In 1901, the citizens of Mansfield organized the Mansfield Academy Association and purchased the school grounds from the Commissioners’ Court of Tarrant County. A new two story, red pressed brick building, trimmed with white bricks, was erected and used as the main building (pictured right). There were two other brick buildings used for intermediate and primary grades. The main entrance faced Elm Street. The playgrounds south of the building were assigned to the upperclassmen. The primary grades played on the grounds that lay between the main building and two small brick buildings. The campus was fenced with barbed wire and extended to the same boundaries as today. Architect W.G. Clarkson designed the building and James T. Taylor completed the construction on October 7, 1901. The school was conducted by J. Henry Phillips and S.V. Carmarck and others until the summer of 1909.
The Mansfield Academy was also termed the Phillips’ Academy because of the amazing personality and achievements of its head, John Phillips. A pupil could pursue regular or irregular courses at the Mansfield Academy. A special student had the studies of the different departments at his option, with the advice and assistance of faculty. Both sexes attended the school, and while no communication of a social nature was allowed between the young men and women, the very presence and discussion of both in school and in class was indisputably refining and strengthening.
While the Academy was non-sectarian, sincere religious training was offered to its pupils. As citizens, they were taught to respect the rights of others and to realize and meet their obligations. They were also taught, by precept and example, to render reverence and obedience to God. Sunday school and other Christian societies afforded opportunity for religious works. Services were held at the Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and Christian Churches, and pupils were required to attend at least one service each Sunday. Those who were not members were advised to attend the Sunday school and church of their parents.
There were three departments, primary, intermediate and high school. The Primary Department embraced the work usually done in the first four grades. In the Intermediate Department, it was intended that the training would be so thorough, systematic, and painstaking that when the pupils reached the High School Department, they would maintain the desire and independence to learn more and work harder in selective fields of study.
In high school there were four classes, A, B, C, and D. The work embraced the schools of English, Modern Languages, Ancient Languages, History and Civics, Natural and Physical Sciences, Philosophy, Elocution and Oratory, Music, and Business. Pupils who made an average of ninety or above in the subjects of any school were distinguished in that school. It applied, however, only to those who remained in school until the close.
The Mansfield Academy closed in the summer of 1909 when the Mansfield Independent School District was organized.