Charles L. Bemis, born in Massachusetts in 1850, was educated in Ohio and Michigan. He received the B.S. degree from Michigan State Agricultural College. He taught for several years in Michigan, and was experienced in educational administration. Under his leadership, new departments were established, a good laboratory was set up for chemistry, physics was added to the sciences and the enrollment increased. A superior faculty was recruited, and the library was built up to more than 2000 books.

Under Mr. Bemis, educational standards continued to rise. The preparatory work for the normal course was made equal to that of the best high school in the country, and the secondary work was standard for high school. The normal course was two years beyond the standard high school. The seniors all taught one year in the middle school as a part of their professional training.