A brief history of Wesley College is provided by Handbook of Texas Online. Texas A&M University has placed digital copies of early copies of the Greyhound, the school yearbook, online. The City of Greenville website has the historical markers for Wesley College.
Wesley College began at Terrell, TX in 1905, founded by the North Texas Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The new school took over the campus of the defunct Terrell University School, which had closed in 1904. Renamed North Texas University School, it operated in Terrell until 1911. Closed at Terrell, it reopened as a junior college and academy at Greenville in September 1912 and took the name Wesley College.
The 1920 Greyhound shows a faculty of 19, offering not only a strong and traditional core curriculum, but also teacher training, home economics, and commercial courses. Wesley had a strong emphasis in music with four of the 19 faculty involved. The same yearbook shows a student body of 82 in the college and 48 more in the academy. The Handbook of Texas Online says that enrollment was around 500 for most of the life of the school. Most college students were members of one of the literary societies—Astonian or B. J. Williams. As usual, these societies served as “houses” for in-school literary and also athletic competitions. There was also an S. E. Green Debating Society.
As a denominational school, Wesley had active chapters of both the YWCA and YMCA, as well as the Ministerial Organization. The school’s Social Calendar shows that most of the school parties and entertainments were organized by either the literary or religious societies.
Wesley lasted through much of the Great Depression but closed because of financial difficulties in 1938.
Bricks and Mortar
Wesley photos show that it was essentially a three-building campus with McLean Hall, the Administration/classroom building, and matching dormitories for men and women—Delaney and Wesley, respectively. Handbook of Texas Online notes that Greenville built the three buildings as an incentive for Wesley to relocate. Partially burned in 1921, McLean Hall burned in 2002.
Colors: Black and Gold
Team name: Panthers
The College Football Data Warehouse shows that Wesley fielded football teams yearly from 1915 until the school closed. The 1924 team went 10-0-1, defeating John Tarleton College for the state junior college championship. But probably the school’s most successful team was the 1918 juggernaut. This team went undefeated, outscoring seven opponents 342-9. In the final year of World War I, Wesley defeated four college teams, two military teams and a high school team. In the season finale, they accepted a challenge from Phillips, the Oklahoma champion, and defeated the Haymakers 21-9.
(Above) Like neighbor Burleson College, Wesley sponsored women's sports.
(Greyhound, Northeast Texas Digital Collections, http://dmc.tamuc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/HCHC/id/148/rec/42)
McLean Hall (Northeast Texas Digital Collections, http://dmc.tamuc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HCHC/id/13/rec/88)