Fort Worth University
Fort Worth, Texas
College catalogs for Fort Worth Christian College through 1908-09 have been digitalized and appear in the Internet Archive. College Yearbook and Athletic Record contains a sketch of the school. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered school events.
Texas Wesleyan College was chartered in 1881 and opened in the same year. In 1889 it was chartered again as Fort Worth University. The law school opened in 1893 and the school of medicine in 1894. By the 1908-09 bulletin, Fort Worth University was composed of the college with classical, scientific, literary and philosophical courses of study, leading to A.B., B.S., Ph.B, and B.Lit degrees. It also included a four-year academy, the medical school, the law school, the school of pharmacy, the conservatory of music, the college of oratory and elocution, the school of commerce, and the military school.
Total Enrollment for 1908 was 871. Of these 163 were college or academy students and 108 were medical students. The largest group of students was enrolled in the school of commerce.
Student organizations included three literary societies—Phi Lambda for men and Alpha Theta and Zetagathean for women. F.W.U. had chapters of both the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. The school was a member of the state oratorical association. Attendance at Chapel and church was required as well as military training for men.
In 1911 the Methodists determined to combine Fort Worth University with Methodist University of Oklahoma on a campus in Guthrie, OK. The merged school ultimately became Oklahoma City University.
Bricks and Mortar
The bulletin notes that the campus consists of four buildings on ten acres of land “in the midst of Fort Worth.” The main building was University Hall, a three-story building measuring 84 by 85 feet. Other buildings were Science Hall, Cadet Hall and the Dining Hall. All four buildings also served as dormitories.
After the university moved to Oklahoma, all buildings other than University Hall were advertised for demolition. In 1913 Bryant School, a preparatory school for boys, occupied the campus for a time. The grounds were used for military training and drills. In 1915 the campus was purchased by the Fort Worth School District. In 1916 University Hall was razed to make way for a new school.
University Hall is to the right; Science Hall in the center; Cadet Hall, a dormitory, is to the left. (Catalog <archive.org/stream/catalogueoffortw19fort_0#page/n7/mode/2up)
Colors: Gold and Blue
The catalog notes that “legitimate games and sports of all kinds are encouraged.” F.W.U. played some football between 1897 and its close in 1910. Austin College at Sherman, T.C.U., and Polytechnic College were the most common opponents, but the schedule also included high schools and independent teams. The 1904 team was busiest with a 5-3 record, defeating Fort Worth Heavyweights, Hardin-Simmons, T.C.U., Fort Worth H.S., and Polytechnic College. The team lost to Dallas Medical College, Austin, and the Elks (by forfeit). An editorial noted that it was time for F.W.U. to quit playing high schools and independent teams.
F.W.U. did not play basketball due to the “indifference of students.” However they were keen on both baseball and track. The proximity of Polytechnic, Fort Worth High School, and the Carlisle Military Academy gave F.W.U. good opponents for spring sports.
The 1897 football team won its last three games for a 3-2 record. Image from the 1898 Lasso. Courtesy of the Genealogy, History and Archives Unit, Fort Worth Public Library.