Franklin College

By: Georgia Kemp Caraway

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: September 1, 1995

Franklin College was a private nondenominational school chartered on February 2, 1856, by the Sixth Legislature of the State of Texas to be located at Palestine in Anderson County as a school of learning consisting of male and female departments. Seventeen trustees were named, their duties and powers were stipulated, and the role of the college was stated as purely literary and scientific. The school succeeded the Palestine Masonic Institute. An issue of the Corsicana Prairie Blade of June 1855 states that two large houses, one for the men's school and one for the women's, had been built by the Masons in 1851. Together the schools constituted Franklin College. Reverend John Van Epps Covey was named as the president of the college. The male school, located in the old section of Palestine, ended after one year of operation. By 1858 the female school had been moved to a 3.7-acre tract donated for its use, and that November a new frame building was completed. Elisha Pettit was appointed president, and the school was called the Palestine Female Academy. The female academy was called Palestine Female College by 1876. In 1881 the property was transferred to the trustees of the newly inaugurated public school system in Palestine.

James David Carter, Education and Masonry in Texas, 1846 to 1861 (Waco Grand Lodge of Texas, 1964). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898).
  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools

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

Georgia Kemp Caraway, “Franklin College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995