Sabinal Christian College was founded in 1907 on eight acres one mile east of Sabinal in Uvalde County by members of the Church of Christ, aided by citizens of Sabinal and the surrounding territory. J. F. Dunn, D. F. Nichols, and Monroe Fenley arranged for S. T. Hutchinson, a Sabinal contractor, to begin construction of the college. Hutchinson used red bricks from Laredo and lumber from two Sabinal lumberyards to construct the main college building, a two-story structure consisting of six classrooms and a 300-seat auditorium. The purpose of the founders was to provide Bible teaching and religious training in addition to the usual literary curriculum. Courses in Bible, business administration, music, and speech, as well as usual academic studies, were taught at primary, intermediate, high school, and academy levels. The college was supported by tuition fees and donations. Students were required to pay $3.50 a week for board; tuition costs ranged from fifty cents a week for primary schooling to a dollar a week for college courses. The plant consisted of an administration building, a dining hall, a girls' dormitory, two boys' dormitories, and a music hall.
The first session opened on September 10, 1907; G. H. P. Showalter was president, and 139 pupils were enrolled. A smallpox epidemic was responsible for a reduced first-year session. The second session opened on September 1, 1908, with W. A. Schultz as president; the school had a faculty of six and an enrollment of 143. In the face of growing financial difficulties at the college, President Schultz retired. In May 1909 Isaac E. Tackett, formerly connected with Southwestern Christian College at Denton, became president. He served four years, and during his administration the college reached a peak enrollment of 200 and had a faculty of nine. While Tackett was there Sabinal College published a yearbook called The Mirage. J. Paul Slayden became president in May 1913 and remained two terms. J. O. Garrett, who succeeded to the presidency in 1915, also supervised the school for two sessions. The college received inadequate financial backing because of World War I, the depressed market for cotton, and crop failures resulting from drought; it was closed on May 15, 1917.
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A Proud Heritage: A History of Uvalde County (Uvalde, Texas: El Progreso Club, 1975). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Defunct Colleges and Universities
Church Of Christ
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Isaac E. Tackett,
“Sabinal Christian College,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 23, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
June 1, 1995