Finding Aids

McClanahan Sr, G.W. - Paine Female Institute Collection

Manuscript Collection Number:
G.W. McClanahan Sr.
G.W. McClanahan Sr. Paine Female Institute Collection
Data Span:
n.d., 1854-1857

Processed by: Elford, Christopher
Date Processed: 04/2007

  • George Walker McClanahan Sr.

    George Walker McClanahan Sr. (1824-1874) was the first principal of the Paine Female Institute in Goliad, Texas, from 1855 to 1860. He graduated in 1853 from Emory and Hill College, a Methodist seminary in Virginia, and set off for Goliad with his family to take the position at the Paine Female Institute, which had been founded there in 1852. In 1865 McClanahan moved to Oakville, Texas and then to Beeville before moving south to Corpus Christi. The move to Corpus Christi coincided with an outbreak of Yellow Fever and McClanahan’s wife Mary Dorthea (Harris) McClanahan fell ill and died there in 1865. McClanahan then moved back to Beeville where he went into merchandising. He and his partners built the first business building in Beeville. McClanahan was Beeville’s first postmaster, the district and county clerk, and a Sunday school teacher. He died in Beeville in 1874.

    The Paine Female Institute

    The Paine Female Institute was established in 1852, when members of the Methodist Church in Goliad held a public meeting to establish a college for women, to take the place of the late Hillyer Female College. The Rev. Jesse Hord, a Methodist minister and then president of the newly elected board of trustees, held classes in his home until a building could erected to house the institution. When a permanent two-story structure was constructed in 1856, the Institute’s charter placed the school under the direction of the Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. According to the 1874 minutes the school enrolled 130 pupils and maintained a staff of seven teachers. For a more detailed account of the Paine Female Institute’s history see The Handbook of Texas Online.

  • The collection consists of three folders that contain G.W. McClanahan Sr.’s correspondence dating from 1854 to 1857 concerning the Paine Institute, including three versions of an article he wrote about his journey from Virginia to Texas, a small bound notebook containing a curriculum and an attendance log from the 1855 Spring semester at the Paine Institute, a Bible questions and Answers booklet written by McClanahan’s son, G.W. McClanahan Jr., an article in the Lutheran newspaper The Messenger written in remembrance of G.W. McClanahan Jr. and a several newspaper clippings relating to the McClanahan family’s history. Of particular interest to both researchers and genealogists are the Institute’s attendance logs in the second folder. McClanahan’s account of his arrival in Texas includes descriptions of frontier life and agricultural practices. His correspondence also details his travel times and expenses.

  • Box and Folder
    Folder 1
    Letter to Dr. Matthews from E.P. Kimball. June 1840. Request for medicines to be 

    Letter from Geo. W. McClanahan to the Committee. Goliad, Texas. July 1, 1854. 

    Letter addressed to a Committee consisting of R. Billup, C. Campbell, A.N. Boothwright, and Jesse Hord appointed by the Paine Female Institute’s Board of Trustees. McClanahan writes the Committee to request a salary figure for the position of Principal of the Paine Female Institute which would leave room in the budget for the employment of a “competent female teacher.” 

    Unfinished letter from Geo. W. McClanahan to unidentified “Bro.” Goliad, Texas. September 25, 1854.
    Request for the services of a qualified young lady who could take charge of the Ornamental Department immeaditally.

    Draft of letter to the editor of the Richmond Christian Advocate. Goliad, Texas. January 1855. 

    Description of McClanahan’s journey from Virginia to Texas in the summer of 1853. Mentions the state of affairs in New Orleans just after the outbreak of Yellow Fever. Description of Houston. Attached is an unfinished letter to an anonymous “Sir” dated January 8, 1855 and a letter to a Brother Whipple turning down a request to take charge of a school in Bastrop. He fears that, in leaving the Paine Female Institute in Goliad, the Presbyterians will take the opportunity to come in and erect a female school in its place. 

    Fragment of letter to Bro. Wolffe Sinking Creek, Va. September 20, 1856

    Concerns his recent resignation from his position at the Paine Female Institute, his stay in Virginia, his planned return to Texas, job proposals, salaries etc.

    Fragment of letter to a Maj. Neighbors (Indian Affairs). Goliad, Texas. December 23, 1856.

    McClanahan’s response to a job offer concerning the establishment of a missionary school for the benefit of the Indians near Ft.Belknaugh given to him upon his return to the Paine Female Institute in Goliad.

    McClanahan’s proposal to the Board of Trustees concerning new building at P.F.I. 
    Goliad, Texas. Jan 3, 1857.

    Fragment of course materials/syllabus. Undated.

    Grocery list. Undated.

    Fragment of letter to Dr. Matthews from William B. Gayle. Undated.

    Travel Expenses to New Orleans and back.

    Burnt fragment with Bible verse quoted. Signed Reed.

    Letter to a school girl. Paine Female Institute. Goliad, Texas. Undated.

    Letter justifying the “liberty he has taken of writing to a school girl” never identified by name but apparently attending college in Chappell Hill, Virginia. McClanahan recalls his visit to “her Pa’s” and regrets that their acquaintance was made under such “unfavorable circumstances”. He reassures her of the purity of his motives. 

    Musical programme itinerary. Dated March.

    Fragment of draft of proposal to the citizens of Goliad, Texas. “on the self sustaining principle.” Undated.

    “Notes of travel from Goliad , Texas to Virginia” Contains travel times and expenses at each stop. Undated. 

    Fragment of draft of “A letter from Texas” to the Editor of the Fincastle Democrat. Undated.

    Portion of a letter to the Editor of a newspaper in Virginia containing a description of McClanahan’s original journey from Virginia to the Texas frontier c. 1854. Cf. 1.4 for another version of this letter. Descriptions of people, places, landscapes, the cattle herds, and the opportunities for land ownership and agriculture enterprises. 

    Second draft of above letter to the Editor of the Fincastle Democrat. Undated.

    A more detailed description of McClanahan’s original journey from Virginia to Texas c. 1854.

    Folder 2 
    Brown bound notebook. Dated inside cover September 1855. 

    Contains attendance log from fall semester 1855, various groupings of students by year and class, demerits and the punishments handed out, item lists, book orders and expenses. 

    Bible Questions and Answers by Rev. G.W. McClanahan Jr. 1925.

    Pamphlet book written G.W. McClanahan Sr.’s son for students enrolled in the Primary Sunday School system of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

    Folder 3
    The Messenger. Published by the Lutheran Children’s Home of the South. Salem Virginia. November 1949.

    Front page article remembers and reaffirms Rev. George Walker McClanahan Jr’s commitment both to the United Evangelical Lutheran Church but also to the Lutheran’s Children’s Home of the South in Salem Virginia upon his apparently recent death. An article on the back page of this issue details his relationship with the Lutheran Children’s Home of the South. 

    Clear plastic slip containing three newspaper clippings. 

    Corpus Christi Caller-Times – 1946 – George Walker McClanahan Jr. makes pilgrimage from Salem, Virginia to mother’s grave in Corpus Christi.

    The Bee-Picayune – 1930 – George Walker McClanahan Jr. (here referred to as James) visit Beeville. Details of G.W. McClanahan Sr.’s doings in Texas. 

    The Bee-Picayune – 1936 – excerpt from an 1859 account of a trip to the countryside written by G.W. McClanahan Sr. 

    Large envelope in which the materials that make up this collection were delivered to Southwestern University.