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St. Basil's College

R. E. Lamb, C.S.B. General Entry

St. Basil's College, Waco, was a boarding school for boys established in 1899 by Basilian Fathers from Canada and France. With the encouragement of the local board of commerce a site was secured and a frame structure was erected. The first principal was Father Thomas Hayes, who was assisted by two other priests, V. J. Donnelly and Charles Collins. The opening enrollment was sixty. The main purpose of the school was college preparation, to which were added business courses, Romance languages, and a small amount of music. The library contained 3,000 volumes. Non-Catholic students were admitted from the beginning. New property, about fifteen acres, was secured at a location known as Provident Heights, and local architects and contractors built a rather imposing building of three stories with a capacity for 100 boys or more. It was heated with steam and equipped with a swimming pool. By 1910 students were attending from several parts of Texas, and the faculty increased correspondingly. Many of the faculty members had been theology students in Toronto, Ontario, and elsewhere. One, Charles E. Coughlin, originally from Hamilton, Ontario, became the famous "radio priest" and publisher of the Social Justice newspaper in the 1930s and 1940s. By 1915 the number of resident students at St. Basil's had decreased considerably, and the institution was taken over by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur from Fort Worth. One end of the property later became FlyTAF, i.e., flight training offices of the United States Air Force, and the other end became the site of Bishop Reicher High School, named for Louis Joseph Reicher.

Catholic Archives of Texas, Files, Austin. Sister Joseph A. Dederichs and Sister Rose Mary Cousins, Catholic Schools: Dawn of Education in Texas (Beaumont: Beaumont Printing and Lithographing, 1986).


  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Religion
  • Catholic

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

R. E. Lamb, C.S.B., “St. Basil's College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 06, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995
October 3, 2018