Schools of Waller County
PRAIRIE VIEW STATE COLLEGE 1876 - 1936
Alta Vista was Jared E. Kirby?s plantation home. At the end of the Civil war in May 1865, with the Texas armies (about 20,000 men) camped all around Hempstead, the three commanding generals stayed at Alta Vista. After Generals Lee and Johnson surrendered in the east and Jefferson was captured - Alta Vista was the last major command post of the Confederacy. Davis was captured while attempting to reach Hempstead, where the last stand would be made in order to negotiate the best possible terms of capitulation. How ironic, that the last major command of the Confederacy became a black university. Had all this been known, this historic building would certainly have been preserved. At after Kirby?s death in 1865, Mrs. Kirby opened Alta Vista Institute as a boarding school for girls in her home. In 1876 she sold her home to the state to become Prairie View State College - it would become Prairie View A&M University.