Henry E. Thayer, D. D.Though there is no profession or occupation affording a wider field for usefulness than the ministry, the educational field is fraught with opportunity in that direction and there is probably no position in all professional life of greater responsibility than that of president of a college or university. Fairmount College at Wichita is admirably favored in having as its executive head Dr. Thayer, whose thorough scholarship, gentleness, modesty of character, Christian charity and kindly interest in all who have come under his charge have endeared him to his students and have made him a potent element for good, resulting in the substantial growth of that college since his connecetion[sic] with it. Dr. Thayer is the descendant of two of New England's oldest familiesthe Thayer and Adams familiesthe latter being well known to every one through its prominence in public affairs during the Revolution and the constructive period of our nation. The Thayer family originated in New England with Thomas Thayer, a descendant of Lord Thayer. Thomas Thayer came to this country from England in 1635 and located on a farm near Braintree, Mass.; which estate remained in the possession of the family for two hundred and forty years, or until 1875. Dr. Thayer is of the seventh generation descended from Thomas Thayer and was born in Freedom, Portage county, Ohio, Feb. 1, 1855. His father, Henry Nathan Thayer, a farmer by vocation, was born in Williamstown, Mass., in 1828 and is still living, being now a resident of Garrettsville, Ohio. He was the son of Jacob Thayer, who was the tenth son of Elkanah Thayer. The latter was the son of John Thayer, whose father, John Thayer, was the son of Thomas Thayer, the son of the founder of the family in America. The mother of Dr. Thayer was Austa Tigret, a native of Massachusetts. She died in 1857 when her son, Henry E., was but two years of age. Mary Adams, the paternal great-grandmother of Dr. Thayer, was a member of the historic Adams family of Massachusetts.
Dr. Thayer spent his youth at Freedom, Ohio, and was educated at Hiram College and Oberlin College, graduating at the latter institution in 1878 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The same school conferred on him the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1883. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Washburn College, of Topeka, in 1904. He was ordained to the ministry of the Congregational church at Freedom, Ohio, June 25, 1883. His first pastorate was in Ogden, Utah, where he served from 1883 to 1885. From 1885 to 1887 he had charge of Park Avenue Church in Denver, Col.; from 1887 to 1897 he served the First Congregational Church at Longmont, Col.; and from 1897 to 1901 he was pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church at Wichita, Kan. In 1901 he took up the duties of superintendent of the Kansas Congregational Home Missionary Society, in which capacity he served until 1907, when he was made president of Fairmount College, his present position.
On June 20, 1883, at Weston, Ohio, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Louise M. Singer. Their union has been blessed by two children: Mrs. Jennie Margaret Thayer Walker, of Topeka, a graduate of Washburn College; and William Henry Thayer, a graduate of Fairmount College and now a student of forestry at Yale University. Besides his professional duties Dr. Thayer takes an active interest in affairs touching the general welfare and development of Wichita with which he keeps in touch through his membership in the Wichita Chamber of Commerce.Pages 1203-1204 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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