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Hillyer Female College

Craig H. Roell General Entry

Hillyer Female College was established by John F. Hillyer, a Baptist minister and professor, at Goliad, Texas, when the town council hired him in December 1848 to operate a female school in the old Aranama mission (see NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL ESPÍRITU SANTO DE ZÚÑIGA MISSION). The school opened in February 1849 for ten-month terms. It offered instruction in Greek and Latin, piano, drawing, painting, needlework, and other "branches of Female Education usually taught in this Country in the English Language," according to Hillyer's contract, which was conditionally renewable for five years. The contract probably was carried out in full for only three years. In 1852 Aranama College superseded the female academy, and was established in Aranama mission in part through the efforts of Reverend Hillyer, who then served as a trustee of the new college before moving to Gonzales, where he established Gonzales College. Since Aranama College was originally a male school, the citizens of Goliad established Paine Female Institute in 1852 to replace Hillyer's college.

Goliad County Historical Commission, The History and Heritage of Goliad County, ed. Jakie L. Pruett and Everett B. Cole (Austin: Eakin, 1983). Eugene Allen Perrin, The History of Education in Goliad County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1933). Texas Historical and Biographical Magazine (1892). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (John Freeman Hillyer).


  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Women

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

Craig H. Roell, “Hillyer Female College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 04, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: