Hovey - Edmund Otis - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Hovey - Edmund Otis

Source: History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Indianapolis: AW Bowen, 1913, pp. 848-60. (typed by kbz

Edmund Otis Hovey, son of Roger and Martha Hovey, was born on   July 15, 1801, and died March 10, 1877. His immigrant ancestor,   Daniel Hovey, was a native of Essex County, England, being the   son of Richard Hovey, and was baptized, August 9, 1618, in the   Waltham Abbey, a church dating from Saxon times. He was the   youngest of nine children, and the only one of them that came to   America. On his departure, the rector gave him a bulky volume of   poems by Du Bartas, to be seen in the Boston Public Library, with   a record of the above statement. Daniel Hovey, at the age of   seventeen years, settled in Ipswich, Mass., in 1635; where he had   a land grant, built a dwelling-house and an adjacent wharf, still   known as Hovey's Wharf, and his name is given to a street in the   town, and to an island near by. For a time he lived at Brookfield   and later at Hadley; but finally ended his days at Ipswich, where   a bronze tablet is erected to his memory. He married Abigail   Andrews, a daughter of Captain Robert Andrews, who commanded the   ill-fated ship, "The Angel Gabriel," that was wrecked off   Pemaquid, Maine. Her oldest brother was Lieut. John Andrews, who   presided at the meeting that resisted the tyranny of Sir Edmund   Andros, in memory of which the Ipswich seal bears the motto: "The   Birthplace of American Independence, 1687." Another brother,   Thomas Andrews, was the first schoolmaster of the colony.

On his maternal side, Edmund Otis Hovey sprang from the   families of Freeman, Otis, Moody and Russell-names famous in   early annals. Rev. John Russell harbored the Regicides for ten   years; in the study of his son, Rev. Samuel Russell, Yale College   was founded; and Rev. Joshua Moody, another ancestor, declined   the presidency of Harvard College, preferring to be pastor of the   fist church in Boston.
James Hovey, son of Daniel, was killed in King Phillip's War.   His family then moved, first to Malden, Mass., and later to   Mansfield, Connecticut. Edmund, the son of James, married   Margaret Knowlton. Their son, Roger Hovey (so named for Roger   Williams), after serving twice as a soldier in the Army of the   Revolution, married Martha, the daughter of Hon. Edmund Freeman,   a Harvard graduate, who owned one thousand acres in Mansfield.   Mr. Freeman also received, in recognition of his public services,   a noble land grant from George III, including in all twenty-four   thousand four hundred acres, on both sides of the Connecticut   river, which was later subdivided into the four towns of Norwich   and Hartford (in Vermont) and Lebanon and Hanover (in New   Hampshire). A singular stipulation in this land grant was that   there should be paid to the Crown, "one ear of Indian corn only,   on December 25th of each year, if demanded." Edmund Freeman's   name, and those of his five sons, heads the list of names on the   original charter of the Hanover colony, dated July 4, 1761. There   were fourteen heads of families named Freeman in 1770 when   Dartmouth College was located at Hanover, with a royal grant of   five hundred acres; all white pine trees being reserved "for His   Majesty's Navy." Forty years after Hanover was settled there were   only twenty families there, all living in log cabins, with a log   meeting house, whose pulpit was a segment of a hollow basswood   tree. The first college building was also of logs.

Dartmouth Hall was begun in 1786, a brick edifice, one hundred   and fifty by fifty feet in its dimensions, and three stories   high. The historian of the college records the fact that "The   handles of the doors, with all the ironwork, were made by Roger   Hovey, a blacksmith, who had a shop on the Parade at the Centre."   We do not exactly know when he joined the colony, but it is   recorded that he married Martha (Otis) Freeman, daughter of   Edmund Freeman, in Hanover, February 6, 1783; and it is the   legend that he bought his first stock of iron with the wages paid   for his services in the Revolutionary Army. He not only shod   horses and oxen, but made the hinges, andirons, and indeed all   the ironwork of the colony. His smithy "on the Parade" was a   rendezvous for the villagers, whose farm-talk and doctrinal   discussions chimed in with the blows on the anvil. Dartmouth had   a stormy infancy, and we may gladly pass in silence its   voluminous controversies; but we rejoice that the principles for   which it stood were so firmly planted in the community, and so   nobly transplanted at a later day to take root in Montgomery   County and the broad Wabash valley. Roger Hovey was the father of   ten children, all baptized by Dr. Eden Burroughs, pastor of the   Presbyterian church in Hanover. Five of them died before the year   1800, victims of an epidemic; and the remaining five all lived to   be more than seventy years of age. In 1813 Roger Hovey and his   family removed to Thetford, Vermont, where he bought a farm of   one hundred and sixty acres, and built a house and   blacksmith-shop. He spent his old age with his eldest son,   Frederick Hovey, at Berlin, Vermont, enjoying a moderate pension   from the United States government as a Revolutionary soldier. He   died, May 19, 1839, at the age of eighty years. His wife, who   survived him, died at Berlin, April 6, 1841, aged eighty-two   years.

