Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Leonard, Charles Hall, 1822-1918
|Charles H. Leonard (1822-1918), G1869, was the second dean of the Tufts Divinity School (1891-1910) and grandfather of Tufts president Leonard Carmichael. During his forty-nine years at Tufts, Leonard made a deep and lasting impression upon the morale, scholarship, and standards of the divinity school and Tufts College.|
Leonard was born in Northwood, New Hampshire, on September 16, 1822, and moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts, with his family during his childhood. He attended Haverhill public schools, Atkinson Academy in New Hampshire, and Bradford Seminary. Before entering the ministry, Leonard taught in the school house made famous by Whittier in his poem, "Snow Bound." Although he was inclined toward the Universalist ministry, no universalistic theology school was accessible to Leonard, so he chose to attend the Clinton Liberal Institute in New York, studying for two years under Thomas J. Sawyer.
Following his training, Leonard became pastor the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, from 1848-70. His congregation, especially the Sunday school, grew remarkably. In 1848, he married Phoebe Basset, who died, after having three children, in 1872. In 1857, Leonard established Children's Day, the second Sunday in June, which was annually observed and eventually adopted by most Protestant churches in the area. He also published a prayer book which was widely used by Universalist ministers and churches.
In 1869, Sawyer, who had by that time become the first dean of Tufts Divinity School, asked Leonard to join him in Medford, as his assistant. For two years, Leonard continued to work both at Tufts and in Chelsea, but surrendered his position in the church after becoming the Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at the school in 1871.With Sawyer's retirement from active service, Leonard became the informal leader of the school in 1884.Following Sawyer's full retirement in 1891, Leonard was appointed dean of the School of Theology, holding the position until 1910.
Leonard also served on the board of examiners for Harvard College and was a leader of the Ministers' Club, a group of ministers, primarily connected with educational institutions, which lived within a ten-mile radius of Boston. Tufts conferred upon him a master's degree in 1869, while St. Lawrence University presented him with a doctorate of sacred theology in 1881. Leonard died August 27, 1918.
Source: VF, A Short History of the Crane Theological School
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