The State Legislature recognized the need for an education center in southern Minnesota by 1858. In 1860 the legislature chartered the development of state run normal schools to serve areas outside of Winona. The largest and fastest growing cities outside of Saint Paul, Saint Cloud and Mankato were selected for the sites dependent on local fundraising to establish the schools with seed money. Through the efforts of local attorney turned state legislator Daniel Buck, the newly formed City of Mankato donated $5,000 raised from the area community and sold $5,000 in bonds for the founding of the second state normal school, Mankato Normal School. Chartered in state law in 1860, the first classes were held in 1868 with an enrollment of 27 students. The institution's original mission was to train and educate teachers for rural schools throughout southern Minnesota. Early course work included sciences, mathematics, civil engineering, agriculture, western classics, and basic pedagoguery.