Savoy Male and Female College, at Savoy, in Fannin County, was one of the first coeducational academic institutions in North Texas. It was established in 1876 through the efforts of R. R. Halsell, president, Lewis Holland, vice president, and trustees James L. German, Thomas J. Chenoweth, and James Paxton. The school provided educational opportunities regardless of ability to pay tuition for young men and women in the area and Indian students from reservations in Oklahoma. It also offered primary and preparatory classes for county school children. By the mid-1880s Savoy Male and Female College granted its pupils A.B. and B.S. degrees. Social contact between the male and female students was permitted only on special occasions, and then a chaperon had to be present. Social integration did occur, however, due to the many school activities, including a drama club, a debate team, three literary societies, and the publication of a combined literary magazine and college newspaper, the Platonian Messenger. In 1887–88 the college enrollment was forty men and twenty-five women, the primary department had 102 children, the preparatory department registered 133, and the institution enrolled forty-four Indian students, one at the college level. Although Savoy College had established a reputation as an institution of sound academic standing by the late 1880s, it failed to recover from a fire that destroyed the college plant in 1890. Efforts to reopen the college were unsuccessful. A Savoy College Ex-Students Association was organized in 1937 with 128 members. It continued to meet until 1962, when four members, the only survivors of the original alumni, attended.
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W. A. Carter, History of Fannin County, Texas (Bonham, Texas: Bonham News, 1885; rpt., Honey Grove, Texas: Fannin County Historical Society, 1975). Fannin County Folks and Facts (Dallas: Taylor, 1977). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Defunct Colleges and Universities
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Savoy Male and Female College,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 19, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
June 1, 1995