Central College, in Sulphur Springs, began in 1877 as Sulphur Springs District Conference High School. In 1882, after being offered the presidency of the school by the board of directors, Rev. J. W. Adkisson drafted a charter to reorganize the school as Central College. The charter was granted in 1883, and control of the college was transferred to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with Adkisson as the first president. The college departments included arts and sciences, primary, preparatory, commercial, and music. The school had two literary societies, Kappa Tau and Belles Lettres. Central College enrollment ranged from 150 to 200. Its property was valued at $20,000. In 1894 a Central College professor, H. P. Eastman, from Indiana, purchased the college and continued operation under a new charter. At that time the name was changed to Eastman College and Conservatory of Music and Art. The institution operated under Eastman's leadership until it was destroyed by fire in 1900.