Charlie C. Haynes, Jr.

MARVIN COLLEGE. Marvin College was established by the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. A committee was appointed to establish a conference college and in November 1868 selected Waxahachie as the location. The college was named for Enoch M. Marvin, a bishop at the General Conference in 1866. It was built in the northeast part of town on forty acres donated by Emory W. Rogers. The school had a three-story classroom and office building and two dormitories. To manage the school, the conference selected John W. P. McKenzie, founder of McKenzie Institute near Clarksville. McKenzie was forced to resign in 1872 due to bad health and was replaced by Jim Pugh, a minister from Mississippi. The college was incorporated on May 8, 1873, by the Thirteenth Texas Legislature.

High school and college courses were taught in geology, military science, chemistry, and telegraphy. A campus newspaper was established, an observatory was built, and a telescope costing $1,200 was purchased for use by students. The school experienced financial difficulties throughout its existence and was lost in 1878. A committee of Charles E. Brown, William G. Veal, and J. D. Shaw, acting for the Northwest Conference, repurchased the college for the church. Marvin College was sold in 1884 for use as a public school, and Marvin Elementary School was later built on the site. The Texas Historical Commission placed a marker there in 1977.

Edna Davis Hawkins et al., History of Ellis County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). William Franklin Ledlow, History of Protestant Education in Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1926). Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937). This Was Ellis County (Waxahachie, Texas: Waxahachie High School Junior Historians, 1980).

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:

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, Charlie C. Haynes, Jr., "MARVIN COLLEGE," accessed February 17, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...