Butler College

By: Martin Behnke

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: September 8, 2020

Butler College, a coeducational school for Blacks in Tyler, was established as the Texas Baptist Academy in 1905 by the East Texas Baptist Association. In 1924 the name was changed to Butler College in honor of its president, C. M. Butler, and the institution became a junior college. In 1932 the Texas Baptist Convention agreed to assist in operation of the college. After World War II the school added such vocational courses as tailoring, photography, and secretarial science, particularly to benefit veterans. In 1949 the plant had a thirty-three-acre campus, eleven buildings, and a 103-acre farm on the Tyler-Kilgore highway. The enrollment in 1948–49 was 361. In 1951 Butler became a senior college and added a program in teacher preparation. The physical plant had fourteen buildings. The college, however, never achieved four-year accreditation. Throughout the 1960s the enrollment declined, and in 1968 only fifty-eight students were enrolled. Although students were bussed to the campus from Kilgore Junior College, Butler closed in the summer of 1972.

Linda Brown Cross and Robert W. Glover, History of Tyler Junior College, 1926–1986 (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Junior College, 1985). Robert W. Glover, ed., Tyler and Smith County, Texas (n.p.: Walsworth, 1976). Michael R. Heintze, A History of the Black Private Colleges in Texas, 1865–1954 (Ph.D. dissertation, Texas Tech University, 1981; published as Private Black Colleges in Texas, 1865–1954 [College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985]). Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities (Austin: Eakin, 1986).

  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Religion
  • Baptist

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

Martin Behnke, “Butler College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/butler-college.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 8, 2020

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