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Mrs. Mary Doyle, who lived on a farm about four miles south of Austin, was a member of St. Mary's parish. She had been sponsor for the first Catholic child baptized in Austin, and she had watched with deep interest the parochial development from its inception. Mrs. Doyle bequeathed her holdings (about 400 acres of land with improvements) to the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Galveston to defray expenses of educating poor children in the Catholic school in Austin. In September, 1871, the widow apprised Bishop Dubuis of this bequest. The Doyle acreage, part of the San Diego del Valle grant, purchased by the late Mr. Doyle in 1868, was separated from the highway by the farm of Colonel W.L. Robards, a prominent member of St. Mary's parish. The Colonel in 1857 had purchased about one hundred and twenty-four acres from A.P. Blocker. The Robards tract had been part of the Isaac Decker League grant and it was situated immediately west of Mrs. Doyle's holdings.
In March 1872, Bishop Dubuis, accompanied by Father Sorin, visited the Doyle Homestead and induced Mrs. Doyle to give her holdings to the Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross as a location for an educational institution for Catholic boys. On April 6, 1872, Father Sorin purchased the Robards' tract for the sum of $5,189 and, three days later, the Superior General gave a promissory note for $995 to Mrs. Doyle for 398 acres of her holdings. The Doyle tract contained an additional 100 acres which the widow reserved from the sale because she wished to give it to her granddaughter, Mrs. Wm. J. Sneed. She further stipulated that she would retain the farm and homestead as long as she lived, and that after her death an educational institution be established on the land or on the adjoining acreage.
Mrs. Doyle died February 4, 1873. A few days before her death, she signed her last will and testament, which, among other things, bequeathed the sum of $500 to St. Mary's School, Austin, to defray the expenses of the education of poor children. A codicil was added to the will bequeathing to Father Sorin the note for $995, which Mrs. Doyle held against him.
Dunn, William H. Saint Edward's University: A Centennial History. Austin, TX: Saint Edward's University Press, 1986.