Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


MR No. 405—Counsel on Age of School Entrance

Report of an Interview, January 14, 1904

[Up to 1902 the educational needs of the children in the neighborhood of the St. Helena Sanitarium were met by the Crystal Springs Public School, just under the hill. Mr. Anthony, an earnest Seventh-day Adventist, was the teacher. On Monday morning, January 14, 1902, before taking up the duties of the day, the parents met to hear Ellen G. White appeal for a church school where the Bible could be taught. To spur the folk in launching the enterprise, she offered to lease, without charge, a piece of land at the foot of the hill as a site for the proposed school. A one room building was erected and in the autumn Miss Sarah Peck, a teacher and one of Mrs. White's helpers, was called to teach. 6MR 348.1

Miss Peck conducted a well disciplined school with forty children attending. The initial work made provision primarily for children beyond the ages of nine or ten. As Ellen White in her 1872 article on education had called for parents to be “The only teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age,” (Testimonies for the Church 3:137) little or no provision was made in the school for such. As is developed in the interview, this was the course quite generally followed. 6MR 348.2

As there were differences of opinion on the policies which should be followed, the school board sought Ellen White's counsel. She was apprised of the problem in advance and met with the board on January 14, 1904. Considering the understanding of the participants regarding the far-reaching nature of the interview, it is well to identify those present: Iram James—Chairman of the school board; Mrs. White's farm manager.
L. M. Bowen—Manager of the St. Helena Sanitarium.
C. L. Taylor—Chaplain of the sanitarium and pastor of the church.
H. M. Mcdowell- Sanitarium plant manager.
Mrs. J. Gotzian—A well-to-do widow deeply interested in forward moves; a close friend of Ellen G. White.
Miss Sarah Peck—An assistant to Ellen G. White; now the church school teacher.
Brother Dennison—A layman, probably a sanitarium employee
6MR 348.3

There is reference in the interview to Mr. Boeker, manager of the sanitarium health food factory. 6MR 349.1

The stenographic report of this meeting has remained in the general subject file of the White Estate (Document File No. 102) in a folder relating to church schools, but with the unchallenging cover title of “Report of a Meeting of the Church School Board, Sanitarium California, January 14, 1904.” Concentrated research in the area of education only recently brought to light this document. 6MR 349.2

This manuscript has since been published in Selected Messages 3:214-226, with very few omissions. However, the document is reproduced in this volume so that the reader may have the interview in its entirety.] 6MR 349.3