The modest, two-story building that would become the first home of East Texas Normal College was constructed by the Cooper Joint Stock School District. Shaped like a "T," the building housed administrative offices, classrooms, and rooms for the Mayo family. The building was destroyed by a fire in 1894, one of a series of events that prompted President William Leonidas Mayo to relocate the college to Commerce. The original building was situated in the 700 block of what is now Southeast First Street. A Texas State Historical Marker was dedicated at the site in 1967.