John Frederick Mohler (1864-1930)

John Frederick Mohler, 1887

John F. Mohler was born on a farm near Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania on October 30, 1864, one five children of Samuel and Elizabeth Williams Mohler. He was educated at the local common schools where he also assisted with teaching in order to help fund his higher education. He entered Dickinson College in nearby Carlisle in December 1883 and graduated with the class of 1887 as its valedictorian. While at the College he became one of the first students elected to the new chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and was active in the Belle Lettres Society.

Following his graduation, Mohler taught mathematics and science for three years at the Wilmington Conference Academy in Dover, Delaware, then, from 1890 to 1894, at the Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. He then broke from his career to enroll in a Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University, serving also as an assistant in astronomy and a fellow in physics. With his doctorate secured, Mohler returned to Dickinson College in 1896 as professor of physics. There he remained for the rest of his career becoming a respected author in the sciences and a remarkably admired teacher. The Dickinson Scientific Club, founded in 1867, was renamed the Mohler Society in his honor at his retirement and freshmen prizes in physics carry his name to this day.

On June 3, 1892, Mohler married Sarah Loomis of Bloomfield, Connecticut and the couple had three children. John Frederick Mohler died in Carlisle on January 28, 1930. He was sixty-six.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: 
College Relationship: 
Alumnus/Alumna Class Year: 
Faculty - Years of Service: