Union Academy

By: Carole E. Christian

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1996

Union Academy, one of Texas's earliest educational institutions, was incorporated by the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas on February 4, 1840. It was owned by a stock company and located three miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos. The original trustees and incorporators were James G. Swisher, Horatio Chriesman, Ephraim Roddy, William Lockridge, Jesse B. Atkinson, Stephen R. Roberts, Samuel P. Brown, Isom G. Belcher, and Adolphus Hope. The academy's aim was to provide education for youth, regardless of political or religious affiliation. This private school, the fifth educational institution chartered by the Republic of Texas, exemplified the interest of the Texan government in education as well as its dependence on private efforts to promote that objective. This early school, which only operated until the first of 1843, had one teacher, Henry Flavel Gillette. A board of five to fifteen trustees oversaw Union Academy's operations. These trustees were elected by all school subscribers. Union Academy was the only school chartered under the Republic of Texas in which no Masons were incorporators. Its short life was typical of Texas's schools, but lack of local community spirit and absence of support from religious or fraternal organizations may have hastened the institution's demise.

Truman Harrison Etheridge, Education in the Republic of Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1942). Arthur A. Grusendorf, The Social and Philosophical Determinants of Education in Washington County, Texas, from 1835 to 1937 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1938).
  • Education
  • Defunct Elementary and Secondary Schools

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

Carole E. Christian, “Union Academy,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/union-academy.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1996