Washington C. DePauw
DePauw was born in Salem, Indiana, and was the grandson of Charles DePauw, who came to the Americas with LaFayette, and the son of John and Elizabeth Battist DePauw. John DePauw had been a lawyer, judge, and a member of the Indiana Constitutional Convention. He was elected four times to the Indiana legislature before his death in 1838, when Washington was just 16. His ancestors, the De Pauw family came from the city of Ghent in Flanders, Belgium. "De Pauw" is Dutch for "The Peacock".
Throughout his lifetime, Washington amassed a fortune by investing in ventures such as grain, steel and glass, and during the American Civil War, government supplies. At one time, he was considered the wealthiest man in Indiana. In 1881 he made provisions to establish a Methodist university after his death to be named after him.
Upon learning of these provisions, the trustees of Indiana Asbury University, located in Greencastle, Indiana, approached DePauw and asked him to divert his bequest to Indiana Asbury University, which would then take the name DePauw University.
DePauw was married three times. His first marriage – to Sarah Ellen Fletcher – produced one daughter, Sarah Ellen. He next married Katharine Newland, also of Salem, Indiana, on November 28, 1855. Katharine and Washington had three children: Charles Washington, William, and Newland Talbot. After Kate's death he married Frances Leyden. John Baptiste Ford was W.C. De Pauw's first cousin and one time business partner.
DePauw died on May 5, 1887, in Chicago, Illinois.
- Manhart, George B. DePauw Through The Years V.1 1962. DePauw University. Lakeside Press, Chicago, Illinois.
- Broeckaert, J., Généalogie de la famille De Pauw, 1903.
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