1852 CLASS ANNALIST’S LETTER
Mr. Chairman and Fellow Alumni:
With great reluctance do I undertake to act as Half-Century Annalist. The selection, last year, of Mr. Daniel Goodwin for that position led me to believe and hope that I might this year be only a listener, and I anticipated great pleasure in hearing one, who, from my knowledge of him when in College, and from my information as to his extensive literary acquirements, culture and experience, I had no doubt would give us an exhaustive and entertaining retrospect of our class record for the half century.
The death of Mr. Goodwin in October last, greatly lamented by all of us, changed the situation. The call made upon me I have endeavored to answer, as well as circumstances would allow. I regret that the requirements of an occupation, somewhat strenuous, have not permitted me to devote as much time to the subject in hand as its importance deserves. In obtaining information I am largely indebted to your necrologist, and I have taken freely from the obituaries he has from time to time prepared. In many cases I have not been able to obtain as full information as I have desired, but such as I have I give.
The period of the collegiate development of the Class of 1852 commenced on Wednesday, the 20th of September, 1848. There were then in number 23. Others came in afterwards during the course, so that in all we had upon the list 46 different names. Of these some dropped out, some were dropped, one by reason of sickness fell back a year, so that finally, as we came to the end, there were 31. To these were afterwards added, by college courtesy, nunc pro tunc, two others whose attendance had been nearly complete, and, whose acquirements were deemed to be adequate. So that upon the alumni record we are 33, but only 12 are living.
It is difficult for me to realize that we started upon the race — the curriculum, nearly 54 years ago. We were but boys, many but 15 years old, one only over 20. Some older ones came in later. Most of us were from the country, in or near Central New York. There was one from Maine, one from Pennsylvania, one from Canada. In the freshman year the majority of us occupied rooms in South College. We had to take what was left after the higher classes were supplied. Our rooms were not luxuriant, though we could not complain of the size. Our fuel was wood obtained from the neighboring farmers, and the boys themselves sometimes sawed it and carried it to their rooms. This practice was not likely to continue long. The price of board was not high, according to modern views. At first it was from 75 cents to $1.50 a week, and later it was from $1 to $2 a week.
We were not a very belligerent class. There were no startling escapades, and although upon a nameless night there may have been a small bonfire it was of no practical importance. Hazing then was not in order and I hope it never will be. On one occasion we dispensed with a recitation in violation of College law and thereupon all of us but one received a solemn warning that we were upon dangerous ground. Some of us in our early days were sent to the country for recuperation. Of such are the trials of youth. At Junior exhibition, which came then in the forepart of the Junior third term, we did not, all of us, behave well. We were not obligated to. Only about one half of the class anticipated. It was an entirely voluntary matter. There was a cloud on our happiness but it passed away and we were satisfied that the sun would continue to shine.
In the retrospect of those days our instructors occupy an important place. Very well do I remember my first appearance before President Simeon North. It was upon my entrance examination, in his office or study in his house. The boy was timid, bashful, expecting the unknown. The man was the kind and courteous gentleman that he always was. He was quiet and dignified, the boy was made to feel at home and the examination was soon and satisfactorily disposed of and was only an incident to the beginning of a long and pleasant acquaintance.
President North was a man of great intellectual strength, was thorough in his classes, was earnest and thoughtful in the pulpit and, when necessary, would rise to the occasion and display a vigorous eloquence that was seldom excelled. He was not by nature so well adapted as some to the performance of executive duties, yet he had with the students a restraining power that was apt to be respected, and he made upon their minds an impression that was helpful for good conduct then and for good results in their future lives.
To Professor Avery we looked for learning in natural philosophy and chemistry, and found it, if we ourselves gave the subject sufficient consideration and improved the opportunities that were kindly offered us. Professor Avery was a man of great scientific acquirements, and was ever ready to assist his pupils by explanation of grave difficulties. The subjects he had in charge wereto some fascinating, and their development in the future we did not realize or imagine.
In Rhetoric and Oratory we had the benefit of the instruction of Dr. Mandeville for a portion of freshman year. He resigned in 1849. He was succeeded by Professor Upson. Dr. Mandeville was in his way a genius. Masterful in manner and voice, with a weapon of a well prepared sentence he could in its utterance startle a dull student and annihilate the little confidence or sense he had. He was sometimes stern but this was relieved by his occasional wit, that would be enjoyed by all. If he liked a man he was apt to like him well. Still he meant to be just. His system of elocution became a prominent feature in College training, and to its beneficial results large numbers of the alumni can testify.
Professor Upson, in succeeding Dr. Mandeville, and applying his system, was for a time somewhat in the shadow of his distinguished predecessor. But he soon developed a capacity, an energy, a personal power that carried him, not only to the front rank of his collegiate specialty, but placed him among the foremost of the clergymen of the country.
In mathematics we had for a time the benefit of instruction by Professor Caitlin. After his death in October 1849, we had Professor Root. Of Professor Catlin it has been well said that he was a born mathematician, and became prominent in his favorite science. It astonished and delighted his pupils to see with what readiness and clearness he would relieve their difficulties and make luminous what was so dark to them. He was naturally reserved and taciturn, but when one came to know him he was found to be a man of kindly sympathies and a warm heart and worthy of all men’s confidence and affectionate regard for his absolute integrity and pure character.
Professor Root was an accomplished scholar and teacher. As an instructor in mathematics he possessed a thorough knowledge of the subject and was an extensive experience. He was eminently kind and fair with his pupils and indefatigable in his efforts to impart instruction. It was not his fault that we — that is, many of us — did in a measure appreciate the wonderful results that could be obtained in the progress of mathematical astronomy. In natural history, Professor Root was just as adept and enthusiastic. It was delightful to allow him in his lectures or conversation on subjects in that line. Perhaps he did not always have sufficient self-assertion, but that is not always a fault. After many years acquaintance with him, I beg leave to say that for integrity of thought and action and life, he had but few equals.
