Sometime around 1890, the Alamo Institute was established by James F. Davidson. It was operated by a Board of Directors and mangaed by a competent Faculty. Located at Ben Wheeler, Texas, on what became the Ben Wheeler School grounds in later days. However, it was situated close to what we know now as FM Rd. 858 instead of back where a two-story wood frame school building would be built later. Most of the information included on this webpage comes from a copy of an old Alamo Institute brochure 1894-95. For an unbound copy of this brochure, send $5 to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, Attention: Research Librarian, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, Texas. The fee will cover copying and postage.
History: The Alamo Institute was established by J.F. Davidson. It is operated by a Board of Directors, and is managed by a competent Faculty. Its object is to aid boys and girls in obtaining, in a reasonable time, and in the least expensive way, a good, practical education, and to stimulate and encourage a laudable ambition in the minds and hearts of the pupils; to give them the correct idea of American citizenship; to fit them for useful and honorable pursuits in after life. the present Institute year has been one eminently successful. Although but four years old, it has taken its place among the most advanced educational institutions of East Texas.
Location: The Alamo Institute is located at Ben Wheeler, in Van Zandt county, on the dividing ridge between the waters of the Neches river on the north and Kickapoo creek on the south, eleven and one-half miles south-east from Canton. The drainage is good, the place healthful. Students here are in no danger of contracting disease by breathing malarial or miasmatic vapors.
Buildings: In choosing a site for the Institute buildings care was taken to select a beautiful location, which is free from disturbance. Our buildings, two in number, are situated about five feet apart, but are connected above and below by enclosed pass-ways. the one is 30 X 60 feet, the other, 24 X 40 feet. Both are two stories high, well lighted and ventilated, comfortable seated and supplied with ample board room, maps, charts, etc.
While we realized the fact that good buildings alone do not constitute a good school,, yet they are just as essential as honest, enthusiastic teachers. No man can do first class work without good tools, nor can any teacher awaken the dormant energies of a pupil unless that pupil is comfortably situated. We hope to make our study-rooms more comfortable and attractive than the home parlor, and then feed our pupils on wholesome intellectual food.
Moral Influences: We have a quiet little village in which no intoxicants are sold. Our people are cultured and hospitable, and welcome students to their homes and churches, Baptist and Methodist. We have two large and well conducted Sunday-schools, and we encourage our pupils to identify themselves with them. We take great interest in throwing around our students every restraint calculated to assist in building up a firm, worthy character.
Miscellaneous: We have daily mails except on Sundays.
We have not advertised branches that we cannot teach.
Books can be obtained from our local dealers, cheap, for cash.
Students are advised to bring all their books with them.
For further information address the principals.
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