Miles P. Squier papers
Scope and Contents
This collection contains some of his original correspondence, photographs, and published copies of his writing and speeches, as well as photocopies and transcripts of letters, articles, obituaries, and other personal documents. There is also some information on his wife, Catherine Seymour Squier.
A more detailed item inventory is available on the Beloit College Archives website.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.
Biographical / Historical
From: The Book of Beloit, 1936 (with edits)
The fourth of the early professors was Miles Powell Squier. A letter of the day shows that people were sometimes as much bothered with the pronunciation of his name as they are now! His picture is hanging over the fireplace in the back parlor of the Faculty and Alumni Club.
Mr. Squier was born in Vermont in 1792, graduated from Middlebury Academy and college, took the full course at Andover Theological Seminary (where he was class and roommate of Joseph Emerson's father), attended the ordination of the first missionaries sent out by the American Board, became a home missionary in western New York, […]and founded the Geneva Lyceum in 1831 to furnish pre-collegiate grounding in classical education. The failure of this institution, through no fault of his, left Squier's interest in Christian education unabated.
As delegate from the Geneva Presbytery he attended the 1845 convention of Presbyterian and Congregational ministers in Detroit. Interested by what he heard and already convinced "of the commanding importance of Educational Institutions in the great western valley," he "was induced," as he tells us, "to extend [his] journey farther than Detroit, and visit the site of a proposed College or University at Beloit, Wisconsin. The country, the people, the conventions that had assembled on the subject pleased [him]. In view of the Christian aspect of the whole matter, [he] resolved if a university charter was obtained, and the subject presented in good faith, to throw in [his] influence and stick [his] stake there." The charter was obtained, Middle College was built, and the trustees in July, 1849, voted Mr. Squier's appointment to the Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy. Squier looked the ground over again in the spring of 1850 and that summer accepted the call—endowing his own Professorship by gift to the College with annuity rights.
He entered on his duties in the following spring, "taking charge of one recitation a day of the Senior Class, and giving a course of public lectures to the whole College and invited hearers" in his field of instruction, closing the series with an Inaugural Address on the morning of Commencement Day on "The Province of the American Scholar."
In the sequel, however, as Dr. Chapin [explained] in announcing Professor Squier's death in 1866, "his circumstances at the East and the difficulty at his time of life, of adapting himself to the constant work of the classroom," led him to alter his purpose of making Beloit his home and to "content himself with spending a few weeks of each year at the College," giving instruction by lectures and recitations. For three years before his death, Dr. Squier did not visit Beloit at all, and died Professor emeritus.
0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Miles P. Squier papers
- Michelle Tom
- March, 2013
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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