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RG 30/299 - Edward Franklin Bosworth (1894-1957)

Edward Franklin BosworthEdward Franklin Bosworth was born 25 June 1894 in Oberlin, Ohio, to Bertha Bell McClure (OC 1889) and Edward Increase Bosworth (OC 1886, Dean, Graduate School of Theology, 1903-1910 and 1921-1923, and Oberlin Professor, 1883-1927). After graduating from Oberlin High School, Edward Franklin entered Oberlin College in 1912, later graduating in 1916 with a Political Science major. Bosworth excelled as a student, being granted 8 semester hours of credit for German because he studied successfully abroad in Germany. Bosworth participated in athletics heavily, and was chosen class president in his senior year at Oberlin.

Upon graduation, Bosworth pursued employment as a grain buyer for the Andrews Grain Company of Minneapolis, MN, from 1916-1917. When the United States entered World War I, Bosworth was drafted. He served at Camp Sherman, Ohio, for the remainder of 1917 through 1918, as 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry. Upon his discharge from the service, Bosworth secured a position as a grain salesman on the Grain Exchange, and labored in this position from 1919-1920.

Following his father's example, Bosworth pursued the study of Theology at berlin from 1920-1923, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1923. Upon graduation, the Bosworths moved to Grand Forks, ND, and later to Grinnell, IA, where Edward completed the bulk of the sermons comprising this collection.

In 1926, while serving as minister of the First Congregational Church in Grinnell, Edward, known affectionately since childhood days as "Ned," was approached by Oberlin for the first full time Dean of Men position. Bosworth accepted, and served as Oberlin's Dean of Men from 1927-1955. As Dean of Men, Edward's duties included creating rooming place regulations/dormitories for men, providing "correction" for wayward men, insuring class and chapel attendance among the college's men, creating a "more unified men's life in the College," and most Importantly, acting as a career and life counselor for nearly three decades of Oberlin men. "Dean Ned" is also credited with creating one of the first student dorm counselor programs, creating the Chance Creek Project which provided Oberlin men with outdoor recreation activities, and being one of the first deans to provide a cumulative record of personnel data.

On 3 September 1919, Edward married the former Imogene Rose, born 7 October 1890, of Cleveland. The marriage of Imogene and Edward produced two sons who also became Oberlin alums: Edward Increase, born 21 August 1924 (OC'49), and Thomas Laurence, born 15 June 1930 (OC'52).

After taking a year long leave of absence due to the effects of Pleurisy and Phlebitis in 1956, Edward Franklin Bosworth died in Hillsboro, NH on 7 August 1957. His friends and colleagues remembered him warmly as a person who preferred kindness and gentleness over harsh discipline.

A photograph and biographical information about Edward Franklin Bosworth are included in the digital collection “Oberlin College and Military Service in World War I,” presented by the Oberlin College Archives.

Sources Consulted

Faculty File of Edward Franklin Bosworth, Alumni Records RG 28), OCA.

Oberlin College Seal -