Like so many colleges, it started life as a single building, a so-called “Normal School.” Even then, we suppose, people came up with the tiresome old question about what an “Abnormal School” would be like. Normal schools were established primarily to provide higher education for students in several counties around them. Normal School Number Five carried its simple undistinguished name for years because it was serving the Fith Missouri Normal School District which covered 19 counties. But Normal School Number Five had roots which extended back a quarter century before its birth. The institution that Normal Number Five became resulted largely from the efforts of residents of a small community who wanted something better than what they had.