Andrew Dousa Hepburn (1830-1921)

Andrew Dousa Hepburn (1830-1921)

Andrew Dousa Hepburn was born the eldest son of Samuel and Rebecca Williamson Hepburn in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. His family moved soon after to Carlisle, Pennsylvania so that his father could complete his legal training under Judge John Reed at the local Dickinson College. Andrew grew up in Carlisle where his father became a district judge. He himself enrolled as an undergraduate at Dickinson in 1845 with the class of 1849. He was elected to the Union Philosophical Society but left the College to enroll at Jefferson College in western Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1851. He then attended the University of Virginia and finally went on to complete seminary studies at Princeton Theological in 1857.

Hepburn was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in October 1858 and took up service in Virginia at New Providence and then in Wilmington, North Carolina where he had also taken a post in 1860 at the University of North Carolina as a professor of rhetoric and logic. During the Civil War he remained loyal to the South for the entire conflict and, as the leading churchman in the town, led the citizens' delegation to negotiate the surrender and occupation of the port of Wilmington after Confederate forces had withdrawn in February 1865. Following the war, he studied in Berlin and then, on his return, took a post at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was evenually named president in 1871. When Miami was forced to close its doors two years later, he accepted a post as professor of mental philosophy at Davidson College in North Carolina. By 1877, he had also worked his way the presidency of that institution and served there until 1885. At the end of his term at Davidson, he returned to the newly reopened Miami of Ohio and taught as a professor of English Literature there until his retirement in 1908.

Hepburn had married Henriette McGuffey in 1857 and the couple had two children they named Charles and Henriette (Ettie). Andrew Dousa Hepburn died in Oxford, Ohio on February 14, 1921. He was ninety years old.

Image courtesy of Davidson College

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Dickinson College Archives
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