October 10, 1859
With its main building complete, St. Johns’ College in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the first college in Arkansas to receive a charter, began its classes with about fifty students. By this time, two other chartered colleges in Arkansas were holding classes: Arkansas College in Fayetteville (Washington County) and Cane Hill College at Cane Hill (Washington County). The Civil War halted the college’s success. The three professors enlisted in the Confederate army, and many of the students followed. The Grand Lodge gave permission to the Confederate forces in Little Rock to use the college as a hospital, and they erected eleven buildings. When Union general Frederick Steele took Little Rock on September 10, 1863, the Union army also used the college and its campus as a hospital.