Professor Dwight was our teacher of law and political economy. In many respects he was a wonderful teacher. Under his influence the pupil was obliged to learn. One that ordinarily paid but little attention to a subject and treated instruction as formal, under his magic way became a learner and, pro tanto, wise. The textbook was banished from the classroom and that promoted self-reliance and required some study. About half of the Class of 1852 during senior year took an extra study in law and so we had the full benefit of his energy and methods. He was in preparation for his subsequent brilliant career as the most successful law teacher in the country. His history belongs largely to that of the profession but I may here say that the 10,000 lawyers who have benefited by his instructions may well remember that he was an alumnus of Hamilton College.
In Latin and Greek we were so fortunate as to have for our instructor Professor Edward North. He opened our eyes to beauties in the Latin ode and the Greek tragedy that we had never dreamed of. Our mistakes were numerous but they were noticed with such kindly art that the error was almost forgotten, or absorbed in the new light revealed. He had a charming way of using the English language, making it the carrier of brilliant ideas and poetic thought. More than all, he took us individually to his large and charitable heart, remembering then and afterwards our good qualities, forgetting or passing by our deficiencies. Our debt to him will always be gratefully remembered, and no discourse in bankruptcy will ever affect it.
The four years passed rapidly. Our last gathering as a class was in the philosophical chamber of Professor Avery in the rear of the Chapel, a day or two after the close of our final examinations. We were there to receive our standing for the course. Up to that time it had never by authority been revealed. Each one then received a slip containing his figures. Nothing was made public except as each one chose. As a matter of fact each one announced his status and I happen to have now the figures of each one as then announced. The figures told the story of each in the classroom for the course. In a way they indicated history in its briefest form. Seeing them, there was gathered around each name and figure a multitude of memories and we are boys again. It must be remembered that standing in recitation did not then of itself carry any honor. The same result, the baccalaureate degree, was to all. Nor were there any awards of prizes, except as connected with declamation, and, for the last two years, with composition.
I also happen to have the autographs of each one, made just before graduation. They are before me as I write and are upon a sheet of College letterhead, headed by a picture of the College buildings and grounds as they were at some time before our entrance. You would know the buildings though you might not know the locality. In each signature there is a character, but what, it might be difficult to say. In looking them over, one seems to be on a visit, with all of them in presence, but they do not converse in words.
Commencement was on Wednesday, July 28th. There were 31 who were expected to present their parting compliments and they did it bravely. The day, forenoon and afternoon was fully occupied. There were eight divisions, with musical rests. There was enough to satisfy the friends and acquaintances of all. With the distribution of diplomas the event closed.
The changes since then have been many, but the foundation here is as solid as ever. The century sentinels that used to be along the pathway up the Hill are mostly gone but others are in their places. All of the faculty save one are gone, but others — double in number — have taken their places fully equipped for all emergencies. President North and his three immediate successors have gone, but the fourth is here with an energy and vigor adequate to the occasion.
Permit me to say to my fellow alumni that for the education of their children and grandchildren, they will not, in my opinion, find a place where the atmosphere, physical and moral is better, where the advantages for an honest and healthy mental and moral development are greater or where the opportunities for a thorough and adequate preparation for the battles of life are more and effective than upon this Hill and in these halls.
Coming to matters of personal history I will first refer briefly to those who were with us for a time but are not in the final list. Their names are as follows:
George L. Becker, Lambert S. Fine, Mortimer E. Gillett, Charles D. Helmer, Leonard J. Johnson, Lawrence M. Montague, Daneil Pardee, John Penticost, Michael Reardon, Herman L. Spafford, Everett D. Stark, Alanson Tilden, Franklin Whitney.
Becker was from Beloit, Wis., and entered sophomore year. He did not remain after that year and his history afterward I have not been able to trace. Fine was with us until January of senior year. He left then on account of illness and the following year returned and graduated with the Class of 1853. He was born in Ogdensburgh. N.Y., December 20, 1832, was graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1856, was Presbyterian pastor in Chambersburg, Pa.; Penn Yan, N.Y.; Sonora, Calif.; and Troy, Pa., and died at Troy on March 5, 1969.
Gillett was from Cazenovia, N.Y. He was not in attendance after the freshman year. His subsequent history I have not traced though I have an impression that I saw a notice of his death a few years ago.
Helmer was with us only sophomore year. He then went to Yale and was there graduated in 1852. He was graduated at the Union Theological Seminary in 1857, was for six years pastor of Plymouth Church, Milwaukee, for 10 years pastor of Union Park Church, Chicago, in 1876 became pastor of the Tompkins Avenue Church, Brooklyn. He died on April 28, 1879. Of him it was well said that he “was an enthusiastic student, and with versatility and breadth of talent possessed the poetic faculty in a high degree. As a pulpit orator he commanded high rank. He was sincere a and accomplished man, with a warm heart and attractive manners. In his death, at the age of 51 years, the church loses a useful and leading minister, who added to practical Christianity the graces of literature and the symmetry of a worthy manhood.”
Johnson was not present after the first year. I am informed that he became a practicing physician in Greene, Chenango County, N.Y., and was living there a few years ago.
Montague was from Macon, Ala., entered the third term of the first year and did not appear after the second year. I have no information of his subsequent history.
Pardee was with us until the end of junior year. Later he was graduated at Union. He became a physician in 1955, practiced as such at Fulton, Oswego County, N.Y. He was a surgeon in the Civil War, and after that continued his professional duties at Fulton until his death in August 1891. He stood high in his profession and in that and in his life was brave, cheerful and sympathetic. He left a wife and daughter. He was born at Volney, N.Y., on November 20, 1833.
