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.
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.
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