Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Stuart Seminary collection, 1875-1890s, 1970-1976, 1989

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Stuart Female Seminary (Austin, Tex.)
Title: Stuart Seminary
Dates: 1875-1890s, 1970-1976, 1989 and undated
Abstract Stuart Female Seminary opened in Austin, Texas at 1212 East 9th Street in January 1876, on land that would be later occupied by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Stuart Seminary collection is an artificial collection that documents both the school and the historical markers in Austin recognizing the school and the Red/Purcell/Hawkins family
Identification: 1997-027; 2006-003; 2014-007
Extent: Three photographs, four sheets, two books, two framed portraits, one large wooden model
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Administrative History

Stuart Female Seminary opened in Austin, Texas at 1212 East 9th Street in January 1876. The school was founded by Rebecca K. Stuart Red, who served as principal until her death in 1886. At that time, the position of principal was taken over by her daughter, “Miss Lel” Red.

Although Stuart Female Seminary was not officially connected to the Presbyterian Church, the teaching was influenced by the religious beliefs of the Red family. All students were required to take Bible study courses and to attend church every week. The school offered a B.A. degree for the students who took the standard classical course and a B.S. degree for the students who completed the scientific course. Subjects taught at the school included music, art, modern languages, physical education, natural sciences, and Latin.

Stuart Female Seminary closed in 1899, and the property was donated to the Synod of Texas, Presbyterian Church of the U.S. Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary used the site from 1902 to 1907, when it moved to its current location.

After Austin Seminary vacated the property, the building was used as a professional training ground for mental health from 1916 to 1926. In 1926, the land was acquired by the Catholic Diocese of Galveston. From 1951 to 1964, the building housed the Our Lady of Guadalupe School. The structure was demolished in 1964.

Scope and Content Note

The Stuart Seminary collection is an artificial collection that documents both the school and the historical markers in Austin recognizing the school and the Red/Purcell/Hawkins family.

The first series, Stuart Female Seminary, consists of photographic, printed, and bound material, as well as three artifacts. The books are two textbooks that were used at the school in the late 19th century: A Fourteen Weeks Course in Astronomy (1875) and Hamilton’s Metaphysics (1881). Hamilton’s Metaphysics includes handwritten notes about the textbook by Lel Red Purcell, the daughter of the founder of the seminary and later the principal of the institution. Also included in this series is an oversized photograph of the students at the Stuart Female Seminary in 1895, and a clipping describing the photograph. The oversized photograph was originally framed with a printed key to the students hanging below. The photograph was removed from the frame for preservation reasons. See the archivist for a digital picture of the photograph in its original frame.

The artifacts in this series are a balsa wood model of Stuart Female Seminary, built by Bill Darter in 1976, and two large framed portraits of George Clark Red (the husband of Rebecca K. Stuart Red), and Samuel Clark Red (one of their sons). The model represents the building as it looked before 1902. This model is one of many that Darter created of historical Austin buildings, including the Driscoll Hotel and the Texas State Capitol. The model was commissioned by Mabelle Purcell (wife of Stuart M. Purcell, a descendent of the founders of Stuart Female Seminary), and then donated to Austin Seminary by her daughter Martha Lel Purcell Hawkins in 1997. The portraits appear to be drawings and are of an unknown date. They are in matching large wooden frames and originally hung in the Purcell house near the model of the Stuart Female Seminary. They were donated to the Austin Seminary Archives by Patt Griffin and William Edwards in 2014.

The second series, Historical Markers, includes two photographs and additional printed material relating to the school’s historical markers in Austin.


Access Restrictions

Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Red, George Clark, 1820-1881.
Red, Samuel Clark, 1861-1940.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary--Buildings.
Our Lady of Guadalupe School (Austin, Tex.)
Stuart Female Seminary (Austin, Tex.)
Stuart Hall (Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary)
Stuart Seminary (Austin, Tex.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Stuart Seminary collection, 1875-1890s, 1970-1976, 1989, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Processing Information

Processed by Mandy Sutton, Archives Assistant, January 13, 2014. Additional material processed by Kristy Sorensen, June 30, 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Cab. 9/1 Stuart Female Seminary:
Oversized photograph of Stuart Female Seminary students on an excursion trip to Lake McDonald [with key to names], 1895
Clipping: “’Bevy of Beautiful Girls’ attended Stuart Seminary,” by Mabelle Purcell, July 26, 1970
F031a Books:
F031a Fourteen Weeks Courses in Astronomy,1875
Hamilton’s Metaphysics, 1881
Notes removed from Hamilton’s Metaphysics,circa 1890s
Archives Office Artifacts:
Framed portraits of George Clark Red, and Samuel Clark Red, undated
Wood model of Stuart Female Seminary, 1976
D025 Marjorie Reddick, Martha Stansburg, and Lel Purcell Hawkins in the Purcell home by the model and one of the framed portraits [color photograph], undated

F031a Historical markers:
Program: “Dedication of the historical marker on the site of the Stuart Female Seminary 1876-1899 at 1212 East Ninth Street on November 3rd at 11:00 a.m. 1973 sponsored by the Austin Colony Chapter NSDAR, Mrs. John M. Pinckney, Jr., Regent,” 1973
Clipping: “Seminary gets historic marker,” by Martin Hobratschk, Austin American Statesman, February 16, 1989
D025 Mabelle and Stuart Purcell with great-grandsons William and Cliff Edwards and Austin Seminary professor Stuart Currie, standing near the historical marker for the Stuart Female Seminary at 9th and Navasota, circa 1976