This local museum housed in what was originally the first floor of the three story Administration Building of the Mansfield Female College established in 1855. This college was one of many built by the United Methodist Church but was the first female college west of the Mississippi.
The school offered a two-year Teaching Certificate or “Normal Degree” and a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Except for the final two years of the Civil War the school did great and attracted students from all around the tri-state area.
Plans were underway and funds secured for a big addition and expansion when the Stock Market collapsed in 1929 ushering in the Great Depression. This caused the Female College to close in 1930. The Methodist Church was forced to close the Mansfield college and merge her with the Methodist Church owned Centenary College in Shreveport, La.
Interestingly the Museum has a room dedicated to her actions as a hospital after the Battle of Mansfield. Also acting as a Confederate Headquarters, the College buildings served as one of the first triage points for wounded soldiers, Union and Confederate, after that great battle. The ghost of one of these unfortunate soldiers is rumored to roam the Museum and play pranks on unsuspecting visitors!
Come by and see Museum Director, Van Reech, for a visit or call 318-540-7500 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a tour. Museum hours are W-Th-F 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Journal Staff Writers contributed to this report.
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