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Belton in Bell County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Luther Memorial

 
 
Luther Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, June 25, 2020
1. Luther Memorial
Inscription.  This memorial, an important symbol for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, has historic ties to the earliest days of the school in Belton. Founded in 1845 at Independence, Texas, as the female department of Baylor University, the school moved here in 1886 as Baylor Female College under the leadership of president John Hill Luther. The first building at this site was a large, multi-story limestone structure with ornate Victorian detailing, tall columns, squared towers and rounded arches. The structure provided space for classrooms, offices, a chapel and a dormitory. Named for president Luther in 1919, it became the centerpiece of the growing campus.

An early morning fire on Saturday, January 26, 1929, raced through the historic building and, despite the efforts of several fire fighting companies, it was soon a total loss. Although more than 200 female students lived at this site at the time, no one was injured. For two decades, the charred ruins of Luther Hall remained, serving as a backdrop for commencements, musical presentations, classes and, beginning in 1940, an annual Easter pageant.

Efforts to utilize the ruins
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as part of a memorial began in 1944, with Luther family members contributing funds. Work began in 1954 on a plan to incorporate the building's original limestone blocks and preserve the architectural lines of its prominent arches. Other elements include a bell tower and commemorative stone wall. Since its dedication in May 1955, Luther Memorial has served as an important reminder of the university's rich traditions and its historic commitment to quality Christian education.
 
Erected 2004 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13713.)
 
Topics. This historical marker and memorial is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical date for this entry is January 26, 1929.
 
Location. 31° 3.974′ N, 97° 27.848′ W. Marker is in Belton, Texas, in Bell County. Marker is on Vann Circle west of College Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Belton TX 76513, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jeff Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); Distinguished Texan Robert Emmet Bledsoe Baylor (within shouting distance of this marker); A Memorial to Civil War Education in Texas (within shouting distance of this marker); Scott & White School of Nursing (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Baptist Church
Luther Memorial and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, June 25, 2020
2. Luther Memorial and Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Norman Austin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Belton Woman's Commonwealth (approx. 0.4 miles away); Early Bell County Jail (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belton.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 27, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas.

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Apr. 18, 2024