| The Land-Grant
College Act of 1862 set aside public lands for sale and
exploitation. Texas (once it rejoined the Union) set aside over 220,000
acres of West Texas
land. A lot of the acreage was around Big
Lake - where Santa Rita No. 1 "came in" in 1923.
The idea of a semi-military university stemmed from the 19th Century
idea of equating military discipline with academic achievement. At
Texas A & M, the all-male student body was required to enroll in the
military cadet program for their Freshman year. If they weren't invited
to remain in the program - they then moved off-campus and attended
classes in mufti as "day students". Although this would be seen as
an incentive today - it wasn't then. Un-uniformed men were treated
worse than visitors.
During World War I
A & M had a larger percentage of it's men in the Army than any other
university in the country. They were also the first to offer their
campus for military training. Forty-nine Aggies died during the war.
Mascot ingestion 101
Rivalry has always been fierce between A & M and UT, but when Bevo
- The Longhorn mascot was kidnapped from Austin one year - the student
body of A & M came up with the oldest trick in the book for hiding
evidence. They ate him.
In 1923 one third of all Texas high school graduates that went to
college went to A & M. In its early years the University faced west
- where the railroad discharged the new students and where they once
had their own zoo.
During the Great Depression, A & M deeded some of it's land
to the highway department for the construction of State Highway
6. The oil lease money from West
Texas provided funds for an extensive building program on campus
during the early 30s and a decision was made to build the new administration
building facing East.
There is life in College Station
other than the University - but most of it consists of businesses
catering to the students and faculty. Bryan
has taken up the responsibility of giving the area some semblance
of a real town.
Troesser 2-22-09 column
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact