The Texas Historical Commission recognizes places of significance with large cast plaques such as the one in front of ACU’s Hardin Administration Building, one of eight structures built in 1929 when Abilene Christian moved to its current hilltop campus in northeast Abilene.
In the image shown here, Cecil A. Childers, M.D., a Corpus Christi physician, stopped by last summer for a look at the university that originally carried the name of his grandfather, “Colonel” John W. Childers. He was accompanied by his wife, Kathryn, a motivational speaker who was once a Secret Service agent who guarded President Richard M. Nixon and the family of President John F. Kennedy.
J.W. Childers provided land near North First Street in Abilene for ACU founder A.B. Barret to build a college. Abilene Christian opened in 1906 and bore the name of Childers Classical Institute in its earliest years. A land speculator, prominent businessman and Civil War veteran, Childers was elected to serve in the 26th Texas legislature, was the first mayor of Texico, N.M., and a member of the convention that composed a constitution for New Mexico before it achieved statehood in 1912. He died in Abilene in 1918.
ACU’s second THC historical marker will be located on North First Street near the campus used from 1906-29, on property owned by Global Samaritan Resources, an Abilene-based Christian humanitarian aid ministry.