The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 386
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rushed to raise sufficient funds to construct a Huntsville "tap," and by
1872 the connecting rail link was completed; but the damage was al-
ready done. Both Presbytery and college officials were convinced that a
location on a railroad main line was essential to the school's future
growth. The vanishing importance of such early "college towns" as In-
dependence, Gay Hill, Daingerfield, and Tehuacana presaged to them
Huntsville's future, especially in view of the marked population shifts
toward North and West Texas. Following much deliberation, the board
of trustees on February io, 1876, officially transferred all operations
of Austin College to Sherman, in North Texas, and the Huntsville era
in the history of Austin College came to an end.20
The impact of the war decade upon private higher education in gen-
eral was similar to the experience of Austin College. Enrollment and the
number of graduates declined, especially in institutions for men. Teach.
ers were difficult to obtain and numerous instructional programs either
were interrupted or were permanently suspended. Like Austin College,
most of the private schools had meager endowments, and the financial
difficulties of the war years placed too great a strain upon the precarious
conditions of several of these early institutions. The number of private
colleges actually in operation at the time of the 1850 United States Cen-
sus was two. That number had increased to twenty-five by 186o, but at
the close of the war decade, it was down to thirteen. Several of the col-
leges had closed permanently; others, particularly those associated with
denominational education programs, had merged in an effort to pro-
duce a stable institutional survivor. For Austin College, the move to
Sherman did not resolve all problems, but it did provide an opportunity
to succeed. By 1876, the year in which the first state-supported institution
of higher education was opened, at College Station, the only program in
law which remained in Texas was at Baylor University; and it continued
without a rival until the organization of the law department at the Uni-
versity of Texas in Austin, the following decade.27
2OEby, Development of Education in Texas, 149-154; Estill, "The Old Town of Hunts-
ville," 276; Austin College, "Records of the Board of Trustees," Feb. io, 1876. Baylor Uni-
versity was formerly located at Independence; Live Oak Female Seminary was located at
Gay Hill; Chapel Hill College was located at Daingerfield. Trinity University and Te-
huacana Academy were both formerly located at Tehuacana. See Webb, Carroll, and
Branda (eds), The Handbook of Texas, I, 125, 330-331, II, 67. 719.
27Eby, Development of Education in Texas, 149-154.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/444/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.