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Thornton Institute

Ray A. Walter General

Thornton Institute, chartered on December 7, 1881, as the Thornton Male and Female Institute, was founded in 1877 by Edward Coke Chambers. Students took courses in Greek, Latin, French, algebra, surveying, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and astronomy. The school was in session for ten months out of the year. Known to newspapers as Thornton College, the school grew rapidly. A frame building housed the classrooms, and "barracks" were used to house the students. Baccalaureate degrees were awarded to graduates; all ceremonies were conducted in Latin. On August 15, 1889, Henry P. Davis acquired the school, and two years later the property was given to the Thornton Independent School District.

Ray A. Walter, A History of Limestone County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Limestone County).


  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities

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

Ray A. Walter, “Thornton Institute,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.