Tad C. Howington

OAK CLIFF COLLEGE FOR YOUNG LADIES. Oak Cliff College for Young Ladies, in Oak Cliff (now a suburb of Dallas), opened on September 7, 1892, under the direction of M. Thomas Edgerton, former vice president of Waco Female College. Its massive four-story building, a spectacular example of the Victorian Stick style of architecture, was originally the Park Hotel, constructed by Thomas Marsalis as part of his million-dollar promotion of Oak Cliff. A drop in the economy led Marsalis to lease the Park Hotel to Edgerton for the development of a girls' school. Edgerton redesigned the first floor of the building for classrooms and a chapel and left the upper floors unchanged for a dormitory supervised by his wife, Virginia Belle Edgerton. The Edgertons constructed a program to foster the "accomplishment of young ladies." Emphasis on the arts, social culture, reading, writing, music, and "grace and beauty of carriage" was the stated purpose of the college. During the dedication ceremonies Oak Cliff mayor F. N. Oliver spoke of the role the college would play in the development of the area. The college never achieved the success expected, however, and in 1907 it closed its doors. The building was sold at auction for $6,507 to Thomas Scott Miller, Leslie A. Stemmons, and Wirt Davis, who converted it into the Hotel Cliff. In 1915 the hotel was remodeled and renamed Forest Inn. It was demolished in 1945.

William L. McDonald, Dallas Rediscovered: A Photographic Chronicle of Urban Expansion, 1870–1925 (Dallas: Dallas County Historical Society, 1978). Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., Dallas: Walsworth, 1976). Oak Cliff College Quarterly, May 1985.

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, Tad C. Howington, "OAK CLIFF COLLEGE FOR YOUNG LADIES," accessed January 20, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbo04.

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...