Name: Chilton, Joshua Crittenden (1852-1896)

Historical Note:

Joshua Crittendon Chilton graduated from the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio and was then teacher and principal of the Orleans (Indiana) Graded school and Training Institute. Chilton relocated to Texas in 1890 with the hopes of establishing a normal school in the area near Dallas where his brother, Robert H. Chilton, practiced medicine.

He arrived in Texas with a letter of introduction from the Indiana state superintendent and was invited to Denton, Texas, by John A. Hann, a member of Denton City Council. Chilton persuaded the mayor to hold a meeting of the city council to discuss the idea of establishing a normal college in Denton, addressed citizens at the Denton County Courthouse on April 18, 1890, and had his proposal for establishing the college accepted by city council later that year creating the Texas Normal College. Chilton served as President of the Texas Normal College from its founding in 1890 until 1893.

Chilton struggled to entice students to Denton, and the 1892-1893 school year saw great financial struggle for the Texas Normal College. In 1893 the Denton City Council voted to offer Chilton a sum of money for a release of his title and interest in the school. Following Chilton’s acceptance of this release, faculty member John Jackson Crumley became chief administrator and de facto president.

Chilton died on February 12, 1896, in Bryantsville, Indiana at the age of forty-three after a three year long illness.

Sources: Rogers, James L. The Story of North Texas. 2002

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Chilton, Joshua Crittenden

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