Early in 1893, Mayor John W. Fleming traveled to Santa Fe to lobby for legislation funding a teachers college, also referred to as a normal school. Normal schools included three years of high school education and one year of teacher's training. Fleming, a strong advocate of higher education despite, or because of, his third-grade level of education, is credited with the establishment of the Normal School in Silver City. He donated 20 acres of his own land on the west edge of town for the school's site. Fleming served on the Normal School's first Board of Regents.