From the Book Flap

How does a major university come to life? How does it grow in size and significance? Mountain Educators is the very personal story of a very public institution, Appalachian State University, one of the major teaching and research institutions in the Southeast.

The narrative begins in 1899 when Doris Perry Stam’s great-great grandfather, Daniel Dougherty, bought 500 acres of land nestled below Howard’s Knob in the isolated, rugged mountains of Boone, North Carolina. The story continues as her great-great uncle, Blan Dougherty, alongside his brother, Dauph, and wife, Lillie, literally constructed the first school building from scratch, felling the trees on their father’s land, hauling the logs to be milled, taking up hammer and nails, and finally opening a school, Watauga Academy.

What began as a commitment to provide basic education for the children of North Carolina’s “forgotten counties” grew into a school to educate not only students, but the teachers themselves when it became Appalachian Training School in 1903. It is the tale of a brilliant educator and lobbyist with a mountain man’s strong sense of faith, frugality, and fairness and an intellectually curious businessman with a musical, very organized wife who dedicated their lives to expanding and improving the school until it eventually grew into Appalachian State University.

Full of anecdotes about the family, personal letters, and photos, Mountain Educators brings to life the history of the early days of Appalachian.




Names of Appalachian through the Years

1899 - Watauga Academy
1903 - Appalachian Training School
1925 - Appalachian State Normal School
1929 - Appalachian State Teachers College
1967 - Appalachian State University




© 2010 Watauga Press