Saturday, October 01, 2011

This Week in Texas Methodist History October 2

Texas University (later Southwestern University) Classes Begin, October 6, 1873

On October 6, 1873 a new school began instruction in Georgetown. Years of preparation ended as three faculty members met thirty-three students. The man in charge was Francis A. Mood, a South Carolinian who had come to Chappell Hill to assume the leadership of Soule University. It didn’t take him long to discover that Soule was in trouble. Indebtedness and too few students threatened to finish off the school that had been devastated by the loss of its student body to the Civil War and a yellow fever epidemic that ravaged the Texas coastal plains.

Mood believed that a Texas Methodist university could be successful if it enjoyed the support of all five of the MECS annual conferences in Texas and was favorably situated outside the fever belt. He threw himself into the task of building that support. Each annual conference finally gave its support. Georgetown was selected as the site.

The thirty-three students came to Texas University. It was not until 1875 that the institution received its charter, and one of the conditions of the charter was that the name had to be changed. It became South Western University. From that small beginning in 1873 came Southwestern University which has a beautiful campus, an outstanding faculty, and a student body any institution would be proud of. It continues to cherish its Methodist roots which have sustained it.


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