The republic of Texas charted Nacogdoches University in 1845 to fulfill east Texas settler’s ideals for higher education. The university occupied various downtown buildings before this building was completed in time for classes in fall 1859. Local citizens underwrote the projects with donations of money, materials, land, labor and foodstuffs. During the civil war the structure served as a confederate hospital and functioned as a headquarters for a federal regiment during reconstruction. The building served the university until deeded to the Nacogdoches independent school district in 1904. It continued as a educational facility until the 1960s when its care and use became the charge of the Nacogdoches historical society and later the federation of women’s clubs. After restoration, the structure became available for community functions as well for a museum dedicated for a 19th century education, a Confederate Hospital, and community events.

  This building has been in continuous use for school purposes, except for two years during and after the Civil War. When the war began in 1861, most male faculty and students joined the war effort while female students stayed to carry on the work on the home front. The building was then used as a hospital and convalescent quarters for the confederate soldiers because of the hard times during the war. After the war and the reconstruction period, the building was again used as a school. Younger as well as older students were accepted as students. management was by various groups including The Catholic Church, The Masons, and Kechie College. By the 1890’s, local trustees again assumed control and gradually the education program melded into Nacogdoches High School.

“Perhaps the most significant event in Nacogdoches’ history during the middle of the 19th century occurred on February 3, 1845 when the Republic of Texas gradated a charter for the establishment of what came to be called Nacogdoches University. It was the first non-sectarian college established during the republic era… the building’s well proportioned design and fine craftsmanship no doubt raised an awareness and appreciation of architecture among the citizens of Nacogdoches.”

[National Register Archives.]

   The buildings, as well as Washington Square, were deeded to the Nacogdoches School District in 1904. This building, which is still standing, has been used for numerous community events since that time.  [Researched by Mrs. Garland Roark]

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