The social and philosophical determinants of education in Washington County, Texas, from 1835 to 1937




Grusendorf, Arthur A. (Arthur August), 1895-1983

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Washington County was the center of early Anglo-American culture in Texas. Many Texans know that it was at Washington on the Brazos that the Declaration of Texas Independence was written, and that the capital of the Republic was for a time located there. Many also know that Baylor University was first established at Independence, and that the Methodists at one time maintained institutions of learning at Chappell Hill. What caused the far-reaching changes in the educational life of that county during the past century has, however, not been fully explained. Of the developments which have taken place in the culture of that county, the most significant was the change in population. Education as an aspect of culture is related to, and is largely determined by, prevailing sociological conditions. ln view of the change in the population of that section of Texas since the period of the Republic, one may ask: What effect did such change in population have upon educational developments? Moreover, what were the distinctive educational theories of the various culture groups which influenced the character of educational institutions? These and similar questions have created within the writer a desire to make a careful study of the factors which played a determining role in the educational development of Washington County. The problem of this study, as well as its limits, is suggested by the title: The Social and Philosophical Determinants of Education in Washington County from 1835 to 1937. It is not the purpose to produce a history of education, but rather to discover and explain the sociological factors which determined the educational development since the time of the establishment of the first Anglo-American school at Coles' Settlement. It was desirable, however, to approach the problem from the historical viewpoint, as it was found necessary to study the history of educational institutions, the lives of the men and women who contributed most to the development of education; and to trace the most significant aspect of the general cultural background of the county