Moulton Male and Female Institute, in Moulton, northwestern Lavaca County, opened in the fall of 1874 under the leadership of M. H. Allis, a graduate of Rochester University who moved to Gonzales, Texas, in 1857 to work as professor of mathematics at Gonzales College. During the Civil War he served in Hood's Texas Brigade and spent time as a prisoner of war. He returned to be president of Gonzales College, but in 1874 he moved to Moulton and started the new school with the assistance of his wife, Thankful Allis, and Miss Sallie McLean, who headed the music department. The school offered a curriculum unequaled in South Texas. Included were reading from English primers to Virgil and Cicero in Latin, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, surveying, astronomy, music, composition, and art. All subjects were necessary for graduation. The original buildings were destroyed by fire in 1876 and replaced by a two-story classroom building and a separate music hall in time for the 1877 school year. The school year comprised two sessions. Fees depended upon the curriculum and the services rendered. Monthly tuition rates were $2 for the primary class, $2.50 for the intermediate class, $3 for the advanced class, $4 for ancient languages and advanced mathematics, and $5 for music (including the use of the piano, organ, and chimes); a furnished room with light, board, and tuition was $14. The buildings were damaged by a storm in 1886, but by 1890 the enrollment was 160, including thirty boarding students. After Allis died in 1892, his wife continued to operate the school for three years before disposing of the property.