Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Hallettsville in Lavaca County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute

 
 
Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, February 8, 2021
1. Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker
Inscription.  
As early as the 1840s, area residents could send their children to the few small, private schools available. In 1852, when Hallettsville was chosen as Lavaca County seat the town founder, Margaret Hallett, donated land for the town site, county courthouse, a church and a school. A joint stock company established the Alma Female Institute on the school property, located on this site. The private school included classrooms, a dormitory and a music room, contained in a two-story wooden building constructed by J.W. Layton. Mason and Methodist Minister C.L. Spencer served as the Institute's first Principal, and the first session ran from May through October 1853. The State Legislature granted the school's charter the following year.

With a curriculum based on classical Liberal Arts education, the Institute over the years offered instruction in Ancient Languages, Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Music. The classes were extended to male students, and the school was later known as the Alma Male and Female Institute.

Sometime during the Civil War, 1861-1865, the school closed due to funding and mismanagement problems
Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, February 8, 2021
2. Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker
in 1865, Mary Jane Ballard, daughter of Margaret Hallett bought the property and lived here for several years before selling it to William Appelt. He leased the old school building for use as a hotel before tearing it down in 1888 and constructing a family home. Dr. C.T. Dufner later bought the Appelt House and used it as a hospital; it was razed in 1961. Today the site is a reminder of early efforts to educate the children of Hallettsville in the years before Texas' Public Education System.
 
Erected 2003 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15153.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationWomen.
 
Location. 29° 26.701′ N, 96° 56.455′ W. Marker is in Hallettsville, Texas, in Lavaca County. Marker is at the intersection of East 3rd Street and South Alma Street, on the right when traveling west on East 3rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hallettsville TX 77964, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lavaca County Courthouse (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Baptist Church of Hallettsville (about 600 feet away); Hallettsville (about 600 feet away); 50th Anniversary of Battle of Galveston (about 700 feet away); First Methodist Church of Hallettsville
The view of the Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, February 8, 2021
3. The view of the Site of the Alma Male and Female Institute Marker from the road
(about 800 feet away); First National Bank of Hallettsville (about 800 feet away); Sacred Heart Catholic Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hallettsville Public Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hallettsville.
 
Also see . . .  Alma Institute. Texas State Historical Association entry:
Alma Male and Female Institute, in Hallettsville, the county seat of Lavaca County, was founded in 1852 by builder L. W. Layton and constructed on land donated by Mrs. Margaret Hallett. The wooden building near the town square contained classrooms, a dormitory, and a music room, all of which cost $5,000 to erect. The institute's first session ran from May 1853 to October 1853 and was conducted by C. L. Spencer, a Methodist minister. Source: The Handbook of Texas
(Submitted on February 19, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 19, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 19, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 6, 2021