HISTORY OF COLLEGE HILL SCHOOL OF TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS
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It is of unusual
historical interest to know that the establishment of a college gave the
community its name. In the beginning it was a private institution, which
attracted pupils from many plantations in this part of the state. Many of
Texarkana’s leading citizens received the foundation of their education there
and its history is a story of the birth of a city as well as the progress of
In 1880 a private
school was established on the hill across from the Cotton Belt Hospital. This
school was supported by, J. F. Kirby, E. S. Sanderson, Q. F. Ferguson and H. N.
McClain. T. C. Anderson had charge of the school with the following faculty;
principal, J. F. Shaw a Baptist Minister; H. W. Butcher a teacher of
mathematics, who was a graduate of the University of Virginia; A Mr. Hutsell a
teacher of English; and Miss Sally Reed as an assistant teacher. This school ran
for a number of years until some one advanced the idea of a college.
In 1882, J. F. and
John Kirby gave ten beautiful acres to be used as a school site, which became a
part of Kirby’s College Addition. No building was erected or any provision
made for the school so in 1889 this property was deeded to the Southwestern
Arkansas College. The following men were trustees; E. S. Sanderson, L. J.
Joiner, J. F. Kirby, J. E. Burton, C. Wilkerson, W. R. Kelly, C. E. Bramble, L.
C. DeMorse, F. A. Byers, J. S. Smith, C. C. Burke, R. W. Reed, O. P. Taylor, W.
L. Whitaker, A. L. Ghio, J. H. Graughan, V. T. Hannon, D. E. Williams, O. D.
Scott and B. O. Estes.
A two story, six
room brick building was constructed with two stairways leading from the outside
to the second story. Another winding stairway led to the belfry where the huge
bell hung. To the left of this building was an old well, which was used as late
as 1925. Several of the teachers from the original school came over and joined
this faculty with Homer Cook as President. The curriculum consisted of the same
things as the schools of today offer such as music, both vocal and instrumental,
business training as well as the academic subjects. One of the most interesting
activities was a literacy society.
The Baptists then
took it over for a short time but could not make a go of it, so in 1892 it was
sold to George L. Bryant, who ran it as a private college with T. E. Webber as
President. Hiram and Allen, surviving partners of H. J. Allen Brothers, sued the
Southwestern Arkansas College for the debt encumbered by George Bryant. They
recovered judgment so then Sheriff James T. Dillard sold the property to H. J.
Allen on April 6th, 1895, for the sum of twenty-six hundred dollars.
The Miller County courthouse records show that the following year it was sold to
School District No.8 for thirty-five hundred dollars. The only surviving member
of the school board at this time is G. E. Vinson, city clerk of Texarkana,
Arkansas. Flippin Cook, a lawyer of Texarkana was one of the early principals of
In 1910 the school was consolidated with the Texarkana
Arkansas Schools. An auditorium and three classrooms were added to the original
building in 1925. Other improvements had been added to the building such as
water and sewage several years earlier. After the consolidation with other
smaller schools and the increased population of the College Hill Community, it
was necessary to enlarge the building. The following additions were; four
classrooms with indirect lighting; a library with new furnishings and the wall
space fitted with shelves for the 1200 volumes. The rest rooms, one for the boys
and one for the girls, have tiled floors and modern plumbing. Very little
landscaping had been done to add to the natural beauty of the campus.
Submitted by Betty
Gazette dated May 12, 1935