Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
|Heman Allen Dearborn (1831-1897), A1858, was a dedicated alumnus, faculty member, administrator, and benefactor of Tufts College and had the distinction of being the institution's first valedictorian.|
Dearborn was born in Weare, New Hampshire, on May 18, 1831.He attended public school and completed three terms at Francestown Academy before he began teaching at the age of seventeen. He entered Tufts College in 1855 as a junior, graduating two years later as valedictorian of the first class to receive degrees from the college. As an undergraduate, he taught in Arlington, Massachusetts. He continued at this post for three years following his graduation. He married in 1858.
In 1864, he returned to Tufts from a position as principal of the Clinton Liberal Institute. In addition to being Professor of Latin Language and Literature, Dearborn served as secretary of the faculty from 1881-1894. He then became the college's registrar from 1895-1897. He had also acted as assistant to the college's treasurer for a period of time. In 1878, he traveled through Europe with his wife, Julia, collecting Roman photographs and artifacts for use in his classes. The Dearborns resided at 72 Professors Row, and their house became known as Dearborn House. He founded the Scholarship of the Class of 1857 for the benefit of women students.
In 1897, Dearborn died unexpectedly at home following a brief illness. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living graduate of the college and, as result of his paternal interest in the students, was referred to as "father of the freshmen." He ordered in his will that his estate be placed in trust, with its profits being paid annually to his wife. Following her death, it was to be bequeathed to the Trustees of Tufts College, to be used as the Trustees saw fit.
In 1910, the Class of 1900 erected the first gate on campus, which leads from Professors Row to Ballou Hall, in memory of Dearborn.
Source: VF; HTC, 115-116; RNTC3; RNTC1