December 31, 1850
Governor John S. Roane approved a legislative act chartering St. Johns’ College in Little Rock (Pulaski County) as the first college chartered in Arkansas (although the third to open its doors). The trustees met on January 17, 1851, with George C. Watkins, president; Elbert H. English, secretary; and Roderick L. Dodge, treasurer. Funding for the college came from sources such as the Grand Lodge and the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons appropriating their surplus money, subscriptions of the subordinate lodges, Masons, and the general public. During its short life (no students were taught there after 1882), it trained some of the most important future leaders in Arkansas.