Mary Nash College was founded in Sherman in 1877 as Sherman Female Institute by Jesse G. and Mary Louise Nash. The school, sponsored by the Baptist Church, started in a four-room house and soon moved to a larger campus. Its motto, taken from Psalm 144, was "That your daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace." The emphasis in the school in both its preparatory and college divisions was on language, music, and polite behavior.
Because of its music program the school was sometimes called the Mary Nash College and Conservatory of Music. Its teachers and students were required to attend Bible studies and daily chapel services. Physical exercise—conducted in a ladylike manner—was considered important, and the campus included a large gymnasium. Instead of examinations, reviews were given to gauge a student's progress, since fear of examinations was thought to be too demanding for girls. On February 7, 1896, Mary Nash died. The school was continued by her son, A. Q. Nash, and his wife. It closed in 1901, and the campus was sold to Kidd–Key College. Over the course of its existence Mary Nash College granted B.A., B.S., and B.Litt. degrees to 257 girls.
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Graham Landrum and Allen Smith, Grayson County (Fort Worth, 1960; 2d ed., Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1967). Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities (Austin: Eakin, 1986).
Defunct Colleges and Universities
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Lisa C. Maxwell,
“Mary Nash College,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 1, 1995
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