruets all complete."

published by Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi

Normal School


Society halls are added to each side of the Normal Building.

The school agrees to lease one acre to the city for a water work reservoir in return for the city supplying the Normal School with water.

"Cost is $35 per term to attend the Normal School, including room, board, washing, incidental fees and books. Private families offered housing for $2.50 to $4 per week. "


normal school colorized


Louis Houck begins serving on the Third District Normal School's Board of Regents, later becoming president.

World Events

U.S. President James Garfield is assassinated.

Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Louis Pasteur creates the first successful rabies vaccine.

Karl benz sells the first commercial vehicle .

Coca-Cola is developed.

The Eiffel Tower opens in Paris.

Aspirin is patented.