John Penticost was not with us after sophomore year. He was from Smyrna, Chenango County, N.Y. He was born in England in 1830, and came to this country with his parents when about six years of age. After leaving college he practiced dentistry for a time at Norwich, then studied law at the Poughkeepsie Law School and was admitted to practice in 1854. He died on June 3, 1859, at St. Louis, Mo., after a brief illness, on returning from a business trip in the west. He is said to have been a man of superior mind, a magnetic and cultivated speaker and possessed of a most winning personality and manner.
Michael Reardon, of New York City, and Herman L. Spafford, of Newburg, C.W., did not appear after freshman year. I have no information as to their subsequent history.
Everett D. Stark entered College in the fall of 1849 and remained only about a year. He became a lawyer of considerable prominence in Cleveland, Ohio, and was well known in state politics and was a writer on political economy. He died at Elyria, Ohio, a year or two ago. In a letter to me in July 1896, he said of himself as follows, “The judgment of my professional brethren here would be about this: Stark is much of a student as an acute thinker and if he would drop his hobbies and stick to law might easily get a prominent place in the profession.”
Alanson Tilden entered the third term of freshman year and did not remain after junior year. He became a clergyman and was stationed a few years ago at Port Byron, N.Y. He was Chaplain of the 59th .Y. Regt. Vol., in the Civil War. He was born in Verona, N.Y. on July 29, 1828.
Franklin Whitney was from Binghamton, N.Y., was present only the first year. He became a merchant in New York City where I saw him some years ago. He seemed then to be in prosperous circumstances.
I come now to the alumni list.
James Edwards Abell. The first upon the list is James E. Abell, now of Chicago, Ill. In answer to my letter to him, asking for a statement of the main facts in his personal history, he writes as follows, under date of April 23, 1902: “I was born at Oxford, Chenango County, N.Y., on October 12, 1831. My parents were Rev. James and Laura G. Abell. On account of the illnesss of my mother in the summer of 1835, my brother Francis S. Abell — now deceased — and myself were placed in the caree of Mrs. Lyman, the widow of a Congregational minster in Clinton, N.Y., with whom we remained until the winter of 1837. She was the mother of Rev. Theodore Lyman, D.D., Class of 1838. He was for many years the Episcopal bishop of North Carolina and at that time was an undergraduate and a member of his mother’s family. Miss Matilda Wallace, after the wife and widow of Rev. William Deloss Love, D.D., Class of 1843, was the ward of Mrs. Lyman and kept a school in the upper front room of Mrs. Lyman’s house in which four of Professor Avery’s children, three of Dr. B.D. Dwight’s, and my brother and myself were pupils. Mrs. Lyman’s house was the residence next east of Dr. Dwight’s old home diagonally across the street from Professor Avery’s residence and where in our time Mrs. Rawson had her boarding house for students. Mrs. Love is now in her 83rd year and is remarkably active and intelligent for one of her advanced age. She has a large fund of reminiscences and anecdotes relating the College life of those times, the college professors and the old residents of Clinton, many of which I have listened to with great pleasure. She resides at present with one of her daughters, Mrs. Alexander, at Oak Park, Ill., where I have visited her several times and have greatly enjoyed the opportunities of expressing to her the lifelong regard and respect I have ever felt for her, and which as my early teacher she awakened in my breast so many years ago. I think four of her sons are also sons of our “cherishing mother” for which and other reasons equally cogent that I have not space to mention I would be much gratified if our Alma Mater should confer the highest of its honorary degrees upon her were such a thing possible. My earliest recollections are therefore of Hamilton College and its surroundings.
“I prepared for College at the Chittenango Polytechnic, Chittenango, N.Y., under the charge of William Velaskon, principal. Charles Johnson, Class of 1846, was my instructor in Latin and Greek. I was admitted to the freshman class of 1848; was a member of the Phoenix Literary Society which with the Union Literary Society were then in full flower, but both of which to my regret have long since ceased to exist as I am informed; was also a member of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity about which many of the most pleasing recollections of my College life; read law after graduating with Forbes and Nye in Syracuse, N.Y., and was admitted to the bar in 1854 at a general term of the Supreme Court held at Utica, N.Y. I spent the next two years a law clerk in the office of Coe and Parkhurst at Coldwater, Mich., went to Oshkosh, Wis., on November 2, 1856, and with James H. Dodge, Class of 1852, opened a law office. Dodge remained a year and then became a resident of Milwaukee, Wis.. In July 1864, I entered the military service of the United States and was on detached service at the headquarters of Maj. Gen. H. Thomas from that date until February 1866. In July 1866, I took up my residence at Chicago, Ill., opening up a real estate office, probate practice and the care and settlement of estates. Hotchkiss remained in real estate. I am still in practice.
“I was married January 7, 1858, to Clarissa M. Moseley, daughter of Col. Thomas and Maria N. Moseley, of Union City, Mich., she died November 8, 1888, leaving one son, James M. Abell, now a resident and connected with the wholesale paper trade of this city. My home since the death of my wife has been with my son. I have four granddaughters, ranging from two to 15 years of age, of whom I am especially fond and who are the delight of my daily life.
“If possible I shall try and be with you at the reunion of our class in June and hope to clasp the hands of those of my classmates that are left and whose friendships formed in College days it seems to me are closer and more tender than any we form in after life.
