Roscoe Osmond Bonisteel (1888-1972)

Roscoe Osmond Bonisteel, 1959

Roscoe Bonisteel was born in Canada on December 23, 1888 to Milton Fremont and Francis Whyte Bonisteel in Sidney Crossing, Ontario. He entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1908 as a member of the class of 1912. Before graduating, Bonisteel transferred to the University of Michigan where he received his law degree in 1912.

On September 12, 1914, he married Lillian Coleman Randoph. After serving as a Captain in the United States Army Air Service during the First World War, Bonisteel moved with his young wife to Ann Arbor, Michigan. There he began his career as a lawyer, serving as city attorney from 1921 to 1928. In addition to his professional commitments, Bonisteel served as a trustee for Wayne State University and as a regent for the University of Michigan. He supported the Historical Society of Michigan, serving as a trustee for a number of years.

In 1952, Dickinson College awarded Bonisteel an honorary doctor of laws degree. Seven years later, he was elected to the Board of Trustees. During his years of service to the college, Bonisteel donated funds for a planetarium and observatory, and supported the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections. Roscoe Osmond Bonisteel died on February 25, 1972.

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Dickinson College Archives
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