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Salado College Archeological Site U.S. National Register of Historic Places Ruins of Salado College 2008 Location: College Hill Salado, Texas, USA Coordinates: 30°56′30″N 97°32′14″W / 30.94167°N 97.53722°W / 30.94167; -97.53722Coordinates: 30°56′30″N 97°32′14″W / 30.94167°N 97.53722°W / 30.94167; -97.53722 Built: 1860 Governing body: Salado Historical Society Added to NRHP: March 1, 1985 NRHP Reference#: 85000403 [1] Salado College was a college in Salado, Texas, United States that operated from 1860 until 1885. Salado College began on October 8, 1859 at a tent meeting at Salado Springs of prominent men from throughout Bell County with a desire to create a high class school in the county. They organized the Salado College Joint Stock Company and raised $5,000 for the college through sale of stock. The board of the company had seven trustees. Colonel E.S.C. Robertson was elected President of the board. Robertson donated 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land to the college on October 16, 1859. Ninety acres of the land were subdivided and sold to families moving to the area. The proceeds provided money for building. Salado College was the first college in the state to operate without church or state funds. On February 8, 1860, Salado College was incorporated by the Texas Legislature for twenty years to grant diplomas, confer degrees and perform other corporate functions. Unlike most colleges of the era in the United States, Salado College was to be coeducational. The college erected a temporary wooden building, and the first classes began on February 20, 1860. Seventy-five students were enrolled the first term. Students that did not live in the area boarded with local families as the college had no dormitory. Teachers temporarily lived in tents. On July 4, 1860, area Masons laid the cornerstone for the college's permanent two-story limestone building. The ceremony attracted visitors from as far away as Austin and Waco. The college sold many more lots as families moved to Salado to get their children a good education. Attendance increased to 124 students the next year. Attendance at the school some times topped 300 students with an average of 250 from 1866 to 1872.[2] In 1871, the college added a two-story annex. However, enrollment dropped sharply because of the Panic of 1873. The number of students also decreased as more state-funded colleges were established. Finally, Colonel Robertson had to step in and buy the college to keep it from being foreclosed on. Colonel Robertson died in 1879. The state charter expired on February 8, 1880. A new corporation formed and purchased the land on which the college building stood from Robertson's heirs. The school operated as Salado College until 1885. However, the college was not rechartered with the state, so it granted no degrees between 1880 and 1884. In 1885, Salado College ceased operating as a college. The college had operated for its entire existence without endowments, sustained solely by tuition. The property was turned over to trustees of the local public school and operated as Thomas Arnold High School, a private academy, from 1890 until 1913 and was operated as Salado College again until 1918. A fire destroyed the building in 1901 and another in 1902. The building was rebuilt each time. A fire in 1924 destroyed the building again. This time the citizens could not afford to rebuild. Oral history recounts the nature of the fires as "suspicious," but the basis for the claim of arson is lost in local legend.[3] The site was subjected to an archaeological survey. The ruins of the building were stabilized, and the site is now open to the public. Notable alumni James Edward Ferguson, 26th Governor of Texas, expelled from Salado for disobedience[4] Miriam Amanda Ferguson, 29th and 32nd Governor of Texas References ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.  ^ "Salado College," The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved Nov. 22, 2008. ^ Coppedge, Clay. "Salado College ahead of its time," Temple Daily Telegram. March 28, 2005 ^ "Ferguson, James Edward," The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved Nov. 22, 2008. v • d • e U.S. National Register of Historic Places Keeper of the Register · History of the National Register of Historic Places · Property types · Historic district · Contributing property List of entries · National Park Service · National Historic Landmarks · National Battlefields · National Historic Sites · National Historical Parks · National Memorials · National Monuments