“Permit me in closing to make the application of Morituri Salutamus to ourselves and to quote the words of Longfellow in the same subject upon an occasion similar to this:
And now my classmates; ye remaining few
That number not the half of those we knew,
Ye, against whose familiar names not yet
The fatal asterisk of death is set,
Ye I salute! The horologe of time
Strikes the half-century with a solemn chime,
And summons us together once again,
The joys of meeting not unmixed with pain
Edward Folsom Baker, now of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., after traveling for a time in Europe, returned to this country in 1853, studied law for two years, then became a student at the General Theological Seminary in New York City; was graduated there in 1858 and was ordained to the ministry by Bishop Horatio Potter; from that time until now has been constantly engaged in parochial work and for the last 20 years has been the pastor of St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island; has two sons and three daughters, the sons living in Buffalo, N.Y., one engaged in business there and the other, Frank F. of the Class of 1900, is also a graduate of the Buffalo Law School.
William Alvin Bartlett, now a resident of New York Mills, N.Y., wrote to me from Paris, France, under date of May 16, 1902. He says, “You know my career up to that bright Commencement day we parted with doubts and hopes as to the future. We had a large class for the period, a good class in scholarship and a class, which 50 years have proved in the main successful and useful. The classmate tie is a permanent one, and holds to the end, fun and work, joys and pathos, struggle and success mark the 50 years. After College, I went south close to Stanton, Virginia, and taught Latin, Greek and elocution. I had a language fiend in my class and he pursued me so ferociously that I was forced to study Latin and Greek so as to begin to know something about them. I had my mind on the law and it was the plan of my family, but I turned aside moved by a growing disgust of slavery and by looking my destiny in the face at the communion table of an old school Presbyterian church. I had studied law some, and was offered a partnership with the most promising young man in the county whose good opinion I fancy I won by my facility in talking on occasions.
“I landed in Union Theological Seminary under tremendous responsibility at the step I was taking. My terror and solemnity lessened when I became acquainted with my fellow students and the faculty. After over two years study I went abroad into Germany and matriculated at the university of Halle am Sale, and under Julius Muller and Jacoby and Tholuck began to get my eyes open upon a new world of thought and study. I took a semester in Berlin, and one in Heidelberg, ate a 4th of July dinner with our minister in Paris, Mr. Mason (of Slidell and Mason fame) who entertained me sumptuously and then I came home. It may be interesting to note that one morning in Berlin I met and passed two hours with Baron Alexander von Humbolt at our minister’s house, Mr. Vroom of New Jersey. I landed in August and by the last of September I was settled, ordained and at work in Owego, N.Y. My German experience and study made me a little critical and defiant, and by spring I had several calls east and west, and one to Syracuse. I went to Brooklyn and stayed 10 years. In Brooklyn I became a member of the same religious bodies as Beecher, Storrs and Buddington, Dr. Thompson, Clarke, etc., and knew them well and exchanged on occasions with all of them. Began to lecture on Lyceum courses at the time, and traveled through the Middle and New England States, and several Western ones on first-class courses with the great orators of that day, Garrison, Parker, Philips, Chapin, Beecher and all the rest.
“I worked very hard. It was profitable in the money way and gave me lots of experience. I remained in Brooklyn 10 successful years and built a stone church for my people and a stone house for myself. I was an ardent supporter of the war, was sent out through New York State by a committee to stir up and guide the enthusiasm. I often addressedthe New York City regiments on the way to the front. My brother Major General J.J. Bartlett, and my brother L.C. Bartlett, major on his staff, went through the entire struggle and were at Lee’s surrender. In the winter of 1868 I went to Chicago as pastor of Plymouth Church. I was just finishing a serial story in the New York Independent entitled “Lost Image” and had been for years a regular contributor to that journal. I plunged into the sinewy, mercurial life of that stupendous city, made a success in increasing the church membership and crowding the pews. I went through the fire and was on the first committee of 100 but resigned as the labor was too exacting, but cooperated with them to the end. I opened my church, which was not burned on the night of the fire, and took in all stragglers to sleep and eat until it was overflowing. I assumed the responsibility of writing passes on all railways for suffers by the fire, and by the aid of a dozen voluntary clerks I issued over 3,000 passes which were never once declined on any railroad from California to Maine. When the railroad committee was finally organized with George H. Pullman as chairman, they found that most of the work had been done, and as it proved, well done. I could endure some criticism for unauthorized presumption considering the succor, which the passes gave at a time when all the city was demoralized and all government dissolved.
“In the summer of 1876 my wife and myself went to Europe and at Berne, Switzerland, she died of heart disease. I returned brokenhearted to Chicago, our church moved uptown after the fire absorbing a smaller church on the way, and constructed the present Plymouth Church at Chicago. After dedicating it and remaining a year, I accepted a call to the Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis. I contemplated retiring from the ministry so deeply disturbed by my great loss. After three years I married again, Miss Anna Louise Walcott, of New York Mills, Oneida County. After four years in Indianapolis I accepted a call to the New Park Avenue Presbyterian Church of Washington, D.C. The second Church of Indianapolis was founded by Henry Ward Beecher and was a successful church when I took it. One Sabbath we received into its communion 147 persons, the largest profession of faith; it was a banner day in the history of the church.
“In Washington I remained 13 years and resigned with a large waiting list seeking pews. During this time the membership increased from about 500 to over 1,200. In addition we dismissed over 100 members to form the Church of the Covenant, and over 120 to organize the Gurley Memorial Church, which had been one of our missions. My motive in resigning was bad health. Rest and travel have greatly relieved if not entirely cured me. Washington is a field of large and splendid opportunities; it was the climax of my career. I thank God for the privileges and opportunities, and rest in hope. This is a small and general outline of my life’s story.” Dr. Bartlett has one son, Walcott Duryea Bartlett, now at Yale University.
