Historical Marker: Howard Payne College      


The Pecan Valley Baptist Association was formed by representatives of Baptist congregations in this area in September 1876. Meeting at Indian Creek in June 1889, the association acted on an executive committee resolution calling for the creation of a Baptist college within the organization's boundaries. Brownwood was chosen as the site of the school. The Rev. John David Robnett, first president of the college Board of Trustees, traveled extensively to raise funds for the institution. His brother-in-law, Edward Howard Payne, made a large contribution to the school, which was then named in his honor. Howard Payne College opened its doors on September 16, 1890, the same day the cornerstone was laid for the main school building. Classes were held in Robnett Hall, a building John Robnett had built with plans to provide boarding facilities at the college. Dr. A.J. Emerson served as the school's first president. Over the years the college grew and enrollment increased. Daniel Baker College, a Presbyterian school which opened in Brownwood days before Howard Payne, was incorporated into the Baptist College in 1953. The school was raised to university standing in 1974. The old main building burned in 1984. (1989)

Location: Center Avenue near intersection with Austin Avenue, Brownwood