In company with Colonel Israel O. Dewey, U. S. A., the writer   visited old Hanover in 1877. We were the guests of Deacon Isaac   Fellows, a vigorous octogenarian who had known Edmund Otis Hovey   from boyhood, and promptly answered our inquiries, always   speaking of him as "Otis." He said: "Otis was active, of good   habits and a diligent scholar, very manly, and highly courteous."   "Had he not faults?" asked Col. Dewey. The Deacon's eyes twinkled   as if at some droll recollection.

"Otis had a vein of humor," said he. "A big snow-ball once   came down on his teacher's head as the latter was leaving the old   red schoolhouse; and as no other lad was in sight, Otis was   accused of having hit the master. He denied the charge, but   explained that he threw the ball into the air and the force of   gravity drew it down on the teacher's head. This reply started a   discussion as to whether the boy had prevaricated or only given   an extremely exact statement of the facts. That same   school-master had a way of punishing boys by slinging them over   his shoulder and letting them hang head-down-wards. He tried this   one day on Otis, but the struggle ensuing was such that he never   tried it again. The boy was too much for the man."
The ruts of an old cart-road led from the "Parade" to the red   clover patch where once stood the smithy. A few guarded apple   trees were all that remained of the "choice orchard" that once   surrounded the Hovey home. Moose Mountain loomed up not far away;   and more remotely were discerned the blue Thetford hills, to   which the family removed when the subject of this article was   about twelve years old. The lad remained, however, for a while at   Hanover as the pupil and guest of his uncle Jonathan Freeman.   Afterwards he went to the Thetford school, his teacher being a   Mr. Hubbard. Much reading was done in the long winter evenings,   by the light of the blazing fire or of dip candles economically   used. Among works thus early perused were Rollins' Ancient   History, the Works of Flavius Josephus, Bruce's Travel's, Cook's   Voyages, Young's Night Thoughts, Milton's Paradise Lost, the   biographies of Washington and Franklin, and for light reading   Addison's "Spectator" in sixteen volumes. There was decided piety   in the home of Roger Hovey. The boys took turns at family   prayers, and the children were all drilled in the Shorter   Catechism. Six days were given to farm-work, shop-work, in-door   duties and the duties of the school-room; and then came a sweet,   quiet, unbroken Sabbath. When seventeen years of age, Edmund   became an eager reader of "The American Journal of Science and   Art," from which he got the impulse that led to his career as a   scientist.

When eighteen years old Edmund went to the Thetford Academy,   of which the Rev. John Fitch was principal. He earned the money   to pay his tuition by teaching during his vacations at Thetford   and Norwich. He joined the Thetford Congregational church in   1821, of which Dr. Asa Burton was pastor, with Rev. Charles White   as colleague, who became at a later period the second president   of Wabash College. Young Hovey's zeal and various talents induced   the church to adopt him as a beneficiary with the ministry in   view. The members "boarded him around" and paid for his   textbooks; and the ladies "cent society" undertook to clothe him.   His uncle Otis gave him a calf which was sold and the money   applied for tuition. Meanwhile, as we regret to say, Roger Hovey   objected to all this. He offered to give him the home and the   farm if he would relinquish his plans and care for his parents in   their declining years. Finally as an older son accepted this   parental offer, the father said to his younger son, "Well,   Edmund, I will give you your freedom," meaning his time till he   was twenty-one years of age; the mother slipped ten dollars into   his hand, and at last the way was clear for him to gain a liberal   education.

Now there was a new trial. So ardently did Edmund enter on his   preparatory studies that his health gave way and the church   discontinued its aid. His physician, Dr. Kendrick, advised a   journey on horseback, generously adding, "Do not spare money if   you can regain your health." He went to Saratoga, and then to   Sandwich on Cape Cod, where he was the guest and patient of his   uncle, Dr. Nathaniel Freeman, who had been a member of the   Continental Congress, a brigadier-general in the Revolutionary   Army, and was a competent guide to various localities of historic   interest. Health and vigor thus regained Edmund resumed his   preparatory studies, being aided financially by Judge Joseph Reed   and others.

