A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912 Page: 177
THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS 177
Had the early friends and associates of Mr. Rice
been asked to select one of their number who would
make a princely donation towards the cause of education,
the chances are ten to one that Mr. Rice
would never have been selected. If he ever gave a
thought to art, science or literature no one knew
of it. The first intimation that he took the least
interest in educational matters was given some time
during the middle eighties when the city was endeavoring
to raise money to purchase what was
known as Academy Square and the old building
that stood on it, for the purpose of turning it into
a high school. The property had been owned by a
company but had passed into the hands of a private
citizen and the city wanted to buy it. Mir. Rice was
living in New York at the time, but was paying an
annual visit to Houston when the purchase matter
came up. Mr. E. Raphael, who was very close to
Mr. Rice, and who looked after some of his Houston
interests for him, was requested by a committee
of citizens to ask Mr. Rice for a subscription to the
fund. Mr. Raphael did so and was met by a
prompt refusal, Mr. Rice stating that it was the
duty of the city and not of individuals to care for
such things as public schools. Then he surprised
Mr. Raphael by telling him that he was thinking of
a plan by which he hoped to establish a great educational
institution here. A few months later he
took into his confidence a few gentlemen and,
after a thorough discussion of his plans, an organization
was formed and, in 1891, a charter was ap-
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Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912, book, 1912; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/m1/195/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .