Tribute To Charles Marsh Mead, By His Friends -- By: George Nye Boardman
BSac 69:274 (April 1912) p. 185
Tribute To Charles Marsh Mead, By His Friends
Many friends of Professor Mead have requested that some permanent record of his life and work be prepared for publication. As a mere child he manifested an unusual diversity of natural gifts, and in every stage of his career he was the object of affection and high esteem. A few of his friends have accordingly coöperated in preparing this brief biography, for which Mrs. Mead, for more than forty years his constant companion, has furnished the dates and several other items.
Charles Marsh Mead was born in Cornwall, Vermont, on January 28, 1836. He was the son of Rufus and Anna (Janes) Mead. His boyhood was passed in one of those typical New England homes to which this country owes so much and in which many of her greatest men have been molded. He himself, when near the end of his life he read Curtis’s admirable biography of Daniel Webster, was greatly struck with the many points of resemblance in the family life of the Websters and the Meads. Rufus Mead, like Ebenezer Webster, was a farmer who appreciated the value of study and of mental training. Although not rich, and with a family of nine chil-
BSac 69:274 (April 1912) p. 186
dren, he laid by his little contributions for the aid of the College near by him in Middlebury, and in recent years one receipt has been found among old family papers crediting him with a gift of $100 to it.
Charles was the youngest of seven sons, he had two sisters older than the brothers. Rufus Mead had the pleasure of seeing three of the sons become graduates from the college in which he had taken such interest, all of them doing credit to it and to him. Anna Janes, his wife, was the sister of Deacon Horace Janes, whose memory is still enshrined in the church at Cornwall. He and his other sister, Lucy (Janes) Bond, had homesteads not far distant in the town of Cornwall. Deacon Janes and the two sisters had numerous children, counting twenty-four when they sat down together at the Thanksgiving table. Charles was the youngest of the twenty-four cousins. Like the Websters, the Meads helped each other in their educational efforts. The eldest sister was unwearied in her endeavors to aid her brothers. She was a teacher of high reputation until deafness obliged her to give over work of that kind. For a time she taught in La Prairie, Canada, where Charles was with her nearly a year (1845–46). There he heard, and learned to speak, the French language In 1849 this sister was the preceptress of the Female Seminary in Middlebury, where she had under her tuition two brothers, Charles and Martin, the latter of whom was two years the elder. An older brother, Hiram, later professor at Oberlin, Ohio, after graduating from Middlebury taught...
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