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CORPUS CHRISTI ACADEMY. Corpus Christi Academy was chartered by the Texas legislature for a twenty-year period beginning on February 16, 1858, with thirteen leading citizens of the town as incorporators. Charles A. Russell, A. F. von Blücher, Charles Løvenskiold,qqv Walter Merriman, H. A. Gilpin, and George W. Kinney were members of the first board of trustees. The academy was funded by shares that sold for thirty dollars each. The money was used to pay for a building, equipment, and the salaries of principal Charles Løvenskiold and the school's first teachers, Prof. M. P. Crafts, Mary H. Gordon, and Mrs. Julia L. Marsh. Mrs. Marsh had a controversial career at the school. After being indicted in 1862 for aggravated assault on her own two children, she was implicated in the attempted suicide of one of the school's students after she had allegedly whipped him with a "latigo colorado" (red lash). In 1862 she was again indicted for assault, this time on the principal, M. P. Crafts. Corpus Christi Academy charged monthly tuition and was open to both boys and girls. It was not church-related. During the Civil War, when Mrs. Rosalie Priour was its only teacher, the institution languished. When the victorious Union Army marched into Corpus Christi, Julia Marsh was appointed postmistress, a position she held from 1865 to 1867. She then resumed her work at Corpus Christi Academy. Her notorious severity with pupils and disputes with the board of trustees regarding her salary may have contributed to the academy's decline. In addition, the board insisted on paying teachers only with funds received from the state. When a law was passed in May 22, 1873, providing for free public schools in Texas, state aid to the Corpus Christi Academy was suspended, and it closed permanently.


Gladys Gibbon, Education in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1846–1900 (M.S. thesis, Texas A&I University, 1941). Sister Jeanne Francis Minner, Early Development of Education in Corpus Christi, 1848 to 1909 (M.A. thesis, Catholic University of America, 1950).

Frank Wagner


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

Frank Wagner, "CORPUS CHRISTI ACADEMY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.