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Melissa Handley

MIDLAND CHRISTIAN COLLEGE. In the spring of 1908 the trustees of Texas Christian University met to discuss the need for a junior college in West or Southwest Texas. They selected Midland, where ranch families from hundreds of miles around lived so that their children could attend public schools, as one possible site, and in December of the same year interested Midland citizens met to select trustees and plan the proposed college. They filed a charter on January 19, 1909. Frank F. Elkin, an alumnus of Texas Christian University, sought the sponsorship of that school for the new college, but the university's board was reluctant to accept direct financial responsibility and offered only their cooperation and affiliation with the Disciples of Christ. Midland citizens donated a 225-acre site in town for the new school, and the sale of 300 parcels of this land established a financial base for the college. In May 1910 a three-story brick building, with stone trimmings and ornate Corinthian columns at the front and side entrances, was completed on a site 1½ miles west of the Midland County Courthouse. All facilities for the college, from classrooms to dormitories, were in this one building. Men's housing was later moved to a building constructed for that purpose on the north side of the campus. Midland Christian College was a coeducational school that offered the usual junior college courses as well as religious training. There were 107 students enrolled when the first semester began in September 1910. The president at this time was Robert L. Marquis. Later presidents were Henry R. Garrett, Franklin G. Jones, and John T. McKissick. The school had a full athletic program consisting of football, baseball, tennis, and other sports. It had two publications, a monthly journal called the Antelope and a school paper, the Coyote.

In January 1912 the college closed for a month because of a scarlet fever epidemic and a meningitis scare. Because of Midland's small population and the fact that many local ranchers were able to send their children away to school, the number of students in the college was too small to keep MCC going. It had neither tax money nor endowment funds. After it closed in 1921, permission was given by its trustees to move the college to Cisco, where it became Cisco Christian College in 1922 and, later, Randolph Junior College. The building in Midland served as office space during the oil boom of the 1930s but is no longer standing. All that remains of the college is a historical marker at its former site in Ulmer Park and a street in Midland named College Street.

Colby D. Hall, History of Texas Christian University (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1947). Nancy McKinley, "A Brief History of Midland College," Permian Historical Annual 12 (1972).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Melissa Handley, "MIDLAND CHRISTIAN COLLEGE," accessed April 08, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbm23.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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