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Dixie Normal College  Pres. Erastus S. Romney

New President

Dixie Normal College  Pres. Hugh M. Woodward


 Erastus S. Romney replaced Woodward as College President in May of 1918.  He had come to the College as a member of the faculty in June of 1916.

 Following the appointment of President Romney, the Academy was accepted by the Utah State Board of Education as an official Normal College, authorized to give two years of work leading to the Normal Diploma.

 The St. George Stake Board of Education on May 27, 1918, officially changed the name of the school from the St. George Stake Academy to the Dixie Normal College.

 During President Romney's administration the school offered 60 hours of College level work.  He firmly believed that character building was one of the primary duties of the College, along with maintaining high standards of scholarship and efficiency.

 He was well known for his ability to arouse enthusiasm in a group of students.  He was president for only one year and one semester.  In February 1920, as the worldwide influenza epidemic became more and more serious, President Romney became ill of that disease and soon died.  He was only 34 years of age.

 Following the death of President Romney, Joseph Kelly Nicholes was made president and served in that capacity until the end of May 1923.

 President Nicholes had originally arrived at the St. George Academy in 1912 where he taught accounting and related business subjects.  During the summers and through correspondence courses he completed a Bachelors Degree in Math, Physics and Chemistry, receiving the degree in 1916. Following this, he taught only courses in the physical sciences.

 President Nicholes' son, Henry J. Nicholes, wrote in a brief biography of his father including the following: "Throughout his years of teaching and administration at St. George, he was a capable scientist, excellent student advisor and enthusiastic supporter of all other fields of education . . ."

 Many people claimed that he was the most honest and compassionate man they ever knew.  His wife encouraged and supported him.  He had a great love for the people of Washington County.

 President Nicholes had an excellent mind for finance and since times were always hard at Dixie, his talent was sorely needed.  His firm leadership allowed the College to remain financially stable.

 He kept in close touch with both the students and faculty members and had a great desire to see people rise above their present circumstances.  He found great satisfaction in service, both to his God and his fellow men.