1900s

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The Foundation

With the turn of the new century, El Paso seeks an institution of higher learning to call its own.

Contents

1895

January 11 – The University of Texas in Austin establishes its first department of engineering (now Cockrell School of Engineering). The program is based on model mining engineering schools being founded in other states. U.T. would add a degree in mining engineering in 1901. [BR]

1901

January 10 - The Texas oil industry is launched with the discovery of the 75,000-barrel-a-day Lucas Gusher at the Spindletop Oilfield near Beaumont. University of Texas Professor William B. Phillips visits the well and believes it to be a significant discovery. [GDN, HTO]

February 7 - The University of Texas Board of Regents approve the curriculum of a program leading to a degree in Mining Engineering. The program had previously been laid before the Board by the faculty in 1895. [BR]

March 28 – The 27th Texas State Legislature approves the creation of a Mineral Survey by the University of Texas to establish the value of public lands belonging to universities and other schools. [HJ]

May 4 – The University of Texas Board of Regent’s appoints William B. Phillips to head the Mineral Survey, promoting him to Professor of Economic and Field Geology and Minerology. Steve H. Worrell is hired as an assistant chemist. [BR]

June 12 – Steve H. Worrell receives his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin. [BR]

1902

January 24 – Hugh D. Slater, editor of the El Paso Herald, declares, "El Paso is an ideal location for a first class school of mines." This is the first documented reference calling for the establishment of a school of mines in El Paso. [EPH]

1903

January 13 – At the annual convention of miners held in El Paso, the International Miners Association adopt a resolution calling for the establishment of a school of mines in El Paso following an endorsement of the idea by Dr. William B. Phillips, head of the University of Texas Mineral Survey. [EPH, EPMT]

February 4 – El Paso State Representative William W. Bridgers introduces a resolution calling for the creation of a school of mines in El Paso is read into the records of the Texas legislature; no action will be taken on this resolution for another eight years. [HJ]

1905

April 13 – A bill to renew funding of the Mineral Survey headed by William B. Phillips passes the Texas State Senate, but dies in the House. The Survey is disbanded at the end of April, its mission incomplete. [HJ, BR]

1907

A charter for the establishment of the El Paso Military Institute is filed. Citizens of El Paso donate eighteen acres of land located on a mesa northeast of the city, just to the east of the new Fort Bliss.

May 11 - Frank B. Cotton, a wealthy Boston industrialist, dies. His estate includes over 30,000 acres of land in El Paso and the vicinity that will later benefit UTEP. [NYT]

1908

The El Paso Military Institute opens with an inaugural enrollment of thirty-eight students.

1909

October 16 – President William H. Taft arrives in El Paso to meet with Mexican President Porfirio Diaz.

October 21 – At the October meeting of the Board of Regents, it is announced that William B. Phillips has been selected to the the new Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology for the University of Texas. [BR]


References

BR - U.T. Board of Regents, Minutes

EPH - El Paso Herald

EPMT - El Paso Morning Times

GDN - Galveston Daily News

HJ - State of Texas, Journal of the House of Representatives

HTO - Texas State Historical Association, History of Texas Online

NYT - New York Times

UTB - U.T. Bulletin, "Catalogues"

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