The Masonic Male and Female Institutions of San Augustine were founded in 1850 by the Redland Lodge and Rising Star Chapter of the Masonic Lodge, utilizing the buildings of the then defunct University of San Augustine and Wesleyan Male and Female College. Until 1855 James B. Thornton was in charge of the Male Institute and Mary De Camp headed the Female Institute. They were succeeded for one year by Rev. C. H. Albert, an Episcopal rector and his wife. Then the Male Institute came under the charge of Samuel B. Bewley and thrived until he left to join the Confederate Army in 1862 and many of the students followed suit. Meanwhile the Female Institute was under the direction of J. Thomas Fuller until it foundered upon his resignation in 1859 and the disorder arising from the impending Civil War. Schools were held intermittently in both buildings until the University building burned in 1866 and the College building burned in 1873.
Summer Hill Select School. Omen, Texas. ETRC Business & Organizational Collection. B-1