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Jacksonville College

Tracy Don Sears and Troy A. Garis General

Jacksonville College, often called Jacksonville Baptist College, is located in Jacksonville, Cherokee County. The school was founded by the East Texas Educational Society and received its state charter on June 26, 1899. The trustees purchased eighteen acres on what came to be called College Hill, and construction began on a three-story main building for the college. The thirty-four students who registered in the fall of 1899 attended classes in space rented from J. A. Templeton, but the new building was completed before the spring semester, when eighty-five students enrolled. Although the school began as a senior college, it reorganized as a junior college in 1918. In 1923 the original charter was amended to allow the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas to own and operate the college. Jacksonville College was one of the first two-year schools in the state to set up a continuing-education program for adults. By the 1962–63 term, enrollment totaled 147 students with a fourteen-member faculty, and by 1965 the campus contained eight permanent buildings. The old main building was torn down in 1975 and replaced with a chapel and fine arts building. In the mid-1980s the campus also included an administration building, a library, on-campus housing facilities, and a gymnasium. In 1987 the college had 227 students and a faculty of fifteen full-time and fifteen part-time employees. Jacksonville College had twenty-seven faculty members and 363 students in the fall of 1998. The college also participated in a joint baccalaureate program with the University of Texas at Tyler. Edwin Crank became president of Jacksonville College in 1988.

Cherokee County History (Jacksonville, Texas: Cherokee County Historical Commission, 1986).


  • Education
  • Private Four-Year Colleges and Universities
  • Religion
  • Baptist

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

Tracy Don Sears and Troy A. Garis, “Jacksonville College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 29, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.