The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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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.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

Then in May of 1909 the  lodge that offered social and cultural leadership to the area, was moved to Lytle, Texas.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

In 1972 the site became an historic site and the historic marker sign has been removed or stolen.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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 Abandoned Benton City Institute

The inside has already returned back to nature and all that supports the walls from falling are those old and rotten support beams.

The Abandoned Benton City Institute

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.

About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

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  1. James. my name is Jack O’Neill, 5922 Centennial Glen Drive, Katy, Texas 77450 Ph.832-434-9743
    I don’t know if you would be interested in talking to me or not, but, if so. feel free to call me.
    I Lived in a big 2 story w/basement, almost the twin, built in 1886, of this one, just as few miles south-ish of the Benton City Institute, down what was a Sand Graded Road that ran in front of this old building, I was dropped off everyday from a school Bus from Lytle’s main school in Lytle, and would play within this old building while waiting for my father to pick me and my brother up from driving home everyday from Kelly AFB in 1947,48,49. WE just called it the old school House and knew nothing about it. Are you aware of the other one that was my families home when I was just a boy. I have many stories about the years back then. JACK

  2. Robert Allen says:

    II have some old newspaper clippings my grandmother kept about what I only remember it being called the Benton City”Schoolhouse”.One story is from the San Antonio News (paper) November 29,1971 and another from the “Lytle Hilight” paper from March 24,1972 that’s talks about the commemoration clebrationthat is to take place the next day.At the end of the article, it say “History of the Benton City School to appear in the next issue”.


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