LARISSA COLLEGE . Larissa College, among the earliest institutions of higher learning in Texas, was located in Larissa, in northwestern Cherokee County. In 1846 Thomas H. McKee had led a group of Cumberland Presbyterians from Tennessee there and founded a town, which they named Larissa after an ancient Greek center of learning. In 1848 the colonists organized the first school in a log hut on the outskirts of the settlement. Classes were originally taught by McKee's daughter, Sarah Rebecca Erwin. In 1850 a three-story frame academic hall and two dormitories were built, and the school became known as Larissa Academy. In 1855 the Brazos Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church assumed responsibility for the school, renamed it Larissa College, and established male and female departments and a preparatory school. McKee and another early settler, Nathaniel Killough, each donated $1,000 to the new college. Franklin L. Yoakum was the school's first and only president. The charter, which contained a "no religious test" clause, was approved by the state legislature on February 2, 1856.

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