Stamford College

By: Fane Downs

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Stamford College, in Stamford, was opened as Stamford Collegiate Institute in September 1907 with 236 students and thirteen teachers. It was founded by the Northwest Texas Methodist Conference at the request of the Abilene and Colorado districts and with the donation of $67,000 and a twenty-acre campus by the town of Stamford. The college had fifteen teachers and a student body numbering approximately 275 during its second year of operation; by 1909 it enrolled more than 300 and had a physical plant valued at $130,000. Its name was changed to Stamford College in 1910. The college incurred a debt of $40,000 between 1910 and 1912, but was supported by the Conference with a donation of more than $6,000 in 1913 and continued financial support of a more limited nature thereafter. The school apparently averaged about 200 to 300 students until 1917, when drought and World War I caused the enrollment to drop to about 100. The college closed in 1918 after the administration building burned. Its debts were liquidated, and the remaining funds were transferred to Clarendon College. The property of the college was later sold for $3,000 to the Stamford County Line Independent School District, and the proceeds were divided equally between St. John's Methodist Church in Stamford and the city of Stamford. James Winfred Hunt served as president of Stamford College and subsequently founded McMurry College in Abilene in 1923. The alumni of Stamford College were accepted by McMurry College in a resolution dated April 5, 1949; at commencement the graduates of Stamford College received certificates that recognized them as ex-students of McMurry College.

Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Journal of the Northwest Texas Conference, 1906–21. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • 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.

Fane Downs, “Stamford College,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995