The Northeast Texas Digital Collections has placed yearbooks, photos and other materials from Burleson College online. The Hunt County Historical Society also has Burleson materials. The Handbook of Texas Online has a history of the school.
Burleson College was founded in 1895 by the Hunt County Baptist Association. Rev. S. J. Anderson, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Greenville, became the first president. The institution took the faculty and pupils of Greenville College, which had closed in April, the eight seniors of that school becoming the first graduating class of Burleson College in May. The five-acre college campus was located one mile from Greenville. In June 1907 the trustees and the Baptist Educational Commission decided to make Burleson College a junior college. In 1929 Burleson College had 325 students and 19 teachers. The college closed on December 5, 1930, due to an overburden of debt and competition from tax-supported schools.
The 1913 Cotton Boll shows a faculty of ten. Three of the ten taught music, one taught painting and drawing and another taught expression and physical culture. The 1916 yearbook shows that business courses had been added. The 70-odd students were all members of one of four literary societies—Platonian and Herculean for men and Eunomian and Pierian for women. These societies were the basis of most of the musical and speech activities and even some of the intramural athletic events. Debate was a major scholastic activity; this was organized by the Oratorical Association. Since Burleson was a Baptist school, many students were involved in Student Christian Association and the Prohibition League. Seventeen male students were members of the Ministers Roll
Bricks and Mortar
After starting classes in September 1895 in the local high school, Burleson moved into the new three-story brick Administration Building which was completed in October of that year. A group of interested men organized the Dormitory Stock Company, a group that built a three-story, wooden dormitory by early 1896. The three-story brick girls' dormitory was completed in June 1916, and a similar dormitory for boys was completed by the fall semester of 1917. On April 8, 1925, the girls' dormitory was destroyed by fire; a replacement building was completed by the fall semester of 1926.
Some time after the college closed, the campus was transferred to the city of Greenville for a park.
Burleson College Administration Building
(Courtesy of Northeast Texas Digital Collection, W. Walworth Genealogy Center) accessed 11-2-2017
Colors: Blue and White
Team name: Early yearbooks referred to the
teams as the Blue and White. By 1926
the Dallas Morning News calls the team
The College Football Data Warehouse shows Burleson playing football from 1908 to 1930. According to the 1916 Cotton Boll, Burleson College played seven games in the 1915 season. With only four returning players, Burleson won three games, lost three and played one tie. Although Burleson had become a junior college earlier, the yearbook shows that the 1915 team, which averaged only 152 pounds per man, contained a number of juniors and seniors. The team defeated East Texas Normal, Texas Military Academy, and Kirkley (probably a high school). They lost a return match with East Texas Normal and twice to Wesley College, a local rival. A game with the Celeste All-Stars was abandoned at half time with the score 0-0.
(Above) The 1915 Burleson football team (Cotton Boll, <dmc.tamuc.edu/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/HCHC/id/1149/rv/compoundobject/cpd/1261/rec/22>) accessed 11-2-2017
Burleson also fielded teams in basketball and baseball. Although the yearbook does not mention women’s sports, a newspaper clipping stuck in the back of the 1916 Cotton Boll shows that Burleson not only played women’s basketball, but played it well. The clipping notes that the team did not lose a game, scoring at least 30 points each game while holding opponents to 12 or fewer.