Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

A century of community service


A special thanks the Round Rock Leader for letting the us  
post these wonderful articles.

The Time Capsules stories are prepared by
Bob Brinkman - Texas Historical Commission


TIME CAPSULE – JULY 1905
A century of community service

            In 1904 the Augusta Lutheran Synod Conference met in Kansas and approved a proposal to begin a new college in Texas. The nearest Lutheran colleges at the time were in Kansas and Illinois, and the Texas delegation to the conference felt it was time to establish their own school for educating young parishioners. Following the decision, the Austin District met at the Lutheran rectory in Hutto that summer. Pastors J. A. Stamline, C. G. Widen, O. H. Sylvan, R. P. Ascell, and Alfred L. Scott formed a committee to develop and locate the new college. They canvassed central and south Texas, soliciting funds and searching for a site. Through the Nelson and Avery families, Round Rock offered a cash bonus of $7,000, four city lots and a water well if the school were located here. Later, discount rail shipping for buildings supplies and further property totaling ten acres were added to the bid. The only other bid considered was in Stamford near Abilene, but that was deemed to far north to serve the majority of parishes. At a meeting in Austin in early 1905, the Round Rock bid was accepted unanimously, and work began immediately. Architect C. H. Page of Austin was selected to design the main building, and the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity College of Round Rock, Texas was incorporated. The cornerstone was laid on July 13, 1905, amid a day-long ceremony of speeches, songs and religious activities. 

            Dr. J. A. Stamline was elected first president of the college, at an annual salary of $1,200. The school opened in October 1906 with an enrollment of 96 students and four teachers. Trinity College offered five years of courses, divided into an Academy, a School of Business, and a School of Music. Student activities included literary and musical societies, and an Athletic Association. Trinity fielded teams in basketball, baseball, tennis and even football. The Trinity Tigers played mostly area high schools and other small colleges. Trinity’s presidents were Dr. Stamline, Alfred Anderson, Theodore Seashore, Oscar Nelson, and Harry Alden. The President’s House still stands at Main and Georgetown streets. Trinity achieved state accreditation in 1926, becoming a state-approved junior college. But Trinity’s enrollment and funding was always lower than was hoped for. In 1929, Trinity merged with the Lutheran school from Brenham and became Trinity Lutheran College at Seguin. The Round Rock campus became a home for orphans and the aged, then a retirement home. The main three-story college building developed structural problems and was torn down soon after the college closed, with the stones reused in other buildings on the site. Recently a small outbuilding that was part of the college was razed at what is now Trinity Care Center. A historical marker stands at the site, now commemorating one hundred years as a part of our community.

 

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