Harris, Thomas Green (1854–1934)

By: Tula Townsend Wyatt

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

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Thomas Green Harris, college president, was born on May 27, 1854, at Sweetwater, Tennessee, the son of Ezekiel and Celina (Green) Harris. He attended Carson-Newman College at Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he received a B.A. degree in 1876 and an M.A. degree in 1880. He taught school in Ellijay, Georgia, before he moved to Texas in 1879. He was superintendent of schools at Weatherford, Mansfield, and Plano, where he married Lou Oglesby on December 21, 1886. They moved to Dallas, and there Harris became principal of the high school in 1887. In 1891 he became superintendent of the Dallas city schools. In 1893 he went to Houston as public school superintendent; in 1895 he took a similar position in Austin. In 1903 he moved to San Marcos and was named the first president of Southwest Texas State Normal School (now Southwest Texas State University). He went to San Marcos Academy as its second president in 1911. Harris retired from school work in 1915, but his love for schools later took him to Sul Ross College (now Sul Ross State University), where he taught mathematics for six years. He afterward served as superintendent of schools in San Benito for three years. He and his wife were the parents of four daughters and two sons. He was a Baptist. He died on January 26, 1934, at San Marcos.

San Marcos Record, February 2, 1934.


  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators


  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

Tula Townsend Wyatt, “Harris, Thomas Green,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 21, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/harris-thomas-green.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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