The abandoned Benton City Institute was considered an important part of the early education in the area. The building was built in 1875 and was established in 1876 and was called the Benton City Normal Institute. The institution operated under the Texas Law that designated funds to supplement private tuition and was owned and operated by the educators. The school was originally ran by John D. Morrison.
Benton City Institute
Then in 1876, the top floor was bought and used by Atascosa Lodge 379, A.F & A.M. The classes were held on the lower floor and consisted of basic foundation courses, accounting, law, music, and surveying. At some point the school became fully tax supported.
In 1878, the school became coeducational. During that time, it was owned and operated by Professor and Mrs. Bernard C. Hendrix of Kentucky. Eleven years later (1889) they renamed the school to Benton School.
Then in May of 1909 the lodge that offered social and cultural leadership to the area, was moved to Lytle, Texas.
In 1919, the school district was consolidated with Lytle, Texas. The building was use for different things until 1934. After that, I don’t have a clue and I’m still looking into the building.
In 1972 the site became an historic site and the historic marker sign has been removed or stolen.
Abandoned Benton City Institute Current Condition
Just by the pictures alone, you can tell that the abandoned Benton City Institute is in danger of being no more. All that’s left is the outer walls and they are cracking and crumbling to the ground.
The inside has already returned back to nature and all that supports the walls from falling are those old and rotten support beams.
The school is located in Lyle, Texas and off HWY 3175
I am looking for more information about the abandoned Benton institute and if you know of its history, have images of what it looked back when it was active, or know someone to contact, please contact me.
About The Images
The images were shot by hand with my Sony Nex-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 just after sunset. I then edited the images in Adobe Lightroom. Next, I post processed them with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the image. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the image.