Southwestern University--Oldest Univ. in Texas
Southwestern University actually came about from combining the remants of four different colleges/universities in Texas that for various reasons had closed earlier (or as in the case of Soule U. was headed towards failure):
Rutersville College (1840)
Wesleyan College (1844)
McKenzie College (1848)
Soule University (1856)
The very first institute for higher learning began with Rutersville, when Colonel William B. Travis* of the Texas volunteer army requested the founding of a Methodist presence as settlers were beginning to revolt against the government of Mexico.
The Methodist Church sent three missionaries to Texas once the political tensions calmed down. One of these was Martin Ruter of Pennsylvania, who got the ball rolling but died within 6 months of his journey.
As one college after the other failed and Soule University seemed destined to follow, Francis Asbury Mood, a teacher from the South Carolina State Normal School was asked to become the president of the university, which would become Southwestern.
Opening pic: Main, the oldest building on campus
pic #2 Mood-Birdwell Hall
pic #3 Lois Perkins Chapel
pic #4 Cody Memorial Library
Today, Southwestern has an enrollment of 1200, which is comprised of students from 30 states and 20 nations. It still maintains it's connection with the Methodist Church but has other religious denominations represented, as well.
The university whose roots were founded in 1840, is classified among 164 national liberal arts colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter added in 1995. It has a sterling reputation.
*Colonel William B. Travis, of Alamo fame
For more on the university, see www.southwestern.edu/about/about-history.html
Follow the River at San Gabriel Park
The San Gabriel River is part of the Brazos River system, which flows through Williamson County. It was named Rio de San Francisco Xavier in 1716 by the Ramon expedition and was also mentioned in the journals of the Aguayo expedition in 1721. 'Xavier' became Gabriel, when Stephen F. Austin (The Father of Texas) incorrectly listed it as such*.
The river figured importantly in an Indian battle in 1839. Today, it threads its way through Georgetown's San Gabriel Park, which affords the visitor a network of trails, playground area and ideal dog-walking area.
*info from Handbook of Tx. Online
Georgetown's Historic Homes
"1309 College Street"
This lovely house is a B&B, located on a shady street away from the busyness of downtown. The front of the home is circa 1880, while the rear is 1860.
It's a 2-story wood-frame building in a modified L-shape, with a one story seven-bay porch and hip roof which wraps around the south and west elevations with five-sided bay window.
"1414 Ash Street"
This home was constructed in 1912 at a cost of $4200 for Mr. A.W. Sillure, vice-president and bookkeeper of the Belford lumber company.
"803 College Street"
This 2 1/2 story home is wood-frame in a modified L plan , hip roof with gables, two interior brick chimneys with corbeled caps, third floor tower above the entry and bay projection on the west end, five-sided window on the ground floor and semi-circular window on second floor. Gable ends with bargeboards and geometric shingle facing on each elevation.
"1404 Elm Street"
Banker, Henry Harrell owned this pretty home. It was constructed by the Belford Lumber Company around 1898-96 and features Victorian elements such as bracketed canopy roofs, gingerbread or bargeboards under gable ends, multi-pane tripartite attic window and balcony.
"1304 Elm Street"
Local merchant, William Y. Penn, had the Belford Lumber Company constructed this home in 1895. Mr. Penn also served as Georgetown's city alderman and mayor.
In 1907 the home became the residence of the presiding elder of Georgetown District of the Methodist Church and member of the Masonic Lodge. It was sold to druggist M.C.Hodges in 1945 and Dr. Van C. Tipton in 1966. The Robert V. Allen family purchased the home in 1973.
"1243 Main Street"
This Queen Anne style home belonged to Professor R.F. Young. It was built (1901) outside of town where he managed a dairy farm until 1948. The home featuring moulded wreaths, festoons on the entry bay ganle, fish scale shingles and ionic columns was moved here in 1978.
"1102 Ash Street"
"711 East University Avenue"