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Finding Aid: Texas Presbyterian College Papers

Biographical Note

Formed by the Texas Presbyterian Synod, the Texas Presbyterian College for Girls (TPC), located in Milford, Texas, opened its doors in 1902 to thirty-three boarding students, twenty-two day students, and nine faculty members. Despite the direction of a dedicated board of trustees and school president Henry Clay Evans, the school ran nearly $6,000 in debt its first year because it had no regular financing from outside funds. With a need for new buildings (the main building was the only structure), student fees that did not cover the cost of running the college, and a fear that raising these fees would lower enrollment, the debt continued to mount until 1908 when a relief donation was made by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. By 1917, the school was again deep in debt and it was clear that the only chance for keeping the school in operation was to secure an endowment through the Synod. Proving her worth in the 1917-1918 term, TPC secured recognition as a standard college by the State Board of Examiners to go along with its previously recognized status as an A-1 institution of the Association of Texas Colleges. The Synod responded by raising a $100,000 endowment through donations, again relieving the College’s debts. Sadly, having reached its peak enrollment of 226 in 1914-1915, the college soon saw a drop in enrollment because of World War I. By 1927, the school enrolled only ninety-six students, and was again very far in debt. Finally forced to close its doors at the completion of school in 1929, TPC consolidated its students and records with Austin College in Sherman, Texas. The school property and its buildings, worth $300,000 in 1929, were sold at auction for merely $20,000 after debts were paid.

Information for Biographical Note drawn from the following two sources:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Texas Presbyterian College" http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/TT/kbt21.html (accessed November 2, 2006).

Texas Presbyterian College Papers, Department of Archives and Special Collections, Austin College.

Austin College

 

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