The Campaign For DA

11.04.2013

Stuff I Didn't Know


Fire engulfed Neel Hall men’s dormitory at Decatur Baptist College on February 22, 1912. Named for college benefactor J.E. Neel of Boyd, the dormitory had been constructed 18 years before at a cost of about $7,500. The fire was probably sparked by coals dropping from a stove onto the floor of a sleeping room on the northeast corner of the second floor. Although the building was a total loss, the personal belongings of the residents were saved. Gov. Colquitt was petitioned for tents to house the students until other arrangements could be made. The forerunner of Dallas Baptist University, Decatur Baptist College opened in 1898 on the campus of the former Northwest Texas Baptist College. The junior college served as a preparatory school for Baylor University until it moved to Dallas in 1965. This hand-tinted photograph is nestled in the papers of Burleson native Robert Hanks Brister (1890-1965), a graduate of Decatur Baptist College (1912) and Baylor University (1917). Brister, a veteran of World War I, was superintendent of Taylor Public Schools (1922-1935) and Waco Public Schools (1935-1944).

The University of Texas at Arlington Library offers a diverse collection of materials on the history of Texas and the Southwest. Each week, readers get a glimpse of the past with an image from Special Collections. 817-272-3393, www.uta.edu/library/spco