Huston-Tillotson University
Historically Black College







       A week after his experience in Marshall, J. W.'s travels brought him to Austin, the capital city of Texas. By the afternoon of the second day of his stay he had completed his business calls, and he took a stroll along the broad avenue leading to the State Capitol building. It was a beautiful day, and J. W. almost imagined that he was in Washington, as he approached the majestic State building, which is patterned after the nation's Capitol.
       He admired the building and grounds for a time, and then followed a street which turned to the right. He had gone several blocks past comfortable dwellings when he saw that he was approaching some sort of a public or semi-public institution. Imposing brick buildings, occupying three of the four corners formed by two intersecting streets, presented themselves to view. In front of one of them stood an automobile, and just as J. W. reached the spot a well-dressed Negro came out and started toward the machine. As the two men met J. W. paused and said, "Pardon me, but would you mind telling me what this institution is?"
       " This," said the Negro, "is Samuel Huston College, a school for Negroes operated by the Methodist Episcopal Church."
       " That's the church to which I belong," said J. W. " I guess I must be one of the stockholders of the institution."
       " I am very glad to meet you," said the Negro. " Possibly you would like to go through the buildings."
       " That would be a pleasure, I am sure," replied J. W., remembering his experience at Marshall, "but you were just leaving. I must not detain you."
       " Well, I was going over to the athletic field, where our boys are playing baseball with a visiting team today. I expect the game has already begun, and a few minutes won't make any difference."
       " That sounds interesting," said J. W. "I used to play baseball myself."
       " Perhaps you would like to go over to the game first," proposed the other. "I would be pleased to have you ride along, if you care to do so."
       " Why, certainly, I'll go with you," said J. W. promptly.
      " Before we start let me explain to you what these buildings are," continued his guide. "This first one is our main college building. We call it Burrowes Hall, in honor of a friend from Maine who helped the school generously in the early days. The school itself, as you perhaps know, was named after an Iowa farmer named Samuel Huston, who helped liberally when the work was in its first stages. The large brick building is our dormitory, and the other brick building on the opposite corner is devoted to industrial training. The building across the street from us is the Eliza Dee Industrial Home of the Woman's Home Missionary Society. I have not seen all of the Society's Homes, but I understand that this is one of the best and most beautiful of them all."
       By this time J. W. and his new friend were in the car, and on their way to the ball game. As they went the Negro continued: "This school has had a rather unusual history. For many years the colored people of Texas worked to get it started, but they didn't have very good luck. They got as far as the basement of one building, and it stood for sixteen years exposed to the weather, unused. It was only about twenty years ago that Dr. R. S. Lovinggood came to open the school. He found birds nesting in the rafters, and pigs and goats sleeping in the partly completed basement. The story of his work in building this school is one of the romances of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the South. Dr. Lovinggood was a remarkable man. When he came there was some opposition to the school being established where it is, but when he died the mayor of Austin and the City Council attended the funeral in a body. Colonel E. M. House, who lived in Austin, said that Dr. Lovinggood was one of the greatest educators the Negro race had ever produced."
       " It sounds as though we had come to a band concert instead of a ball game," said J. W. as the car approached the inclosed grounds from which music and shouting were heard.
       " Yes, we have a pretty good college band, and they always get out on occasions like this," said his companion.
       Just then the car passed inside the gates, but no one noticed it, for everybody's attention was fixed on something far more important. A home team player had just hit a ball into deep center, and the runner who had been on second had already passed third base and was well on his way home. The band was playing boisterously, and several hundred students and friends in the grandstand were jumping, shouting, and waving their hands in approved rooter fashion.
       " I haven't heard anything like that since I was in college," said J. W. when the runner had crossed the plate and the uproar had somewhat subsided. "It does me good just to hear the shouting." Although he spoke casually, he was conscious inside that he was far more surprised than he was willing to show. He never had seen a ball game played by colored teams, and he hadn't quite pictured the thing in his mind before. Baseball was what it was, to be sure, no matter who played it, but in his heart he knew that this game was much more like what he had been accustomed to in his own college days than he had expected.
       He stayed through the remaining innings of the game, the home team winning handily, to the delight of the assembled crowd. Then he rode with his new friend back to his hotel.
       As they neared the hotel J. W. turned suddenly to his companion and said, "Here I have been with you most of the afternoon and you haven't told me a thing about yourself. I take it for granted you are one of the teachers at Samuel Huston College or connected with the school in some way?"
       " Yes, sir," said the Negro. "I do some teaching there. I am also the president. That was my house next to the Eliza Dee Home. I am not sure that I pointed it out to you."
       " President? And here I've been monopolizing you all afternoon! Well, I'll admit it has been a pleasure to be with you and to see that game, even if our meeting was a little informal," said J. W. "In the future I'll know what folks are talking about, anyway, when they say 'Samuel Huston College.' I am ready to believe on the spot that you are doing a great work for your people."
       " Well, we think we are doing some things worth while," said the president, "but it is by the help of folks like you, who have had the faith to support the institutions of the church even when they didn't know all about them. That has made our work possible. You know there is a verse in the Bible which says, 'Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.' Sometimes I think of that verse in connection with our many friends who have never seen what we are doing and yet have believed in us enough to help."

Sketch from J.W. Thinks Black by Jay Samuel Stowell - 1922 -