Mulford Stough (1888-1951)

Mulford Stough, c.1940

Mulford Stough was born on May 1, 1888 in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to William W. and Clara V. Bauer Stough. He attended Shippensburg State Teacher College from 1904 to 1907, before receiving his bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University in 1911. He worked at the Old Thrush and Stough Carriage Works in Shippensburg and in his family's fruit orchards in Cumberland County before earning a master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1925. Upon graduation Stough came to Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as an instructor of history, holding the position for one year until he was made associate professor in 1926. Finally, in September 1950, after almost a quarter century of service to the College, Stough was named as a full professor of history.

During his tenure, "Cocker" Stough changed the way that the College andits students viewed history. He taught the general American history course and emphasized the social and economic development of the United States from 1750, rather than the political and military development as most professors did. He required students to write weekly papers and pursue collateral readings. Consequently, his students used the library more than their peers. It was this unconventional way of teaching history and emphasis on research that gained Stough respect and admiration from both the faculty and students. He taught students through the use of stories and because of this became a noted lecturer and long remembered teacher. He also published, such as his article entitled “The Yellow Fever in Philadelphia, 1793” which appeared in Pennsylvania History, the official publication of the Pennsylvania Historical Society.

In addition to teaching, Stough was a faculty advisor to Student Senate and the Commons Club, and was an elected faculty member of Omicron Delta Kappa and a member of the faculty library committee. Outside of the College, Stough was a member of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, the director of the Hamilton Library and the Cumberland County Historical Association. He was also a member of the First Lutheran Church and the local Elks Lodge. Stough enjoyed trout fishing and had a fine sense of humor.

Mulford Stough married Myrtle Mayberry after his first wife, Rachel Howerton, died in 1921. He had two children, Virginia Howerton and Martha Jane. The beloved Mulford Stough died on February 4, 1951.

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Dickinson College Archives
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