History of Tufts College, 1854-1896Start, Alaric Bertrand
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, A. M.
|ALPHEUS AUGUSTUS KEEN, son of Simeon and Sarah (Elwell) Keen, was born in Buckfield, Maine, September 26, 1824. His early education was received in the district and high schools of his native town, but his final preparation for college was made at the Classical Academy of North Yarmouth.|
In 1849 he graduated from Harvard College, and soon after assumed the office of Principal of the High School for boys at Marblehead, Massachusetts. For five successful years he occupied this position, and it was largely through his influence and effort that the school was made co-educational in 1851.
While teaching at Marblehead Mr. Keen was married, in 1850, to Miss Anna C. Dudley, of Danvers, Massachusetts. In 1854 he resigned his position to accept the Principalship of the Academy at Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio; and in the following year a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Keen, - Alpheus Augustus, Jr., who is now Cashier of the First National Bank of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mr. Keen remained in charge of the Pomeroy Academy until 1857, when he accepted a call to Tufts as Professor of the Ancient Languages and Literature. Soon after establishing himself at the college he was made Secretary of the Faculty, which office he held until his death. In 1860 his title was changed to Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, the Greek Department having been intrusted to Dr. Schneider. In 1862 he became Librarian.
In all his relations with the college and elsewhere Professor Keen's gentleness of disposition and nobility of
|character commanded the respect and love of all who knew him, and no one who has been connected with the institution occupies a tenderer spot in the hearts of the older alumni. After a considerable period of failing health, he died on the second day of June, 1864. The funeral was held in the old chapel room in Ballou Hall, whither the remains of their beloved teacher were escorted by all the students, the Faculty and a large number of friends following.|
Professor Keen's body now rests among the hills of his native home. The influence of his worthy life is embalmed in the souls which came in contact with his, and were strengthened and made sweeter thereby. Perhaps we cannot give our readers a true picture of his character better than by extracting the following paragraph from the "Trumpet," of June 11, 1864:-
" In the death of Professor Keen the Faculty have lost a most faithful co-worker, and the students a true and constant friend. His love of order, his promptness in duty, his quick sense of justice, and withal his tenderness and mercy, were manifest in all his labors and in all his counsels. His devotion to the country was sincere and true. Some of his last words indicated that his thoughts, when dying, were with the brave men offering up their lives upon its battlefields. Gentle, affectionate, and unostentatious, he early won the respect and esteem of all connected with the institution; and his loss will be severely felt and deeply lamented. A memory thus embalmed will be cherished in love while life remains."
For some years after her husband's death Mrs. Keen was a member of the cataloguing department of the Boston Public Library. She now resides with her son in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Published by the Class of 1897. The original contains appendices with a directory of alumni, the college catalog, and the college charter. These were not included in this addition.
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