Motto book page, Farmington State Normal School, 1886
Memorizing mottoes was a long-standing tradition in early American education and was practiced at F.S.N.S. from the 1880s to the 1940s. Each school day opened with Morning Chapel exercises that included a short religious program, school announcements, and the quotation to be memorized by the students.
The students recorded all their daily mottoes in a notebook, known as their "motto book." These quotes or parts of poems were intended to inspire students to work hard, develop a good moral character, be successful students, and be good citizens. This is a page from the 1886-87 motto book of F.S.N.S. student Dora Bither.
Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.