In the spring of 1825, Mr. Hovey entered as freshman at   Dartmouth College, and wrote to his parents formally announcing   it to be thenceforward "the great object of life to benefit   mankind." He was graduated with honor, in 1828, being a Phi Beta   Kappa man, in a class of forty-one, more than half of whom   entered the Gospel ministry. His theological studies were pursued   at Andover Seminary, where he mainly supported himself by his   skill as carpenter and blacksmith; also doing mission work during   vacations in Vermont and Canada. Many of his college classmates   were with him at Andover; but the most intimate friend of them   all, Caleb Mills, deferred entering the Seminary two years in   order to take a Sabbath-school agency at the West, thus being   graduated from Andover in 1833, while Hovey was graduated in   1831, and was licensed to preach November 27, 1830.
On a frosty Monday morning, September 26, 1831, six young men   walked from Andover to East Bradford, where, in what is now known   as the Groveland church, they were ordained as home missionaries,   by the Presbytery of Newburyport, "to go into the Western   country," namely: Daniel Cole Blood, Asaph Boutelle, Nathaniel   Smith Folsom, Edmund Otis Hovey, Benjamin Labaree and Jason   Chapin. Dr. Gardiner B. Perry presided and made the consecrating   prayer; the sermon was by Rev. Mr. Storrs; the charge was by Dr.   Daniel Dana; and the right hand of fellowship was given by Rev.   Mr. Phelps.

The plans of "The Western Band" were sadly broken into by the   sudden death of Dr. Cushman, general agent for the West. Medical   men told them that they and their wives would sink under the   climate in a year. A man who had gone five hundred miles on   horseback in Indiana reported its main features to be "bad roads   and fever and ague." On the other hand, Boutelle, who went among   the Ojibways, wrote back that it was "no farther from Minnesota   to Heaven than from dear old Andover." There are indications that   it was Mr. Hovey's original intention to go as chaplain to Fort   Brady on the Saulte St. Marie; although Indiana was also   seriously thought of. He was in suspense.
In college days a classmate, Horace E. Carter, was ill with   typhoid fever and died in ten days. Mr. Hovey took constant care   of him, and then was too sick to accompany the remains to   Peacham, Vermont, where Mr. Carter had lived and was buried.   After the funeral, Mr. Carter's widowed mother, accompanied by   her daughters Martha and Mary, visited the friend who had so   tenderly care for their deceased relative. The next year, Mr.   Hovey had a tract agency in Caledonia County, in which Peacham   was located, and found an opportunity to ask Mary Carter to share   his fortunes. Her father had been the principal of the Caledonia   County Grammar School, and she herself was admirably educated.   She accepted the young minister's hand. And when later he wrote   saying that he had a pastoral call to Hartford, which place he   described as "a pleasant town on the banks of the Connecticut,   and quite different from the log huts of Indiana," the young lady   replied, "I am reading Flint's Mississippi Valley; do not let   Hartford turn your mind from the path of duty." An interview with   Dr. Absalom Peters decided him to devote himself to the work of a   home missionary, and he wrote on his thirtieth birthday asking   Miss Carter to prepare "for work in the wilderness of Indiana."   On the 5th of October, 1831, they were joined in marriage by Dr.   Leonard Worcester, and as soon as the farewells were spoken they   started on their westward journey.

Mr. Hovey's commission appointed him to "publish the Gospel in   Fort Wayne, or such other place or places as shall be fixed on,"   with four hundred dollars as a salary, and seventy dollars as an   outfit. According to the diary of the missionary, "Railroads were   as yet only a subject of contemplation." He and his bride went   down Lake Champlain by steamboat, by canal to Troy and thence to   Buffalo; and, after a day at Niagara Falls, the "Henry Clay"   carried them to Detroit in three days, where they were met by   Rev. Noah Wells and Rev. Jeremiah Porter. After a brief   conference it was decided that Mr. Porter should go to Fort   Brady, whence two years later he was transferred to Fort Dearborn   and became the founder of the first church in Chicago. During a   delay of three weeks at Detroit, at that time a village of 3,500   inhabitants, Mr. Hovey improved the time by starting the first   temperance society ever formed in the bounds of Michigan, and in   interesting Hon. Lewis Cass in its success. Cass was a New   Hampshire man, at that time Governor of the territory, and the   same year made Secretary of War under Jackson, where he   exemplified his temperance sentiments by abolishing grog from the   army. Forwarding their baggage with a lot of goods consigned to   Judge Hanna of Fort Wayne, the missionary and his bride went by   the steamer "Gratiot" to Perrysburg-Toledo being as yet   unknown.

