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Tuttle - Joseph F

Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Parke and Fountain County, Indiana.
Chapman Brothers, 1893, p. 126.
It is with a feeling of responsibility toward the State of Indiana that the
biographer takes up the present subject, knowing too well that his best
attempt can only feebly place before the readers of this Record an outline
of the life of such a man as Joseph F. Tuttle. For over thirty years he has
held the high position of President of Wabash College, and under his wise
administration that institution of learning has taken rank with others of
greater age, but not of greater advantages.

Joseph F. Tuttle is the second son of Rev. Jacob Tuttle, a Presbyterian
minister, and his birth took place at Bloomfield, N.J., in 1818. His life
until he was fourteen years old was passed in New Jersey, the last four
years of that time in attending the Newark Academy, and then he accompanied
his parents to Ohio, where until he was eighteen years of age he lived with
an uncle on a farm, growing into a robust young man, with a constitution to
withstand the years of hard work that life has called upon him to endure.
In 1837 our subject entered the Freshman Class of Marietta College, having
at that time such men as Doctors Smith and Allen, of world-wide reputation,
as instructors. Having the courage of his convictions, his college course
was marked by good scholarship and a decided Christian character. He
graduated in the Class of '41, and carried off the honors of his class,
having been chosen as Valedictorian.

At that time that remarkable man, Dr. Lyman Beecher, was at the head of Lane
Seminary, and, having chosen theology as his life work, Mr. Tuttle spent
three years under the influence of that great man. Possessing a boundless
ambition to emulate his noble instructor, Mr. Tuttle was determined to
thoroughly fit himself for his work in the ministry, and graduated with
honor at Lane Seminary in 1844, having spent one of the intervening years as
tutor in Marietta College. About this time he delivered a poem before the
classes at Marietta, called "The Aztec Sacrifice," and the college conferred
upon him the degree of M.A.

In 1845, Mr. Tuttle was joined in marriage with Miss Susan C. King, the
accomplished daughter of Rev. Barnabas King, D.D., of Rockaway, N.J., and
the same year was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian Church
at Delaware, Ohio. In 1847 he accepted a call to the Presbyterian Church at
Rockaway, N.J., where for fifty years the aged father of Mrs. Tuttle
ministered, and April 26, 1848, he became co-pastor with Dr. King and
continued his labors there for fifteen years, in the meantime declining
calls from other and wealthier congregations. His friendship and sympathy
with Dr. King were sincere, and they worked harmoniously together.
During these fifteen years Dr. Tuttle was engaged in literary work, and was
identified with educational matters to the extent that Marietta College,
recognizing his attainments, conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.D.
In 1862 began a new career for Dr. Tuttle, and one that has left its impress
upon his generation. He took his place as President of the college he has
ever since honored. He brought Wabash College those qualifications which
have made him eminently successful, a firm faith in, and a dependence upon,
an over-ruling Providence, pulpit talents of a high order, fine social
qualities, executive ability, clearness in imparting knowledge, and firmness
and kindness in managing pupils. Dr. Tuttle has been an earnest teacher,
seeking faithfully to cultivate a noble Christian manhood in the young men
under his care.

The literary labor of Dr. Tuttle has been of considerable note, he being the
author of "The Life of William Tuttle," "Self-Reliance," "Morris County,"
and some elaborate articles in the reviews and many periodicals of
historical societies. By his writings he has made the college widely known
and has drawn to it many friends. His public addresses have often been
printed and received with great favor. Among these was the address delivered
upon the death of the great war governor, Morton, and a leading paper of the
country made this note at the time: "A good many good things have been said
in reference to the death of Gov. Morton, but the eulogy pronounced by Prof.
Tuttle may be ranked among the best." See pamphlet in reference to the
address by Prof. Tuttle on the deaths of Lincoln and Garfield.

On July 4, 1884, Prof. Tuttle was honored by being admitted an hereditary
member of the Society of Cincinnati, of New Jersey, a society instituted to
commemorate the great event that gave independence to the United States of
America. At the semi-centennial of Marietta College, June 28, 1885, Dr.
Tuttle delivered the address on the deceased presidents and early professors
of the college, and a few days later the Board of Trustees at their annual
meeting again manifested their high regard by conferring upon him the degree
of Doctor of Laws.

Thus has the President of Wabash College been at different times honored.
The advance made by the college during his administration has been most
satisfactory. The class that graduated at his first commencement, in 1862,
numbered seven, while the class of 1890 had forty members. In 1862 the
assets of the college were $90,000, with a debt of $10,000, and to contrast
with that at present is a debt so small that it is not to be counted, and
the grounds, buildings, library, laboratories and equipments are valued at
$250,000. The various permanent endowments amount to about the same sum.
Dr. Tuttle bears his seventy-four years with ease, his step is still
vigorous, his eye bright and clear, but he feels that his greatest work is
done, and to the grief of his associates he has tendered his resignation as
President of the college, to take place at the end of the present term. His
personality is stamped upon all of his pupils, and no student has left the
college without feeling his heart full of love and gratitude toward
President Tuttle.
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