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Henderson Male and Female College

Megan Biesele General Entry

Henderson Male and Female College, in Rusk County, was established on April 5, 1871. From 1873 to 1879 its president was Oscar H. Cooper, a Yale graduate, who acquired college status for the institution. As early as 1873 its enrollment was 160, and the first graduating class received its diplomas in June 1876. That year there were ten faculty members, including J. C. Mizner, who had graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory of Music and had studied under Franz Liszt. Cooper resigned in 1879 to become the first state superintendent of public instruction and was succeeded by Thomas S. Gathright, who had been the first president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University).

Garland Roscoe Farmer, The Realm of Rusk County (Henderson, Texas: Henderson Times, 1951). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). Rusk County History (Henderson, Texas: Rusk County Historical Commission, 1982). Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).


  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities

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

Megan Biesele, “Henderson Male and Female College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.