Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Start, Edwin Augustus, 1863-1923
Edwin Augustus Start (1863-1923), A1884, through his appointment to the faculty, established Tufts College's History Department in 1892.
The son of the Tufts College bursar, Reverend W. A. Start, A1862, Start was born in North Bridgewater (now Brockton), Massachusetts, on June 1,1863. He studied at schools in Melrose and Cambridge, Massachusetts, before graduating from Cambridge High School in 1880.Start entered Tufts College the following fall. As an undergraduate, Start was active in student organizations, won prizes in oratory, and served as editor-in-chief of the "Tuftonian" and the "Shield," a Theta Delta Chi fraternity publication.
After receiving his B.A. from Tufts in 1884, Start settled on a career in journalism. In 1885, he married his first wife, Julia Edith Moore. For several years, Start edited and managed local New England and New York newspapers. Following the death of his wife in 1892, he spent some time in Virginia carrying out historical research.
In May 1892, he returned north and was appointed Instructor in History at Tufts, formally establishing the department. In 1893, he proposed a curriculum for the new department, which was accepted by the faculty, while working to modify entrance exams to encompass a wider range of subjects. Start also carried out graduate studies at Harvard, receiving his M.A. in 1893. Among his professional and academic organization affiliations, Start was one of the sixteen founding members of the Delta Chapter of Massachusetts of Phi Beta Kappa, and served as its marshal.
Start was made Assistant Professor of History in 1897. He held the position until 1900, when a controversy arose over Reverend Edwin Bolles joining the faculty as Dickson Professor of English and American History, which had been specifically endowed for Bolles. Start resigned his position on the Tufts' faculty and became director of Extension Work of the University of Washington in 1912. He held that position until his sudden death, following a bout of pneumonia, on October 3, 1923. His second wife, Carrie Knowles, survived him.
Start House, located at 15-17 Latin Way, was built in 1894 by Start as his private residence, and is named in his honor.
Source: VF; TCG, September-November 1923
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