The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950

Austia College ft IHltsville
DAN FERGUSON
G IT [Austin College] overlooked the town in the valley
north about a half mile distant and the country beyond
for miles away. During commencement exercises when
the building was brilliantly illuminated the illumination could
be seen eighteen miles away," proudly observed J. M. Fullen-
wider. Another friend noted, "It was the handsomest College
edifice in the state of Texas until after the close of the war and
possibly had no peer in the Southwest. It was the pride of Hunts-
ville, the delight of the Presbytery, and the wonder of visitors
of that locality." The local "Acropolis" on Capitol Hill when
completed in 1853, not only symbolized the highest educational
and cultural aspirations of Old School Presbyterians of all Texas
but was a concrete manifestation of an early determination of
the local citizenry to make of their then seventeen-year old town
the "Athens of Texas."
Within a half dozen years after a trading post was established
here in 1836, by two natives of Huntsville, Alabama, Ephriam
and Pleasant Gray, the latter donated a tract of land on which
was built a substantial brick building made possible through
voluntary donations. Known as the "Brick Academy," the build-
ing was used first as a boys school and later as a "Female Acad-
emy" with occasional worship services therein by the several
denominations pending the erection of their own churches. This
property, which was the nucleus of Huntsville's unsuccessful bid
of $5,417.75 for the location of Baylor University announced in
October, 1845, was finally incorporated within the walls of the
enlarged penitentiary.
A second school building was erected about 1846, on a lot
west of the cemetery and known as the "Male Academy." This
same year marked the appearance of the town's first newspaper,
The Texas Banner. On July 18, 1846, Walker County was
1P. E. Wallace, "A History of Austin College," M. A. Thesis, Austin College
(1924), 84.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/. Accessed July 30, 2014.