Charnwood Institute

By: Carolyn Hyman

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Charnwood Institute was located at the corner of Fannin and Charnwood streets in Tyler. Professor John T. Hand, a Georgian, founded the boarding school in 1865 when he received a lease on Eastern Texas Female College as partial payment for his services as president. He also acted as headmaster at Charnwood, which became coeducational after three years. The academic year was divided into two terms, one of four months and the other of six. This enabled the boys to harvest crops before the beginning of the fall term. Students from Smith and the adjoining counties attended, and enrollment was usually between sixty and seventy pupils. In 1868 the institute employed Professor Hand, Mary Spear, Mollie E. Moore (see DAVIS, MOLLIE E. M.), and Professor B. R. Lignoski. Other teachers included Madeline Oldham, Kate Walker, and Capt. Tom Smith. Hand served as president until 1874, when the school closed because of competition from other Tyler institutions. It reopened shortly thereafter as a girls' school, still named Charnwood Institute, and continued in operation until 1882.

Vicki Betts, Smith County, Texas, in the Civil War (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1978). Morris Burton, "Culture in the Cotton County," Chronicles of Smith County, Fall 1968. "The Miller House," Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1964. Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).
  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools

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

Carolyn Hyman, “Charnwood Institute,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994