Marshall University

By: Nancy Young

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 17, 2019

Marshall University, chartered on January 18, 1842, with a grant of four leagues of land, opened that year with Virgil M. DuBose as its first president. Andrew Jackson Fowler was the school's first teacher. The first building was made of hewn logs. Classes probably began in September 1842. Peter Whetstone granted the institution a ten-acre tract of land in March 1843. James M. Morphis took charge of the male department in 1849, and Miss E. J. Dickey served as principal of the female department. Structural additions were made to the building in 1850. The school, never a university except in name, was coeducational until 1850, when the female department was organized into a separate institution, Marshall Masonic Female Institute, which operated for more than fifty years. The male department continued to operate, and a new brick building to house the school was constructed in 1851 at a cost of $10,000. The university was absorbed by the public school system in 1910, after which the board of trustees continued to operate for a while.

Frontier Times, June 1939. Jimmy Guthrie, "Marshall University: A Heritage of Higher Education in East Texas," Touchstone 3 (1984). Thomas L. Miller, The Public Lands of Texas, 1519–1970 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas

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

Nancy Young, “Marshall University,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 17, 2019