The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 50
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50 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
William Adair, of Kentucky, and inherited in no mean measure
the courage and wisdom of these famous foundation builders in
American history. Young Rufus was a precocious boy; and this
precocity did not fade with his youth, as is often the case, but
grew with his manhood and developed with his growth. At the
early age of seven years he was ambitious to become a great scholar,
a great lawyer, and a great orator, and laid his ambition, plans,
and purposes before his father, whose pride and sympathies were
thoroughly arroused in his boy's high aims and ideals.
At this tender age he had received some instruction at home,
and had developed many of the qualities of the student. As a
further means of preparation for a university course, he was placed
in a country school taught in the neighborhood, where he made
marked progress notwithstanding many interruptions. In the
autumn of 1837 he entered Summerville Academy. He continued
his work in this school until 1839, when he entered a select school
at Danville, conducted by Dr. A. B. Sims, the course in which was
correlated with that in the highest educational institutions of the
State. Having finished the course there in less than twelve
months, he returned to his father's home and again entered the
school at Decatur. He remained in this school only one year.
Up to this time his intention was to study law and devote his
energies and abilities to that profession; but he attended a revival
meeting conducted by Rev. W. H. Holcombe in a Baptist church
near his father's plantation, professed conversion, and immediately
abandoned his plan, and resolved to prepare himself for the min-
istry. When he gave up his purpose of studying law, it became
necessary to remodel his course of instruction, and in 1840, at
the age of 17, he matriculated in Nashville University, and began
to prepare himself for entrance into a theological seminary.
While in Nashville his health was greatly impaired by close
application and confinement, and he was carried to hips father's
farm to recuperate. Here he studied Greek, Hebrew, and Bible
history until 1842, when he accepted a tempting offer to teach a
private school in Mayhew Prairie, Mississippi. This experience as
a teacher, when his tastes and predilections were in a formative
state, leads on to his career in Texas, where he elected to make
education the work of his life. Having ample means to prosecute
his law studies without performing the drudgery usually incident
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/56/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.