|Administration Building, Mary Allen Seminary|
In 1886 the Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church began planning for the establishment of a black girls' school in Texas. Reverend Tenney saw an advertisement referring to the project and immediately responded. The secretary to the Board of Missions for Freedmen, the Reverend Richard Allen, was soon invited to Crockett. Prominent businessmen joined Reverend Tenney in receiving him. After a statewide survey, Crocket was chosen as the school's location--partly because of the county's large African-American population and partly because of the Black parochial school that Reverend Tenney had previously founded. The community offered a grant of ten acres on a hilltop plot north of the city.
Reverend Allen's wife, Mary Esther, actively promoted "our Texas boarding school for colored girls" and took on a key organizational fundraising role through the Women's Executive Committee of the Board of Missions for Freedmen. When Mrs. Allen died suddenly, the board agreed that the official name of the school should be Mary Allen Seminary.
|Mary Allen Seminary students in physics class (1927)|