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LOCKNEY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE

LOCKNEY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE. Lockney Christian College, in Lockney, was established by Charles Walker Smith and St. Clair W. Smith, two evangelists of the Church of Christ, who were preaching in Floyd County. The first school year began on October 2, 1894, in a frame building twenty-four by forty-eight feet, with Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Burleson as the first teachers. The school opened with sixteen students and had fifty students by the end of the year. Students from a local public school that closed in 1895 helped increase enrollment. George Henry Pryor Showalter became president in 1897 and erected a second frame building in 1898. He also raised funds to build a third building of stone in 1908. It was used until the school closed. Under Showalter the school was reorganized to specialize in teaching elementary students. In 1899 enrollment reached 425. Showalter resigned in 1902, spent a year in Bethel, New Mexico (near Portales), where he helped St. Clair W. Smith establish another school, and then returned to Lockney. In 1902 the school was purchased by W. O. Hines, Arthur S. Kennamer, and N. L. Clark, and the name was changed to Lockney College and Bible School. Evidently the school did not operate in the 1903–04 school year. In 1904, after Nimrod Lafayette Clark, who had succeeded Showalter, resigned to become president of Gunter Bible College, Showalter returned for a two-year tenure and restored the name Lockney Christian College. He left again in 1906 to become president of Sabinal Christian College. James A. Sisco subsequently became president and served a year and a half. He expanded the college to four years. James L. German, Jr., president from 1909 to 1911, improved the faculty, the primary and secondary departments, and the college. Enrollment increased from 129 in 1909 to 136 in 1911. John Cheatham was president in the 1911–12 school year, followed by T. W. Croom in 1913. William F. Ledlow, the school's last president, served from 1914 to 1918. Although he strengthened the school so that it ranked with the best junior colleges in the state, the small-town location and the attraction of other colleges that lured students away contributed to its closing in 1918.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Elizabeth Mary Bonner, A Study of the Church of Christ in Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1941). Floyd County Historical Museum, History of Floyd County, 1876–1979 (Dallas: Taylor, 1979). Claude V. Hall, Early History of Floyd County (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1947). Mrs. C. R. Nichol, comp., Gospel Preachers in Texas and Oklahoma (Clifton, Texas?, 1911; rpt., as Gospel Preachers Who Blazed the Trail, Austin: Firm Foundation, 1962). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Ealon V. Wilson, The Colorful and Eventful Life of St. Clair W. Smith (1967). M. Norvel Young, A History of Colleges Established and Conducted by Members of the Churches of Christ (Kansas City: Old Paths Book Club, 1949).

R. L. Roberts

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

R. L. Roberts, "LOCKNEY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbl14), accessed August 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.