Seth Ward College

By: Charles G. Davis

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Seth Ward College was established in 1910 after the Plainview District of the Methodist Church bought Central Plains College from the Holiness Church for $32,000. The school was renamed in honor of the first Texas bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was reorganized as a two-year coeducational college designed to prepare students to enter Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. The military atmosphere of the former Central Plains College was dropped. Football, basketball, and baseball teams were organized and competed with the new Wayland Baptist College, also in Plainview. Enrollment averaged more than 200 from 1913 through 1915. The men's dormitory was gutted by fire in the spring of 1914. Construction on a new building was begun, but before it was completed, a second fire, on March 16, 1916, destroyed both the administration building and the women's dormitory. The Northwest Texas Conference closed the school and in 1929 transferred its surviving funds to the board of education, which loaned the money free of interest to McMurry College in Abilene. Seth Ward reunions were held in Plainview from 1932 through 1975.

Mary L. Cox, History of Hale County, Texas (Plainview, Texas, 1937). W. M. Stoker, History of Seth Ward College (Canyon: West Texas State University, 1977). Vera D. Wofford, ed., Hale County Facts and Folklore (Lubbock, 1978).
  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities
  • Religion
  • Methodist

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

Charles G. Davis, “Seth Ward College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995