February 17, 2010
St. Johns College in Little Rock (Pulaski County), a school created by Arkansas Freemasons, was the first institution of higher education chartered in the state (though the third to open). Chartered by the state legislature in 1850, the school did not open its doors until the fall of 1859. The Civil War hampered the growth of the school, which never fully recovered. In 1889, the Grand Lodge sold all of the college property. Shortly afterward, the college buildings burned to the ground. The school is shown here sometime in the 1870s.