Alancder Paci Wooldridge
RUTH ANN OVERBECK
[The following is a continuation of the biography of Wooldridge,
begun in the January, 1964, Quarterly.]
The February 26, 1893, edition of the Galveston Daily News
brought renewed headaches to those concerned with the Univer-
sity of Texas and especially to the guiding force, the board of
regents. Oscar H. Cooper74 of Galveston sent a letter to the News
in which he tried to show that the university was a failure.
Rather than creating a university of the first class as the board
was instructed to do by the constitution, Cooper felt the board
members had not even made the university a first-class college,
but much more like some of the high schools of the state. The
only department of the university which Cooper felt worthy of
the name was the law department. The reasons Cooper blamed
for the failure were lack of administration and the personnel on
the board of regents. He described the board thusly:
The present members are good, patriotic men, but pride of opinion
may stand in the way of clear insight and decisive action. Some
members of the present board have been too much under the in-
fluence and control of a few men at Austin, who have really domi-
nated the university management almost from the beginning. This
combination-and I know its strength-has devoted its energies to
increasing revenues and expenses rather than to increasing the use-
fulness of the university as an educational institution. Its influence
should be utterly eliminated and this may necessitate reorganiza-
tion of the board of regents. A larger board would be more repre-
sentative. Under present conditions this board should hold for two
74Oscar Henry Cooper was born in 1852 in Panola County, Texas, and attended
Marshall University and later Yale University, graduating with a B.A. in 1872.
Quite active in promoting education in Texas, he was state superintendent of
public instruction from 1886 to 189o. In 1899, Cooper became president of Baylor
University and in 19o2, he headed Simmons College (afterwards Hardin-Simmons
University). He continued his interests in education until his death in 1932. I. A.
Hollis, Life and Work of O. H. Cooper (Master's thesis, University of Texas, 1925).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed February 28, 2015.