In 1871, the Texas Legislature authorized the establishment of an Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Three commissioners were named to find a suitable location of not less than 1,280 acres. Initially competing for the school were city leaders in Austin, San Antonio, San Marcos and Waco.
On June 13, 1871, the three-man panel visited Bryan, where they were "wined and dined" by local residents who talked of contributing as much as $30,000 to build the new college. Harvey Mitchell was among the locals lobbying for the new school.
Local author and historian Robert Borden, opinion editor for The Eagle newspaper, recounts the story of Harvey Mitchell and the important role he played in bringing A&M to the Brazos Valley.
Robert Borden is a native of Fargo, ND, who moved with his family to Bryan in 1961. He is a 1971 journalism graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and began working in newspapers after his graduation. He returned to Bryan in 1977 and after an eight-year stint in retailing, Borden joined the Bryan-College Station Eagle as education reporter in 1986. Since 1990, he has been the opinions editor of the Eagle.