Kaufman Masonic Institute was one of the first educational institutions in Kaufman County. On December 9, 1854, Bloomfield Lodge No. 112 voted to establish a school for the town of Kaufman. The lodge named the school Kaufman Masonic Institute and selected S. (or J.) W. Horton, a member of Philomathia Lodge No. 110 in Georgia, as the first teacher. The institute was located in the Bloomfield Masonic building; its first session began on the first Monday in January 1855. On February 16, 1856, B. F. Wells succeeded Horton. Over the next two years Kaufman Masonic Institute hired in succession John Belieu and Robert B. Bissett. On March 19, 1859, the lodge decided to disassociate itself from the school. As a result classes were canceled, and the institute closed. Apparently this decision was the lodge's first step in a plan to establish Kaufman University, a charter for which was granted on February 14, 1860, to thirteen men, including nine members of Bloomfield Lodge. No other record of the university has been found.
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Robert Richard Butler, History of Kaufman County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). James David Carter, Education and Masonry in Texas, 1846 to 1861 (Waco Grand Lodge of Texas, 1964).
Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Kaufman Masonic Institute,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 19, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
February 1, 1995