Shortly after the town of Huntsville was incorporated, founder Pleasant Gray donated five acres of land for the creation of a school. The new institution began operations as early as 1845 and received a charter on April 11, 1846. Originally, the…

Bernadine Oliphint was born in Huntsville, Texas, in 1933 to Tom and Catherine Bolden Oliphint. She was one of eleven children and was raised in the Smith Hill community. Both of her parents were educated and taught school prior to the birth of…

Anna Hardwicke Pennybacker (1861-1938) was an accomplished suffragette, educator, author, and advocate for progressive causes. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, she attended Sam Houston Normal Institute and graduated in 1880 as part of its first class.…

Marian “Mamie” Rather Powell (May 2, 1881- August 25, 1974) was an active supporter of suffrage and education in Huntsville. Born to Rawley Samuel Rather and Mary Caroline Henry Rather, children of some of the earliest settlers in Huntsville,…

Huntsville’s Andrew Female College was founded in 1852 and chartered by the Texas Conference of Methodist Churches on February 7, 1853. Its creation mirrored that of Austin College, a men’s institution in Huntsville that had admitted its first…

During the twentieth century, Minnie Fisher Cunningham (1882-1964) worked as a leading reformer on women’s issues, including voting rights and equal pay. Born near New Waverly, Texas in southern Walker County, Minnie was raised by her parents,…