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Fort Worth Flashback: FWU dispensed college degrees before moving to Oklahoma City

Posted Aug. 20, 2012

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Fort Worth University was chartered as Texas Wesleyan College by the Northern Methodist Church on June 6, 1881. It opened in temporary quarters in Fort Worth on Sept. 7, 1881, and was moved five years later to a site south of the city, where three stone buildings were erected on a 10-acre campus.

The institution was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1881 to 1911. William Fielder was president. In June 1889, trustees secured an amended charter under the name of Fort Worth University. The school of law was organized under the new charter in August 1893, the school of medicine in July 1894.

The institution belonged to the University Senate and offered courses in the arts and sciences that led to associate, bachelor and doctoral degrees. Four years of classes led to the M.D. degree, and three years in law led to the LL.B degree.

In 1910, an unsuccessful attempt was made to consolidate Fort Worth University with Polytechnic College. In 1911, the institution was joined with the Methodist Episcopal University at Oklahoma City.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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