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BURLESON COLLEGE. The resolution for a college in Greenville, Texas, was presented at the Hunt County Baptist Association on October 1, 1894, by Rev. S. J. Anderson, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Greenville. The following February Burleson College, named after Rufus C. Burleson, was incorporated by the state of Texas as an educational institution with $50,000 in capital stock. The trustees met and elected Anderson president of the college on May 27, 1895. Some of the land that was given to the college was sold to build and furnish it. The institution took the faculty and pupils of Greenville College, which had closed in April, and the eight seniors of that school became the first graduating class of Burleson College in May. Ownership of Burleson College property passed to the Hunt County Baptist Association in September. Since the administration building was not completed by school time, Burleson College was officially opened in September in the Central Public School building.
The five-acre college campus was located one mile from Greenville, and the three-story, brick administration building was completed in October 1895. A group of interested men organized the Dormitory Stock Company in 1895 and built a three-story, wooden dormitory building by early 1896. Anderson resigned the presidency on September 28, 1898, and sold the dormitory, which he had owned, in November 1899. This transaction left Burleson College without a dormitory until late 1900, when the college purchased the dorm from J. S. Hill. The Hunt Association decided to place the college under the Education Commission of the Baptist General Convention in December 1899.
In June 1907 the trustees and the Baptist Educational Commission decided to make Burleson College a junior college. The three-story, brick girls' dormitory was completed in June 1916, and a similar boys' dormitory was completed by the fall semester of 1917. On April 8, 1925, the girls' dormitory was destroyed by fire, and a similar three-story building was completed by the fall semester of 1926. In 1929 Burleson College had 325 students and nineteen teachers. The college closed on December 5, 1930, due to an overburden of debt and competition with tax-supported schools, especially East Texas State College (now East Texas State University) at Commerce.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Ethel Cassles, A History of Hunt County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1935). W. Walworth Harrison, History of Greenville and Hunt County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1976). William Franklin Ledlow, History of Protestant Education in Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1926). Carl Bassett Wilson, History of Baptist Educational Efforts in Texas, 1829–1900 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1934).
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