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Fillmore, John Comfort (04 February 1843–14 August 1898), educator, scholar, and musician, was born near Franklin, Connecticut, the son of John L. Fillmore and Mary Ann Palmer, farmers. Sometime before 1860 his family moved to Ohio, near New Lyme, and from there he entered Oberlin College in 1862. In 1864 he served as a private in Company K of the 150th Ohio Regiment for 100 days, a period marked by ill health that persisted to interrupt his education. Consequently Fillmore withdrew from Oberlin in the winter of 1864–1865. In October 1865 he married Elizabeth Adams Hill, a fellow Oberlin student. They had three children....

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Seeger, Charles (14 December 1886–07 February 1979), musician and polymath, was born Charles Louis Seeger, Jr., in Mexico City, Mexico, the son of Charles Louis Seeger, a businessman, and Elsie Simmons Adams. The first child of well-to-do parents, Seeger was descended from several generations of New England Yankees. His father was a successful businessman, and the family moved between Mexico City and New York City several times during his precollege years. His schooling was by tutor in Mexico, later at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, run by Unitarians (the family faith), and then Harvard College, where he earned a B.A. in music in 1908....

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Stearns, Marshall Winslow (18 October 1908–18 December 1966), jazz scholar and professor of English, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Harry Ney Stearns and Edith Winslow, occupations unknown. His father bought Stearns a set of drums when he was thirteen. After playing drums, guitar, and saxophone in the Cambridge area, he left aside performance to study at Harvard University (B.A., 1931) and Harvard Law School (1932–1934). Bored with the law, he instead took up medieval literature at Yale University, eventually earning a Ph.D. (1942) and serving a series of appointments on the English faculties of the University of Hawaii (1939–1941), Indiana University (1942–1946), Cornell University (1946–1949), New York University (1950–1951), and Hunter College, where he settled as a professor in 1951. His ...

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Thompson, Oscar (10 October 1887–03 July 1945), music critic, author, and lecturer, was born Oscar Lee Thompson in Crawfordsville, Indiana, one of two surviving sons of Will Henry Thompson, a merchant, and Ida Lee, an amateur musician. Educated in the private Academy of Dramatic Arts near his hometown, Thompson received a certificate in piano and voice and as a young adult intended to pursue a career as a singer. After a few marginally successful engagements on the concert platform in Indiana and Illinois in 1912, he redirected his career toward music criticism after being engaged as a part-time reviewer by a local newspaper. In 1914 he married Janviere Maybin in Tacoma, Washington; they had four children. He continued to write music, drama, and book reviews until 1917, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army....