The photo above is the 1901 graduating class of Thomas Arnold High School
The first permanent Anglo-American settler to live in Salado was Archibald Willingham in 1850. In 1852 a post office was established when a stage line that ran between Waco and Austin began a weekly run, before the town was laid out. The town was founded directly as a result of the establishment of the Salado College. In October of 1859 Col. Elijah Sterling C. Robertson, son of empresario Sterling C. Robertson, offered to donate land north and south of the springs to a corporation to sell stock, build a college, and lay out the land into lots for a town to be called Salado. Salado prospered as an educational, industrial, and agricultural center. At one time a series of eight flour and grist mills were built on Salado Creek. After the railroads bypassed Salado, trade declined, and the college was forced to close. From 1890 to 1913 the former college building was occupied by the Thomas Arnold High School. After a series of fires the school was abandoned and the ruins are now maintained as part of the Salado Museum. Many of the historic homes and buildings of Salado are still an important part of this thriving, active, historic, village.
The Salado Historical Society is dedicated to researching and preserving the history of the area and of the families that helped build this community. Their mission is “To locate, educate, and preserve the history and the historical integrity of the Village of Salado.”
Another Salado Historical Society exciting event is in the planning. Please watch this site as it grows.