After a brief sojourn at a village of Pottawatomies they   drove by ox-cart through an almost unbroken forest to the Maumee   rapids, whence they were poled by pirogue up to Fort Wayne, where   they met a hearty welcome from Judge Hanna. The Fort Wayne church   however was supplied, and the Judge remarked: "There is a right   smart little town of three hundred inhabitants started at the   foot of Lake Michigan. They call it 'Chicago'; better go there."   Instead of doing so they went by canoe down the Wabash to   Logansport, where they were met by Rev. Messrs. Martin M. Post   and James A. Carnahan. Leaving Mrs. Hovey for a while at   Logansport, Messrs. Hovey and Carnahan took to their canoe again   and floated down the Wabash to Lafayette, where Mr. Hovey had the   joy of preaching his first sermon in Indiana. Part of the time on   horseback they "rode and tied."
Fountain County, which was decided on as Mr. Hovey's chosen   field of labor, had then ten thousand inhabitants, but no   meeting-house, schoolhouse or newspaper. A church organization at   Portland had been abandoned; but one was ready to be formed at   Covington, of which the missionary took charge, and also of one   just formed at Coal Creek. New churches were started at Rob Roy   and Newtown. Midway between the two stood the log cabin into   which the pioneer couple moved, exactly twelve weeks after   bidding adieu to Squire Carter's mansion at Peacham, Vermont. The   cabin walls were "chinked and daubed"; its one room had a   "puncheon" floor; its one window had twelve small panes in the   space made by simply removing a log; a loft served for storage;   the wide door swung on wooden hinges, and its latch-string was   out by day for hospitality, and pulled in by night for security.   In a log stable near by was kept "Barney" a reformed race-horse,   who carried his new owner over two thousand miles on errands of   mercy and righteousness through Fountain county, occasionally   running away, but never letting his master miss an appointment in   two years.
Mr. Hovey felt the responsibility of being the only minister   in the county. He gathered churches and Sunday schools, started   day schools and temperance societies, scattered good literature   abroad, and promoted the first newspaper started in the county   seat. He held camp-meetings with good results. The Wabash   Presbytery was formed, covering sixteen counties, whose four   ministers and eight elders met on one occasion at the Hovey cabin   and lodged at night on its straw-strewn floor. A college   classmate, Rev. Caleb Mills, was urged to come west as his   associate. Mills reply, dated June 14, 1832, was highly   characteristic, but when he finally did come, the next year, the   hand of Providence had opened for both men a wider educational   field to which they gave their lives, and which was located in   Montgomery County.
Several men who had been revolving the idea of founding a   literary institution of high order for the Wabash valley, met at   the "Old Brick House" at Crawfordsville, on November 21, 1832.   Rev. John M. Ellis, secretary of the Indiana Education Society,   presided; Rev. Edmund Otis Hovey was the secretary; Rev. James   Thomson stated the object of the meeting; Rev. John Thomson and   Rev. James A. Carnahan were also present; and elders Gilliland,   Robinson, McConnell and King. A public meeting of citizens was   held that night. The next day the founders inspected and accepted   grounds generously donated by Hon. Williamson Dunn. A light snow   having fallen, those men of faith knelt on its spotless surface   amid the virgin forest and dedicated the spot to the Triune God,   being led in prayer by Mr. Ellis.
We are not giving a history of the college, except as touching   the career of Mr. Hovey, who from that day till the day of his   death was identified with it in various ways. His name headed the   list of clerical trustees and remained there for forty-five   years. He was on the charter committee and the building   committee, and was the man designated to secure the services of   Caleb Mills as first instructor. The original suggestion was to   found "a classical and English high school, rising into a   college." The charter name, however, was "The Wabash Manual Labor   College and Teachers' Seminary"; wisely shortened at a later day   to its simpler form of "Wabash College."

After a brief period Mr. Hovey bade his parishioners in   Fountain county farewell, took an appointment as financial agent   for the college, embarked with his wife and infant son at   Covington, descended the Wabash to its mouth, and then went up   the Ohio to Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Few encouraged   him. Dr. Lyman Beecher "frowned on the infant weakling of a   college." Swarms of agents were ahead of him at the Presbyterian   General Assembly in Philadelphia and the "May anniversaries" in   New York. Efforts at Baltimore, Boston, Providence and New Haven   were fruitless.

A memorable crisis found Mr. Hovey at the Tontine Hotel in New   Haven, "with an empty purse and no hope and every door closed."   He wrote to Crawfordsville, resigning all connection with the   college, saying that he should return to his mission field in   Fountain County as soon as he got money enough to do so. He   signed this affecting letter, "Yours at the point of   desperation." Concerning it President Tuttle has impressively   remarked: "If that letter had been sent, the college would have   perished. It was not sent and the college lived."

