Baylor University was founded in 1841 by Robert E.B. Baylor, James Huckins and William Milton Tryon who organized an education society, the Texas Union Baptist Association, with the purpose of establishing a Baptist university in Texas. Baylor was charted by the Republic of Texas on February 1, 1845 and was opened in Independence in 1846. However, the university did not grant its first degree until 1854. In 1851, President of the university Rufus Burleson separated the sexes and moved the boys to Windmill Hill to what was designated the male campus and primary university facilities. The female department stayed on Academy Hill where a building was built for them. Due to some disagreement between the board of trustees in 1861, the then President Burleson and the entire faculty of the male department resigned. From 1866 to 1886, Baylor University was an all-male school after the female department became a separate institution now known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. According to TSHA, “In 1886 the Baptist General Association of Texas and the State Convention, under the control of which Baylor had been operating since 1848, were combined to form the Baptist General Convention, and as a result Baylor University and Waco University, which Burleson had headed since he resigned as president of Baylor at Independence, were consolidated and rechartered as Baylor University in Waco. Under the control of the Baptist General Convention, Baylor was established on the Waco campus by the end of 1887.”
Information is courtesy of Texas State Historical Alliance and Baylor University. The picture is of the female department that opened in 1857 in Independence. Photo courtesy from the city of Independence.