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Buck, Paul Herman (25 August 1899–23 December 1978), historian and university administrator, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Henry John Buck and Adele Kreppelt. Buck took his A.B. in 1921 and his A.M. in 1922 at Ohio State University in Columbus. His master’s thesis, “The Evolution of the National Park System,” was published by the Government Printing Office in 1946, after he had achieved some scholarly distinction....

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Burdick, Usher Lloyd (21 February 1879–19 August 1960), author, educator, and legislator, was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, the son of Ozias Burdick and Lucy Farnum, farmers. In 1882 the family settled in Graham’s Island in the Dakota Territory, where Burdick attended local public schools and learned the Sioux Indian language and customs. Following his graduation from the State Normal School at Mayville, North Dakota, in 1900, he worked for two years as deputy superintendent of schools in Benson County, North Dakota. In 1901 he married Emma Rassmussen, and they had two sons and a daughter. Frustrated by local politics, Burdick changed career objectives and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he taught in a business college while attending the University of Minnesota’s law program, from which he graduated in 1904. He also played football at the university, which won the Big Ten championships in 1903 and 1904. After graduating he returned to Munich, North Dakota, where he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law....

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Burgess, John William (26 August 1844–13 January 1931), political theorist, historian, and university dean, was born in Cornersville, Giles County, Tennessee, the son of Thomas T. Burgess, a planter, and Mary Judith Edwards. He was a descendant of Thomas Burgess, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630. Raised in Tennessee in a slaveholding, pro-Union southern Whig family, Burgess became interested in politics early in life upon hearing the orations and debates of ...

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Chandler, Julian Alvin Carroll (29 October 1872–31 May 1934), historian and president of the College of William and Mary (1919-1934), historian and president of the College of William and Mary (1919–1934), was born near Guinea in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of physician Joseph Alsop Chandler and Emuella Josephine White. Raised on a farm, Chandler entered the College of William and Mary intent upon a medical career, but by the time he graduated, in 1891, had decided to teach. He taught English and history at William and Mary while working on his M.A. (1892). He earned his doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University in 1896....

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Dennett, Tyler Wilbur (13 June 1883–29 December 1949), historian, government official, and college president, was born in Spencer, Wisconsin, the son of William Eugene Dennett, a Baptist preacher, and Roxena Tyler. He attended a small school in Pascaog, Rhode Island, where his parents moved shortly after he was born, and then the Friends School in Providence. His higher education included one year at Bates College in Maine and three years at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was a scholarship student, edited the school paper, and played football....

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Ford, Guy Stanton (09 May 1873–29 December 1962), historian, editor, and academic administrator, was born in Liberty Corners, Salem Township, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas D. Ford, a medical doctor, and Helen E. Shumway, a teacher. During Guy’s early childhood, his father’s drinking and business failures forced his mother, with her two sons, to move in with a series of relatives, eventually leading them to Sutherland, Iowa, in 1883. Shortly thereafter his father moved to Plainfield, Iowa, a town of about 300 people. In 1884 the family reunited in Plainfield. Thomas Ford was an extremely impractical man and the family lived in relative poverty throughout Guy’s years in Plainfield....

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Griswold, Alfred Whitney (27 October 1906–19 April 1963), scholar, educator, and university president, was born in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Harold Ely Griswold, an insurance broker, and Elsie Montgomery Whitney. He was a student at Peck School, Morristown, and at Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut. He attended Yale beginning in 1925 and with the intention of becoming a journalist or a writer. He published columns and light poetry in the ...

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Seymour, Charles (01 January 1885–11 August 1963), historian and Yale University president, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Day Seymour, a Yale professor of Greek, and Sarah Melissa Hitchcock. Seymour was linked with Yale University from his birth to his death. He graduated from high school at sixteen years of age and first took a bachelor’s degree in 1904 at King’s College, Cambridge, before matriculating at Yale for a second B.A., which he earned in 1908. Repeating this pattern on the graduate level, he studied at several European universities before earning a Ph.D. in history at Yale in 1911. He immediately joined the Yale History Department, where he quickly distinguished himself as a scholar. His second monograph, ...

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Wesley, Charles Harris (02 December 1891–16 August 1987), historian and educator, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Charles Snowden Wesley, an undertaker, and Matilda Harris, a seamstress and later a secretary. His father, who died in 1902, had worked in an “undertaking establishment under his stepfather who had a large funeral plant with a showroom, a chapel, embalming room and a stable for horses and carriages.” Wesley’s mother referred to his father as a “brilliant conversationalist.” When he was a child his mother sang in the choir of Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. After his father’s death Wesley’s maternal grandfather became his “father figure.” Wesley received his early education in Louisville. Around 1906, at age fourteen, he entered the Fisk Preparatory School, where he was active with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Wesley appeared with this group at the 1911 World’s Fair in Boston. In 1912 a recording of the group was made with Columbia Broadcasting Company, under the name of Aeolian Quartette, which included ...

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Emma Hart Willard. Brown-toned platinum print, c. 1900. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dr. and Mrs. R. Ted Steinbock.

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Willard, Emma Hart (23 February 1787–15 April 1870), educator and historian, was born in Berlin, Connecticut, the daughter of Samuel Hart and Lydia Hinsdale, farmers. She attended a district school and a new academy in Berlin, then two schools in Hartford to study art and fine needlework. Her father, a Jeffersonian and a Universalist, introduced her to dissent and began her education in philosophy. She also found mentors outside the family....