It is due to the memory of Rev. John M. Ellis to relate the   fact that he happened in on the discouraged agent just at this   time, and made the wise suggestion that, before mailing his   letter, he should confer with the faculty of Yale College.   President Woolsey has described the interview. The early   struggles of Yale were rehearsed and words of encouragement were   spoken. After which event followed an interview with the faculty   of Andover Seminary, who advised an appeal to the rural churches   of New England. A circular was printed on behalf of "a region   equal to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, where the   first settlements had been made only twelve years previously, yet   where there was now a population of one hundred thousand."
The plan was effective. The first response was from Amesbury   Mills, being fifty dollars. Then from Newburyport came four   hundred and twenty-five dollars. Other New England towns gave   several thousand dollars in all, and the crisis was safely   past.

The task of finding a president was even harder than trying to   raise money. Dr. Absalom Peters suggested the name of Dr. Elihu   W. Baldwin, the most popular pastor in New York City. Bravely the   Hoosier agent met the eminent clergyman, saying, "The King's   business requires haste. I ask you to be the president of Wabash   College." A map of Indiana was spread out, and the claims of the   new commonwealth were urged till finally consent was gained,   followed by a unanimous election. Thus encouraged the financial   problem was successfully solved.

The fact may here be stated that, after Dr. Baldwin's death in   1840, Mr. Hovey was again deputed to secure the services of Dr.   Charles White, of Owego, New York; and after Dr. White's death,   twenty years later, he went on a like errand for Dr. J. F.   Tuttle, of New Jersey. Some of the other members of the faculty   were gained by his instrumentality. From the first the trustees   urged Mr. Hovey himself to take a professorship. In 1834 they   offered him the chair of the Natural Sciences, and Mr. Ellis   urged it on him, saying "your standing in Indiana, your   acquaintance with the business concerns of the institution, your   familiarity with the minutiae of all its parts at home and   abroad, as well as your personal endowments, all render you   emphatically the man." Distrusting his gifts, Mr. Hovey at first   took the chair of Rhetoric; but in 1836 was led to become the   professor of Chemistry, Geology and Mineralogy. This department   was divided in 1871, leaving Geology alone to him for the rest of   his days. A pioneer college man must do whatever has to be done;   from mending a gate to teaching astronomy. Mr. Hovey was   accustomed to say, in his old age, that he had taught everything   in the curriculum except the differential and integral   calculus.

From 1833 to 1839 he was the college librarian, during which   period he collected and catalogued several thousand volumes. His   services as treasurer covered twenty-six years, enabling him to   turn over to his successor, Alexander Thomson, Esq., the sum of   one hundred thousand dollars. He personally superintended the   erection of the fist frame building, now known as Forest Hall;   the original brick building, styled South Hall; the main   building, known as Center Hall; and with General Carrington, the   Armory, since turned into the Hovey Museum, and now used as a   gymnasium. His early knowledge of farming enabled him to aid the   agricultural experiments undertaken during the "manual labor"   period. Together with President White he mustered the boys for   tree-planting so that a younger growth of elms, maples and   beeches might replace the monarchs of the primeval forest as the   latter fell to decay. At his suggestion the first college band   was formed, under the leadership of Philyer L. Wells; and he   himself selected, at the house of Firth, Hall & Pond, in New   York city, the bugle, horns, trombones, flutes, clarinets, drums,   etc. that were stored in his attic during long vacations.

When the first site of fifteen acres was deemed unsuitable Mr.   Hovey, acting for the trustees, bought for six thousand dollars a   quarter section from Major Whitlock and sold a hundred acres of   it at auction for nine thousand dollars, keeping the remainder as   a college reserve. Payment was in "wildcat" bills, which the   hard-money Major refused to accept. Then Mr. Hovey went to   Cincinnati, exchanged the bills for specie, took the silver   dollars home, by mud-wagon from Indianapolis, in six square   boxes, each containing one thousand dollars; had Tom Kelley, a   tenant of the college, carry them in a wheel barrow to Major   Whitlock, who counted them, dollar by dollar, and then gave his   receipt for the sum.
On one of the lots of the "college reserve" the Hovey house   was built in 1837, space for it being cleared from the virgin   forest. A number of the big trees were allowed to stand, around   some of which wild grapevines twined fantastically burdened with   many clusters. This property remained for sixty years in the   hands of the family, and was finally sold as an eligible site for   a presidential mansion, the original dwelling being removed to a   place near the gymnasium to be used by the curator of the college   campus.

One night the five year old son of Mr. Hovey awoke his father   with the strange cry, "Pap, why does God let Wabash College burn   up?"

