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CALDER, JAMES, son of William and Mary (Kirkwood) Calder, was born February 16, 1826, at Harrisburg, Pa. He was educated in the public schools of the borough, the Harrisburg Academy, Partridge's militairy institute, and entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in 1845, from which he graduated August 1, 1849. In September following, he joined the Philadelphia conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was stationed in Lancaster county, where he remained until 1851, when he was appointed missionary to China, sailing from New York in the spring of that year. He reached Foo-Chow, his missionary station, in July following. He remained at this point until the year 1854, when having changed his views on church polity, he withdrew from the denomination, and returned to the United States. Soon after he became pastor of the Bethel church, Harrisburg. until the year 1859, and in the meantime editor of the Church Advocate, the organ of the Church of God. In 1857, while serving in this pastorate, he took charge of the Shippensburg Collegiate Institute, continuing there one year, until owing to the death of his wife, he returned to Harrisburg. In 1862 the larger part of the congregation here, with' their pastor, connected themselves with the Free Will Baptists denomination, and erected a new church building on State and Fourth streets. The Rev. Mr. Calder ministered to that congregation until 1869, when he was elected president of Hillsdale College, Michigan, a Free Will Baptist institution. He continued at the head of that institution two years; when, in 1871, the presidency of the Pennsylvania State College having become vacant by the death of Dr. Burrowcs, Mr. Calder was invited to succeed him. He accepted the position, returned to Pennsylvania, and until June, 1880, remained in charge of that institution. He then resigned and came to Harrisburg, where he remained until his death, which occurred November 22, 1893. From 1890 to 1893 he filled the position of lecturer of the State Grange of Pennsylvania, and at the same time assistant editor of the Farmers' Friend, published in the interest of the State Grange. Hillsdale College, in 1866, conferred upon Mr. Calder the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. Dr. Calder married first, in 1850, Ellen C., daughter of the Rev. John Winebrenner, who died in 1858. His second wife was Mrs. Eliza D. Murphy, daughter of the late Nicholas Reamshart, of Harrisburg, who still survives.

To the first union were born four children Frank R., Harrisburg; James K., Hagerstown, Md.; Charles M., died August 18, 1880: A. Russell, Steelton, Pa.

To the second union were born four [sic] children: William Carey, missionary in Burma; Mary E., wife of Prof. John W. Heston; Everett, Washington; Howard L., Harrisburg; Wallace R., Harrisburg.


Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 6 June 2001

Copyright (c) 2001 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.