TABLE OF CONTENTS
Detailed Description of the Collection
Stuart Seminary collection, 1875-1890s, 1976
Stuart Female Seminary opened in Austin, Texas at 1212 East 9th Street in January 1876. The school was founded by Rebecca K. Stuart Red, who served as principal until her death in 1886. At that time, the position of principal was taken over by her daughter, “Miss Lel” Red.
Although Stuart Female Seminary was not officially connected to the Presbyterian Church, the teaching was influenced by the religious beliefs of the Red family. All students were required to take Bible study courses and to attend church every week. The school offered a B.A. degree for the students who took the standard classical course and a B.S. degree for the students who completed the scientific course. Subjects taught at the school included music, art, modern languages, physical education, natural sciences, and Latin.
Stuart Female Seminary closed in 1899, and the property on which the academic building stood was donated to the Synod of Texas, Presbyterian Church of the U.S. Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary used the site from 1902 to 1907, when it moved to its current location.
After Austin Seminary vacated the property, the building was used as a professional training ground for mental health from 1916 to 1926. In 1926, the land was acquired by the Catholic Diocese of Galveston. From 1951 to 1964, the building housed the Our Lady of Guadalupe School. The structure was demolished in 1964.
The Stuart Seminary collection is an artificial collection made of three items. First, there are two textbooks that were used at the school in the late 19th century: A Fourteen Weeks Course in Astronomy (1875) and Hamilton’s Metaphysics (1881). Hamilton’s Metaphysics includes handwritten notes about the textbook by Lel Red Purcell, the daughter of the founder of the seminary and later the principal of the institution.
The third item in the collection is a balsa wood model of Stuart Female Seminary, built by Bill Darter in 1976. The model represents the building as it looked before 1902. This model is one of many that Darter created of historical Austin buildings, including the Driscoll Hotel and the Texas State Capitol. The model was commissioned by Mabelle Purcell (wife of Stuart M. Purcell, a descendent of the founders of Stuart Female Seminary), and then donated to Austin Seminary by her daughter Martha Lel Purcell Hawkins in 1997.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Stuart Seminary collection, 1875-1890s, 1976, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Processed by Mandy Sutton, Archives Assistant, January 13, 2014.