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J.A. Sanders was one of the first faculty members of the Texas Normal College where he joined as an instructor of business classes in the 1890-1891 school year. He remained a member of the faculty through the early 1900s, and was the only faculty member from the private institution to stay on staff after the school became a state institution. Over the course of his career at North Texas, he taught Bookkeeping, Penmanship, and Mathematics.
Sanders vied multiple times to purchase or lease the Normal College. In 1894, he contended to lease the building after the Denton City Council called for proposals, but the council took no action. In 1898, along with Menter B. Terrill and other associates, Sanders proposed to purchase the Normal Building and surrounding grounds only to withdraw the proposal three days later.
In 1907, Sanders wrote an obituary for the Normal Building in the Normal Journal after the building was struck by lightning and subsequently burned down. Sanders was also a member of Denton's first musical organization.
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Accession number: 2020-053
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Propositions Concerning the Texas Normal College, University of North Texas Special Collections.
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This collection contains two propositions submitted to the Mayor and City Council of Denton, Texas, concerning the lease of the Normal Building which housed the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute. The propositions were written in response to the mass meeting of the citizens of Denton held at the courthouse on January 29, 1894, in which it was determined that the Normal Building should be leased to "some responsible and well qualified man."
One proposition is written by A.F. Heltman, the other by J.A. Sanders of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sanders's proposition includes a cover letter written and signed by D. Head, Chairman (of the committee appointed by the citizens of Denton) recommending Sanders. Both propositions state that the person to whom the building is leased shall assume all responsibility for the school and the maintenance of the building and that any lease shall be terminated upon an act of the state legislature making the school a state institution.