Bishop College
Historically Black College


Bishop College. Library and classroom March 26 , 1920


Sketch from History of Education in Texas


This school, which is located at Marshall, had its origin in 1881 in the practical benevolence of Nathan Bishop, LL. D., of New York. He had proposed to found a college for the education of the colored people west of the Mississippi River, and offered his gifts to the American Baptist Home Mission Society for that purpose. His death before his plan was executed did not defeat it, for his equally benevolent wife soon presented the society with $10,000 to found the school. Dr. Bishop's noble spirit was shown by his own words:

"I expect to stand side by side with these freedmen in the day of judgment, and I am determined to be prepared for the meeting."

Rev. S. W. Marston, who was then the society's superintendent of education, was charged with the duty of locating the school. The money ($5,000) to purchase a site for the college and put it in repair was raised among the colored people. Under the first president, Rev. S. W. Culver (1881 to 1891), a substantial three-story brick building was erected, costing $16,000. It is now called Marston Hall, and accommodates 60 boys. He also built a four-story brick building, Bishop Hall, costing $20,000, now used as a dormitor}7, accommodating 80 girls.

During the presidency of Dr. Culver's successor, Rev. N. Wolverton (1891-1898), a four-story brick school building, Morehouse Hall, was erected, containing chapel, library, class rooms, and president's office, at a cost of $31,000, of which Mrs. Bishop gave $10,000. It is heated with steam and is a very substantial building. President Wolverton also raised funds for a manual-training department and erected for it a substantial three-story brick shop, 3-t by 80 feet, at a cost of $4,000, and secured for it about $5,000 worth of machinery and tools, all first class. The campus was enlarged to 22 acres by purchase of adjacent property, for which William A. Cauldwell, of New York, gave $5,000. This made $81,000 invested in the college property, besides a laundry building and a boiler house, both of brick, and other small buildings. The property is now worth, all told, $100,000, and is entirely free from debt.

In the purely educational side of the work, and for which all the rest exists, the institution carries on: (1) A graded-school department, embracing both primary and grammar schools, which constitute a training school for normal work; (2) an academic department which, with a four-years' course, prepares for the college and for the normal and theological departments; (3) a collegiate department; (4) a normal department, and (5) a theological department, the last having a three years' course of study. There are 13 members of the faculty, including 10 white teachers from the North.Albert Loughridge, A. M., is president of the college. The enrollment for a number of years has ranged from 200 to about 350 students.

The Home Mission Society appropriates from $6,000 to $8,000 annually toward the current expenses of the college.


Image: Papers of Jackson Davis, MSS 3072, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library