Independence in Washington County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Baylor trustees began construction on Main Building in 1860. Onset of the Civil War and financing problems halted work. A one-story shell of stone remained untouched until sufficient fund were attained to resume construction in 1880. Also built in the 1880's, the four columned Portico faced westward, overlooking Baylor Female College and its four columns. Baylor officials named their centerpiece Tryon Hall in honor of William M. Tryon.
External dimensions of the Main Perimeter measure on average 104 1/2 by 56 feet. External perimeter walls are 36 inches (3 feet) thick, sufficient for supporting two masonry stories and a third frame floor. The top of this mansard roof was nearly flat. The cross-cutting internal walls average 24 inches thick and exhibit poorer quality of masonry than that found in the external perimeter walls.
The floor plan generated by these walls exhibited central hallways averaging 9 1/2 feet wide with doors opening through the center of each of the four walls. Averaging 42 by 18 feet, four elongated chambers are found in each corner. The first and second floor served as lecture halls and as subdivided
The third story contained the single cavernous chamber measuring 98 1/2 by 50 1/2 feet which was used as a chapel and convocation hall. This facility was named, the Hosea Garrett Chapel to honor this leader's firm and steady guidance of the trustees as their president from 1848 to 1868 and 1870 to 1888.
The exterior walls of the portico measure 20 by 16 1/2 feet. Composed of huge cut stones, the massive wall measures 29 1/2 feet north-south, and is 32 inches thick, sufficient to support the four columns and a third story situated atop them. Running east to west, the north and south sidewalls average only 18 inches thick, as each supports merely one story of stone wall. Internally, the Portico ground floor consists of a single room measuring 16 1/2 by 13 1/2 feet. On top, the massive four-columned porch is open-air. The mansard-roof encloses the area forming an anteroom from the chapel.
Tryon Hall was never finished, although Trustee minutes refer to several Baylor commencements and trustee meetings from 1882 to 1886. Beyond that, written words are silent. It seems likely that Baylor conducted daily classes in halls that remained unfinished.
Following Baylor's relocation, the chapel became Guardian Angels Catholic Church. All the buildings lay abandoned by the early 1920s. In 1933, Tryon Hall was torn down to provide building stones for, among others, Lueckemeyer's Store and Cotton Gin and the bell tower of Independence Baptist Church. Only the foundation remain today.
Tryon Hall view of North West Corner
Tyron Hall: main west wall, with portico
Erected by Baylor University.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education.
Location. 30° 18.952′ N, 96° 20.763′ W. Marker is in Independence, Texas, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Farm to Market Road 50 and Hood Hotel Road. The marker is located at the west side of Baylor Park on Windmill Hill. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brenham TX 77833, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Baylor University for Boys (a few steps from this marker); College Well: of Windmill Hill (a few steps from this marker); Bell Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); Baylor University (within shouting distance of this marker); Houston Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Baylor University on Windmill Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Grave Site of R.E.B. Baylor (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Independence.
Also see . . .
1. Baylor University. Baylor University owes its founding to Robert E.B. Baylor, James Huckins, and William Milton Tryon, who in 1841 organized an education society in the Texas Union Baptist Association with the purpose of establishing a Baptist university in Texas. Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
2. Independence, TX (Washington County). Independence is at the intersection of Farm roads 390 and 50, twelve miles northeast of Brenham in northeast Washington County. It was founded in 1835 by J. G. W. Pierson, Robert Stevenson, Colbert Baker, and Amasa F. Burchard on seventy-eight acres in Austin's colony on a part of the league of land granted by the Mexican government to Thomas S. Saul, who in turn granted it to Pierson and Baker. Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.