In Professor Hovey's diary the following record occurs, for   the 23rd of September, 1838: "About two o'clock this morning the   cry of 'Fire, the College is on fire' was heard, and by half past   two the whole roof and fourth story of our beautiful building was   in a complete blaze." Only eight rooms were saved; but the   library and philosophical apparatus were destroyed. That calamity   was on Saturday, and on Monday rooms were rented in Hanna's   Building, and by Tuesday recitations were resumed, only a single   student having left by reason of the conflagration. The generous   men of Crawfordsville rallied to the rescue, saying, "Rebuild and   we will help." The friends of President Baldwin in New York urged   him to resume his pastorate in that city, but he nobly said: "I   will not give up Wabash College; there is only the more work to   be done."
Among the new friends raised up for Wabash College in its time   of need should be mentioned Mr. and Mrs. Israel Williams, who   were inmates of Mr. Hovey's family in 1840-41, with their   daughter, who afterward became Mrs. S. S. Thomson. Mr. Williams   endowed the professorship bearing his name, and he induced his   brother-in-law, Mr. Chauncey Rose, of Terre Haute, to endow the   Rose professorship of Geology, whereof Mr. Hovey was the first   incumbent. Through the hands of the latter Mr. Rose passed a sum   total of eighty thousand dollars for benevolent purposes, though   not all the sum was for the college. One day, when putting into   his hand fifty thousand dollars he playfully said, "Here Mr.   Hovey are two thousand dollars more as your commission and for   your own use."

The Lord had already guided more than one benefactor to the   treasurer's cottage. There one evening the prudential committee   knelt in prayer because debts were due and the treasury empty. A   knock at the door brought to them Mr. Jesse J. Brown, of New   Albany, with an offering in cash that exactly met their need. An   incident comes to mind when at another crisis, Mr. Hovey had been   pleading in vain in Brooklyn, till footsore and heartsore he   dropped in to the weekly prayer-meeting of the Plymouth church   and meekly took a back seat. The topic was "Cheerfulness," and   after the opening remarks he took occasion to thank the pastor   and people for past generosity to the college of which Mr.   Beecher had long been a trustee. "Come to the platform," said   Beecher. The final result of the appeal that followed was a gift   of ten thousand dollars to found the Beecher professorship.
The hospitality of the Hovey home was abundant. A dozen   nephews and nieces were treated like sons and daughters. Several   orphans were practically adopted, one of whom afterward was the   wife of Professor D. A. Bassett. The house was full of   student-boarders, not for gain, but by parental urging. Some of   them distinguished themselves in public life. All were required   by domestic rules to bow daily at the family altar where prayer   was wont to be made.

The humble nucleus of the college cabinet was a lot of ores   and crystals brought by Mr. Hovey from Vermont, augmented by   tropical shells donated by Mrs. Baldwin, and specimens purchased   from Prof. S. Harrison Thomson, in 1841. One day the little son   of Prof. Hovey brought to his father what looked like a petrified   toad; but which the wiser father identified as a crinoid-the   first found of all the many thousand Crawfordsville crinoids that   have enriched the museums of this and foreign lands. Corey's   Bluff, the best known of the crinoid banks, yet remains in the   possession of the family. In 1874, aided by his son and daughter,   Dr. Hovey made out a numbered catalogue of ten thousand specimens   for reference, with a written statement that there were in all   some twenty-five thousand objects of natural history in the   college cabinet. This included several hundred minerals, fossils   and shells, and over two thousand botanical specimens indigenous   to the region, that had been a memorial gift to his son. The   varied cares of a busy professional life left this pioneer   geologist scant time for describing or classifying the profusion   of fossiliferous riches by which he was embarrassed. A volume   might be filled with correspondence about them with such men as   Silliman, Dana, Shepherd, Newberry, James Hall, Cox, Collett, and   other scientists. Occasional articles from his pen found their   way to the newspapers and magazines; but he had little time for   the joys of authorship. A few of his sermons were published, and   but few were left in manuscript, though he frequently occupied   the pulpit, always being heard with attention by his intelligent   hearers. It may be said that his sermonic appeals, like his own   type of piety, were more intellectual than emotional. At its   centennial celebration Dartmouth College honored him with the   degree of Doctor of Divinity. His friends felt that it was   merited.

Dr. Hovey passed away after a short illness on the 10th of   March, 1877. Mrs. Hovey survived him for several years, ending   her useful life July 12, 1886, amid the familiar surroundings of   the old home.
Two children were born to them. One of these, Horace Carter   Hovey, was born in Fountain county, January 28, 1833; and a   sketch of his career appears elsewhere in this volume. Miss Mary   Freeman Hovey, the daughter of Professor Hovey, was born at   Crawfordsville, September 28, 1838, where she died June 4, 1897.   She was a graduate of the Ohio Female College; for several years   was a professor in the Kansas Agricultural College; taught for   three or four years in the public schools in New Haven,   Connecticut, but was best known by her faithful work as a teacher   of young ladies, in her home at Crawfordsville, where, first and   last she had under her care more than two hundred and fifty   pupils. There are now living three grandchildren of Professor   Hovey, one of them a namesake on whom his mantle has fallen,   namely, Edmund Otis Hovey, Ph. D., a graduate of Yale University,   and for the last twenty years a curator of Geology and   Paleontology in the American Museum of Natural History in New   York City.

