Early School History
TENNESSEE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Established in 1845
EARLY HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
In July 1844, a board was appointed to determine the first steps for establishing a school for the deaf. During the next several months of study and correspondence, the board contacted Reverend Thomas MacIntire from the Ohio Institute of Education of the Deaf and Dumb and asked him to take charge of the Tennessee school as principal and teacher. He accepted and asked to bring with him a Deaf man, Mr. Charles Myers, as an assistant teacher.
In January 1845, it was decided by the Trustees to rent the Churchwell house in East Knoxville for $100.00 a year. Mr. MacIntire began his duties on April 1, 1845 - 1851. It was named the Tennessee Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and opened on April 14, 1845. They worked to get the school ready with equipment and the school was opened in June 1845, with six students and increasing to nine by the end of the session.
In January 1846, the General Assembly passed an act for the school to be incorporated and named Tennessee Deaf and Dumb School.
In June 1846, Calvin Morgan of Knoxville gave the school two acres of land just west of the center of town. Money was secured to erect the first building (later known as the East Wing). In the fall 25 students were enrolled.
In June 1852, an additional three and a half acres were purchased on the east and north ends of the school, improvements were made, and the grounds were enclosed with a fence.