Hereford Christian College

By: Colby D. Hall

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 24, 2019

Hereford Christian College and Industrial School came about after the editor of the Hereford Brand suggested that an institution of higher learning be established in the town. A school association was formed on July 26, 1901, land was donated, contributions were made, and the contract for the land was drawn up in April 1902. By June a three-story brick main building and a women's dormitory were under construction. The college opened in September with 250 students, a faculty of eight, and Randolph Clark as president. The moving spirit behind the institution was T. E. Shirley, a local citizen and chairman of the board of trustees of Texas Christian University. In 1903 the board, owing to financial difficulties, voted to turn the college over to the Disciples of Christ, which assumed responsibility in 1904. Shirley and President E. V. Zollars of TCU tried unsuccessfully to get Texas Christian to sponsor the college, but their plan was never approved. In 1905 the college was reopened as Panhandle Christian College, with C. Q. Barton as president, and in 1909 it fielded the county's first football team. At its peak, the college administration building contained large, well-furnished recitation rooms, a laboratory, a library, an auditorium, and a music hall that seated 300 students. The third floor served as a men's dormitory. The three-story women's dorm had thirty rooms, a dining hall, and a double parlor. Elster M. Haile, president from 1908 to 1910, was succeeded by Douglas A. Shirley. For its last three years the school was again known as Hereford Christian College. Increasing financial difficulties finally forced it to close in 1912. The buildings stood vacant until 1915, when they were purchased by the Hereford school board and converted into a high school.

Deaf Smith County: The Land and Its People (Hereford, Texas: Deaf Smith County Historical Society, 1982). Bessie Patterson, A History of Deaf Smith County (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1964).

  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities
  • Religion
  • Christian Church

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

Colby D. Hall, “Hereford Christian College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 24, 2019