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Alamo Institute


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.

Board: Fully Appreciating the many advantages resulting from a good school, and realizing the sharp competition among boarding schools to reduce total expenses to a minimum, our best families take boarders at $8 and $9 per month with everything furnished. We take special pains to see that our pupils get congenial boarding places. When they arrive, we first acquaint ourselves with their tastes and then select a HOME for them, so that the transition from home to boarding school life will not be the bug-bear that many imagine it to be. There is no doubt in our mind that many young men and ladies are today hesitating to attend a boarding school from the dread they have of making the change. We passed through the same ordeal, and hence can fully appreciate your condition. We will get you a home rather than a boarding place. Boys and Girls will not be allowed to board at the same place.

Faculty: Our faculty is composed of teachers of broad scholarship, and who have had wide and successful experience in teaching and managing schools. J.F. Davidson has been identified with the schools of Van Zandt County too long and is too well and favorably known to need an introduction to the people of this and the surrounding counties. J.M. Dean is a graduate of the Sam Houston Normal Institute of Huntsville, Texas, having competed the course there and received the diploma of that institute on June 10, 1886; he also holds a certificate from Hill's Business College of Waco, Texas, and has had much practical experience as a book-keeper. He comes from the sister county of Smith, where he had taught successfully for ten years. Wm. Finley is a graduate of the Alabama State Normal, from which he graduated with special honors; he comes with a special indorsement from the faculty of that institution and from the patrons for whom he has been teaching for four years.

Board of Directors for 1894-95

A.J. Gulledge
W.H. Matthews
E.H. Youngblood
J.T. Tucker, M.D.
B.A. Germany
L.L. Sanders
E.R. Downs
W.B. Cox
W.A. Couey

Board of Trustees:

A.J. Gulledge
J.T. Tucker, M.D.
E.R. Downs


J.F. Davidson, Primary Department, Hisotry, Latin, Greek
J.M. Dean, Mathematics, Book-Keeping, and Literature
Wm. Finley, English and Science
Miss Beulah Williams, Music and Voice Culture, Including Theory, Practice and Harmony


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This page last updated 15 May 2007

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