Blog Series: Early Texas collegesBlog Series
Texas Wesleyan University
Texas Wesleyan University, originally Polytehnic College, was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1890. Under the direction of Bishop Joseph S. Key, a committee searched out locations for a campus. They settled on 300 acres east of Fort Worth donated by area pioneers, A.S. Hall, W.D. Hall and George Tandy. Only 50 acres were used for the school though. Local businessmen provided the funds for the construction of all the necessary buildings. The first classes were held in September 1891. In 1899 the school almost closed after an outbreak of measles, meningitis and smallpox dramatically decreased enrollment. Hiram A. Boaz, president of the school at the time, suggested the college become the flagship school for the Methodist Church. Instead, the church developed SMU into such an institution. After suffering some financial setbacks, Polytechnic became Texas Woman’s College. After the Great Depression in order to gain enrollment the school once again became coeducational under its new name, Texas Wesleyan College. The school changed its name to Texas Wesleyan University in 1989.
The information is courtesy of Texas Wesleyan University and Texas State Historical Association. The photo is of Texas Wesleyan’s original college hall, Ann Waggoner Hall courtesy of Texas Wesleyan University.