Henry Barton Boynton. The obituary record of Boynton, as appering in the catalogue of 1863-64 is brief: “Born in Moriah, N.Y., February 14, 1829. Died in Richmond, Va., March 5, 1863.” I am informed that soon after his graduation he took up his residence at Cahala, Dallas County, Alabama. The first year or so he was principal of the Academy at that place, at the same time pursuing his law studies. Upon his admission to the bar he practiced law at Cahala for a time and afterward at Pleasant Hill. On November 27, 1856, he married Margaret W. King, of McKinley, Alabama, a niece of Hon. William R. King, former Vice President. Upon the breaking out of the Civil War he espoused the confederate cause, went to the front and early in the contest laid down his life for what he doubtless deemed to be a worthy and patriotic object. The war came too soon for him to achieve much prominence in his profession, but he had already exhibited traits of character that gave good promise of a successful and honorable career. His wife survives. There are no children.
Charles Ely Brayton of Washington, D.C., in a letter to me under date of April 24, 1902, he says: “There is little of interest in my life to communicate, but in compliance with your request I submit a few facts. I was born in Watertown, N.Y., in January 1832. Entered New York University in 1848. From there, in third term sophomore year, I went to Hamilton and graduated in the Class of 1852. Same year went to California. Spent 17 years on the Pacific Coast. Was engaged in various mercantile pursuits and in journalism. Returned to the east in 1869 and in 1873 entered the Civil Service of the United States in the office of the Comptroller of the Currency, under Hon. John Jay Knox, where I was for a number of years chief of the Division of Organization of National Banks. In 1976 I as appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury on a commission to deliver U.S. Bonds to the syndicate then negotiating the same in Europe. In the same year after my return from Europe I was married to Cassie A. Bishop of this city. In 1891, my health failing, I resigned and moved to Colonial Beach, Virginia. Served one term as mayor of that city. Recovering my health again, in 1899, I entered the Civil Service, in my old office — that of the Comptroller of the Currency, and here I am.”
Edward Henry Buck was born in Cairo, N.Y., on August 11, 1830. Died in Malden, N.Y., on January 23, 1861; was a clergyman, pastor of the First Congregational Church of East Machias, Maine, in September, 1859, became pastor of the First Congregational Church of Melrose, Massachusetts, where a brilliant career was apparently before him; died of pulmonary disease; married November 17, 1858, Elizabeth D. Cushing of Boston, Massachusetts; was survived by his wife and one daughter.
Edwin Otway Burnham entered Hamilton in his senior year; born in Ghent, Kentucky on September 24, 1824; studied at Auburn Theological Seminary in 1852; afterward at Union Theological Seminary where he graduated in 1855; teacher at Pennington, N.J. 1855-56; pastor at Columbus City, Iowa, 1856-57; at Wilton, Minn., 1857-61; at Tivoli in 1861; died August 1, 1873, being then a resident of Los Angeles, Calif.; married Rebecca E. Russell of Sterling, Minn., in July 1860.
George Cook Campbell was born in Cayuga County, N.Y. on May 3, 1833, entering the College from Aurora, N.Y. After graduation he taught mathematics at the Ithaca (N.Y.) Academy. He went to Ottawa, Illinois in 1855, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1859. He practiced law until 1869, when he removed to Chicago, becoming there a member of the law firm of Lawrence, Campbell & Lawrence. He continued in the practice of law until his death on May 15, 1855. He married miss Glover of Ottawa, daughter of Judge lover and sister of Henry P. Glover of the Class of 1868, and Otis R. Glover of the Class of 1869. One who knew him well says of him, “He was an able and successful lawyer, devoting himself solely to his profession, and dying just as his success had made him ready for honors.”
William Benjamin Candee was born in Waterville, N.Y. on May 16, 1831. After graduation he studied law and was admitted to the bar but did not enter into the practice of law. He was engaged at Waterville in the mercantile business, being for many years a member of the firm of Julius Candee & Son. He retired from business in 1884 and died in Waterville, April 4, 1886. He was deeply interested in educational matters, being a member of the Board of Education of Waterville from 1872 until his death. On December 23, 1857, he married Louise Newberry, daughter of Henry Newberry of Detroit, Michigan. Hew as survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, one of the sons being Henry N. of the Class of 1880.
Benjamin Carter Chapman was born in New York City on July 20, 1831. He prepared for Hamilton at the Seneca Falls academy, being under the instruction of Professor Oren Root, Sr. After his graduation, owing to his physical infirmity, he never engaged in active business. He studied law some, but was never admitted to practice. He did some clerical work, being at one time clerk for the Superintendent of Canal Repairs. He died in Seneca Falls on May 9, 1859. He was of kindly disposition and had a bright intellect, many friends and no enemies.
John Milton Conklin entered the College from Lafayette, Onondaga County. After graduation he was engaged as a teacher, doing good work at several academic institutions. He then engaged in the milling business at Conkling’s Mills in the town of Lafayette and now resides there, Berwin, P.O.
William Davis Conklin was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., March 1, 1831, and died at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on November 21, 1897. He was by profession a lawyer and was a man of good natural, as well as acquired attainments. He was for a time Municipal Judge of Fond du Lac. He was twice married.
James Henry Dodge. The following is kindly furnished me by Mr. Abell: “James H. Dodge was born in Verona, Oneida County, N.Y. Entered third term freshman in the spring of 1849. After graduating he went to the Milwaukee University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1852, as professor of mathematics. Married Elizabeth Crampton, daughter of Jonathan Crampton of that place in the summer of 1859; went to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in November 1859, establishing a law office in partnership with his classmate, James E. Abell; remained there about a year when he returned to Milwaukee, going into partnership with his father-in-law as insurance agents; went into the military service of the United States in 1861 as First Lieutenant of one of the Wisconsin batteries and was mustered out in 1865; was afterwards appointed by President Grant one of the Pension Examiners in the Department of the Interior at Washington, D..C., residing there and at other points where the exigencies of the service required him to be. He remained in this at service almost continuously from that time until his death in 1899, at an invalid hospital in Danville, Illinois, from a complication of diseases. His first wife died some years since, leaving four children all grown and still living. He married again but had no issue of this marriage. His widow resides in Washington, D.C.”
