Hardin-Simmons Photography Collection


When Hardin-Simmons University opened in 1892, 60 students enrolled at the small college in the fledgling town of Abilene. At that time it was called Abilene Baptist College, as it had been founded by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors who wanted to bring Christian higher education to the West. It was renamed Simmons College for the New York preacher whose financial support allowed the first campus building to be completed the college grew and expanded.

The college’s name changed again when it became a University in 1925, but struggled financially during the Great Depression. With help from John and Mary Hardin the university attained long-term financial stability and its current name in 1934.

At a Glance