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RG30/95 - Yeaton Family Papers
Biography/Administrative History

Professor of Mathematics Chester H. Yeaton (1886-1970) was born in Richmond, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College (1908) and received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago (1915). Except for his service with the Signal Corps and later as instructor of math, F.A.C.O.T.S., U.S. Army, 1917-18, Yeaton was a math instructor at four schools of higher education between 1910 and 1921.

Yeaton came to Oberlin as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 1921 where he taught until his retirement in 1952. Ethel M. Kitch (1884-1941), from McComb, Ohio, received her Oberlin A.B. in 1906 and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1914. She taught psychology and/or philosophy at Oberlin from 1908 to 1935. (In 1907-08 she was principal of the high school in McComb, Ohio.) She became Associate Professor of Philosophy in 1914 and Professor in 1926. Her particular contribution to the philosophy department was developing a course in “Evolution of Social Forms and Customs: A History of Etiquette.” In 1923 she married Chester Yeaton.

During his 31 years of service Professor Yeaton gave diligent service to the teaching of his students. However, in what was a rather strong department, he did not prepare much material for scholarly publication. He was a member of academic and professional associations, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Service. Ethel Kitch Yeaton was also known primarily for her fine art of teaching. Her bibliography of the writings of and about Rabindranath Tagore constitutes her most significant publication. She was also very active in the Oberlin Women’s Club. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and of the Aelioian Literary Society. She was the first member to hold an Aelioian Fellowship.

In 1943 Professor Chester Yeaton married Marie M. Johnson (1898-1978). She received her Ph.D. at Chicago (1928). She was a native of Galesburg, Illinois, and the first graduate of Knox College to gain the Ph.D. in mathematics. After five years at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois, she came to Oberlin where she served as assistant or associate professor of mathematics, 1927-45 and 1952. She was an occasional contributor to the American Mathematical Monthly and The American Journal of Mathematics.

Chester Yeaton was a noted Oberlin Philatelist and an active member of the Oberlin Rotary Club. He received recognition for directing the Rotary Club’s Easter Seal campaign. He was a member of First Church in Oberlin. Mrs. Marie Yeaton served as president of Beta Gamma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority, the Lorain County branch of a teacher’s honorary society.

The record seems to indicate that neither of the two marriages produced any offspring.

Sources Consulted
Oberlin College Seal -