John Chester Donaldson was born in Butternuts, N.Y. on January 28, 1827. He fall and winter after graduation he was an assistant teacher in Brockport Academy. From the spring of 1853 to the summer of 1856 he was principal of Westfield (N.Y.) Academy; from 1856 to 1861 he was principal of Gilbertsville Academy; from 1861 to 1863 he was principal of Ovid Academy; from 1863 to 1870, was a farmer in Chautauqua County; in 1970-71, he was principal of the high school in North East Pennsylvania; from 1872 to 1876 was professor in Miami Valley College, Springfield, Ohio. Since 1876 he has been engaged in farming at Gilbertsville, N.Y., Belma, Washington, and now at Longwood, Florida. In August 1857, he married Mary M. Smith, of Westfield. Their son, Chester, is a member of the Class of 1884.
Daniel Goodwin. The following sketch I take from the college record of necrology: “Daniel Goodwin, nephew and adopted son of the late Judge Daniel Goodwin, of Detroit, was born in New York City on November 26, 1832. After his graduation in 1852, he began the study of law in Auburn and completed his preparation for the bar in Detroit. In 1855 he was appointed Master in Chancery for Michigan, and in 1856 he became a member of the law firm of Godwin, Larned & Goodwin. In 1861 he was appointed United States Commissioner of Illinois, and in 1862 Assistant United States Attorney. In 1860 he married Agnes M., daughter of Rev. Dr. Nicholas W. and Lucretia Goertner of Clinton. Their daughter, Julia Merrill, died in Chicago in 1869. Two of their children, Goertner and Lucretia, with their mother, were lost at sea by the sinking of the Ville de Havre on Sunday morning, November 23, 1873. During his residence in Chicago, Mr. Goodwin won honor in prominent positions. He was president of the board of trustees of the Eye and Ear Infirmary for 27 years. He was trustee of the Newberry Library, and a helpful member of the Chicago Historical Society. A student of the best English literature, he enriched his culture by foreign travel, and devoted much time to literary work. He prepared for Appleton’s Cyclopeia of American Biography as many a 20 sketches of prominent citizens of Chicago. With the failure of his health in 1897, Mr. Goodwin gradually withdrew from literary undertakings, and died in Detroit on October 28, 1901. On July 7, 1875, Mr. Goodwin married Isabella Duffield, daughter of Samuel and Sarah Merrill Pitts, of Detroit, who survives her husband. In a memorial prepared by Ezra B. McCagg for the Bar Association of Chicago, Mr. Goodwin is characterized as proud of his profession and faithful in the observance of all its duties. Large-hearted and sympathetic, in the words of Terrence, written over 2,000 years ago, yet full of vitality today, ‘A man himself, he considered nothing that concerned mankind of indifference to him.’ He was an adept worker at whatever his hands and heart found to do for suffering humanity.”
Theodore Henry Hart was born in Harford, N.Y. on January 6, 1831; entered the College from Canandaigua, N.Y., died in Philadelphia on April 12, 1861. He was general agent of the New York Mercantile Agency. I have been unable to learn anything further concerning his life after graduation.
Frederic Humphrey entered Hamilton from Franklin, N.Y. After graduation he became principal of Norwich Academy, Chenango County, N.Y.; then of the Oxford Academy. After he became professor of mathematics and astronomy in the Iowa State University at Iowa City until 1857. Becoming an Episcopal clergyman he was chaplain of the 12th Iowa Infantry regiment in the Civil War, seeing service in eight southern states with Sherman’s army. Later he was rector of the new St. John’s Clinton, Iowa, then of Trinity, Muscatine, Iowa. Later he was called by Bishop Whipple to the chair of Church History, Polity and Canon Law in Seabury Divinity School, Fairbault, Minnesota. The climate and the memorials of his army life compelled him to leave Fairbault and for the past 14 years he has had charge of an Episcopal church at Havre-de-grace, Maryland, where he now resides. In 1855 he married Adelaide O. Buck. In a letter to me he says, “My heart goes back to Hamilton. I rejoice in the growth of the old college and in the noble works of her President and of her sons. They are God’s works.”
Charles Montgomery Jenkins was born at Vernon, N.Y., on September 21, 1830, admitted to the bar in 1854, married to Ann Elizabeth Stevens, May 1855, died at Oneida Castle on December 20, 1856. The record is brief. He was quiet, earnest and self-possessed, dignified and mature beyond his hears. Calm deliberation was in his acts and words. His capacity and opportunities gave great promise of a worthy and useful career had his life been spared. Of him it was well said, “His powers of discrimination, his ability to seize the strong points of a case and exhibit them, his sound judgment and the peculiar attractiveness that he discovered in those practical questions which move and govern men in the actual duties of life; all these gave abundant assurance of his eminent success in the profession of his choice.”
Hiram Tuttle Jenkins was born in Oneida Castle, N.Y., on April 8, 1833. He as admitted to the bar in 1854; elected District Attorney of Oneida County in the fall of 1859, and re-elected in 19862 and 1865; married Cornelia W. D’Auby of Utica in 1862; died in Utica on July 28, 1868. His wife and two daughters survived him. He was an able and painstaking lawyer and had attained a high rank in his profession. He served the public faithfully in a most important and responsible position. His professional brethren mourned the loss of a brother “of cultivated tastes and legal attainments engrafted on a sound, clear intellect; one distinguished for the painstaking industry with which he prepared his cases, and the courtesy, liberality and manliness with which he tried them.”
