Benton City Institute, originally known as Benton City Normal Institute, was founded in 1876 and located on the ground floor of the Masonic building in Benton. The school, first run by Col. John D. Morrison, offered accounting, law, music, and surveying, plus basic academic subjects. It was funded partially by the state, though it was a private institution. The remainder of its funding came from tuition. By 1878 the institute was coeducational and owned and run by Professor and Mrs. Bernard C. Hendrix, formerly of Kentucky. When the Masons moved to Lytle in 1909, the institute expanded to utilize the entire building. The school was renamed Benton School in 1889 and Old Rock School in 1910. The institution ceased to exist when the Benton schools were consolidated with those of Lytle in 1919. A state historical marker was erected at the ruins of the building in 1971.
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Atascosa County History (Pleasanton, Texas: Atascosa History Committee, 1984). Margaret G. Clover, The Place Names of Atascosa County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1952).
Defunct Colleges and Universities
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Benton City Institute,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994