In the front wall of Center church, in Crawfordsville, a   memorial window has been placed in honor of Professor Hovey; and   a granite monument marks his resting-place in the beautiful Oak   Hill cemetery. But his most enduring monument is found in the   noble work he did for religion and education. Montgomery County   never had a more public-spirited citizen, though he never sought   or held office outside of the college and the church. This sketch   of his career may be fittingly closed by condensing the just   tribute paid to him in the funeral discourse preached over his   remains by the late President Tuttle:

"Honored by his Alma Mater with her highest degree; honored as   a preacher of the Word by his brethren in the ministry; honored   by the community as an old Roman of the noblest type; honored by   the church which he helped to found, and in which for   thirty-eight years he was a pillar; honored as a founder, a   trustee and a professor of Wabash College; honored with many   other great trusts, all who knew him were witnesses that the   consummate formula describing his life among men was: 'Faithful   in the Lord.' His last years were singularly beautiful; as when   maples in autumn are covered with dying leaves they are also lit   up by supernal beauty. He moved among us tender, simple and   loving as a child, trusting and joyful as a saint, fond of earth   and most tenderly held by its ties, yet with lifted eye and   shining face, and his head wearing the crown of glory which the   loving God had given him."

The privileged by-standers heard his expiring cry voice his   ruling passion, "God bless Wabash College," after which simply   came the parting prayer, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Source: Fort Wayne Daily News Tuesday 16 May 1916 p 18
Edmund Otis Hovey (#52) 1801-77.  One of the purest strains of New England stock came to Indiana in Edmund Otis Hove, early Indiana minister and educator. Hovey was born in Hanover, NH July 15, 1801 and was a descendant of Daniel Hove, English immigrant who settled at Ipswich, Mass in 1835 (sic – this can’t be right). Hovey was one of the 11 members of the Class of 1826 of Dartmouth that came west. Before leaving Hanover he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In 1831 he, with his young wife, made the trip of 2,000 miles by boat, wagon and oscart.  Settling in Fountain County he engaged in missionary work, the organizing of churches and the aiding of schools and newspapers. In 1832 he assisted in the founding of Wabash College and became its eastern financial agent. In 1834 he became a member of the faculty and for 41 years was professor of geology. He died in 1877.


Source: Indianapolis Star Sun 16 Aug 1970 p 205

The descriptive talents of Mrs. Hovey, the future speleologists’ mother, are preserved in a moving diary which recreates the travel conditions of those long-ago days. For 12 weeks the newlyweds traveled by weekly steamboat, by canal barge by canoe and pirogue, by oxcart and by horse, often with only one borrowed horse so that they “rode and tied.”  Toledo did not yet exist, Chicago was barely begun. Mrs. Hovey found Detroit a village of 3,500 inhabitants, half of them French.  Another “busy, muddy village” had recently been named Cleveland. The Rev. Edmund Hovey was a man of extradordinary energy.  The cabin at Rob Roy was soon homey and he launched into a whirlwind of founding churches, making the rounds of the 10,000 souls of brand-new Fountain County, planning the future of Wabash College and beginning what was to be a vast correspondence with noted geologists. Perhaps forseeing the future of Rob Roy – today a mere scattering of isolated houses – the Hoveys moved to the campus in 1835.

