The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Henderson Masonic Female Institute

Megan Biesele General Entry

Henderson Masonic Female Institute, in Rusk County, was authorized on May 25, 1864, by the Texas legislature. The sponsors were Clinton Masonic Lodge No. 23 and the Methodist church where the institute classes were held. The original trustees, who were appointed by the legislature, included A. J. Smith, William Steadman, Thomas A. Oliver, J. M. Dodson, William H. Estill, Bennett Boggess, and John P. Grigsby. Succeeding trustees were to be selected by the lodge, which would also fix their terms of office. The school building was destroyed by a tornado on December 5, 1866. Another school by the same name apparently operated in Rusk County in 1854–55.

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 Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Religion
  • Freemasonry
  • Women

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

Megan Biesele, “Henderson Masonic Female Institute,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed February 27, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: