GOODNIGHT COLLEGE. Goodnight College, an academy, opened in 1898 through the efforts of Charles and Mary Dyer Goodnightqqv and Dr. Marshall McIlhaney, who was the first president. The first classes were held in the Goodnight Methodist Church and taught by McIlhaney, his daughter, and Mrs. Annie Scott. Desiring to found a coeducational industrial institute where students could work and pay part of their expenses, Goodnight gave the school 340 acres of land for industrial use. In 1898 an addition was made to the church and five dormitories were built. The Goodnights offered the institution to the Methodists, but they declined to accept it. In 1905 the cattleman transferred the property to the Baptists. C. H. Webb was elected president in 1904 and followed by J. P. Reynolds in 1906. The school prospered; enrollment increased to 175, and literary societies were formed. A new three-story brick administration building was erected in 1906, and the faculty was enlarged to six. A summer school and a summer normal, the first in the Panhandle, were conducted. In 1914 the school became a junior college. Robert Morgan was president of the college from 1915 to 1917. A yearbook, the Buffalo, was printed in 1916. However, the lack of financial support, along with the proximity of West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas A&M University), Clarendon College, and other area schools, caused the academy to close its doors in 1917. The buildings were used by Buckner Orphans Home (later Buckner Baptist Children's Home) until 1920, when the home moved back to Dallas. Fire destroyed the administration building in 1918. Afterwards the property was returned to Goodnight, who then gave it to the town's independent school district.
Armstrong County Historical Association, A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876–1965 (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1965). J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949). Winifred Morris Stoker, A Pictorial History of Early Higher Education in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon: West Texas State University, 1976).