Young Hovey grew up a faculty brat, “imbibing an early taste for the sciences from my father.”  Exploring stream gullies near the campus at age 9, he brought to his father chunks of limestone that seemed built completely of fossils.  Within a year his discovery was famous as the crinoid banks of Crawfordsville.  Although no one then recognized it as such, the great cave belt of Indiana lay just 60 miles east of the Hovey’s campus home. Yet the young speleogist-to-be-first ventured into the netherworld in a lesser, more distant Indiana cave region – the charming grottos near Madison, Indiana to use Hovey’s phrase of 60 years later.  An impressionable 15, he was enthralled. This was the era of a major, widely publicized renaissance at Mammoth Cave, “An enthusiastic comrade, six years my senior, then proposed that we visit the Mammoth Cave,” Hove later wrote. I got no further at that time than Louisville; where, however, I bought a copy of Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, by a visitor.  It fired my boyish imagination, and it gave shape to much of my afterlife”
The great breakthrough into the new cave section of Indiana’s great Wyandotte Cave, including awesome Rothrock’s Cathedral, came two years later and was followed promptly by the forcing of the Auger Hole. Beyond lay caverns seeming without end, probably still not wholly explored today.  Popular and scientific accounts of Wyandotte Cave were numerous in 1851, and one of Hovey’s friends helped map it in 1852 while Hovey was busy graduating from college at the age of 20. In 1854 as a graduate student and instructor, he climaxed an independent geological survey of a considerable portion of southern Indiana including another dozen caves by joining a scientific group studying the far-flung cavern. Subsequently he described it before at least two scientific groups and wrote about it for the Indianapolis Journal in such style it was reprinted in the NY Tribune then one of America’s most influential newspapers. Modern cave historians are mildly infuriated that they have not been able to find either of these well-documented articles; the American Spelean History Association in Washington still seeks information about them. But geology could be pursued only as an avocation in the 1850s. Young Hovey followed the pattern of his father; throughout his life he pursued the ministry despite his wide additional interests. As an undergraduate he organized some 20 Sunday schools in Fountain County. After receiving a master’s degree from Wabash in 1856, he attended Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati. Drawong on one of his interests, he supported himself at this time by teaching music in the Cincinnati public school system. Also teaching in Cincinnati was Helen Lavinia Blatchley of New Haven Conn. They were marr Nov 18, 1857 a few months after he was graduated and licensed. Their marr spanned more than 50 years and produced four children. One son died young, the other, named Edmund Otis Hovey for his Hoosier grandfather for many years was geological curator of the American Museum of Natural History in NY. Hovey’s religious career technically dates from April 16, 1858 when ordained by the presbytery at Madison.  His initial post was at North Madison with alternate Sunday visits to Vevay. The family income was less than $500 per year but Hovey’s youthful idealism and humility struck a vital spark. For some months his letters are full of happy chatter about the wonderful response of the people of southern Indiana – especially Vevay. However, his first child was born early in 1859 and the grinding realities of poverty soon intruded. When he was offered a traveling administrative position covering several states at a salary of $600 per year he could not refuse. Thence he progressed to other, more prestigious pastorates father and farther from Indiana – and to some distinguished Civil War chaplaincy service on the battlefield and in the reconstruction of Richmond after the collapse of the Confederacy. In 1866, he became pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of New Albany – years following were perhaps the happiest of his life. Shortly after his arrival at NA, Hoven wrote his father: “My attention has been called to a book on Wyandotte Cave, by JP Stelle, in which he quotes from my articles on the Cave, crediting them to Judge Hovey. Some he does not credit at all but plagiarizes out and out. I had a great deal of amusement and some vexation in looking over the volume. Possily I shall revisit the cave next week.”  He did so,  again and again displaying such talents the owners urged him to stay several weeks in order to write a book about the cave himelf. Unfortunately, it never came to pass. In 1869, Hovey made an understandable error. The financial resources of his congregation were limited and family growing. A Peoria church offered him the then-vast salary of 41500 per year and the Hoveys could not resist. The leave-taking was tearful and it was soon evident that the Peoria Church was hardly wealthier than New Albany. Nor was a church at Kansas City to which he soon moved. To  support his family, Hovey began to write and lecture on caves and other geological subjects. In 1876 he obtained a secure position at New Haven, Conn. Here his writings and lectures immediately entered the mainstream of American letters. To obtain the best possible information, he began to travel, especially to Mammoth, Wyandotte Caves and new wonder of Virginia, Luray Cavern. His keen observation, pleasant journalist style and a courteous and impressive personality brought him a reputation as the authority on American caves and a comfortable supplementary income. Rather than tales of harrowing personal exploration, Hovey brought to a ready audience – lay and scientific alike – the kind of speleology with which his readers could identify. He emphasized the lack of reliable information on even the greatest of American caves. Further, he set an admirable example in doing his best to fill the need, without apology for his limitations. The resulting wealth of descriptive subterranean geology provided a much-needed base for base for subsequent technical studies. The year 1882 saw publication of his notable Celebrated American Caverns and the first of his famous Mammoth Cave guidebooks; both enjoyed huge popularity for more than a ½ century. A year late rhis first articles appeared in the Encyckloped Brittanica. He explored and studied a total of some 300 caves and described their features with increasing perception. He played a growing role in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as a correspondent for the Scientific American at the Chicago Worlds Fair and at least two international geological congresses. He was one of the original Fellows of the Geological society of America and was awarded two honorary doctorate sof divinity one by Wabash College. At 76 he retired in historic Newburyport, Mass where ehis father had been ordained more than ¾ of a century earlier. Even then he continued to write on a wide variety of topics. His final work, a notable bibliography of Mammoth Cave edited by the “father of speleology,” Frances’ famous EA Martel, reached him just before he died July 27, 1914.  

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