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RG 2/6 - Henry Churchill King (1858-1934)
Biography

Henry Churchill King"President Emeritus Henry C. King died at his home in Oberlin the morning of Tuesday, February 27, following a week's illness. He was in his seventy-sixth year.

"Henry Churchill King was born in Hillsdale, Michigan on September 18, 1858. He was the son of Henry James and Sarah (Lee) King, his father being at that time secretary and treasurer of Hillsdale College.

"He received his A.B. degree from Oberlin in 1879, and his B.D. from the Theological Seminary in 1882. He took graduate work at Harvard and in Berlin, and held honorary doctorates from Oberlin, Western Reserve, Yale, the University of Chicago, Harvard, the University of Illinois, Miami University, Columbia and Colgate.

"Dr. King began his long service for Oberlin as a tutor in the Preparatory Department in 1879. He became associate professor of mathematics in the College in 1884; took over the teaching of philosophy in 1890, and the same year became College Registrar. He served as Dean of the College for one year, and at the end of that time, in 1902, was elected President. He remained in this office until his retirement in June, 1927. His connection with Oberlin's teaching and administrative staff extended over forty-eight years.

"President King was one of the charter members of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He was president of the Religious Education Association,, 1907-08; of the Ohio College Association, 1907-09; of the American Missionary Association from 1913 to 1919; of the Association of American Colleges in 1916. He was for six years chairman of the Commission on Missions of the National Council of Congregational Churches, and was National Moderator of Congregational Churches from 1919 to 1921. From 1921 to 1927 he acted as chairman of the Congregational Foundation for Education.

"During the War, President King was for some months Director of the Religious Work Department of the Y.M.C.A. in France. Shortly after the Armistice he was appointed, with Charles R. Crane, American representative on the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey. For his signal work on this Commission he was in 1920 made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France.

"Dr. King was the author of nineteen books, most of them published during the years of his administration. Among the best-known are: Reconstruction in Theology; Theology and the Social Consciousness; Rational Living; and The Laws of Friendship, Human and Divine.

"A great alumni reunion marked Dr. King's last Commencement in 1927; and at the Centennial Commencement in June he was honored as the first recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Medal. He had been in steadily failing health since his retirement.

"He is survived by Julia Coates King, to whom he was married on July 7, 1882; and by three sons--President Philip Coates King of Washburn University; Dr. Donald Storrs King of Boston, Mass.; and Edgar Weld King, Librarian of Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. A fourth son, Harold Lee King, professor in Oberlin's history department, died in 1926."

Sources Consulted

This account appeared in the March, 1934, issue of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine.

For further information about Mr. King see Donald M. Love's Henry Churchill King of Oberlin, Yale University Press, 1956.

 
 
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