WHAT? Baylor University in Texas A&M University’s own Backyard!

176 Years Ago, Baylor University was sitting right in Today’s Texas A&M University’s own backyard or about a 12-minute drive away. But when? And Where?

1845 was the birth year of Baylor University at Independence, TEXAS.

Yep, sure was. Then in 1886, Baylor moved to Waco, Texas.. Yep. Sure did.


Here’s an EXERT-


Tryon and Baylor were appointed to prepare a charter to establish a Baptist university. On February 1, 1845, a charter was granted by the 9th Congress of the Republic of Texas, approved by President Anson Jones at Washington-on-the-Brazos, and the long awaited Baptist university became a reality.

The school initially included a Preparatory Division in addition to co-educational classes for college students. In 1851, under the same charter, a Female Department and a Male Department were created, ending co-education. In 1866, the Female Department obtained a separate charter and its own board of trustees.

In 1886, due to changing transportation and economics in the area, it was deemed necessary to move both schools. The Male Department consolidated with Waco University in Waco, Texas, retaining the name Baylor University. The Female Department (Baylor Female College since the 1866 separation) moved to Belton, Texas.

But if you’re like a tin of People driving thru Independence. Texas on the Way to and fro between Brenham and Bryan or College Station, most don’t have a Clue at the amazing History that sits right here in our own backyard.

Like Fort Tenoxtitlán. Most don’t have a Clue about the rich History that resides near here. What? Is this?

Fort Tenoxtitlán was established by Mexico in 1830 in what later became Burleson County, Texas. The fortification was in accordance with the Law of April 6, 1830, to deter colonization from the United States.

And it’s just across the Brazos River on the Burleson County side. I’ve visited the Old Historical Highway Marker in a field where the road doesn’t exist any longer.




But back to Baylor University at Independence, Texas.


Description of above Photo

Photograph of the administration building of the old Baylor University in Independence, Texas. The ruins of the building are made of stone and are surrounded by miscellaneous foliage.

Physical Description

1 photograph : positive, col. ; 35 mm.

Creation Information

Streng, Evelyn Fiedler December 1948.


This photograph is part of the collection entitled: Evelyn Streng Slide Collection and was provided by the Texas Lutheran University to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 226 times, with 11 in the last month. More information about this photograph can be viewed below.


Artist Erwin Hearne’s depiction of the Act of Congress that chartered Baylor University on February 1, 1845.


And here is an EXERT-

In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting accepted the suggestion of Reverend William Milton Tryon and District Judge R.E.B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas.

The Texas Baptist Education Society then petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter a Baptist university in the fall of 1844. Republic President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress on Feb. 1, 1845, officially establishing Baylor University. Reverend James Huckins, the first Baptist missionary to Texas, was Baylor’s first full-time fundraiser and the third founding father of the university. Although these three men are credited as being the founders of Baylor University, there are many others who worked to see our university established in Texas.

After the University was chartered on February 1, 1845, four communities made bids to be the location: Travis, Huntsville, Shannon’s Prairie and Independence. Independence was selected, and classes for preparatory students began in May 1846 with college courses offered the following June. In 1886, Baylor and Waco University consolidated to form Baylor University at Waco.

So, now you know more than you knew before. Right in the very backyard of Texas A&M University sat the Original Founding of Baylor University. And afterwards from Independence, the men went to Waco for Baylor University and the women went to Belton for University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. All from their original University Setting in Washington County from the 1840s.


And here is an EXERT-

UMHB’s history dates to the time before Texas became a U.S. state. Its original charter was granted by the Republic of Texas (prior to statehood) in 1845 as the female department of Baylor University. Classes began in May, 1846, in a small wooden building on a hillside at Independence in Washington County. The first class consisted of 24 male and female students[9][10] While it was a coeducational institution, the classes were still separated by gender.[11]

Baylor College’s coeducation lasted only until 1851, when it was divided into a Female Department and a Male Department.[5] Each began occupying separate buildings about a mile apart at the Independence campus.[10]

And now, all of us know more than we did before…Texas History is Cool! It’s Neat and could be part of Your Summer fun if you plan ahead.