Ewing College, previously La Grange Collegiate Institute at La Grange, Fayette County, was chartered on February 11, 1860, under the Colorado Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The school opened its first session in September 1860, with R. P. Decherd as president and three other faculty members. Tuition for a term of twenty weeks ranged from $12.50 to $20.00 in the preparatory department and from $20.00 to $25.00 in the collegiate department, with a $5.00 extra fee for Spanish, French, or German. In October 1860 the school was described as suitable for education of ministerial students. Fifty-five attended the second term, and a commercial science course was added. With the outbreak of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, the trustees suspended the college as a synodal school and allowed K. C. Decherd to use the building for a private school called La Grange Male Academy. In 1863 J. R. Casselman became Decherd's partner and advertised the school as La Grange Male and Female Academy. After the Civil War the school became Ewing Female College. A. H. Cross established a school in the college building in September 1867, but an outbreak of yellow fever ended it. The Colorado Synod retained its trustees in order to save the charter and the property. In 1868 James W. Smith and A. J. Adkisson were appointed to dispose of the property; they sold it in 1870 for $500 and turned the proceeds over to Trinity University.
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Johanna Caroline Walling, Early Education in Fayette County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1941). Leonie L. Weyand, Early History of Fayette County, 1822–1865 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1932).
Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995