Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Week in Texas Methodist History   November 25

Committee Meets in Fort Worth to Examine Site for College   November 25, 1890

One of the actions of the 1890 North West Texas Annual Conference was authorizing the construction of a college in Fort Worth.  The expansion of the rail system west of Fort Worth in the 1880’s was transforming that city into an important market and processing center for the livestock and grain produced in western Texas.  It was obvious that Fort Worth had bright prospects for the future. 

Civic boosters of the era realized that city development was enhanced by the presence of a university.  They often offered economic incentives in the form of acreage to encourage denominational colleges. 

Only a month after the 1890 Annual Conference closed, a committee consisting of Rev. J. T. L. Annis of Big Spring, Charles T. Jester of Corsicana, W. L. Vaughn of Dallas, Rev. J. H. Collard of Granbury, and C. D. Jordan of Vernon, met in Fort worth to consider a incentives. 

The main boosters were A. S. Hall, W. d. Hall, and George Tandy.  They offered the conference fifty acres for a campus and another two hundred fifty acres that would be developed into a community of Polytechnic Heights. Other businessmen funded an administration building, dormitory, and classroom.  In less than a year Polytechnic College opened with 105 students. 

Polytechnic College is the predecessor of Texas Wesleyan University.  


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