South Texas Baptist College

By: Diane E. Spencer

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: March 23, 2019

South Texas Baptist College, in Waller, was chartered by members of the South Texas Baptist Educational Conference and established in 1898. Its founders were concerned about the lack of local Baptist schools after Baylor University moved from Independence to Waco and William Carey Crane College closed. South Texas Baptist College operated from September 1898 to September 1900 under President W. E. Clark. During its first year, classes were held at the Waller Baptist Church. In 1899 a two-story frame building was erected on land donated by C. C. Waller. Classes were held on the ground floor, and the second floor provided living quarters for the president, his family, and female boarders. Matilda S. Clark served as the college matron. Male students lived with families in the community. The purpose of the college was to provide "the best facilities for development and culture-intellectual, aesthetic, moral, and religious." President Clark, Julia B. James, and Annie F. Black made up the faculty. They offered a two-year preparatory program, a two-year academic program, a four-year college course, and a teacher's program. The school offered optional classes in music, art, and elocution. Tuition ranged from ten to fifteen dollars a term, with optional classes extra. The library had 250 volumes; students also had access to the private collections of President Clark and Judge Tom Shannon. The Lone Star Lyceum was a literary society for students. Despite plans for expansion, South Texas Baptist College closed in September 1900, when the Galveston hurricane badly damaged the building. The school had enrolled 102 students during its final term. An attempt to reopen the institution that year failed for lack of patronage. Waller High School now stands on the site.

Carl Bassett Wilson, History of Baptist Educational Efforts in Texas, 1829–1900 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1934).

  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities
  • Religion
  • Baptist

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

Diane E. Spencer, “South Texas Baptist College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 23, 2019