Summer Hill Select School was founded in 1876 by Albertus Wellington Orr in Omen, Texas. Orr recruited students from all over East Texas and served as principal until 1901. Among the alumni of the school was Alton W. Birdwell, the first President of Stephen F. Austin State University. A private, non-denominational school, it was co-educational but split into male and female classes, from primary through collegiate grades. Curricula included English, mathematics, history, classical studies. There was also a business college, a teachers' course, and independent study.