Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

July 4, 2011

A look back at Thorp Springs Christian College

Mineral Wells Index

By Betty Allison | Special to the Index

GORDON – Thorp Springs Christian College was chartered in 1910 by members of the Church of Christ. Thorp Springs has been the site of several educational institutions.

The first college there was established in 1871 by Sam Milliken and Pleasant Thorp. Thorp College changed to a number of different colleges and in 1910 the property was bought for $6,000. The new charter required that all elected trustees be members of the Church of Christ. The college opened its first session on Sept. 4, 1910, with about 150 students. By 1920 the enrollment had grown to 300 pupils.

Competition from larger schools as well as from church schools renewed interest in moving the college to a larger city. In 1928 Thorp Springs Christian College moved to Terrell. The name of the new college was changed to Texas Christian College. After only one term the college closed to establish better facilities but was never completed.

For extra-curricular activities there was the Ministerial Association, Business Club, Home Economics Club, Oratory Club, Music Class, Girls’ Glee Club, Boy’s Glee Club, Choral Club, Debating Club, The Press Club, Ero-Demosthenean Literary Society and the Philo-Phila Athenaeum Literary Society. In sports, they played Weatherford, Cisco and Meridian. In basketball they played two games against Cisco. They played tennis among their own students. Baseball was the most popular sport played at TSCC.

Faye Davis was a student at Thorp Springs in 1925 and her annual was donated to the Gordon Library and Museum by a daughter, Avalon Bruce, who lives at Imperial, Texas. After leaving Thorp College, Faye taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Thurber and drove a one-horse “shay” to school. Every morning her father would hitch it up for her and she would arrive early to set the fire before the students arrived. But Faye hated that rural life. Her brother, Henry Ford Davis, played country fiddle at Ma Tibbs Bar in Mingus and at times played with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Today when you drive through Thorp Springs, you would never have thought that it was once a “college town.” However, it provided a school where area students could get an education closer to home.

The annual is at Gordon Library if anyone would like to see it. Perhaps you had a relative who attended the college.