The Lon Morris College Millenium Mural

by Lee Jamison

at the Vivian and Bob Smith Gymnasium

on the campus of Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, Texas
Page I: LMC Mural Introduction Page 2: Campus Panoramas Page 3: Central Panels Page 4: Portraits Page 5: Lower Panels, etc.
The Lon Morris College History Mural tells the story of the oldest school in continuous operation in East Texas. The institution now known as Lon Morris College began with the efforts of the citizens of New Danville, near present day Kilgore, to provide education to the young girls in their community. Some records today indicate these efforts, spurred on by the organizational work of Masonic lodges in East Texas, may date back as far as 1846. The record of the school as a formally chartered institution, however, began in 1854 with the formation of the New Danville Masonic Female Academy under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge of that town. In the ensuing 146 years the institution has endured moves from town to town and from campus to campus. It has withstood fires and economic depressions and has stood at the brink of closure. Through it all it has survived and, in the bargain, exerted an inordinately large influence on the history of Texas for so small a school.

The division of the mural into two parts is as much a function of this school's history as it is a requirement of the space in which it was painted.  If one includes the informal existence of the institution prior to 1854 in the calculation the 1924 name change which made it into Lon Morris occurred exactly halfway through the life of the school to this date. The remainder of the mural's format is designed to tell aspects of Lon Morris's story in a way which will give those who know something about that story a framework on which to hang what they know. Along the top of the mural one can see views of the various campuses through the years. With the exception of the campus as it appeared in 1924 (presented on the far left), all of these views are presented in chronological order from left to right. At the bottom of the mural symbols designate major events in Lon Morris history. The central panels on each side show the progression of the presidents of the school, aspects of the life of the school, and give special recognition to a select few whose burden for, and contribution to, Lon Morris was the greatest. The frame which surrounds this central panel on each side was suggested by a design found in the golden anniversary (counted from it's establishment as a Methodist institution in 1873) yearbook of 1924, the year the school's name was changed.

To see the details of the mural continue to page 2
Page I: LMC Mural Introduction Page 2: Campus Panoramas Page 3: Central Panels Page 4: Portraits Page 5: Lower Panels, etc.
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E-mail Lee Emmerich Jamison