Founded in 1838 upon the recommendation of Dr. Martin Ruter (1785-1838), as a site for an institution of higher learning. Named in honor of Dr. Ruter, a pioneer Methodist missionary who entered Texas on Nov. 21, 1837, and weakened by his travels, died on May 16, 1838. Later in the year of his death, a company of ten Methodists bought a tract of land, platted the townsite, and began to build Rutersville.
In 1840, Rutersville College was chartered by the fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas as the Republic's first Protestant college. The legislation specified the school should not be exclusively for the benefit of Methodists, and it was patronized by families of various faiths. Rutersville students were noted for their loyalty to neighbors, sometimes spending days away from class, pursuing Indians.
The Rev. Chauncey Richardson, A.M. (1802-1852), whose grave is nearby, was first president of the college. The campus was half a mile southeast of this marker.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, the original inhabitants of Rutersville sold their property. It was later purchased by German immigrants, whose descendants now live here in large numbers.