Academic History

Explore the rich academic history of Canadian Texas.  From Mary Brainard Isaacs, Canadian's pioneer educator to Billy Cross, Educator and  former Professional Halfback for the Chicago Cardinals you will discover how much of Canadian's rich heritage is rooted in academic excellence.

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Mary Brainard Issaacs

Mary Brainard Isaacs was Canadian's pioneer educator. She was born in Massachusetts on February 16, 1854. At the age of 34, her family moved to Canadian to join her brother, Ed Brainard who had already established John’s Creek Ranch in Roberts County. At this time, there were 20 families and a number of children, but no school in Canadian. Mary, who had left a good teaching position in New York State, took care of the town’s educational problem.

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Bill Cross
Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

There have been quite a few beefy linemen who have been nicknamed "Tiny" (Cahoon, Engebretsen, Nicholes, Nordstrom, etc.), but how many really tiny players have found a place on pro rosters?

That question was posed to me by Billy J. Cross, the mighty-mite, pint-sized 5-foot-6, 150-pound halfback with the Chicago Cardinals in the early 1950s. Pat Summerall, his old roommate1 had mentioned on a television broadcast that Cross was the smallest player to ever play pro football. The diminutive Cross, now retired in his hometown, asked me if I could verify Summerall's assertion. In taking a quick survey of references in my library, I was able to inform him that he very probably was the smallest player in the modern post-1950 era. 

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