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Virtual Exhibit: AC's Move To Sherman: 1874

Austin College: Sherman Journal, 1874

28 Aug. 1874-Huntsville

Gentlemen: I am sorry to report that the college has not been in a high state of prosperity since your last meeting. From several causes the number of students from a distance has been small. 1st The building being out of repair was not inviting. 2nd The desks and seats were old and uncomfortable. 3rd There were only two in the faculty actively engaged in teaching and hence they were unable to establish and follow out a regular collegiate course of study. 4th The constant expectation that the college would soon be removed from Huntsville and the frequent report that it had been located elsewhere have kept young men from coming to Huntsville to attend the College. Hence, they number of students in attendance has not been large enough to justify the employment of more than two professors and the tuition fees have not been sufficient to pay in full the salaries of the two Professors employed. The ten months’ session closed on the 18th day of June with but little over thirty students. It is my opinion that the question of removal should be settled as soon as practicable and that but few students from a distance can be induced to come here to College as long as they suppose the college is soon to be removed to some other place. Your attention is called to the condition of the building and grounds which are in a neglected and dilapidated condition for the want of money to repair and beautify them.

. . . Until the question of location is settled, you may rely upon it, that the number of students will be small and will not justify heavy expense in running the College. It seems clear that you will not be justified in employing more than two professors and it is very questionable whether you should employ more than one.

S. M. Luckett, President

4 Nov. 1874 , Jefferson, Texas

Gentlemen: At your last meeting held in Huntsville on the 28th August 1874, your attention was called to the fact that there would probably be but few students at the College this session except from the town of Huntsville. The session opened on the first Monday in September and not a student from a distance has yet presented himself. The chief, if not the only, cause for this is the impression in the minds of the people all over the state that the College is very soon to be moved from Huntsville. We are of opinion that it will be impossible to secure patronage from the state at large until the question of location is settled. We do not urge undue haste in this matter, nor do we say that the College should be removed to any particular place, or that it should be moved at all, but we do urge that you carefully consider the question in all its phases and take steps to have it settled at as early a day as possible. It is the opinion of some that the Huntsville property would be wholly lost by removal. It is also thought by some that our titles to valuable lands in other parts of the state would be abated by removal. These questions and all others bearing on the subject should be fully investigated and sufficient time should be taken to do this. If we do move the College sufficient time should also be taken to select from all the places supposed to be good locations that one which is the best. Your attention is called to the fact that a large majority of the Synod is opposed to the College remaining in Huntsville because it is thought that it cannot be made a success at that place. Steps have already been taken looking to its removal to some other place. If this action is unwise it should be shown to be so while the Synod is in session this week in this city. If it is wise, it should be approved and sustained by this Board.

S. M. Luckett, President

Please take notice - 1st That the taxes on our land have not been paid for ten or twenty years. 2nd Squatters are taking up their abodes on them and in some cases, have had possession for several years. 3rd In several cases these lands have never been seen by any Trustee or agent of the college and should be looked after as soon as possible. 4th These lands are much scattered, some being in the extreme S.E. part of the State and some West of San Antonio. 5th. There seems to be some link wanting in some of these titles that it will require time and skill to discover and adjust. . . . We have deeds to some twelve or fourteen thousand acres of land that have never been sold so far as I know.

S.M.Luckett, Financial Agent

4 Nov. 1874No dissent in this committee. A little more than a year later, on the day of the vote to move the college to Sherman, Means gave Burke his proxy.

We, the undersigned committee to whom was referred the report of the President of Austin College beg leave to report. First, on point of removal your Committee are clearly of opinion that it is to the interest of the College that it should be removed to a different point from its present location at as early a day as the same can be accomplished consistent with the best interest of the College--having in view the time, the mode and plan of permanent location as also the pecuniary inducement offered.

Dr. Means and A. J. Burke
Committee on the Report of the President

3:00 p.m.

The Committee to whom was referred the report of the President made their report which was adopted. The vote on the report stood 9 for the removal of the college and 4 against it.

[[No dissent in this committee. A little more than a year later, on the day of the vote to move the college to Sherman, Means gave Burke his proxy.]]

Austin College


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