Charles Clark Kingsley was born February 11, 1830, and now resides in Utica, N.Y. Immediately after graduating he engaged in mercantile business and was uniformly and remarkably successful for about 30 years, having six stores in different cities and states, and doing a very large and profitable business. After that came a reverse and everything was swept away. In his palmy days he tried to make good use of his gains distributing them largely in works of charity and benevolence. In 1867 he was elected a trustee of Hamilton College and has for 35 years held this office. He was secretary of the College for four or five years after the death of O.S. Williams. He is now chairman of the board of trust and one of its executive committee. He is also trustee of many other societies and corporations, such as the First Presbyterian Church, Home for the Homeless, Hope Chapel and Utica Seminary, all in Utica, N.Y. In 1853 he married Fanny Elizabeth Rawson, of Clinton, N.Y., and they have six children. His eldest son, Rev. Charles Rawson Kingsley, Ph.D., a graduate of this College, is pastor of the Congregational Church, West New Brighton, Staten Island, and is the husband of the author of Titus, Paul, Stephen, Prisoners of the Sea, etc. Mr. Kingsley, after 48 years of continuous active service has now retired from business and is enjoying a well earned and deserved rest.
Roswell Henry Kinney was born in Brookfield, Madison County, N.Y., on April 29, 1822; was instructor in Ohio Institute for Deaf and Dumb in 1852-1863; principal of Fairbault Deaf and Dumb Asylum from 1863-1866; of Ohio State Deaf and Dumb Asylum from 1866-1872; of Nebraska Institute for Deaf and Dumb, 187201879; of Colorado Institute for Deaf and Dumb, 1879-80; of Texas Institute for Deaf and Dumb from 1881-1885; died suddenly of heart disease on November 20, 1885, at Austin, Texas; married Frances Grinnell of Clinton, N.Y., in 1854; was survived by his widow, one son and three daughters.
William John Knox was born in Augusta, N.Y., on May 17, 1828, and now resides in Ithaca, N.Y. He writes me that the main facts of his life for the last half-century “are hardly worth mentioning. I have taught some and have preached some, but in the main my life has been that of a plain, ordinary farmer.” As I understand his record, he taught for several years, graduated from Auburn Theological Seminary in 1857, preached at Bridgewater and several other localities. From my knowledge of the man and his ways — for I sat beside him in the classroom much of the time — I venture to assert that his work in any capacity has been good, honest work.
Benjamin Franklin McNeil was born in Genoa, N.Y., on April 4, 1827, was a student in Union Theological Seminary, 1866-1868, ordained by St. Louis Presbytery in October 1868; preached at Wathena, Illinois in 1868, at Beatrice, Nebraska in 1868-1871; at Fairbury, Nebraska 1871-1872, at Union Grove, Illinois 1873-1874; was editor in Newark, N.J., 1876-1877; at Rochester, N.Y., 1878-1882; at Utica and Albany N.Y., 1883-1886; died at Adams, Massachusetts on November 26, 1887; never married. He was a man of very extensive information and a forcible writer.
Milton Hervey Merwin was born June 16, 1832, in Leyden, N.Y., prepared for Hamilton at the Oneida Conference Seminary at Cazenovia, N.Y.; in August 1852 became a student in the law office of Joseph Mullin at Watertown, N.Y.; was admitted to the bar July 5, 1953; was engaged in the practice of the law at Watertown, N.Y., from the fall of 1853 to October 1874; was elected Surrogate of Jefferson County in the fall of 1859; was a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1867-1868; was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court in place of Judge Doolittle, deceased, by Governor Dix on October 17, 1874, and has occupied that position from that time to the present, having been elected in the fall of 1874 for a term of 14 years and re-elected in the fall of 1888 for a similar term; has resided in Utica, N.Y., since the fall of 1874; married Helen E. Knapp of Middle Granville, N.Y., in November 1858, and they have five children, one of whom, Milton K., was for a time a member of the Class of 1885, and another, James H., is a member of the Class of 1899.
Samuel Franklin Miller was born in Franklin, Delaware County, N.Y., on May 27, 1827, and died in North Franklin on March 16, 1892. He was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1853, but did not engage in the practice of law. His main business was farming. He was a member of the State Legislature in 1854, being an Assemblyman from Delaware County. He was a member of the House of Representatives in the 38th Congress, 1863-1865, and also in the 44th Congress, 1875-1877. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention from 1867-1868. He was a member of the State Board of Charities from June 1867 to April 1886, and during this long period devoted much of his time to a careful investigation, and oversight of the numerous benevolent institutions supported in whole or in part by state aid. He possessed in a large measure the public confidence and had a practical ability that enabled him to grasp and fairly consider the important subjects of the day, whether state or national. He was a man of great energy and earnestness, of sound judgment and thoroughly faithful to the trusts reposed in him. He was twice married; first, August 30, 1854, to Laura S. Cadwell of New Hartford, N.Y., who died September 27, 1965; second, May 29, 1867, to Maria M. Sherrill, of New Hartford, N.Y., who, with two sons, survived him. One of the sons, Samuel J., was for a time a member of the Class of 1894.
Paul Dudley Morrow was born in Wilmot Township, Pennsylvania, on February 17, 1828, died in Towanda on December 14, 1890. He prepared for college at Franklin Academy, Susquehanna County. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1853, practiced law at Tonawanda, in Bradford County, and was elected District Attorney of that county in 1856. In 1870 he became Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the 13th Judicial District, then comprising Bradford and Susquehanna Counties and in 1874 became President Judge of the District. This position he occupied until his death, being re-elected in 1880. The extensive original jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas, not only in civil and criminal, but in probate matters, made it necessary for its presiding judge to possess not only extensive and varied legal acquirements, but the utmost confidence of the public in his integrity and sound judgment. The re-election of Judge morrow in 1880 without opposition indicated his position with the public and it is believed that in all respects he maintained the high standards that the responsibilities of the office required. In 1857 he married Harriet King Pitcher of Warren, Pennsylvania, who, with three children, survived him. One of his sons, John Paul Morrow, is a member of the Class of 1884.
