Charles Henry Fowler

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Charles Henry Fowler
Charles Henry Fowler.jpg
President of
Northwestern University
In office
Preceded byErastus Otis Haven
Succeeded byOliver Marcy
Personal details
Born(1837-08-11)August 11, 1837
Burford Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 20, 1908(1908-03-20) (aged 70)
New York City, New York
Spouse(s)Myra Amanda Hitchcock (1842-1918)
Alma materGenesee Wesleyan Seminary

Charles Henry Fowler (August 11, 1837 – March 20, 1908) was a Canadian-American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church ( elected in 1884) and President of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois from 1872 to 1876.[2]

Early life[edit]

Charles was born in Burford Ontario, Canada. At the age of four he was taken to Illinois, United States. Charles spent some time at the Rock River Seminary in Illinois. Then he entered the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, Livingston County, New York (which became Syracuse University), graduating in 1859. He received the honors of his class and had been the student of another President of Northwestern University, Joseph Cummings, who taught at the seminary from 1854-1867.[3] He matriculated at the Garrett Biblical Institute (connected to Northwestern University) in Evanston, Illinois, from which he graduated in 1861.

At one time he was engaged to Frances E. Willard, famous suffragette and first Dean of Women of Northwestern University. Their split eventually resulted in her ouster from that position by Fowler.

Ordained Ministry[edit]

The Rev. Fowler joined the Rock River Annual Conference in 1861. He served in the pastorate for twelve years, all in the city of Chicago. He collected $40,000 in Eastern cities for the relief of Chicago's churches following the Great Chicago Fire. In 1872 the Rev. Dr. Fowler became the President of Northwestern University in Evanston, having declined this same position in 1861. Four years later he was made Editor of the Christian Advocate based in New York City, an important Methodist periodical of that day. In 1880 he was elected Missionary Secretary of his denomination. In 1884 he was elected to the Episcopacy by the General Conference of the M.E. Church. During a large part of his episcopal service his residence was in San Francisco.

Founding the College of Puget Sound[edit]

Dr. Fowler was also the main founder of the College of Puget Sound (now the University of Puget Sound). He came up with the idea while in Tacoma, Washington for a Methodist conference.[4]

Founding Universities in China[edit]

Fowler Biblical School in Nanjing (in Jinling High School now).

Dr. Fowler was the founder of Yenching University and University of Nanking in China.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Northwestern University Biography of Charles Fowler".
  2. ^ Pridmore, Jay (2000). Northwestern University: Celebrating 150 Years. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 0-8101-1829-7.
  3. ^ "Wesleyan University Biography of Joseph Cummings".
  4. ^ Walter Davis, "University of Puget Sound," in Told By the Pioneers, Works Progress Administration, 3 vols. 1937-38; scanned copy archived at the Flickr page of the University of Puget Sound Department of Politics and Government
  5. ^ 579. "贝施福与燕京大学贝公楼--读书--人民网". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  6. ^ "南京大学校史". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-05-19.

External links[edit]