TYLER UNIVERSITY. Tyler University, just northwest of Oakwood (once Tyler) Cemetery in Tyler, was founded in 1852 or 1853 by the Cherokee Baptist Association. Sponsorship was later transferred to the General Baptist Convention of Eastern Texas. When that organization collapsed, the governance of the school was again entrusted to the association, and on February 11, 1854, the association obtained a charter from the state. Both male and female students attended classes in a large brick edifice, in separate departments. The school had financial difficulties and frequent changes of faculty. The male department was destroyed by fire in 1857, then reopened as Masonic Male Academy; it later became Texas Baptist College. In 1857 the women's department was renamed Eastern Texas Female College, also known as Tyler Female Seminary.
Vicki Betts, Smith County, Texas, in the Civil War (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1978). James H. Conrad, comp., Texas Educational History: A Bibliography (Greenville, Texas: Juris, 1979). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983).