Dewitt Clinton Beck was born in Marshall, Oneida County, N.Y., on December 14, 1830, and died at Mexico, N.Y., on February 25, 1882. He was a lawyer by profession; was elected Special County Judge of Oswego County, N.Y., in 1860; was appointed Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue in 1867; was a member of the State Assembly from Oswego County in 1877 and 1879. His course in the Legislature was very creditable. He showed an unusual aptitude for the comprehension of state affairs and a forceful method in impressing his ideas upon the minds of his associates. He developed an unexpected power as a public speaker that gave him a high standing in political life, and had his health permitted, the highest positions in the state might have been within his grasp. On January 19, 1853, he married Mary L. Barton, of New Haven, N.Y. He was survived by his widow and two children, one of whom, Fayette H., is a member of the Class of 1879.
Hiram Potter, Jr., was born in Painted Post, N.Y., on May 16, 1831. Soon after his graduation he entered the Union Theological Seminary of New York City, but after a year gave up the idea of entering the ministry and became associate editor of the Home Journal of New York City at the invitation of General George P. Morris, its then editor-in-chief. Subsequently he became city editor of the Daily Wisconsin, published at Milwaukee. He served as quartermaster and paymaster of the Union Army at New Berne, N.C. and was a member of the Board of Tax Commissioners of North Carolina. From there he went to Florida and was one of the delegates from that state to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, in 1868, which nominated General Grant for the presidency. In 1869 he was appointed Collector of Customs for the port of Pensacola. He was elected State Senator of Florida for 1872-1876. In 1890 he removed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he engaged in mercantile business. He died suddenly at Chattanooga on January 6, 1898. He was twice married; first to Julia Blanchard of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1858, who died in 1883; second to Agnes Emerson of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on September 24, 1885. He left no children.
Richard Schroeppel was born in the town of Schroeppel, Oswego County, N.Y., on January 2, 1830; was admitted to the bar in 1859, and practiced law in Utica, N.Y., where he died on September 14, 1882.
Henry Sanger Welton —was born November 13, 1827, near Hamilton, N.Y., and died in Mt Auburn, Iowa on July 5, 1902. He prepared for Hamilton College at the Hamilton Academy. After graduation he spent nine consecutive years in teaching, 23 years in merchandizing, and 18 years in a more retired life. He assisted in organizing the Iowa State University and was its first professor of Greek and Latin; was afterwards superintendent of Iowa City Public Schools; was for 10 years an officer of the Iowa State Historical Society; was instructor for the Teacher’s Institutes for several years and was eight times re-elected Justice of the Peace for Benton County, Iowa. He married Julia P. Grinnell on June 7, 1854, in Clinton, N.Y. They had seven children.
George Brayton Whipple was born in Adams, N.Y., on June 26, 1830; resided at the Sandwich Islands, 1854-1860. In 1863 he was graduated from Seabury Divinity School at Faribault, Minnesota, and was ordained a priest. He was a missionary in Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, 1865-1869; Treasurer and Chaplain at St. Mary’s Hall, Faribault, and died in Nantucket, Massachusetts on July 18, 1888; he married Mary J. Mills in August 1861.
Gilbert Wilcoxen resides at Seneca Falls, N.Y. He was admitted to the bar in 1854; established a newspaper, the Seneca Falls Reveille, which he edited and conducted for four years; was supervisor of his town for several years, and for two years was president of the board; in 1871 he was elected County Judge and Surrogate of Seneca County, and served a term of six years before resuming the practice of law; he has been president of the Seneca Falls Savings Bank for 25 years.
Samuel Gardiner Williams was born in West Winfield, N.Y., on August 15, 1827. H prepared for college at the Whitestown Seminary. He was principal of Groton Academy from 1853-1859, of Ithaca Academy from 1859-1869; of the Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1869-1879. He was professor of Geology at Cornell University from 1879-1886, professor of Pedagogy at Cornell from 1885-1898. He was the author of Applied Geology, published in 1886 and The History of Modern Education, published in 1892. In 1899, he authored valuable geological papers in Silliman’s Journal, and educational papers in the transactions of the University Convocation. He was engaged in teaching before he entered college, as well as considerable time during his college course, and thereafter for 45 years it was his professional work. Adapted to teaching by nature and by his thorough scholarship, he gave to it enthusiastic zeal, and an army of young men have realized the benefit of his knowledge and experience. Engaged for nearly 20 years at Cornell, he gave to its advancement some of the best years of his life, and its prosperity was very dear to his heart. Still he was always loyal to the institution where the foundation was laid of his usefulness and success. He was twice married; first, on November 30, 1853, to Electa W. Clark, of Groton, N.Y., who died in 1875; and second, in 1881, to Sarah Louisa Hubbell Babcock, who died in September 1897. He died in Ithaca, N.Y. on May 19, 1900, being survived by one daughter, the wife of Professor Cushing of Western Reserve University.
M.H. Merwin, Class of 1852
“In Latin and Greek we were so fortunate as to have for our instructor Professor Edward North. He opened our eyes to beauties in the Latin ode and the Greek tragedy that we had never dreamed of. Our mistakes were numerous but they were noticed with such kindly art that the error was almost forgotten, or absorbed in the new light revealed. He had a charming way of using the English language, making it the carrier of brilliant ideas and poetic thought. More than all, he took us individually to his large and charitable heart, remembering then and afterwards our good qualities, forgetting or passing by our deficiencies. Our debt to him will always be gratefully remembered, and no discourse in bankruptcy will ever affect it.”