HENRY COLLEGE. The origins of Henry College, in Campbell, Hunt County, can be traced to the founding of Campbell High School in 1881. Enrollment at the high school quickly surpassed 200 and had reached 275 by 1885–86. This success prompted a decision to use the school building for a college. Henry College was named for its founders, Henry T. Bridges and Henry Easton, and opened in 1892. Bridges provided most of the money to finance the institution, including $15,000 for the construction of an administration building.
The goal of the college was to provide a first-class college education for poor boys and girls in Hunt and nearby counties. The school emphasized the classics, music, art, math, and foreign languages. Students could work towards a B.A., B.S., or "Master of Pedagogy" degree. Enrollment increased steadily for five years; in 1896–97 it was 220. An incident in 1896, however, cast a shadow over the school. A rivalry developed between Bridges and William L. Mayo, head of East Texas Normal College (now East Texas State University) in Commerce. Mayo objected to Henry College's advertising in East Texas Normal's newspaper and enticing students from Commerce. His public condemnation angered Bridges, who rode to Mayo's home and demanded that his competitor sign a public statement of apology. Mayo refused, whereupon Bridges fired two shots at him. Both shots missed. Bridges then threw his gun to the ground, jumped from his carriage, and began to horsewhip Mayo. Both men were arrested and released on bond. When Bridges returned to Campbell, the community condemned his actions and refused to support his school. In 1897 a fire destroyed the administration building. Subsequently, enrollment declined, funds decreased, and the college closed in 1901. Two years later, under new ownership, Emerson College opened at the same place.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, David Minor, "Henry College," accessed May 01, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbh04.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles